Monday, November 30th, brought a close to Diabetes Awareness Month. But for the millions of us with Diabetes, there is no close on Diabetes. It is a condition that requires constant awareness, heightened vigilance, and a focused approach. We get no break or vacation from Diabetes.
I don’t say that to sound as though I am lamenting over the fact that I have Diabetes or have a feeling of dread or depression associated with Diabetes. I say it to remind every body that we should all remain alert and and focused on our health, regardless of whether or not we have Diabetes.
I have never used my diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes as an excuse to allow myself to get down or depressed about it. Diabetes is a frustrating, aggravating, difficult and complex chronic disease to manage. The good news is that Diabetes is manageable. For me though, I see Diabetes as a blessing. I will not tell you that I love having it, because I don’t! But it’s all about the perspective YOU choose to have. I can say that without Diabetes, my life would definitely be different. I don’t mean less frustrating, less aggravating, less difficult or less complex. Would life be better without Diabetes? I can’t answer that question. Life is life. We will all have problems, frustrations, good times, bad times, happy and sad times. Diabetes doesn’t add or subtract those things. While I don’t love Diabetes, I do love my life, which includes Diabetes.
I am thankful when I look back and see how Diabetes impacted my life in a positive way. Because of Diabetes, I became a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and an Integrative Health Coach. With Diabetes, I met and married my best friend. With Diabetes, I have been blessed with two wonderful children. Diabetes has also allowed me to meet people, both personally and professionally, that I would never have had the opportunity to meet.
I don’t just try to live with Diabetes, it is my goal to thrive with Diabetes! I’ve had the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes for just over 24 years now. In that time, I have performed more than 44,250 Blood Glucose Checks, more than 35,400 insulin injections and lived 212,400 hours (or 12,744,000 minutes) of LIFE with Diabetes. It does not define me. But it is a part of me and it help to make me a better person.
Again, it’s all about your perspective!
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
Diabetes is Cool! Yep, that’s what I said! Sometimes changing your perspective helps you to see things in a different light! We all know that Diabetes can cause many problems. But if you have Diabetes, you might have found some humor in the daily tasks you perform to keep things under control. So, here are my “Top Ten” reasons:
10: I have become good friends with my neighborhood Pharmacists!
9: I can utilize my stealth like, ninja reflexes to check my blood sugars and inject my insulin without anyone even knowing it!
8: I can carry food into sporting events as it is necessary for my Diabetes treatment!
7: If I am having a low blood sugar, I can eat sweets without the guilt!
6: I know Carbs, inside and out!
5: It’s a great way to get out of an uncomfortable situation, “Excuse me, I think I need to go and check my blood sugar…”
4: Provides you with an excuse to not eat your Aunt Vera’s Holiday Fruit Cake!
3: Exercise becomes a necessary and enjoyable treatment to help reduce medications and save money!
2: Allows me to drop my pants at any time if I have to inject insulin!
1: I can keep a watchful eye on the neighborhood when I’m up in the middle of the night checking my blood sugar!
I know if you’ve been dealing with Diabetes, you have some of your own Top Ten moments to add. Feel free to share them!
And always remember, We control Diabetes! It does not control us!
“It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!”
Welcome November and Diabetes Awareness Month! We’ve gotten through October and Halloween and are looking forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. But first, we need to stop and recognize a potential health crisis. Diabetes continues to play a huge role in the health of our nation and around the world. The good news is that this is a condition you can control! The key to control is Knowing Your Numbers. Have a simple blood glucose check performed and you can quickly assess your diabetes risk or diabetes control. Remember, being overweight, obese or having a family member with diabetes can increase your risk for developing diabetes. Get checked if you:
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25
- Lead a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Have a history of Gestational Diabetes
- Gave birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
- Have a history of Heart Disease, High Cholesterol or High Blood Pressure
- Have a family member with Diabetes
- Are 45 years or older
A quick look at what the numbers mean can give you an idea of where you stand. Most often, a Fasting Blood Glucose value will be used. This is preformed after an overnight fast and before any food or beverage in the morning. A one-time test may not always tell you everything you need to know but at least it can help to move you in the right direction!
(No food or drink previous 8 hours)
|< 99 mg/dL||100-125 mg/dL||>126 mg/dL
on two separate draws.
|Random Glucose:||>200 mg/dL|
As the table shows, the numbers tell the story. A blood glucose check is a quick and easy way to get more information. If you’re not sure what the numbers mean or what you can do to take control, talk with your doctor or health care provider to get more answers and referrals to an education program. Being diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes is not a bad thing, it might just save your life! Don’t wait. The time is now to take action to change your life.
“It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!”
I know it may be a little late to weigh in on the diet debate since we’ve already made it half-way through the “Diet Month” of January! However, US News and World Report once again tabbed the DASH Diet as the Best Overall Diet in their 2015 Review. Keep in mind, the DASH Plan was originally designed to help lower blood pressure. DASH actually stands for Dietary Approaches for Stopping Hypertension. The main emphasis with the DASH Plan is to increase intakes of fruits and vegetables while choosing lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken breast or the leanest cuts of beef or pork. Although it was not developed for weight loss, it has shown that weight loss is a side effect of following this plan. What is reassuring is that this Meal Plan is a healthy alternative that does not require any exotic foods or recipes. It is a safe way to eat that will help you meet your daily nutritional needs and help you achieve better health. We believe in the DASH Plan and often work with our clients to adopt this meal plan as part of their daily intake. Many of the foods included in this plan can also be beneficial in helping to reduce chronic inflammation associated with eating higher sodium and higher fat meals. Chronic inflammation has been identified as a risk factor in developing heart disease and diabetes. You can find out more about the DASH Plan and start making the changes that can help you get healthier and feel better! Remember, you hold the keys to better health in your hands!
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
Diabetes continues to play a big role in the health of our nation. Over 29 million Americans have Diabetes. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 21 million are diagnosed but another 8.1 million have diabetes but do not know it! There are 86 million Americans that have a condition known as Pre-Diabetes. This is when blood sugar levels are above normal levels but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. To make matters worse, about 90% of those with Pre-Diabetes do not know they have it. Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes are a concern. Having one of those conditions can significantly increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. It is important to find out if you are at risk for Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it. Remember, there are two types of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is when the body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps to take blood sugar from the blood stream into the cells to be used for energy. Without insulin, blood sugar levels will continue to rise. Type 1 Diabetes accounts for about 5% of the population that has diabetes. It is thought to be an auto-immune response that causes a destruction of the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. Because of this destruction of cells, a person with Type 1 Diabetes MUST take insulin to live.
Type 2 Diabetes, is often considered a “lifestyle” disease. The most common type of diabetes typically impacts those that are overweight or obese. As you can see in the slide from the CDC, obesity and diabetes are closely linked. As weight increases, your risk for Type 2 Diabetes will increase as well. There are studies being conducted right now trying to determine why this happens. It has been thought that the extra weight somehow inhibits the body from using insulin correctly. With Type 2 Diabetes, the body may be producing more than enough insulin to manage blood sugars. However, the body is resistant to those actions and blood sugar levels rise. To control blood sugar levels, people with Type 2 Diabetes may need pills or insulin. Diet and activity levels also play a vital role! The elevated levels of glucose and insulin in uncontrolled Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Weight loss, as little as 5-10% of current weight can make a big difference in lowering risk factors. That weight loss may be all that is needed to bring blood glucose levels back into a more normal range.
Regardless of the type of Diabetes a person may have, some things do not change. Proper nutrition and increased activity levels are the main components in any treatment plan! We know that making changes to reach those goals can seem difficult but taking time for yourself can make a big difference in your health outcomes. Small changes to start with can lead to bigger changes in the future. Stay focused on your goal, know your risk factors, visit your doctor, see a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and do everything you can to to live a healthier life.
Stayed tuned during the month of November as we provide more information and tips to help keep you informed and aware during Diabetes Month!
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
We’ve been talking about this recipe for some time now. We finally posted it. This recipe was adapted from Awesome Black Bean Burgers found on www.seriouseats.com. This is a fantastic recipe that provides much flavor and is very filling. Play around with the seasonings and ingredients to find your flavor. The best tip was to cook the black beans first. That really does help to firm up the patties. Serve it with some steamed vegetables and fresh corn and you’ll have a very tasty meal. The Nutrition Facts can be found at the bottom. Have fun preparing and eating this great burger!
Bodacious Black Bean Burgers!
2 15 oz. cans of Low Sodium Black Beans ½ cup Feta Cheese
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons Light Miracle Whip
1 small Onion, finely cut 1 teaspoon Garlic
1 small Red Pepper, finely cut 1 Whole Egg, beaten
½ small Green Pepper, finely cut ¾ cup Plain Panko (Low Sodium)
½ cup Roasted Cashews ½ TBSP Mrs. Dash Steak Grilling Blend
1. Preheat oven to 350. Rinse the Black beans and spread in single layer on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Cook beans for approximately 20 minutes. (Cooking beans help to eliminate liquid and provide for a more firm burger.)
Allow beans to cool after cooking.
2. While beans cook, cut onions and peppers finely. Heat olive oil in pan. Sautee onions and peppers, add garlic.
Let onion and peppers continue to cook and soften and mix flavors. Place cooked pepper and onion in a large bowl.
3. Place cashews in food processor. Using pulse mode, chop cashews. Typically takes 10-12 short pulses. Add cashews
to onion and pepper mixture.
4. Place beans and feta cheese in food processor. Mix until it has a consistency close to that of ground beef.
Add mixture to the onion, peppers and cashews.
5. Add panko, Mrs. Dash, Miracle Whip and egg to mixture. Fold together using hands. Mixture will become sticky.
Remember, if you are using an egg, you must wash hands after folding mixture.
6. Form into 8 patties of equal size. Should fit easily within palm of hand.
Black Bean Burgers can be grilled or cooked indoors. Medium heat should be used to allow patties to firm up without burning outsides.
Using olive oil or not stick spray, coat pan. Allow pan to heat and then place burgers in to cook.
Allow approximately 5 minutes of cook time on each side. Once flipped, add cheese slice for extra flavor. Enjoy!
Ø You can use ¼ cup of egg substitute in place of the egg.
Ø Low sodium beans and panko help to keep this a lower sodium meal.
Ø Patties can be stored for 3 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
You can also freeze patties on parchment paper and then place in a zip-lock freeze bag.
Remember to place a piece of parchment paper between each patty. Allow to thaw approximately 1 hour before cooking.
Serving Size: 1 Burger (166 g)
Servings per recipe: 8
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12g 19%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 176mg 7%
Potassium 481mg 14%
Total Carbs 36g 12%
Dietary Fiber 11g 43%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet
Recipe adapted from Awesome Black Bean Burgers, on www.seriouseats.com
I was cleaning our sons room the other day when I came across the poem, “Don’t Quit”. This poem holds special meaning to my family. This poem was given to me upon graduating high school and again after my college graduation. This poem was passed to my sister during her battle with brain cancer and to my Mom as she battled non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. We have also provided it to extended family and friends as they struggle with the storminess of life. While cleaning the room, the framed version on the wall caught my eye. I had not read this poem in a long time. But sitting down and re-reading it, many memories came back to me. It serves as a reminder to me that we must stay positive and keep focused on our goals. Life is hard. There is no question about it. Many people are stunned and saddened by the recent death of Robin Williams. That event confirms that the struggles we face in life are not cured by fame and fortune. Many of us are looking for something more and trying to reach the potential we have within us to become a better person, better husband or wife, better friend, or just better. Nobody knows what life has in store for us, all we can do is cherish each moment, whether good or bad, and learn from those experiences. We must continue to move forward and discover the good that exists in the world. If we have trouble finding the good, then we must provide it for others! Achieving the goals we set for ourselves requires dedication, commitment and hard work. I encourage you to take some time and read the poem. Let it sink in and see how it speaks to you…..
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seem all uphill,
When the funds are low and debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must , but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst, that
YOU MUST NOT QUIT.
Keep moving forward and always remember that you hold the keys to the changes you want to achieve. Believe in yourself and trust your instincts. There are no failures, only opportunities to learn more about ourselves and about life. We are always searching for the next right answer to the questions life throws at us! Enjoy the journey!
It’s Your Life. It’s Your Health. Make That Change!
I was reading an article the other day and it made me think about something. You know how much we stress the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, people will start eating a “newer, healthier” food but then quickly return to the former ways of eating. Why is that? If taste, flavor, texture don’t meet your expectations, or if you are not used to those things, you may not want to continue eating them. In the article, How to Make Someone Fall in Love with You, the author went through a list of occurrences that need to happen to help you fall in love. One was of great interest:
“‘Obviously, you have to meet, but there’s something else going on: repeated exposure. As marketers know very well (and anyone looking for love should learn about marketing), repeated exposure makes us like almost anything. Repeated exposure, it turns out, increases our liking for practically everything, from the routine features of our lives to decorating materials, exotic foods, music, or people.'”
So how do we “fall in love” with new foods, new vegetables, new fruits? We need repeated exposure to them! Allow yourself to not like the taste of a new food but assess how you could prepare it in a different way to make it work for you…… and no, I don’t mean bread it and drop it in a vat of hot oil! We often see this exposure rule in kids. When we continue to offer a new vegetable, ultimately, they not only try the food but begin to really enjoy eating it!
Go ahead, try new foods but remember the rule of repeated exposure. You may find yourself falling in love with broccoli!
It’s Your Heath. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
As I was checking out of the grocery store the other day, a display near the register caught my attention. It was an end of aisle snack display. With a 75 cent price tag, I’m sure they get picked up easily and without much thought. As you know, I love to check the Nutrition Facts Labels. So I had to take a look at the Little Debbie display of donuts, Honey Buns, Ho Ho’s, and other sweet snacks. I will always check the most important number first: SERVING SIZE. Fortunately, the serving size for all of the items was one whole package. Knowing that my kids would prefer the donuts, I picked up the Chocolate Frosted Mini Donuts. With six donuts in a package, I could see each child downing one package a piece.
So what does that mean? It depends. Depends on your nutritional needs and your health history! To give you an idea of where your needs may fall, women generally require between 1500-1900 calories a day. Total Fat should range between about 50 to 65 grams and Saturated Fat no more than 8 to 10 grams. Men require around 1800-2400 calories a day. Total Fat should range between 60-80 grams and Saturated Fat between 10 to 14 grams. All Americans would benefit from keeping Sodium intake below 2000 mg each day.
Keep in mind, these are just general guidelines. To find out your individualized needs, see a Registered Dietitian and have them perform a Nutrition Evaluation.
If we use the guidelines above, eating just one serving of these mini donuts will exceed the daily requirements of Saturated Fat for both men and women and significantly add to the Total Fat for both as well.
The 340 mg of Sodium accounts for 17% of your daily intake total.
If you ate just one of the six donuts, you would still get 70 calories, 4 grams of Total Fat, 2.5 grams of Saturated Fat, and 55 mg of Sodium. You can see how the calories and fat add up quickly.
Remember, this is a snack food, not a meal. So if you were to eat it and later had a meal, your fat and saturated fats would increase as well. These numbers are significant. I often have clients tell me that they are not eating much, yet cannot lose the weight they thought they should be losing. Eating small amounts of foods like those shown here can make it difficult to reach your nutrition goals.
People often talk that all foods are ok in moderation. That is true. However, if we are not sure what moderation is or we are not mindful of the amounts and types of foods we eat each day, we will find ourselves getting into nutritional trouble.
So as you get ready to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, be aware of your food AND beverage choices! Those liquid calories can add up quickly also. Make sure to add some fruits and vegetables to your meals, drink plenty of water and truly follow the concept of moderation. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you!
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!