By Annabella He
MGH Dietetic Intern
It’s 2017! At the start of year, you may be making a New Year’s resolution to better manage your diabetes by eating healthier and exercising more. In order to stick to the plan, your New Year’s resolutions should be specific, measurable and reasonable. The following are some specific tips to get you started. Pick one or a couple to work on!
By Melanie Schermerhorn, Dietetic Intern
Most of us have heard the phrase, “everything in moderation.” Many say moderation is the key to success; for someone who has diabetes this phrase is especially true when it comes to what you eat. Moderation in relation to healthy eating habits, especially portion control, can have a huge effect on your overall health! To break the phrase “everything in moderation” down further, let’s talk about what it means. What your healthcare providers are saying is: eat a balanced diet most of the time, but do not deprive yourself of the not-so-healthy things you enjoy. In other words, it’s alright to eat them but be sure to have them less frequently and in a smaller portion.
With diabetes this is important for your blood sugar management. The goal is to not completely deny yourself things like chocolate chip cookies, but instead maintain a healthy lifestyle while still treating yourself. A tip to do this is buy smaller portion sizes, so having one small cookie won’t have as much of an effect on your blood sugar as a larger one would. Another great way to keep track of your portions is reading the labels on packages for serving sizes. Sometimes a package could be more than one serving! Sharing a baked good with a friend instead of eating the whole thing can help you consume less as well. You could make homemade treats with healthier ingredients like in the recipe below so you aren’t consuming a heavily processed carbohydrate. So aim to keep your portions in check and when it comes to sweets “Everything in moderation!”
Recipe: Healthy Banana Pancakes: Combine 1 ripe banana, 2 large eggs, and a few shakes of cinnamon in a bowl until smooth. Heat up a pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Put a few spoon fulls of the “batter” into the pan. Cook until lightly brown on each side and serve.
Research shows that cooking more meals at home encourages healthy eating, but many people feel they don’t have time to cook dinner during the week. If time (or lack of it) is what’s holding you back, here are a couple of time-saving tips for getting a jump-start on your meal. Dedicate some time during the weekend to plan your menu and chop all the veggies you will need for the coming week. If you need to pull a meal together quickly, frozen veggies are a good choice since all the chopping and peeling has been done for you.
Cleaning up after the meal can sometimes be just as time-consuming as the prep work. Save time on the dishes by making meals that can be cooked in one pot or skillet. For example: stir-fry strips of chicken breast or other lean protein with seasonal veggies with a little olive oil in a large skillet for a quick and easy summer meal. A Croc-Pot® or other slow cooker is another great tool for making a variety of easy, one-pot meals.
Okay, now that we have a game plan, here are a few good reasons for making a habit out of cooking more at home:
If you’re new to cooking at home, start small. Try making just one meal a week at first. As you practice skills in the kitchen, you’ll develop confidence to cook more often. Bon appétit!
(Post content reviewed by MGH Department of Nutrition and Food Services)
By Veronica Salsberg, MS
It’s estimated that approximately 26 million Americans, or just over 8% of the population, are living with diabetes. Nearly 3 times as many Americans may have prediabetes. Many people believe a diabetes diagnosis means the end to indulging in their favorite foods, making this festive time of year filled with holiday parties and traditional family meals suddenly feel especially stressful. Yet others believe any attempts at maintaining a healthy diet during the holidays are doomed to fail. The truth is neither of these is the case! You can still enjoy celebrations with friends and family without that all-or-nothing mentality.
Heading out to a holiday party? Follow these tips to help you stay on track this season:
Helping to cook the holiday feast this year? Talk to your loved ones about putting a healthier spin on traditional recipes. Save on calories and fat and boost flavor in mashed potatoes by swapping out cream and butter for low-fat Greek yogurt and fresh snipped chives. On stuffing duty? Use whole wheat bread for added fiber and nutrients, and replace the melted butter with olive or canola oil. Check out the recipes below for ideas for healthier, but still delicious, holiday side dishes!
This green bean dish is just under 100 calories per serving, making it a much healthier alternative to the traditional green bean casserole.
Mushroom and Leek Stuffing ~ MyRecipes
Full of fresh vegetables and herbs, and with fewer than 200 calories per serving this stuffing is sure to satisfy your taste buds without breaking the calorie bank.
Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots ~ MyRecipes
Try mashed sweet potatoes as an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes this holiday season. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A. Crispy shallots and fresh rosemary add flavor without adding to your waistline.
Butternut and Barley Pilaf ~EatingWell
Simple yet bursting with fresh flavors of parsley, lemon, and garlic, this dish has the added health benefits of whole grains from the barley and vitamin A from the butternut squash. It’s low in fat and calories and high in fiber which means you can indulge without guilt!
Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar ~ Eating Well
Save room for dessert! These adorable mini pies mean automatic portion control. The white whole wheat flour, oats, pecans, and abundance of apples means each little pie has about 5 g of fiber!
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and tasty holiday season!