Wikimanager interviews Gloria Gabrysch owner of Healthy Recipes for Diabetic Friends Y-Group
Greetings Gloria! Edit
First, I would like to thank you for participating in this interview for Recipes Wiki.com! We have recognized you and your Y-group as a valuable channel of information and you seem to have the same goals and mission as our wiki.
I would like to ask a few questions about yourself and background if you do not mind.
A: I am a native Texan… I grew up in the country, near the small town of George West, on the Farm/Ranch my parents still live on although they are retired now. As of January 2007 they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. I grew up the middle of three sisters. While growing up our mother did all the cooking so I began learning from her. During the summers my Dad would harvest grain and bale hay for others as well as his own. Mom would cook meals and take them to the fields to feed him and sometimes others who where helping. She also was an excellent baker… creating things like Kolaches, Cream Puffs and fried pies and on and on. We also had our own cattle for beef as well as chickens so all things egg as well as chickens were often on the menu. During the time my older sister was to be married there were too many roosters… so mom made “Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches” for the wedding reception which was held at the house. There were many compliments on those sandwiches and no one knew… until now… maybe, LOL, about those sandwiches being from roosters! She also made some of the best chicken and dumplings I ever tasted. When in high school it was required to take “homemaking” which included cooking. This also led to cooking or baking things for the county fair each spring. I remember making chocolate chip cookies one year and then later being at a friend’s house while she made hers… I told her a bit about what I did baking mine… she got a blue ribbon while I got a second place ribbon… I must have instructed her well… or so I like to think! LOL!
Now, fast forward through time… I have taken nutrition classes as well as learning on my own through reading library books and later using online information to learn more. I have always tried to eat healthy so my health problems took me by complete surprise! I have a BA in psychology and a few years later with some changes in my personal situation I was working on my graduate degree, MA in counseling with only five classes away from graduating when my life path changed completely and unexpectedly! I suddenly became ill and did not know what to do. I ended up having to quit college and completely change direction in my life. I have struggled to feel well and get good health care. In addition to cooking/baking my Mother also began my interest in sewing… so that is what I turned to for income when I no longer was healthy enough to do anything else. My declining health status has over time limited me more and more… I also now no longer drive so getting to appointments and things like the grocery store must be coordinated with various schedules. My life is one of menus and recipes and planning healthy eating. All I have learned throughout life beginning with my Mother’s cooking, feeding my two sons, learning about nutrition from all sorts of numerous sources over time have brought me to be “Chef Gloria” with the influence of health problems to make me the most nutritionally aware chef a person can be. Those who I cook for also benefit from my skills in the kitchen as well as the healthy eating lifestyle. I can tell when those who eat my meals do not eat the healthy way they are accustomed to… they just do not function at the same peak level. I now treasure the knowledge that my health problems are beneficial to others by them learning to eat more healthful foods. Just because one is struck with Diabetes or any other serious health issue does not mean you cannot eat tasteful, healthy and appealing foods. Eating well is one of the best defenses we have against illness or preventing illness. It is the best way to not only feel your best and function as well as possible but also a way of not feeing deprived.
A: I began “Healthy Recipes for Diabetic Friends” when another diabetic recipe Y-Group no longer had a moderator and was getting lots of spam. Ron has been a most valuable help in moderating the group! I want to thank him again! I have always enjoyed collecting health related books, cookbooks, recipes and such so I decided that it would be beneficial to others if I just began a recipe group to post them so others could more easily find the healthiest of all the recipes available. Since so many health issues are connected to others just as Diabetes has so many risk factors for other illnesses like heart disease and such… I wanted others to know that they can eat well but first must learn all they can about their own situation. One must learn all possible about nutrition and what will and will not work for “You”! Knowledge truly is the best weapon in fighting any illness! If you are cooking for someone else who has Diabetes then you are ahead of the game, so to speak, since you are setting a goal to help someone else. Also, anyone cooking for others with health issues or diet limitations or requirements of any sort whether family member or guest at your home for a dinner party, for example, and is taking those needs into consideration is a valuable asset!
Q. What types of recipes make the best diabetic recipes? What type of recipes should diabetics avoid? Edit
A: I try to post recipes that are low carb or healthy carbs, low sodium as well as low fat while watching the sugar content. Fiber is also beneficial to everyone including diabetics. One year prior to being diagnosed with Diabetes I was hospitalized with Diverticulitis and thus had to begin a very high fiber diet. This has benefited me in many ways but also helps in keeping my A1c at good levels. Since we are all different it is up to each person to decide if a particular recipe is right for their needs. Some may not be able to use any rice, even wholesome brown rice, for example. Lean meats cooked without the unhealthy fats and cooking methods but instead healthier methods like sautéing, braising, stewing, baking, grilling or pan “frying” with a bit of olive oil. Include plenty of low glycemic vegetables also prepared with healthier methods. Read up on the Glycemic Index if you have not already done so. Learn to read a recipe and decide if you can use it as is—if not then may be you can make a substitution or two. I only use whole grains like brown rice for white. If you do not drink wine then maybe a stock for the wine in a recipe. Sometime one can substitute low or not fat items called for in a recipe. Or have a smaller portion.
Diabetics should avoid high fat or unhealthy fats; unhealthy carbs which includes processed foods like white flour, white rice, white tortillas or white bread. Learn to read labels for ingredients that you may not be aware are in a product. Although some “diabetic” recipes do include white flour it is like anything else if you take into consideration the other foods eaten that day then maybe you can have a small portion of something with this in it occasionally. Just do not make it a habit and no excuses!
Q. I noticed your Y-Group covers more than just Diabetic Recipes, what other health issues does your group focus on? Edit
A: A recipe does not necessarily have to say “Diabetic” to be okay for the diabetic person to use just as some “Diabetic” recipes are too high in carbs for most to use or have other ingredients that are not suitable for some diet needs. That is why learning about individual needs and nutrition is so important! That way a person can decide what “will” and more importantly “will not” work for them. Since Diabetes carries risks for so many complications I also try to include things that are heart healthy as well as high fiber. Since the body does not distinguish between things like “Oh, It is good for my diabetes but not good for my heart”! All foods should be considered as important for the body to work as a whole…after all your body is your finely tuned engine to get you through this life… it should be treated as a whole! What model of automobile do you consider your body and more importantly what model have you been treating it like! Hmmm! This includes watching cholesterol levels. In my situation, especially since the Diverticulitis I have found using plain non-fat yogurt or kefir helps with my digestion… it puts back friendly bacteria especially after if you have had any illness causing the dreaded diarrhea.
Q. Do you have any other online projects other than your Diabetic Friends Y-group? Edit
A: Not at this time… I find this one group is my main objective for helping others! I have considered beginning another for non-Diabetic recipes but have not found the time to do so and helping others with their path through the diabetes diet maze is so much more important to me.
Q. Even if you are not Diabetic, according to the feedback from your Y-group, what are the most important things to watch for when determining if a recipe is healthy or not? Edit
A: The most important things to watch for when determining if a recipe is healthy or not are: the type of carbs and the carb count, fat types, fiber, and sodium. I have not mentioned “sugar” because I try to avoid it even though I still crave sweets. Even fruit is a problem food in controlling my numbers so I limit the amount or take into consideration other foods eaten in combination with the fruit as well as the other foods on the days menus. Learn about the glycemic index and know your own needs and more importantly know your individual “I cannot use items”. Some Low-Carb recipes are healthier than others but I have found the nutrition does not include all I want to know so check these recipes for things like what type of fats are included as well as how much sodium. So again, learning about nutrition will help in determining what is usable for “you”. If it is at all possible, take a nutrition class. There are classes available for diabetics locally…maybe there are some in your area. Check to find out. See a dietician or nutritionist if at all possible. Learn…learn… learn… Then by all means live and be well and happy!