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!


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.

Diabetes Support Group Meets Thursday, May 18th

May 17, 2017

The TalkDiabetes Support Group is meeting Thursday, May 18th

at 6:30 in the Great Room at the Hyland Education and Training Center.

Have Questions?  Concerns?  What to learn more about your diabetes?

Bring your diabetes-related questions for an open discussion led by the

Diabetes Educators at St. Anthony’s Medical Center and

join our Diabetes Support Group Meeting!

Carbohydrate Counting Tips for the New Year

January 3, 2017

By Alison Brinker, RD, LD, CDE

Research shows that counting carbohydrates is important for good glucose control.   However, it can get a little tricky at times………pizza, salads, casseroles.  All those combination foods can be difficult.  Following are some tips that may help make counting your carbs a bit easier.

Hot dishes made with pasta or grains such as tuna noodle casserole or lasagna have about 30 grams of carbohydrate per cup. Using a measuring cup is most accurate, but if you can’t measure a cup is about the size of a woman’s fist.  Stews or Asian-style meals that are a mix of meat and vegetables in a savory sauce are about 15 grams of carb per cup.  Keep in mind that measuring foods at home will help you better estimate portion sizes when eating out.

Broth-based soups and cream soups made with water are about 15 grams of carb per cup. If it is a hearty soup you could eat with a fork or if it is loaded with noodles or beans estimate about 30 grams of carb for one cup.

If you are at a potluck think about the size of the serving spoon. Four level tablespoons is about ¼ cup.  This amount of baked beans, for example is about 15 grams of carbohydrate.  Baked beans are a starchy vegetable and most likely have molasses or brown sugar as an ingredient.  A larger serving spoon is about ¼ cup per scoop.  Two of these larger spoonfuls of corn or another starchy vegetable will be about a ½ cup or 15 grams of carb.

Not all salads are created equal when it comes to carbs. One cup of a leafy green salad has only 2-5 grams of carb compared to creamy coleslaw that has 15 grams carb for a ½ cup portion.  Potato salads and pasta salads often have sugar in the dressing so count those as 30 grams of carb for a ½ cup portion.

Think of pizza in terms of the crust. Thin crust is going to have much lower carb content than hand tossed or pan pizza.  1/8 of a 12 inch thin crust pizza has about 15 grams of carb.  You should add about 5-10 grams of carb per slice if you have a hand tossed crust or pan pizza.

Be careful with the items offered free to the table at some restaurants. Most rolls, bread slices and bread sticks are 15 grams of carb per serving.  Twelve tortilla chips are also about 15 grams of carb.  Even though the salsa is a free item and is very low in carbs, the chips can add up quickly.

Fruit smoothies, although they sound healthy, can have just as much carbohydrate as a can of regular soda. Some smoothies average 45 grams of carb in a 12 oz. portion which is just as much as a regular soda.  If you choose a smoothie as a quick breakfast option measure your ingredients separately as you add to the blender to ensure your carb count is accurate.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Below is a chicken chili recipe for the crockpot.  It is easy to prepare, great for a cold winter night and about 30 grams of carb for a 1 cup portion.  Carbohydrate is found in the white beans which are also a wonderful source of fiber.  Top your chili with diced avocado to add some healthy monounsaturated fat.  Enjoy!


Slow Cooker White Chili with Chicken

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ pound dried Great Northern Beans

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup chopped onion

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles, undrained

Chopped fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, chopped tomato (optional for serving)

The evening before you plan to make the chili soak beans in a large container covered with water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Place beans along with chicken, onion, broth, chopped chiles and seasonings into the crockpot.  Stir to mix the ingredients.  Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.  Remove chicken from the crockpot and using 2 forks shred the chicken, return chicken to the crockpot and mix well.   Serve chili topped with cilantro, avocado and tomato if desired.

30 grams carbohydrate per 1 cup portion


Source: Diabeticlivingonline.com.  The recipe was modified using the White Chicken Chili on the Everyday Essential Great Northern Bean package and Slow Cooker White Chili with Chicken on allrecipes.com


12 Days of Diabetes

December 23, 2016

Here is a new twist to the traditional 12 Days of Christmas, a little something to make you smile!

On the 12th day of Christmas my Diabetes Educator gave to me:

12 Carbs a Counting

11 Injection Sites

10 Finger Pricks

9 Boxes of Lancets

8 Glucose Log Books

7 Containers of Test Strips

6 Glucose Tablets

5 Insulin Pens

4 Pen Needles

3 Ketone Strips

2 Healthy Feet

and Props for a Great A1C

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year

Your Diabetes Care Team

Alison, Darla, Kristen, Liz, and Sue

Handling the “Food Police”

November 10, 2016

Everyone manages their diabetes differently these days, including choices about food. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned people have outdated or incorrect information about how a person with diabetes is “supposed” to eat.  Hearing comments such as “should you be eating that?” can make people with diabetes feel frustrated, angry, isolated, and less likely to make diabetes-friendly choices.  Here are some tips for successfully navigating the challenges of the “food police”:

  1. Know when to speak up: Decide when it’s worth the hassle of responding to others who have commented on your eating or any other aspect of your diabetes management. Some factors to consider: your relationship with the person, how likely he or she is to change, and whether you want to spend your holiday time explaining your diabetes care.
  2. Choose your response: While you may want to tell the food police to mind their own business, choose a response that can help educate and keep the peace. An appropriate response will differ based on the person. For example, you might choose to educate your coworker about how modern diabetes management allows for occasional splurges. But you may decide to change the subject when faced with comments from your grandmother (while reminding yourself that she cares about you but has outdated knowledge and is unlikely to change).
  3. Be ready: Putting some forethought into what you would like to say can help things to smoother. What do you want people to know and what would you like them to do differently? For example, you might say, “I appreciate your concern for my health. You may not know that no foods are off limits for people with diabetes. I can have sweets for a special treat. I have planned ahead for this party, so you don’t need to worry!”

Holiday gatherings can cause the food police to come out in full force. Know when you would like to speak up and have a response ready.


Resource: Diabetes Forecast, Nov. 2016




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