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How I Manage My Diabetes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com Getting a Grip on a Silent Killer Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:50:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.13 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-diabetes-528678_1280-1-32x32.jpg How I Manage My Diabetes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com 32 32 Diabetic Supplements – Are they Effective? https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diabetic-supplements-are-they-effective-2/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diabetic-supplements-are-they-effective-2/#respond Sun, 04 Jun 2017 21:36:55 +0000 http://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=439 Common Supplements There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence reporting that many of the diabetic supplements sold today are effective for lowering blood sugar and help manage diabetes.  Cinnamon, chromium, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, vanadium, glucosamine, alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon and now cannabis.  Many other supplements claim success. In today’s blog, I will […]

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Common Supplements

There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence reporting that many of the diabetic supplements sold today are effective for lowering blood sugar and help manage diabetes.  Cinnamon, chromium, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, vanadium, glucosamine, alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon and now cannabis.  Many other supplements claim success. In today’s blog, I will focus on two that I used – cinnamon and bitter melon.  In my future blogs, I will write about some of the other leading supplements.

 

Bitter Melon

I started using bitter melon when I was at the ‘pre-diabetes’ stage.  My doctor confirmed that my blood sugar level was slightly elevated. Her advice was for me to follow a more rigid regiment of exercise and eating habits in order to slow down the progression of the disease.  I was already playing tennis and eating fish and salad several times a week.  She did not prescribe any medication at this point for she just wanted to see the effect of a change in my lifestyle.

I took bitter melon pills for over a year.  Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd is a vegetable used for medicine and food that thrives in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.  It is a vine with a green oblong-shaped fruit.  Its exterior is green and is characterized by wart-like bumps.  The actual shape and size of the fruit depend on where it is grown.  The scientific name of the plant is Momordica Charantia.

The fruit contains at least three active substances known to have anti-diabetic properties.  It has been confirmed to have a blood-glucose-lowering effect and an insulin-like compound that help reduce blood sugar levels and suppress appetite – similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.

Bitter melon extracts are available from many Asian stores.  The typical recommended dosage is 500 mg twice per day with meals.  The extract is also available as a tea.  The best way is to include the vegetable in your cooking.  Stir-fry thinly sliced bitter melon over high heat with vegetables.  To mitigate the bitter taste of the fruit, add sweet tasting vegetables such as onions, green pepper or baby corn in the stir-fry. Adding shrimp or other meats also improves taste.

 

Cinnamon

Several years ago, I started including cinnamon extract in my daily regimen.  By this time, I was already taking a daily dose of 500 mg of Metformin.   I add ½ teaspoon of regular store-bought cinnamon powder to my morning oatmeal.  I also took 500 mg of cinnamon extract at night together with my other medications (diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol).

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of several tree species belong to the Cinnamomum.  Sri Lanka produces the bulk of the world supply.  It is also cultivated on a commercial scale in other countries including Seychelles, Madagascar, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The plant is cultivated by growing the tree up to two years, then cutting the stems at ground level.

The cut stems are processed immediately after harvesting. Processing involves scraping off the outer bark while the inner bark is still wet. The inner barkHammers are used to strip the inner bark. Only the thin layer portion of the inner bark is used to make the spice.  The rest of the plant is discarded. The inner bark is stripped off and left to dry in a well-ventilated and relatively warm environment. The dried bark is cut into 2 to 4-inch strips for sale.

 

The Science Behind

Unfortunately, the bottom-line to these two supplements (and others as I will discuss in future blogs) is inconclusive. As a user of bitter melon and cinnamon, I cannot confirm that it reduced by glucose blood sugar, or it has delayed the progression of the disease. I cannot say with 100% certainty that it helped me manage my diabetes.

Numerous research and scientific experiments have been conducted on test subjects taking these supplements, and for some, it appears to work, for others no.  While researchers have identified the elements in bitter melon that may possibly affect blood sugar, the same is not true for cinnamon.

In spite of all these, many claims that bitter melon and/or cinnamon works for them.  Before you take these supplements, be sure to consult with your physician to ensure that there are no contra-indicating effects on any medication he or she is prescribing.

 

Where We Are

I would like to see more research on these herbal and other supplements.  Many of the medications prescribed to manage diabetes have adverse effects.  Thus, many say that diabetics should stay away from them.  Because the research on herbal and other supplements are inconclusive, it is not clear whether they have any negative impact as well.  Until extensive research is completed, we will not know for sure.

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Diets for Diabetics https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diets-for-diabetics/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diets-for-diabetics/#respond Fri, 02 Jun 2017 15:45:25 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=1106 Eating for Diabetics Many have this notion that if you are a diabetic, you are destined to eat only a certain group of foods – no rice, no pasta, no sweets, etc. But we diabetics enjoy these foods and should not shun away from it. In many of my posts, I discussed the importance of […]

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Eating for Diabetics

Many have this notion that if you are a diabetic, you are destined to eat only a certain group of foods – no rice, no pasta, no sweets, etc. But we diabetics enjoy these foods and should not shun away from it. In many of my posts, I discussed the importance of eating in moderation.  Select and enjoy the foods you like but make sure that you do not over eat.  Simple enough, right?  Over the last month, I have been collecting recipes that I found simple and easy to make.  Under the section on Diabetic Diets, I included these yummy treats.  Please feel free to copy and test these recipes for yourself.

The internet is full of recipes for diabetics.  There are too many to choose from.  What I did it scoured the internet and focused on recipes that are simple, yet nutritious. My wife who loves to cook, reviewed these recipes and made the modifications to meet what I call, “Quick Serve Simple” recipes because they can be prepared quickly and easily.  I trust that you all will give it a try and give me feedback.

Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.

One of the items I would like to share with my readers are new things I ran into recently.  I did not really know the difference between these two.  I always think that Vegans eat no meats at all, while Vegetarians have a bit more latitude in what they eat.  Little did I know that there is a wide range of food in the menus of these two types of diets.

According to the Mayo Clinic, these diets are categorized as follows:

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs.  Dairy product such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter are included.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian diets exclude meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.
  • Pollotarian diets exclude meat, dairy and fish, but allow poultry
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

A flexitarian diet is primarily plant-based but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat occasionally or in limited quantities.

For sure these sound very confusing.  The bottom line is that if you are a follower of these types of diets, you may find it difficult to order from a regular restaurant.  You may end up having to make the food yourself at home.

 

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3 Quick Serve Simple Diabetic Snacks Recipes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-snacks-recipes/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-snacks-recipes/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 18:25:15 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=1000 Introduction Craving for snacks is typical.  Desserts, chocolates, you  name it  The craving is there.  At least for most people that is true. I know folks that do not care for desserts,  How I feel bad for them! This post is a compilation of several easy to prepare and even better, simple recipes that diabetics […]

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Introduction

Craving for snacks is typical.  Desserts, chocolates, you  name it  The craving is there.  At least for most people that is true. I know folks that do not care for desserts,  How I feel bad for them!

This post is a compilation of several easy to prepare and even better, simple recipes that diabetics can enjoy guilt-free.   Sure, many prefer to buy store products.  They are easily available and provides instant gratification.  However, as we all know all these store products are manufactured in huge plants that produce thousands of these snacks.  Being manufactured means that additional processes and ingredients are added to ensure a long shelf-life.  The advantage of course is convenience. Home-made products are much healthier and does not have as much of the processing ingredients added during the manufacturing process.

#1 Simple Apple Raisin Surprise

Serving for 48

Recipe Ingredients

  1. 1-1/4 cups sucralose-based sugar substitute
  2. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  4. 6 tablespoons stick butter, softened
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/3 cup 2% milk
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  8. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  12. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  13. 1 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  14. 1-1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  15. 1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine sweetner, applesauce, brown sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix with electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Stir in combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gradually mix in oats and raisins until well combined.
  5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto sprayed baking sheets. Bake until light golden in color.  Should make 4 dozen.
  6. Remove from baking sheet and sprinkle confectioners sugar (to taste)
  7. Cool completely on wire rack.
  8. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. and enjoy as desired

Nutrition Information

Each cookie has approximately 65 calories

#2 Simple Strawberry & Banana Jello Delight

Serving for 10

Recipe Ingredients

  1. 8 oz container of low fat Cool Whip
  2. 4 oz box of Jello Strawberry Cream Instant pudding (sugar free)
  3. 12 oz container of fat free Cottage Cheese
  4. 1/2 pound of Strawberries, sliced
  5. 1 Banana, sliced

Directions

  1. Combine the Cool Whip and Jello powder in a large mixing bowl
  2. Whip the mixture until they are well blended.
  3. Fold the cottage cheese, strawberry, banana and mix by hand until well blended
  4. Serve chilled in a small dessert container

Nutrition Information

Each serving is approximately 60 clories

#3 Simple Lemon Mousse

Serving for 10

Recipe Ingredients

  1. 4 cups fat-free (skim) milk
  2. 2 packages (4-serving size each) vanilla fat-free sugar-free instant pudding and pie filling mix
  3. 2 packages (1/2 ounce each) sugar-free powdered lemonade mix
  4. 1 container (8 ounces) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  5. Fresh or frozen mixed berries (optional)
  6. Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk milk and pudding-mix in large bowl until smooth
  2. When mixture thickens, whisk in lemonade mix, and topping until smooth.
  3. Pour into 8 dessert dishes.Add mixed berries
  4. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. To serve, top with berries, if desired. Garnish with mint

Nutrition Information

Approximately 60 calories

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3 Quick Serve Simple Diabetic Vegan Recipes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-vegan-recipes/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-vegan-recipes/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 01:56:54 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=1006 Introduction There are several levels of vegetarianism.  Often times, we hear of being a vegetarian as one who care deeply for animal rights and care for animals.  But like most things in life, it is not and either or situation. On one side are the omnivores who eat anything, and the opposite side of the […]

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Introduction

There are several levels of vegetarianism.  Often times, we hear of being a vegetarian as one who care deeply for animal rights and care for animals.  But like most things in life, it is not and either or situation. On one side are the omnivores who eat anything, and the opposite side of the spectrum are vegans who do not eat any animal products.  According to the web site of the Mayo Clinic, between these two ends of the spectrum are:

  • Lacto -vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs.  Dairy product such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter are included.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian diets exclude meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.
  • Pollotarian diets exclude meat, dairy and fish, but allow poultry
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

A flexitarian diet is primarily plant-based but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat occasionally or in limited quantities. The 3 easy to prepare and nutritious recipes listed below are delicious!

#1 Simple Asparagus with Pine Nuts and Pimento

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of fresh asparagus
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup diced pimento
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Directions

  • Rinse asparagus and remove the tough ends
  • Using a large skillet, bring water and salt to a boil and add asparagus
  • Cover and steam until color is bright green – approximately 2 to 3 minutes
  • Remove from the skillet, drain and arrange on a platter
  • Sprinkle with lime juice
  • Garnish with pimento and pine nuts
  • Serve warm or chilled

Nutrition Information

Approximately 50 calories per serving.

#2 Simple and Easy Pasta and Pepper Primavera

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 16 ounce package frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1 15 ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Cook pasta following the instructions on the package.  When cook, drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, stir and cook for about 30 seconds or until the garlic turns slightly brown. Add the frozen vegetables and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Add beans, white wine, lemon juice, thyme, salt (to taste) black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from eat and stir in butter.
  • Add pasta to the vegetable mixture in the skillet.
  • Mix gently to combine the pasta with the vegetable
  • Serve in pasta bowls and sprinkle Parmesan shavings to taste.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 300 calories per serving.

#3 Simple and Quick Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 pack (approximately 4 ounces) of button mushroom, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 small can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a shallow baking dish
  • Scoop out the flesh of the zucchini.
  • Place the flesh in a blender and chop. Set aside.
  • Place the zucchini shells in the baking dish
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, Saute the onions for 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and saute for several more minutes and then add the chopped zucchini flesh and mushrooms.
  • Stir into the mixture the coriander, cumin, chickpeas, lemon juice, pepper, parsley and salt.
  • Spoon mixture into zucchini shells
  • Bake in preheated oven until zucchini are tender.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 110 calories

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3 Quick Serve Simple Diabetic Seafood Recipes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-seafood-recipes/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-seafood-recipes/#respond Sun, 21 May 2017 20:31:00 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=993 Introduction Seafood is noted for its nutritional value and great taste.  The current advice from the government and many health organizations recommends two seafood meals each week.  Based on many studies, the scientific and academic communities are unanimous in their conclusion that the general public could benefit from this level of consumption. As I have […]

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Introduction

Seafood is noted for its nutritional value and great taste.  The current advice from the government and many health organizations recommends two seafood meals each week.  Based on many studies, the scientific and academic communities are unanimous in their conclusion that the general public could benefit from this level of consumption. As I have stated in several posts on this site, moderation is key to healthy eating. For more information on the benefits of seafood, including scientific publications, visit www.seafoodhealthfacts.org. The 3 recipes presented below are all easy to prepare and provide good eating!

#1 Simple Baked White Fish with Peppers and Tomatoes

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lbs of flounder, halibut or sole fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large bell peppers (red and yellow)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large sweet onions (chopped)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vineger

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place fillets in an oven-proof baking dish
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and set aside
  • Place the bell peppers on an aluminum foil and broil for about 2 – 4 minutes until charred
  • Remove when cool enough to handle.  Remove the skin and seeds, then chop
  • Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray
  • Saute the onion and garlic until onions are golden brown
  • Add the peppers and tomatoes and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes
  • Stir in the tarragon and vinegar
  • Spoon over the fish fillets and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the fish cooked.  Do not over cook!
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition information Approximately 209 calories:

#2 Simple Roasted Salmon with Brussels Sprouts

Serving for 6

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skinned , cut into 6 portions
  • 14 large cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 6 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white wine

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Prepare the seasoned oil by mincing 2 garlic cloves and combine in a small bowl with oil, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Set aside
  • Halve the remaining garlic and toss with Brussels sprouts and add 3 tablespoons of the seasoned oil in a large roasting pan.  Roast stirring once for about 15 minutes
  • Add the wine to the remaining seasoned oil mixture to prepare the wine mixture
  • Remove the pan from the oven, spread the vegetables and set the salmon on top
  • Drizzle with the wine mixture
  • Sprinkle with the remaining oregano, salt (to taste) and pepper
  • Bake until the salmon is cooked through for about 8 to 10 minutes
  • Serve with lemon wedges (optional)

Nutrition Information Approximately 335 calories per serving

#3  Simple Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Tuna Salad

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce can white tuna in water, drained
  • 1 !/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Recipe Directions

  • Toss the tuna, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the artichoke marinate in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Toss to mix well, and if too dry, add more marinate
  • Cover and chill until ready to serve by placing the mixture on a bed of fresh salad greens. (optionally, it can be served in a whole-wheat pita bread)

Nutrition information Approximately 155 calories:

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3 Quick Serve Simple Diabetic Beef Recipes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-beef-recipes/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-beef-recipes/#respond Sun, 07 May 2017 18:09:45 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=991 Introduction The chart below provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the nutritional value of different cuts of beef.  Beef is rich in protein, vitamins, calcium and iron.  It does not have carbohydrates, but unfortunately, it is also high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.  When buying beef, select one that is does […]

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Introduction

The chart below provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the nutritional value of different cuts of beef.  Beef is rich in protein, vitamins, calcium and iron.  It does not have carbohydrates, but unfortunately, it is also high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.  When buying beef, select one that is does not show a lot of fat.  Fortunately, many store labels show the nutritional value in the package – this is your best guideline in buying beef. Be sure to compare them when choosing. When preparing beef, be sure to trim any extra fat that are visible in the cut of meat.  In spite of all the apparent negatives about beef, it remains a good food source if eaten in moderation. The recipes selected are wholesome for the entire family, but diabetics should be mindful of the serving size recommendations. (The NDB Number* column on the chart refers to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, USDA, ARS)

 #1: Simple Asian-Style Barbecued Flank Steak

Serving for 6

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed flank steak
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (may substitute with artificial sweetners)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 heads baby bok-choy; cut each head into 4 quarters
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Recipe Directions

  • Prepare the marinade by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
  • Trim any excess fat from the meat. Score both sides (about 1/8 inch deep) spaced 2 -3 inches from each line.
  • Place the steak in a shallow bowl and pour the marinade over the steak. Coat both sides to infuse the marinade into the meat.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
  • Using a charcoal or gas grill, place the steak on the grill rack over medium heat.  Grill uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until medium.  Use the leftover marinate to garnish both sides of the meat.  Turn only once.  Place bok choy on the side of the meat for one to two minutes.
  • When done, remove the steak from the grill and place on a grill rack.  Cover with foil for around 10 to minutes minutes.
  • To serve, thinly slice the meat across the grain and arrange the slices on top of the bok choy.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions to taste.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 200 calories per serving

#2: Simple Spicy Chili

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground sirloin beef
  • 1 medium white onion (approximately 6 ounces) chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (approximately 6 ounces), seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ground oregano
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Recipe Directions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the ground meat.
  • Cook, stirring well until the beef is browned.
  • Add onion, garlic, bell pepper into the pot and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes (including liquid), and beef broth.
  • Simmer and cook covered, until meat and vegetables are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • When done, serve into a bowl

Nutrition Information Approximately 260 calories per serving

#3: Simple Grilled Flank Steak Pita

Serving for 6

Recipe Ingredients

  • 12 ounces beef flank steak
  • 1/2 cup clear Italian salad dressing (any store brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (add to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups baby salad greens
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized strips
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 whole wheat pita bread rounds, cuts in half horizontally

 

Recipe Directions

  • Score both sides of the steak by making shallow diagonal cuts spaced 1-inch apart
  • Combine salad dressing, lime peel, line juice, and cilantro.  Mix well.
  • Place the steak in a shallow bowl and pour the mixture over the steak.
  • Coat both sides to infuse the marinade into the meat.
  • Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, turning the meat over occasionally.
  • Drain beef, discard the marinate.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the steak on a rack over a charcoal or gas grill and cook covered over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes for medium doneness, turning once halfway through the grilling time.
  • Thinly slice across the grain. In a large bowl toss together beef, salad greens, sweet pepper, avocado.
  • Serve mixture onto pita halves.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 250 calories per serving

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3 Quick Serve Simple Diabetic Chicken Recipes https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-chicken-recipes/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/3-quick-serve-simple-diabetic-chicken-recipes/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 16:17:52 +0000 https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=988 Introduction: Chicken is valued for its taste and nutritional value.  Rich in protein, low in fat and containing vitamins and other minerals, it is noted for its flavor, availability and ease of adapting to many cooking styles.  Chicken fits well in the selected recipes shown below,  Using skinless and boneless, chicken breast contains the least […]

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Introduction:

Chicken is valued for its taste and nutritional value.  Rich in protein, low in fat and containing vitamins and other minerals, it is noted for its flavor, availability and ease of adapting to many cooking styles.  Chicken fits well in the selected recipes shown below,  Using skinless and boneless, chicken breast contains the least amount of calories as per chart shown. (Source: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/)

#1 Simple Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Serving for 12

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar (16 oz each) chipotle salsa
  • 1 can (14.5 oz each)  diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch), warmed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Optional: sliver of avocado

Directions

  • Poach the chicken in 4 cups of water.  When cooked, cube (or shred) the meat and set aside.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden brown,  5 minutes.
  • Stir in the salsa, tomatoes and vinegar. Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken, then taste and season with salt.
  • Serve the mixture in warm tortillas. Let guests add avocado, cheese and cilantro to taste.

Nutrition Information

Each taco is approximately 200 calories.

#2 Simple Chicken Salad with Walnuts

Serving for 12

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup non-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup non-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 celery ribs, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • extra tarragon as needed for garnish

Recipe Directions

  • Poach the chicken breasts in simmering broth until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut (or shred) into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and vinegar
  • Combine the chicken and dressing.
  • Add celery, walnuts, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with extra tarragon
  • Serve chilled

Nutrition Information

Approximately 270 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

#3 Simple Sweet Pepper Chicken Noodle Soup

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 green onions thinly bias-sliced
  • 2 teaspns reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 2 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1 medium red sweet pepper, thinly sliced into strips
  • 2 ounces dried ramen noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths, or 2 ounces dried fine noodles
  • 2/3 lb of skinless, boneless, chicken breasts

 

Recipe Directions

  • Poach the chicken in 2 cups of water.  When cooked, cube (or shred) the meat and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan combine water, chicken broth, green onions, soy sauce, garlic,5- spice powder, and ginger
  • Bring to boil.
  • Add the noodles, Return to boiling, reduce heat, boil gently, uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes or until noodles are just tender.
  • Drop in bok coy and sweet pepper strips.  Stir in the chopped cooked chicken, heat through.
  • Serve hot

Nutrition Information

Approximately 180 calories per serving.

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Natural Disasters – Do You Know Where your Diabetic Medications Are? https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/natural-disasters-do-you-know-where-your-diabetic-medications-are/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/natural-disasters-do-you-know-where-your-diabetic-medications-are/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:44:58 +0000 http://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=634 Natural Disasters Daily we learn of new natural disasters ravaging our planet.  Earthquakes, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, tsunamis, the potential collapse of dams, etc.  These are just a few disasters that could strike anytime and anywhere in the world.  When nature strikes, you may only have seconds to spare.  If you are very reliant on your medications, […]

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Natural Disasters

Daily we learn of new natural disasters ravaging our planet.  Earthquakes, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, tsunamis, the potential collapse of dams, etc.  These are just a few disasters that could strike anytime and anywhere in the world.  When nature strikes, you may only have seconds to spare.  If you are very reliant on your medications, as most diabetics are, you are at risk if you cannot have access to your medications in an emergency as you are trying to escape from the unfolding disaster. Where are Your Medicines? To manage and control my diabetes, it is not enough that I take the prescribed medications on a regular basis and maintain strict compliance with the doctor's orders.  I need to know where the medicines are anytime, for any emergency.  When disaster strikes, you may not have access to pharmacies to get emergency prescriptions, you may not even have access to your doctor to obtain the needed prescription. This is what I do: The first and most obvious is to keep all you medicines in one place.  Be sure that you and everyone else in your family know where this place is.  In addition to knowing where these medicines are, make a copy of the prescription information such as the name of the medicine, dosage, instructions, name of the pharmacy, etc.  Keep this information together with your medicines and in the event of an emergency, you should be able to access and take it with you.  Make sure that the copies are stored in a waterproof containers or bags.  Periodically check the paperwork to be sure that they contain the most current information.   For example, if there are seasonal events such as Hurricane or tornado season, be sure that your records contain the most updated information.  Since some natural events might be much unpredicted, just check your documents every few months for accuracy. An alternative is to take pictures of the medicines and the prescription information.  Since almost everyone nowadays has smartphones, it is easy enough to store all these information in one place.  In the event of an emergency, grab the medicines and your cell phone. If you have access to a computer, it would be easy enough to scan the prescription information and upload it to the cloud.  There are various sites where this can easily be done, Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud are just some examples of cloud-based sites.  The cloud offers the security and accessibility once you have access to the internet after a major disaster. While these alternatives to storing prescriptions are viable, do not forget that the most important action needed in the event of an emergency is to carry with you all your diabetes medicines.  (Of course, what I am writing about is applicable to other prescription drugs).

Bottom Line

How I manage, my diabetes includes steps to take in case of an emergency. One never knows when a disaster might strike.  We are all susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature.  By keeping simple, common-sense steps, another emergency from not having the needed medication after a natural emergency is averted!

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Diabetic Supplements – Are They Effective? https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diabetic-supplements-are-they-effective/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/diabetic-supplements-are-they-effective/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2017 21:35:51 +0000 http://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=440

Common Supplements

There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence reporting that many of the diabetic supplements sold today are effective for lowering blood sugar and help manage diabetes.  Cinnamon, chromium, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, vanadium, glucosamine, alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon and now cannabis.  Many other supplements claim success. In today’s blog, I will focus on two that I used – cinnamon and bitter melon.  In my future blogs, I will write about some of the other leading supplements.

 

Bitter Melon

I started using bitter melon when I was at the ‘pre-diabetes’ stage.  My doctor confirmed that my blood sugar level was slightly elevated. Her advice was for me to follow a more rigid regiment of exercise and eating habits in order to slow down the progression of the disease.  I was already playing tennis and eating fish and salad several times a week.  She did not prescribe any medication at this point for she just wanted to see the effect of a change in my lifestyle.

I took bitter melon pills for over a year.  Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd is a vegetable used for medicine and food that thrives in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.  It is a vine with a green oblong-shaped fruit.  Its exterior is green and is characterized by wart-like bumps.  The actual shape and size of the fruit depend on where it is grown.  The scientific name of the plant is Momordica Charantia.

The fruit contains at least three active substances known to have anti-diabetic properties.  It has been confirmed to have a blood-glucose-lowering effect and an insulin-like compound that help reduce blood sugar levels and suppress appetite – similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.

Bitter melon extracts are available from many Asian stores.  The typical recommended dosage is 500 mg twice per day with meals.  The extract is also available as a tea.  The best way is to include the vegetable in your cooking.  Stir-fry thinly sliced bitter melon over high heat with vegetables.  To mitigate the bitter taste of the fruit, add sweet tasting vegetables such as onions, green pepper or baby corn in the stir-fry. Adding shrimp or other meats also improves taste.

 

Cinnamon

Several years ago, I started including cinnamon extract in my daily regimen.  By this time, I was already taking a daily dose of 500 mg of Metformin.   I add ½ teaspoon of regular store-bought cinnamon powder to my morning oatmeal.  I also took 500 mg of cinnamon extract at night together with my other medications (diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol).

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of several tree species belong to the Cinnamomum.  Sri Lanka produces the bulk of the world supply.  It is also cultivated on a commercial scale in other countries including Seychelles, Madagascar, China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The plant is cultivated by growing the tree up to two years, then cutting the stems at ground level.

The cut stems are processed immediately after harvesting. Processing involves scraping off the outer bark while the inner bark is still wet.  Only the thin layer portion of the inner bark is used to make the spice.  The rest of the plant is discarded. The inner bark is stripped off and left to dry in a well-ventilated and relatively warm environment. The dried bark is cut into 2 to 4-inch strips for sale.

 

The Science Behind

Unfortunately, the bottom-line to these two supplements (and others as I will discuss in future blogs) is inconclusive. As a user of bitter melon and cinnamon, I cannot confirm that it reduced by glucose blood sugar, or it has delayed the progression of the disease. I cannot say with 100% certainty that it helped me manage my diabetes.

Numerous research and scientific experiments have been conducted on test subjects taking these supplements, and for some, it appears to work, for others no.  While researchers have identified the elements in bitter melon that may possibly affect blood sugar, the same is not true for cinnamon.

In spite of all these, many claims that bitter melon and/or cinnamon works for them.  Before you take these supplements, be sure to consult with your physician to ensure that there are no contra-indicating effects on any medication he or she is prescribing.

 

Where We Are

I would like to see more research on these herbal and other supplements.  Many of the medications prescribed to manage diabetes have adverse effects.  Thus, many say that diabetics should stay away from them.  Because the research on herbal and other supplements are inconclusive, it is not clear whether they have any negative impact as well.  Until extensive research is completed, we will not know for sure.

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Other Medical Issues Faced by Diabetics https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/other-medical-issues-faced-by-diabetics/ https://howimanagemydiabetes.com/other-medical-issues-faced-by-diabetics/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2017 22:35:06 +0000 http://howimanagemydiabetes.com/?p=415

Diabetes and Blood Pressure

As if keeping track of my blood sugar levels, as I have discussed in many previous posts, there are other considerations I follow to manage my diabetes.  The focus is always keeping blood sugar levels low and within a target range.

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels also need to be monitored.  More discussion on cholesterol levels at a later.  For now, let me focus on blood pressure.  Blood pressure is easy to track because there are home devices for measuring blood pressure.  I use an Omron (www.Omronhealthcare.com) blood pressure machine.  These machines are inexpensive and give consistently good results. I occasionally bring my unit to my doctor's office for calibration.  So far, the results from my home unit matches the results from the doctor's office.

So what is the relation between high blood pressure (medically known as hypertension) and diabetes? Diabetes often leads to heart and other circulatory problems because diabetes could harden the arteries.  When arteries harden (also known as atherosclerosis), blood pressure goes up.  If blood pressure is not treated, it could lead to various other complications including blood vessel damage, stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.  All of these are serious complications.

Blood Pressure Levels for Diabetics

Unfortunately, high blood pressure has no symptoms, until it is too late.  So, it is very important that it be checked often.  Blood pressure readings vary, but most people with diabetes should have a reading of no more than 140/80. My doctor says that I should keep my blood pressure to less than 130/70.

The first, or top, number is the “systolic pressure or the pressure in the arteries when your heart beats and fills the arteries with blood. The second, or bottom, number is the “diastolic pressure or the pressure in the arteries when your heart rests between beats, filling itself with blood for the next contraction. (http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/high-blood-pressure#1)

High Blood Pressure Treatments for Diabetics

My doctor prescribes two high blood pressure medications.  The first is 50 mg of Losartan, once a day.  This is an ARB (angiotensin II receptor blockers) and is used for treating high blood pressure for people with diabetes. The second medication is 5 mg Amlodipine daily.  It is a channel blocker that dilates (widens) the blood vessels to improve the flow of blood. Channel blockers are medications that prevent the entry of calcium, reduce the electrical conduction within the heart, and decrease the force of contraction of the heart muscle cells. These two medicines in combination maintains my blood pressure to within range at 135/70.

Cholesterol and Diabetes

There are two kinds of cholesterol labelled simply as “good” and “bad”.  Diabetes lowers “good” cholesterol levels and increases “bad” cholesterol levels.  This common condition is called diabetic dyslipidemia. The high blood (also known as lipid disorder, hyperlipidemia, or hypercholesterolemia) is a silent disease just like hypertension.  There are no obvious symptoms if you have it.  Too much “bad” cholesterol can cause plaque build-up in your arteries, causing them to clog.  Over time, the plaques that form could break loose and travel in the blood stream.  Along the way, it could be “stuck” and cause major disruptions to the blood flow and cause either a heart attack or stroke.

Studies show a link between insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and diabetic dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and blood vessel disease. These conditions can develop even before diabetes is diagnosed.  (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG).  Therefore, it is very important that cholesterol levels are monitored regularly.

I take 10 mg of Atorvastatin daily to control my cholesterol.  Atorvastatin is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. (https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a600045.html)

A bit of good news is that in 1993, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approved a home cholesterol test.  The test is conducted by pricking the finger with a small lancet to draw blood.  The drawn blood is placed on a chemically treated paper.

Unfortunately, these tests do not provide a total picture of ones' lipid levels (“good” and “bad” cholesterol).  At this point, only lab tests done at the doctor's office or regular lab can give a true picture of cholesterol.

Final Conclusion

Finally, learning about the related complications from diabetes helps me manage my diabetes. A very complicated disease affects many lives around the world.  The disease causes many complications.  By doing research on this disease, and publishing this blog, I hope that I can share my experiences with others.

 

 

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