November is the season to be thankful; November is the time to gather, celebrate and enjoy delicious foods with our families. November should also be remembered as Diabetes Awareness Month. As we celebrate our Holidays this season, let's remember to be kind to ourselves, and thankful to our body for our health, make some healthy food choices this Holiday season, end the year healthy, and start the New Year Happy & Healthy.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes develops when our cells cannot respond to insulin, an important hormone in our pancreas that lets blood sugar levels enter our cells. The inability of blood sugar levels to enter the cells to produce energy causes sugar to rise in our blood, overtime the high glucose levels in our blood cause Type 2 Diabetes. Poor management of type 2 diabetes can eventually lead to heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Thus, early prevention and management of this condition is very important.
Risk Factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes
Poor dietary habits
History of gestational diabetes
Overweight or obese
Age matters: patients who are 45 years or older have higher risks
Family history of Type 2 Diabetes
Here are a few tips that you can apply in your daily life to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle along with exercise. Making small changes to your diet could help you prevent type 2 diabetes and even help you lose some weight. Treat your diet as the main recipe for your health; let your diet help you prevent type 2 diabetes.
Healthy eating patterns include more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats into your diet
Limit the consumption of saturated fats, processed foods, and sugary beverages
Control your portion size
Slow down while eating take your time
Test your blood glucose levels (know your numbers?? Know you a1c)
Visit your doctor for regular check-ups
Drink plenty of water
Be aware of family history or risk factors
Don’t worry if you were already diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes; there is still hope
Suppose you are already dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. Don’t worry; there is still hope; remember, you do not have diabetes. You are just a person with diabetes, thus do not feel frustrated or hopeless. Early management of diabetes can help you prevent this chronic disease from worsening. It can also help you lower the risk of developing kidney or heart problems. Here are a few tips to help you manage your diabetes.
· Take your medication
· Monitor your health up closely - test your glucose levels, visit your doctor regularly
· Consider insulin therapy
· Manage your diet - count your carbohydrates, eat more lean meats, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, consider lower sugar fruits
· Get active- consider an exercise routine.
Preventing diabetes can help you lower the risk of developing other medical conditions and avoid future health problems associated with these medical conditions, thus choose to be the best version of yourself this Holiday season, but don’t worry, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorites and delicious thanksgiving foods you enjoy. You can still enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving dishes in moderation. However, check out some of these healthy and delightful thanksgiving alternatives to make your Thanksgiving dinner a little bit more interesting this year.
Roasted Fall Vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
1 pound Brussels sprouts * trimmed and halved
3 cups butternut squash * cubed
1/4 White Onion - Diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper * to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 ounce goat cheese * crumbled, optional
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Add the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and white onion to a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and toss to coat.
Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet and season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until tender and just starting to caramelize.
Meanwhile, add the walnuts and maple syrup to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the syrup thickens and coats the walnuts. Remove to a plate to cool.
When the vegetables are done roasting, mix in the cranberries and top with the maple walnuts and goat cheese, if using.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
2 cups tri-color quinoa or variety of choice
4 cups vegetable broth
6 cups finely diced sweet potato or butternut squash
1/4 White Onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili flakes optional
1 teaspoon salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Add quinoa and broth to a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until all the broth as been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Toss your diced sweet potatoes (or squash), onion and garlic in a large bowl. Add spices, salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
Assemble stuffing by combining cooked quinoa, potatoes and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Stir together and add apple cider vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve cold or reheat slightly.