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What To Eat On Eat Flexitarian Day

Think about anything at all and chances are there will be a national observance day for it. Today is Eat Flexitarian Day, and as the name implies, it means you can be flexible in what you eat today. However, the motivation behind this day is to get you accustomed to including some plant-based dishes in your diet so you can eventually transition to vegetarianism.

Vegetarian bread made from zucchini, flour, pecans and other ingredients
Pecan zucchini bread

For many people who might be averse to the idea of going without your hamburger or fried chicken drumstick, this may seem like an impossible task, hence the observation of eat flexitarian day. If you have been toying with the idea of starting a vegetarian or vegan diet and have been wondering how to begin, eating flexitarian gives you the opportunity to start slowly. You don’t have to go the whole hog at once (pun intended).

Pecan zucchini bread

Experts tell us that a plant-based diet helps improve our overall health and well-being. Chosen carefully, a plant-based diet provides your body with the same amount of protein and savory taste as meat. By eating flexitarian, you get to enjoy your favorite foods while making healthy choices that you can commit to over the long haul. As a diabetic, including more vegetables in your diet, will help you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn will help you control your blood sugar.

So, how do you begin eating flexitarian? National Day gives the following recommendations:

Stage 1 – Eat meat five times a week

Stage 2 – As you get used to eating more fruits and vegetables, limit your meat intake to three times a week

Stage 3 – Eat non-plant foods only occasionally. When meat is fully removed from your diet, you have transitioned to vegetarianism.

Whenever you take baby steps in beginning anything new, it’s usually easy to commit to it and sustain it over the long haul. Eating flexatarian is an easy and stress-free way to become a vegetarian and commit to it. Also, it spares the body the shock of a sudden transfer from eating meat to eating plant-based foods.

Want to learn more about vegetarianism? Just follow this link to receive your free copy of Becoming A Vegetarian.

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.

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7 Symptoms of High Blood Sugar And The Causes

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes may experience high blood sugar, but even if you are not diabetic, your blood sugar may run high. This is known as hyperglycemia, and if left untreated, it can cause serious symptoms to develop. Hyperglycemia occurs when your body either does not produce enough insulin or is unable to absorb insulin properly, or develops a resistance to insulin.

Being able to recognize the symptoms of high blood sugar listed below can help you take action before this happens.

  1. Excessive thirst. This is usually the first sign that something is wrong. No matter how much water you drink it doesn’t seem enough.
  2. Frequent urination. Drinking a lot of water or juice will have you running to the bathroom frequently.
  3. Fatigue. Since your body is unable to make proper use of insulin, glucose (your source of energy) enters the bloodstream instead of being absorbed into the body’s cells. This leads to fatigue and a lack of energy.
  4. Blurred vision. Changes in blood sugar levels can cause the lens of your eyes to swell, leading to blurred vision. This can go away once your sugar stabilizes.
  5. Headaches. If your blood sugar is too high or too low, headaches may result. Most people who have diabetes also suffer from high blood pressure and that too may be a cause of headaches.
  6. Dry mouth. Another common symptom of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although people who don’t have diabetes may also experience diabetes. Some medications used to treat diabetes may also cause diabetes.
  7. Weakness. People with diabetes can suffer from weakness in the lower leg and calf muscles which can increase the risk of falling.

All of the symptoms listed above can be avoided or reversed by making simple lifestyle changes to bring your sugar under control. Check out these articles below:

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.

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7 Ways To Look After Your Eye Health

May is Healthy Vision Month. If your eyes feel healthy, chances are they are healthy. However, as a diabetic, you need to pay special attention to your eye health because eye problems are among the early symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy — the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in people with diabetes —cataracts and glaucoma usually plague those suffering with diabetes. The good news is you can avoid getting these diseases by controlling your diabetes.

Following are seven tips to help you keep your eyes healthy.

Eat healthy foods — dark, leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and spinach are rich in Vitamin A, which is important for good vision. Orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and other winter squash) are also rich in Vitamin A. Eating fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids —salmon, tuna, halibut— is also great for your eyes.

Increase your physical activity — Being physically active helps you control conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which can lead to diabetes, which can affect your vision.

Talk to your doctor — your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) can be your eyes’ best friend. By keeping your appointments and having your eyes examined regularly, your doctor will be able to spot any disease and begin treatment before it threatens your vision.

Take your medication as prescribed — not following your prescription will cause your glucose to rise and this can cost you your vision. Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter.

Protect your eyes — wear sunglasses outdoors even on a cloudy day. Look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Do not smoke — If you do, quit! Smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as smoking increases abdominal fat, which is a known risk factor for diabetes. Smoking also makes it harder to manage insulin levels. Smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. It can also damage your optic nerve.

Know your family history — let your primary doctor as well as your ophthalmologist know if you have a family history of eye disease. This way he can take early steps to help you avoid getting those diseases if you don’t already have them.

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5 Scripture Verses For Mental Health

As you know, May is mental health month. It is a time set aside to bring awareness and provide support to those suffering from mental health. In my last post, I wrote about the various organizations who are advocating to help end the stigma attached to mental health.

Mental health is an illness like any other, and it needs to be treated like any other mental illness. You already know about the mind/body connection, which has to do with the way the body responds to brain signals transmitted through neural pathways. Psychologists tell us that our thoughts can influence the way we feel. When you are stressed, anxious or upset, you may come down with a cold or whatever virus may be going around.

Reading, praying and meditating on the scriptures can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression and help you cope with mental illness. if you are not in the habit of meditating on the scriptures, I have posted an infographic below to help you get started.

Let me encourage you to read and meditate on these scriptures as often as you can. As you do so, you will experience an inner peace that will go a long way in helping you feel better. However, this cannot and should not take the place of consulting with your doctor and following his advice.

If you are looking for another way to get in touch with scripture and be reminded of it during the day, why not get one of these t-shirts that carry biblical messages? They are attractive, sturdy, and inspiring.

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

This week we were stunned at the news that popular Country and Western singer Naomi Judd had died from a mental health illness. Reports state that Naomi had been suffering from treatment-resistant depression for a long time. Her death occurred on the first day of May, right at the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, a time set aside each year to raise awareness about mental health.

Some of you may be aware that there is a terrible stigma attached to mental health. In addition, people suffering from mental health illnesses do not always get the support they need. If you are suffering from depression, for example, you are told to “snap out of it,” if you have mood swings— as in bipolar illness — people say you are crazy. Worst of all, if you are schizophrenic, your family and friends may be afraid of you and may not want you near them. All these factors make it difficult for those who badly need treatment to not receive it.

This year, the National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) has coined the slogan “Together for Mental Health.” The goal of NAMI is to advocate for mental health and access to care for those who need it. Mental health is a serious issue facing our country and the world. Statistics show that 19.86% of adults in America — nearly 50 million —experience a mental health illness, with nearly 5% experiencing a severe mental health illness. The COVID pandemic has contributed to this in large measure.

People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression than people without diabetes, and only 25% – 50% of those ever get diagnosed and treated. Without treatment, depression worsens and can lead to suicidal feelings. This is why this Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. This is a time when you can take a good, hard look at yourself or someone near you who you think may need help and take that first step toward treatment.

Diabetes and mental health can form a vicious cycle. Untreated mental health issues can make diabetes worse, and problems with diabetes can make mental health issues worse. If you think your mental health is not up to par, or you have a substance abuse problem, don’t be shy; speak to your health care team. If you are embarrassed to do that, you can call the national hotline number at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). This service is free and confidential and will put you in touch with a local facility that can help you.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for teens and young adults. Help get improved crisis response implemented in your communities by signing NAMI’s petition. #Together4MH

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.

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Mid-week Diabetes News Round – Up

When you have a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes, it is always wise to keep informed of the latest trends in treatments and new discoveries. Below is a summary of some of the relevant news I picked up from the internet this week. I hope you will find them helpful. This week’s round-up focuses on:

1) Long COVID-19 and how it affects people with diabetes

You may have heard the term “long COVID” used in conjunction with the long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection. These effects may include brain fog, joint pain, and a host of other conditions. Now physicians and scientists are adding diabetes to this list. One study in Germany found that people who had just a mild case of COVID-19 were 28% more likely to have a new diagnosis of diabetes. Here in the United States that number was found to be 40% of those who have had COVID-19. A US-based study found that even people who had low to no risk factors of diabetes could experience a 38% increased risk after COVID. Of course, those who had a severe case of coronavirus suffered an even greater risk , as high as 276%, and among kids it is even higher.

2) Prediabetes and teens

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that nearly 30% of adolescents and teens in the United States meet the criteria for prediabetes. Among this number 40% are obese and those who live in poverty are more likely to have diabetes. This figure increased between 2015 -2018 among adolescents 12 to 19 even before COVID-19. Researchers say that parents need to pay more attention to their children’s diet and exercise.

3) Overtreatment of nursing home diabetes patients and the risk of hypoglycemia.

A report from Endocrinology Network states that an analysis of data from more than 7000 patients in Veterans Affairs nursing homes found that i in 5 met the criteria for overtreatment and an additional 23% met the potential for overtreatment. The study was done on older adults 65 years or over with a nursing home stay of 30 days and a mean HbA1C of 7.1. Overtreatment was defined as an HbA1C of 6.5 with insulin use. Potential overtreatment was defined as an HbA1c less than 7.5% with any insulin use or HbA1c less than 6.5% on any glucose-lowering medication other than metformin alone.

In another report published in Medicine Matters, researchers concluded, “While the use of insulin may be appropriate in older adults in certain settings (e.g. reduced renal function, loss of secretory insulin capacity), clinicians need to use it with caution and aim for higher glycemic targets in these settings.”

While these reports may be cause for concern, they are also meant to make you aware of the need to be vigilant about your health and to make those necessary lifestyle changes that can put you on the path to good health. If you need to learn more about how you can improve or preserve your health, why not sign up in the form below?

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.

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Loneliness Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

A while back, I read that the British Prime Minister had appointed a minister for loneliness to try to reverse the trend in that country. But loneliness is not only prevalent in Britain. Here in the United States where most young people move out of their parents’ home by the age of eighteen, parents soon find themselves with an “empty nest.” Then a few years later, one partner dies, and the other is left all alone. He/she may not see the children or grand-children except at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Loneliness affects not only the elderly, but people across the age spectrum. One AARP source says that loneliness has increased by 5 million among people age 45 and over.

The dangers of loneliness

A former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says loneliness can be worse for you than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness leads to depression and anxiety and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and death, say the experts. I’m not surprised at these findings, but this one really bowled me over: An English longitudinal study of 264 participants showed that loneliness was a significant predictor of incident type 2 diabetes, independent of age, sex, ethnicity, wealth, smoking status, alcohol consumption, BMI, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Loneliness and social media

One report notes an increase in the number of people who complained of loneliness at the same time that social media became popular, but they don’t know yet what is cause and what is effect. While technology proved invaluable during the pandemic— it helped us stay in touch in ways that would not otherwise be possible— we should not use it as a tool to relieve loneliness. Nothing can replace face-to-face contact, a touch, or a hug.

Ways to fight loneliness

  • Call an old friend
  • Join a walking club or some other group that interests you
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Visit friends and family
  • Get involved in your church

Loneliness affects people of all ages and stages in life. It is a dangerous epidemic that can impair your mental as well as physical health. Spending a lot of time in front of your computer or with your cellphone does not relieve social isolation. Follow the tips above to relieve or prevent yourself becoming socially isolated. Your life may depend on 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.

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You Only Fail If You Stop Trying

This week I came across this quote from Tony Robbins: “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”

Weight loss

What do you think about that? You may be tempted to stop trying when things don’t seem to be moving as fast as you would like them to. You can fill in the blanks with any number of things:

You are not losing weight fast enough;

Your diabetes is still not where you would like it to be

Your blood pressure is still too high

Your cholesterol …

And the list may include things that don’t pertain to health. They may be financial, or job related or other personal goals. Whatever they are, keep trying. Don’t give up.

The reason is simple; every effort you make toward your goal brings you one step closer. You may not be able to see it yet, but you are gaining ground. Your muscles are becoming stronger, your endurance is improving, and your organs are responding in ways you cannot see.

Then one day you go for your checkup, and your doctor greets you with a big smile. Your numbers are better than they were six months ago! Your doctor is happy, and you should be too.

So, keep on trying. Keep setting the alarm to wake up half an hour earlier so you can workout. Keep passing up the sugary juices for water; keep adding a fruit and some green vegetable to your lunch box everyday, and one day when you get on that scale the numbers will surprise you. Try it!

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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.

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Five Lessons From Spring

There is something about spring that sends flowers into bloom, energizes young and old, makes poets create masterpieces, and singers burst into song. Spring is regarded as the most beautiful season of the year, but if we examine it closely, we can learn many lessons from spring.

As I read these verses from Song of Songs, several things came to my mind:

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, co
me with me.” (2: 11-13)

The first line says that winter is past. For those of you who live in colder climes, this past winter was especially harsh. In some places in the US, blizzards destroyed homes and even lives. Thousands were left without electricity for days. I know those folks are glad that winter is past.

  1. The winter is past means more than the snow and cold being over. Winter is a time of short days and long nights. It can be a very lonely time for some people. Limited sunshine hours bring on dark moods, which give rise to depression. Some people suffer from a seasonal type of depression called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Their depression lifts when winter is over and the days are longer.
  2. Winter being past also symbolizes giving up or forgetting the things of the past—past disappointments, failures, broken dreams and broken hearts.
  3. Flowers appear on the earth – What can brighten your home and help you throw aside the winter blues more than a bouquet of flowers? Flowers that had been lying dormant under the ground during winter appear as if by magic. You don’t have to spend a lot of money at the garden store; just take a walk in your neighborhood and you are sure to find some lilies, violets, marigolds, sunflowers, and others for which you may not know their names.
  4. The season of singing has come – Get up early in the morning, take a walk around the block and you will hear the melodious call of our feathered friends as they sing to one another. Another sure blues buster. If you are good at taking pictures, you may be able to capture one or two birds in flight.
  5. My beautiful one, come with me – Is it any wonder that spring is the time when most weddings take place? The sun is out, the days are longer, and the flowers are ready for her bouquet. It’s a time to love, to laugh, to have fun.

Spring is a time to let go of the past and embrace the future. You should not allow past disappointments to cloud your future. The COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has plunged the world into darkness. The winter is not quite over, but we can see the sun peeping out from behind the clouds. It’s time to throw off the heavy cloak of depression, lift your head high and walk into a new season. Winter is past.

Spring is also t-shirt season. No more sweaters and coats. Browse this collection of t-shirts at Angie’s Health Coaching. org. I’m sure you’ll find something to greet this new season.

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.

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Lessons From Ukraine

Did you ever expect that 2022 would open with a war, and not just a war but one that has the potential to become World War III, as some are saying? As devastating as the news coming out of Ukraine is, there are some lessons we can learn that will help us in our daily lives.

Pilgrim Whynot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  1. The first lesson we can learn is to be thankful for what we have. When was the last time you woke up and thought, I am so thankful for all that I have. As you look at the images of people clambering over logs, stumbling over makeshift bridges to escape the ravages of war, hugging each other and crying, aren’t you thankful for what you have?
  2. The second lesson we can learn is that nothing on this earth is promised. Not the next minute, the next hour or the next day. Like the people of Ukraine, you can lose everything, including your family, in a heartbeat. Show love to those you love; do not cling to things.
  3. Fight for what you believe in. The images of heroism displayed by the Ukranians have touched our hearts. Elderly men and women kneel before tanks to protect their freedom. The president continues to hold on and encourage his people, even though things look dim. What in your life is worth fighting for?
  4. Trust in Someone greater than yourself. There are some battles you cannot fight on your own. You need God to help you gain the victory. As I think about the war now raging between Russia and Ukraine, I’m reminded of the Bible story of David and Goliath. David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (You can read the rest of the story in 1 Samuel 17: 45-51).

Some of you reading this may have had to fight your own battles. You may have won some and you may have lost some. Right now you may be fighting a battle against some form of disease—diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain—and it may seem like you are losing. Look over the points above. I hope they will encourage and inspire you to be thankful, love others and not things, keep on fighting, and trust in the Lord.

When have you been in a battle? How did you react? Share it in the comment box below.

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.