Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Do you have a hard time eating right, sticking to a diet whether for weight loss or health? 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 couple of 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. When you eat out, ask for a to-go box when they bring your order. Immediately put half your food in the box and set it out of sight. Most restaurant meals have the calories of a whole day in one meal. If you are at a fast food place, do not 'super-size' your meal! Once you get used to the small changes, you will find yourself making more and more changes to a healthier you.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Oats and nuts should play a major role in a diabetic meal plan. That is not to say you have to eat loads of either. but to say they are important to controlling your blood sugar. Oats are easy to work into the diet through morning cereal, snack bars (watch sugar content), etc. When you eat nuts, use the unsalted variety and do not smother them in candy coatings. Try to work a small portion of both into your diet everyday.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


If you are a diabetic or just someone who watches the sugar content of what you eat or drink, read the nutritional label on all juices.So many juice beverages today are full of extras. Most are no longer 100% juice. While even 100% juice can have a high sugar content, it is the natural sugar of the fruit. Many of the others are often loaded with additional sugar. For example, if the nutrition label on your juice says, sugar, "fructose" or "high fructose corn syrup" you know you are getting added sugar. Be very careful with juices! It is actually better, especially for diabetics, to eat the fruit rather than have the juice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I often warn dieters and diabetics about eating dried fruits (one of the items that makes granola so sugary) but when I received the following from one of the health sites I follow, Everyday Health, I decided to pass it on to you exactly as I received it:

"Dried Fruit: Sugary Saboteur
Dried fruits are great sources of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but — and it’s a big but to avoid — you have to limit your intake because you’re also getting very concentrated calories and sugar. Consider prunes, which are dried plums: Just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar while one cup of fresh plum has just 76 calories and 16 sugar grams. Plus, when you eat fresh fruit you get the added water content that can help you feel full."
Now you, especially diabetics, can see why I say to avoid dried fruits. That sugar content is a disaster for you and for me. No matter how you try to explain it away, that much sugar is a big "NO"!

Monday, October 17, 2016


Now that we are into Fall the holidays will soon be approaching. Many of the Fall and holiday drinks are already out at our favorite beverage shops. If you are a diabetic or you are trying to watch your weight beware of all those tasty toasty coffee shop beverages. A 100 calories drink can quickly balloon to 400 or 500 calories! When you add syrups, whipped cream, caramel, etc the calories keep piling on. So what is a person to do? We don't want to give up those wonderful beverages but we can keep the calories count down.

Laura Jeffers, nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic says the more flavors and names you add to your beverage, the more calories you are piling on. After all, adding 200 calories to your diet a day can add up to a weight gain of 40 pounds a year. Yuck!

Ms. Jeffers suggests replacing whole milk or cream with skim milk and asking your barista to substitute sugar-free syrups in your drinks. Yes, they do have them and you will hardly, if at all, notice the difference. So enjoy your favorite Fall and holiday beverages but make a few changes when you place your order or make them at home.

Friday, September 23, 2016


A local dentist recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing as needed. He also has this recipe for homemade mouthwash.

1 cup distilled water
1 tsp 3% hydrogen peroxide
1 tbsp raw honey*
5 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine essential oil with honey, mix thoroughly. Add to the water and hydrogen peroxide, shake.
Rinse mouth and spit. DO NOT SWALLOW.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Beware of yogurt with fruit. If you are a diabetic or you are dieting or watching your sugar intake for any reason, read the labels on your yogurt especially yogurt with fruit. You would be much better off to eat plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Some yogurts with fruit can have up to 20 grams of sugar in one small carton!
Note: File Photo

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Everyone wants to be healthier and most claim they want to eat a healthy diet. Sadly,that is easier said than done. But it doesn't have to be that hard. For instance, one of the most important ways to a healthier diet is not what you eat but what you drink! Leave off the sugary drinks. That is not just sodas! That means sweet tea, lemonade, fruit juices, those sugar-laden coffee drinks, etc. Sugary drinks are one of the biggest diet mistakes we make according to Barbara Borik, RD, LDN, CDE, of the Diabetes & Nutrition Center at the Northwest Hospital of Randallstown, Maryland. She states that sugary drinks are empty calories! Do you really want to consume empty calories? You really can learn to enjoy drinks without sugar. When I was pregnant with my last child, over 40 years ago, the doctor recommended I cut back on sugar. I started drinking my tea unsweetened. It quickly became my favorite beverage and now I simply cannot stand sweetened tea. It is a matter of training oneself. So try unsweetened tea, coffee, etc. Add a slice of citrus fruit or a few berries to a glass or pitcher of water to add some flavor and learn to leave those sweetened beverages behind.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Once we humans reach around 50 years of age we start to have weakened muscles.  This is a normal part of the aging process but it is important we do what we can to maintain our muscles. Weakened muscles can cause falls which can be very damaging to older people. Maintaining our muscles helps us to function better overall. Protein is an important muscle builder so we must be sure we get enough in our diets. The average 150 pound adult needs approximately 55 grams of protein per day. Older folks should probably have more. Learn to read nutritional labels on your foods and monitor your protein intake for a week. See if you are getting at least the recommended amounts, especially if you are an older person like me. Discuss with your doctor if you find yourself falling short of the recommended amount.

This file photo shows some samples of protein foods to consider. (I am preaching to myself here as I do not like any of the foods pictured below. Shame on me!)

Monday, August 15, 2016


If you are trying to lose or maintain weight you should have healthy snacks. Too many people try to avoid snacks thinking they are adding too many calories and that can be a big mistake.  Notice the word healthy is bold in the first sentence. This is not a recommendation to eat cookies, chips, candy, etc a couple of times a day. But a healthy snack, especially in the afternoon, can keep you from overeating at dinner. Overeating at dinner is one of the best ways to sabotage your weight loss or weight maintenance plan. So what is a healthy snack? Here are some ideas: A stick of string cheese, nuts (not salty or candy coated, fresh fruit, carrots with hummus, a few chickpeas (tasty roasted), air-popped popcorn, or a handful of pretzels with hummus. This is certainly not a complete list but should give you an idea to get you started.