I had a chance to sit down with Jennifer Stack this week, diabetes educator, registered dietitian, Culinary Institute professor, and author of 'The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen.' With over twenty years dedicated to coaching people with diabetes and extensive culinary schooling under her belt, Jennifer's new book unearths the secrets to enjoying good food while reaping the benefits of good health. All 125 healthy, flavorful recipes in the 'Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen' have been taste-tested and approved by the Culinary Institute of America, and they may just be the answer to keeping that diet-friendly new year's resolution.
Concerns about giving up favorite foods and feeling deprived often lead to delays in taking action. In Jennifer's line of work, she explains that clients looking to improve their weight and health often view the necessary lifestyle adjustments as a major hurdle and put off getting started. As an alternative, Jennifer suggests setting small, reachable goals that can be maintained and built upon to greatly impact overall health and wellness for the future. When developing the 'Diabetes Friendly Kitchen,' Jennifer put special consideration into creating dishes that were appealing and palatable, with each nutritious meal designed to appeal to today's foodie, without overly complex instructions. The outcome is a top-notch recipe book that makes dietary changes so manageable, "that readers won't hesitate to start addressing weight and diabetes-related issues." Regardless, Jennifer notes that sometimes necessary changes are all too often postponed.
Benefit from a healthy diet, without sacrificing flavor.
In today's world, diet faux pas are no secret. Society is more educated now than ever on identifying harmful dietary choices, yet cutting down on favorites like dessert, processed food, fast-food, and take-out poses a great challenge to a culture that's acclimated to unhealthy preferences. In fact, nearly 86 million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes, a startling statistic and as Jennifer puts it, the body's "courtesy call to wake up and take action." Pre-diabetes has the potential to turn into Type 2 Diabetes, a disease with irreversible effects. Even more shocking, 9 out of 10 people that have this precondition are completely unaware of it. Jennifer's mission with the 'Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen' is to "...guide readers to create meals that nobody would know are diabetes friendly, and ultimately respect a love of food." Because diabetes is a progressive disease, introducing medication, dietary changes, and increased physical activity as soon as possible can help evade or postpone future health complications and an insulin regimen, in addition to maintaining physical longevity.
It's not a trend, it's a lifestyle.
A common misconception that surrounds restructured habits is that weight loss is the greatest indicator reflective of progress, but Jennifer defers, it's simply not the case. She further clarifies that "A lot of people don't lose weight as easily as commercial diet plans suggest... people that struggle with chronic weight problems may only lose one pound a month but their metabolic health is improving because of better food choices and being more active." And according to Jennifer, that's perfectly fine. Crucial progress linked to preventing major conditions like heart disease and diabetes is connected to improving gut health and limiting belly fat; at the core of both is a nutritional diet. Some people may turn to fad diets or 'cleanses' to quickly garner results, but ultimately maintaining healthy lifestyle changes are what truly lead to long-term benefits. Jennifer believes it's critical for clients to expand the definition of what success is, because simply losing pounds may not improve metabolic health.
The 'Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen' is designed for people challenged by pre-diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes or for anyone who wants to lose weight and improve their health. All 125 of the delicious recipes keep busy moms, working families and culinary connoisseurs in mind. If you'd like to learn more about Jennifer and her work, visit her webpage at http://jstackchefrd.com.
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