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


Source: Nutrition411.com

Father’s Day is for Grilling

June 7, 2016

By Alison Brinker, RD, LD

Father’s Day is the time to bring out the grill……….and grills are not just for meat. This recipe has you moving out of your comfort zone and trying a new way to prepare vegetables.  Grilled asparagus will pair well with any grilled meat from steak to burgers, chicken or pork.  Asparagus is high in folic acid, potassium, fiber, and vitamin A and C.  The fat in this recipe comes from healthy monounsaturated olive oil which can help lower bad cholesterol.  Enjoy!

Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette

6 servings (serving size: about 4 asparagus spears, 2 teaspoons vinaigrette)

1 ½ pound asparagus spears, trimmed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons capers, coarsely chopped

¼ cup small basil leaves


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Place asparagus in a shallow dish. Add 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt, tossing well to coat.  Place asparagus on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning after 2 minutes.

Combine remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, vinegar, and next 3 ingredients (through garlic); stir with a whisk. Slowly pour remaining 2 tablespoons oil into vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in capers.  Arrange asparagus on a serving platter, drizzle with vinaigrette, and sprinkle with basil.

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories, 91, Fat 7 gm, Saturated fat, 1 gm, Protein, 2 gm, carbohydrate 4 gm, fiber 2 gm, cholesterol, 0, sodium 198 mg


Source: myrecipes.com



Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State – Watch Out

May 24, 2016

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL Diabetes Educator

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS) is a serious condition caused by extremely high blood sugar levels. The condition most commonly occurs in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur in those with type 1 as well.   It’s often triggered by illness or infection. As a result, your body tries to rid itself of the excess blood sugar by passing it into your urine. Left untreated, this condition can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Prompt medical care is essential. Take a few minutes to learn about this very serious, life-threatening complication.

What is it?

HHS is the most serious acute hyperglycemic emergency associated with diabetes that involves extremely high blood sugar (glucose) levels and severe dehydration. The buildup of ketones in the body (ketoacidosis) may occur, however it is unusual and often mild.

Why does it happen?

HHS can occur for several reasons:

  • Infection (such as a urinary tract infection or pneumonia)
  • Illnesses such as heart attacks, congestive heart failure, strokes, kidney disease or recent surgery
  • Certain medications such as corticosteroids (prednisone), diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, water pills); anti-seizure medication (Dilantin) and some anti-psychotics; any medication that can raise blood sugar levels
  • Missed or not enough insulin
  • Undiagnosed diabetes, or not monitoring your blood sugar


HHS can take days or weeks to develop. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Blood sugar level of 600 or higher
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased urination (particularly at the beginning)
  • Warm, dry skin
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness, confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision loss
  • Convulsions
  • Coma


This condition is a medical emergency. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you develop symptoms of HHS. The best treatment plan is prevention by recognizing the early signs of dehydration and infection and monitoring blood sugars regularly.

The goal of treatment is to correct the dehydration, which will improve blood pressure, urine output, and circulation. Fluids and potassium will be given and high glucose levels are treated with intravenous insulin. Without proper treatment HHS can lead to shock, blood clot formation, brain swelling, increased blood acid levels and even death.



Sources: Mayo clinic.org. and the American Diabetes Association

Need More Veggies?

May 10, 2016

By Darla Martin, RD, LD, CDE


Need help eating more veggies? Give this recipe a try! You could also add some stir fried chicken or tofu and serve over brown rice to make it a meal.

This Recipe Serves 3.   Serving Size 1 Cup.


1/4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
stir fry veggies1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (12-ounce) bag carrots and broccoli florets
1 cup stringless sugar snap peas
1 teaspoon sesame seeds



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes
  2. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle the stir-fry with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional Facts: Calories 95; Carbohydrates 13g; Protein 5g; Fat 4g; Saturated Fat 0.4g; Sugar 4g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 465mg; Potassium 445mg.




Source: diabetes.org

Try Some Sizzling Fajitas for Cinco De Mayo

April 26, 2016

April’s Recipe of the Month is Sizzling Fajitas


1 tablespoon plus two teaspoons canola oil, divided

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 garlic glove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cuminsun

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

½ teaspoon salt, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

1.5 pounds skinless chicken breast (or peeled deveined shrimp)

1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise

1 large green bell pepper, sliced

1 large red bell pepper, sliced

8 (8 inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas

1 cup salsa, for topping

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Lime wedges, to garnish


In a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, combine 1 tablespoon of oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste; add chicken or shrimp. Seal and toss the bag around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 20 minutes.

Place onions and peppers in a large bowl and toss with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; set aside.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken or shrimp from marinade and place on hot grill. Discard marinade. Cook chicken until no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes per side, and shrimp until pink but still barely translucent in center, about 2 minutes per side. Slice chicken into strips.   Keep warm.

Wrap tortillas in foil and heat as directed. Arrange the chicken or shrimp and grilled vegetables on the tortillas and serve immediately with salsa, yogurt, and lime wedges.

Nutritional information: Per serving made with chicken (1 tortilla with 2 ounces chicken, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 1 tablespoon yogurt): 330 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans), 45 mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 24g protein.

Per serving, made with shrimp (1 tortilla with 3 ounces shrimp, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 1 tablespoon yogurt): 330 calories, 8 g fat (0.5g saturated, 0 g trans), 130 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 24 g protein.


Source:  Diabetes.org


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