May 2019

Eating Like a Diabetic

by Michelle on May 15, 2019

An estimated 23.1 million people in the United States have currently been diagnosed with diabetes and the Center for Disease Control estimates that another 7.2 million have undiagnosed diabetes, while another 84.1 million adults have pre-diabetes.  Sound like an epidemic?  Well, many healthcare professionals believe it is and if not controlled much better the statistics are only going to get worse.  So, what do you do to avoid becoming one of these statistics?  Try eating like you have diabetes and enjoy the benefits of what this healthy association with food brings you.

I have had diabetes for a couple of decades and my doctors believe that I actually was suffering from it long before being diagnosed.  I found out when pregnant with my first child I’m now insulin dependent as things have progressively become worse with my pancreas not producing hardly any insulin.  So…this means that I MUST eat a diabetic diet in order to stay healthy…but when you examine what a diabetic diet is you can see how it’s beneficial for everyone…diabetic or not.

In a nutshell, eating like a diabetic means that you’re having low-carb selections, plenty of protein, minimal healthy fats, and of course…avoiding sugar!  Well, believe it or not, this is easier said than done since nature provides plenty of “sweet” options that are healthy yet high in sugar.  Many people think “avoid sugar” means to not put “the white stuff” in food and drinks, avoid regular soda, etc…but it also means avoid “natural sugar” as well.  Items like mangos, bananas, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and especially ANY dried fruits (drying concentrates the natural sugars in the fruit) are all naturally high in sugar and should be eaten VERY sparingly or not at all.  Items that are high carbs and starches (wheat, rice, winter squashes, parsnips, potatoes, corn, etc.) also need to be greatly minimized in the diet or omitted all together.

It’s not always easy to know what to eat and what not to eat and there are literally thousands of diabetic diets, food lists, etc. out there that sometimes only add to the confusion.  The best way to look at “eating like a diabetic” is to help your body stay healthy and NOT cause yourself issues by incorporating some of the basic principles of a diabetic diet that are the easiest to follow:

  1. Avoid “the white stuff”…this means white flour, white rice, white root vegetables, and of course…sugar!
  2. Cut out sugary drinks…juices, sodas, energy drinks, coffee concoctions, and even those smoothies that do contain some healthy ingredients but usually a whole lot of sugar.
  3. Avoid artificial sweeteners…these are actually many times sweeter than real sugar and make your brain and body crave more sweetness…making cutting back exceptionally difficult.
  4. Eat items as they appear in nature…avoid packaged foods as much as possible as well as eating out too much. Many times sugar and/or fats are used for better flavor (not to mention too much salt) and can cause multiple problems with keeping to a proper diet.
  5. Still watch your calories…even if you’re eating healthy and like a diabetic you still need to watch how many calories you’re consuming as being overweight contributes to increased risk for diabetes.

It’s definitely NOT easy to always be so mindful of what you’re eating, how you’re eating, and when you’re eating…but it’s a whole lot easier to do it out of a desire to be more mindful and healthy than it is out of necessity due to a disease.  Even little changes can make a difference and the more you do it the easier it becomes…really!

{ 0 comments }

So much is going on this time of year…work, family, shopping mayhem, social engagements…it’s no wonder that the stress we’re under begins to take a physical toll.  Being short on time seems to make it nearly impossible to avoid the drive-thru or difficult to cook healthy food at home, so it’s no wonder pre-packaged items are the easy go-to.  However, if you try to add some of the following items into your daily diet you might notice you’re stress is less noticeable and you’re feeling physically better as well.

Here are some of the best “super foods” to help you feel calm and healthy:

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables: they contain folate, which produces dopamine (a pleasure-inducing brain chemical) which helps you keep calm.
  2. Turkey Breast: contains tryptophan, which may have a calming effect as well as amino acids (found in protein rich foods) and it helps produce serotonin (which regulates hunger & feelings of happiness and well-being).
  3. Oatmeal: a complex carb that won’t contribute to your already potential blood sugar spike in response to stress as well as keeping you full longer.
  4. Yogurt: full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics that helps restore good gut bacteria (which is reduced when you’re stressed) so your digestive system runs well.
  5. Salmon: the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties that may help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones such as adrenaline & cortisol.
  6. Blueberries: the antioxidants and phytonutrients in this berry work in your defense, helping improve your body’s response to stress & in fighting stress-related free radicals.
  7. Avocado: might help shut down stress-eating by filling you up and making you feel more satisfied; also a great source of healthy fat.
  8. Pistachios & Cashews: pistachios have heart-health benefits and may reduce acute stress by lowering blood pressure & heart rate, while the zinc content in cashews may help reduce anxiety.
  9. Seeds: flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium…a mineral that may help regulate emotions and has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability.
  10. Dark Chocolate: a small piece (about a 1 inch square) has been shown to reduce stress hormones, including cortisol; t
    he antioxidants in cocoa also trigger blood vessel walls to relax, lowering blood pressure & improving circulation.

Try incorporating some of these items into your daily diet and see if you’re feeling calm and healthy soon!

{ 0 comments }

Juicing for your health

by Michelle on May 1, 2019

If you Google “juicing” you will get hundreds of different sites to visit about how beneficial juicing raw fruits and vegetables can be.  Some are realistic in that they promote juicing as an excellent way to get healthy vitamins and minerals into your diet but others tout that juicing will cure diseases and “fix” whatever ails you.  You should take the outrageous claims with a grain of salt (or the whole shaker depending on the claim) but juicing is very healthy and beneficial for many people that are not very healthy.  Here are some of the therapeutic effects:

  1. Raw fruit and vegetables are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and natural sugars that can aid in regulating body functions.
  2. Juices from raw fruits and vegetables require no digestion and almost all of their vital nutrients are assimilated directly.
  3. The fruits and vegetables are very rich in alkaline elements which are highly beneficial in normalizing the acid/alkaline balance in blood and tissues.
  4. Juicing provides a generous amount of organic minerals like calcium, potassium, silicon, etc. which can prevent premature aging of cells and disease.

Here are some combinations for juicing arranged by the ailment they are meant to benefit:

  1. Allergies-Apricot, grapes, beet, spinach and carrots
  2. Acne-Pear, plum, grapes, tomato, cucumber
  3. Anemia-Prune, red grape, beet, celery, strawberry, carrot and spinach
  4. Arthritis-Pineapple, sour apple, sour cherry, lemon, grapefruit, cucumber, beet, spinach, grapefruit
  5. Asthma–Apricot, lemon, peach, carrot, radish and celery
  6. Bronchitis-Onion, carrot, peach, tomato, pineapple, lemon
  7. Bladder ailments-Apple, watercress, parsley, celery, lemon, cucumber, carrot
  8. Colds-Spinach, celery, carrot, onion, grapefruit, pineapple
  9. Diarrhea-Papaya, lemon, pineapple, carrot and celery
  10. Eczema-Cucumber, beet, red grapes, spinach
  11. Gout-Red sour cherries, tomato, cucumber, spinach, carrot, celery
  12. Halitosis-Apple, tomato, grapefruit, celery, carrot, spinach
  13. Headache-Grapes, lemon, carrot, lettuce, spinach
  14. High blood pressure-Grapes, orange, carrot, beet
  15. Insomnia-Apple, grapes, lemon, carrot, celery
  16. Influenza-Apricot, onion, carrot, orange, pineapple, grapefruit
  17. Kidney ailments–Apple, orange, lemon, cucumber, celery, parsley, beet
  18. Liver ailments–Papaya, grapes, carrot, tomato, beet and cucumber
  19. Obesity–Lemon, orange, cherry, pineapple, papaya, tomato, beet, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, carrot
  20. Psoriasis–Grapes, carrots, beet, cucumber

Please be sure to check with your healthcare provider to make certain you should try juicing to improve any ailments you suffer from and that the ingredients don’t present a problem with any condition or medication.  And as always…fresh is best and making your own juice is what’s healthy.  HAPPY JUICING!

{ 0 comments }