A “Prevention Classic” & A Symposium Mistake

Remember how I said I was going a Diabetes Symposium yesterday and today? Well, here’s a little story from yesterday.

At my table was a type 1 diabetic, who was also a doctor. About 10 minutes before lunch I saw her check her blood sugar and take a shot of insulin. I wasn’t staring, promise. P.S. It’s probably not acceptable to draw blood and/or give yourself an injection at just any dining table, but here…totally acceptable. Anyways, lunch was served and it was a salad. On a dinner plate came Iceburg lettuce, shredded carrots, black olives, diced tomatoes, and about 4 garbanzo beans (I counted, no lie). You could add hard boiled egg crumbles and croutons, and there were dinner rolls to pass — enough for one person at each table. Lots of details, yes…but here’s why. That was lunch. Period. They cleared the spoon, forks (x2), and knife. Why lay out 2 forks for each guest when they only needed 1, by the way?

While I was cranky at 3pm, that was small change compared to that doctor sitting next to me who shoveled down 2 large cookies before she hit the ground from hypoglycemia. She said that last year when she attended the event it was a soup/salad, entree + starch, dinner roll, and dessert type of meal, thus requiring a bolus (insulin dose) to cover 30-45 grams of carbohydrate, which is what she took before yesterday’s lunch. However, that salad + dinner roll was about 15 grams of carbohydrate, max. It blows my mind as to how a DIABETES SYMPOSIUM filled with DIABETES PROFESSIONALS (and DIABETICS!) planned such a poor menu!! I felt terrible for that woman…and any other diabetics attending (which there were several — I saw their insulin pumps). Anyways, just wanted to share that — it’s a great lesson in meal planning and how important it is to prepare BALANCED menus.


Mr. Prevention loves fajitas. When we lived in Italy I swear I made fajitas once a week. And no, you did not read that wrong. In Italy…making fajitas. Mr. P missed the comfort foods of home: Mexican food! Now that we occasionally go out for Mexican food, he doesn’t request fajitas at home all too often. In fact, it was me craving the fajitas and boy were they good πŸ˜‰

In order to keep things fresh and new, I tried making homemade fajita seasoning…and it was a huge success! Loved it!

Fajita Seasoning from Busy Cooks

3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp 2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp sugar
2-1/2 tsp crushed chicken bouillon cubes (3 cubes)
1-1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin


Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Yield: the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix

Nutrition Information (per “packet” equivalent — serves about 4): 78 calories (19 calories per serving); 1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 2465 mg. sodium (~616 mg. per serving); 16 g. carbohydrate; 2.6 g. fiber; 5.3 g. sugar; 1.3 g. protein

Prevention Fajitas

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 “packet” of fajita seasoning (recipe above)


Heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, 1/2 “packet” or fajita seasoning (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) + 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook chicken until nearly cooked through. Add veggies and add remaining fajita seasoning and additional water, if needed. Cook until veggies are tender. Yield: 4 servings (about 2 fajitas)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 246 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 128 mg. cholesterol; 679 mg. sodium; 16 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 4.3 g. sugar; 40 g. protein

Result: Both were YUMMY! If you’re a fajita lover, you will love these πŸ™‚ There’s nothing hard about fajitas, just need the right seasoning!

Question: What do you order when you’re at a Mexican restaurant? And is it inappropriate if I share my disappointment in yesterday’s lunch menu on the symposium evaluation?




Filed under blood glucose, carbohydrates, chronic disease, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, fruits and vegetables, healthy cooking, Italy, low-carb, lunch, recipe, salad

22 responses to “A “Prevention Classic” & A Symposium Mistake

  1. I love Mexican – it is by far my favorite cuisine. I almost always order some form of enchiladas!

  2. I don’t know much about the diets for diabetics. Was last year’s menu a better choice or did it have too many carbs?

  3. That would be a really frustrating situation.

    Your fajitas look just as good as restaurant ones…better!

  4. I’d be annoyed with lunch too. And starving within five seconds plus I wouldn’t have wanted to eat two cookies to fill me up.

    I love ceviche πŸ™‚ Something about fresh fish makes me smile!

  5. It sounds like they needed to consult a nutritionist before they planned that meal…what a shame they didn’t use that resource. Wrong on so many levels. It’s sort of like when you work in a hospital, eat at the cafeteria, and there is nothing but crap food ( fried, over processed) to choose from. You would think they would start with their own first, ya know?

    anyway….fajitas look amazing.

  6. Ok, well….I do have some things to say about this. They might have had complaints about the meals in the past, because they were TOO carb packed. When I went over 4 years ago it was a ton of unhealthy food, and lots of cookies. People may have complained, so they decided to give less food. What they should have done was indicate the menu on the flyer or invitation, that way people with diabetes (type 1 especially) could plan ahead and maybe bring extra snacks. Maybe they’ll get it right one year…..

  7. Your fajitas look great! And I love that they bring back memories of Italy… πŸ˜‰

    Have a great weekend!

  8. It almost sounds like they forgot a course of the meal! How horrible – I hope you said something so they know for next year.

    I love the fajitas spice recipe – I hate buying seasoning packets because they have so much sodium.

  9. That looks so tempting, wish i could taste it….

  10. Wow, that is shocking that a diabetes symposium would serve that for lunch! (And I love your point about the 2 forks — very true!) On the other hand, the fajitas sound like a wonderfully balanced (and delicious!) meal! πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend!

  11. The symposium evaluation is a perfect place to leave constructive comments about the food. Actual written comments are typically in the minority and good organizers do take the time to review them and see if they can do anything about them (some don’t happen – ie when half the people complain it’s too warm and the other half that it’s too cold), but constructive feedback is very valuable. Even if the previous year’s meal may have been too carb heavy for some of the attendees with stricter dietary needs, it’s always the option of those attending to not eat everything that is put in front of them (whereas you can’t create food from thin air). It definitely sounds though like some protein was needed.
    (um… sorry… this is the result of having planned way too many events… short answer – yes, give them the feedback πŸ™‚ hehe)

    On another note – now I’m completely craving fajitas for dinner! Doesn’t take much… I think I could eat fajitas and burritos all week long and be a happy chicita.

  12. I need to make fajitas more often! It’s simple and a great way to get veggies and lean meat wrapped into a warm wrap. Always satisfying.

  13. I can’t believe all they served was that little salad and a dinner roll! I would definitely write something about it on the evaluation so they fix it for next year

  14. Are you kidding me? Especially as they KNOW they have diabetics coming to the symposium, and that many of them would need to plan their insulin to cover the meal … poor, poor planning :/

    Your fajitas, on the other hand, are beautiful. I didn’t know you guys lived in Italy once! Nothing wrong with whipping up fajitas in Italy, in my opinion πŸ˜‰

  15. Leah @ Why Deprive?

    I LOVE Mexican food! I always, always, always order fajitas. But at home I make either enchiladas or quesadillas. Changes it up a little. πŸ™‚

  16. Whoa that is crazy stuff. Wouldn’t a DIABETICS symposium know better?

    I read an article in the NY Times the other day about how doctors aren’t taught ANYTHING about nutrition and it is so true. I can speak from firsthand experience. Not good.

    This fajita seasoning looks awesome! way better than the storebought mix that probably has MSG in it.

  17. I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all to give your opinion of the meal (or lack thereof!) at the diabetes symposium…you would think they would have let everyone know what the meal was going to be so they could calculate their insulin dosages. When I was a school nurse, it always made me nervous when kids did their insulin before lunch b/c half the time they didn’t eat what we calculated for. Doctor’s didn’t keep that in mind very often when writing the orders!

  18. I LOVE fajita (and all foods Mexican)!!! There’s just something about the sauteed peppers and onions. Yummy!

  19. poor lady thats awful and great fajitas

  20. Enchiladas. I always think I will try something new, but I always order the enchiladas.

  21. OMG I can’t believe that was such poor planning. I can tell you that I once went to my state dietetic association meeting where I know there were other vegetarians other than me, and there was not 1 vegetarian option. OK, there was, and it was salad, but I ruined mine because the “tuna” turned out to be turkey. The vegetable looking soup also had bacon at the bottom. It was leftover from the dinner the night before. I was really unhappy that there was not more options, given we were RDs and I know we are more sensitive to alternative diets than most. It was shocking for a few of us to discover meat in things that were not clearly labelled or even identified as meat to us by the staff.

    Still amazed that they did not plan carbs well at your meeting.

  22. Pingback: Shopping, Shopping, Shopping « Why Deprive?

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