The pressure to make lifestyle changes after given a diagnosis of diabetes can be a huge. As an educator, I talk with my patients about setting reasonable, attainable goals that have short term time frames. If it seems daunting to lose the 50 pounds your health care provider has suggested, break it down into 5 or 10 pound increments over 1 to 2 month periods. Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is a healthy rate of weight loss. It takes time to gain weight, and it can take even longer to take it off successfully. Diet plans, products and centers promise quick fixes in exchange for your hard earned money, but keep in mind if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you need help losing weight, check into reputable programs such as Weight Watchers. You might even consider having your health care provider refer you to a Registered Dietitian, so you can be sure your weight loss is successful and done in a healthy, sustainable way.
Recipe this week: Chicken and Couscous with Broccoli, Raisins, and Almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 large (about 8 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups water or lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup raisins
1 large broccoli crown, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Feta cheese for topping, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and chicken until onions are tender and chicken is cooked, about five minutes. Add water or broth to skillet and bring to a boil. Add couscous and raisins (you may also add the broccoli now if you enjoy very crisp broccoli), cover and remove from heat; let stand five to 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile (if you did not already add broccoli to skillet), place broccoli florets in a microwave-safe dish with 1 tablespoon water, cover and steam for four minutes. Drain broccoli. Add broccoli and almonds to couscous, season with salt (if you cooked couscous in water) and pepper, sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
Makes 4 servings
13 gm total fat
3.4 g saturated fat
604 mg sodium
26 gm carbohydrate
5 gm fiber
I have to admit, even I was nervous about whole wheat couscous, but it turns out that it is really not any different from traditional couscous in taste and consistency. The benefit of whole wheat couscous is the added fiber and protein compared to the more refined, wheat couscous. I love the flavor combination of feta cheese, raisins and broccoli (think traditional summer broccoli salad), and this dish definitely did not disappoint! This dish was really easy to prepare, and only dirtied a large skillet pan, so limited cleanup was definitely a bonus. I ended up using sunflower seeds in place of the almonds since I already had these in the cupboard. Also, I used reduced fat feta, since it tastes just as good as the full fat version. Couscous is really easy to prepare, and a great alternative to rice to add variety to your dinner dishes. We only got 3 portions out of this recipe, rather than the 4 mentioned.