Food cravings – Is it you or science?

Ever have a food craving that you can’t shake? Or are you like my husband who says he’s never in the mood for anything specific (except for the ice cream he asks for every night)? Well, if you have cravings, it’s not just you. In fact, there are three things that make saying “no thanks” to your favorite foods nearly impossible: science, environment, and habit.

Tell me what this list of food has in common: French fries, cheeseburgers, pizza, chocolate cake, ice cream, mac and cheese, gravy, movie theater popcorn, chicken wings, and donuts.

The basics of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)

This summer I had two friends mention to me that their endocrinologists or internist was considering continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for them. One of them is a Type I, diagnosed for 40+ years ago. The other is a relatively newly diagnosed Type II, but uncontrolled.

What in the world is CGM, you ask? Well, it’s basically what it sounds like.

CGM begins with a sensor inserted under your skin (That sounds a bit big brotherish, doesn’t it? But I promise there’s a big upside.). This sensor measures your blood sugar every few seconds and sends this information to a monitor that is attached to your belt or waistline (connected via a wire).

Polenta – The forgotten side dish

You’ve seen this stuff in the grocery store (usually over by the produce or soy section). It comes in a convenient tube. Of course, you can by the instant version or make it from scratch. I made some last night, and while I was doing so it occurred to me that I often choose a starchy side like pasta, beans, potatoes, or rice because I know my kids will eat it. I rarely think of polenta, and I should.

Hypoglycemia (LOW blood sugar) – It’s no joke!

Pappermint candyHaving low blood sugar could cause you to pass out, have a seizure, it could even be life threatening. There are several things that could cause low blood sugar:

Develop your exercise routine

Fall is around the corner and it’s a great time to get outside and get some exercise! I find that some people get off-track with their healthy lifestyle changes about this time of year – thanks to holiday food, it getting dark after work, and of course it gets colder. The fact is though that 1/3 of adults in the U.S. report no physical activity throughout their week. If you’ve read this blog in the past, then you know that I stress that the minimum exercise goal you should be setting for a week is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Dining out healthier

Chances are you’ve heard a million healthy dining out tips, but honestly you can’t hear this kind of advice enough. I’m definitely not perfect in this category either. I am completely aware that most restaurants post their menus online (with nutrition data). However, I can’t say I always check before we leave the house. Maybe I don’t want to be reminded that the three-piece chicken strips at Chick-fil-A has 1230mg of sodium… or that the chicken burrito I enjoy at Moe’s has 600 calories, 9g of saturated fat, and 63 carbs. When I do take the time to look over the facts before heading out, seeing the numbers gets me thinking, and that’s important!

Can pizza be healthy? YES!

While working with cardiac rehab, some patients often tell me, “I haven’t had pizza in three months!” As if pizza is the worst thing for you! I love pizza and I can make it healthy for people following a heart-healthy and diabetic-friendly diet!

Let’s start with the crust… Often this is a blood sugar bomb, but it doesn’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be whole wheat or thin crust either. There are plenty of other options.

Crust:

  • The obvious – Thin crust or whole wheat crust. If you are ordering out, these might be your only options.

Navigating the grocery store – Beverages, snacks, and deserts

PopsiclesWe’re heading down the final stretch of the store before going to the checkout counter. In case you missed them, check out part 1 and part 2 to see what we’ve put in the cart so far.

Navigating the grocery store – Dairy, breads, cereal, cereal bars

I hope that you found part 1 of this series interesting and useful. Today we’re turning down the dairy, bread, cereal, and cereal bar isles, so let’s get moving.

Navigating the grocery store – Meats and vegetables

Grocery BagHave you ever been walking down an aisle at the grocery store and wished you had a nutritionist there to help you make your decisions? Well, I’m going to try to help you out here. Hopefully you’ve been reading what I have to say and gaining all sorts of valuable tips and nuggets of knowledge to help make your grocery store experience easier and healthier. However, if for some reason you haven’t read every word I’ve written, here is your free pass. This series is a collection of quick tips that I think are useful when combing the shelves of your favorite grocery store.