A chapter from my book ‘My Big Fat Fat’ (2018)
A humorous and touching account for those losing or coping with excess weight. With her laugh-out-loud humor, Samantha Dee covers all subjects from beauticians to socks in this easy to read A to Z guide on weight loss, maintenance, and ways to nourish your self-esteem.
B is for… Blood Sugar Diet (Review)
I decided to try this recently, on account of how poorly I felt at the time. Just about every symptom of being fat was flaring up and I felt like a miserable sack of wet sand.
What I liked about this diet was that the food and recipes sounded ‘clean’ and pleasant. So, I bought the book on Kindle.
Using my preparation (see Preparation*) I studied the recipes and decided which one appealed to me. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this book, this particular diet mapped out my meals for eight weeks.
For the first week, I chose meals that I could easily prepare—nothing too complicated. I chose about three from each meal group:
- No carb bircher: 180 calories – Serves 1
- Blueberry and Green Tea shake: 100 calories – Serves 1
- Spinach & Raspberry green ‘drink’: 70 calories – Serves 1
- Courgette and feta salad: 270 calories – Serves 1
- Beetroot Falafels: 290 calories – Serves 2
- Grapefruit and Manchego salad: 280 calories – Serves 2
- Beetroot hummus: 200 calories
- Minted pea hummus: 170 calories
- Lamb & Pine-nut meatballs with Moroccan salad Crab cakes: 440 calories – Serves 1
- Foil Steamed Fish: 370 calories – Serves 2
- Spicy turkey and apricot burgers with salad: 460 calories – Serves 2
- Edam & Pecans: 320 calories
- Tuna and spring onion
- No Carb Ploughman’s: 290 calories
- Lime & Ginger Chicken Breast: 130 calories (+chicken)
So, my shopping list for the week was:
- flour (smallest cheapest possible)
- sliced ham
- 50ml apple juice
- cheddar cheese (smallest possible)
- 200 ml coconut water
- edam (smallest possible)
- 2 x eggs
- 40 g feta cheese
- Greek yoghurt (large pot)
- Manchego cheese (smallest possible)
- plain yoghurt (small pot)
- 1 x apple
- 2 x avocado
- 1 x bag baby spinach (smallest possible)
- 1 x beef tomato
- 50 g blueberries
- 1x head broccoli
- 1xbunch celery
- 50 g cherry tomatoes
- fresh coriander
- 1 x courgette
- cucumber 1/2
- fennel bulb
- fresh flat leaf parsley
- fresh parsley (curled/whatever)
- 1 bag fresh mint
- 1xbulb garlic
- 50 g green beans
- 1 large pink grapefruit (or red/whatever)
- 5x lemons
- pot pomegranate seeds
- 1x tub raspberries
- raw beetroot (whatever you can get)
- bag red chilli (or 1, if loose)
- 1xred onion
- 2x bags rocket leaves
- 1x bag spinach leaves
- 7x spring onions (1x bunch?)
- 1xpack salad tomatoes (or 1, if loose)
- pack fresh chicken breast (or frozen, whatever)
- pack fish fillet (or 1x fillet)
- pack minced lamb (as close to 100g)
- 200 g peas (fresh/garden, can or frozen)
- 1xpack turkey mince
- 2x can chickpeas
- 1x can crabmeat
- 1x sweetcorn
- jar tahini paste
- 1x small can tuna
- 1x bag whole almonds blanched
- jar whole cumin seeds
- 1x bag dried apricots
- 1x bag ground flaxseed (expensive!)
- 1x bag pecan nuts
- 1x bag pine-nuts
- 1x pack snack box raisins
- 1x small pack flaked almonds
- 1x small bag walnut pieces
- 1x small bag walnut halves
- 1x cheapest bottle balsamic
- 1xjar chutney (low sugar if poss.)
- 1x tiny jar mayonnaise
- 1x cheapest bottle olive oil
- 1x bottle dark soy sauce
- 1x bottle Thai fish sauce (or, if that makes stomach turn, I’d try soy)
- 1x bottle vegetable oil (smallest possible)
- 1x bottle Worcestershire sauce
- 0.5 tsp 5-spice (or whatever similar)
- 0.5 tsp Baharat spice (if you can find it, or ground mixed spice)
- Green tea bags (not flavoured, tried that in recipe, yuck)
- jar cayenne pepper
- jar ground cumin
- jar ground all spice
- jar ground cinnamon
- jar paprika
- salt & pepper (black pepper, not that nasty table stuff)
£83.71 at Tesco (to serve 1, for a week)
And that’s choosing the cheapest/smallest possible items. Can you believe this frickin’ list?
Granted, this list is assuming you have nothing at all, so there’s a good chance you have a lot of the spices and oils in the back of your cupboard of doom. Plus, a lot of the ingredients purchased are good for more than one meal (like the flour, or the drink that needs one teabag—you know, they don’t sell those in singles).
I tell you, when this stuff arrived on my doorstep I about fainted. I barely had room for it all in my tiny kitchen. (In fact, I didn’t.) And I was affronted with things I’d never even seen before. Anyone buy raw beetroots regularly?
While preparing the meal, I was inserting the ingredients into my ‘MyFitnessPal’ app, and found that a lot of the calories stated for the meals were different than what’s stated in the book, some very different in fact.
The recipe descriptions aren’t all that consistent either. They jump from, ‘One lemon, juiced’ to ‘some lemon juice’;
‘Flat leaf parsley’ to ‘some parsley’;
‘Baby spinach leaves’ to ‘Spinach’ (can’t imagine there’s that much of a difference).
The recipes also switch from ‘Serves 1’ to ‘Serves 2,’ which requires a good amount of attention.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, variation in phrases like:
‘A small piece of,’ and ‘A dollop,’ –
When talking about cheese and mayonnaise, this is just dangerous. Mate, you wanna see the size of my dollops?
That said, I really liked this meal plan. I can see myself eating this way permanently. Which is the key really, isn’t it? You have to find the type of food you like, practice preparing it, and keep doing it. There’s no point in choosing a meal plan that features a lot of spicy food if you can’t tolerate spices.
The book itself goes into an intense amount of details regarding diabetes, which is interesting to know. Personally, I think everyone should be educated on this subject, especially if you are displaying symptoms.
I will try and carry on with this one, following my progress on MyFitnessPal.
* See also: Preparation