What's "real-food" to you?

I don’t know about most diabetics, but to me, real food is all natural and un-processed. That means nothing in a package that you don’t know exactly what’s in it.

I guess you could say I eat “Paleo-Lithic”. Lots of fresh meat and veggies. Also cheese, (I know, not totally natural) and a nice glass of red wine regularly. I particularly love Steak Tar-tar. And it has to have a fresh raw egg in it. I’ve never been sick from eating it, either.

So what do you all like to eat? I’d love to know what other Type 1’s eat every day because I’m beginning to think I’m the freak in the crowd.

Speak up. I’m listening.



We are in long process of changing into a all natural, un-processed diet, all the time. I’m sick of looking at ingredients and not understanding half of whats in something, understanding the other half and been appalled with how much sugar and trans fatty acids/hydrogenated plant oils are in our food.

With three kids it’s not been easy. But I continue to battle on not only to give my diabetic son a healthy life but to provide one for all my family

We are mostly vegetarian. And thats due to our feelings that its hard to find meat and fish that you can be sure is safe to eat and has been killed in a humane way!

We don’t buy processed dinners and I cook our meals from scratch.

I have tried my kids and husband on almost all the types of fruit and vegetables that I can get our hands on. The kids are very good at trying things. They don’t have to like them just as long as they give them a go.

I looked into the raw food diet, but felt that it was not the way for us to go.

I have now lost 17kg (37lbs) and my husband has lost 11kg (24lbs). All from eating more fruit and vegetables, bean, peas and lentils.

We have changed to wholemeal pasta and brown rice. When we do eat bread I try to make it at home rather than buy it. That way we have control over whats in it.

My son blood sugar levels are crap. Due to a number of problems. We have just changed Insulin and are hoping for better control. We have not started carbohydrate counting yet but hope to do so in the near future.

Vonda K

I’m type 2, but my idea of “real” food is unrefined grains, fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, and low-fat meats, freshly prepared. I’m not too keen on fish, but I will eat a few different fishes on rare occasions. Unfortunately, while I love cheese, I have to watch it because of the sodium and saturated fats. Same thing for non non-fat dairy. Also, unfortunately, I grew up with all sorts of garbage food, so I still tend to crave breads and pastries and such, most of the commercially-available versions of which are made with white flour, refined sugar, and enough trans-fats to submerge a small motor vehicle.

hi,im newbies i dont know if i have type 2 or type 1 its very confusing all i know is dr told me i have pre diabete but yesterday another dr told me i have 200 they found in my urine cup…so i m waiting for my next appt at meantime i want to know what is paleo-diet means?? thanks

I’m with you, Andrew. We shop in the produce & meat sections most often and try to steer clear of anything prepackaged.

I like dreaming up things like my Cumin Chicken that approximates the satisfaction of fried chicken with a spice & herb crust instead of those extra carbs. That recipe or a variation thereof is a common occurrence in my house.

My cooking isn’t strictly low-carb because my mother’s sugars are well under control, but everything is fresh. We buy local organic produce when possible (and affordable, which isn’t always the case.) “Nothing from a box” has become the household motto.

I too am working on the nothing in a box program. For me, it is difficult, but just taking it one day at a time tends to get us used to it. My son can’t stand it and sometimes and I will let him stray, but not all the time (he is not diabetic, I am).

Taking care of my diet means teaching my kids how to prevent diabetes and/or complications for themselves. I have grown to love grilled or baked chicken and fish. Basted and cooked in different ways. Fried has been gone for some time now. I don’t miss it either. My absolute favorite is Grilled Chili Lime Chicken. YUM!

The “Paleolithic diet” is also called the “caveman diet” and is basically meat, meat, and meat. I once read someone into that sort of thing railing against all sorts of starches and legumes and soy products. I believe fruits and veggies may also be limited, I don’t remember offhand.

Cake from a box? What box? Cake is a concoction of eggs (often separated and whipped separately), sugar, oil, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flavoring (vanilla extract, melted unsweetened chocolate, grated orange zest, etc.). Rice comes from a bag around here. Pot pies and brownies are scratch-made (though to be honest, we prefer Shepherd’s Pie to pot pie most days of the week)…

Sugar usually comes from a box, because a box will last me a year or more. Cornstarch comes from a box. Sometimes soy flour comes in a box. And dry cereal (oatmeal, Kashi GoLean, etc.) comes in a box. That’s about it, I think…

Quick veggies: wash, drain (or pat dry), and slice or partition into bite-sized pieces the fresh vegetables of your choice. Layer in the bottom of a shallow covered casserole dish. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and freshly crushed spices (oregano and basil are good for a Continental flair, freshly-chopped jalapeno pepper, cumin, and cilantro give a bit of a Mexican flaire, etc.) and cover with coarsely grated low-fat semi-hard cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Emmenthaler, Gruyere are all good). Cover the casserole and microwave on high for 2-8 minutes, or until the veggies are brightly-colored and the cheese has melted. (Two minutes is usually enough for a single person/single dish; it may take 8 minutes or more for a family-sized casserole.)

This works with most vegetables, with the exception that tomatoes will get a bit watery and mushy.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (using leftover turkey)

1 medium-large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 oz carrots, diced
2-3 oz mushrooms, diced
11-12 oz cooked leftover turkey, diced or shredded
2 lb boiled potatoes, with skins
1½ c turkey broth or gravy
¼ t black pepper
1 t dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 T olive oil
¼ t white pepper
1 T onion powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In an stove-and-oven-proof casserole, sauté onion, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in olive oil with bay leaves, oregano, and black pepper.
  3. Add turkey, continue to sauté.
  4. Meanwhile, mash potatoes with about ¼ c turkey broth and ¼ t white pepper.
  5. Add the remaining broth to the meat-and-veggie mixture, continue to heat over low light until everything is piping hot.
  6. Thicken broth/gravy with a couple spoonfuls of mashed potato as needed.
  7. Top the meat-and-veggie mixture with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle onion powder over the potato topping.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a crust forms on the top of the potatoes.

Serves 4-8.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (non-leftover)
This version uses ground turkey rather than leftover. Substitute the ground meat and veggies of your choice.

2 medium onions, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
5 oz carrots, diced
3 oz mushrooms, diced
1½ oz red bell pepper, diced
2 lb lean (7% fat) ground turkey
1½ lb potatoes, boiled with skins
1½ T olive oil
½ t black pepper
2 T dried oregano
4 T dried parsley leaves
1 T rubbed sage
2 t dried rosemary leaves
2 t dried thyme leaves
½ t marjoram leaves
1/8 t coriander leaves
½ t ground white pepper
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In an stove-, oven-, and broiler-proof casserole or large frying pan, sauté onion, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in olive oil with half the oregano and half the black pepper. Reserve.
  3. In the same pot, brown the turkey with the rest of the oregano and black pepper, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and coriander, half the garlic powder . When it has browned, add the vegetables back in.
  4. Meanwhile, mash potatoes with the remaining garlic powder, the onion powder, the white pepper, and a small amount of pan drippings, turkey broth, or potato cooking water.
  5. Top the meat-and-veggie mixture with the mashed potatoes.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a crust forms on the top of the potatoes.
  7. For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, raise the oven to “broil”. Set the casserole under the broiler until the peaks of the mashed potatoes start to turn golden brown. (Do not overcook.)

Serves 4-8.

Note: I did these recipes a few years ago and they are notably low on veggies, so should be served with a salad or additional veggies on the side. Lower-carb versions can be used by substituting mashed cauliflower, or a mix of mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes. I haven’t tried using sweet potatoes (yams) instead of regular potatoes… so that’s another variation that can be tried.

Of course, you can always use very lean beef instead of the turkey.

I think of real food as raw, living fruits, greens, herbs, olive oil, nuts, seeds, no meat at all, no dairy, no fish. Some legumes, lots sprouts. Nothing processed or packaged at all.

I am not 100% because I am 52 years old and fighting the addictions of foods. Because of my back and forth on this I feel I have not helped my body much. but I lean toward and am trying to be 100% at this way of life. I do not feel this is the Paleo way of life as there is no meat involved at all.

Dear Andrew

I’m a recovering foodie that just can’t live with the BG’s of over 500 and the A1C of over 13 (yeah, one doc told me he had never seen anyone with chronic readings like that who was still vertical)… but I’m still pining for the creative bones to get cracking.

Now that my meals are under 45 grams of carb, no white potatoes or bananas touch my lips, and many of the things I once loved give me trepidations, I’m looking for some people to educate me.

So teach on!

I’ll try the left over one after Thankgiving!

Not sure what the protocol is on here for this, but can you share your Cumin Chicken recipe? I am the diabetic, but sounds like something my hubby needs to start eating instead of the real fried chicken. Thank you!

Click on the words “Cumin Chicken” in the earlier message. It will link you to the recipes.

Thank you!