Raise your hand if you knew that today is World Diabetes Day. No? How about the fact that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? To be honest, if I didn’t have diabetes myself, I might not know it either. And if I were REALLY honest, I might acknowledge that if I didn’t have it myself, I might not care much about today or November or raising awareness. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. And I daresay I am in good company. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in our society and it’s on the rise, so it should be on everyone’s radar. But in some ways, it’s the very commonness of the disease that makes us less aware. We all know someone living with diabetes, and oftentimes they seem to be doing just fine. Sure, they have to watch their diet, and maybe they have to take a little insulin or other medication, but other than that, it’s no big deal, right?
Wrong. (You knew that was coming!). Many people are indeed managing their diabetes well, but the vast majority are probably not. Because in reality, watching your diet, getting enough exercise and taking insulin in the correct amounts at the correct times are NOT easy things to do. Let’s face it, we live in a world of sweet temptations and unhealthy options, and we’re so busy with life that getting moving is often low on the priority list. If you are unused to healthy habits, it can be incredibly difficult to find a way to manage your blood glucose levels. It’s difficult enough even when you are used to healthy eating and deeply committed to exercise, take it from me. And diabetes is a progressive disease, meaning that it gets progressively harder and harder to manage as our bodies age. So even those of us who, to all outward appearances, are managing well enough now, the future of our disease is uncertain.
So I decided it was time to take a little action and do some awareness raising. Because diabetes awareness and education is the key to prevention. This year, I enlisted the help of many other food bloggers. I put out the call for a unified front on World Diabetes Day and I was thrilled and delighted that so many wonderful bloggers took up my challenge. My requirements for their participation were simple or so I thought. I only asked that they discussed diabetes awareness, talked about how diabetes has touched their lives, and created a diabetic-friendly recipe to highlight the subject of the day. In return, I would link to all of them and post their recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest throughout the rest of the month.
The requirement for a diabetic friendly recipe appeared to be the most challenging part of the requirements. Most of the participants are not low carb food writers, because really, that would be preaching to the choir. Instead, I turned to the food blogging community at large, and I simply tasked them with making a recipe that contained no added sugars, no flour and no starches. I did not require that it specifically be low carb, so fruits and other healthy but higher carb things were acceptable. I thought this would give everyone plenty of leeway, but I did receive a lot of questions and requests for guidance. And really, who can blame them? Learning to cook and bake without the flours and sugars you are used to…it’s like entering an alternate universe. Still, I am touched at the wonderful response I received and I hope you will take the time to check out each and every one of their recipes. Because they tried and that was all I was asking them to do.
I also enlisted the help of a sponsor for this event, because I wanted it to be big and I wanted it to catch people’s attention. My wonderful sponsor, Swerve Sweetener, was so enthused about contributing to World Diabetes Day, they wanted to host multiple giveaways. I can’t think of a more suitable company to sponsor a World Diabetes Day event, because they take their dedication to the diabetes community very seriously. They’ve done their homework and completed clinical trials, and shown that their product has little to no affect on blood glucose levels. And I can attest that I’ve done my own mini trials at home with the treats I make with Swerve. Additionally, they’ve reached out to the diabetes educators to spread the word: People with diabetes deserve dessert too, and desserts made with Swerve are healthy for everyone.
Swerve Sweetener generously offered to give away Swerve Gift Packs on the blogs of any bloggers who wanted to participate. But they also agreed to host a big giveaway here on All Day I Dream About Food. A beautiful, big 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer in a gorgeous shade of blue, because blue is the colour of diabetes awareness. You are free to enter all of the giveaways, both here and on all the other blogs who chose to participate. I hope you will do so, because I can say without any hesitation that in my humble opinion, Swerve is the best sugar alternative available on the market. I know many who would agree with me, including one very skeptical blogger who shall remain nameless, who contacted me after trying it to say she was surprised at how good it was!
So please do me the honour take this time to check out all the amazing recipes created by my participating bloggers, because I am so touched that they all wanted to take part and to take a stab at creating a diabetic-friendly recipe for World Diabetes Day. Enter their Swerve Giveaways, if they are hosting one. Then hop on back here and enter my giveaway for a blue KitchenAid Stand Mixer, courtesy of Swerve Sweetener.
Also helping spread the word is Molly Kimball of Get the Skinny. She kindly mentioned our little initiative on her show this morning. http://www.abc26.com/health/gettheskinny/wgno-get-the-skinny-on-four-carbcutting-swaps-20121114,0,5549593.story
The CDC estimates that almost 26 million Americans have diabetes and another 79 million have pre-diabetes. I likely fall into this second category, but as far as I am concerned, it’s all diabetes and needs to be treated as such. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Please do not consider yourself or your loved ones exempt – I have no risk factors for diabetes, no family history, and yet here I am.
If my story helps even one person recognize their risk for diabetes and take action now, then I have achieved my goals of raising awareness. Help me spread the word.
The Bloggers and Their Recipes:
*please note, some links my not be live right away – different time zones, different posting requirements, etc.!
Flourless Chocolate Tart from In Katrina’s Kitchen (Swerve Giveaway)
Cranberry Cheesecake from Roxana’s Home Baking (Swerve Giveaway)
Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps from The Spiffy Cookie (Swerve Giveaway)
Guilt Free Hot Cocoa from Thindulge Yourself (Swerve Giveaway)
Spicy Chili Lime Yogurt Dip from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts (Swerve Giveaway)
Peanut Butter Cranberry Bites from Diethood (Swerve Giveaway)
Mango and Blackberry Cobbler from I Wash…You Dry (Swerve Giveaway)
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce from Liv Life (Swerve Giveaway)
Savory Roasted Tomato and Manchego Cheese Clafoutis from Cake Duchess (Swerve Giveaway)
from The Healthy Voyager (Swerve Giveaway)
Pumpkin Bars from Kate’s Healthy Cupboard (Swerve Giveaway)
Cherry Pistachio Cookies from Cravings of a Lunatic (Swerve Giveaway)
Rice Bowl with Pecans, Green Beans and Oranges from The Purple Oven Mitt (Swerve Giveaway)
from Zesty South Indian Kitchen (Swerve Giveaway)
The Giveaway: Win this gorgeous 5 Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Cornflower Blue (the colour of diabetes awareness).
Contest will run until 11:59pm EST on Thursday November 29th, at which point a winner will be selected at random.
Step 1. Leave a comment here telling me how diabetes has touched your life.
Step 2. Click on this link and fill out the form http://www.swervesweetener.com/world-diabetes-day/
That’s it! That’s all you need to do. I hope in some small way I have helped raise your and others awareness about this disease.