WELCOME TO DIABETIC ENJOYING FOOD

I have chosen this name for this blog because it truly states my story. I am a type II diabetic who most certainly enjoys food. When I was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my blood sugar level was over 400. With some oral medications, a lot of research and some trial and error, I have found that unlike my ancestors I truly can continue to enjoy food. I hope this blog will help you to also enjoy food and be healthy. Some recipes are my originals and some I have collected. Everyone reacts different to various foods. Check your blood sugar readings so you will know whether or not a recipe works for you! And feel free to take a recipe and adjust it to suit your needs.

Friday, December 30, 2011

CHICKEN AND NUT PATE'

1 cup pecan halves
1 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts,cooked and coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup minced green onions

Process both nuts together in a food processor or blender until coarsely ground; remove nuts and set them aside.

Place the garlic cloves into the processor or blender and pulse about 4 times until minced.  Add the chicken and process until smooth, keeping sides scraped down.  Add the mayonnaise, ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar; pulse until blended.  Stir in the nuts and the onions.

Place the mixture into a bowl with a lid; cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Serve with assorted whole-grain crackers.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups pate'.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SPICY OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN LEGS

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
10 chicken legs, skinned

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Pour the oil evenly over the bottom of a 15 x 10-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the baking mix, paprika, Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and black pepper; mix well.  Pour mixture into a paper bag large enough to shake chicken in.

Add the chicken legs, a few at a time according to the size of the bag, and shake bag to coat legs well.  Arrange the legs on the baking pan.

Bake the chicken, turning once during cooking, until the juices run clear when pierced.  This will take around 30 to 40 minutes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

HERB-CRUSTED TURKEY BREAST

1 (3 - 4 lb) fresh turkey breast
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Completely remove the turkey skin; wash turkey and pat dry.

Mix the lemon pepper and Italian seasonings with the melted butter and brush mixture over the turkey breast.  Place breast on a roasting rack in a shallow pan; cover with a loose foil tent.

Bake the turkey at 375 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Remove the foil tent and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees and the meat is tender.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 140 calories, 2 g fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 29 g protein, 0 g carbs, 70 mg sodium

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

VEGETABLE QUESADILLAS

1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup thin sliced green bell pepper
1 cup thin sliced red bell pepper
1 can (15-oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
8 whole-wheat tortillas (8-inch size)
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
1/2 cup your favorite salsa
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until transparent.  Add the red and green bell peppers, beans, cumin, and red pepper; cook, stirring until the peppers are tender.  Remove skillet from the heat.

In another nonstick skillet over medium heat, place one tortilla.  Add approximately 1/3 cup of the veggie mixture to half of the tortilla.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cheese over the veggies, fold over and cook until browned on one side.  Turn tortilla and brown second side.  Repeat with the other 7 tortillas.  Serve quesadillas with the salsa and sour cream.

Monday, December 26, 2011

GREEK PASTA SALAD

1 pkg ( 5 to 6-oz) fresh baby spinach
1 can (15-oz) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
4-oz crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, cut-up
2 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp lemon peel that is finely shredded
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12-oz pkg farfalle pasta
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Combine the spinach, beans, cheese, tomatoes, onions, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix together well.  Cover and let stand at room temperature while cooking the pasta (or up to 2 hours if you want to make it ahead) and stir occasionally.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain the pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of the water.  Toss the cooked pasta with the spinach mixture.  Serve while warm or at room temperature.  Top with the Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 servings

Saturday, December 24, 2011

FRESH PEAR CRISP

1 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
4 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 cups thinly sliced pears

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, mix the Splenda, both flours, and the cinnamon until blended.  Add the pears and toss to coat well.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

2 1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Splenda Brown sugar blend
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 2/3 cups butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, Splenda, both flours, and pecans.  Pour in the melted butter and mix well until all the dry ingredients are wet.  Sprinkle the mixture over the pear mixture in the baking pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1/2 hour, until the pears are fork tender and the topping is lightly browned.

BROCCOLI RAISIN SALAD

1 bunch fresh broccoli, broken into florets
1/2 cup golden raisins (omit if necessary)
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise (not salad dressing-too sweet)
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp Splenda granular
3 strips cooked bacon, broken into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds

Combine the broccoli florets, raisins-if using, and onion in a large bowl. 

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, and Splenda until well blended.  Pour the dressing over the broccoli, toss to coat, and refrigerate until serving time.  Before serving, toss gently and sprinkle with the bacon pieces and sunflower seeds.

Note: File Photo

Friday, December 23, 2011

SIRLOIN STEAK SALAD

1 1/2 lb sirloin steak approximately 1 1/2-inch thick
1 jar or can (4.5-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 medium green bell pepper sliced into rings
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tarragon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
lettuce
tomatoes

Preheat broiler.  Broil steak 3 to 4-inches from the heating element for approximately 13 minutes per side for medium done.  Adjust cooking time for rare or well done.  Allow to set aside for about 5 minutes.

Cut the meat into 3/8-inch strips.  Arrange the meat in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Place the mushrooms atop the meat; top with the bell pepper rings. 

Combine the vinegar, oil, salt, onion salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, tarragon, and garlic; pour over the meat and veggies in the baking dish.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Spoon the marinade over the meat and veggies a few times.

With a large slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to the lettuce leaves or cups that have been arranged on salad plates.  Arrange the meat atop of beside the lettuce/vegetables.  Add the tomatoes either sliced or cut into wedges, as a garnish.

Yield: 4 servings     

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BAKED RICE AND CHEESE

3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely choped green bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick canola cooking spray. Alternate layers of rice, cheese, and green pepper until all are used.

Combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the layers.

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs with the butter and sprinkle the crumbs over the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until lightly browned.

Serves 6.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

STAIR EXERCISE

If at all possible, a diabetic should always take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.  One of the keys to diabetic exercise is to make it a part of your everyday life.  While that doesn't have to mean an hour a day at the gym, it does mean you should find the simple ways to get exercise.  Stairs are a very good way to do that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHEESECAKE BARS

CRUST:
6 whole graham crackers, finely ground
2 teaspoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs with the Spenda blend.  Add the melted butter, stirring until the crumbs are moistened.  Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Bake about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.

FILLING:
2 pkgs (8-oz each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 pkg (8-oz) fat-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup Splenda granulated
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup reduced sugar raspberry  or strawberry  presrves
2 tablespoons water

Beat the cream cheeses, vanilla extract, and Splenda with an electric mixer until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the egg substitute.  Mix in flur until well combined.  Pour batter over the crust. 

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Heat the preserves and water in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until the preserves are melted.  Spread over the filling, cover and chill in refrigerator for 4 hours before cutting into bars.

Yield: 25 bars
Per serving of 1 bar:  84 cal, 4 g protein, 7 g carbs

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SPLENDA BANANA STRAWBERRY SHAKE

1 large ripe banana, sliced
5 pkts Splenda
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 1/4 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries

Put all ingredients into a blender container.  Blend on medium until smooth.

To serve pour into two glasses.  Garnish with a strawberry, if desired.

Friday, December 16, 2011

MINIATURE VANILLA PEAR TARTS

1 pkg (6-count) miniature graham cracker tart shells
1 pkg (3.4-oz) sugar-free French vanilla instant pudding mix

Make the pudding according to package directions for pie filling.  Divide evenly among the six tart shells.  Refrigerate until serving time.

1 1/2 to 2 cup fresh pears, diced
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Splenda granulated
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
drop of almond extract

Sugar-free whipped topping for garnish

Place the fresh pears, water, Splenda, and cinnamon in a saucepan; stir to blend well.  Cool slowly on medium low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Lower heat to simmer and simmer until the pears are tender and the liquid is syrupy.  Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.  Allow to cool completely.

To serve, top the tarts with the pears and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.  Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, if desired.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CREAMY ITALIAN CHICKEN PIZZA

1 portion of the whole grain pizza crust recipe on this blog
1/3 cup light Alfredo sauce
1/4 tsp crushed rosemary
1 cup shredded (or chopped) cooked chicken
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
cornmeal

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal over the bottom of a 12-inch round pizza pan; set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on pizza pan and prick with a fork.  Bake the dough for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned.

Combine the crushed rosemary into the Alfredo sauce and spread to within an inch of the edges of the crust.  Top sauce with the chicken, tomatoes, and zucchini then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the veggies have softened and the cheese is melted.  Before serving sprinkle the fresh basil leaves over the top.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 310 calories, 33 g carbs, 24 g protein

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

KIDS AND FAST FOOD, OBESITY, AND DIABETES

I am stepping out of the norm here and writing about kids and fast food.  Now understand, I am not against fast food for children.  Just this past Saturday I bought my 7-year-old granddaughter a McDonald's happy meal while we were out enjoying some Christmas activities.  But that is not something we do on a regular basis.  Having said that, I recently saw a study from about a year ago that said 30% of our kids eat fast food everyday.  Another said that a survey of 4th graders in one of our nations large cities said that nearly 50% were overweight.  Might there be a correlation between the two?  I think so.

What concerns me even more is the number of these children who will be facing diabetes later, if not already.  Please do not feed your children fast food everyday.  If they are overweight, make small subtle changes in their diets to help them lower their weight.  Remove a lot of the snack foods from your home and replace them with whole-grain crackers, fresh fruit that is easy for kids such as grapes, bananas, etc, and fresh produce such as baby carrots, etc.  Healthy, unsalted, nuts can also he a good idea.  And remember all things in moderation.

I am not a fan of Mrs. Obama and some of the crazy ideas about school lunches.  My daughter used to be an elementary school lunchroom manager.  When they had to replace some of the foods with fresh fruit, their trash cans were full of apples, bananas, etc.  I am also against banning toys in happy meals, etc.  We can control what our kids eat better than we do.  And it starts when they are young.  Don't reward behaviour with food.  Refrain from buying the heavily coated sugar cereals; teach your youngsters to eat healthy cereals.  There is much we can do to protect our children and grandchildren from this hideous disease known as diabetes!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CAJUN-STYLE SHRIMP

1 lb extra large peeled shrimp
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
couple grinds of freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges for garnish

In a bowl big enough for tossing, toss the shrimp with the lime juice. 

Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, red and black peppers together.  Sprinkle mixture over the shrimp then toss to coat well.

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat until hot.  Add the shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes until the shrimp are pink.  Using a large spoon, remove the shrimp to a serving platter.  Cover and chill for at least an hour.

To serve, garnish platter with limeor lemon wedges.

Yield: 12 to 15 appetizes

Note: File Photo

Monday, December 5, 2011

APPLE CRANBERRY PIE

Pastry for a two-crust pie
1/2 cup Splenda Granulated
1 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large (5 to 6 medium) Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with half the pastry; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the Splenda, flour, and cinnamon blending well.  Add the apples and cranberries, tossing gently to coat completely.  Pour the mixture into the pastry lined pie plate.

Top the filling with a second pastry sheet.  Trim edges of pastry and fold under; crimp to seal.  Cut a couple of slits in the top pastry or pork several times with the tines of a fork so steam can escape.

Bake pie at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.  If necessary, cover the edges with a rim of aluminum foil or a pie crust shield to prevent over-browning.

Allow to cool on a wire rack approximately 1 hour before cutting to serve.

Yield: 8 servings.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

APPLE-RICE PUDDING

1 3/4 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
1 medium (3/4 cup) Golden Delicious apple, chopped (do not peel)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
cinnamon for garnish, optional

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan with a lid, bring the water to a boil; add the rice and salt.  Cook, covered, over low heat for 40 to 45 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Stir occasionally during cooking.

Stir in the apple, milk, honey, and cranberries.  Cook, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes until pudding is slightly thickened and creamy; stirring occasionally.

This pudding is delicious served warm or chilled.

Note:  Cinnamon is optional but remember that cinnamon is a blood sugar stabilizer and should be used regularly in your diet.


Yield: 6 servings of 1/3 cup each.
Per serving: 100 calories, 1 g fat, 61 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein (note: this is not a good carb to protein ratio and should be part of a meal that has more protein.)
Exchanges: 1 starch, .5 carb, 1.5 carb choices

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CRITERIA FOR A DIABETES DIAGNOSIS

As of 2010 any of the following criteria can be used as an indication for a diabetes diagnosis:
  1. A1C over 6.5 (Must be performed in a lab using certified and standarized method.)
  2. Fasting plasma glucose over 126 (no caloric intake in the previous 8 hours)
  3. 2-hour plasma glucose over 200 after consuming 75 grams of glucose
  4. Random plasma glucose over 200 with symptoms of excessive urination, thirst, and unexplained weight loss.
While the A1C is not necessarily superior to the other methods, it is convenient because fasting isn't required.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WHOLE GRAIN BUTTERMILK BREAD

1 cup warm (105 - 115 degrees) water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
4 cups (approximately) bread flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp salt
1 cup wheat germ
2 1/2 cups rye flour
1 egg white
1 tsp water
3 tbsp rolled oats

Place the warm water in a room-temperature bowl and stir in the yeast and honey.  Stir in 1 cup of the bread flour.  Let stand in a warm place until bubbly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Mix the buttermilk and salt into the above mixture.  Add another 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour.  Mix to blend then beat until smooth.  Stir in the wheat germ and rye flour to make a stiff dough.  Turn out on a floured surface and knead until the dough is is springy, kneading in more bread flour if needed.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning over to grease top.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled; about an hour and a half.

Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes.  Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a loaf.  Place in 2 greased 9-inch loaf pans.  Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

In a small bowl or cup, lightly beat the egg white with the water; brush lightly over tops of loaves.  Sprinkle each loaf with half the oats.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40 to 45 minutes.  Bread will be done when lightly browned and produces a hollow sound when tapped. 

Remove bread from pans and cool on wire rack.
Note: File Photo

Monday, November 28, 2011

TEX-MEX TURKEY ROLL-UPS

2 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 1/2 cups sour cream, divided
3 tsp taco seasoning mix, divided
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup sliced black olives
10 (7-inch size) flour tortillas
Shredded lettuce for garnish
Chopped tomatoes for garnish

In a bowl combine the turkey, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, and half the taco seasoning mix, half of the soup, the onion, 1 cup of the cheese, the salsa and the olives.  Be sure to combine well. 

Place 1/3 cup of the mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in the prepared baking pan. 

In another bowl, combine the remaining sour cream, taco seasoning mix, and soup.  Stir to blend well then pour over the tortillas in the pan. 

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Garnish with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

PARMESAN PITA TRIANGLES

If you are looking for appetizers or snacks to serve when diabetics are around, these little triangles are a good idea.  Serve with hummus for a tasty but healthy snack.

6 pita bread rounds, split in half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Set out 2 ungreased baking sheets.

Cut each bread half into six triangles.

In a 9 X 13-inch baking pan, mix the butter, garlic powder, and onion powder together.  Add the pita bread triangles and toss to coat well.  Add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Arrange in single layers on the two baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.

Makes 72 appetizer triangles.

Note: File Photo



Friday, November 25, 2011

FIG BARS

Figs pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have more potassium, fiber, and calcium than other fruits and they contain antioxidants.

1/2 cup dried figs
6 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp Splenda Granulated
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp low-fat milk
1 ounce cream cheese
1/3 cup 'fake'*powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the figs, water, and Splenda in the food processor or blender. Process mixture until the figs are finely chopped; set aside.

Combine the flours, oats, baking powder, salt, in a medium mixing bowl. Add the canola oil and just enough milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to have the mixture form a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 12-inches. Place the dough on the prepared cookie sheet. Spread the fig mixture in a lengthwise strip about 2 1/2-inches wide down the middle of the dough. Make cuts alost to filling about every half inch on both of the long sides. Fold the strips over the filling, overlapping and crossing in the center.

Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.

Make icing by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. Drizzle over the cooled braid. Cut braid into 12 equal pieces.

*You can make your own powdered sugar by blending 3/4 cup Splenda Granulated and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a blender or food processor until it becomes the consistency of powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. Use exactly as you would powdered sugar.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ZUCCHINI BEEF CASSEROLE

1 lb ground beef
4 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1 onion, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Cook zucchini in 2 cups boiling water until tender.  Meanwhile, brown the ground beef with the onion until beef is no longer pink.  Stir while cooking to crumble.

Drain the zucchini and combine with the cooked beef and onion.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and transfer to a casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Dot with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees until the casserole is browned and bubbly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SWEET POTATO CRISP

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (40-oz) cut sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/4 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2/3 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup oats, uncooked
1/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In mixer bowl beat the cream cheese, sweet potatoes, the 2 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, and cinnamon until well blended.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole.  Top with the apple and cranberries.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, oats, and 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the nuts and sprinkle over the fruit layer of the dish.

Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through and the topping is lightly browned.

Monday, November 21, 2011

FISH TACOS

1 lb skinless tilapia (other other firm white fish)
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin, divided
1 tsp chipotle hot pepper sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp canola oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
8 corn tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 limes

Combine the sour cream, cilantro, and 1/4 tsp of the cumin; set aside.

Cut the fish into bite-size (approximately 1-inch) chunks; toss with half of the hot pepper sauce, remaining cumin, and the garlic salt. 

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the fish, turning gently, 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish is opaque in the center.  Transfer fish to a bowl and set aside.

Add the bell peppes to the skillet and stir-fry until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the remaining half of the hot pepper sauce and heat through.  Return the fish to the skillet and toss with the peppers and heat through.

To serve, spoon the mixture into the warmed tortillas and top with the lime juice.  Serve with the cilantro sour cream sauce.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SUNDAY LAYERED SALAD

1 head lettuce, chopped
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 can (8-oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tbsp Splenda granulated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 bacon strips, fried crisp & crumbled

In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish layer ingredients in the order listed above.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

HERBED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ROASTED POTATOES

If you are a meat and potatoes person, here is a good way for you to enjoy a favorite meal.  The protein in the pork will counteract some of the starch (which turns to sugar) in the potatoes.  And remember that moderation is key.  Don't eat all the potatoes!  A few wedges should be your limit.

1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp rosemary
2 2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 (approximately 1 lb each) whole pork tenderloins
2 lb new potatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper until blended.  Remove 3 tablespoons and rub onto the tenderloins.  Place tenderloins in a large roasting pan. 

Toss the potatoes with the remaining seasoning mix and arrange around the tenderloins in the pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the meat registers at least 155 degrees on a meat thermometer and the juiced run clear.  Stir the potatoes about halfway through the cooking time.  Broil on the top oven rack for approximately 5 minutes to brown meat and potatoes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Yield: approximately 8 servings

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SWEET POTATO PIE

3 medium to large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups Splenda granulated
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 unbaked sugar-free 9-inch pie shell
Sugar-free frozen whipped topping thawed for garnish, if desired

Cook the sweet potatoes covered in water to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer about 45 minutes until tender. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the potatoes and when enough, peel, remove blemishes, and mash.  Add the butter, Splenda, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon, beat mixture until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell.

Bake pie at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.  If crust begins to get too brown, cover edge with a foil rim.

Note: Cinnamon is a blood sugar regulator so I have more cinnamon in this recipe than you may be used to.

Note: File Photo

Monday, November 14, 2011

HONEY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Splenda granulated
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and peanut butter until creamy.  Add the egg, honey, and vanilla extract; beat on high speed for 1 1/2 minutes.  Add the Splenda and beat on medium until well blended.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add flours mixture to the creamy mixture while beating on low speed until well blended.  The mixture may appear crumbly; that is okay.

Dip dough out by level tablespoonfuls and roll into balls using your hands.  Drop the balls onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet about 2-inches apart.  Flatten the balls with a fork into a crisscross pattern.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. 

Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 24 cookies
Per cookie: Approximately 120 calories, 10 g carbs, 4 g protein, 8 g (1 g saturated) fat, 150 mg sodium, 2 g sugar
Note: File Photo

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SWEET AND SPICY WALNUTS

Walnuts are healthy and should be part of the diabetic's (everyone's* actually) diet.  This recipe for this sweet and spicy nuts are great for nibbling, game watching, or packaging as gifts for diabetics and others.

1 large egg white
1 teaspoon water
5 cups walnut halves or large pieces
1 cup Splenda granulated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

In a large bowl, using a fork, beat the egg white and water together.  Add the nuts and toss to coat well.  In a small bowl combine the Splenda, cinnamon, salt if using, nutmeg, and allspice.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the walnuts and toss to coat.

Grease a 15 x 10-inch baking pan.  Spread the nuts out evenly on the pan and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.  Spread waxed paper out on a flat surface and transfer the nuts to the paper to cool.  Break into clumps.  For gifting, package in individual cellophane bags or decorative tins.  For parties, etc, display in a pretty dish.

Yield: 7 cups

*Except for those who have allergies to nuts or other health problems that cause them to avoid nuts.

Note: File Photo


Saturday, November 12, 2011

SPIRAL HAM WITH A DIABETIC ORANGE GLAZE

1 fully cooked spiral sliced ham (approx 8-9 lbs)
2 cups water
1/2 to 3/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/4 cup no-sugar-added orange juice
1 cup Splenda sweetened orange marmalade
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the ham, cut side down, on a rack in a large roasting pan.  Pour the water into the pan; cover the ham with an aluminum foil tent.  Bake1 and 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Splenda, orange juice, marmalade, and Dijon mustard.  Set mixture aside.

Remove the ham from oven and remove the foil tent.  Liberally brush the glaze mixture over the surface of the ham using 3/4 cup.  Leave the foil off and return ham to the oven for another half hour or until internal temperature is 140 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Place quartered oranges around ham to garnish, if desired.
Serves approximately 25.

CASHEW CHICKEN WITH CURRY

3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
3/4 tsp garlic salt
dash of red pepper flakes
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup julienned carrots
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1/4 cup roasted salted cashews

In a large zip-top plastic bag combine the flour, curry powder, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes; add the chicken and shake well to coat all chicken pieces.

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and stir-fry just until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.  (Chicken will not be done!)  Remove chicken from skillet.

Add the chicken broth and the remaining flour mixture in the bag to the skillet.  Stir well to combine.  Add the cauliflower floretsand the carrots; cover and cook over medium heat 3 minutes.

Return the chicken and any juices from it to the skillet, simmer a few minutes until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through.  The sauce should be slightly thickened. 

Serve the chicken and sauce over the hot brown rice and sprinkle the cashews over the top.

Note: In this recipe the carbs and proteins are basically equal at around 30 grams each.

Friday, November 11, 2011

BREAKFAST PANINI

4 slices whole-grain bread of your choice
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 thinly sliced green onion
1/3 cup cooked ham, chopped
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
freshly ground black pepper to suit taste
2 slices reduced-fat cheese of your choice
nonstick cooking spray
Spray a small skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion; cooking while stirring until veggies begin to soften. Stir in the ham.
In a small bowl beat the eggs with the black pepper and pour over the ham mixture in skillet. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until the eggs are almost set.
Heat grill pan (or a medium skillet). Spray 1 side of each bread slice with the nonstick cooking spray (I like to use the butter flavored spray.) On the unsprayed side of two of the slices, place a slice of the cheese topped with half the egg mixture. Place the unsprayed side of the remaining bread slices over the egg mixture.
Grill the sandwiches approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side, using a spatula to press down lightly, until light brown.
To serve, cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately while still hot.
Yield: 2 sandwiches 1 sandwich per serving.
Per sandwich: Approximately 270 calories, 24 g protein, 30 g carbs. Perfect for us diabetics.
                                     

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GROUND POULTRY

Poultry is a good lean protein and a good source of necessary minerals.  It should be a part of a diabetic's healthy diet.  Having said that, let me add this; beware of ground poultry.  Read the fine print before you purchase packages of ground chicken or turkey!  They often contain skin which can really push the fat into an unhealthy level.  You don't have to avoid it, just beware of what you are buying!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GIFT JAR OF TUSCAN MARKET SOUP MIX

If you enjoy giving food gift jars as gifts or make them to sell at craft shows, etc, this is a good one for diabetics as well as the general public.
Layer the ingredients in a quart jar:
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
2 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp dried cumin
1 pkg dehydrated onion soup mix
Attach recipe for TUSCAN MARKET SOUP
1 jar Tuscan Market Soup Mix
3 quarts water
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
Combine ingredients and place in a soup pot; cover. Cook over medium heat and simmer 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender.

Monday, October 17, 2011

YOGURT: GREEK VS REGULAR

I have had several ask me if they should eat regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. As with all things, there are pluses and minuses on each side. It all depends on your nutritional needs. For us diabetics, Greek is probably better but only if you go for the low-fat or fat-free versions. Greek yogurt goes through an extensive straining process that removes much of the liqud whey, lactose, and sugar. This is the process that gives it its thick consistency. In basically the same number of calories, Greek yogurt can cut the sugar content to half that of regular yogurt. This straining process also makes Greek yogurt better for the lactose-intolerent.

This chart offers you a general nutritional value of the two types:
Greek - (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE HIDDEN SUGARS

I know I repeat myself sometimes, but this is important.  As a diabetic, you cannot just purchase and eat an item because it is labeded "healthy."  Many foods, including those labeled "healthy" and many times especially those labeled "healthy," have way too much sugar!  For example; a popular Yogurt Parfait with Fruit has 38 grams of sugar per parfait!  An average Bran Muffin has 16 grams of sugar, and granola cereal - how often are you told to eat healthy granola? - averages around 13 grams of sugar per serving.  I am not belittling these foods, just reminding you that the word "healthy" does not mean low in sugar.  Beware!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WHAT WE EAT AFFECTS BODY CHEMISTRY

‎"Everything you eat and drink changes the chemistry of your blood. Our cell membranes are lined with fats that are comprised primarily of those we've eaten in the last 90 days." Keith I Block, MD, Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and Director of Integrative Medical Education at University of Illinois College of Medicine. Did you note he says "in the last 90 days"? You cannot change your body overnight. You do it steadily over time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NEUROPATHY AND THE DIABETIC

Neuropathy is a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves. Know anymore than you did? Probably not. Let's see if we can get a better understanding of what all that mumbo-jumbo means!

The human body's nervous system has two main parts with the Central Nervous System being the one we hear the most about. This is the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. The one we hear less about is also a very important one. The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of the nerves that connect the Central Nervous System to the other organs and muscles in the body. As you can imagine, the peripheral nerves affect a lot of areas of the body. Now back to our original definition of neuropathy, a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves, one can see how neuropathy can become a big problem.

The peripheral nervous system is made up of three different types of nerves. They are motor nerves, which are responsible for voluntary movements such as waving goodbye, walking, etc. Another is sensory nerves which allow us to feel pain, hot and cold, etc. The third type is the autonomic nerves. As the name implies, these nerves control our involuntary movements such as breathing, heart beats, etc. Obviously, the nervous system is very complex and one of more nerves may be involved in neuropathy.

Symptoms of neuropathy can come on suddenly or gradually over time, depending on the types of nerves involved. Unfortunately, diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy so we diabetics need to be aware of the symptoms because early intervention is important in treatment and recovery. In most cases, the early symptoms are weakness, pain, or numbness. Symptoms such as difficulty walking, stumbling or tiring easily, muscle cramps, trouble holding onto objects, an unsteady gait, dizziness when standing up may be symptoms. Some people complain of their hands and feet feeling as though they are wearing gloves or slippers when they are not. Because the peripheral nerves involve so many areas, there are many different types of symptoms. This can lead to problems getting a diagnosis since so many of these symptoms also relate to other illnesses. If you notice one or more of these symptoms for an extended time, check with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a neurologist, a doctor whose specialty is the brain and nerve disorders. A complete history of the symptoms should be presented and such tests as an EMG (electromyography), blood tests and urine tests will probably be done.

The key to recovery is to seek help as soon as you suspect problems. Recovery time depends on how much damage has been done and if nerve damage is left untreated for a long period of time, the symptoms could become irreversible. Don't ignore the symptoms! This is your life, your future and your comfort we are talking about here. Most of us human beings have a tendency to think it's our imagination, it will get better on its own, the doctor will think I'm just a complainer, I'll mention it when I see the doctor in six months, etc. Wrong! At the risk of repeating myself, I feel that I must stress early diagnosis and treatment is important for this one. Don't let yourself have permanent nerve damage because you waited too long to admit you had a problem.

FRESH FRUIT VS CANNED FRUIT ESPECIALLY FOR DIABETICS

Diabetics should be aware of canned fruits. That is not to say all canned fruits should be avoided. Just be sure to read the nutritional label and be especially aware of the sugar and carbohydrate counts. Here is an example using my favorite fruit, peaches. One-half cup canned peaches in heavy syrup has 22 grams of carbs. A medium-sized fresh peach has only 14 grams of carbs. Now there are options in between including peaches in light syrup or peaches sweetened with Splenda. You know your situation better than anyone so the decision is yours. But diabetics should never choose the canned fruit in heavy syrup, and fresh fruit is always preferable.






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MEATLESS MONDAYS FOR YOUR HEALTH

A recent study by a nonprofit health initiative backed by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, suggests that Mondays are the best day for starting a diet or reminding yourself of your goals to improve your health. While Sunday is technically the first day of the week, we actually consider Monday as such. After all, Monday is when we get back into our weekly routines. So why not set aside Mondays as a meatless day for yourself and/or your family? Several medical studies show that just eliminating meat from your diet one day a week can improve heart health and reduce your risk for obesity, diabetes, and some cancers. That should be enough to cause us all to decide to go without meat for just one day a week. You still need to include healthy protein in your diet on meatless days by adding nuts, beans, lentils, soy, etc.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

APPLE-WALNUT CAKE

Remember this is a dessert and should be eaten as such. Make this and share it with family, friends, co-workers, etc. No more than 1 piece a day for the diabetics.

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
3 tbsp packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
3/4 cup Splenda Granulated
4 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup fat-free milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the flours, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt; set aside.

Place the apples in the prepared baking pan. In a medium bowl beat the Splenda Brown sugar blend, Splenda granulated, and butter in a medium bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Whisk in the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle walnuts over the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the apples are tender. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Serve while warm and should there be any leftovers, refrigerate them.

Yield: 9 servings.
 
 Note: File Photo

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

OATMEAL AND BANANA PANCAKES

1 1/3 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup quick cook oats
1 cup white whole wheat flour
 2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp canola oil
1 large banana, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup sugar-free strawberry preserves

In a large mixing bowl combine the milk and oats; allow to set for 10 minutes.

Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture, egg, and canola oil to the oats; stir together until moistened but do not beat. Stir in the banana.

Spray griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat up over medium heat. Drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the hot griddle. Cook about 3 minutes until bubbles form on on the tops and bottoms are browned. Turn and cook another minute or two until second side is browned.

Microwave the preserves on high until syrupy, about a minute or so. Serve this syrup with the pancakes.

Yield: 6 servings of 3 pancakes and 2 tablespoons of the syrup.
176 calories, 3 g (1 sat) fat, 35 g carbs, 6 g protein, 36 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 198 mg sodium

To improve carb to protein ratio, I always recommend a couple slices of bacon or sausage (turkey or protein products are okay) with a serving of pancakes.

   Note: This is a file photo.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LOW FAT (SKIM) MILK VS WHOLE MILK

Did you know that drinking an 8-ounce glass of low-fat (skim) milk instead of whole milk cuts your calorie intake by more than 45% without cutting the amount of calcium?

Note: File Photo

Saturday, September 3, 2011

APPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE FOR DIABETICS

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup
2 large baking apples
1/4 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup no-sugar added applesauce
1/3 cup Splenda granulated (Or Splenda Baking Blend if you can have some sugar)
1 tbsp water
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a 9-inch round cake pan, swirling to coat sides; add the maple-flavored syrup stirring to blend. Allow to cool while you peel, core, and slice the apples. Layer the apples over the maple-butter mixture in the cake pan. Sprinkle the raisins over the apples, if using. Set aside.

Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in sifter and sift into a small bowl.

In medium mixing bowl or large mixer bowl, cream together the applesauce, Splenda, and 1 tablespoon water. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in small increments alternately with the 2/3 cup of water, beating after each addition. Gently pour the batter over the apples and raisins in the pan. Gently spread batter to even and level. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn out onto serving platter immediately after removing from oven.

NOTE: I do not use raisins. I substitute chopped pecans for the raisins as that is actually better for a diabetic. Also, I can't stand raisins!

Note: File photo

Monday, August 29, 2011

PUMPKIN OATMEAL RAISIN NUT COOKIES

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/3 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Splenda Granular
1/2 cup packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 cup canned pumpkin or cooked pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup raisins, optional (I omit)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl beat butter, Splenda both white and brown, until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract mixing well. Add the flour mixture and mix in well. Stir in the nuts and raisins. Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes until cookie are lightly browned and set in the centers. Allow to cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Diabetics should be limited to 2 cookies a day!

Note: File Photo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

HEART ATTACK

As we diabetics know, diabetes over the long term causes damage to other areas and makes us more likely to suffer heart disease along with other problems. Did you know that many people, especially women, who have heart attacks do not have any or severe chest pain? In addition to chest pain, other signs of heart attack can include chest pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, indigestion, excessive sweating, fainting, dizziness, heart palpitations, and left arm pain. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering a heart attack, call 911 and chew an aspirin-full dose 325 mg. The sooner heart attacks are treated, the better. When blood flow is cut off to any part of the heart during an attack, that heart muscle may become damaged or die.

When I had a heart attack several years ago I had stayed home from work thinking I was coming down with the stomach flu that had gone around at work. I only went to the doctor after almost fainting going down the stairs. My only sign was nausea and sweating which I related to the nausea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CARBS TO PROTEIN RATIO FOR DIABETICS

Diabetics should generally eat snacks and meals having one-third as many proteins as carbs! For example, if you have a snack that contains 21 grams of carbs you want to balance that with 6 to 8 grams of protein. This is not a hard and fast rule but something that should be done as often as possible. It will help you control your blood sugar in almost all cases.This is what I was taught years ago and  I have successfully controlled my diabetes by following this rule and taking a 500 mg metformin for almost 12 years.



NEUROPATHY AND THE DIABETIC

Neuropathy is a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves. Know anymore than you did? Probably not. Let's see if we can get a better understanding of what all that mumbo-jumbo means!

The human body's nervous system has two main parts with the Central Nervous System being the one we hear the most about. This is the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. The one we hear less about is also a very important one. The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of the nerves that connect the Central Nervous System to the other organs and muscles in the body. As you can imagine, the peripheral nerves affect a lot of areas of the body. Now back to our original definition of neuropathy, a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves, one can see how neuropathy can become a big problem.

The peripheral nervous system is made up of three different types of nerves. They are motor nerves, which are responsible for voluntary movements such as waving goodbye, walking, etc. Another is sensory nerves which allow us to feel pain, hot and cold, etc. The third type is the autonomic nerves. As the name implies, these nerves control our involuntary movements such as breathing, heart beats, etc. Obviously, the nervous system is very complex and one or more nerves may be involved in neuropathy.

Symptoms of neuropathy can come on suddenly or gradually over time, depending on the types of nerves involved. Unfortunately, diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy so we diabetics need to be aware of the symptoms because early intervention is important in treatment and recovery. In most cases, the early symptoms are weakness, pain, or numbness. Symptoms such as difficulty walking, stumbling or tiring easily, muscle cramps, trouble holding onto objects, an unsteady gait, dizziness when standing up may be symptoms. Some people complain of their hands and feet feeling as though they are wearing gloves or slippers when they are not. Because the peripheral nerves involve so many areas, there are many different types of symptoms. This can lead to problems getting a diagnosis since so many of these symptoms also relate to other illnesses. If you notice one or more of these symptoms for an extended time, check with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a neurologist, a doctor whose specialty is the brain and nerve disorders. A complete history of the symptoms should be presented and such tests as an EMG (electromyography), blood tests and urine tests will probably be done.

The key to recovery is to seek help as soon as you suspect problems. Recovery time depends on how much damage has been done and if nerve damage is left untreated for a long period of time, the symptoms could become irreversible. Don't ignore the symptoms! This is your life, your future and your comfort we are talking about here. Most of us human beings have a tendency to think it's our imagination, it will get better on its own, the doctor will think I'm just a complainer, I'll mention it when I see the doctor in six months, etc. Wrong! At the risk of repeating myself, I feel that I must stress early diagnosis and treatment is important for this one. Don't let yourself have permanent nerve damage because you waited too long to admit you had a problem.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

CARB CHOICES VS CARBS

Do you get confused when you see Carb Choices in the nutritional information of a recipe or on a product label? 1 carb choice is equal to 15 carbs. So if something has 29 or 31 carbs it would be equal to 2 carb choices. Don't get the two confused.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

SMART BALANCE OMEGA BUTTERY SPREAD

Information on another margarine spread:

1 tablespoon of this spread = 80 calories, 5 grams (2.5 g sat)fat, 85 mg sodium

This product is made from a natural blend of soybean, palm fruit, fish, flaxseed, canola, and olive oils. Due to the fish oil there is a small amount of omega-3 fats which are heart-healthy fats.

Works well as a topping, and also for cooking and baking.

NOTE: This same product in the "Light" version has 30 calories less, 1 gram less saturated fat, and should not be used for baking as it has a high water content.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

KEEP MEALS EVEN

One thing diabetics (or anyone who wants to eat healthy) should never do is eat small meals or skip meals during the day so they can eat a big dinner/supper! Nutritionists warn that diabetics need to keep their carbs leveled out over the day. Skipping meals or eating light so one can eat a big meal later will cause a definite roller coaster of blood sugar levels.

 No, no, no!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

IT'S IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER

The eyes are the window to the brain. You can trick your mind into thinking you are eating more simply by using a smaller size plate. Forget the huge dinner plates and go for the smaller ones. Also, cut your food into smaller pieces and spread the food out on the plate. Suddenly your mind will believe you have more food than you actually do. Put these tips into practice daily and you will be surprised how quickly you become adjusted to eating less.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

MAKING KIDS CLEAN THEIR PLATES?

Do you remember your parents telling you to clean your plate? Were you told to be thankful for your food and not waste it because kids all over the world were going hungry? Those old adages need to be thrown out the window! With the obesity epidemic and diabetes being at epidemic levels, you should teach your children to take smaller portions of food and to stop eating when they feel full. Children used to be busy from the time they got up until they went to bed. They rode bikes, took walks with grandparents, played in the backyard on swing sets, played neighborhood games of stickball and baseball, etc. Now they sit in front of a TV or video game. Too much food on their plates and being forced to eat every bite could be setting them up for a lifetime of health problems.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

COMPLEX CARBS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD

Feeling down or depressed? Eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Yes, these are carbohydrate foods but they are the complex (or good) carbs. These carbs boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a mood-elevating chemical in the brain.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

BEWARE OF HIDDEN SUGAR

You will be amazed at the sugar in foods you never thought of as sweet. Always read the nutritional label on foods to check their sugar content. This is especially important for diabetics! Be especially cautious about frozen breakfast treats, mayonnaise, salad dressings, canned soups, crackers, breads, stuffing mixes, tomato and/or pasta sauces. You may be surprised at the sugar you are consuming while unaware. I am not referring to the natural sugar in fruits and some vegetables. I'm talking about "added sugar." Read all your labels for one week; I imagine you will be surprised at the sugar you are eating!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BE AWARE! EARLY SIGNS OF OVARIAN CANCER

As a survivor of both breast and colon cancers, I want to always bring cancer awareness to the general public. While I have not had ovarian cancer nor known anyone close to me who has, I was struck to realize how easily the symptoms of this horrible disease can be mistaken for minor health problems. Don't take chances with your life, if you or someone you love shows any of the symptoms listed below, please go to your gynecologist and explain your symptoms.

Ovarian cancer is often known as the silent disease because so many women don't realize they have it until it's too late. As a cancer survivor, I always want to take advantage of getting any cancer information out to the public. According to Mark Messing, M.D., a gynecological oncologist with the Baylor Health Care System in Texas, some of the earliest signs of ovarian cancer are:

* Bloating
* Pelvic pain
* Abdominal pain
* Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
* Changes in urinary or bowel functions

Unfortunately, these symptoms are very common to many women and can certainly be signs of other problems. However, if you or someone you love shows any of these symptoms and they persist over a few weeks, over-the-counter meds aren't working, etc, contact your doctor immediately. Dr. Messing says women too often try over-the-counter medications for too long, have bloating but assume they are just gaining weight, etc. It is better to be checked out by your physician than to try to doctor yourself or ignore the symptoms. Many times ovarian cancer will not be the problem. But in the cases where it is present, early detection is vitally important, as it is with all cancers! Don't take chances with your life; you only get one!

Remember, no one knows your body like you do!!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

3-4 large bananas, ripe and mashed
3/4 cup Splenda granular
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
1 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt, optional
1/3 cup butter, melted (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, blend together bananas, sugar and egg or egg substitute. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend well. Stir in the butter and chocolate chips. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.



Apple Crisp For Diabetics (Tasty For Anyone!)

With this delicious Apple Crisp recipe, everyone can enjoy the same dessert and you won't hear one complaint. That is because this dessert doesn't taste like a "diabetic dessert". When you serve this recipe, no one will guess you just served them a diabetic crisp. If you and the diabetic don't tell, no one will ever know!

1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (Rome recommended)

TOPPING:
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

To make the apple filling, combine brown sugar blend, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add apples, tossing to coat. Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Set aside.

To make topping, combine oats, flour, brown sugar blend and nuts in a bowl. Stir in butter. The mixture will be crumbly. Spoon over the apples mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the apples are bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Best when served warm.

NOTE: Yield: 9 servings at 310 calories, 38 carbs, 4 grams protein each. As with all fruits, there is the natural sugar of the apples and a high carb count. However, the oats and nuts counter balance most of that. Enjoy this dessert after a meal that has a good protein count. You would not want to serve this dessert after a pasta or vegetarian meal. And as with all desserts, it is not a good idea to over indulge!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

GOOD NEWS ON EGGS

According to a recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture, the average amount of cholesterol in an American egg has dropped in the last decade. Eggs tested from around the country show 14% less cholesterol than when last tested in 2002. The tests also showed a 64% increase in the amount of vitamin D from the same time period. It is believed these changes can be credited to the differences in hen feed.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NO BAKE DATE-OAT BARS

1 pkg (8 oz) pitted dates, chopped
1 tbsp white whole-wheat OR garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup Splenda Granular or equal amount of your favorite sweetener
2 1/2 cups quick-oats, uncooked
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Non-stick vegetable cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped dates and flour. Toss lightly to coat. Place water in a 1-cup glass measuring cup and microwave on high until boiling. Pour water over dates. Add coconut, butter, and Equal to dates. Mix well. Spray a square baking pan with vegetable spray. Spoon mixture into pan. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into 24 bars. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Monday, June 27, 2011

FEET

Diabetics always have foot checks when they see the doctor. Taking care of ones feet is very important. But did you know that over 10% of the body's 206 bones are in the foot? That's right, 26 bones are in the foot. Eat properly to protect your bones, even standing requires good bones.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

DIABETIC FRIENDLY HAM AND BROCCOLI QUICHE

1 sugar-free pie shell, unbaked
1 1/2 cups cooked and cubed ham
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained thoroughly
4 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer the ham, cheese, and broccoli in the pie shell in order given. In a medium bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients; beat well. Pour this mixture gently over the ham, cheese, and broccoli in the pie shell.

Bake quiche at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Note: File Photo

Note: This is a great item to add to your brunch table.

Friday, June 24, 2011

PORTION CONTROL WHEN EATING OUT

To help you control portion size when eating out (since most restaurant serve a meal equal to at least two servings), ask for a to-go box when the waiter or waitress brings your meal. Immediately put half of the meal in the box out of sight. And the bonus, another meal ready to be warmed up tomorrow!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

DIABETICS AND STROKE

Did you know that diabetics are more likely to have a stroke than the general population? Since immediate care after a stoke is urgent, it is important to know the signs of stroke. Remember the word FAST to help you remember the signs. They are:
Face: Numbness in the face, changes in vision, uneven smile
Arm & Leg: Weakness or numbness, trouble walking
Speech: Slurred Speech, Inappropriate words, Mute (words won't come)
Time: Time is of the essence; call 911 at the first signs!

Did you know stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States?
Approximately 800,000 suffer a stroke each year.

There is one drug that can reverse symptoms and reduce long-term disablility in those who suffer an ischemic stroke (abstruction of blood flow to the brain). However it must be administered within 3 hours of symptoms and test must be run to determine if the stroke was ischemic before the drugs can be administered. Thus the need for getting to a hospital immediately.

F.A.S.T. stands for:
  • Face drooping—Can the person smile normally, or does one side of the face droop?
  • Arm weakness—When the person raises both arms, does one drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty—Can the person speak normally, or is speech slurred?
  • Time to call 911—If you see or experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
A person does not have to be experiencing all these symptoms to be having a stroke. Any one symptom is enough to call 911 immediately. The faster treatment can be started, the better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BLUEBERRY LEMON BREAD and SUGAR-FREE POWDERED "SUGAR"

The lowly little blueberry is one of our most nutritious foods. This antioxidant-rich little berry packs a big wallop of a nutritional punch and we should all make blueberries a part of our diet. The good thing is they are very tasty and can be a great addition to our diet. One of the best ways to incorporate blueberries is by using them in baking. This delicious Blueberry Lemon Bread is proof of that. Directions for making the sugar-free powdered sugar glaze follows.

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup Equal Granular
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tbsp butter, melted (or canola or coconut oil)
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tsp grated lemon peel

GLAZE:
1/3 cup unsweetened powdered sugar*
2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, Equal, baking powder and salt. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg substitute, egg white, applesauce, milk and butter together. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and lemon peel. Put batter in prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean.

If desired, combine the glaze ingredients and pour over loaf while it is warm. Cool in the pan 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make sugar-free powdered sugar:

* Put 3/4 cup of Splenda Granular and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a blender and blend until it is a very fine powder. 0 grams of sugar and only 4 carbs per tablespoon.

Now don't tell. Most people won't know the difference.




Sunday, June 12, 2011

BABY STEPS

Do you have a hard time eating right? Take baby steps and you will be amazed how easy it is. Start with something as simple as choosing healthy foods more often than unhealthy ones. Each time you succeed it will give you confidence to do it again.

A few simple examples are to have a sugar-free cookie rather than a regular one. Or when baking, substitute a small amount of whole-wheat flour for an equal amount of the called for all-purpose. If fresh vegetables aren't available to you, choose frozen over canned. Choose fresh fruit over baking them into a pie. Once you get used to the small changes, you will find yourself going with the healthy choice.






Saturday, June 11, 2011

BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS


1 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups bran flakes cereal
1 large egg
1/4 cup less 1 tbsp Splenda granular
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cereal and milk. Let mixture stand about 3 minutes or until the cereal softens. Add the egg and vegetable oil; mix together well. Add the flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.




Thursday, June 2, 2011

OATS AND NUTS ARE IMPORTANT TO DIABETICS

Oats and nuts should be major foods in diabetics meal plans. That is not to say you have to eat loads of either. Oats are easy to work into the diet through morning cereal, snack bars and mixes, etc. When you eat nuts, use the unsalted variety and do not smother them in candy coatings. Try to work a portion of both oats and nuts into you diet everyday.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ITALIAN CHICKEN ARTICHOKE SOUP

1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cups fat-free,reduced-sodium chicken broth*
1 can (14-oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, do not drain
2 cups water
6 tbsp minute brown rice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups diced cooked boneless skinless chicken breast meat
1 pkg (9-oz) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
Fresh ground black pepper, optional
4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat canola oil in soup pot over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and oregano; stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until onion starts to soften and turn translucent. Stir in the broth, water, tomatoes, rice and salt. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.

Add the chicken and the artichoke hearts to the soup. Simmer another 3 to 4 minutes, just until heated through. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Divide into 4 soup bowls ad sprinkle a teaspoon of the grated Parmesan over each bowl.

*May substitute vegetable broth, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 322 calories, 30 g protein, 33 g carbs, 7 g (1 sat) fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 527 mg sodium Bonus: 380 mg omega-3s!

CALORIES - AN UGLY WORD!!

Calories - what an ugly word. But remember, calories do count whether you count them or not. The only way to lose weight, and most diabetics should (me included!), is to use up more calories than you take it in. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is simple, we just don't like doing it!!


Monday, May 30, 2011

PANKO CRISPY FRIED CHICKEN

2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 lbs (8) thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets
2 cups panko bread crumbs*
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 quarts canola oil for frying

In a large glass bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, hot pepper sauce, Dijon mustard, egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano. Add the chicken cutlets to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

In a shallow dish toss together the panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper and remaining oregano; set aside.

In a deep pot to avoid hot splatters, heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degree or until crumbs sizzle when dropped into the oil. One at a time remove chicken cutlets from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Coat each cutlet with the bread crumb mixture. Discard marinade--do not reuse.

Add two to three cutlets to the hot oil, depending on size of cutlets. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter or cookie sheet; keep warm. Let oil reheat then proceed to fry the remaining cutlets.

*You may substitute low carb bread crumbs, if you desire.

This is a file photo.

RAISINS

The small snack-size boxes of raisins are perfect to carry with you in case of low-blood sugar. When traveling carry a box in your purse, car, travel bag, etc. When diabetics eating routine is interupted, as it often is with travel, it is important to have something within reach if your blood sugar dips too low.