Sunday, June 21, 2009

Diabetes Superfoods

Recharge with Diabetes Superfoods

Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet? Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan? Wonder no more . . .your list of the top 10 diabetes superfoods has arrived.

All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E. There isn’t research that clearly points to supplementation, so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods. Here is our list of superfoods to include in your diet:

  1. Beans - whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup and are also good sources of magnesium, and potassium. They are considered starchy vegetables but a ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat . . . without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.
  2. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrates, you can’t eat too much.
  3. Citrus fruit – grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes . . . pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.
  4. Sweet potatoes – a starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.
  5. Berries – which are your favorites . . . blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert.
  6. Tomato is an old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.
  7. Salmon and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids – stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety . . . they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.
  8. Whole grains like pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium. It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after. . . it contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate.
  9. Nuts – an ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  10. Fat-free milk and yogurt - Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.

Some of the above list can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live. Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish. Foods that every budget can live with year round are beans and rolled oats or barley that you cook from scratch. Step out of your rut and try one of the following new recipes tonight!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A favorite cheap recipe for a diabetic diet

I am a recipe collector. Love, Love, Love Google Notebook. It lets me cut and paste anything I want in what ever category I want to make that makes sense to me and I can search by ingredient or name of recipes.

I also love to cook and am always willing to try new recipes. So I thought I would post a favorite cheap recipe that fits into a diabetic diet. I have included the nutritional information. Mostly everything I make is from scratch. I even make my own bread and pizza dough. Not a huge fan of preservatives and chemicals. And don't EVER serve me Cool Whip! YUK! Why don't you just pour straight chemicals down by throat from a meth lab or something? Gross!!

Here is a recipe that I estimate costs me about $1.00 a serving. I shop at Aldi's-the cheapest grocery store on the planet, so your costs might be a bit higher if you shop elsewhere. It is tasty, cheap and quick to make.

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans and Chopped Tomatoes

4 servings

I cup fresh green beans, steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs
2 lbs white or red potatoes, peeled and diced = 5 cups potatoes
2 tablespoons heart healthy extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion diced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper and paprika to taste

Fry potatoes, onions, oil and garlic together in large frying pan on medium heat. About 15-20 minutes until potatoes are browned. Stir in the rest of ingredients except for eggs. Cook for about 5 minutes until tomatoes start to soften. Crack each egg one at a time into a small bowl and then slip into pan on top of potatoes and vegetables, spacing evenly. Cover and cook on medium heat until eggs are done to your liking, about 3-5 minutes.

Nutritional info per serving:
Calories 315
Fat 12 grams
Carbs 42 grams
Protein 10 grams
Fiber 5 grams
Sodium 371 milligrams

Well, there you have it-Cheap, easy and quick to make. And it tastes good!

Although, it has a bit more fat grams than I would really like, to cut back on the oil does change the flavor a bit, but you could do that if you wanted to. But at least it is the heart healthy olive oil so it is a good oil for you and a totally fat free diet is not healthy, your diet does need some oil for your body to function properly. It's the fat in things that makes them taste so good! If only fat grams did not have twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates! We'd all lose weight quickly if that was the case! Sigh.

Contemplative focus:
Not on morality, but on cookery, let us build our stronghold: there brandishing our frying-pan, as censer, let us offer sweet incense to the Devil, and live at ease on the fat things he has provided for his elect!

Thomas Carlyle
1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author
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Friday, June 12, 2009

How to Follow a Diabetic Diet

Yes, it's true. I do have Type 2 diabetes and have been following a diabetes diet for about 10 years. I have had to make some changes to what I eat.

To help me remember what to do, I made up an easy rule. I call it The Plate Rule. Imagine a plate. One fourth of is should be a lean protein source, one fourth should be a whole grain starch and one half should be vegetables.

Easy, huh?

Why lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of veggies? These types of foods optimize good glucose control by they way the body metabolizes them. However, no food is off limits. You may have to eat smaller portions of some foods, but you can still eat them.

What is important to remember for good glucose control is this:

It's not so much what you eat as how much you eat.

Huge portions of food flood your bloodstream with sugar. When you eat foods, the food is converted to sugar which is further converted to energy for your body. In a Type 2 Diabetic, the pancreas does not function properly, it either has an erratic production of insulin or the body does not utilize insulin correctly. The function of insulin is to clear the bloodstream of excess sugar. So when you eat huge portions, you exacerbate the problem.

Where does things like chocolate and birthday cake fit in? Well, they do fit in. What is best to do is have an occasional small piece with a meal. Eating it with a meal is crucial because if you do not it will make your sugar spike. The other carbohydrates, protein and fats in the meal will stabilize the sugary treat. Also to fit a treat in like that for that meal, you should cut back on some of your other carbohydrates in the meal. For example, reduce the starchy part of them meal by 1/2 to 1/4 to fit in the treat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DIETS-so many to choose from, so little time...

Currently, I am on weightwatchers. Making VERY slow progress. Pointing and counting myself to death here. Sigh.

There must be a quicker, easier way. Let's face it, counting point is tedious. Not much fun at all.

I rationalize on a daily basis-can't I just guess???? Isn't a general idea enough? I mean, really-I know what I need to eat. Low fat, lean proteins, not too much carbs, water, fruits and vegetables, right? Oh yeah, don't forget the all-important, all-mighty multivitamin. Can't I just eyeball my portions?

NO, a thousand times NO.

Planning and measuring are the only way to lose weight. Eyeballing and guessing just does not work for me. The free spirit side of me is screeching at having to put up with the tediousness of this! BORING! BORING! BORING!

Well, here is a cool website I found that summarizes several different types of diets and how to get more information and what to do. Think I'll go exploring...

Contemplative focus:

Changing our diet is something we choose to do, not something we are forced to do. Instead of dreading it, try saying, ''Here's another thing I get to do to help myself. Great!''

Greg Anderson
American Author of ''The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness''
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One day at a time

Sustaining change is done one choice at a time, one day at a time.

One of the guiding principle of AA is one day at a time. You choose one day at a time, one choice at a time to no longer drink alcohol.

Modifying any behavior is just that. You don't have to be an alcoholic to struggle with the challenges of stopping an addictive behavior. "Food Addicts" and
"Spending Addicts" are found in all walks of live, all socio-economic stratas and in all cultures.

To eat less and spend less is the goal of any recovering "Food or Spending addict".

Instead of looking at one big, huge goal of change and developing discipline, break it down in to the manageable goal of one choice, one day at a time. And stay consistent and the offensive behavior has to change.

This paradigm has helped millions of alcoholics conquer their demons, proving it's usefulness and viability. If it works for alcoholics, it must work for the rest of us trying to change bad habits of overeating and overspending.

Contemplative focus:
A habit is a shirt made of iron.

Czech proverb
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Monday, June 8, 2009

5 Healthy Energy Snacks to Get You Through the Mid-Afternoon Slump

5 Healthy Energy Snacks to Get You Through the Mid-Afternoon Slump: "5 Healthy Energy Snacks to Get You Through the Mid-Afternoon Slump
June 5th, 2009 (2:00pm) Simon Mackie 5 Comments

It’s a familiar scenario for web workers — you’re desperately trying to get through your work before the end of the day but by mid-afternoon you’re feeling lethargic, low on energy and craving a snack to help you get through the afternoon."
Sugary snacks and junk food will give you a quick short-term boost but will lead to a crash just as quickly. I like to keep some healthy snacks within easy reach of my desk so I don’t get tempted to satisfy my cravings with sugar.

Here are five of the healthy snacks that I like to eat to help me get through the mid-afternoon slump.

Fresh fruit and berries. Apples, bananas and oranges are all tasty and bursting with carbs for energy, vitamin C and antioxidants. Why not make a small fruit salad? Berries are also great and contain even higher concentrations of antioxidants.

Seeds and nuts. Seeds and nuts are great as they are high in fiber and protein, which will make you feel full. I especially like walnuts and almonds. Walnuts are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help your brain to function. Beware, though — nuts are high in calories, so only take a small handful. This is the one snack I won’t leave within reach of my desk as it’s too easy just to keep grabbing handful after handful because they’re so tasty!

Plain nonfat yogurt (or soy yogurt). Yogurt is a great snack: low in fat, rich in protein that will help you feel full, with plenty of carbs for energy. Try sprinkling a little granola on top if you need something even more satisfying.

A bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a good snack because it slow to digest, so you feel full for longer. Eating oatmeal can also lower blood cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease. If you don’t like oatmeal, a bowl of healthy breakfast cereal (perhaps with some yogurt or nonfat milk) will also provide fiber, carbs and vitamins.

Popcorn. Yes, you heard that right. Popcorn is a whole grain and high in fiber. Buy low-fat microwave popcorn, don’t add butter or salt — and stick to small servings.

What healthy snacks do you munch on to get over the mid-afternoon slump?