Tag Archives: cooking
Paula ‘Diabetes’ Deen: In a few short days, it’s almost as if the disease became her middle name. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, web sites or tabloids, you won’t find a story today without seeing her name and diabetes used in the same sentence.
The first time I saw Paula Deen she was making a frosting for a cake. “And now just add a box of confectioner’s sugar,” she said. These words rolled off her tongue as easily as butter melts in a hot pan. She is known for her sugar-filled, fat-laden style of cooking, and for portraying these meals as everyday foods instead of decadent “sometimes” treats. Her approach to food preparation could exacerbate diabetes rather than control it.
So now that her hidden 3-year-old medical issue has become public knowledge, where will she go from here?
Will Paula Deen continue to be afflicted with “Cleopatra Syndrome,” as a patient of mine calls it, and live in de-Nile? Or will she take advantage of the incredible power she now has to change what goes on the forks of her loyal fans? As Spiderman said, “With great power comes responsibility.”Paula is not just a celebrity chef — she is a role model. She can inspire millions of people who have diabetes to learn that all foods can fit, if you learn to balance what you eat with how you move. She could rely on a dietitian instead of a drug company to help slash blood sugar numbers so that she could perhaps not even need any medication.
Imagine her on the Food Network promoting food for her friends that will please their palates and their doctors. She could talk about proper portions. And perhaps most of all, she could show how she could tweak her own recipes to create a safer state of wellbeing without deprivation.
It is predicted that by 2050, 1 of 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes, and I predict that many of those people will be sitting on the couch watching TV. Paula, I’d be happy to help you demonstrate how the words “delicious” and “healthful” can coexist.
It’s not just baseball players that hope to be safe at the plate. With the holiday season upon up, even those who don’t generally take to the stove will be cookin’ up a storm for families and friends. And with that great power…comes great responsibility.
Although I can’t always guarantee that every one of my dinner guests will rave about every dish I put on the table I can guarantee that my creations are safe to eat. Now that may sound like a ‘duh’ statement, but I have been to houses where I’ve seen some food handling practices that would have deserved a violation if the word ‘restaurant’ was on their door instead of a house number.
There are 76 million foodborne illnesses that sicken Americans each year. Some of these food-related issues originate at places we cannot control — at the farm, through transportation, at restaurants, and in supermarkets. But it’s the preventable problems that I’d like to address, which begin in our own kitchens. Here are some simple storage, handling and cooking suggestions to protect those you are thankful for:
- Keep hot food hot (temperatures between 160° to 212°F destroy most bacteria). You don’t have to buy a fancy device to tell whether your food is cooked properly but don’t just rely on your eye. You’ll know your bird is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Keep cold food cold (40°F or below). Put a food thermometer inside your fridge all year round so you can tell that your food is being maintained at a proper temperature. It’s inexpensive and invaluable.
- Cook food thoroughly, following the food safety label found on packages. With my book, Read It Before You Eat It, you already know that I am a label nut. Most people don’t realize that many labels also contain specific cooking instructions. Turn the package over for these important tips.
- Keep raw food, like meat and poultry, separate from produce and cooked foods to prevent cross contamination, and keep work surfaces clean. The easiest way to remember this is to buy cutting boards of different colors – use the green one for veggies and the yellow one for meats and only let them touch in the dishwasher!
- Be sure to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before, during, and after handling food. Seriously – don’t pet the dog and then chop chicken. Have hand soap readily available so that this practice becomes second nature and teach your kids the importance of this everyday exercise.
Although it’s always important to take a close look at the foods you are eating, it’s essential to also pay attention to the steps taken before that food even enters your mouth. So the next time you go to a friend’s house and you notice them tying their shoe and then cutting the carrots, if you see something say something! It’s a good practice in and out of your home.