13 Survival Tips for a Hauntingly Good Halloween

October 13, 2017

Written by: Emily Nice, RD, LD

You don’t have to be a ghost this Halloween, but don’t be ghoulish either! Get out and enjoy the mischievous holiday. No matter how you choose to participate, you can make your celebration less scary by following these simple tips.

  1. Don’t be afraid to host
    If you host your own Halloween party, you will be in control.
  2. Don’t buy too far in advance
    If candy and other sweet treats for trick-or-treaters or party guests is too much of a devilish temptation, wait until the event gets closer to purchase your goods.
  3. Consider purchasing candy you don’t like
    Remove the temptation by offering ominous treats that don’t appeal to your fangtastic sweet tooth.
  4. Out of sight, out of mind
    Keep the treats buried away and out of reach so they are less accessible leading up to the event.
  5. Have your guests goblin up your dishes
    Often times, Halloween parties or other celebrations are dominated by sugar-filled, calorie-dense sweets and desserts – but it does not have to be that way. Offer creative healthy alternatives for guests such as sandwitches, clementines with jack-o-lantern faces drawn on their peels, or hard-boiled eggs that look like eyeballs to make your party a huge hit!
  6. Tricks instead of treats
    Consider purchasing fun, non-food items to use as party favors or in gift bags to keep your guests on their toes.
  7. Indulge wisely
    Make your night less grave by enjoying treats in moderation. Consume more nutrient-dense foods and choose smaller portions of sweets or other high-calorie foods and beverages.
  8. Take a bite
    Eat a meal before guests arrive to lessen the chance of overeating or grazing. If you plan to attend a party someone else is hosting, eat before you leave to alleviate some of the temptation for candy or other wicked sweets that may be offered at the party. If you plan to trick-or-treat with the kids, eat your meal before you go to avoid a potential low blood sugar or the urge to munch on their hard-earned treats.
  9. Bring your own bloody dish!
    If attending someone else’s party, bring your own dish or low-calorie beverage to share. Try making a spooky red blood punch with sugar-free drink mix and diet soda.
  10. Plan activities that don’t revolve around eating 
    Have a pumpkin carving party, hold a costume contest, set up arts & crafts, tell scary stories, watch scary movies, or play Halloween games. This may be a good opportunity to include more physical activity into your night, and guests can be entertained without fear of overconsumption.
  11. Chilling leftovers
    Have a plan for leftover food or candy. Send leftover food with guests. Give extra candy away or bring it in to share with your coworkers. The aftermath of Halloween doesn’t have to be so gruesome.
  12. Ward off those creepy lows
    Many candies contain extra fat which may not bring your blood sugar up quite as quickly. Make sure you have your glucometer to test your blood if you start feeling eerie. Keep some glucose tablets, 3 to 5 hard candies you can chew quickly, or a small juice box on hand just in case you need to treat a low blood sugar.
  13. Don’t mess with the spirits!
    It’s probably best to avoid the alcohol at parties, but if you do have an adult beverage, drink responsibly. It is best not to drink any boos on an empty stomach, and you should limit yourself to 1 drink for women or 2 drinks for men.

Most importantly, remember to have fun this Halloween.

That’s a wrap!

Mummy

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Harvest Stew

October 3, 2017

Try this healthy side dish to stay warm and cozy this fall!

Ingredients
¾ Tbsp vegetable oil
¾ cup fresh onions, peeled, diced
⅓ cup fresh carrots, peeled, diced
½ cup fresh celery, diced
1 Tbsp enriched all-purpose flour
⅓ tsp low-sodium chicken base
1¼ cups water
⅛ tsp salt-free seasoning
⅓ tsp garlic powder
1 cup canned low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed 1 inch
½ cup fresh red potato, unpeeled, cubed 1 inch
1 cup cooked diced chicken, ½ inch pieces (3 oz)
2 cups canned low-sodium great northern beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

Directions
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Cook onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes allowing them to brown slightly.
3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables. Stir well.
4. Add chicken base and water. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in salt-free seasoning and garlic powder. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes.
6. Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and red potatoes. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir frequently.
7. Add chicken, beans, and spinach. Stir. Continue to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Serve hot.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
Makes six ¾-cup servings

Nutrients per ¾ cup serving: Calories 124, Protein 8 g, Carbohydrate 18 g, Dietary Fiber 5 g, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat < 1 g, Cholesterol 13 mg, Vitamin C 9 g, Iron 2 mg, Calcium 50 mg, Sodium 57 mg

 

Source: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/


Important Reminder!

September 15, 2017

St. Anthony’s Medical Center Diabetes Education and Outpatient Nutrition Services has partnered with Dierbergs to provide our first ever cooking class!

Dierbergs School of Cooking Class: Fall into Healthy Foods is Friday, September 22, 2017 from 11:30am to 1:00pm.

*Note: The class is now full, but you can join the wait list here or by calling Dierbergs Southroads at 314-849-3698. 

Featured recipes:

  • Baby Greens with Mustard Herb Vinaigrette
  • Cuban Pork, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
  • Oat & Nut Topped Pear Crisp

Presented by: Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE, St. Anthony’s Medical Center and Jennifer Kassel, Dierbergs Culinary Professional

Look for future classes offered by our department by clicking here!


Labor Day is on the Way

August 31, 2017

Make your holiday a little simpler with this quick, easy entrée!

Chicken Kabobs
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
1 cup barbecue sauce
Skewers

Directions:

  1. If using bamboo or other wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 20 minutes
  2. Preheat grill for high heat
  3. Thread chicken, green bell pepper, onion, and red bell pepper pieces onto skewers alternately
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place kabobs on the prepared grill and brush with barbecue sauce.
  5. Cook kabobs, turning and brushing with barbecue sauce frequently, for approximately 15 minutes – until chicken juices run clear.

**Don’t like some of the vegetables listed above? Mix it up! Feel free to swap any other non-starchy vegetables in place of the peppers or onions for a different spin on this recipe.

256 Calories and 30 grams of carbohydrate per serving
Source: allrecipes.com


Diabetes Support Group Meets Thursday, August 17th

August 10, 2017

The TalkDiabetes Support Group is meeting Thursday, August 17th at 6:30pm in the Great Room at the Hyland Education and Training Center.

Bring your game face because we will be playing a diabetes-related version of BINGO! Come and try your luck getting five in a row up, down, across, or diagonally; hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two about managing diabetes in the process.

To register, call 314-ANTHONY or Click HERE


Motivation to Exercise

August 1, 2017

Written by: Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE

We are always being told how important it is to exercise no matter what our age or gender. We should be doing something within our limitations to keep our muscles active. The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times per week. Exercise helps with blood sugar control. It can also improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Exercise builds muscle and burns calories to help with weight loss. I could go on for hours about how important it is for a person to exercise. I see people in my office every day with good intentions, but I realize it all comes down to staying motivated. If you don’t like to exercise, most likely you won’t. You may for a few days or even weeks, but making it a part of your lifestyle is when you see the real benefits.

Mix it up: If you are bored with your exercise routine, try to change things a bit. Change where you go to exercise, the type of exercise you do, or change the intensity. This will often mean you will use new muscle groups, so take it slow at first. This may be the perfect opportunity to try a new dance class or martial arts class. Incorporate resistance training or weight lifting and stretching for variety.

Monitor blood glucose: Checking your blood sugar after exercise will show you the benefit directly and may be the motivation you need to keep active.

Exercise with a partner: Some people are motivated by competition. Make your daily steps a “race” with a friend or family member using a pedometer or step counting device. Finding a friend to exercise with can make it more fun too. It can also make you more accountable. For example, if you are meeting someone to take a walk in the park, you won’t be as likely to skip it when you know someone is waiting for you.

Reward yourself: Rewards are a great way to boost motivation. When you reach an exercise goal, get a massage or buy a new tool for a hobby. Buy some new clothes to fit your slimmer shape or even new exercise clothes that you will be excited to wear. Don’t reward yourself with food which may raise your blood sugar and take away from your exercise benefits.

Consider the benefits other than better diabetes control: Exercise not only helps with diabetes control, but it can help with chronic pain related to some types of arthritis. It can also help reduce weight, and it can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease by raising good cholesterol. Exercise is a great stress reliever and can help improve mood and decrease depression. Exercise can make us feel better overall. The more exercise you incorporate into your daily routine, the easier it will become for you to do other activities such as playing with your kids or grandkids, bending down to pick something up, or climbing the stairs.

Staying motivated can be one of the hardest parts of an exercise routine. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

 

Source: Living with Diabetes from Everyday Health


Stress Management: We can’t stress it enough!

July 5, 2017

Written by: Emily Nice, RD, LD

Stress can come in many forms. Whether in a physical manner (such as illness), or an emotional way (like going through a death in the family), stress takes a toll on the body. The negative impacts this may have make stress management a vital strategy in helping to control diabetes.

It is common for blood sugar levels to rise when enduring a stressful event, and blood sugar may remain elevated even after the stressor is gone. If the stress is not dealt with and continues long-term, this can lead to poor blood sugar control. Stress often takes up much of our time and energy, which may leave less focus for diabetes self-management techniques such as meal planning or physical activity. It is also important to consider the behaviors used to deal with stressors. Often times, unhealthy habits are formed to compensate for stress such as overeating, choosing energy dense foods, alcohol or drug abuse, or even avoiding food or skipping meals. All of these unhealthy but common coping mechanisms can lead to poor blood sugar control.

So, what can you do? Come up with some healthy ways to manage your stress! Here are some examples:

  • Exercise (walk, run, bike, join a gym, swim, yoga, exercise classes, chair exercises, etc.)
  • Establish a support system
  • Join a support group such as the TalkDiabetes Support Program
  • Start a new hobby or craft
  • Volunteer
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation
  • Seek support from a professional

There are many ways that stress can drag us down. Finding ways to better manage stress can lead to improved blood sugar control and overall health. Next time, confront the stress to avoid the mess!

 

Sources:
1. Roszler, Janis, and Melissa Brail. “Stress Management.” AADE in Practice 5.3 (2017): 34-37.
2. “Stress.” American Diabetes Association. 7 June 2013. Web.
<http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/mental-health/stress.html&gt;.


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