Happy RDN Day!

March 14, 2018

During National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics names March 14th Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. This day provides a unique opportunity to celebrate food and nutrition professionals and the work we do to translate solid scientific research into individualized lifestyle changes to positively impact health. Thank your RD by making an effort to choose more nutrient-dense foods today and every day!

Visit http://www.eatright.org for more information on what RDs can do for you.


National Nutrition Month®

March 6, 2018

Written by: Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE

March is National Nutrition Month® and the theme for 2018 is “Go Further with Food.” Meal planning is an important part of diabetes care, but it is also important to help reduce food waste.  It has been estimated that billions of pounds of food are thrown away each year in the United States alone.  That is about 300 pounds of food per year for the average American.  One obvious reason to reduce food waste is because of the cost. Think about all the money spent at the grocery store on foods that spoil because you didn’t have the time to prepare it.  When you think about it, food waste does not just cost people money, but it also costs nutrients.  Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and seafood are the most commonly wasted foods.  These are also some of the most nutrient dense foods.  When we throw these foods away due to spoiling, those are precious nutrients we didn’t eat to keep our body healthy.

What can we do to help reduce food waste?

Plan meals based on foods you have on hand. Take an inventory of the foods you have in the refrigerator, pantry, and freezer, and plan meals around those foods.  Find recipes you enjoy that use those foods and make a list of any ingredients you still need to purchase.  Try substituting foods in recipes too.  If you have a vegetable stir fry recipe that uses broccoli and carrots, but you have celery and red bell peppers on hand, use those vegetables instead.  You may create a new favorite meal!  Try to plan for snacks in the same way.  Raw vegetables dipped in salsa or low-fat ranch make a wonderful snack that won’t have much impact on glucose levels.  Convenience tends to be more costly too.  It is cheaper to buy a box of crackers and jar of peanut butter and make your own peanut butter and cracker snack than it is to buy the peanut butter sandwich crackers that are already made.  Buying your own crackers gives you the option of getting the whole grain crackers that contain more fiber and other nutrients.  This allows you to have more variety too.  You can also use those crackers for other snacks such as low-fat cheese, depending on what you have on hand.

Use a grocery list when shopping to help avoid impulse buys. Try to purchase only the amount of food that will be eaten or frozen within the next few days.  Keep foods that may spoil quickly in plain site so you don’t forget it’s there.  A fruit bowl on the counter is an excellent reminder for a healthy snack.  But be careful, some fruits can ripen too quickly when stored at room temperature.

Another contributor to food waste is confusion about the dates labeled on packaged foods. You may see the following phrases and dates stamped on food packages:

Use by March 31, 2018

Best by March 31, 2018

Best before March 31, 2018

Sell by March 31, 2018

Food manufacturers provide these dates based on what they consider to be the best quality for that specific food item. For example, “Use by”, “Best by,” and “Best Before” dates are often found on condiments, such as mustard and ketchup.  In many cases, these items are safe to eat beyond the date stamp if they have been stored properly.  The “sell by” dates are used for perishable foods, such as meats and dairy products.  It’s possible these foods may be used a few days after the date, as long as they were stored at a safe temperature.  Regardless of the date stamped on the food or drink packaging, don’t risk eating or drinking anything that you suspect has spoiled.  In some cases, a food will not look or smell any different.  That’s why it’s important to eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days (or freeze for up to 3 to 4 months).  Always remember to practice good food safety!

Be creative with leftovers. Cut up leftover meats and vegetables and add to a salad for lunch or make a pasta salad with a little low-fat Italian dressing.  Or, wrap leftover meats and cheese in a whole wheat tortilla for a change from the typical sandwich.  Add cut up vegetables for extra nutrients and fiber.

Other ways to Go Further with Food include being mindful of portion sizes.  Over the years, portions of most foods and drinks have increased in size.  Choosing smaller portions will not only help to reduce food waste, but it will also help you stay within your calorie needs and help maintain weight and good glucose control.  If it’s not possible to request a smaller portion when eating out, just ask for a to-go container at the start of a meal.  This will help you eat less.  Plus, you’ll have a leftover to enjoy the next day.

Hopefully this will give you some inspiration to “go further with food” and cut food waste for both economic and health reasons.


Source: http://www.eatright.org

Dental Health Tips

February 22, 2018

If you missed our Diabetes and Dental Health support group last week, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few key points from the presentation provided by Dr. Pallavi Sinha, DMD.

Gum disease is a chronic infection. This infection and other dental issues can lead to many negative consequences, including tooth loss and poor blood sugar control. Adapting to eating without some or all of your teeth can be very difficult, and it may prevent you from choosing healthier options such as fruits and vegetables, making diabetes management even more complicated. Preventing and slowing the progression of these problems is the key to maintaining a healthy smile. Below are five tips to keep your mouth healthy.

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice per day. Remember to brush toward your gums to clean the area between your gums and each tooth.
  2. Floss at least once per day. If you don’t floss, you are missing critical areas between your teeth where bacteria can build up, potentially leading to an infection.
  3. Select healthy foods. Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, and other foods with high amounts of added sugar to help decrease bacterial growth.
  4. Control your blood sugar. Remember that chronically elevated blood sugars can delay the healing process and make it harder for your body to fight infection.
  5. See your dental professional often. While brushing and flossing at home are excellent steps you should take to prevent issues, it is also important to seek help from the pros to support all of your hard work.

Thank you, Dr. Sinha, for all of your helpful advice last week. Keep smiling, everybody!

Diabetes Support Group Presents: Diabetes and Oral Health

February 13, 2018

The TalkDiabetes Support Group is meeting Thursday, February 15th at 10:00 am in the Great Room at the Hyland Education and Training Center.

Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Pallavi Sinha, DMD

Join our educators and Dr. Sinha to learn more about the importance of oral health with diabetes.

To register, call 314-ANTHONY


Shrimp and Pea Pod Stir-Fry

February 12, 2018

This Valentine’s Day, or any day, skip the additional cost and hassle of eating out and try cooking something special at home.

1 lb fresh or frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup packaged fresh julienned carrots
12 oz snow pea pods, trimmed
1 ⅓ cups hot cooked brown rice


  1. Thaw shrimp if frozen. Rinse shrimp and pat dry.
  2. For sauce, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet or a wok, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add pea pods; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add shrimp; cook and stir 3 minutes more or until shrimp are opaque. Add sauce; cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
  4. Serve 1 ½ cups shrimp mixture over ⅓ cup rice. If extra spice desired, top with additional crushed red pepper.

Recipe from Diabetic Living Spring 2018 publication
Makes 4 servings
Total: 30 minutes
Per serving (1 ½ cups shrimp mixture + ⅓ cup rice each): Calories 323, Total fat 11 grams, Saturated fat 1 gram, Cholesterol 159 mg, Sodium 499 mg, Total carbohydrate 32 grams or 2 carbohydrate choices (includes 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugars), Protein 26 grams

TIP: If meal goal for carbohydrates is 45 grams, you can add an extra ⅓ cup of rice to reach your mealtime goal.


Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup

January 18, 2018

Written by: Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE

January is National Soup Month, and it could not be at a better time! Considering how cold it has been a nice bowl of soup can warm you up.  Soup is also a lighter meal that is nice after most of us have overindulged during the holidays.  Following is a recipe for Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup.  It uses whole grain brown rice for extra fiber along with a great mix of vegetables.  It’s a wonderful chance to try kale if you haven’t already.  Kale can have a bitter taste, but simmering it in soup broth helps to cut the bitterness.   Make a double batch and freeze leftovers to have in February.  It will probably be cold then too.  Enjoy!

Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 to 6 large shallots, chopped
3 medium carrots cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1-1/3 cup)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
8 ounces ground white meat turkey
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (found in the spice aisle at most larger grocery stores)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
One 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and sauté, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges,  5 to 7 minutes.  Add the herbes de Provence and stir 1 minute.  Add 4 cups of broth, tomatoes, and rice.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings.  Nutrition information per serving:  269 calories, total carbohydrate 34 grams, fiber 6 grams, total fat 6 grams, saturated fat 1 gram.

…And a Healthy New Year

December 29, 2017

The new year comes with excitement, anticipation, and promise. For many, it provides an opportunity for positive changes and self-improvement, but setting expectations too high can often lead to frustration rather than success.

Don’t let lofty ambitions overshadow reality and crush your chances of hitting target. This year, resolve to avoid setting your standards too high. Take on the new year with enthusiasm, but be SMART about it.

SMART is an acronym used to set small, achievable goals which will gradually aid in progress toward larger aspirations. Instead of setting general, overstated goals, think about the actions you can take to help yourself get there. Use the parameters below to organize those actions into a more manageable objective.

T is for TIMELY

Let’s use exercise as an example.
1. Be SPECIFIC. Define what you are trying to accomplish. How will you exercise? Where will you do it?
2. Make it MEASURABLE. Set a framework so you will know whether or not you accomplish the goal. How much exercise will you do and how often?
3. Evaluate if this is ATTAINABLE. Remember, setting a goal too high may hinder your success. Can you actually exercise this much?
4. Determine if your idea is REALISTIC. Will you honestly exercise this many days per week with your busy schedule? If not, you may need to start a little smaller.
5. Make it TIMELY. You have now chosen the type of exercise, how much you can do, and how often you will do it. Now, schedule it into your life when it will make the most sense and create a time frame to reevaluate how you are doing.

Goal: I will walk around my neighborhood for at least 30 minutes 3 days per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for 2 weeks starting next Monday.

TIP: It is a good idea to write down your goal and post it somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder of what you are trying to do.

At the end of your timeline, analyze your results. If you accomplished your goal, set a new one. Maybe you can increase the amount of time or days per week that you are exercising. If you were unsuccessful, determine the cause and address it. Perhaps you couldn’t walk because of a knee injury. Instead, choose a different activity that will not hurt your knee such as seated aerobics and try again.

TIP: Plan for roadblocks. Winter weather may prevent you from going outside to walk. Have a back-up plan. You can pick somewhere indoors to walk such as a local gym or community center or even the mall. Sometimes, the weather can keep you from driving to these places, so you should have a plan for activities you can do at home as well to avoid potential excuses.

Start out 2018 right and resolve to exercise your SMARTs for a healthy new year!

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