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Women with diabetes - own your strength and lift each other up

BY CHRISTEL OERUM (DIABETES STRONG) I am a woman living with diabetes, and if you read this, there is a high likelihood that you are too. Aside from living with diabetes, we might not have much in common, but that does not mean that we cannot or should not support each other. Living with diabetes as a woman comes with a tremendous number of challenges, and there is no reason why any of us should have to face those challenges entirely on our own. Strong women lift each other up In a world where social media can easily leave us comparing ourselves, I believe it is...

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Handy Guide to Portion Control

Many people with diabetes learn how to count carbohydrates in order to manage blood sugar, and others are asked to watch their weight. But one of the easiest ways to miscount carbs or calories is by underestimating portion sizes, so here are a few handy tips. Measure now, feel good later Using a food scale and measuring cups can save you a lot of worry. This way, you'll know that you had a half-cup of brown rice with 22 carbs and 100 calories,1 instead of "about" that much and "20-ish carbs/100-ish calories." Over the course of a day, small inaccuracies can add up....

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Healthy new year! 5 steps to getting back into your routine.

What healthy habits went out your window over the holidays? Portion control? Enough sleep? Getting your steps? The entire vegetable category? It's easy to wake up in January and realize that your routine isn't quite a routine anymore. So how can you get back on track? 1. Give up the guilt. You may have eaten too much, tested too infrequently or chosen eggnog over the treadmill. But that's in the past. Be glad you enjoyed the holidays, then let it go and look forward.2. Go to bed early. Give yourself the extra energy it often takes to get out of a slump.3. Clear...

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Springtime is the perfect "lower your A1C" time

If your healthcare provider has talked to you about reducing your A1C test result, or you want to make some improvements to your diabetes care, this is the ideal time to get started. After all, warmer weather makes it easier to get outside and get active, fresh foods are easier to come by, and the sunshine may help you feel like you can conquer anything. 7% vs. 7.0 mmol/L First, let's be clear on what your A1C result means. It can be a little confusing, as the A1C is a percentage, rather than a direct measurement of the glucose in your blood. Your regular blood sugar checks tell you the amount of...

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The incredible, unbelievable value of having a friend with diabetes.

Guest article by Christel Oerum. Have you ever imagined having a best friend who also lives with diabetes? How wonderful it would be to meet the perfect "diabuddy" who truly understands what it means to live with diabetes and relates to what you deal with every day. They wouldn't have to guess at what you're thinking—they'd know because it's their life, too. The fact is—you are not alone. There are so many of us living with diabetes around the world. If you're open to it and willing to share your experience with others, the chance of meeting another person with diabetes is pretty high. But it means you can't keep...

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Pros and cons of going vegetarian with diabetes

Have you noticed more veggie-meat options at your grocery store or favourite restaurants lately? Dairy-free cheese, meatless sausages and plant-based burgers are just a few tasty vegetarian selections that even meat eaters can enjoy. Even fast-food restaurant has a selection of meat-free burgers that's too good to pass up. Nearly 10% of Canadians have cut meat out of their diets1—people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some want to lose weight, some care about animals, and others do it to support their health or the environment. For people with diabetes, a vegetarian lifestyle can...

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Sweet Surprises

People with diabetes often receive books, warnings and tips from healthcare professionals and dieticians about the importance of watching and counting carbohydrates (carbs). Carbs ARE important for people with diabetes—but they shouldn’t be the only factor in your food choices. What about sugar? Fat? Sodium? Cholesterol? Beneficial things like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals? Limiting foods high in sugar and carbs is a great start, but it doesn’t guarantee the best food choice every time. Sometimes clever food packaging and “image specialists” can convince consumers a food choice is a “healthy” option. While it may have a high level...

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Two things we love about the updated Canadian food guide (and a yummy recipe)

Drink water. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Cut saturated fat. Avoid processed foods. The new Canadian food guide (updated for the first time in about ten years) is simple and doesn't include a lot of surprises. Two pieces of advice, however, stand out:   Include more plant-based proteins. Meat and dairy, while still part of the picture, have a less prominent role than in years past. Proteins from soy, nuts and pulses or beans can provide more fiber and less fat while helping to meet your nutritional needs.1    ...

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The sugar thieves

Do you know any sugar thieves? Those well-meaning people who steal your real sugar and replace it with stevia, saccharin or other substitutes? I think about one holiday celebration a few years ago. There was a table filled with pies, cakes and bars straight out of Willy Wonka's dream. The smell alone made my mouth water. Next to that table was a smaller one with sugar-free apple pie and gummy bears, just for me. While it was extremely thoughtful and considerate of my diabetes, well, YUCK! I choked down a few forkfuls and watched the others enjoy their desserts. It's been over a decade since the experts...

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