Guest Post

Sweet Valentines

By MonicaStrawberries in the shape of a heart. Photo credit: Ula Kapala

On Valentine’s Day, we often plan a nice evening to spend with our significant others. For many, that means going out to dinner.  Since managing weight is an important part of managing Diabetes, you want to be careful that you don’t eat too much at dinner.  My suggestion is have a small snack like some nuts or fruit before you go.  Eating something small beforehand will help control your appetite so when you sit down to dinner, you’re not so hungry that you over eat.

If you’re staying home, you can still celebrate with a sweet treat you make yourself.  Find an easy recipe for something like banana bread, and top it with yogurt “frosting”.  The great thing about yogurt is it comes in many flavors; if vanilla is too plain, maybe try strawberry.  And, many brands have fruit on the bottom that you can stir up so you get the fruit mixed in.  If you don’t like to bake or don’t have time, you can make a dessert of yogurt, fruit and nuts (that’s tasty as well as healthy).

Making something at home gives you more control over the calories and how much sugar and salt is used.  But you can still get a healthy sweet treat to celebrate when eating out.  Many restaurants serve fruit and yogurt parfaits; if you don’t see it listed on the menu, ask you waiter.  The restaurant wants you to be happy, so there’s a good chance they’ll make a special order for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

(Photo credit: Ula Kapala)

Guest Post, My Story

Taming Holiday Temptation

By Monica

nuts and nutcracker. Photo credit:  Mike Coombes

The holidays are here.  It’s hard to not be tempted to eat a tasty pastry when there are so many holiday lunches at work and parties to go to.  I have a few suggestions for warding off holiday temptations that have worked for me—and they might work for you too! 

First, if you’re out shopping and know you’re going to a lunch party later, try to hold off on buying a pastry in the morning.  Sometimes not seeing the treat anymore can take away your craving.  So for instance if you’re in the supermarket facing a large display of cakes and pastries and starting to feel tempted, just walk away.  Go to the produce section and get a healthy snack like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts—that can help take away cravings too. 

But what if you’re baking at home?  All the ingredients are out on the counter and the kitchen smells delicious—how do you keep from being tempted then?  What I usually do is leave a small bowl of dried fruit and nuts on the kitchen table so when we’re doing our baking at my house, there’s a healthy snack in easy reach to help take care of my cravings.  This is good for other times when you’re at home and need a snack, too.  You can also put a bowl of hazelnuts (or other type of nut still in the shell) out along with a nut cracker.  Cracking open nuts before you can eat them makes you slow down so there’s no repetitive, mindless eating.  You also need to chew longer which can help you feel full faster so you eat less.  I also find cracking open the nuts myself is therapeutic because all your attention is focused on what you’re doing. 

Finally, I’m not going to say you can’t ever have pastry.  But, if you do decide to eat a holiday treat, go lightly and have just a small piece.  Have a good holiday!

(Photo credit:  Mike Coombes)