What do Type 1 Diabetes, Smores, and Vashon Island all have in common? Camp Sealth! This last week I was out on Vashon Island at Camp Sealth working as a Dietetic Intern for the American Diabetes Association. I was surrounded by many cute kids with Type 1 Diabetes that wanted to experience the “normal” camp life. They swam, they played, they made tie-dye t-shirts, and of course they ate camp food; smores, pasta, fish sticks, trail mix, and much more. They were just like any other kid, except they had to manage a chronic disease.
For those of you that do not know, Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas, which produces and releases insulin. Insulin is a very important hormone that is required by our cells to absorb glucose, the main form of energy for our body. Glucose comes from the foods we eat and can be utilized immediately as energy, stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, or it can be stored as fat. Glucose is very important for optimal brain function, as the brain preferentially uses glucose as energy. Without adequate dietary glucose our bodies enter a starvation mode, utilizing ketones as a secondary form of energy to supply the brain.
In individuals with Type 1 diabetes, they are unable to utilize the dietary glucose because their pancreas does not produce insulin. Consequently, they need to administer insulin in order to utilize dietary glucose and avoid extreme levels in the blood. If the insulin is not administered correctly, or adequate carbohydrate food sources consumed do not match the insulin dose, individuals can quickly become hypo or hyperglycemic. Hypoglycemia is a state of very low blood glucose, whereas hyperglycemia is a state of very high blood glucose. Both states are very dangerous and life threatening.
My role, as the intern, was to carb count each and every snack and meal that the children would eat, allowing the medical staff to dose them with insulin accordingly. It was imperative that I calculated each food item as precisely as possible as the insulin dose was based upon the total carbohydrates the campers chose to eat at mealtime. Since Camp Sealth has a mission to offer campers a true camp experience, the children were able to indulge in the traditional camp foods because of the close supervision of all the medical staff, including providers, nurses, medical assistants, dietitians, and interns. This way the kids could enjoy pasta for dinner and smores for dessert at a total carb count of 188g without immediately entering a hyperglycemic state.
This trip not only made me thankful that I have a healthy pancreas, but it also helped me understand and become aware of the time and effort required to manage this chronic disease. I now truly empathize with this community.
With that being said, although I loved my experience at Camp Sealth, and am thankful for everything that I learned, I am glad to be home to eat my own food. I remember the days as a child, when I was ecstatic when my parents brought home fish sticks as a treat. But today, I can live without them and the super creamy coleslaw too.....
So in remembrance of Camp Sealth and our “Fish Sticks and Coleslaw” dinner, I created Chipotle Lime Fresh Rolls. I guess the only similarity in these two meals is the word “slaw”, but I just craved this healthy, zesty take on the traditional American salad. And then I added turmeric tofu and wrapped it all in a brown rice wrapper. Easy, peasy!
And just in case you are wondering one serving of 3 Chipotle Lime Fresh Rolls has 47g of carbs :)
Chipotle Lime Slaw
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Makes 8 servings
FOR THE DRESSING
2 limes, juice and zest (about ¼ cup juice)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 ½ tablespoons Vegenaise
Fresh ground pepper
FOR THE SLAW
1 medium head green cabbage
4 leaves lacinato kale, deveined
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 ripe mango, diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts
Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
Remove the two outer leaves of the cabbage and then cut the head of cabbage into quarters. With a large chef knife finely shred the cabbage into thin ribbons until you come towards the last inch before the end. Compost the thick end piece and toss the remaining cabbage into a large salad bowl.
Cut the lacinato leaves into thin ribbons and add to the cabbage. Then top with the onion, mango, and cilantro. Over medium low heat, toast the macadamia nuts, and then coarsely chop. Add to the salad ingredients. Mix everything thoroughly. Set aside.
At this point you can continue to make fresh rolls, or you can make a slaw. If you choose to make a slaw, add the dressing to the salad ingredients and mix well. Allow to marinate for about 5 minutes and serve immediately. You can also just toss the amount that you want for the meal and cover the remaining ingredients for another time.
Turmeric Tofu Sticks
Makes 1 serving
3 oz sprouted super firm tofu, cut into sticks
½ teaspoon coconut oil
Sprinkle of turmeric
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot add the coconut oil and the tofu sticks. Sprinkle with turmeric. Sauté on each side until crisp. When done, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chipotle Lime and Turmeric Tofu Fresh Rolls
Makes 1 serving of 3 rolls
3 brown rice paper wraps (original white ones work fine too)
3 handfuls slaw
1 ½ tablespoons chipotle lime dressing
1 serving turmeric tofu
Optional: sliced avocado
Optional: sliced avocado
Mix together the slaw and the 1 ½ tablespoons of dressing. Set aside
Fill a large skillet with water and heat over medium. Once warm turn off the heat. Carefully dip 1 rice paper into the warm water for about 5-10 seconds. Gently remove it from water and place onto a large plate.
Top the first rice paper with 1/3 of slaw mixture and 1/3 of the tofu sticks. Add additional avocado slices if desired. Fold the bottom edge of the wrap over the slaw. Fold in both sides and carefully, and tightly roll up the wrap. Set aside. Do the same with the remaining two.
Cut each roll in half diagonally and serve immediately. You can also serve the rolls with the creamy avocado dip or seasoned rice vinegar. Enjoy!