Friday, September 23, 2016

Four Food-Safety Basics That Could Be Lifesavers

September is Food Safety Education Month.  Here is a reminder of how to protect your family

Four Food-Safety Basics That Could Be Lifesavers

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon Herb Dressing

Before Farmer’s Market is over take advantage of the wonderful summer squash available and try this new recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon Herb Dressing

These pretty squash ribbons are easy to make and simply flavored with aromatic herbs and zesty lemon. Summer squash are low in calories and rich in cancer-protective fiber and nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are especially beneficial for your eyes. Herbs and lemon zest also provide a plethora of antioxidants in this too-hot-to-cook, refreshingly light, summer side.

Makes 4 servings. Yield 4 1/2 cups.
Per Serving: 82 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 7 mg sodium. (nutritional information does not include cheese)


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 tsp. lemon zest (about 1/2 medium lemon)
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves*
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium-large yellow straightneck summer squash
1 medium-large zucchini
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional


In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in onion.

Cut stem end from squash. Holding stem end of squash and leaning other end on cutting board at an angle, use vegetable peeler to shave squash lengthwise to create ribbons. Stop peeling at seed core. Stack ribbons and cut in half crosswise. Add ribbons to bowl and stir, separating ribbons to cover with dressing. Rotate squash to opposite side and repeat peeling, cutting and mixing with dressing. Peel ribbons from remaining two sides of squash and repeat cutting and mixing with dressing. Repeat with zucchini. Save seed cores in refrigerator for salad, stir-fries, soup or stock.

Transfer squash salad to serving dish and top with feta, if using. Salad may be chilled and served later same day.

* Use combination of favorite fresh herbs.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time To Clean your Slow Cooker

The days are getting shorter. The temperatures are dropping. Leaves are beginning to change color and fall from the trees. ‘Tis the season for slow cooked comfort meals!  But before you pull out your slow cooker and scour the Internet searching for delicious recipes, you might want to bone up on the best ways to clean up those slow-cooked messes. Don’t worry! Cleaning up your slow cooker is about as easy as cooking in it.

  • Always read the use and manufactures suggestions for the best way to clean depending on the surfaces of the cookers.
  • According to the experts, you should always turn off the slow cooker, unplug it and allow it to cool before cleaning it.
  • Stoneware (Crockery) and lid cannot handle sudden changes in temperature. Don’t wash either in cold water if they are hot, and vice versa
  • Glass or plastic lids and removable stoneware pot can go in the dishwasher, or you can wash with hot water and soap.
  • Do not use abrasives.
  • For really tough cooked-on messes, fill the cooker with water and a few drops of dish soap. Cover, and turn the heat on low for an hour. When the time is up, it should clean up very easily.
  • If this does not work, try a little baking soda in a paste and scrub the spot.  Baking soda is a gentle abrasive.
  • Wipe down the outside of the crockpot with warm soapy water after every use to prevent food film build up, if this does not work try a multipurpose cleaner or glass cleaner. 
  •  If food has become baked on the heating element itself, you can use oven cleaner. But do this outside. Simply spray an even coat of foam around the inside of the cooker. Let sit for at least an hour, and then wipe foam off with a sponge.

 Adapted from:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Five Myths of Self-Compassion

Last week during our mindful eating session we learned about changing our thoughts to make our self talk more positive.  Here is a great article about why we are so hard on ourselves and changes we need to make.

The Five Myths of Self-Compassion

Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity

This week's theme for our mindful eating series focused on curiosity.  Here is an interesting article on the value or curiosity.

Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity

Exercise: The Best Medicine

By Michelle May, M.D.

If you could bottle exercise, you’d have the closest thing there is to a wonder drug for health and energy.
Brand names: Exercise or Physical Activity
Numerous effective generics available: aerobics, basketball, bike riding, body sculpting, dancing, hiking, housework, jogging, jump roping, playing with children, racquetball, rowing, stretching, swimming, tennis, walking, walking the dog, weight lifting, working out, yard work, yoga, Zumba, and many others.
Indications: Shown to be very effective for the relief of fatigue, stress, low self-esteem, insomnia, boredom, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. May prevent, improve, or delay the onset of the following conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, overweight/obesity, some types of cancer, some forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome, constipation, addictions, and many other health problems.
Benefits: Increased energy and productivity, healthier body composition, increased metabolism, improved sense of well-being and appearance, better sleep patterns, improved sex life, improved appetite regulation, lower blood sugar, lower heart rate and blood pressure, higher HDL (good) cholesterol, improved blood sugar control, and reduced risk of cancer.
Side Effects: Patients report feeling stronger, healthier, more energetic and youthful.
Precautions: You should consult with your physician first, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions, heart problems, or unexplained symptoms. If you develop unexpected shortness of breath; chest, jaw, neck, or arm pain or pressure; rapid or irregular heart rate; lightheadedness; pain or any other unexplained symptoms—stop and seek immediate medical advice and attention.
Dosage: Start with small doses taken most days of the week and increase gradually as tolerance develops. Dosage may be adjusted if necessary to accommodate other responsibilities. Due to the many beneficial effects, however, consistent usage is very important. Choose among the numerous generic brands available. Alternate brands as needed to improve overall level of fitness and maintain interest and motivation.
WARNING: Likely to become habit-forming when used regularly.

 Am I hungry article

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Power of the Pause: Body-Mind-Heart Scan

By Michelle May, M.D.
Between a thought and an action is a gap. That gap holds the power to move you from reaction to response. In order to access the power in the gap, pause.

Think about it. When you don’t pause to consider the present moment and instead react mindlessly, your brain has no choice but to re-act – in other words, to repeat past actions. No wonder you keep getting the same results!

The Pause

The most challenging part is simply remembering to pause. It’s as if we’ve been set on autopilot mode–just push start and off we go from one thing to the next to the next without thinking. Perhaps you’re in that mode right now.  Pause. Take a slow, deep breath and feel your chest and belly expand as your lungs fill. Exhale. Feel. Listen. See. Notice everything as if for the first time because in truth, you are experiencing this moment for the first and last time.

What did you notice that you weren’t aware of even a few moments earlier? Isn’t it amazing how much information you discovered in that brief pause?

Body-Mind-Heart Scan

Now imagine that you feel like eating. Instead of acting on autopilot and just starting to eat, you remember to pause and notice what is else is happening right now, in addition to the desire to eat. What other information is available to help you decide what you’ll do next?

One of the many skills we teach in Eat What You Love Love What You Eat and Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes is the Body-Mind-Heart Scan. This skill is particularly useful when you feel like eating but aren’t sure whether it’s from physical hunger or head hunger. By pausing to become fully present and mindful, you can better identify your true needs.

Pause: If possible, close your eyes for a moment. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself. Be aware that being near food or thinking about eating might cause you to feel excited or anxious, making it more difficult to identify the signs of hunger. By taking a few calming breaths first, you’ll reconnect your body and mind, making it easier to focus on important sensations and feelings.

Body: In your mind’s eye, scan your body from head to toe. What physical sensations are you aware of? Are you thirsty or tired? Are you aware of any tension, discomfort, or pain? Does your body feel good? Ask yourself, "Am I hungry?", and connect with your body by placing your hand on your upper abdomen, just below your rib cage. Picture your stomach. Think of a balloon and try to imagine how full it is. When empty, your stomach is about the size of your fist and can stretch several times that size when full. Are there pangs or gnawing sensations? Is there any growling or rumbling? Does your stomach feel empty, full, or even stuffed? Or perhaps you don’t feel your stomach at all. Notice other physical sensations. Do you feel edgy, light-headed, or weak? Are these signals coming from hunger, low blood glucose, or something else? This is a great opportunity to become mindful of your body’s signals and reconnect with your inner self.

Mind: Without judgment, notice what you are thinking. Quite often, your thoughts will give you clues about whether or not you’re hungry. If you find yourself rationalizing or justifying, for example, It’s been three hours since lunch, so I should be hungry, you may be looking for an excuse to eat. If you have any doubts about whether you’re hungry, you probably aren’t.

Heart: What emotions are you experiencing now? What feelings are you aware of? When you become aware of your emotions, you can better see whether they affect your desire to eat-and even what or how much you want to eat.