Award-winning foodie, Vickie de Beer and co-author of The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics, R343, chats to us about how to create easy low carb recipes for families.
In 2008, when Vickie’s son Lucca was eight, he was admitted to intensive care and diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes. Since then Vickie has been researching ways to keep blood sugar levels in diabetics stable, resulting in her partnering with and leading paediatric dietician Kath Megaw on the creation of their cookbook, The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics.
Here, Vickie chats to us about how she got her whole family on a gluten-free and sugar-free low carb diet and gives valuable tips on how to start your own family-friendly low carb eating plan.
Tell us more about how your son, Lucca, inspired you to write this book…
Lucca is a very brave boy, like every other child suffering from diabetes. He has experienced more hardships than most kids his age and yet he never gives up on trying to keep his blood sugars stable.
Lucca was never an unhappy child but since starting him on the low-carb diet and stabilising his blood sugar levels, he has really become a happy, fun-loving boy. I think he always felt sick and tired even though we tried our best to manage his blood sugar.
How would you describe the kind of food you make?
Relaxed, family food and lots of it! I have three growing boys and they eat a lot! I believe strongly in cooking from scratch without the use of artificial flavourings and thickeners. We cook and eat low carb food, which means that we don’t eat things like pasta, rice and potatoes.
I believe in home-cooked food because then you know exactly what goes in it! No hidden sugars and artificial ingredients.
Can food be as delicious without the use of sugar and gluten?
Yes! We eat delicious food every day. It took as about two months to really make the transition. The main challenge was to find new favourites in our dinner repertoire.
Sides were quite a challenge in the beginning but as Lucca once said, “Rice doesn’t really taste like anything, I like cauliflower much more”. I almost fell on my back after hearing this! We love eating a huge variety of delicious, crunchy veggies now.
The next challenge was to find good substitutes for lunchboxes and special occasion baking. When that was sorted, we just really started to enjoy eating this way.
What are some of the substitute ingredients you use instead of sugar?
I use xylitol in all my baking and in my morning coffee. Apart from that we just cut out sweeteners and substitutes altogether. Most artificial sweeteners are alcohol sugars that can actually make you feel gassy and bloated and in excessive amounts can give you diarrhoea.
Are you completely gluten and sugar free?
Yes. My flour and sugar bottles in the pantry have been empty for months! I do buy some dark chocolate occasionally and the odd low-GI treat, like oat bars for Nikolai, my non-diabetic child. He is a healthy boy that can produce sufficient insulin so he can have healthy treats every now and then.
What’s the most challenging ingredient to work with?
Psyllium husks – it’s super absorbent and if you use even a tiny bit too much the whole recipe can fail.
What is your favourite recipe from the book?
I love “the most amazing low-carb buns”. For me this recipe was the greatest find. It just sorted out the whole lunch box, sandwich problem for us. We also love the “Nachos Mexicana with Everything” recipe. We always had nachos on board game night and missed it. So now we have awesome low carb nachos again!
What is your go-to meal when you have little time to prepare?
Sausage-zoodles. I press the meat out of organic sausages to make quick and easy meatballs. Brown them and then make a quick tomato sauce in the same pan. We serve it on a bed of zucchini noodles (zoodles).
What food type could you not live without?
Fibrous green veggies like green beans, broccoli and spinach… and bacon I can’t live without bacon… and cheese. Is Chardonnay a food type?
What is your favourite cheat meal?
Omelettes! We always have eggs in the house and it takes five minutes to whip up a cheesy, gooey, yummy, omelette.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. The testimonials presented on this website are applicable to the individuals depicted only and may not be representative of the experience of others. The information provided within this site is strictly for the purposes of information only and is not a replacement or substitute for professional advice