Dining with D-1s: Starting a Diabetes Dinner Club
This group of New Yorkers living with type 1 diabetes shares life, laughs, and some really tasty meals at their dinner club get-togethers. Get inspired by their story and start your own diabetes dinner group!
Forming a BondJessica (left) and Dana (center) met in 2005 at a diabetes education meeting. The two hit it off right away."Dana became my friend and a mentor -- because she knows everything!" Jessica says. The group expanded organically. Adrianna (not pictured) introduced herself to Dana when she saw her wearing an insulin pump in a yoga class. Kara (right) joined the group when her coworker -- Dana's brother -- introduced the two."We had a connection. We were all women, single, living in the city," Dana says.Through the years the group has evolved. At first the women met at restaurants; now Dana hosts potlucks at her apartment in Harlem. Recently, the group expanded to include men when they invited Gary, a friend of Dana's who has type 1 diabetes, to join them for dinner.
"It was natural to meet over a meal," says Dana, who recalls welcoming some women to the group who were struggling with what they should eat to manage their diabetes. "We are always learning from each other and sharing our experiences."
A Fresh & Healthy Menu
To start their meal, the group dunks veggies in a creamy radish dip bursting with fresh dill and lemon flavors. Made with a base of light sour cream and reduced-fat feta cheese, the appetizer is low in fat, calories, and carbs.
Try Something New
Another delicious and healthy appetizer option? Try topping cooked polenta slices with a juicy tomato, olive, and basil mixture for a low-carb, low-fat spin on the Italian-inspired snack.
A colorful salad is the perfect side dish for any meal. Use healthy ingredients that will give you staying power, such as antioxidant-rich spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, protein-packed edamame, and heart-healthy almonds.
You Can Eat Lasagna!
Continuing the Italian theme, the group bakes this cheesy Alfredo lasagna loaded with nutrients in the form of spinach, garlic, and carrots. Enjoy our take on the comfort food classic for only 24 carb grams per serving.
Say “Yes” to Dessert
Treat yourself with a chocolaty dessert served in cute parfait cups. Made from a sugar-free brownie mix, this twist on the traditional tiramisu recipe is as easy as it is delicious.
Sharing Recipes and Ideas
Kara, pictured in blue, says the D-1 group has been a lifesaver for her. "I didn't get diabetes until I was in my 30s, so I was used to living my life one way. It was so refreshing to be able to talk to others who understand."
In addition to swapping recipes, the group also discusses their favorite new products. Here, Jessica, left, shares her latest and greatest low-carb food finds with the group.
Start Your Own Diabetes Dinner Club
Getting to know other people living with diabetes is essential to developing a positive attitude. Other people with diabetes can offer support, understanding -- and company for dinner! The Dining with D-1s group has some tips for getting started.
"If you don't know anyone else with diabetes, go online and look for diabetes events in your area, or ask a diabetes educator about upcoming events. It can be scary, but you will be welcomed there," Dana says. "Introduce yourself to others. If you click, you click; if not, don't worry about it. When you find others you'd like to know more, invite them to join you for dinner at a restaurant first.