By Jessie Shafer, RD
A diagnosis of diabetes—whether prediabetes, type 1, type 2, or gestational—can feel overwhelming. True, you do need to be more mindful about what’s on your plate, but rest assured you can still enjoy all the delicious things life has to offer. By creating healthy habits and sleuthing out the right products, you can eat well and beat diabetes in the process.
1. Plan to Eat.
It may seem counterintuitive to actively think about food when trying to lose or maintain weight, but making a meal plan is a simple strategy with big results.
Why it works: Inspect your pantry, plan your meals, make a shopping list—and stick to it. Prepare, eat, and repeat. There’s research suggesting that the fewer decisions you need to make about what and how much to eat, the more successful you’ll be with weight control.
2. Power with Plants.
When life gets especially busy, don’t worry about putting some meals on autopilot. Healthful frozen entrees, such as Cali’flour Pizzas
, come with built-in portion control, are ready in minutes, and supply balanced nutrition from several food groups.
Eating a variety of vegetables, whether they come fresh or frozen, is the easiest, most natural defense you can provide your body against inflammation, a condition that complicates your normal response to insulin. Chowing down on raw veggies is fine every once in a while, but heating and roasting veggies is a delicious way to release depth of flavor and create appealing caramelization.
Why it works: The Adventist Health Study shows vegetarians have lower rates of type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. In fact, the more people move toward a plant-based diet, the more they lower their risk of being overweight and/or having insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Even if you’re not interested in eliminating meat completely—or if you want to ease into the habit—practical, healthy products like the Cali’flour Vegetable Lasagna
, Vegetable Enchilada Bake
, and Supreme Veggie Pizza
employ the nutrient power of plants (including tomatillos, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, chiles, and spinach—plus the florets, stems and leaves of cauliflower) to make meatless meals extremely satisfying.
3. Mex it Up. Keep healthy meals interesting by savoring worldly spices. Not only will you cast off meal-time boredom by exposing taste buds to a breadth of global flavors, but some spices can even help with weight loss.
Why it works: Many herbs and spices have been shown to fight food cravings and even boost fat burning. Most notably is chile peppers—a Mexican cuisine staple—which contain capsaicin, a compound connected to reduced hunger cravings and increased metabolism. There is some research showing that capsaicin reduces the body’s level of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
The Cali’flour Enchilada Bakes
are a new twist on a Mexican favorite. Not only do they ring in at 1 carb serving* per entree, but they feature spices authentic to this cultural cuisine, including green chiles, jalapeños, green onions, ancho chiles, and sweet smoked paprika.
*1 carb serving = 15 grams carbohydrate
4. Feel the Crunch. You get more nourishment out of your food when the texture is just right. And nothing is quite as satisfying as a bite that supplies the perfect crunch.
Why it works: Crunchy foods create noise as you chew them and draw your attention to what you’re eating, creating a sensory experience that requires you to be more mindful during meals. When you can literally hear your bites, the auditory and limbic (emotional) systems of your brain light up and take in more information, helping you recognize fullness cues and feel content from fewer bites.
Cali’flour knows the importance of the crunch factor. Made from just three whole-food ingredients (cauliflower + egg whites + mozzarella cheese) plus spices, the Traditional Pizza Crusts
make for a sturdy and flavorful low-carb base you can use to make pizzas and crispy quesadillas or even cut and bake into chips.
5. Don’t Feel Deprived. It’s much easier to abide by the law of addition rather than the rule of subtraction. Change your mindset to focus on all the better-for-you food possibilities that exist, including things you’ve never tried before. Get to know your non-starchy vegetables: green beans, sweet peppers, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, radishes, Brussels sprouts and more. Explore different proteins, including seafood rich in omega-3s. Try new spices and cooking techniques. When there’s a will to get healthy, there’s a way.
Why it works: Research on positive thinking shows that your brain responds to thoughts of joy and contentment with bursts of creativity—in other words, your mind opens to more possibilities you hadn’t seen before. When it comes to food, know that everything you love can still fit, whether it’s a matter of making over traditionally carb-heavy dishes with ingredient swaps, serving smaller portions, or adding new meal-helper options to your pantry and freezer.
The Cali’flour brand was built on the idea that you can have long-term health success with a little inspiration. The Flatbreads
and Pizza Crusts
are the perfect low-carb canvas for you to make your own
. Load one up with favorite toppings and taste how delicious a new outlook can be.
Jessie Shafer is a registered dietitian, writer and mother of two. As the former senior nutrition editor for Diabetic Living magazine and former editor-in-chief of Delicious Living magazine, she has sampled her fair share of deliciously healthy recipes and natural packaged products. “I’m always surprised when people think a healthy life has to come with compromise. Cali’flour products are proof that—with a little care and ingenuity—you can harness both the nutrient power and delicious taste benefits of healthful, whole foods.”