I spent lots of time this week working on Best Life projects. The Best Life Diabetes book that I wrote recipes and, with the help of several nutritionists, meal plans for is due back to the publisher tomorrow. This has been the second chance we have had to edit it since we turned it into the publisher in late April (book will be available in November). Over the last week I poured through my section of the book with a red pencil looking for any changes that needed to be made. Today I spent a good part of the day coming up with breakfasts that will be part of a diabetes meal planning tool that will be available on line in November of this year.
For the last couple of years I have been working for Bob Greene in conjunction with his Best Life Diet creating recipes for books, website and blog. When I was first contacted by Janis an old friend to do this work I immediately said I was the wrong person for the job. I knew nothing about diets and am not sure how I even feel about diet in the sense that the word is generally used. I was assured that the fact that I knew nothing about diet food was a plus. Janis explained that she had contacted me because she was looking for good food that fit into the Best Life Diet. Our cooking has always been clean and light not to fit into any parameters but in order to taste the actual flavors of the excellent quality foods that we gather. Also it is the food that makes us feel good and that we want to eat.
She passionately described the need for changes in the American Diet which will only come through a connection to food that starts with cooking. Her idea was that if people who did not have a healthy relationship to food could begin cooking this relationship could begin to repair. She believed that our recipes could help . After some back and forth I decided to give it a try. I immediately found that the two greatest obstacles were the need to use very little salt (essential for people that are extremely overweight) and only ingredients that are easily available throughout the country. I quickly learned a lot about cooking with little salt and ways around it such as lots of flavor through onions, garlic, fresh herbs, hot sauce...and adding salt at the last minute before serving. I am still frustrated by the lack of affordable raw ingredients in many parts of the country. My biggest surprise however was how easy it was to make recipes that fit into the Best Life parameters. This was no strange regime to follow just healthy well rounded meals. Portion size, calories, saturated fat...have been no problem at all.
I have learned lots through this process. I hope that sharing recipes and my love of cooking and eating with a larger audience has found its way into some peoples kitchens, dining tables and life.