How to Fight Diabetes with Nutrition December 16 2013

Diabetes isn’t the end of the road. You can still enjoy food. However, it is important to broaden your diet.  You need to stress the fruit and vegetables, and these need to be integrated in a far larger proportion of your diet than meat and simple proteins from refined sources, better known as snack foods.  Yes, there are simple carbohydrates in fruits and some vegetables, but these foods are also high sources of fiber.   Fiber helps your body control blood sugar levels.  So you get a little sweet with a whole lot of good-for-you fiber.  Besides, fiber helps you feel full.  Feeling full longer helps to manage your cravings. However, before making any major change to your diet, it is best to consult your doctor.


Increase Fiber Intake

To maximize the fiber and nutrients you are getting from your fruit and vegetables, try raw food recipes.  This doesn’t limit you to eating fruit and veggies plain.  You can try lettuce wraps and even smoothies.   Toss your fresh fruit, chopped in tiny bits, into a high performance blender with some yogurt, and voila you have a treat! You can search for “raw smoothies” on Google or peruse this site for more recipes that will help you increase fiber, satisfy that sweet craving, fill you up in the morning, lose weight and even fight diabetes.


The Raw Fruit Advantage

Drinks that are 100% juice help, too.  You can buy them, sometimes for a bit more than you may like to dish out, or make them at home.  Raw fruit blended to a pulp can be a good basis for a smoothie.  Or you could use a blender to make a whole range of fruit-based sauces and dressing.  Frozen fruits can be okay.  Sometimes, if you stumble upon a sale (especially with berries) it can be hard to pass up buying a lot of fruit all at once.  If you wash and freeze them, you can use them for a wide range of dishes at a later date.   If you are trying to lose weight, this can be especially helpful.

Tiny berries are fine to freeze as they are.  Strawberries, though, should be cut up first.  It is especially helpful to use zip lock bags and measure out 8 oz of strawberries into each bag.  Then you have a full cup of berries all ready for munching or cooking or baking. If you’ve got frozen berries stored in your freezer and you want to make a smoothie the next day, just transfer your baggie to the fridge.  The ice should be mostly gone, and some soggy slices should be left.  Add a banana, fresh blueberries, and yogurt into your blender and switch it on.  Then you’re good to go.  Trying to avoid dairy? Opt for almond milk and ice.  If you choose this method, be cautious because the soggy slices of strawberry have a fair amount of water in them, so you don’t need as much added liquid as you might with fresh-out-of-the basket strawberries.


Raw Veggies and Smoothies

Raw veggies can be added to smoothies too!  There is far more you can do with raw vegetables than merely dip in ranch dressing as a snack. Carrot-Orange juice is a delicious drink you can make at home.   Use a juicer to turn one whole carrot into juice. Use a citrus juicer on one orange.  To make into a smoothie, add a ripe banana, ice, your two homemade juices, and mix in your high performance blender.


Another excellent raw vegetable recipe is the raw lettuce wrap.  In this dish, you combine veggies to make a salsa-like filling and wrap the mixture in fresh lettuce leaves. You can combine different ingredients for different tastes.   Wraps are a good alternative if you’re looking at that salad and groaning.   It’s okay, there are more ways to eat the same foods, and versatility in your cuisine will help you maintain an enjoyment of the foods that you are eating.  Diversity in dishes is key to making certain that you maintain healthy eating patterns.  

So if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t see it as a prison.  Look at your daily food choices, and find ways to experiment.  Healthy eating is not limited eating, it is merely informed eating.  Your options are still numerous, but you now are encouraged to play with your choices and find or rediscover things you have forgotten or did not even know were delicious.  Remember to discuss proposed changes to your diet with your doctor first.


(C) 2013 OmniBlender.COM LLC

Beat Lethargy with Energy Smoothies November 26 2013

To energize your body and mind, you need protein, fat, and sugar. Does that sound like a healthy combination? Actually, consider that the proper ingredients in the right amounts will be beneficial to your health and give you the energy you need to be alert and physically active throughout the day.


Smoothies that are packed with energy-promoting nutrients will wake you up and keep you focused. You can add magnesium and potassium rich fruits for an energy boost that will fight mid-afternoon lethargy.  Protein can also be added into your smoothie in the form of a whey powder or you could use milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Plain or Greek yogurt adds needed protein and gives your smoothies a creamy consistency. You can sweeten your smoothies with honey, which also packs a protein-rich punch. The natural sugar-rich fruits such as mangoes and apricots also give you energy. Yogurt and soy milk are good sources of the right type of fat: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Check the food labels and steer clear of saturated and trans fats.  


Here are some energy-boosting smoothie recipes to consider:


#1 Go-A-Mango

Banana, Mango, Soy Milk, Greek Yogurt


#2 Apricot Vanilla Smoothie

Vanilla, Almond Milk, Apricot, Plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey


#3 Berriful

½ cup sliced strawberries

½ cup raspberries

Soy Milk

½ cup Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon honey


#4 Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

½ cup almond milk

1 cup sliced strawberries,

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


#5 Chocolate Dipped Banana

1 Banana sliced

½ cup almond milk

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


When you begin to find the right measurements of these nutrients, and find smoothies that utilize them well, you will feel a difference in your energy level.  Smoothies that promote energy in the morning will have an impact on your energy all day. They will make you healthier and help you feel better about yourself as the good mornings begin to outnumber the slow mornings.  

The body converts all sugars and starches regardless of source into glucose. While sugar is not something to over use, when it comes naturally from fruits your body derives energy from the carbohydrate as well as other nutrients. If you are at a risk for diabetes, you may want to avoid mangoes and apricots. However, it is always best to consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.


If you want to control both natural and processed sugar in your diet and still need the energy boost, focus on protein-heavy smoothies sweetened naturally. Be certain to utilize whey powder and similar additives and reduce fat and sugar-heavy milks. You may want to consider adding fruit that is high in magnesium and even some vegetables to your smoothies.


Here are some alternative raw smoothie recipes for those who want to avoid high sucrose fruits:


#1 Classic Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

½ cup strawberry,

frozen or fresh 1 banana

whey protein powder

½ cup dairy,

almond or soy milk

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt


#2 Almond Coffee Smoothie

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt

1 medium banana

½ cup coffee,regular or decaffeinated

½ cup almond milk, soy milk or dairy milk

½ cup ice


#3 Peach-Spinach Smoothie 

6 medium peaches

2 generous handfuls of spinach leaves

2 cups water


#4 Strawberry-Spinach Smoothie

6 to 8 cups baby spinach

3 to 4 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup plain or Greek yogurt

1/2 cup apple juice (you can substitute milk or water)


#5 Raspberry Spinach Smoothie

2 cups spinach leaves

1 banana

½ cup raspberries, frozen 3/4 cup water, dairy milk or soy milk


#6 Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

2 kiwis

3 cups baby spinach

2/3 cup strawberries, frozen

3/4 cups of water, dairy milk or soy milk


Smoothies can be your go-to morning drink as well as your afternoon pick-me-up when you need a jolt of energy.  Depending upon your diet goals or health needs, there is an energy-lifting smoothie that can become a favorite supplement to your existing menu. More importantly, you can experiment with the ingredients in these recipes to discover taste combinations that you like.  Smoothies are simple and versatile, and you can tailor them to your taste, energy and health requirements.  


(C) 2013 Thomas Fox