3 Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

3 Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

The holiday season can be an uncertain time for people living with diabetes. As someone with type 1 diabetes, I know the struggles of navigating parties, family dinners, and other holiday events. And when it comes to cooking for others, it can feel next to impossible trying to balance what is diabetes-friendly with what is easy to cook and tastes delicious

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How to Navigate the Produce Department with Confidence

Summer is in full swing and it’s time so start thinking about produce that's seasonal and local. There are so many buzzwords you hear when it comes to food shopping. Organic, sustainable, local, eco-friendly, fair-trade, GMO-free, sulphur-free and the list goes on and on and on. Today we’re going to crack down the buzzwords and get you ready for produce shopping without any questions. 

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10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

 
10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food
 

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

Shaky. Fuzzy. Sleepy. Tired. Low. Crashing.

These are all words I used growing up as a type 1 diabetic, to describe how I was feeling when my blood sugar was low.

I was diagnosed when I was 5. So I came up with some interesting ways to describe how I was feeling to my parents and other adults in my life. 

So, what is the proper treatment for low blood sugar? To answer that question, we first need to know what’s considered low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines hypoglycemia as anytime your blood sugar is lower than normal. This can be different for each person with diabetes, but it usually means blood sugar less than 70 mg/dL. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • tiredness
  • increased appetite
  • cloudy thinking
  • blurry vision
  • an inability to concentrate
  • pale facial complexion
  • sweating

I’ve sometimes described it to my non-diabetic friends as an almost “out of body” experience.

Once you start to feel these symptoms, it’s important to immediately test your blood sugar to confirm if you are, in fact, experiencing hypoglycemia.

Once you’ve confirmed your blood sugar is low — or lower than normal — how should you treat it? Essentially, you want fast-acting carbohydrates: simple sugars with little to no fiber. You also want to avoid high-fat foods. The fat that will often stabilize blood sugars after meals can actually delay how quickly your body absorbs those needed simple carbohydrates. In the case of low blood sugar, that’s the opposite of what you want.


 
10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food
 

What to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge

 
what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge
 

Guest post by Lindsay Livingston, registered dietitian and blogger at the The Lean Green Bean


Have you every wondered what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge? As a mom of two young kids, date nights are few and far between around my house. Despite our best efforts, something always seems to get in the way. But one of my goals for this year is to change that! I did a lot of babysitting growing up and I think it’s so important for parents to get out and enjoy some kid-free time! One of my biggest pet peeves, however, is the thought that if you’re going to go out, the only things your kids can eat are pizza and mac and cheese.

Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with pizza or mac and cheese...but there are also other options!  Even if your babysitter isn’t a gourmet chef, there are plenty of easy meals that they can serve your kids with very little effort on their part. Here are a few of my favorites:

From the Freezer

No matter how challenged a babysitter tells you they are in the kitchen, I promise you they can handle turning on the oven and taking a few things out of the freezer. I love stocking my freezer with a combination of store-bought and homemade foods my kids enjoy. These Freezer Chicken Tenders are one of my favorites because it’s so easy to prep multiple batches at one time and have them on hand for easy dinners. Pair them with their favorite way to eat veggies (in the form of dinosaur shaped broccoli tots) and some fresh fruit and dinner is served! Side note- you can also freeze things like pulled pork or chicken that can easily be thawed in the microwave to make tacos or nachos!  

Food Prep Reheat

If you’re a fan of food prep, it’s super easy to have things on hand for the babysitter to reheat! Some of my favorites are pasta dishes and casseroles that reheat well in the microwave. Try this Instant Pot Pasta with Meat Sauce or something like meatloaf, which my kids love when dipped in bbq sauce! Another great option is cooking a batch of burgers mid-week so the babysitter can just heat them up and pop them on a bun. Go for plain beef or turkey burgers or try these Avocado Chicken Burgers (my daughter loves them!) Pair the burgers with mini carrots and ranch and a fruit salad that you can prep ahead of time!

 
 
what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge
 
 

Crockpot Meal

Crockpot meals are a mom’s best friend, so why not a babysitter’s as well? Choose your favorite crockpot recipe and get it started in the morning so it’s ready and waiting for the sitter and all they have to do is dish it out! My kids love these Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs.

Breakfast For Dinner

Every kid loves breakfast for dinner and you can easily make it a nutritious option. If you have time, make a batch of pancakes or waffles ahead of time that can be reheated. Or, you can once again dip into your freezer stash if you happen to have some of my Whole Wheat Yogurt Waffles on hand. They freeze beautifully and you just have to pop them in the toaster! Then just instruct the sitter to set out yogurt, peanut butter etc for topping! If your babysitter is feeling up to it, they can whip up some scrambled eggs to go with them!

 
 
what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge
 
 

Quesadillas or Mini Pizzas

I always encourage mamas to make mealtime fun...so there’s no reason the kiddos can’t have fun in the kitchen with a babysitter as well. Pick a theme - pizza night, Mexican night, etc and leave all the components. Leave instructions to let the kids make their own tacos, quesadillas or tortillas pizzas and let the babysitter pop them in the microwave!

Smoothie Night

For the ultimate easier dinner, make it drinkable! Spend a few minutes throwing smoothie components in a bag before you leave and stick them in the freezer. All the sitter has to do is dump it in the blender, blend and pour. Be sure to include a protein source like milk or yogurt, some healthy fats like avocado or nut butter and maybe even some veggies like cauliflower or spinach, along with some fruit. Try this Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie if you need a recipe idea!

Paninis + Soup (Canned or homemade)

Soup and sandwich is a classic kid favorite combo. You can make it easy on the babysitter by prepping the sandwiches ahead of time so all they have to do is pop them onto the panini press and heat up the soup in the microwave!


I hope these ideas give you a little inspiration and make you extra excited to make date night a priority!

If you’re looking for other easy meal ideas or are interested in learning how to cook quick, healthy dinners on the fly, be sure to check out my Dinner on the Fly ebook! I'm a huge fan of food prep but I actually cook most of my dinners on the fly with very little planning. In the ebook, I teach you my simple 4-step process for making healthy meals on a whim. I also share simple sauce recipes, seasoning tips, no-recipe meals I love, Instant Pot tips for beginners and more!

You can find more details here (https://www.theleangreenbean.com/dinneronthefly/)

To get Dinner on the Fly for $17.99 ($7 off) or Dinner on the Fly + The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep for $27.99 ($7 off) use the code ‘milkandhoney’!!


What to feed the kids when the babysitter is in charge

Lindsay is a Registered Dietitian and mom of two from Columbus, OH. She specializes in Nutrition Communications and is the author behind the healthy living blog, The Lean Green Bean, where she shares healthy recipes, parenting tips and more. Her goal is to show people that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive by providing tips, tricks and practical advice. She also shares a real life look at the ups and downs of raising and watching two young kids full-time while also working from home.

How to host the perfect dinner party

I’m excited to be guest posting for Mary Ellen! When she asked me to write about dinner parties and hosting, I was excited because this is one of my favorite things to do. I love inviting people over, feeding them, andenjoying their company.  Noticethatlastpart. Istronglybelieveinstress-free dinner parties and actually getting to ENJOY my guests, not strictly SERVING my guests. This has everything to do with planning. From making sure I have enough food, to planning for finicky eaters; the most important part about hosting is in the moments leading up to the  party.

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How to break up with ADDED sugar

 
how to break up with added sugar
 

How to break up with ADDED sugar

how to break up with added sugar

Added sugars are found all over our food supply: breads, crackers, pretzels, salad dressings… and I could keep going. If you're eating processed foods, you'll start to see that sugar is everywhere, and if it's not somewhere already, then we typically add it in ourselves. Taking an added #sugarhiatus will not only teach you how to spot these added sugars in your food, but also how to prepare foods without added sugars that still taste deliciously sweet! 

So, keep reading to learn how you can make the ultimate break up with added sugar. At the end of this article, there's a link to a complete Sugar Swap Guidebook with 55 pages of instructions, tips, facts... and 20 out of this world added-sugar-free recipes!!

The many names of sugar

Sugar comes in many forms, so it’s important to know a few popular ones that may show up in your processed foods. Before we can eliminate added sugar, we need to know what we’re looking for. Did you know there are over 61 different names for added sugar?! That’s a lot! Some of the names for sugar are more obvious, like:

how to break up with added sugar
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Sucrose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses

But there are some that aren’t as obvious, and you need to watch out for:

  • Barley malt
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Cane juice
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Mannose
  • Maltose
  • Muscovado
  • Panocha
  • Saccharose
  • Sweet sorghum
  • Treacle

These different names for added sugar can be found in 74% of packaged foods!

Before starting your break up from added sugar, try to plan ahead and do some research. Start taking notice of where sugar is in your diet before diving in. This will help you gain perspective before starting, which in turn will allow for a more successful experience.

Because I know you’ll ask, here are the “rules”…

how to break up with added sugar
  1. Be kind to yourself. This break up with added sugar isn’t about legalism, or following a set of rules. It’s about creating awareness around the foods we eat, and specifically the added sugars we may or may not be aware of. It’s an awareness exercise, keep that in mind and remember, a healthy diet is all about balance.
  2. Naturally occurring sugars are ok. So, that means fruit, medjool dates, dairy, etc. are a-ok in their natural forms.
  3. Cut out as many added sugars as you can… of any form, regardless of how “healthy” they are. Coconut sugar, table sugar, agave nectar etc… not ok.
  4. Take your time. This is meant as an awareness exercise. Go through each topic and activity, and do what you can.  This is a no pressure zone. You do you.
  5. Pick a date to start, circle it on the calendar, and start counting down (or up). With every day that goes by, it gets easier and you'll start to be more aware and feel better. Think of this as a challenge, not as a dietary restriction. Having this mindset will help you get through the process.  If you can, try to recruit a friend of relative to do this with you so that you can check in on each other or even complain to (because you are both in the same boat). So if you can convince someone, anyone, to do it with you, major props to you—that’s one more person taking the challenge toward better health.
  6. Try to be mindful during this process and take note of any physical and mental changes. Embrace the challenge. Ready, set, go!

So, are you ready?? I think you are! Take the next step and download the Sugar Swap Guidebook I wrote with Dana Harrison, MS (Owner and Nutritionist at Eats2Know); and join our #sugarhiatus community over on instagram!

Reducing your cancer risk: The other kind of smoke you need to worry about

We all know smoking can significantly increase your risk for developing cancer, and you may have heard that smoked meats can also increase your cancer risk… but did you know there’s another kind of smoke you may need to pay attention to, to help reduce your risk of developing cancer?

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4 ways to eat what you want... and still stay healthy

It usually happens to me about once/week. Someone will ask what I do (read more about that here)… I tell them I’m a dietitian… and then they act all shocked and shaken when I pop a French fry in my mouth! Or they want to know exactly what I eat so they can do the same.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), I’m definitely held to a higher standard… I’m sure people think I eat grass-fed, organic, non-GMO plant-based wheat grass all day long. And when they see me enjoying a juicy hamburger or a fat chocolate chip cookie (gasp!), they act like their world has just been turned upside down.

So, how do I do it? How do I stay healthy and satisfied with what I’m eating, but not eat tree bark all day long? Here are 4 ways I eat what I want, while still staying healthy.

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Why it's ok to reward your kids (and yourself) with food

Not the headline you were expecting from a dietitian, right? I know. It’s not the typical viewpoint for someone like me. But let me explain.

Prior to having kids, I likely would have told you some boring unrealistic textbook strategies for getting your kids to eat healthy…with no earthly idea of just how frustrating it is to feed those demanding, tiny little humans I love so much.

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