Leftovers are like the extended boluses of meals – they give you a second boost when you need it, without adding to your to-do list. As we fall into good control this season (leaf us alone; we like seasonal puns), we’ve partnered with Feeding America San Diego to help you set yourself up with meal options that can make it easier got some ideas on how to make the most of what’s cooking.
Learn from your leftovers. You’ll have a better idea of the carbohydrate count of foods you make yourself, and you have the opportunity to measure your portions. If you calculated and delivered a bolus to cover a meal once, you may have a better idea how your body will react to the same meal the next day.
Shop with intention. Strategically plan your meals and turn tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s lunch. There are even apps for this! Plan to use your leftovers for lunch later in the week or freeze them for use in a few weeks. This can encourage healthy eating throughout the week, and save you the cost of buying meals out.
Bring it home. But if you do end up out to lunch or dinner and you find yourself full before finishing, bring home the rest of your meal and package it up for lunch the next day. Takeaway containers can double as lunch Tupperware. And you earn bonus points (bolus points?) for managing to not cook twice!
Buy in bulk. When planning, consider buying in bulk, but only if the food is something you will actually use or can safely store for future use. This way, you can create several meals without having to run to the grocery store a dozen different times. (And you can keep your fruit and vegetable purchases fresher longer and prepped for lunches using these storage tips from the American Heart Association.)
Size matters. Save energy, time, and food by making smaller servings of the dishes that are most perishable – produce and dairy. To reduce the amount of unwanted food left on plates, encourage your family to serve themselves smaller first servings, then come back for a second serving if they will eat more. And if you find your plate half eaten, package it up for tomorrow’s lunch. (Sensing a theme yet?)
Potluck for the win. For your next party, ask your guests to bring reusable containers and send them home with leftovers. You may also want to share your leftovers with a neighbor who might enjoy a home-cooked meal…or with a fellow people with diabetes who would appreciate the pre-counted carbs.
Make a meal out of it. Do you love appetizers? Are side dishes more your preference? Embrace the small plates and tuck some leftover hors d'oeuvres into your lunch bag. There’s nothing wrong with some small bites adding up to a substantial snack or meal, and smaller meals may help mitigate the blood sugar bounce.
From time to time, we may pass along: suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem Insulin Pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. However, please note individual symptoms, situations, circumstances and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified health care provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information linked below before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.