One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from diabetic patients visiting me for their regular foot exams is how hard it is to maintain a balanced diet and still enjoy eating out in restaurants.
Today, we'll address both those concerns. First, let's review the daily, at-home foot scan every diabetic should be doing. If you stick to this habit every day, your regular podiatrist check-ups should be a breeze!
How to Perform a Diabetic Foot Exam at Home in 4 Easy Steps
1. Gently clean your feet with soap and warm water.
2. Take a seat on a bed, chair, or toilet in a well lit area, with both of your legs hanging comfortably in front of you. Lift one foot onto your opposite leg so you can see the whole foot, but keep the supporting leg as relaxed as possible.
3. Carefully dry your foot, taking special care to pat down the area between your toes.
4. Rotate your foot so you can see the sole of your foot and begin your scan there. If you aren’t particularly flexible, you may need to use a handheld mirror to see all the hard-to-reach spots.
What to Look for in a Diabetic Foot Exam, by Foot Section
On the balls of your feet: look for bumps and irregular textures, as this area is prone to developing calluses or corns. Proper-fitting footwear can reduce your risk.
On the soles of your feet, look and feel for bumps and lumps. These may be signs of muscle or bone injuries.
On your heels, look and feel for dry, rough, or cracked skin. Even small cracks can leave you open to infection. To stay safe, moisturize daily with odorless, colorless lotion. You may want to make this ritual the closing move of your exam, so you never forget. And don't moisturize between your toes; bacteria love warm, moist places. Now we've made your foot care routine a bit easier, let's talk dining out!
At Home Restaurant-style Meals for Diabetics
While it is entirely possible to find diabetic-friendly menu items at most restaurants these days, it’s also fun to find take-out favorites and adapt them to become make-at-home favorites that work with your daily meal plans!
Try this Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash from the American Diabetes Association; I have a feeling it will satisfy that take-out craving without sending you into carb-overload territory.
This Recipe Serves 4
- 1 medium (2.5-lb) spaghetti squash
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp prepared Pad Thai sauce
- 8 oz cooked shrimp, peeled and tail-off
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash in a microwave-safe baking dish, cut side down. Cover loosely with a lid and leave room to vent. Microwave for 10-15 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes. Squash is done when it’s soft to touch. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger and Pad Thai sauce and heat for 2 minutes. Mix well.
- Use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash. Add the spaghetti squash “noodles” and shrimp to the pan with vegetables. Heat for another 2 minutes and mix well. Top with chopped cilantro.