Greetings to all (and especially to the survivors of the 2003 Blackout) and welcome back to Marilyn's Diabetic Review! Due to illness and a crushing California July heat wave (17 straight days with highs above 100 degrees), along with a "sometimes" functioning air-conditioning unit, I apologize for not delivering in July, as promised. I'll try to make up for it with some smashing new books for your end-of-summer consumption!


For those of you getting your children ready for back-to-school, you'll love COOKING UP FUN FOR KIDS WITH DIABETES, �2003 by Patti Geil and Tami Ross. This wonderful cookbook for kids and parents alike impressed me so much, that I decided to create a recipe feature around it in the August issue of the Cinnamon Hearts website just to share some of these great kid-oriented recipes with you.

Every day millions of parents struggle to get their picky eaters to eat better, and with childhood obesity, leading to Type 2 diabetes in children on the rise, the importance of eating healthfully cannot be understated. Plus, if you're a kid with diabetes, food can seem like medicine--eating certain foods at certain times in certain amounts.

Cooking Up Fun for Kids with Diabetes authors Patti B. Geil, MS,RD,FADA,CDE, and Tami Ross, RD, LD, CDE, have planted their collective fingers directly on the food tastes that kids really love. The recipes are divided into three sections: Made For A Meal, which includes main dishes, sides, and appetizers; Anytime In Between, chock-full of treats; and Save The Best For Last, which features delicious desserts. Each recipe is divided into simple steps for preparation and degree of difficulty, with complete nutritional information and dietary exchanges per serving.

Cooking Up Fun For Kids With Diabetes is much more than just recipes though; it opens with a chapter aimed at children themselves. Full of fun food facts, this section offers elementary lessons about nutrition, including easy-to-understand information for those with diabetes. Material just for parents and caregivers, including discussions of meal plan options and frequently asked questions and answers, is also an important part of this chapter.

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Finally, one of my favorite features in this delightful book are the creative projects incorporating food and/or food ingredients. How to make a Windowsill Herb Garden and Potato Stampers are the two I plan to share with Taylor, my seven-year-old granddaughter.

Even if your don't have a child with diabetes in your immediate circle, this book is terrific for anyone who wants to involve children in a healthy eating lifestyle. You can't go wrong with this one, folks -- it's a great little book for children and grownups alike.

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


While we're on the topic of kids with diabetes, are you wrestling with how to balance diabetes control and good nutrition with family peace? If you are, SWEET KIDS, may have the answers you're seeking.

Balancing food, exercise and insulin can be the most demanding issues for parents of a child with diabetes. Each chapter of SWEET KIDS begins with a story of a child with diabetes, designed to introduce you to each of the books' topics. Chapters, on each stage of your child's life take into account the health and emotional needs of your child along the way. From what to fix for a toddler's breakfast to preparing a teenager to care for his diabetes away from home, this book helps parents and caregivers to make informed decisions for better management of childhood diabetes.

SWEET KIDS is written in practical, easy-to-understand language that gives the reader solutions to a variety of situations, from breast feeding to sporting events. Healthy eating and feeding for your family, nutrition, food and meal planning in diabetes, proper development of your diabetic child and techniques for caregivers of diabetic children are just a few of the general areas which are broken down into digestible detail.

SWEET KIDS is co-authored by Betty Page Brackenridge, MS, RD, CDE, and Richard R. Rubin, PhD, CDE, �2002 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc. This book is an invaluable resource for parents who have children with diabetes. It provides sound advice for parents and caregivers who strive to help their children with diabetes to live their lives to the fullest, while bringing peace of mind to their families.

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


On a slightly lighter note, HELP! MY UNDERWEAR IS SHRINKING! by Jo Ann Hattner, MPH, RD, Ann Coulston, MS, RD, and E. Michael Goodkind, BA, is written for overweight people who are prone to adult onset diabetes, have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or are faced with the risk of diabetes.

Enter Tiffany, a working mother with pounds to lose and a family history of diabetes, who has recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Step by step, you'll accompany Tiffany on her journey to a successful weight loss, healthier lifestyle and a better understanding and management of her diabetes through her participation in the Carbohydrate Countdown program.

Did you know that buying bulk foods can undermine your weight-loss efforts? Do you know how to make a food inventory, develop a carbohydrate budget, read food labels, develop an exercise program or find support needed for your success? How about handling the holidays or eating out despite your diabetes? You'll find all the answers and more in this very identifiable heroine's journey to a healthier lifestyle.

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This dynamic and enjoyable book is a good read which you can easily consume in a couple of hours. The Appendices featuring a Carbohydrate Countdown Catalog, Sample Menus and a number of reliable resource references and Internet links are also noteworthy. Published by the American Diabetes Association, this little book is a good choice, especially if you're challenged with shrinking underwear!

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


If you want more weight-loss motivation, pick up a copy of 101 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR PREVENTING AND CONTROLLING DIABETES. Co-authored by Anne Daly, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE, Linda Delahanty, MS, RD, LD, and Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD, this American Diabetes Association publication will help you to lose the weight and keep it off -- once and for all.

Quick weight loss diets (I hate that word!) are only temporary fixes for the national obesity epidemic. If you're tired of tricky diets, you need a simple plan that will support good health for the rest of your life! In 101 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS you'll learn what reasonable weight loss really is, what to eat and when, what sets off your personal weight loss triggers, how to banish binge eating, how to evaluate a weight-loss program, whether weight loss drugs OR surgery are right for you, how emotions figure in the food triangle, what to do when you're not eating and why exercise may be (IS) the magic key to successful weight loss. Losing weight can save you more than money and make you a healthier person inside and out.

Authors Daly, Delahanty and Wylie-Rosett are three experts in the fields of nutrition and diabetes. Their combined experience will help you to avoid the risk of developing diabetes and, if you've already been diagnosed, to avoid the risk of serious complications by learning how to successfully lose your extra pounds and keep them off.

Enough said about weight loss tips -- the definitive question most folks with diabetes want answered is: What can I have to eat? The answer, of course, is there's no specific "diet" for diabetes because there are just too many individual variables. Your age, health status, amount of exercise you get, dietary restrictions (i.e., low-salt or low-cholesterol), need for a weight loss program, and so on are elements which factor into your individual eating plan. Each person with diabetes needs a guide or outline, specifically designed for his or her individual needs, and then he can select from almost any food available within the range of choices for his daily meal plan. Once your plan is developed by a nutritionist, registered dietitian or health care professional, you're ready to select recipes from any number of cookbooks available for healthy eating and/or diabetic concerns. Once you've established your personal plan you can embark on your search for the perfect cookbook to meet your needs.

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


MAGIC MENUS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES (2ND EDITION), is filled with more than 200 low-fat, calorie-controlled meals with recipes for your selection. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack menus, complete with a total carbohydrate count for the meal, are included on each page. For example, one dinner menu with Bay Scallops Parmesan served with 1 small baked potato & reduced-fat sour cream, steamed zucchini, and a slice of Chocolate Angel Food Cake topped with 1-1/4 cups of fresh strawberries is served up for a total consumption of 64 Carbohydrates for the meal.

The recipe suggestions for each meal in MAGIC MENUS sound delicious. Each recipe has a nutritional analysis which includes calories, total fat, total carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, protein, dietary fiber and sugars. Exchanges are also included for those who are still on the Exchange system. The downside to this tasty little book, however, is in the fact that it is so confusing and cumbersome to find those recipe analyses, which are NOT listed by recipe title or even by menu number or page number! They are found at the back of the book, in order of their appearance in the book (from front to back). This is especially discouraging to those of us who cook on the run and don't have time to look for each analysis in random order.

If this book is rendered again in a third Edition, I would strongly suggest that the editors include the nutritional analysis AND exchange information on the same page with each recipe. From personal experience I often search for a recipe at the last minute and I don't want to go on a hunting expedition to see if the fat, carbs and proteins of a recipe that catches my eye will fit into my daily meal plan at the end of the day! MAGIC MENUS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES is published by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.

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See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


MIX 'N MATCH MEALS IN MINUTES FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES, �2003 by Linda Gassenheimer, is a new book with an added bonus: All servings are for one or two people! This is a feature too often neglected in the cookbook publishing venue, and I'm glad to see more books coming into the market which recognize the needs of singles, seniors and empty-nesters.

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MIX 'N MATCH MEALS IN MINUTES is organized into three major sections - breakfasts, lunches and dinners. There's also a handy "Month of Meals at a Glance," offered in a calendar chart format, right up front at the beginning of the book. Each day gives the reader suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and includes the page number for each recipe. You won't have to go far to find the complete nutritional analysis along with the Exchanges and portion size (frequently omitted in many cookbooks) for each recipe, either. They're conveniently located right on the same page with the recipe, just where you'd expect to find them.

Author Linda Gassenheimer is a syndicated food columnist, radio host, author and chef who has an impressive list of cookbooks to her credit. She's probably best known for her best-selling low-carb cookbook and nationally syndicated newspaper column, "Dinner In Minutes." And here's what I especially like about MIX 'N MATCH MEALS IN MINUTES FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: It's a blueprint for people looking to eat both deliciously and healthfully -- whether they have diabetes or not! The recipes are low in carbs, which is vital to folks with diabetes who work so hard to keep their blood glucose under control.

I also like the variety of nontraditional breakfast, sandwich/lunch, and dinner suggestions, such as a Basque Red Pepper Frittata served with a bowl of Oatmeal, or a Tomato-Cheese Melt and Bran Cereal served up with a Blueberry Smoothie. How about biting into a Toasted Turkey Sandwich accompanied by a side of Bran Cereal for breakfast? Perhaps you'd like to try a Neapolitan Pizza with a fresh Plum for lunch. Or, how about a Steak and Portobello Mushroom Sandwich with a cup of Sliced Mango? A tasty dinner choice might be Southwestern Chicken topped with Salsa and a Tortilla Salad on the side. End the meal with fresh Spiced Berries topped with a balsamic sauce and your meal is complete. You're limited only by your personal taste and sense of culinary adventure.

In addition to the creative recipes and menu plans, the addition of a Staples List (ingredients you normally have on hand) and a Shopping List is another plus included with each recipe. Each meal has a simple countdown plan to get all the dishes on the table at the same time, and all menus have between 45 and 75 grams of carbohydrate so you won't need to count or plan, just shop, stir and serve.

Give yourself, favorite single or couple a copy of this delightful and informative cookbook as a treat. MIX 'N MATCH MEALS IN MINUTES is another American Diabetes Association publication which I heartily recommend.

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.


Ruth Glick and Nancy Baggett are two award-winning chefs who have long been a couple of my favorite cookbook authors. They've come together once again with ONE POT MEALS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES, �2002, a real treasure for those of us who hunger for meals with minimal preparation.

Divided into categories such as Super Quick Dinners, Hearty Soups, Stews, Chilis and Hot Pots, Skillet Dinners, Microwave Specials, Slow Cooker Meals (a personal favorite), Main-Dish Salads and Heart-Healthy Sandwiches and Pizzas, the authors have covered just about every category of "one-pot" cooking you can imagine. Combine that with deliciously healthy recipes and your meal plan will be a sure winner.

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Having a culinary website which features recipes from many sources, I especially value the anecdotal information accompanying each recipe, such as taste, texture, ingredient information, cooking tips and go-with suggestions. Just as important as the nutritional analysis and Exchanges, is the portion size per serving, which is also included with each recipe. And... each recipe analysis is on the same page with the recipe.

Recipes are simple to prepare and I've bookmarked many of them for my return to the kitchen when the weather cools down. I can't wait to try the Beef and Artichoke Skillet (a pasta dish with an Italian accent), Hamburger Stroganoff (a family favorite), Stuffed Peppers, Greek-Style (it's meatless!), Tamale Pie (a California classic made like a lasagna), Roadhouse Chili (this one might find its way into our September bean feature), Philly Cheese Steak (to which I could easily become addicted), Navy Bean Soup with Ham (a must for cold November nights), or the Italian Bread Soup (hearty peasant fare made with a seasoned crouton stuffing mix). I could go on and on but I'm afraid it would make us all too hungry!

If you like traditional and ethnic foods, be sure to take a look at ONE POT MEALS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES. It's another keeper from the winning team of Glick and Baggett, published by the American Diabetes Association.

See sample chapters and recipes and/or order it online.

I hope this smattering of new information will hold you until next time. We'll be covering more topics on juvenile diabetes and the emerging epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in our nation's children in October. You won't want to miss the annual holiday list of books for gift-giving in November, either! Until next time, try to stay balanced and in the moment; it's the best place to be.

Marilyn Helton