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Thread: Diabetes/food/benefits (not a specific benefit question)

  1. #1

    Diabetes/food/benefits (not a specific benefit question)

    So I have diabetes and had an awful appointment recently where the doctor really laid into me about my horrendous diet as I'm so fat and must be stuffing my face with cakes and sweets in front of others in the group -I have it due to other medical conditions NOT stuffing my face. Yes my diet isn't good but I cannot afford the good diet I had before because that requires me to pay for care which I can no longer afford (hence mentioning benefits in title)

    The difficulty is I cannot afford help from another person to have the healthy food. My income won't extend to the diet sheet I've been given (which is all about fresh food/no ready meals which would mean I'd need to go out and purchase it from another town daily and pay for someone to prepare it for me as well due to not being able to use my hands).

    One example was to buy organic baked beans with no salt or sugar - in my local shop they are three times the cost of the ones I buy, the small tins aren't available and in town they are still far too expensive for me - I get the 20p ones I cannot afford organic! The other suggestion was to get help from social services, who I've comtacted since the appointment. They want £6.50 per meal, and that's a frozen meal delivered monthly - I don't have a freezer at all, I've a small room and no space for a chest freezer. Meals on wheels is more than that.

    At the moment I eat cold foods like complan or cereal (basics/value not branded) and when I go into the local town for food it's to Iceland where ready meals are a pound - their sheet says to avoid Iceland food which is very unhealthy full of sugar and other crap. I've had to rely a lot on community for food - they won't buy specific foods, you get whatever has been donated, things like spam and tinned ham (again banned).

    Their recommendation was the organic food shop which is miles away and costs a fortune.

    I couldn't get the dr to understand I have £20 a week for food with my benefits. I cannot spend more and that's all food - I take medication round the clock that requires food so £20 doesn't go far and certainly won't go anywhere expecting me to pay for expensive organic foods plus carer. I simply cannot afford it and the doctor didn't understand telling me to get extra benefits because I have diabetes (I'm sure this isn't true), again in front of everyone else in the group.

    I've a massive family history of diabetics who have lost limbs due to complications and didn't need to hear about what's going to happen to me if I don't do what they demand. I'm supposed to go back for another session next week (I've no intention of being humiliated like that again). They want me to exercise more as well. I can't due to my other disabilities but they said those would go away if I ate properly - there was zero understanding of my other illnesses and I was very much seen as the worst person of the group.

    I'm posting in case anyone has any ideas.

  2. #2
    I should also add I don't have space for a freezer so can't bulk buy or cook.

  3. #3
    You could consider subscribing to a weekly delivery of meal boxes, especially if you can find a supplier who does single-portion meals. In our house we have found it very cost effective to get meal boxes. We get them from Gousto at about £35 iirc for a box with 4 meals for 2 people, which sounds like a lot to pay but we hardly ever get anything to eat from the supermarket these days, so it works out quite cheap, and although they're not organic, they are healthy and delicious meals and generally not difficult to make.

    We used to get organic meal boxes from Riverford. Their amounts were a lot more generous, too generous if you are only cooking for one, as the Gousto meals are already for two therefore a box would last one person more than a week.

  4. #4
    Thanks for this. I'll look into it. There may be a potential problem in terms of where I live -there are no supermarkets that deliver here for example and postage has started incurring extra charges due to distance needing to be traveled but I'll look into it.

  5. #5
    That's awkward! How on earth do you manage? Well, you can probably forget about Riverford as their delivery area is very limited - it excludes our postcode and we are in a well-populated area. But there are many others and I doubt Gousto is the cheapest either.

    We tried one supplier that uses royal mail and what they did is post a weekly box of sauces/spices and recipes for their customers to buy their own ingredients. Their box arrived through the letterbox. They were cheap of course, but you still had all the shopping, it was a pain, the meals we made didn't taste top-notch and the sauces etc. were full of additives and sugar, rather unhealthy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Iceland sell Slimming World meals, very reasonably - these are low in fat and low in sugar. Also you can get frozen fruit and veg there NO additives. As for paying someone to help you cook - how are you cooking now? Phone social services and ask for an assessment , you may be able to get help in the shape of carers coming in, if you cannot cook a simple meal for yourself.
    Complan is not a meal, its a meal relacement, so I'd stop that right away and spend the money on good, plain, cheap food.
    Have you got an Aldi or Lidl near you?
    Small changes need not cost. Skimmed milk, marg and not butter, grill food and not fry.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    As you are already buying ready meals from Iceland you presumably do have some kind of freezer, if only a small one?

    I don't think you need to go the whole, expensive, organic route, just good plain food without all the additives, sugar, and salt.

    As already mentioned frozen veg is cheap and already peeled and chopped. It needs no further preparation other than putting in a pan of boiling water.
    Or you can microwave it in a bowl with a spoonful of water.
    You can even get frozen mashed potato. (Or roasties, or oven chips if you can use the oven).
    Another cheap alternative is tinned veg, potatoes, and even tinned meat/chicken in sauces. (If you can open the tins).

    Frozen meat, chicken, fish are all relatively cheap as well, and usually ready prepared to just cook.

    Salads are easy to prepare, no cooking needed.
    Or you can usually buy a ready mixed salad bowl from Iceland for about £1 that will do 2 or 3 meals.
    Just add some cooked meat and/or cheese, or maybe tinned tuna or mackrel or sardines.

    Pre-packed Gammon joints are fairly cheap if you like a joint at weekend.
    If you are on your own then even a small 1/2 kg joint (about £3) will be plenty for 3 or 4 meals, to have with salad, or make sandwiches.
    (Might be a bit too much salt unless you soak it before cooking).

    Think back to what people used to eat in the 50's and 60's.
    Cheaper cuts of meat cooked for a bit longer.
    Think of things that people don't seem to cook anymore.
    Liver is very cheap, I love liver and onions (fried or slow cooked) with mash and cabbage or marrowfat peas.
    Stews, broths, etc., Easy to cook, just put your frozen veg and meat in a pan or casserole dish (maybe with some barley and lentils - you can buy very cheap bags of 'broth mix' for this) add water (and stock cubes) and simmer or cook in the oven or microwave.

    I only have a small freezer myself, about 12 inches on each side, but fill it up once a fortnight.
    My shop at Herons (our local equivalent of Iceland) costs under £20 for 2 weeks worth of food.
    That will typically be some frozen fish, chicken, liver, maybe pork chops or mince.
    Various frozen veg and some oven chips. (I will buy fresh potatoes as well though).
    Some frozen or tinned fruit.
    Some tined meat, Corned Beef, stewed steak, Spam, Tuna Flakes.
    Maybe a couple of tins of beans, soups, etc.
    I'll usually get cheese because I'm a cheese monster.
    I may even include a couple of ready meals, usually a fish pie and a lassagne or cottage pie.
    They sell tea, coffee, sugar.
    It's mostly top brands but cheap.

    That just leaves bread and milk to buy once or twice a week. (You can freeze bread if you have a big enough freezer).
    And a few treats if there is any money left.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  8. #8
    Hi people with diabetes be it type 1 or type 2 need to cut down on the amount of carbohydrates they eat.
    You do not need any fancy brand named foods. Basics to avoid are pasta, rice, spuds, flour and certain root veggies that are high carb.
    The best bread to buy is the Burgen bread soya and linseed as it's lower carb than others and tasty. Most supermarkets now do protein rolls and loaves which are lower carb the taste isn't that fab though.
    Ready meals are very expensive so it's cheaper to have proper food. A slow cooker is a fab idea for the winter as well.

    I speak from experience with diabetes as have had the condition for more than 50 years.

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