4 Ways to Get Your Mind Set to Fight Diabetes

Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you chances are it will burn very briefly.”    Stephen Covey

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This quote sums it up. The motivation for lifestyle change has to be yours.  You want to change not because your doctor tells you  . . . not because your family or friends want you to . . . but because there is something that matters to you enough to make you want to change your life!

If you are searching for the motivation to get healthier and fight diabetes I hope that you find some tips to inspire you and help you find the spark that lights your fire! Continue reading

Controlling Diabetes is Like Taking a Road Trip

You Need to Map Your Destination

When you take a road trip you need to figure out the best way to get there right? I was going to say you need to get out the map but now we just pull out our GPS and let it guide the way. Too bad managing diabetes and weight control is not that easy!

Knowing your targets for blood sugar control is like knowing your destination for a trip. The road we travel to get to that destination may be paved with a food plan, exercise plan and maybe medication. Continue reading

What You Don’t Know About Diabetes CAN Hurt You

I often hear people refer to Type 1 Diabetes as “the really bad diabetes” because people have to take insulin with type 1 diabetes. However, did you know that with Type 2 diabetes blood sugars start to go higher than normal up to 10 years before you are diagnosed?


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The Inflammation-Diabetes Connection

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s reaction to infection or injury. Classic signs of inflammation are redness, swelling and pain. Living in Minnesota the example I think of is a mosquito bite, where you feel very little pain but you get the annoying redness, swelling and itching. That’s an obvious inflammatory reaction that is temporary.

Ever had a sinus infection? If you go to the doctor you will be diagnosed with sinusitis. Any medical diagnosis that ends with “itis” means inflammation. So sinusitis simply means inflammation of the sinuses.

What does inflammation have to do with diabetes?

Diabetes and many chronic health problems are a condition of inflammation, but the scary part is that the inflammation is hidden, as Dr Mark Hyman describes it. This hidden inflammation can start way before you know you have diabetes. You feel no pain until it has caused complications that sometimes are not reversible. Continue reading

7 Starter Tips for Newly Diagnosed Diabetes

Hearing that you have diabetes is a very emotional experience and many questions go through your mind. When I was told I had gestational diabetes 14 years ago I’m pretty sure I went home and cried, feeling the “why me”? reaction. Well all those emotions are perfectly normal and you really just need to let yourself go through them.

At the same time getting some direction on what to eat is very helpful. You will probably get advice from everyone around you but if you want some professional advice to get you started, here are some tips: Continue reading

How to Reverse Diabetes during Your Workday

Do any of these sound familiar?

Are you so rushed in the morning that you don’t take time to have breakfast?

Are there sweets and treats brought in several days that tempt you?

Is the stress of your job making you want to eat to feel better when you get home?

Are you so busy that you can’t or don’t take time for lunch?

Do you go out to restaurants for lunch most days?

What changes can you make?

1. Take time to grab breakfast. If you’re not hungry drink a small smoothie or juice. If you can’t take time to sit down and eat, grab a granola or breakfast bar or fruit on the way out the door. Try to choose something with a few grams of fiber for the benefit of hunger control and blood sugar stability.
2. Create a wellness contest at work to make everyone want to practice healthier habits. Instead of allowing donut trays and sweets to sit around the office, suggest that only fruits and veggies be brought in and designate days for sweets such as Fridays only. Start a walking program and get pedometers for a 10,000 steps club.
3. Limit the frequency of eating out for lunch to once a week as well. Brown bag it the rest of the week by planning ahead on the weekends and picking up sandwich foods, healthy frozen dinners, salads, pita pockets, fruits, and veggies. Or take leftovers to work. If you don’t have time for lunch at least take a snack break. You will be more productive if you get a break and have some energy and nutrition.
4. Have healthy snacks available at work and plan a morning and afternoon snack if you need them. The afternoon snack especially can help keep you from overeating in the evening. Great choices include fruits, veggies, yogurt, granola, string cheese, nuts, or even a little dark chocolate if you crave something sweet.
5. Find ways to manage stress during your work day such as deep breathing, walk breaks, or at least make sure you take a few minutes to distress once you get home, even if it means listening to your favorite music while you prepare dinner.
6. Plan no-cook evening meals for those days when you work later and know you won’t have time to cook. Make a couple large batches of entrees on the weekend and then plan a salad, sandwich or pizza night to save you from having to cook several nights of the week.
7. Replace soda, even diet, with water. Flavor your water with lemon or frozen berries to make your own naturally flavored water.

Now, these ideas will all work but what’s the one key to putting them into action to reverse diabetes?


The #1 thing you will need to do is sit down one day each week and plan your meals. If we don’t plan ahead and have the right foods on hand we just grab what’s available, which usually is not the healthy choice.

Start your plan today, take control of your health, and start to feel the benefits of reversing diabetes!

Blood Sugar Monitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: How to Use Your Results

Having to take time out of your day to check blood sugars can be a hassle. Sometimes your fingers get sore and strips can get costly.

So why do you do it?

If you are checking your blood sugars ONLY because your doctor told you to then you are wasting a lot of time, money and hassle. Your doctor certainly needs to look at those results but if you check daily and only see your doctor every 3-6 months, then only the most recent few weeks before your appointment are usually relevant.

How can YOU use your results to better manage diabetes?

The first step is to know your A1c. That’s the lab test your doctor does that tells what your average blood sugar has been for the past 2-3 months. Continue reading

Diabetes and Acid Reflux

If you have diabetes and acid reflux, also called GERD, and you take medication to reduce acid there are some things you should know.

  1. There are health risks to taking GERD medications long term
  2. There is a good possibility you could control GERD with the right food and nutrition changes

Did you know acid reflux medications could cause the following problems?

  1. Magnesium Deficiency

There is also a strong association between low magnesium and insulin resistance, the main problem of type 2 diabetes. The FDA earlier this year released information about how taking these medications for longer than a year can cause low magnesium, which can lead to leg spasms, heart arrhythmias and seizures.

  1. Pneumonia

If you have diabetes and get pneumonia it may be more severe with greater risk of complications, and your body may take longer to heal.

  1. C-diff

Short for Clostridium Difficile, this is bacteria that cause severe diarrhea and inflammation in the colon. Dehydration is the biggest risk with diarrhea and diabetes, and if you have high blood sugars you can become dehydrated much quicker.

  1. Osteoporosis or Bone Fractures

People with diabetes are may also have low vitamin D levels or be taking Actos, both of which may increase the risk of bone fractures.

  1. Vitamin Deficiencies such as B12

People with diabetes who take metformin are also at risk for low B12 levels.

  1. Bacterial Imbalance leading to Digestive Problems

People who have had diabetes for many years can have slow digestion due to nerve damage. Keeping a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria is important for immune system, absorbing nutrients and avoiding diarrhea and constipation.

What you can do if you have to take medication for acid reflux.

Eat healthy foods and whole foods for immune strength. Nuts are the best food source for magnesium.

Eat yogurt daily to replenish good bacteria or take a probiotic supplement.

Ask your doctor if B12 and D levels have been checked.

Ask your doctor about trying to get off the acid reflux medications. These medications are really only meant to be taken for a short time of a few weeks but most people just stay on them.  I would NOT recommend going off the medication until you have made nutrition changes and are discussing changes with your doctor.

GERD may be unrelated to acid in stomach.  Some evidence suggests that the heartburn symptoms of reflux are not caused by acid in stomach burning the esophagus, but rather by an immune response.

LEAP is a program that has helped many people get off acid reflux medications. Learn more about how a food sensitivity blood test can identify specific foods that are causing you pain and inflammation, and help you make diet changes that eliminate acid reflux problems naturally.  Contact Karen for more information.