Greetings and welcome back to Marilyn's Diabetic Book Review. We hope you didn't mind that we skipped our summer book review this year -- we we're pretty sure that most of you would be vacationing (or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors) and didn't even have the time for any new additions to your cookbook collection.

Now the time is right to take a closer look at a terrific cache of books, beginning with "The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook," which is one that I've had my eye on for some time. It won't be long before we're all cocooning again, which naturally incites our gravitation toward the kitchen. Move over and save me a place at the table!

Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook

The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook, by Bonnie Sanders Polin, PhD, and Frances Towner Giedt with the Nutrition Services Staff at the Joslin Diabetes Center, is a cookbook I've coveted for some time. I recently switched from the traditional "dietary exchange system" to counting carbohydrates, and when I finally received a review copy of this book, I was one happy camper.

During the last decade, major changes in the approach to dietary "treatment" of diabetes have occurred. The standard "diet prescription" for diabetes control has disappeared. The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook recognizes that meal planning today should match individual treatment goals and the lifestyle of each individual patient. Using the simple guideline of "eating healthy," people who have diabetes currently have many more options and opportunities to succeed!

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Bonnie Polin and Frances Geidt show us how carbohydrate-containing foods assume a significant part in diabetes meal planning, and how using carbohydrate counting makes improved glycemic control possible whether you're controlling diabetes by nutrition, insulin therapy or oral medications.

The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook features a complete guide to stocking your healthy pantry; very informative sidebars including tips for cooking with artificial sweeteners, using ingredients which might be foreign to you (such as tofu), and a primer on lettuce and greens. Every recipe has a complete nutritional analysis and Joslin Choices (which will translate to your dietary exchanges). The 285-page book has 175 recipes from appetizers, soups and stews, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, grains and tofu to delicious desserts. There's also a helpful three-week menu plan, as well.

Don't let some of the long ingredient lists discourage you; the results are definitely worth it. Besides, this is how you learn to substitute natural ingredients for enhancing flavor without fats, sugars and calories! Whether you are living with diabetes or are simply in search of flavorsome, nourishing food for yourself and your family, the creative and fresh-tasting recipes and helpful information in this book will make The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook an invaluable companion in your kitchen.

The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook, by Bonnie Sanders Polin Ph.D, and Frances Towner Giedt with The Joslin Nutrition Staff, �2001, was definitely worth waiting for. Recommended with applause.

Available for only $10.50 at

Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating

If you "eat out" on a regular basis or just need good information to get you through your hectic schedule of school activities, car-pooling, and the upcoming holidays, you'll appreciate the Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating, 2ND EDITION, by Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE. This is a very thick pocketbook-type of publication which packs a wealth of information on more than 3,500 menu items from 55 chain restaurants.

Hope Warshaw, who is one of my favorite cookbook/reference book authors, has put together the best restaurant guide available for people with diabetes. In her thorough and meticulous style, she's been able to present you with all the facts you need to choose your meals intelligently, whether you're enjoying "fast food" or making selections from a restaurant menu. You'll find complete nutritional information AND exchanges for every menu item listed in this book (it's rare to find a guide of this type which includes dietary exchanges).

Warshaw has also included the basics about today's diabetes nutrition management and meal planning goals and strategies, plus common restaurant pitfalls and strategies for defensive restaurant dining in the section titled "Put Your Best Guess Forward." Further, if you can't find a particular restaurant chain in this book, or if there's a new menu item introduced for a restaurant that IS included, there's a handy list on how and where to get the nutrition information you need.

This is the best guide to eating out that I've come across to date. Published by the American Diabetes Association, �2002 by Hope S. Warshaw, Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating 2ND EDITION is an excellent resource for those of you who live life "on the run," with minimal time for kitchen duty (it also makes an excellent stocking stuffer!). Highly recommended.

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Available for only $12.57 at

The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook

The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook (Year-Round Cooking for People With Diabetes), published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc, �2002. is the perfect starting point for your winter sojourn back to the kitchen.

It's about time someone wrote a holiday cookbook specifically for those of us who have diabetes! I started advocating the recognition of folks with diabetes to food editors across the country, way back in 1996! It's taken a national epidemic for our collective voices to be heard! Listen up Food Editors: Please remember to include our needs in your holiday food features this year.

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The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook is bursting with flavorful recipes for every occasion in a month-by-month guide to healthy holiday cuisine. Written by Carolyn Leontos, MS, RD, CDE, Debra Mitchell, CEPC, and Kenneth Weicker, CEC, this book is a must for your cookbook collection. (If you remember from past reviews, Carolyn Leontos is the author of "What to Eat When You Get Diabetes"). Debra Mitchell, an Executive Pastry Chef at Treasure Island, a Mirage/MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and Kenneth Weicker, Executive Chef of the Suncoast, a Coast Resorts Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, join Carolyn Leontos to bring their collective talent and culinary expertise together to produce this worthy book.

The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook will provide you with more than 100 appetizing recipes for festive holiday dishes, complete and easy-to-put-together menus for 21 holiday celebrations, creative suggestions for enhancing flavor without adding calories, alternative ingredient suggestions for low-sodium and alcohol-free diets and helpful notes on holiday traditions and activities (which is a bonus for food editors).

I like the fact that this cookbook offers serving size, and a complete nutritional analysis, including dietary exchanges for those of you who have not yet advanced to counting carbohydrates for control. The ingredients are not exotic and are easy to find in your local grocery store or supermarket -- an important consideration in recipe development.

You definitely won't feel left out of the "holiday loop" again with your own copy of The Diabetes Holiday Cookbook, friends. Beginning with New Year's Day in January and continuing through the year with delightful and innovative menus and recipes to include Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Passover, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July/Canada Day, Rosh Hashanah, Halloween and Thanksgiving. It concludes with Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas and Kwanzaa in December. There are lesser holidays and celebrations sandwiched in between the majors, too! It's a wonderful gift to put under the tree, give to a friend with diabetes or to a diabetic's caretaker. Very highly recommended!

Available for only $11.17 at

Simply Delicious Recipes For Diabetics Simply Delicious Recipes For Diabetics

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Simply Delicious Recipes For Diabetics (Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes, Nutrition And Cooking) is not a new release, however it's new to me. I've become an avid eBay hunter, looking for good cookbooks to share with my readers. I've discovered a number of excellent books for diabetic cooking which would have otherwise gone begging for somone else's collection!

Published in 1996 by Avery (a member of Penguin Putnam Inc.), "Simply Delicious Recipes for Diabetics" by Christine Roberts, Jennifer McDonald and Margaret Cox, is simply a great resource for those who have diabetes and for those of you who must plan meals and cook for diabetics. The book opens with a clear explanation of diabetes management and nutrition including information on meal planning and food values, and addresses the special needs of pregnant women, athletes, children and adolescents with diabetes. Also included are sample meal plans for 1,200, 1,500, 1,800, and 2,400 calorie meals, as well as sample vegetarian meal plans with the same caloric values. It's been my experience that the diabetic vegetarian is generally overlooked in the typical diabetic cookbooks (those not specifically written for the vegetarian with diabetes), so this was a pleasant surprise.

One section of particular interest to me is the chapter on how to modify recipes. I love to see cookbook authors share their "secrets" so the reader can take his/her own recipe favorites and modify them. It helps so much to be able to adjust the family favorites so everyone can enjoy the same meal. It also helps the family member with diabetes keep a positive attitude about his disease, instead of developing negative feelings toward it as a result of deprivation. This is of special significance for the child or teen with diabetes.

Each recipe section, Breakfasts to Desserts, begins with nutritional information about foods for the meal and helpful menu suggestions using the chapter recipes. The recipes are terrific and the serving sizes are reasonable (aka "normal"). No manipulation of the serving size to make the nutritional analysis fit the concept of "low-fat," "low carbohydrate," or "diabetic-friendly." Each recipe is followed with a simple nutritional analysis consisting of the total calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. Diabetic exchanges are also included. The only drawback I can see regarding the nutritional analyses, is that the amount of cholesterol and sodium are not included. Given their absence, I wouldn't recommend this cookbook for those on sodium-restricted or cardiac-friendly meal plans.

Overall, Simply Delicious Recipes For Diabetics is another wonderful recipe resource. Written in an easy-to-follow style with over 150 superb recipes such as Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, Golden Chicken Risotto, Crab and Zucchini Quiche, Harlequin Noodle Salad (a light meal recipe), Seafood Cannelloni, Tibetan Pie (for vegetarians), Bread and Butter Pudding and Lemon and Cinnamon Cheesecake, just to name a few. Heartily recommended!

Available for only $11.17 at

Light & Easy Diabetes 
Cuisine Light & Easy Diabetes Cuisine

Ready for another good find? If you're looking for great recipes because you have no time to cook, then look no further! Light & Easy Diabetes Cuisine, by Betty Marks will serve you well. Introductory remarks and nutritional analyses by one of my favorite authors, Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, are included in the opening pages of this cookbook.

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According to Warshaw, "The most common complaint I hear is that the diabetes meal plan lacks interest. The lists of allowed foods appear limited, and the methods of preparing these foods result in tasteless, unimaginative meals. Just glancing at some of the recipes in Light & Easy Diabetes Cuisine disproves this notion. Betty Marks incorporates many unique ingredients and utilizes a wide variety of quick cooking methods to provide new ideas for creative meal planning, often the most difficult part of diabetes management."

Betty Marks speaks from experience as an insulin-dependent diabetic for 26 years. She's able to maintain a lifestyle that includes work, travel, theater, reading, dancing and sports, as well as making delicious meals for friends and family. What a testament to what CAN be done despite a diagnosis of diabetes!!

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I like the larger print format and limited ingredient lists in this cookbook. We get all the essential nutritional elements in the analysis (including the sodium and cholesterol), as well as the exchanges. The majority of the recipes can be prepared and served in under 30 minutes, a bonus for the working Mom.

Light & Easy Diabetes Cuisine brings you over 200 dishes to tempt your palate and get you in and out of the kitchen FAST! I can't wait to try the Mexican Corn Chowder, Chili Chicken with Hash Brown Potatoes, Teriyaki Beef and Vegetables, Rosemary Pork Chops (served with pan juices), Sauteed Sea Scallops, Orzo & Pignoli (small pasta & pine nuts), the Cranberry Corn Muffins at Thanksgiving, and Peanut (Butter) Custard or Baked Apples Burnette for dessert.

Betty's recipes don't shy away from using moderate amounts of alcohol as another way to intensify and bring out the flavors of complementary recipe ingredients. If cooking with alcohol presents a problem for you, there is a current feature on Cooking With Alcohol on the Cinnamon Hearts website, which offers substitutions for alcohol as a recipe ingredient.

Rest assured readers, you definitely CAN eat well, live fast, and manage your diabetes with "Light & Easy Diabetes Cuisine." Two thumbs up for recipe creativity, ease of preparation and taste-full meals!

Available for only $12.57 at

The Best Diabetes Cookbook The Best Diabetes Cookbook

If you've been a bit spoiled with fine restaurant cuisine, you'll love The Best Diabetes Cookbook, edited by Katherine E. Younker, MBA, RD, CD (Certified Diabetes Educator).

Beginning with a great introduction which includes healthy eating to balance blood glucose (sugars), Younker goes on to discuss phytochemicals (substances found in plants which appear to help increase resistance against disease and certain cancers); sweeteners, a fabulous segment which is designed to help you choose the right sweeteners (natural or added, and natural or artificial) for your personal taste and carbohydrate target for each meal; fats and how to control them; exchange lists and how to use them; carbohydrate counting; and the glycemic index (very important in selecting the right carbohydrates for the best nutrition).

Once you've digested the introduction, you'll be ready to dive into the absolutely fantastic recipes, some of which have been featured in The Diabetic Newsletter (the free newsletter published by The Diabetic Gourmet Magazine). Each recipe is analyzed for nutrient content and Exchanges, along with meal suggestions and make-ahead tips. I like the tips which give me ingredient alternatives or substitutes; it helps to know what can be substituted if I don't have all of the recipe ingredients on hand.

Katherine Younker is a cook who "thinks outside of the box" with recipe creations like Greek Egg Rolls with Spinach and Feta, Hot Three-Cheese Dill Artichoke Bake, Penne with Brie Cheese, Tomatoes and Basil, Pasta Salad with Apricots, Dates and Orange Dressing (this is a "must-try" on my list), Fish Fillets with Apples, Raisins and Pecans, Linguine with Shrimp, Red Peppers and Pine Nuts, Veal Stuffed with Cheese in Mushroom Sauce, Grilled Balsamic Vegetables over Penne, Date Roll-Up Cookies, Chocolate Coffee Tiramisu, Two-Tone Chocolate Orange Biscotti, and Pear, Apple and Raisin Strudel. All these, plus more in Vegetarian Main Dishes, Sauces, Marinades and Dressings, Salads, Soups and Appetizers.

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You'll find 16 pages of color photography to excite your salivary glands and nearly 150 recipes suitable for those with diabetes and those who just want a taste of exciting culinary expertise in The Best Diabetes Cookbook. This last book is one you'll want for yourself; maybe that's why it's called "The Best!" Highly recommended.

Available for only $13.27 at

That's a wrap for this time around folks; please join me in November for more delicious reviews and suggestions for your holiday gift lists. Can you believe we're almost there??

Until next time, stay centered and focused in the moment -- it's the best place you can be!

Marilyn Helton

Marilyn Helton, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1993, is the publisher of Cinnamon Hearts: The Art of Living A Winning Diabetic Lifestyle!, a positive-power E-Magazine for diabetics and their families. You can visit the Cinnamon Hearts website at