If I Cook One More Thing I’Ll Scream… Chicken Tortilla Soup - Type 1 Diabetes Delicioso Blog at Allrecipes.com - 201078

Type 1 Diabetes Delicioso

If I cook one more thing I’ll scream… Chicken Tortilla Soup 
Oct. 19, 2010 6:57 pm 
Updated: Oct. 20, 2010 6:00 am

Did you miss me? I missed you! Chicken Tortilla Soup won the poll, so here it is:


Some days life gets hectic, and pulls a person in so many directions that the ability to make the choices healthiest for us becomes impaired. These times come to everyone, and to some more than others. Accepting this and preparing for it in advance is a step in the right direction. It’s not just when the car breaks down, it’s when the car breaks down on the day before a deadline, trying to get ready for family to come into town, and a child tells you at 6pm that there is a project due at school tomorrow requiring a piece of poster board from the art supply store. At these times, making healthy eating choices seem the least of worries, and it is easy to resort to cheap take out or delivery. The irony is that under times of intense stress, our bodies require better nutrition, and making poorer nutritional choices make us less able to cope with the stress in the first place. If not addressed, this can lead to a downward spiral of overall health.  Develop a game plan for these situations and you’ll be amazed at how much more quickly you bounce back!


Here are a few of our tricks:


Running Out Of Ideas

Meal planning is a skill requiring time to hone. Sometimes the ideas are inspired and come easily, other times, the mind draws a complete blank and it’s like pulling teeth. There are some great meal prep services out there providing prepackaged ideas, made with the fresh ingredients and the carbohydrate counts already calculated. These can stay in the freezer and pulled out on nights when a break is helpful. The one we love is the Dinner A Fare. The ingredients are always fresh & flavorful and the recipes are mouthwatering.


Don’t Skip Meals!

Sticking to a regular schedule can be tremendously helpful in the management of diabetes. It’s tempting to skip a meal here and there during time pressures. Don’t do it! Meal bars can be helpful here if you’re in a jam and there is no time to cook. Glucerna, Atkins, South Beach all make yummy choices, and keeping a few stashed in the office drawer, the school locker, and in the pantry can help to be prepared in such times. While preserved, processed foods are not the healthiest choice to make on a regular basis, they are better than skipping a meal! What happens when a meal is skipped?  Page 90 of The Metabolism Miracle by Diane Kress, RD, CDE puts it this way: “When you delay or skip a meal or fast during nighttime sleep, the liver goes into survival mode and releases a meal’s worth of glycogen into your bloodstream… the more often it happens, the more frazzled the pancreas becomes.” The way to avoid this is by eating at regular intervals no more than 5 hours apart. This book is a great resource, I highly recommend it. That is not to say that we tried all of her recommendations, many would not have applied to a type 1er. The way she describes the metabolic processes in plain English was very helpful to those who, like me are not dieticians or nutritionists, but just Moms looking for insight into what's happening inside of our children.


Prepare In Advance

Soups are great to make in advance from fresh wholesome ingredients and freeze, fairly easily reheated and portable. A great choice is Chicken Tortilla soup. Here is a yummy one.




Chicken Tortilla Soup (16g carbs per 190grams weight) the serving shown came in @ 47 carbs... 25 for the soup and 22 for the chips.



1/4 teaspoon ground cumin  (0 carbs)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (0 carbs)

2 small jalapeno peppers (red and green) (1 carb)

1 breast & 1 thigh shredded free range chicken (0 carbs)

1 cup corn (50 carbs)

1 3/4 cup black beans (58 carbs)

3 3/4 cups chicken broth (0 carbs)

1 cup chunky salsa  (16 carbs)

1 TBSP lime juice (1 carb)


Optional Topping to taste:

tortilla chips (10 carbs shown in pic)

shredded Mexican cheese (0 carbs)

chives (0 carbs)


As mentioned in my earlier post “Get a move on! Spicy chicken spring rolls”, we cook one free range chicken a week and cut up the pieces to use throughout the week. For this recipe the amount of chicken was about a thigh and breast from a 4lber.


The chicken stock was homemade based on this recipe, using the bones of the free range chicken. Instead of browning the chicken in the pan, the chicken was cooked in the NuWave oven and the drippings from the bottom pan were used along with the skin & bones. And I put all of the simmering ingredients in the cheesecloth, not just the spices… it makes straining out the bones much easier. Less splashing & clean up. Simmer for 24 hours.


Measuring Tip

When calculating the carb content of an individual portion of a homemade meal, we’ve found the easiest way is to begin with the total weight and total carb count of the meal. Then, enter this information into the kitchen scale. Ours is the Eatsmart brand mentioned in “Let’s Get It Started! Sweet Desert Egg Rolls”. It features a “Calculate” mode where the weight and carb counts are entered and the scale will calculate the count for the individual meal portion desired. To speed up the process, we took ten minutes and made a list of the weights of all of the  cooking pans to keep in the kitchen in a place it can be easily referenced. Then, with soup, for instance, once the soup is done cooking, take the weight of the pot from the stove. In this case the total weight for this recipe was 2618 grams. It was in a saucepan weighing 718 grams. The weight of the soup is equal to 2618 – 718, or 1900 grams. The total carb count for the soup is already known at 158 grams. The total weight and the total carb count are entered into the calculate mode of the scale (It only goes up to a 3 digit weight, so if the total is 4 digits or more, divide the total weight and carb count by 10 or 100 to make the numbers fit, in this case from 1900/158 to 190/16). Place the serving bowl on the scale and press the Zero/Tare button. Stir up the soup with a ladle to make sure the contents are evenly distributed. Portions with all broth or all chunks will not reflect an average carb distribution. Have your type 1er portion out according to how much they are hungry for instead of a predetermined portion size, this will help them to feel a bit more in control of the situation and help to get them used to estimating how much they are actually going to be able to eat at a meal, resulting is fewer last minute substitutions from situations where they have committed to eat a certain amount, only to find out they overestimated and can’t get it all down. Such cases require three times as much measuring: measuring the serving portion, measuring the uneaten portion, and measuring a replacement substitution, so helping to build this skill of committing to a certain portion and being able to eat it all is an excellent investment of time. This skill takes time to develop, and may require some negotiation between caregiver & type 1er, especially in the case of smaller children. To make this work, and still have the benefits of a regimen to point out when insulin dosage changes are required, we pick one meal a day, lunch, which has the same carb count every day. Breakfast and lunch I let him eat as much as he wants as long as he eats something, but I pack his school lunch every day, keeping the carb counts and protein/fat/fiber/carb ratios approximately the same. For the other meals, we keep the protein/fat/fiber/carb ratio approximately the same and let him often pick the main course, then alter what is served with it to keep the ratios in line.


Eating for autoimmunity

Type 1 is classified as an autoimmune disease. In case of autoimmune disorders, the body produces antibodies capable of destroying a persons body  instead of the foreign invaders it was designed to defend against. In the case of type 1, it is the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus are other autoimmune conditions. Recent nutritional research into these conditions, as well as Celiac Disease which many type 1ers also suffer from, has revealed that certain foods can act as “triggers” to cause damaging autoimmune process to flare up. A good article on the subject can be found in the Scientific American. A major one of these is bread. We have gone from eating about 2 loaves of bread a week, to about a single loaf every two weeks. To replace the starches we’ve turned to potatoes, corn and rice. In general, as you can see from our recipes here, we’ve turned almost exclusively to whole foods. Any processing (blending, chopping, etc.)  is done by us (usually me) in house.


**UPDATE** News From Joslin

The Joslin diabetes center, mentioned in  “Making PFFs Your BFFs… Thin Crust Pizza traditional vs. Atlantic City” recently featured a news item Study Wins Beatson Challenge in Type 1 Diabetes Research that is changing some of the prior established knowledge regarding insulin production in type 1ers. In the study, they looked at a group called the “50 year medalists”, people who have lived with the disease for 50 years. What they found was a breakthrough. Some of these people were still producing insulin after 50 years! The period during which type 1ers are thought to produce some of their own insulin is commonly referred to as the “honeymoon period”. This was the first time it has been scientifically shown to last more than several months or a few years. Researchers are now looking into ways to protect remaining beta cell function and extend this period for the improvement of blood sugar control and lessening of complications. This is great for those who are still considered “honeymooners”, but a big yawn for those who are past this.  When my type 1er’s peak insulin usage hit 60 units/day, the doctors concluded that the disease had run its course and had finished destroying all of the functioning beta cells in his pancreas.

*** SCIENTIFIC JARGON ALERT*** Beta cell function can be measured in type 1ers by looking at something called the plasma c-peptide (a fragment of the insulin molecule) level. How the heck did I find that out and why do I care? Sent the folks @ Joslin an email explaining what was going on with my type 1er’s insulin dosage, which is down from 60 now to 9-10 units/day. That is not a misprint. Our endo’s scratching her head, but at our last visit when asked, stated she didn’t think he was producing insulin. At that time he was receiving 15 units/day. When sent the numbers from recent dosage changes, the folks at Harvard agreed it was likely he is producing insulin, but recommended the plasma c-peptide test for confirmation. So now it’s on my list of things to ask at the next endo visit. What does this matter, you ask? There is new research for cures going on right now specifically targeting those still honeymooning. Before we had thought my type 1er would be excluded from receiving the potential benefit any of these advancements might reveal. Now, it seems he may still be eligible after all! Hope is a powerful inspirational thing. Diabetes will take it from you if you let it, so don’t!

Everyone's diabetes experience is as unique as they are. If you're trying out our recipes and find a strange BG spike, please comment & let me know. I'm interested to see whether the foods that work for my type 1er will work for anyone else.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
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The starting chicken
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Oct. 19, 2010 8:17 pm
I love chicken tortilla soup. You have terrific tips! Nice blog and thank you for sharing!
Oct. 20, 2010 12:49 am
Well...I find the dose of diabetic hope very good to hear. You are absolutely right about the times we get side-tracked via poor planning and pitiful prep. Kicking myself is not the answer! ;o) Is the clinical trial involving new biotech discoveries?
Oct. 20, 2010 3:28 am
@ Patty, glad you are enjoying the blog! @ Hezzy, I should have been more clear, we are not enrolling my type 1er in a clinical trial. Have checked into several of them and felt the risk was not worth the potential benefit. Many researchers are working right now on treatments that will be available to "honeymooners" only. When those are ready for prime time, my type 1er will be eligible as long as he still falls into that category.
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About Me
Was the queen of take out until July 2009. Since then I have cooked almost every meal for myself & family. It's actually fun now! In the beginning I hated it...
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Stir fry with whatever fresh veggies & meats are on hand.
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Too much salt in the beef stew. Had to throw out the entire contents of the slow cooker.
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