Time for an Upgrade?
What is your Mantra?
Before you answer this question, you need to know that the definition of Mantra is “A sound, word or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating. A word or phase that is repeated often and expresses their thoughts and beliefs.” Your mantra shapes your attitudes, beliefs, and, most importantly, your health. As you think about your mantra (or inner self-talk), consider if it is helping you or holding you back. Is it positive or negative?
Living the Dream
Having an upbeat, positive attitude can really be a challenge when you live with a chronic disease, like diabetes, but it is so important for your overall health. Find what makes you happy and joyful – focus on that. Think about the challenges in your life – focus on how you can change or improve the situation.
Improving your Resilience
Learning how to become more flexible in attitude as well as physical is important. Our resilience or flexibility is what allows us to “bounce back” when we feel under pressure or overwhelmed with life. Some days are easy and some days are hard but how we approach them is the most important skill in our personal tool box.
Negative thinking brings us down and prevents us from accomplishing our goals. When we focus on the Positive then our entire outlook on life improves and we can overcome the challenges that come our way!
Small steps lead to Big changes
Creating a new healthy habit, like getting 30 minutes of exercise daily, as part of your regular routine is easy to do. Instead of being overwhelmed with 30 minutes at one time, break it down into 10 minute segments over the course of the day. Get all 3 segments in and you got your 30 minutes – Hooray!
Having a strong team of cheerleaders (family and friends) and coaches (health care team) makes the daily game of life easier to play especially during stressful times. Remember that help is only a phone call, text message or email away!
Kindness is Key
Paying it forward or random acts of kindness improve your mindset and promotes positivity which in turn makes us more resilient to challenges that may appear in front of us. Being kind to others and yourself is important.
“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” ~Confucius
ABCs are important (Part one of a 3-part series)
Learning your ABCs is the first step in being able to read. Understanding how preventive actions you take now will benefit you in the future is called “Reducing Risks” in our AADE7 which is the core of all diabetes education programs. In part one of our 3- part series, the labs and measurements, which are considered the foundation for determining improvements and assessing your overall health risks, are covered.
This blood test measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months.
- For people with diabetes, the general recommendation is to have your A1c less than 7.0%.
- If you are on insulin or a sulfonylurea, have multiple health issues, and are over the age of 70, your provider may personalize this target in order to prevent hypoglycemia.
- Any woman with diabetes who is planning a pregnancy should aim for an A1c less than 6.5%.
Cholesterol (Lipid Panel):
This blood test is used to measure your risk for heart disease and stroke. ADA suggests annual testing. Recommended levels for people with diabetes:
- LDL or “bad cholesterol” target <100 mg/dL for most, <70 mg/dL if you have heart disease
- HDL or “good cholesterol”) targets >40 for men; >50 for women
- Triglycerides <150 mg/dL
Blood Pressure (BP):
Diabetes increases the risk of hypertension (high BP) which increases the chances of heart disease, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease.
- Everyone’s BP goal is less than 130/80 mmHg.
- If your BG is high, then it is recommended that you check your BP at home with an at-home BG monitor.
- If you have concerns, you should talk to your provider.
Body Mass Index (BMI):
A generalized measure of body fat based on your height and weight. Though the goal is to get to the Target range, even a modest 5-7% decrease in weight can lower your risk factors for many diseases including heart disease and certain cancers
- Target range for BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.
- Overweight 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2
- Obesity is >30.0 kg/m2
Talk to your coach for more information about how you can start to reduce your risks. Small steps can lead to big changes.
Winter Survival Skills
The 80/20 Mantra
I understand that making healthier choices 80% of the time will help me to stay on the stable path of managing my blood sugars which will help lower risks of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.
A healthy eating plan includes at least 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, 6 servings of carbs and a protein with each meal. This can be a challenge on ordinary days of the week, especially when the holidays and family parties arrive.
Survival strategy #1
Don’t feel guilty when 20% of the time you decide to enjoy a food or drink that is tasty and is a holiday treat. Choose wisely when “treating yourself.”
Survival strategy #2
When you bring the healthy option to the party then you will always have the “fall back” food that you can rely on.
Survival strategy #3
Keep your health goals in mind when you feel like you might overdo it. “Keep your eyes on the prize!”
Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Having healthy foods at your fingertips can help you to make better meal and snack choices every day. When choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, consider the season you are in.
Winter vegetables and fruits (listed below): Greens: Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Collard greens, Kale, Swiss Chard, Celery
Roots: Beets, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, Rutabagas, Sweet potatoes, Turnips and Yams
Alliums: Garlic, Leeks, Onions
Squash: Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Pumpkin, and Spaghetti
Fruit: Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Grapefruit, Kiwifruit, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Pears, and Pineapple