Not the reaction most people expect.
“They usually look a little shocked,” Reid admits.
But she is not just saying that to be flippant.
“When you first get the diagnosis, you are bummed out,” she said. “But the diabetic diet is the ideal diet. It’s eating good food. Complex carbs, whole grain, legumes and lots of fresh vegetables. What could be wrong with that?”
Reid, who teaches people to eat to fit their lifestyle, will be doing a food demonstration for diabetics at 3 p.m. at the Jan. 29, 2011, Health & Wellness Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest.
Nationally, 23.6 million children and adults, or 7.8 percent of the population, have diabetes. Of that number, 3.7 million or 14.7 percent of African-Americans 20 years or older have diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.
Reid’s food demonstration will be at the Main Stage in front of Macy’s on the mall’s lower level.
She will discuss how diabetics can take control of their foods by experimenting with new flavors, new ingredients, and new herbs and spices.
For diabetics, Reid said the key is eating in moderation and watching food combinations.
“It is just correcting poor diet,” she said. “Your doctor didn’t say you can’t eat pie. He just said you can’t eat a whole pie. You have to pay attention to how you eat.”
Reid said it becomes very important for people with diabetes to read labels.
“There is a lot of hidden sugar in food,” she said. “It is a preservative. So now you have to cook for yourself. When you cook for yourself you can control your numbers.”
She said you also have to embrace new cooking techniques.
“Steaming, sauteing, roasting, baking and grilling are all low-fat or fat-free cooking methods,” she said.
To help everyone with healthier cooking habits, Reid has developed a line of four bold herbs and spices that will be available at Sevananda and Irwin Street Market in February.
Her Flamenco Spice blend captures the flavors of Spain with smoked paprika, lemon, garlic and onions, and a touch of cayenne for heat.
Her Desert Rose Spice Blend brings the savory essence of North Africa with Zaatar, sesame, thyme and sumac; her Hummingbird Spice Blend elevates vegetables and beans to new flavor heights with toasted Szechuan peppercorns, onion and parsley; and her Carnelian Spice Blend offers the complex nuances of a homemade curry with ingredients that are individually toasted and ground.
“These all-natural blends can be used as a salt substitute, seasoning, spice rub or marinade for your vegetables, beans, meats, soups and sauces,” she said. “They contain no salt, sugar or preservatives and will add big flavor to your healthy lifestyle.”
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to diabetes, Reid said new diabetics shouldn’t panic.
“Your life is about to improve,” she said. “You are about to embark on a diet that we all should be eating.”