Input Needed: Low-Glycemic Foods

So, gang, I could use your help. My doctor has recommended I eat only no-sugar, low-glycemic foods for the next three months. I’d love your input on two things: recipes to cook at home, and recommendations of things I can eat out. Here’s a quick overview of the parameters, after the cut:

Don’t eat, in order of “thou-shalt-not-ness”:

  • Sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other sweetener. Incidental amounts, e.g. in bread to make it rise, are ok.
  • Fruit, except for berries
  • White flour
  • White potatoes
  • White rice
  • Cooked carrots, beets, and parsnips (I’m dubious about these…)
  • And oh…no dairy, either, until this is cleared up.

Do eat:

  • Any whole grain or pseudo-grain (quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)
  • Raw carrots and beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweet vegetables like squash, tomatoes, and peppers (even if, botanically, they are “fruits”)

I’m not so worried about cooking at home; it’s pretty easy to sub brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. I even make a pretty mean pizza crust that will “pass” because I use 2 kinds of whole wheat and my “white” wheat flour still has the germ in it. So I’m good there. I’m even looking forward to some impetus to cook more at home, after slacking off this spring.

But what to eat out? We do enjoy eating out, and some days it’s the only thing that makes logistical sense. Do you have suggestions of types of foods – or, if you’re familiar with Ann Arbor, specific restaurants – that I could “make do”?



  1. Jen in MI said,

    June 27, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Hi Emily! I’m another of the Ann Arbor Lady Food Bloggers and thought I’d come check out your blog. We’ve done the low glycemic thing on and off and I do have a lot of suggestions, but I’m up north right now. One of the best things I can tell you is whole wheat pastry flour – available in bulk at the PFC or By The Pound (cheaper at BTP). I use it for EVERYTHING. You can make great, easy bread with it, etc.

    Also, if you great raw beets and carrots, you can make a great summer salad by tossing them with a vinaigrette.

    In terms of restaurants, it’s not hard – just order simple grilled meats or veggies and skip the starch. Desserts are an issue, of course, but they would be. You can also puree berries and use them as a sauce or sweetener for pancakes, scones, etc., if you have that kind of craving (although with the no dairy, that would probably be an issue, but I bet you could make vegan pancakes and/or muffins) – check with the PFC bakers – I’ll bet they’d have some suggestions for you, especially if you can use sweet potato, too.

    Sahara Garden might be a great place if you like middle eastern food – I’m sure they’d leave off the rice, etc. Their food is so good, and they’re trying to use all organics, local stuff. Places like Chinese and Japanese restaurants might be particularly tough because sugar is used in many more things than you might expect.

    Many of the smaller or less “corporate” places would probably accommodate your needs.

    Now that I know this, I’ll make a low-glycemic dish for July 12th.

  2. Emily said,

    June 27, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Oh, Jen! Thank you! Both for the sweet offer to bring something low-glycemic for the 12th and for the suggestion about Sahara. I actually live fairly near there, and just saw it for the first time a week or two ago. I had no idea they do either local or organic ingredients – that’s great news! And thanks for the other suggestions, too – I should be set for bread!

  3. queenlizzle said,

    June 27, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Hi Emily! I live in Bloomfield Hills, so my suggestions aren’t exactly IN Ann Arbor. First, there are a few books that might help you. I just read Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston, which calls for a cleanse (including no animal products or sugar) and it had several recipes and food suggestions. Take a look at it – it might give you some good ideas to help you out! The Skinny Bitch in the Kitch cookbook also has lots of good idea that would help you avoid dairy and sugar. And many of these recipes are for things that you might find yourself craving.

    Also, my best suggestion ever is Chipotle. I _think_ there is a Chipotle in Ann Arbor, but I may be mistaken. I am a strict vegetarian and also do not eat sugar and I swear I live on Chipotle. You can order yours with no rice, and get beans and meat and lettuce and guac and salsa and it will fill you up and taste SO GOOD! 🙂

    In terms of eating out, Buddy’s pizza offers a soy cheese, so that can help you with the dairy issues. Amici’s Pizza in Berkley has all sorts of great options, including vegan pizzas, soy cheeses, and whole wheat crusts. Maybe a long way for you, but it’s great and they have fantastic martinis too!

  4. Alyssa said,

    June 27, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I too am medically required to eat like this, all the time though (but I can have as much dairy as I’d like). What usually works best in a restaurant either a salad (these get boring) or many restaurants usually have a grilled chicken, fish or steak option. Most of the time you can sub out a veggie or salad for the starch. I’ve found that local restaurants are the easiest for doing this, but I also agree with the chipotle suggestion. Oh and humus, places that carry humus it’s a godsend, most of them offer it with veggies instead of pitas now.

  5. Faye said,

    June 27, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    For eating out chinese, you might try Lucky Kitchen – their website advertises:
    “Lucky Kitchen can stir-fry your dishes upon request with no oil, MSG, salt and sugar.”
    I don’t remember if you can ask for brown rice or not, but it’s worth a try/phone call. The other place that came to mind is Blue Nile, but I don’t know if they pre-make food with items on your ‘no’ list. Thanks for posting the question – learning lots!

  6. Jen in MI said,

    June 28, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Also, the grains guy is back at the Farmers Market today – he has fresh ground organic buckwheat and spelt flour, as well as a multigrain, that I believe is all low-glycemic grains. I’ve heard raves about his stuff. He’ll be there next weekend, too.

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