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Natural Health Newsletter Brought to you by Diets in Review
”You're the only one who has the exceptional opportunity to truly know you and to discover your single beautiful path.” —Kingma

I love when the sun comes out, the temperature rises, and you feel a sense of renewal with the onset of spring. This is the time of year when I clean out my closets, dust off the barbecue, and start prepping my rooftop garden for this year's vegetables. My husband and I have decided to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and jalapenos - nothing tastes better than a summer salad made with freshly grown vegetables from your very own garden or local farmers market! If you haven't ever grown your own food, planting herbs is a great way to get started - they're easy to grow and the smell of fresh parsley, chives, rosemary or basil in your kitchen will inspire you to get cooking!

As promised with the American Diabetes Alert date falling this month on March 25th, this month's issue focuses on tips, recipes and ways to give back to help prevent and aid with the disease.

Best in Health!

Healthy Eating for Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that affects 23.6 million people in the U.S. (as of 2007), which is 7.8% of our country's population. With 1.6 million new cases diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in the year 2007, diabetes is a huge health crisis both nationally and internationally.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose (sugar) levels rise when the body isn't able to produce enough insulin. Insulin helps the body to regulate blood sugar by absorbing glucose and converting it into energy. When the body isn't producing enough insulin, it has trouble absorbing glucose, and blood sugar levels rise. High levels of sugar in the blood can lead to a variety of medical issues, namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body produces little to no insulin, so insulin must be injected into the body. People with Type 1 diabetes usually develop symptoms quickly, and are often diagnosed in an emergency situation. Type 2 diabetes, which is less severe, develops more slowly and can be controlled by taking medication and eating a healthy diet. Dr. Neal Barnard, one of America's leading advocates in health and nutrition, wrote a book about how to reverse diabetes through diet. With this epidemic now affecting children and teenagers, it is important to pay even more attention to what we are feeding ourselves and our kids. To help prevent and treat diabetes, follow these tips:

  • Eat whole grains. Eating whole grain foods that have not been processed forces your body to work harder during digestion, which slows the rise in blood sugar and helps to keep glucose levels stable. Whole grains are filling, they have no cholesterol, and they're low in fat. Some examples of whole grains include: brown rice, quinoa and oats.
  • Eat something every three to five hours to keep your blood sugar levels from spiking or falling.
  • Write down all the food you eat and track how you feel after each snack or meal. This will help identify any peaks or valleys in your blood sugar level that need to be addressed.
  • Dr. Barnard also recommends following a vegan diet (no meat, fish, dairy or eggs), as a way to help improve, and maybe even reverse, diabetes. To read more visit: Dr. Neal Barnard's program for reversing diabetes
  • Avoid "diet" foods and drinks. A 2006 study from Dartmouth Medical School found that diet soda increases blood sugar levels. Diet soda and Diabetes
  • Exercise is key to keeping blood sugar levels in check. Try to do something active at least four days a week, whether it's an after dinner walk, an outdoor activity with friends, or a trip to the gym.

Recipe of the Month: Diabetic Fruit Bars

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 10 bars

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped prunes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

  1. Boil fruit together for 5 minutes
  2. Add 1/2 cup butter or margarine, set aside to cool
  3. Combine remaining dry ingredients
  4. Incorporate eggs and vanilla until smooth
  5. Add batter to fruit mixture
  6. Bake in an 11"x7" greased pan at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes
  7. Cool and cut into 1 inch bars

In the News

I was extremely happy to read about the FDA's new restrictions on advertising tobacco products to children and teens. The new law will go into effect on June 22nd and includes some of the following provisions:
  • Ban of sale or distribution of gear, including hats and t-shirts, with tobacco logos or brands
  • Ban of brand-name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social/cultural event
  • To read more visit: FDA Expands ban on tobacco sales

    Giving Back

    with this month's diabetes theme, I'd like to highlight the American Diabetes Association. Their mission is to prevent and cure diabetes as well as to improve the lives of all the people affected by the disease. If you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes, please consider donating today.

    Action Items

    • Whether you have diabetes or not, check out this month's tips and institute a change or two.
    • If you're looking for more diabetic friendly recipes check out: Diabetic friendly recipes
    • Check out the blog for the latest in health and fitness

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