Carb Substitutes…worth the hype?

I am a diabetic. I cannot tell you whether I am Type 1 or Type 2, because I don’t actually know. According to my doctor, I am an ‘enigma’. A month ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes, but there are several different factors that currently leave me straddling the fence between both Types.

A little about me:

I am 25 years old. I am a healthy weight, I exercise daily (my bike is one of my most treasured possessions), and I eat a very balanced and healthy diet. Admittedly, I enjoy cake (hence this blog!) but as a weekly treat rather than a daily occurrence. I don’t smoke and I drink very little. I shouldn’t be a diabetic.

So as you can imagine, I am a little confused to say the least. However, I refuse to be negative, and instead I have chosen to embrace my new diet, and work on bringing my sugar levels down in every way possible.

Many people in the UK have to undergo a serious lifestyle change following a diabetes diagnosis. Changes in diet, upping the exercise – these two factors alone can significantly reduce symptoms of diabetes, and reduce reliance on medication.

But what about me? Having lived with IBS for several years, I am no stranger to trying different diets. Low-carb diets are particularly beneficial for diabetics, so I am following a Mediterranean-style diet which is rather lovely! I have increased my lean protein intake (chicken, turkey, oily fish) and incorporate healthy fats into every meal. Luckily I’m a fruit and veggie fan, so there’s no worry there.

Which now brings me to this beautiful recipe! This weekend, I discovered the Detox Kitchen. They have a little deli in Kingly Street in London, which offered some lovely low-carb and diabetic-friendly lunches and treats. Feeling inspired, I decided to make one of their recipes myself.

I don’t usually take too kindly to someone trying to convince me that a lettuce leaf wrap is ‘just as good as a tortilla’. Or that I won’t notice the difference between pasta and ‘courgetti’. Or blitzed cauliflower is the same as rice. Come on people. Carbs are beautiful. However, my own mantra for embracing change was ringing in my ears as I read through different ideas for carb substitutes, and this recipe did not disappoint. It ain’t rice, I will admit. But it’s pretty wonderful substitute which leaves you feeling very virtuous indeed. Added bonus is that it’s gluten free.

The succulent chicken with the lemon and coriander sauce is absolutely divine, and with the cauli rice to soak up all the juices, I am certainly a fan! Here is the Detox Kitchen’s recipe if you want to give it a go. Sadly the boyfriend wasn’t convinced about the cauli rice (he is a rice fanatic), but he adored the chicken, so I’d call that a win! See below for my adapted version of the ingredients.

Lemon Chicken with Cauliflower Rice (Serves 2)

Lemon Chicken

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1.5 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped.
  • Pinch saffron
  • Stalks from 1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 preserved lemons, finely chopped
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped

Cauliflower rice:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 25g sultanas
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Handful flaked almonds, toasted (optional)

Enjoy! Love Becca x

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