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Making the most of dietary taboos

Due to my brand  new pathological  sentence -- (sotto voce: of Diabetes II )-- I have been changing my diet.

I guess this is a drastic change, so drastic that when I tour a fast food section at a shopping centre I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of food I am now disallowing myself. Maybe 76-75  percent of what we are asked to put in our mouths in these eateries is based on wheat, rice, corn or potatoes.

If you want a taste of 'civilisation' -- that's it on the end of your fork.

Since I have gone feral --  trying to eschew such fare -- I'm slashing my carbohydrate intake while allowing myself a couple of daily indulgences, being such essential fruits of civilisation that make me even more civilised and without which life would be unbearable.

Thus my diet has changed and rather than let my gastronomy suffer too much from my denials I am trying to update my cuisine choices with as much culinary flare as I can muster.

My quest has nonetheless been exciting for all that. Necessity afterall,  is the mother of consumption.

So I'm learning a few tricks about eating  low carbohydrate  on the food chain:
  • Greek Yogurt: I luv yogurt and as Count Otto von  Bismarck said about bayonets, you can do anything with yogurt except sit on it.  The plethora of fruit flavoured yogurts available in any supermarket obscures the utility of this fermented milk. You can drink it, blend it, make sauces from it (like Tzatziki) , build a curry from it, mix it with either sweet or savory foods and indulge yourself in a massive array of national cuisines from the Mediterranean basin to India. And when you start making your own yogurt as I have -- you get to experience yogurt, like Little Miss Muppet did , as a choice of curds and whey.
  • Sourdough Bread: And talking about whey...what better home for the sour semi clear liquid extracted from the curdling of fermented milk, than in your Sourdough starter. Your happy kitchen yeasts at work. Sourdough bread tends to have a lower Glycemic Index than other breads -- because of the amount of digestion underway and the Sourdough's acidity -- so it ain't quite a simple wheat loaf. It's biology at work making whoopee. The carbohydrate is there still but with sourdough on your side you can get your GI down below 60 and your carbs to maybe under 12 grams per serve. ( Compared to a standard loaf of GI >70 and Carbohydrate >15 gams).
  • Spanish Food: Many cuisines I am familiar with come from true peasant stock and build their sustenance around a good serving of high density carbs.In Asia it is rice. In Northern Europe, potatoes. In the Middle East, various wheat forms. In Italy, pasta... But the Spanish, aside from rice dishes like paella, don't seem to be obsessed with merging grains with meal dishes. Wheat, in the form of bread (and excellent hard wheat bread at that), is something you ate with a meal, it wasn't in the meal. This tendency has promoted a cooking style where mixes of meat and vegetables are standalone, low carbohydrate courses where many creative flavourings have merged. You also get a selective Arab/Middle Eastern influence -- the Moro style -- which is not held hostage to a pork taboo. And Spanish pork is fantastic fare. So if you are thinking low carb options -- think Spain -- because Spanish tucker offers options, especially in regard to celebrating vegetables.
  • Sausage: I've always been a dedicated mince meat man. It goes with almost anything. You can stuff with it, roll it, pat it down, slosh it with sauces, stir fry it, bake or fricassée. And it is (or once was ) cheap! I tended to stay away from tackling  the ubiquitous 'meat ball' because it's often a challenge to get the 'ball' to stay together without binding. But when you take your meat; grind it up; mix it with spices and what have you -- then extrude it into a casing-- all these issues are passe. The humble sausage ticks a lot of boxes. Unfortunately sausages sold at supermarkets and most butchers may be over 25% fill  with the fill being grain based. But when you make em at home -- what gets encased in the casing, is a world for you to win. The very wide world of the sausage is at your fingertips.
  • Camembert : Not the only soft cheese but check its properties. For diabetics, cheese is in and for those that may balk at some of the fat content of hard cheeses a little bit of Camembert -- and Australia has world class Camembert (and some great Parmesan style cheeses) -- is  low carb indulgence.
Thus my shift is in motion. The belly is moving. I still have a few issues with cream -- I take that in my  morning coffee instead of milk -- but I take milk in my tea. Can't give that up.

No one's perfect.

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