Nutrition Class, Thanksgiving and the Art of Diabetic-Friendly Desserts

This is going to be one of those babbling entries that doesn’t contain a recipe (sorry!). Quick rant. So I am enrolled in a Nutrition & Health class at my university, Smith College. We have this big project due where we have to write down everything we eat for 3 days and then calculate all the nutrients in it on mypyramid.gov and write a summary about how healthy our diet is for us. All fine and well, but lots of the questions on the assignment have to do specifically with dairy and meat, making it so I can’t answer them. So I raised my hand and asked what to do in these situations because I’m vegan and if the website will accommodate that. She said the assignment will be much harder for me and I’ll just have to be sure to measure every ingredient in what I eat, instead of relying on the internet database. However, I’m on the meal plan which means I eat in a cafeteria (like most people at my school), so this gets a bit tricky. Kind of unfair.

Ever since she found out I was vegan, she brings up veganism every 5 minutes in class. Today she lectured about yeast and how it’s not vegan, especially brewer’s yeast (Um, what?). She then continued to talk about how it’s really hard for vegans to get omega-3 fatty acids. This would be all fine and well, but yeast is very vegan and it’s not really that hard to get omega-3 fatty acids. I’m happy my Nutrition PROFESSOR is so informed! Great.

On a happier note, I’m considering offering to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner for my family and relatives (10+ people) if it can be vegan. This could work out as my mother doesn’t really like to cook and I like to be able to eat everything on the table. We’ll see how this turns out. This is my plan:

– chickpea cutlets (from Veganomicon)
– mashed potatoes
– greenbean casserole
– noodle casserole (a.k.a. the Vegan Mac-N-Cheese below)
– a salad or veggie stir-fry
– homemade cranberry sauce
– Diabetic-friendly pumpkin pie (sweetened with agave nectar, my Dad has Type II diabetes)
– Agave sweetend cake with agave-sweetened frosting (both from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

I’m pretty new to the idea of cooking for diabetics (my grandmother who will be in attendance also has Type-2 diabetes), so I’m going to put more research into diabetic-friendly desserts. I know that sugars are carbohydrates and get turned into glucose in the body, but I don’t know if that means I should cut back on carbs in the desserts as well? I was considering making a gluten-free cake with agave frosting, but I don’t know if that’s any better than a regular gluten cake for diabetics. Anybody know? Google is not being the most helpful.

What are you making for Thanksgiving?!


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  1. I know that this is for the WFM I work at, but if you can call from your cell phone or Skype or something, Lisa or Laurie can definitely help you with the gluten free/carb conscious/sugar conscious/diabetic options for the meals.

    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/plano/concierge.php

    Also, here’s a link to the Hadley store’s website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/hadley/
    And their (should be-)comprehensive list of their store’s products for specific dietary needs: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/hadley/specialdiets.php
    I just called, and they do not have a Concierge like we do, but if you go to the Guest Service desk, you can request to speak with team members from the Bakery and Grocery teams regarding any specific questions and such for any dietary needs (especially gluten free and sugar conscious).

    I just searched for WFM stores in your zip code, but couldn’t find any relatively close. Let me know if there is one near your home on LI that you might be able to reach.

    Danni / Reply
  2. Also, I just remembered that you can email Lisa/Laurie instead, since calling can be such a hassle. That way they can also respond to you when it’s convenient for them, so that they can also give your questions the time and consideration they deserve.

    They are wonderful, WONDERFUL ladies and insanely helpful.

    Danni / Reply
  3. That sounds so nummy. I wanna make my Thanksgiving vegan but I think my dad’s going to want a turkey anyway. He’s a butthead!

    Kells and I will make everything else vegan though!

    Your professor is ignorant. I’m glad she’s so open to other ideas…

    liz shmackenzie / Reply
  4. Danni, whoa thanks for all the info! I will definitely drop them an e-mail if I can’t find anything else out. I was also thinking of posting some questions in a Diabetes LJ community and see what I get. Thanks again!

    Liz, yay vegan food! My professor thinks she knows everything, but obviously doesn’t. I was completely taken aback when she said that, but somebody at dinner also tried to argue with me that yeast isn’t vegan, so I guess it’s not that weird of a thought. Though, if she is TEACHING nutrition, she should probably know that.

    Nicole / Reply
  5. Your teacher has no brainz! Lame! She knows nothing! You’re cooler than her!

    And your thanksgiving plans sound sooo yummy! Yum yum yum! I don’t know what we’re having. I know Liz wants to make chickpea cutlets too. They’re nummies. But, I don’t know what else she has up her sleeve! Family!

    Kelly / Reply
  6. your professor makes me want to throw myself at the walls. I’ll spare the walls and focus on daydreaming over your food plans. yes.

    Celine / Reply
  7. Try this for diabetic recipes: I didn’t really look into it, but most things are vegan-able.
    http://www.healthy-diabetic-recipes.co.uk/Dessert_Recipes.html

    Gulliver / Reply
  8. Ooo, that’s really helpful, thanks Gulli!

    Nicole / Reply
  9. i am starving right now from reading this entry.

    -Tara / Reply

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