September Recipe of the Month

September 16, 2016

by Alison Brinker, RD, LD

Labor Day, the official last day of summer has come and gone, but don’t put the grill away yet! Late summer and early fall is a great time to be outside walking and cooking up a delicious and nutritious meal.  Grilling is a healthy preparation method for a low fat protein like white fish.  Enjoy!

Grilled Florida OJ Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw


1-1/2 pounds Mahi-Mahi or other firm white fish

½ cup canola oil

1 cup Florida Orange Juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, Florida Orange Juice, oregano, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/3 cup of this mixture for the slaw.  Put fish in a zip top bag and pour the remaining marinade over the fish.  Seal bag and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.


¼ cup chopped cilantro

4 cups finely shredded cabbage

1 cup diced Florida Oranges or Florida Grapefruit

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced tomato

½ cup diced red bell pepper

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced


Reserved 1/3 cup marinade (see above)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, add reserved marinade, cilantro, cabbage, Florida Oranges or Florida Grapefruit, red onion, tomato, red bell pepper, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat and set aside to allow flavors to blend.


24 corn tortillas (6 inch size)

Fish and Slaw

Plain Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove fish from marinade and discard marinade; grill about 5 minutes or just until done.  Do not overcook fish.  Remove fish from grill and flake with a fork.  Place tortillas on the grill for 20 seconds to heat them up.  For each taco, place about 1 ounce of fish into a tortilla and top with 1-2 tablespoons of slaw.  Garnish with Greek yogurt if desired.

Makes 12 servings: 2 tacos per serving

Estimated nutrition information per serving: 35 grams carbohydrate, 2 ounces protein/meat, 5 grams fat.



August Recipes of the Month: Healthy Snack Ideas

August 23, 2016

Honey Mustard Snack Mix

Makes: 15 servings

Serving size: ½ cup


1-1/2 cups crispy corn and rice cereal

1 cup bite-size shredded wheat biscuits

¾ cup unblanched whole almonds

¼ cup peanuts

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons honey mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups plain popped popcorn



  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13x9x2 inch pan with foil, extending the foil over edges of pan. In the prepared pan toss together crispy cereal, wheat biscuits, almonds, and peanuts; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat butter over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat.   Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Drizzle mustard mixture over cereal mixture; toss gently to coat.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Stir in popcorn. Using the edges of the foil, lift popcorn mixture out of pan; cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 15 (1/2 cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 113 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g sat fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 9 g carb (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 3 g pro.


Sweet Party Mix

Makes:   36 servings

Serving size: 1/3 cup


Nonstick cooking spray

4 cups bite-size corn square cereal

3 cups bite-size rice square cereal

2 cups pretzel knots

2/3 cup sliced almonds

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup butter

2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries



  1. Lightly coat a large piece of foil with cooking spray; set aside. In a large roasting pan toss together corn cereal, rice cereal, pretzels, and almonds; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just begins to bubble. Continue cooking at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes more. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in baking soda. Pour over cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.
  3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes; stir cereal mixture and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven; stir in dried fruit. Spread on prepared foil to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes 36 (1/3-cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 31 calories, 50 mg sodium, 6 g carb (1g fiber), 1 g pro, estimated 3 g total fat.


Blood Sugar Swings

August 9, 2016

Do you ever experience blood sugar swings? A recent article in Diabetic Living discussed 10 reasons for blood sugar swings.

  1. Improper Control: Routinely checking your blood sugar levels, taking medications correctly, and meeting healthy lifestyle recommendations all play a role in helping to control your blood sugars.
  2. Sugary Drinks: Sugars hidden in specialty drinks, like special coffee drinks or mixed drinks can pack in carbs and cause blood sugar spikes. Know the ingredients and limit added sugars.
  3. Medication Mistakes: Taking the wrong dose of medication can cause a swing in blood sugar. Prevent incorrect dosing by using a pill box and by asking questions at your doctor’s office and at the pharmacy.
  4. Illness: Coming down with a bug can mean spikes in sugar levels. When you are sick – anything from the flu to food poisoning, your liver releases extra sugar. Stay hydrated. Check blood glucose more often.
  5. Inaccurate Counting: Letting those portion sizes get away from you can lead to miscalculating the number of carbohydrates you are actually eating. Use measuring cups and spoons.
  6. Stress! Stress comes in all forms – physical, mental, and emotional. Sudden bouts of stress can cause blood sugar to spike or drop! Practice relaxation exercises.rollecoaster
  7. Irregular Carbohydrate Intake: Consistent carbohydrate intake is the key. Spread your in-take out throughout the day to help ensure sugar levels remain steady.
  8. Your Period: Your blood sugar readings may swing around your period. Changing hormones in your body around that time of the month can raise your blood sugar.
  9. Pushing too Hard too Fast: High intensity workouts that push the body out of its comfort level can cause low and high blood sugars. Increase the length and intensity of your exercise in increments!
  10. Dehydration! If you don’t have enough water in your system, sugar concentrates in your bloodstream. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Your urine should be close to clear if you are drinking enough.


Source: Diabetic Living; Precision Nutrition

August Diabetes Support Group Meeting

August 4, 2016

The TalkDiabetes Support Program

and the Diabetes Education Program at St. Anthony’s present:


Diabetes “Trivia”

Join us for an evening of fun while you test your knowledge and learn a little too!  We will have three “rounds” each with five questions.   Helpful hints about party snacking will be presented too.


6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hyland Education Great Room

10020 Kennerly Road

St. Louis, MO 63128

Meetings are FREE to the public.

All are welcome!


To register, call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669)

or visit

Diabetes Friendly Summer Sandwich Ideas

July 19, 2016

Beat the heat with these summer sandwich ideas:

Hold the Mayo Tuna Salad Sandwich

This recipe makes 2 servings (serving size is 1 sandwich).  Preparation time 10 minutes.  Per serving:  260 calories; Fat 9g; Saturated Fat 1.4g; Trans Fat 0; Carbohydrates 31 g; Protein 17g


  • 1 can (5 oz) no-salt added white tuna in water, drainedDec13_Tuna_Salad_Plate
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. course Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 large celery stalk, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely minced red or Vidalia onion
  • 1 tsp. drained capers
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced basil
  • 2 whole wheat English muffins


  1.  In a medium bowl, flake the drained tuna gently until fluffy.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper, and sugar.  Pour over the tuna and gently mix.
  3. Add the celery, onion, capers, and basil.  Gently combine.
  4. Divide the tuna salad and serve the English muffins.

Buffalo Chicken Pita

This recipe makes 4 servings, each 1/2 pita pocket.  Each servings has 250 calories; 6 grams of Fat, 21 grams of Carbohydrates, and 26 grams of Protein.


  • 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breastBuffalo Chicken Pita
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup bottled buffalo wing sauce
  • 2 whole wheat pita pockets
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced-fat blue cheese salad dressing


  1.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, and Buffalo wing sauce.  Stir to coat the chicken evenly.
  2. cut the pitas in half to form pockets.  Fill one half with one lettuce leaf, 1 Tbsp. blue cheese dressing, and 1/2 cup chicken salad mixture.  Repeat for the remaining three pita halves.


Source:  Diabetes Forecast

Heat and Humidity – What about those Test Strips???

July 5, 2016

By Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

Summer Storage of Test Strips: Heat, humidity, temperature and exposure to air can all affect strips. Store test strips at a temperature less than 86 degrees F.  DO NOT FREEZE and DO NOT expose test strips to direct sunlight.

Other Good Test Strips Tips:

Loose diabetes test strips. If you put individual diabetes test strips into your purse or wallet this can affect the accuracy (unless they are foil-wrapped from the manufacturer). Also, try not to move the few remaining strips of one vial into the new vial you are opening if the code numbers don’t match. And if you have one vial of diabetes test strips at home and one vial at work but just use the one meter – make sure the vials have the same coding. WAIT!!! Ahhh. . . and one more thing. Even if the strips have the same code, they may have different expiration dates! After transferring a few strips a couple of times, you could end up with some pretty outdated strips floating around in a vial!

Age of blood sugar monitor: Old blood sugar monitors may be inaccurate simply because of age. But old diabetic meters also tend to need cleaning or the dirt/dried blood could affect the accuracy of the reading. Be sure to follow cleaning instructions from the manual to ensure accurate results. If you have a diabetic meter older than 5 years please consider calling the meter company (often there is a 1-800 # on the back of the meter) and asking for a free updated model. They should want to keep you as a customer buying their strips.

Expired diabetes test strips? Check the expiration date when the pharmacy gives you the diabetes test strips. If you don’t feel you’ll be using them before that date, ask for another batch with a later date

Underfilled? Most newer meters have under-fill detection of some sort, and some beep after a few seconds even if the chamber isn’t full.   You may get a reading lower than anticipated.   Some meters tend to “err” and waste strips if you don’t hold your finger in place long enough. It’s a good practice to hold your finger to the strip for 1-2 seconds after the beep to avoid wasting diabetes test strips because of under fill.

Date vial opened? For some diabetes test strips, once you open the vial you should use the content of the vial within 3 months no matter what the expiration date (because of repeated exposure to air). Some products have a lid with a preservative in it so they are supposedly good up until the actual expiration date on the bottle. However, other vials of strips are good for a limited time once the lid is opened (regardless of the date). Check the information in your diabetes test strip box to be sure.

Storage of meter: Don’t leave blood sugar monitors in the car on hot or freezing days. They are just tiny little devices and you know how temperamental electronics are.

Have a safe and healthy summer!




Source: American Diabetes Association


The “No White Food Diet”

June 21, 2016

brought to you by:  Alison Brinker, RD, LD

Has anyone ever told you to avoid white food? Have you ever thought about all the good foods that are white?  I know as a dietitian I tell people to eat foods that are every color of the rainbow to get the best variety and nutrient content.  However, avoiding everything white is too general of a statement.  I know most of us can benefit from choosing brown rice instead of white rice, or whole wheat bread over white bread.  Salt and cream are white too, other examples of foods that are best eaten in smaller amounts.  But, as you will see from the list below, following the guideline of “no white food” will cause you to miss out on a lot of nutritious and delicious foods.

Bananas:  A small banana is 15 grams of carbohydrate and about 60 calories.  It is a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6.  Potassium helps control blood pressure and is important for muscle movement.  Vitamin B6 is important for the nervous system to function properly.

Cauliflower:  One cup of raw cauliflower has only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate.  It is also a good source of vitamin C which is important for tissue and bone growth and repair.

Cheese:  One ounce of part-skim mozzarella cheese (such as a cheese stick) is only 70 calories.  It provides calcium for strong bones and is a great low fat protein source with very little carbohydrate.

Chicken:  Three ounces of white meat chicken (about the size of a deck of playing cards) without the skin has only about 135 calories.  It provides 21 grams of lean protein and no carbohydrate.  It is also a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous and selenium.  Niacin is important for a healthy nervous system and healthy skin.  Phosphorus is needed for healthy bones and selenium is important for your metabolism.

Egg Whites:  Two egg whites have about 45 calories and the same amount of protein as one ounce of meat.  Egg whites have no fat, cholesterol or carbohydrate.

Fish:  A three ounce portion of cod has only 90 calories and 21 grams of protein.  It is also a good source of vitamin B6, B12, phosphorous, potassium and selenium.  Vitamin B12 helps to keep nerve cells and red blood cells healthy.

Milk:  One cup of skim milk has only 90 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrate.  It is a good source of protein, calcium for healthy bones, phosphorous, vitamin B12, and riboflavin.  Riboflavin is important in keeping red blood cells healthy.

Mushrooms:  One cup of sliced mushrooms has only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate.  Mushrooms also provide niacin.

Onions:  One cup of chopped onion is only 64 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate.  Onions are a good source of vitamin C.

Turnips:  These are low in calories too just like all the non-starchy vegetables.  Turnips also provide a good source of vitamin C.

White Beans:  A half cup of beans is about 150 calories, 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.  Portion size is important because a half cup also has 15 grams of carbohydrate.  But when you consider that beans are also a source of folate, thiamin, and iron necessary for healthy red blood cells, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for healthy bones, zinc and copper for a healthy immune system and manganese which is important for metabolism of the foods we eat beans are a great high carb food choice.

White Potatoes:  Like beans, white potatoes have higher carbohydrate content than non-starchy vegetables.  One half cup of mashed or roasted potatoes has 15 grams of carbohydrate and, but white potatoes provide fiber, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron and potassium.

Yogurt:  One cup of plain nonfat yogurt is 137 calories, 14 grams of protein and 17 grams of carbohydrate.  It provides calcium, potassium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin.  It is a great base for a fruit smoothie and depending on the fruit you decide to mix it with, it won’t be white anymore.

I hope this list will make you think twice about white food choices. All of us should be working towards eating less processed and refined foods, but to base our choices on color alone is not the best strategy.  Enjoy these white foods



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