Posted on Leave a comment

May Is National High Blood Pressure Month

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. As your health coach, I am bringing you this information so you can be aware of the dangers of high blood pressure or hypertension (HTN).

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. It affects nearly one-third of American adults aged 18 or older (67 million people). People with diabetes also suffer with high blood pressure and may be on medications for both conditions.

A blood pressure reading of 140/90 is generally regarded as hypertensive. A normal blood pressure is <120/80. The first number is the systolic measurement or the pressure of the blood in the vascular system as the blood leaves the heart; the second number is the diastolic measurement and represents the pressure between heart contractions.

In addition to eating a healthy low-sodium diet, getting more exercise, and quitting smoking, you should check your blood pressure at home regularly in order to properly manage it. High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer” because it often has no obvious symptoms and many people don’t know they have it. Having your own blood pressure monitor at home makes it easy for you to stay on top of your measurements without having to wait until you go to your doctor or clinic.

If you have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure you are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). High blood pressure means the pressure of the blood pumping through your heart is too high. Over time, the heart gets tired from having to work so hard to pump the blood and the heart muscle becomes enlarged.

How to tell if you are having a stroke

When the heart is enlarged, it can’t pump the blood as efficiently as it should and a stroke or heart attack can result. A combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes also increases your chance of developing kidney disease and retinopathy (disease of the retina). Making simple lifestyle changes to your diet, physical activity and stress level can reduce your risk of having to live the rest of your life on pills and not having the energy or stamina to do the things you enjoy.

Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease

Need help making those lifestyle changes? Fill in the form below to arrange for a free discovery session and get on your path to better health.

Taking care of your kidneys

I would also like to draw your attention to the My Plate Plan widget on the right of this page. This is a personalized plan put out by the US Department of Agriculture to help you choose what to eat based on your age, sex, weight, height and activity level. Click on the widget and get on your My Plate Plan today.

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Ways To Stop Feeling Like A Victim

Sometimes when things are not going your way you may decide to curl up in a corner and have a good pity-party. Or, you may complain to others how unfair life is, or ruminate on all the hurt you suffered and the many ways you have been victimized. You would most likely stay in victim mode for a while, but it should be a short while. If you follow the tips below, you just may end up feeling like a victor and not a victim.

Shift Your Focus

  1. Let it go. Whatever it is that hurt you – a person’s actions or your own bad choices – make the decision to let it go. Forgive the person who hurt you. The sooner you do that the sooner you will stop reliving the hurt and all the details, and your mind will be free to begin working on new possibilities.
  2. Forgive yourself. Sometimes you may find it easier to forgive someone else — especially if that person is not in close proximity— than to forgive yourself. You may tell yourself, “I deserved it.” No, you didn’t. You may have had a small part to play in the pain you suffered, but that does not give anyone the right to take advantage of you. (See #5)
  3. Acknowledge your pain. Talk it over with someone — a trusted friend, a therapist, or even the person who hurt you. Getting it out of your system is another way of letting go. You can write in your journal, or write a letter to the person or yourself and not mail it.
  4. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes the pain we experience is not always the total fault of someone else or of circumstances beyond your control. As you write in your journal or your letter, examine the part you played in bringing on that hurt. Did you set yourself up for the person to hurt you? What could you have done differently? Being honest will help you avoid such situations in the future.
  5. Take one day at a time. You cannot forget the past. You would wish you could erase those horrible memories, but unfortunately, you can’t. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to take one day at a time. When your mind harks back to the past, linger there only for a moment, then tell yourself, “Today is a new day. God is in charge of my life today and forever. The past is gone.”

All of this may sound easier said than done, but it takes work. It takes commitment to practice letting go, forgiving yourself and others, being honest with yourself and living in the present. And what does this have to do with your diabetes? Well, the victim mentality can lead to stress, which can lead to depression, which can lead to diabetes. The good news is that diabetes and depression can be treated together. Fill out the form below.

Journaling through COVID-19

Do you suffer from type 2 diabetes? Would you like to know how to control or even reverse your diabetes through proper diet and exercise? Then fill out the form below for a free discovery session. Contact me.

Posted on Leave a comment

Use Avocados For Healthy Weight Management

In a previous post, I told you that avocados are among the best foods for diabetics as they contain lots of fiber, low amounts of carbohydrates and sugar as well as saturated fat. Adding fiber to the diet keeps you feeling full longer, so you are not always craving something to eat, and this can help you keep your weight under control. Avocados also contain nearly twenty vitamins and minerals, making them a nutrient dense food.

Nutritionists at LOVE ONE Today have put together a healthy Mediterranean-style eating plan to help diabetics manage their weight. Their plan includes menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Below are two that definitely appeal to my senses, since I’m a salmon and avocado lover. I haven’t tried them yet, but I certainly plan to do so in a day or two. I hope you will try them and then drop me a line and let me know how it turned out.

OVEN-ROASTED SALMON WITH AVOCADO CITRUS SALSA

INGREDIENTS:
1 ripe, fresh Hass Avocado, halved,
pitted, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 ripe navel orange, peeled
and diced
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber

1/4 cup finely diced scallions
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded,
finely diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
4 skinless salmon fillets appr. 2 ounces each

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl combine avocado, lime juice, orange, cucumber,
    onion, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; set aside.
  2. Heat broiler.
  3. Season salmon with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Arrange fillets on a lightly greased foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Broil salmon 4 inches from heat source until cooked through,
    8 to 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, place fillets on a platter; top with salsa.
    SERVING SUGGESTION: serve over 3/4 cup brown rice, top with 1/3
    cup steamed corn, 1 cup steamed or sauteed snap peas

You can get your avocado meal plan, which you can print out and keep for your own use to refer to whenever you need it. Just click on this link: https://www.subscribepage.com/l3q1k1

Do you have a favorite avocado recipe? Why not share it with us? We may feature you on our Friday Foodie some time. And please remember to subscribe to receive more updates and special offers.

Posted on Leave a comment

Whatever The Verdict Might Be …

Five days ago, the world watched as Derek Chauvin, a police officer from Minneapolis, MN, was convicted on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd. The murder drew worldwide attention when it first occurred almost a year ago, and most people waited anxiously to see what would be the outcome.

Many unarmed black men in America had been murdered by police in the years prior and even following George Floyd’s murder. Some of them never faced trial, far less conviction, therefore this verdict rendered last week brought a sense of relief to many, especially George’s family.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and news commentator, said in an interview following the verdict that George’s family had requested that he pray with them following the verdict, whatever it might be. They said they wanted to thank God, whether the verdict was good or bad, for bringing them through their painful ordeal.

In this time of uncertainty when we are grappling with sickness, loss of earnings, and the fear of what tomorrow might bring, we would do well to take a lesson from the Floyd family. These people, who watched the video over and over of a man kneeling on the neck of their loved one until his life was snuffed out, and still wanted to thank God for bringing them through, deserve our respect and admiration.

Researchers tell us that being thankful can reduce depression and stress, boost our immune system, help us sleep better and improve our overall mental and physical health. It can be easy to slip into an attitude of bitterness and despair when things are going against us, but a thankful attitude can help us overcome many of the obstacles that block our path.

Have you been dealing with type 2 diabetes or some other condition for a long time and wondering if or when you would get over it? Do you feel hopeless at times? Take a leaf out of the Floyd family playbook. Thank God for bringing you thus far. Thank Him for all He’s doing for you now and for what He’ll do for you in the future, then watch Him work in your life.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive more like this, please fill in the form below. Your name will be added to my mailing list and you will be kept up to date on special offers.

Posted on Leave a comment

Tasty Low-Calorie Stewed Fish Recipe

As you know, fish is a very nutritious and important food in your diet. Fish is rich in protein, which provides some of your energy needs, omega 3, which protects your heart, and Vitamin D which supports your immune system, all of which makes fish one of the best foods for diabetics. In addition, fish does not impact your glucose levels, so it does not have a GI ranking.

If you’re thinking of reducing your meat intake, you may consider switching to fish as this will ensure you get adequate amounts of protein without raising your glucose level. Researchers have found that including fish in the diet can actually reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Ever since I stopped eating meat (red meat and chicken) over thirteen years ago, fish has been my main source of protein, along with peas, beans, and lentils. (More on that in another post.)

The problem with fish is that depending on how it’s prepared, the taste can be very bland. For that reason, I don’t order fish in a restaurant. I cook my fish the way my mother taught me back in Trinidad many years ago, and this is what I present below. For this recipe I use either red snapper, carite (mackerel), or pompano. If you want to enjoy a flavorful, low-calorie dish, I invite you to follow the recipe below. You may modify the recipe to suit your taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fish of your choice
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime for washing fish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 leaves chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 leaves cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce (optional)
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 ochroes optional (with tips cut)

Instructions

  • Wash fish gently in a bowl of cool water with lemon or lime juice. Rinse and dry in paper towels.
  • Chop or blend chives, cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, onion, and tomato for seasoning.
  • Rub salt and black pepper into the fish along with chopped seasonings. Marinate for one hour or overnight in the fridge, if desired.
  • Pour 1 tbsp. oil into pan, add the flour and stir quickly until browned.
  • Remove from the heat and add tomato ketchup, soy sauce and seasonings from the fish. Combine well.
  • Add enough water to make a smooth sauce.
  • Return to the stove and add the remainder of the water, ochroes if used, and seasonings. Bring to boil, then add the fish.
  • Cook on low heat, turning the fish gently, for about 7 – 10 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick.
  • Serve with a green salad and white rice.

This is a low-calorie version of stewed fish, suitable for diabetics. If you are not counting calories, you may fry the fish first before stewing.

Posted on Leave a comment

Can Nerve Damage Lead To Constipation

If you are a type 2 diabetic, you are no doubt familiar with the troubling symptoms of neuropathy, also known as nerve damage. This is a complication of diabetes that causes –

  • numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
  • inability to feel pain
  • inability to feel changes in temperature
  • inability to feel the position of your joints, which can lead to incoordination
  • burning or shooting pains, especially at night.

Neuropathy can cause all the symptoms listed above, but have you ever thought it might be linked to bowel problems, i.e. constipation? According to an article in the Daily Express, the NHS has confirmed that neuropathy can lead to constipation— infrequent bowel movements and passing hard stools — and even to bladder incontinence (when you leak urine). It may also lead to gastroparesis.

What is gastroparesis?

Constipation can result in:

  • bloating
  • stomach pains
  • difficulty passing stools
  • diarrhea

What you can do

  • Speak to your doctor. He/she may be able to prescribe treatments to relieve the symptoms.
  • Include more fiber in the diet. Use more whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.
  • Drink lots of water. This will help to keep stools softer.
  • Use laxatives recommended by your doctor.
  • Exercise regularly

Untreated diabetes can affect your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Becoming educated about the illness can help you combat its debilitating effects. To learn more about how you can control type 2 diabetes, please fill in the form below.

Do you suffer from type 2 diabetes? Would you like to know how to control or even reverse your diabetes through proper diet and exercise? Then fill out the form below for a free discovery session. Contact me.

Posted on Leave a comment

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

I hope you had a good weekend and are looking forward to the start of another week. Many people experience what we call “the Monday Blues,” at the beginning of the work week. There are so many challenges; so many things require us to make important decisions, some of which may be really difficult.

In the story below, I would like you to put yourself in the character’s place, and consider what you would do.

“When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.” – Psalm 138:3, NIV

Todd was facing pressure at work. A project his firm had promised a client was very far behind schedule. He was responsible for the project so he brought it to his boss, looking for advice on how to handle the situation.

Unwilling to anger their biggest client, Todd’s boss advised him to lie. He wanted Todd to tell the client that not only was the project on time, it was being completed under budget too. He even gave Todd the falsified expense reports.

Todd struggled with what to do. He wanted to come clean with the client. He didn’t see how any good could come of lying.

But he was also concerned about what his boss would do. Would he retaliate and fire Todd? He thought of his family, of his wife with their new baby. How could he look her in the eye when he’d promised he’d always take care of their family?

Todd showed up to work early Tuesday for the client meeting. When he felt squeamish about lying, he thought of his newborn. Right before he was scheduled to go into the meeting, he received a text message from a friend with Psalm 138:3 in it.

Curious, Todd looked up the meaning of embolden and learned that it means “giving someone the courage or confidence to do something”.  The verse was just the reminder he needed. He paused to ask God to embolden him. Then he went into the client meeting and told the truth with courage.

God, thank You for the gift of courage. When I’m facing a test of integrity, please embolden me. Show me how to handle these moments with wisdom and bravery.

Can you do what Todd did, or would you chicken out and do what your boss wants you to do even when you know it’s wrong? Making the wrong decision can cause you a lot of stress. Think of all the scenarios that could follow a bad decision and write them in your journal. And maybe you can share them, and any other thoughts you may have, with us.

Posted on Leave a comment

Be Kind To Yourself

Another Monday has rolled around, and it’s time for a little dose of Monday Motivation to help you make it through the week.

In the Bible, there was a lady named Martha. She had a sister named Mary and a brother named Lazarus. If you read the Bible, you may be familiar with their story. Lazarus is the man who was dead four days and Jesus raised him from the dead.

But let’s get back to Martha. She was a very hospitable person, it seems, and whenever Jesus and His disciples visited their city of Bethany, they would drop in and Martha and her siblings would open their home to them. On this occasion, the Bible says, Martha was knocking herself out in the kitchen, preparing food for Jesus and His friends, while Mary sat at His feet drinking in every word He had to say.

If you were in Martha’s position, what would you do? This is what Martha did:

She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10: 40)NIV

Martha fully expected Jesus to tell Mary to go and help her sister, but instead Luke wrote, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (v 41).

Strange, isn’t it? Martha obviously thought she was doing the right thing,. According to Bible commentaries, it would seem that she had gone to great pains to prepare something close to a feast, instead of a simple meal, which would have sufficed.

Jesus addressed her, “Martha, Martha,” the way we would address a child or maybe a close friend. It was a gentle rebuke, but carried a lot of weight. In today’s language He might have said, “Don’t worry about it. Relax. Just give us what you have and do like Mary. What she is doing is more important.”

We can learn a lot from this Bible story. Many times we find ourselves consumed by the busyness of our lives. We rush here and there, get involved in this or that project, even with our exercise, we may go overboard like Martha. Let us ask ourselves, is all of it really necessary? Are we being kind to ourselves?

When was the last time you turned off the television, the phone, the computer and the many things that distract you? When was the last time you listened to the birds singing, admired a beautiful sunset or went to a quiet place where you could be still and meditate on God’s word. If you don’t have an answer, maybe it’s time you did like Mary, sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to what He has to say to you. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

This week, make time to get away from the housework and the many distractions and just be still. Then drop me a line and tell me all about it.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Study: 7 Best Snacks For Diabetics

Many diabetics are good at following a low-glycemic diet, i.e. one that is low in sugar and carbs, but when it’s time for a snack, they may have difficulty making the right choices. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) warns that diabetics should limit their intake of the following foods:

  • fried foods
  • salty foods
  • sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
  • beverages with added sugar such as juices, sodas, sports or energy drinks

So now it’s snack time — you need to have a snack in order to keep your glucose level from dropping too low — what can you choose? The snacks listed below are healthy, satisfying, and will help keep your sugar under control.

  1. Hummus and vegetables- made from chick peas, hummus is rich in plant-based protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fat. You can use hummus with vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and radishes.
  2. Hummus and crackers – for a more filling snack and better glycemic control, use this with whole wheat crackers rather than white as whole grains are high in fiber, which can be important in controlling glucose levels.
  3. Hard boiled eggs – rich in protein, healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals, eggs are filling and will not cause your glucose level to spike. Another bonus is its weight-loss properties. One large egg contains only 78 calories.
  4. Almonds – rich in fiber, protein, carbohydrates and calcium – almonds have been found to have a positive effect on controlling blood glucose levels. However, they are also high in calories and may not be good for those wanting to lose weight in order to manage their diabetes.
  5. Cheese and crackers – another satisfying snack that is low on the glycemic scale. Therefore, it does not cause your sugar levels to rise quickly. Also, cheese contains Vitamin D, which can reduce a person’s insulin resistance. As stated above, you should use whole wheat crackers rather than white.
  6. Avocado – this works well as a spread on toast or whole grain crackers. Avocados contain high amounts of fiber and low amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and are low in saturated fat.  In addition they contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and are sodium and cholesterol free, making them an ideal food for diabetics.
  7. Apples and almond butter – Apples are low on the glycemic index, which is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. When eaten with almond butter, you get a delicious snack with the added benefit of fiber. Almond butter also contains fewer carbs than peanut butter.

As a type 2 diabetic, you need to eat healthy snacks at appropriate times in order to maintain adequate glucose levels. The listing above is by no means exhaustive. You may have your own favorite snacks that fall within the guidelines given us by the NIDDK and other authorities, and that’s fine. But if you are searching for healthy snacks that will not spike your blood sugar, you will do well to include some of the snacks mentioned above so you can be on your way to managing your diabetes with little difficulty.

This article is not meant to be substituted for proper medical advice. Please consult your physician and do your own research before adopting any of the advice in this post.

You can get a free avocado meal plan for a 2000-calorie diet by clicking this link: https://www.subscribepage.com/l3q1k1

Last week I did something my husband had been begging me to do for a long time — I went out and bought a set of knives. As you know, cutting with a dull knife can be dangerous, especially if you are diabetic (as my husband is). What a relief it is to have a good set of cutting knives. If your knives are dull and the handles are falling off, go get yourself a new set. Your fingers will thank you.

The Amazon link below is an affiliate link, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase, I receive a commission. Thank you!

Posted on Leave a comment

How You Can Know If You Have Diabetes

Like many chronic illnesses, diabetes can go undetected for a long time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, of the 32.2 million people in the U.S. who have the disease, 7.3 million are undiagnosed. You may be wondering if you are among that number.

Finger stick to test glucose level

Diabetes occurs when your pancreas, the organ that makes insulin, either doesn’t make enough or doesn’t make any. The best way to know if you have diabetes is to be screened by your doctor. But meanwhile, there are certain signs and symptoms that can alert you to the fact that you may have diabetes:

  1. Frequent urination -This is because your kidneys are working harder to process extra sugar in your urine. The color of the urine you produce if you’ve got diabetes is usually clear or very lightly colored.
  2. Excessive thirst – As you urinate more you will get more thirsty. Some people also feel hungrier than usual.
  3. Flu-like symptoms and tiredness – This is because your cells are not getting enough glucose for energy.
  4. Unintentional weight loss – This is also a result of your body not using insulin to process glucose properly, so your body begins to draw on its store of muscle and fat for energy.
  5. Occasional blurred vision – a sign of diabetic retinopathy. You should see your eye doctor if you are experiencing blurred vision.
  6. Frequent urinary tract, yeast or vaginal infections- See your OB-GYN
  7. Erectile dysfunction – a possible sign on diabetes
  8. Slow healing – if cuts and bruises seem to take longer to heal, that could be a sign of diabetes.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.