I got sent home from the hospital with instructions to follow an 1,800 calorie, “diabetic diet” and the recommendation that I eat 4-5 servings of carbohydrates per meal. That didn’t last long. I felt like I was eating too much food at each meal.
I no longer follow a diet (and my doctor is ok with that), I eat intelligently. In my completely non-professional opinion, I think everyone could benefit from eating intelligently.
What I mean by that is, I know (or intelligently guess in some cases) what I’m putting into my body and I eat “normally.” I count the carbohydrates in everything I eat so that I can take the right amount of insulin. I pay close attention to fiber because it affects how those carbohydrates affect my blood sugar (I don’t find that I can subtract all of the fiber in my carb calculations). I limit my protein intake because I have an increased risk of nephropathy and need to be kind to my kidneys.
I feel empowered when I know what went into the thing on my plate, even if it sometimes looks like a messy, gooey pile of ingredients. My cooking earns no points for aesthetics. Intelligent eating for me also includes eating at regular intervals, including on the weekends. My numbers are more pleasant when my meals don’t fluctuate very drastically.
This perspective on eating is really helpful when cooking for guests with their own food issues. When my mom is visiting, we can easily make meals that are free from gluten, dairy and soy because of using individual ingredients.
Sometimes intelligent eating means I have do to some “complex” math, but at least I can enjoy the cupcakes I’ll be baking tonight.