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Saturday, January 21, 2023

Low Glycemic Index Dinner

Why we're choosing a low glycemic index diet for optimal health

Eating better never tasted better! We'll explain why we are transitioning our family meals to a low glycemic index diet for better overall health.

Eating a low glycemic index diet can have numerous health benefits for your family, including improved blood sugar levels and improved cholesterol levels. It can also help people with diabetes and heart problems better manage their disease. We'll discuss why transitioning to a low glycemic index diet is the right choice for your family and provide delicious meal ideas that follow this type of eating plan.

If you are new here, welcome!  I will explain that I began sharing recipes with folks since I began to see an uptick in gluten free living.  Some participate in the lifestyle out of need, and others out of preference.  

I am one of those who follows a gluten free lifestyle out of need.  I am allergic to wheat, barley, and rye.  When I learned of my allergies to these foods, I wondered what's a gal to do?

At that time, there was not an abundance of gluten free foods on the market.  I think you can find just about anything these days, but I also prefer to not eat a lot of processed foods.  They are not good for us; recently a friend said they are not even foods! 

You know what?  She is kind of right.  They are convenient, have a prolonged shelf life which typically means an abundance of additives and preservatives.  Not all of us can have a garden that will feed our family year round, and let's face it simple, organic foods are more expensive when you go to the grocery than processed foods so folks do tend to choose them.

I began eating minimally processed foods many years ago.  Now does that mean I do not eat any processed foods?  Nope, sometimes a gal likes to take the easiest way to dinner on the table as quickly as possible too.  Sometimes I even enjoy a cheat day.  Those gingerbread cookies from Christmas?  A total splurge for me, but I loved them just as much as the next gal!  

When I mentioned I would be bringing you new things this year, I decided we need to talk about all the things.  I love decorating and creating recipes just as much as usual, but I have found recently it is good for us to expand our horizons too.

A close friend received some not so good news when attending their last doctor appointment,.  We decided hey, it's time to take a step back and see what we can do to help a friend out.  When it comes to changing your diet and lifestyle, it is much easier to have a support system.  So... here we go again...  a new lifestyle to add to our already gluten free diet.  How about a low glycemic index diet too?  Yep, we are doing all the things here, and seeing how we can help.    

If you are only here for dinner ideas, this is what I have to share today, but if you are wanting to know more, then keep reading below for more information and how I got started.

Low Glycemic Index Dinner Option:
  1. Chicken breast (GI 0) 
  2. Black Rice (GI 42.3)
  3. Cooked onion (GI 10), green pepper (GI 15), and mushrooms (GI 10-15) 

I purchased a meat tenderizer since I kept finding my chicken has been tough lately.  I tried everything... less cooking, air fryer, oven, skillet, I kept experiencing tough chicken.  Since I picked up the tenderizer, our chicken is delightful.   I only used salt and pepper on our chicken breasts.

I chopped up 1 green pepper, 1 onion, and 1/2 package of white capped mushrooms and placed them into the skillet with our chicken, cooking them together. 

I measured out 2 cups of water, brought it to a full boil, then added 1 cup of black rice, turned down the heat to low, placed the lid on top of my pot and let the rice cook for 30 minutes.  The rice was perfect, no draining, and soft.  If you have never had black rice, it has an earthy scent to it, and a somewhat nutty flavor.  I actually love it, and since it is under 55 on the glycemic index, then that means it keeps us fuller longer since it enters our bloodstream at a slower rate.  Want more info?  Read on...  

Heart issues are a scary thing to think about, and they typically get passed down through families from generation to generation, along with diabetes.  Let's face it, sometimes it is too easy to go through a drive through on the way home from work, or picking up the kids from sports several times a week so our diet and bodies suffer.  

When I had to begin eating a gluten free diet, it became much easier for me to cook at home.  No one likes to have difficulty breathing or be sick year round.  I think sometimes when issues like this occur, it is easier to make changes than your regular everyday person who can consume whatever they desire.  When you are that person, I think it tends to be more difficult to make diet changes, or at least that is my opinion.    

I know what it was like for me to begin a whole new lifestyle, and so I was ready to jump in and give a hand right away.  I said we got this, we will come up with dinners together, or I can create meals and post them to our blog, and you can get dinner ideas that way.  Whatever works best for you.  I think this helped to lessen the load for them and they appreciated the help.    

I have found sometimes it is so much easier when someone else takes the guess work out of it for you.  I know how that is especially when you have the thoughts of what will this disease do to me?  How far has it progressed?  If I make a few changes, will this help?  

In my mind, I post recipes here weekly anyway so why not help even more folks out with their dieting needs?  So, if you find yourself needing to follow this sort of diet plan, I am here, I get it, and I hope you find some dinner options for yourself too.  

Explaining the Glycemic Index and Low Glycemic Diet

The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system used to measure how quickly food affects your blood sugar levels. Foods are classified by their GI, which range from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating foods that have a greater impact on your blood sugar level. A low glycemic diet is based on eating foods with a GI of 55 or lower and includes whole grains, legumes, fruits, and some dairy products. Eating these types of foods can help improve your family's long-term health and make mealtime enjoyable!

When I began reading about a low glycemic index diet, I thought this may be easier than following a strict regimented diet some folks tend to follow when trying to lose weight.  Personally, I think those types of diets set us up for failure.  Can you maintain a strict diet for the long haul?  Let's face it, at some point we fall off the rails, and then getting back to healthy eating is sometimes more difficult than before you began dieting in the first place.  

I read how this diet can be good for folks with diabetes, heart issues, and many have had success in losing weight.  I do not know about you, but losing weight seemed like the bonus to me so we are all in here.  What is that saying?  It takes a village... we are starting our village and if you want to join along with us, by all means do so.  We are only too happy to have you here!  

How a Low GI Diet Supports Healthier Eating Habits.

Eating a low glycemic diet offers a number of health benefits for the whole family, including reducing insulin resistance, promoting healthier weight management, enhancing digestive health by introducing more fiber, and supporting better long-term health. Choosing lower GI foods can also help break unhealthy eating habits like overeating or consumption of too many processed foods and promote overall healthier eating habits.

Now you would know I have already begun this new lifestyle change so I could create and share recipe ideas with you... I can tell you I am already seeing a change in how I feel.  Remember all of those sleepless nights?  I am sleeping better!  I cannot say if this will happen for everyone, but if I can sleep, then I am all about this lifestyle change already.  This gal has needed sleep for too long, and it feels amazing!  

It's the small things in life!  Don't you think?

What Foods Should Be Included in a Low GI Diet?

A low GI diet should include plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains like oats, barley (none for me), and quinoa. These provide essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health.

Dairy products and lean meats should also be included in a low GI diet. It's best to avoid processed foods whenever possible since they increase blood sugar levels in the body. Swapping out white or brown sugar for alternatives such as honey or maple syrup can add flavor without the extra sugar levels associated with those more processed sweeteners too.

Making the Transition Easier with Meal Planning & Prepping Techniques.

Making the switch to a low GI diet doesn't have to be complicated. The secret lies in meal planning, prepping and batch cooking. By taking the time to plan out meals, shop strategically, and prepare ingredients ahead of time it can make eating better both easier and faster.

If you have a smaller family and cannot consume all of that black rice, stick around, I will share with you what you can do with the extra black rice very soon. We had so much leftover that first night, so I had to come up with a new recipe the following evening.

It was so nice having that black rice already cooked so all I had to do was add it to my next meal. I can tell you, I am becoming more organized since I have been experimenting with these new recipes.

I will share with you I went through a list of foods we like and looked up the GI Index on each food, added the items as I found what would work to my online grocery cart and ordered what I needed that way. Fish... we ordered several pounds. Crazy? Not at all, especially using our air fryer. You will be happy to know Mr. VS is no longer picking up something on his way home when we have fish, and eating what I make! Yeah! Victory is mine.

I am not being paid to share this diet plan with you, my husband and I are doing this along side of someone who is special to us. I have found over the years it is so much easier to make major changes in your life when you have a good support system. I know I needed a good support system when I fell ill, and so it is a good idea to return the favor and show you care for loved ones.

I am still learning and researching, but I could not put off recipe sharing so we could get everyone on track as soon as possible. Thank you for making it to the end, that was a lot of information to explain and go over, have a wonderful week!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. The rice along with the onions and peppers looks good! I'll omit the mushrooms, although hubby loves them. I haven't had any chicken lately, it all just tastes fake to me, no matter if we buy it to cook or get it at a restaurant. I agree that processed foods aren't really food, at least nothing that is healthy and nutritious for us!!

    1. This was delicious Dee. I am a HUGE fan of black rice. I had it years ago, and then had a difficult time finding it again, I had to turn to the internet to find it again. Groceries in my area do not carry it. Shame too, because it is a delight.