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!
It is here! Time to ring in the New Year. Our kids have been asking us why there are so many TV commercials and radio ads touting the latest diet plans. Because, it’s here! Time to lose the holiday weight! Members of our local Y have been discussing how busy it will be for the next 2 months as everybody tries to restart their New Year Resolutions. It’s here!
Make this year your year! If you plan to start a new exercise program or meal plan, truly set up a plan. You must plan for success. The problem that’s universally noted with our resolutions to start each year is that they are short-lived. This year, launch your resolution with a contingency plan. Plan for barriers and for methods on how you will overcome those barriers. You know life will throw you a curve that could sabotage your plans. You may have already experienced this in the past. So get ready for it. How do we do that?
1. Make yourself accountable. Write down your goals and how you will go after them. Simply saying you want to lose weight by exercising more may not get it done. Instead, pick the days of the week and times that will fit your schedule. Set up an exercise routine. Schedule it on your calendar just as you would any other important task or appointment. AND, set up a back up plan just in case your first choices don’t work or life happens and you can’t exercise that day or time.
2. Set goals that you can reach but will also challenge you. Setting goals too difficult to reach may set you up for failure. Setting goals too easy to reach will not force you to change. If you have never cooked before, are you going to be able to set a cooking goal to improve your diet? Evaluate your diet, or schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to get some ideas on what you may need to change to better meet those meal planning goals. For instance, you may only need to add a piece of fruit to your meals everyday. Sounds easy but if you are not into eating fruit, you may find it difficult. Pick a fruit, make sure you have enough on hand and plan the meals to which it will be added.
3. Regularly evaluate your progress. If something’s not working the way you want it to, change it up and try a new approach. Don’t give up on it. Businesses follow this model routinely. The Plan-Do-Check-Act set allows them to evaluate their goals and see how it is moving along. It’s not an all or nothing approach. Remember, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!” . Change is about trying new things. In effect, we are experimenting with ourselves. We have the rest of our lives to integrate changes. It doesn’t have to be today!
4. Stay Positive! Our wish for each of you is to be able to experience what successful change is all about. One of the best ways to do that is to keep an upbeat approach. We know that we are not living in an overly optimistic time period right now. With the problems we face on a day to day basis, it can make it hard to find the good that life has to offer. One of our favorite quotes, which is credited to Patricia Neal, addresses this: “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” Life will bring us good days and bad, sunshine and rain, laughter and tears. We can’t always control the happenings in life but we can control how we react to them. Smile often and make that part of your daily routine! No matter how bad off we feel or think we have it, there is always somebody else out there worse off than us. We all need to extend our hands and our hearts to help others!
We want to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year! This is your year to shine. Don’t let anything stand in your way!
~It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
~Angie & John