3 of My Favorite Fall Foods

Do you find it challenging to eat healthy this time of year?

As the weather turns cool I seem to crave heavier foods and more carbs like fresh baked warm cookies! But if you are like me you can’t make those too often and still fit into your favorite jeans. So I thought I would share 3 of my favorite fall foods that are a little more waistline friendly. Continue reading

Try the Healthy Fat & Fiber of Flax Seed to Lower Cholesterol

Diabetes or no diabetes, many people struggle with high cholesterol. If you are looking for ways to naturally lower cholesterol so you can avoid medication, this grain that has been grown for thousands of years could help. Why should you try flax seed? 

  • Nice balance of healthy omega fat and also fiber
  • Low cost. A box of ground flax can be purchased for $2 to $3
  • Nice, mild nutty flavor
  • Easy to use. Just add to cereal, casseroles, salad, yogurt, muffins, or anything you like!
  • Also helps digestion, controlling constipation, and is gluten free.

Add ground flax to your oatmeal and you've got double the power for lowering cholesterol. Today I found a recipe for Flax Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and gave them a try. They were quite tasty and turned out very much like the standard cookies as far as texture. I like the fact that they have flax seed, oatmeal and walnuts in them  -  three healthy ingredients that I love. You still need to be careful of how many you eat. I have a hard time with portion control when it comes to homemade chocolate chip cookies.

A couple more tips for flax:

  • If you take flax oil, remember that you will not get the fiber benefit.
  • Be sure to refrigerate your ground flax seed to keep it fresh. Use it up in 2-3 months.
  • For cholesterol benefit, use it daily about the same time like medicine so you don't forget. 
  • Usually found in the baking isle or health section of your supermarket.

I would love to hear your ideas on recipes using flax seed. Please share in the comments.

Chili is a recipe loaded with diabetes fighting ingredients!

Chili is one of my favorite cold weather foods. Besides tasting great and warming you up on a cold day, almost every ingredient in chili has health benefits. Here is my family’s favorite recipe. It’s easy and good for you too!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans tomatoes
  • 1 medium to large onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste

My favorite way to cook chili is in the crock pot and often I do soups overnight because I cook the ground beef, onions and garlic and then throw everything in the crock pot while I am cooking another dinner. That way I cook two meals at once. When I get up in the morning I turn it off, let it cool and before I go out the door put it in the fridge. All that’s left is to heat it up for supper in the evening!

The health benefits of chili for diabetes are numerous. Kidney beans are one of the best food sources of fiber providing almost half our daily requirement. Even though the beans are carbohydrate the fiber slows down the blood sugar rise after the meal. Kidney beans also have 57% of our daily need for folate, which lowers homocysteine levels and 20% of our need for magnesium, a natural blood pressure medicine.

Chili powder, ground from red chili peppers, contains capsaicin, which fights inflammation, reduces insulin needs and helps lower blood sugars.

If you go easy on the salt and choose lean ground beef, every other ingredient in chili will help you fight diabetes in one way or another.  If you are watching your weight, 1 small to medium bowl of chili will provide about 500 calories. My problem is that I love bread with my chili, which puts me well over my weight control portion.

The great thing about making chili and other soups is that you can add and subtract ingredients to your liking and create your own favorite recipe. If you have a favorite chili recipe please share!

A Soup Good for Your Heart, Diabetes and Weight Loss Plan

Split Pea Soup is one of my favorite soups but it is also an excellent source of fiber and low in calories.

This recipe makes about 6 cups.

2  3/4 cups water and 1  14-oz can low sodium chicken broth

1  1/2 cup dry split peas, rinsed and drained

1 lb meaty ham bone

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

Black Pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup each of chopped carrot, celery, and onion

In a 3-4 quart slow cooker combine split peas, ham bone, marjoram, pepper, bay leaf, carrots, celery and onion. Pour water and chicken broth over all. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Remove bay leaf. Remove ham bone, cut off any meat left on bone and stir into soup.

A 1  1/2 cup serving provides 320 calories, only 4 grams fat, about 700 mg sodium, 49 grams carb, 20 grams fiber, and 25 grams protein. You also get 36% of your daily vitamin A and 21% of your daily iron.

If you have diabetes and are counting carbs you can subtract the 20 grams of fiber to end up with only 29 grams carb per serving.  The fiber is what also helps lower cholesterol and prevent blood sugar spikes.