What’s on Your Plate?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

“PLATE” #1

Do you live for a buffet/smorgasbord dinner? NOOOOoooooo! My conscience screams, DON’T do it! If you have issues with portion control, that kind of dining can be a downfall.

I read a great article in Everyday Healththe title was, “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.”

Everyday Health does a great job in its discussion of diabetes and this T2D “listens” very carefully when they “talk.”  D. Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, was quoted on the topic of portion control. For the Type 2 Diabetic, who may be overweight, losing some pounds can lead to better blood sugar control and “possibly” less need for medication. Some of the information noted in the article will be familiar to you and some will seem like common sense. I read everything diabetes related. Truth is, there’s always more to learn and, if nothing else, reading the info will put it in the forefront of my mind. Can’t hurt, right? Everyday Health noted that Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE, and writer, out of Yorktown, VA, stressed that “not eating proper carbs at a meal can lead to higher or lower blood sugars,” and we know what that can produce. Problems.

She, along with others, had some good points:

  • Weigh and Measure your food. LOL — right!  We’ll see about that.  🙂    Okay, I’ve never been thrilled with doing “the scale thing,” but she’s right. It’s really difficult to guess how much food is the right amount, and we know that portion control is imperative. That’s why…
  • Visual Aids are so important! I was having difficulty awhile back in my T2D journey, and I went to a diabetes educator for help. I thought I had portion control down pat but was stunned to learn that the fact that I was eating apples the size of a softball didn’t make the grade. She tossed me a tennis ball and informed me that THIS was the size I should have been consuming. “Really?” I queried, while looking at the small ball that seemed to be lost in my hand. I realized that the difference in size meant that I was eating what would be considered two apples at each sitting. AAArrrggghhh! That explained my weight gain.                 IMG_3716By the way, when shopping for apples, TRUST ME, the ones that come packaged in the plastic bags are the size you should be eating.   It’s called SMALL! At first, I was saddened by the fact that my beloved apple snack had just shrunken to about one-third of its size.  Here’s what helped a LOT:  I sliced the apple into very thin slices — VERY thin!  During that same appointment, the Diabetes Educator shocked me into realizing that I’d been overeating just about everything — without even knowing it. She showed me a plastic hamburger to demonstrate the portion that we should be eating.  It seemed so small and alone on the plate — probably one-third of the size I’d been scoffing down. Next on her agenda was the “deck of cards” — another visual aid to slap me silly into “getting” the world of portion control.  WHAT??? How many of us eat a portion of chicken, fish or beef that takes up one-third to half of the dinner plate? Well, get a grip! The deck of cards it is.
  • Read Food Labels!   Besides the obvious — carbs, protein, fiber, it’s important to check out the food labels for the SERVING SIZE.  You may be surprised to learn that a can or package contains more than one serving per person.
  • Use Smaller Plates.  This is an easy one. Substitute a luncheon-sized plate for a regular dinner plate. This tricks your eye, because it looks like you have a lot of food on your plate when, in fact, your plate is smaller.    🙂
  • Beverages. Again, read those labels. You may be surprised to see that the serving size information will force you to make a different decision. Drinking is the fastest way to get carbs into your system; therefore, for better blood glucose management, it’s better to eat your carbs than drink them.
  • SNACK, SNACK, SNACK! Tim Harlan, M.D. and Medical Director of Tulane University Group in New Orleans, states (in Everyday Health) that snacking is important for the diabetic. He says that snacking “controls overeating, controls cravings, and keeps blood sugar stable.” MAKES SENSE!  🙂
  • WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another common sense tip. Keeping a food log is important when managing blood glucose levels. Simply put, it keeps us on track and holds us accountable. Not a big deal.

    “PLATE” #2 — continued in next post — will focus on eating out and will include social events such as weddings!

So folks, WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE???

 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY! :) OR :( ..?

February 14, 2016

So, how did it go?  Take your blood sugar lately?  🙂

If you feel you’re making all the right decisions — BRAVO! Good for you.  If perhaps that’s not the way your day is moving along, remember — you can always start over. We are only human, so just do your best.

Hey! Maybe you’re not a sugarholic or chocoholic — count your blessings! But, if you are,  you’ll relate to this post, and this time period may be rough for you.  It’s interesting, I’ve found that many of my friends don’t crave sweets. Their “drug of choice” is carbs! Is their a difference?   😦  [Too many links to post.]  If you’re in this category, Google carboholic.  You may be in for a surprise…

For those of us who crave sweets, please — BE ON GUARD against the sales next week.  All those bright, shimmering, pink and red heart-shaped containers, beautifully decorated square and rectangular boxes, that are left over and filled with shiny pieces of chocolate, will likely be 70% off!  I LOVE a good sale, AND, I am a “chocolate addict,” so I know those boxes will be calling me.

Here’s this Dedicated Diabetic’s PLAN  to avoid temptation — I’m simply NOT going into the stores tomorrow.  I just can’t.  I know my limitations. That chocolatey odor will seep from the containers and I’ll hear my name being called — “Kathy, I’m over here.  Buy me — 70% OFF — how can you resist?” UGH! Torture. I seem to be most vulnerable around Halloween and Valentine’s Day, for obvious reasons. My plan is to take my “vulnerable” self as far away from those stores/displays, as is humanly possible.  I have my trusty Grapefruit Oil, always at the ready,  (IMPORTANT:  Check with your doctor; this oil really should not be smelled directly from the bottle — could cause irritation in your nose.  Instead, a drop or two on the palms of your hands, held away from your nose, is the more appropriate method. Check it out before using!).  For the past week or so, I’ve been sniffing away when I even think chocolate, dessert, any tempting delight.  I’ve mentioned it before — I think the odor of the grapefruit oil simply “detours your brain” away from craving the sweets.

My “HEARTfelt” (get it?) suggestion to you, my fellow Type 2 Diabetics:   Make the healthy choices — for yourself.  Begin TODAY, right now. Do it for YOU — the effect will trickle down to those you love. you’ll see.

The good news is the stores will be sold out in two or three days, and “Satan’s Attack” will be over. Ended. Kaput!    🙂

Whew!                              

CHECK THOSE LABELS! Nutrition Facts…FDA Proposal

There was an interesting article in the “Nation” section of today’s Newsday, our local newspaper (cited from The Washington Post).  The article focused on the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to include the specific amounts of added sugars on the labels that list the “Nutrition Facts.”  Not only the number of grams, the FDA wants the percentage of sugar that’s added to a person’s recommended daily intake to be noted as well.  At present, when you look at the nutritional facts on the label on the package, you won’t see that number

FDA proposal to include amounts of "added sugars."
FDA proposal to include amounts of “added sugars.”

Evidently, studies have shown that a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease is (strongly) associated with lower amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages and foods. That’s an important fact for diabetics.
What I find incredible is that I RARELY, if ever, look at that side of the label — and I’m a “label reader!”  I’m usually focused on the number of grams.

Something new to watch!  Regarding diabetes, the more education, the better, right?