Introducing the Diabetic Herbivore

Rebecca Dugas, founder of the Diabetic Herbivore
Rebecca Dugas, founder of the Diabetic Herbivore

Hi, I’m Rebecca Dugas. I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 35 and struggled to get my condition under control for several years. I even tried a radical low-carb, vegan diet on the advice of a book author, hoping it would reverse the disease as the author suggested it might. Although cutting all meat products from my diet didn’t seem to affect my blood sugars very much, I did discover other benefits and decided to stick with a vegetarian diet.

I re-introduced dairy, eggs, and occasional seafood to my diet, in order to expand the list of things I can eat. I guess, technically, I might be called a pescatarian or a fish-eating vegetarian. *shrugs* Whatever. My diet consists *primarily* of low-carb vegetable matter.

Oh, and I did finally get my blood sugars under control, with the help of daily insulin injections and an internal medicine specialist who corrected my diagnosis to Diabetes Type 1.5 (don’t worry, I’ll cover that in a future blog post).

Bias and stereotypes take aim at both diabetics and vegetarians

Unfortunately, I have found that both vegetarianism and low carb diets are incredibly misunderstood, and that assumptions and “shoulds” enter peoples’ minds whenever they hear the words “diabetic” or “vegetarian.” I decided to create this blog to correct misconceptions, to provide information, education and resources, and to start a revolution in the food industry. I propose that “low-carb” options should be as prolifically available as “gluten-free” options, and perhaps more so. And that vegetable options shouldn’t be limited to broccoli.

Who is this blog for?

zuchinni-with-squash-blossomsThis blog is for anyone desiring to live a more low-carb, plant-based lifestyle or just want more diabetic-friendly or vegetable options, for any reason. We have all types here: diabetics, Atkins-lovers, gluten-free folk, and ketogenic people. We have vegans, vegetarians, Meatless Monday followers, pescatarians, and those who just want to consume less animal products. We have people suffering from a variety of diseases and conditions, those who are trying to manage their weight, and others who are concerned about the environment. Some of us fall into many of those categories.

Let’s support one another’s food choices

The important thing is that we’re all looking for low-carb, plant-based food options at least some of the time, for reasons that are our own. We needn’t justify our dietary decisions, and we shouldn’t have to feel badly about them either. Let’s not judge each other’s needs or decisions in this very personal area. Instead, I suggest we support each other and raise each other up, so that we can all feel fully satisfied on whatever diet we’re on. That’s part of what I aim to accomplish with this blog.

So, is this a food or recipe blog?

Let’s be clear: I am not a chef. I don’t even think of myself as a foodie. I rarely make up new recipes and when I do, they often don’t turn out well. I will modify existing recipes, but only to bring them into alignment with my dietary needs.

So I will occasionally share those I’ve modified and have turned out well enough that my husband asks for me to make them again. More often, I will share recipes created by others that I have tried and can recommend.

However, this blog is not a recipe blog. I will be sharing information, education, and resources on vegetarian and other plant-based diets, low-carb diets, diabetes and other conditions that require or benefit from low-carb, plant-based diets, and anything related to these topics.

Restaurant reviews will help others seeking low-carb, plant-based options for eating out

I will be writing reviews of restaurants and  similar establishments on whether or not I can eat there and ever will again. These reviews will look at:

  • How many things on the menu could be ordered, as-is, to suit a low-carb, vegetarian diet;
  • How willing is the staff to tell me what’s in a particular dish or to look up nutritional information for me;
  • How accommodating they are in regards to modifying a dish so that I can eat it; and
  • Just how tasty the dish is.

vegetables-vegetable-basket-harvest-gardenIf a restaurant gets high marks on all these criteria, we’ll indicate that it’s DH-Approved. In this way, we’ll be starting a directory of establishments that a low-carb vegetarian can feel reasonably certain they will be able to find something good to eat that doesn’t make them cheat.

Would YOU like to be one of our reviewers? Contact us for more info.

Guest posts are welcome and will be sought out

Speaking of which, I will be hosting guest posts from other food and diet bloggers to share information on related topics on which I’m not an expert, such as ketogenic diets, Atkins diets, Celiac disease, etc. Some of these guest posts will be other restaurant or recipe reviewers.

We all need to vent sometimes

Most of my posts will contain a wealth of well-researched information along with my daily personal experience as a diabetic vegetarian, but I will also periodically post rants. I need to be able to vent occasionally, and my hope is that my rants will give voice to the frustration many of us feel living in this super high-carb, carnivorous society.

Perhaps some of my posts will be helpful for other vegetarian, low-carbers to feel validation, or to give them talking points when discussing their needs, or to understand how to deal emotionally with the toll of having a super-restrictive diet can have on our psyches and relationships.

Ways you can support my mission

We are developing a social media presence and I hope a community will grow up around this blog. As a community, we gain a voice. We can use our powers for good, to transform this society into one that is more tolerant of food diversity and dietary choices. If you like what you see here, please take some action to support it. Help me get the word out – Like, Comment, Share – here and on every social network you’re a part of (even if The Diabetic Herbivore doesn’t have a presence there yet).

You can also support my efforts monetarily. I am a professional freelance writer and I support myself with my writing. This blog is my passion and my own project, so I don’t have a client paying me to write this. Therefore, in order to make it sustainable, I’ve got some ads running and I will be doing some affiliate marketing. I am also open to discussing sponsorships with appropriate sponsors.

Please have patience with these efforts to make this blog more self-sustaining. I will also have a PayPal donate button, which you could select to help me do LESS of the ad and affiliate thing. 🙂

Don’t worry, no matter what, I won’t spend a ton of time trying to sell to you. The point of this blog is to educate and support others like me, not alienate them.

Now some questions for YOU!

So what topics would you like me to tackle? I’m always open to suggestions. Do you have your own related blog and would like to exchange guest posts? Are you an expert in any relevant areas and would be interested in guest posting? Would you like to become one of our team of restaurant reviewers? Any other ideas of how you could contribute to our community and movement?

If you have any ideas, insights, comments, or even complaints, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to interacting with you and incorporating your thoughts into this blog.

© Rebecca Dugas 2017 All Rights Reserved

Written by Rebecca Dugas

I am the original Diabetic Herbivore. I created this site to help others who live with diabetes and have chosen a plant-based diet to find recipes, resources, education, and support. The information here will also be helpful to anyone who chooses to eat more low carb and/or more vegetables. I believe we all should be able to feel full and satisfied no matter what food choices we make, or for whatever reason we make them.


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