Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shrimp-and-Sausage Jambalaya

Many Cajun and Creole dishes are seasoned with the so-called holy trinity--bell pepper, onion, and celery. This Creole-style jambalaya has lots of tomato in it.
                       Makes 6 to 8 servings

2    tablespoons vegetable oil
1    pound andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, sliced
1    large onion, diced
1    bell pepper, diced
3    celery ribs, chopped
4    garlic cloves, minced
2    bay leaves
1    teaspoon dried thyme
1    teaspoon dried oregano
2    teaspoons Creole seasoning
1    (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
4    cups chicken broth
2    cups uncooked long-grain rice
1    pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4    green onions, chopped

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon; set aside.

2. Add onion and next 7 ingredients to hot drippings in Dutch oven; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in reserved sausage, tomatoes, broth, and rice. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or until done. Sprinkle each serving with green onions.
Heart healthy

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Maxy sez : How to Treat Low Blood Sugar Effectively

It’s important for those with type 2 diabetes to watch for signs of hypoglycemia, or insulin shock, and to know what to do if they occur.

By Margaret O'Malley        Medically Reviewed by Kelly Kennedy, RD
Hypoglycemic symptoms are important clues that you have low blood glucose.

An episode of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, comes on very suddenly. It can happen during or after strenuous exercise, or when you delay a meal. Most people with type 2 diabetes learn to recognize their hypoglycemic symptoms. These include:
Fast heartbeat
Inability to think straight
Hypoglycemic episodes can also happen while you are asleep. Symptoms include:
Crying out or having nightmares
Waking up to find your pajamas or sheets are damp from perspiration
Feeling tired, irritable, or confused after you wake up
What to Do if Your Blood Sugar Is Low

If you think your blood glucose may be too low, check your level using your testing equipment. If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL, then you are probably having a hypoglycemic reaction.

Hypoglycemia is usually mild and can be treated quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. Always carry something to eat in case a hypoglycemic episode happens, such as sugar or glucose tablets, fruit juice, or hard candy. Ask your doctor or certified diabetes educator (CDE) for suggestions about the best form of emergency glucose to have on hand for your particular situation.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Corn-and-Cod Chowder

With its all-American ingredients, this New England-style chowder is a comfort-food classic. The soup needs only bread, or traditional oyster crackers, as an accompaniment.

1/4       pound sliced bacon
1          tablespoon butter
2          onions, chopped
2         cups water
1        cup bottled clam juice
3/4      pound boiling potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1        rib celery, chopped
1/4     teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1-1/4    teaspoons salt
2         cups fresh (cut from about 3 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1        cup milk
1        cup heavy cream
1-1/2    pounds cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/4        teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1 .  In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble when cooled.

2 .  Add the butter and onions to the pot. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

3 .  Add the water, clam juice, potatoes, celery, red-pepper flakes, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

4 .  Return the bacon to the pot. Add the corn, milk, and cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cod and pepper. Bring back to a simmer and cook until just done, about 3 minutes longer.

Fish alternatives use a relatively firm, mild fish that won't disintegrate in the soup, such as pollack, orange roughy, or ocean perch.

A rich Chardonnay from California will pair nicely with the creaminess of the chowder. Try to find one that hasn't been aged in oak.
Heart healthy

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Food for Thought : Alcohol and Cigarettes: Hypertension Risk Factors to Avoid

You can't always prevent high blood pressure, but giving up smoking and moderating your alcohol consumption can help.

By Diana Rodriguez    
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

People who smoke and drink should be concerned about their cardiovascular health. Both habits increase the risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The effects of smoking and drinking on hypertension are well-known — both can have dramatic affects on heart health and blood pressure levels. So whether you've already been diagnosed with high blood pressure or have hypertension risk factors, it's time to do something about those risk factors you can control.

Smoking and High Blood Pressure

Smoking causes an immediate spike in blood pressure and can raise systolic blood pressure levels by as much as 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The nicotine in tobacco products spur the nervous system to release chemicals that can constrict blood vessels and contribute to high blood pressure.
Smoking also causes long-term damage to blood vessels, so beyond the hypertension risk, this habit further increases the chance of developing problems like stroke, heart disease, and heart attack. The combination of smoking and hypertension puts you at greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event compared to non-smokers with hypertension.

Drinking and High Blood Pressure

To keep blood pressure in check and prevent health problems, it's best to drink alcohol moderately. That means no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men. If you cut back on alcohol consumption, research shows that you may be able to lower systolic blood pressure levels by as many as 3 mm Hg..

Quitting and Cutting Back

Here are some tips to help you stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake:

Commit to quit. Set a date and sign a contract, if necessary, with yourself and maybe a witness, in order to stop smoking. Get rid of all of your tobacco supplies — cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, anything related to smoking — and check with your doctor about trying a nicotine patch or gum. 

Avoid triggers. Do you find yourself craving a smoke while watching TV, after eating, or during a phone conversation? Then keep yourself busy and avoid those triggers. Take a walk after meals instead of watching TV or get an after-dinner cappuccino at a coffeehouse instead of visiting a bar.
Fill your time. Treat yourself to a fun activity that will take your mind off smoking and drinking — see a movie, go shopping, sightsee, or pick up a new hobby to occupy your time and give you a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Make alcohol a limited indulgence. Instead of settling in on the couch with a six-pack or a bottle of wine, limit yourself to one drink (two for men) per day. Be sure to remember serving sizes — a serving of wine is 5 ounces; a serving of beer is 12 ounces; and a serving of liquor is 1.5 ounces.
Recognize the signs of dependence. If you have a difficult time limiting alcohol, you might need outside support. When alcohol starts affecting work, school, or relationships, it's time to seek professional help. Support groups can help, but a detoxification program (complete withdrawal from alcohol use) and rehabilitation may be necessary if you are a heavy drinker.
You can't always prevent high blood pressure, but you can control hypertension risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol.
A proud grand-poppa              G.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shrimp and Grits

From  Creole /Cajun country  this  combo makes for a flavorful and fast dinner--quick-cooking grits come together in about 5 minutes.
Serves   4         Total time: 24 Minutes

4           center-cut bacon slices, chopped
1/2       cup chopped onion
1          tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
8         ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
5         garlic cloves, chopped
3-1/4      cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
3/4     cup black coffee
1/2     cup lower-sodium tomato juice
1        tablespoon red wine vinegar
1        teaspoon sugar
1/2    teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4    teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2       tablespoons cornstarch
1       pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
2       cups whole milk
1      cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/2    cup chopped seeded tomato
2      green onions, chopped

1. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Add onion, thyme, mushrooms, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are golden brown. Add 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, coffee, next 4 ingredients (through red pepper), and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Add cornstarch, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add shrimp; simmer 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.

2. Bring remaining 2 cups stock, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; add grits, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk.

3. Place 1/2 cup grits in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup shrimp mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons tomato and about 1 tablespoon green onions.

Heart healthy

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pork-and-Black Bean Chili ------- slow cooker

This is how a chili should be: spicy, savory, and delicious. Grab a spoon and savor every bite. Pork rib pieces are the savory meat that makes this chili so irresistible.
Fresh tomatillos look like small green tomatoes wrapped in thin papery skin. Remove skin, and rinse before chopping. If you can't find fresh, look for canned on the Latin aisle at the grocery.
Makes 6 to 8 servings              Total time: 7 Hours, 20 Minutes

3         tablespoons all-purpose flour
2        teaspoons ground black pepper
1-1/2   teaspoons ground cumin
4-1/2   teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3       pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4   cup vegetable oil, divided
9       medium tomatillos, diced
3      cups chopped poblano peppers
2      cups diced white onion
3/4   cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2   tablespoons dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
3     garlic cloves, minced
2    (15-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2    tablespoons plain cornmeal
Chipotle Cream
Garnishes: corn chips, lime wedges, fresh cilantro

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients and 2 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl; toss with pork. Sauté half of pork in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and pork.

2. Stir tomatillos, next 7 ingredients, and remaining 2 tsp. salt into pork mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

3. Uncover and stir in cornmeal. Cover and cook on LOW 1 hour. Serve with Chipotle Cream.
Heart healthy

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Maxy sez : How Type 2 Diabetes Can Change Over Time

By Madeline R. Vann, MPH Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
Even when you work hard to control type 2 diabetes, the progression of the condition will likely require adjusting medications and lifestyle over time. Here’s what you may expect.

You probably already know that type 2 diabetes can cause long-term damage if you don’t control it, but it’s also important to understand that even well-controlled diabetes progresses over time — meaning you may have to adjust your treatment plan more than once.

The key to learning about the progression of diabetes is to understand the role of your pancreas, which produces insulin. For people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make any insulin, so they must take it through injections. With type 2, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or the cells don’t respond to it adequately, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. This means that the body has trouble moving sugar from the blood into cells to be used for energy. Diet, exercise, and medication, if prescribed, can all help those with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels and help their bodies use insulin made by the pancreas, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

If blood sugar levels remain high, the ADA says, you may be at risk for such diabetes complications as vision loss, heart disease, nerve damage, foot or leg amputation, and kidney disease. However, proper diabetes management can help prevent or delay the onset of these complications.

How Your Diabetes Treatment Plan Might Change
Over time, your medications, diet, and exercise goals may need to be adjusted. “Initially the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for insulin resistance, but in most people, the pancreas eventually is unable to make the extra insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal,” says Marc Jaffe, MD, a San Francisco endocrinologist in practice with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

After a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, your doctor will set blood sugar goals for you, recommend lifestyle changes, and perhaps prescribe oral medications such as metformin to help manage blood sugar levels, Dr. Jaffe says. “Because type 2 diabetes usually progresses over time, even people who don’t need medications at first are likely to need medications eventually,” he notes.

The next step in diabetes management, if these strategies aren’t working, is to change or add medication or add insulin, according to the 2014 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in the January 2014 issue of Diabetes Care. Your blood sugar goals might also be adjusted, based on your overall health and history with diabetes control, according to the guidelines. For some people who are obese, bariatric surgery might also be an option.

The guidelines also note that because many people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin, insulin therapy should not be feared or viewed as meaning that you’ve failed at managing your diabetes.

“This is a progression of the disease and not to be thought of as something that you caused,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Franklin, New Jersey, and author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies.

Tailoring Your Diabetes Treatment as You Age
Not only does diabetes itself progress, Palinski-Wade points out, but your body also changes over time. For example, you may experience complications from diabetes, like nerve pain, or develop osteoarthritis, which could make exercise more challenging, she notes. Those kinds of changes in your body would lead to adjustments in your diabetes management plan.

Because of the way diabetes progresses as people age, the ADA, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics came together in June 2015 to publish a joint statement recommending that doctors give people with diabetes a referral to see a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator at least once a year to fine-tune their management plans, including diet and exercise. It’s also a good idea to see a diabetes educator any time you’re facing a new challenge that’s getting in the way of your self-management, such as when you’re diagnosed with another health condition or have physical limitations. Research published in 2014 in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy also emphasizes that a personalized approach to diabetes nutrition with realistic goals that meet the individual’s lifestyle is an important part of diabetes treatment.

Coping With Type 2 Diabetes Progression
Even though type 2 diabetes is progressive and you will likely need to make adjustments to your management and treatment plans, you can take steps to cope with the changes:

Eat healthfully. Your diet should be individualized, but people with diabetes can also benefit from Palinski-Wade’s advice to “focus on filling your plate halfway with plant-based foods such as vegetables at all meals.” She also urges people to learn to read labels and understand portion sizes — skills that will serve you well throughout your life.
Aim for a healthy weight. Losing weight can improve your diabetes control; the ADA's 2014 guidelines for self-management suggest that many people with diabetes can benefit from losing at least a small amount of weight. Check with your doctor for a specific recommendation for you.
Check your blood sugar. “As diabetes progresses, people may need to start checking or increase the frequency of checking their blood sugar levels, especially when blood sugar levels are high or low, hard to control, or in people who take insulin,” says Jaffe. Talk with a certified diabetes educator about the testing strategies that would work best for you.
Be active. A mix of aerobic activity and resistance training helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which means your body uses insulin more efficiently, according to the ADA guidelines.

It can be challenging to live with a chronic condition, but taking care of yourself each day and checking in with your doctor and diabetes educator regularly can help you stay on top of your diabetes management.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Food for Thought : 6 Secret Ways to Keep Produce from Going Bad

By Brianna Steinhilber
 1 . Keep Produce Out of the Garbage Bin
One of the most common excuses for not eating a healthy diet is the cost. And while stocking up on fresh produce and whole foods is an investment, it’s often the amount we waste that causes us to feel like we’re throwing away money. Luckily, there are some tried-and-true-tips to keep your healthy ingredients fresher, longer. Say goodbye to limp lettuce, moldy mushrooms, and sprouting potatoes: Here’s how to keep six common ingredients from going rotten – and to ensure you put every last penny’s worth of that grocery bill to good use!
                                           2 . Problem: Mushy Bananas
Solution: Wrap tops of bananas in plastic wrap.
A handful of fruits emit ethylene gas to ripen themselves — and bananas are one of them. If you know you won’t be able to eat the entire bunch within a few days, simply wrap the stems (where most of the gas is released) tightly in plastic wrap. This helps reduce the amount of ethylene emitted, slowing the ripening process and keeping the fruit fresh for a longer period of time. The gas also causes other fruits and veggies to ripen more quickly, so this trick will help prevent nearby produce from going bad as well. Like bananas, cantaloupe, nectarines, pears, plums, and tomatoes also emit ethylene gas and should be stored away from other produce.
3 . Problem: Rubbery Celery
Solution: Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge.
Celery is one of those veggies that can quickly go from crisp and crunchy to rubbery and tasteless, but you can lengthen the life of this vegetable by taking a few extra minutes to store it properly. After separating, washing, and drying the stalks, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. This keeps the air out and moisture in, but still allows the ethylene gas to escape (as opposed to plastic bags, which trap it in), slowing the ripening process and keeping the veggie fresh for up to a few weeks.
                                                       4 . Problem: Limp Lettuce
Solution: Line the bottom of your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels.
We all grab big heads of leafy lettuce with the intention of serving up light, healthy salads for summer dinners, but a few days go by and suddenly those crisp leaves become limp and soggy. To lengthen the shelf life of leafy greens as well as other produce in your fridge, line the crisper drawer with paper towels. Moisture in the fridge is what causes most fruits and veggies to lose their crisp texture and start to soften and go bad. By lining your fridge’s veggie drawer, you’ll absorb excess moisture and keep fresh produce crunchy for an extended period of time.
5 . Problem: Moldy Berries
Solution: Wash berries in a vinegar bath before refrigerating. 
As we enter the summer months, shelves packed with delicious, vibrantly colored berries line the produce aisle. With blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries now in season, the low prices make it tempting to pick up a large container — but if you don’t gobble them down quickly, berries can quickly soften and begin to mold. To extend their shelf life, rinse the berries in a vinegar bath (one part vinegar to three parts water), then rinse again with just water to remove any vinegar taste. Once dry, place the berries back in their container and store in the fridge. The vinegar kills bacteria on the berries, which helps prevent mold growth and keeps them fresher, longer.
                                                   6 . Problem: Sprouting Potatoes
Solution: Throw an apple in with your potatoes.
A big bag of russet potatoes can be a lifesaver on busy weekdays. The starchy vegetable can quickly be turned into a baked potato, French fries, or morning hash browns to feed a hungry family. The downside of keeping a large bag on hand is that potatoes stored for an extended period of time begin to sprout. Keep your spuds ready-to-eat by storing in a cool, dry place, as sunlight and moisture encourage sprouting. Another trick: Throw an apple in with the potatoes. While scientists have mixed opinions about whether this kitchen hack actually rings true, many experimenters claim that adding an apple to the bag does indeed delay the sprouting of potatoes, adding weeks to their shelf life. Give it a try yourself and you be the judge.
                                               7 . Problem: Slimy Mushrooms
Solution: Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not plastic.

Mushrooms are a delicious, hearty ingredient to use in everything from a chopped salad to a morning omelet to a stir-fry, but nothing is more unappetizing than reaching in for the vegetable and pulling out a slimy, mushy mess. To keep mushrooms meaty and fresh for as long as possible, it’s all about how you store them in your kitchen. When we get veggies home, it’s a habit to reach for plastic bags, but for mushrooms, paper should be your go-to. Plastic traps in moisture that causes mushrooms to mildew; opting for paper allows the vegetable to breathe and for moisture to escape, slowing the rate at which they begin to decay .

A proud grand-poppa        G.    

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Related image
Image result for beautiful friend greetings for valentines day

Thank you so much my wonderful cubs
Your card made me so happy
Thank you for  thinking of me as family
Close friends are very hard to find
 And impossible to let go
Much love to you all
Jonny ,  Sha  , Jenny , Man, Chris , Sheryl & Bubba  
Image result for beautiful friend greetings for valentines day
Aunt Jeannie

Aunt Jeannie --- Happy Valentines Day

 Family isn't always blood . It's the people in your life who  want you  in their's; the ones who  accept you for what you are .  The ones who would do anything  to see you  smile  & who  love you no matter what .

Have a great day from the Cubs  with love .

Jonny ,  Sha  , Jenny , Man Carano

Chris , Sheryl , Bubba Landrieau 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beef With Red Wine Sauce ------slow cooker

 This is an easy way to make a simple one-dish dinner that is sure to wow your guests. This beef recipe, flavored with gravy and mushrooms, is a hearty, filling dish. Pair it with a salad or bread, for sopping up the sauce, and you're ready to eat. That is just how it should be, and your slow-cooker beef will be just as delicious if you follow this simple recipe. The red wine sauce will make it even more rich and delicious, and you will savor every incredible bite.
 Makes 6 servings

3       pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1      medium onion, sliced
1      pound fresh mushrooms, halved
1     (1.61-ounce) package brown gravy mix
1     (10-1/2-ounce) can beef broth
1     cup red wine
2     tablespoons tomato paste
1    bay leaf
Hot cooked egg noodles or rice
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

1 .  Place first 3 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker.

2 .  Whisk together gravy mix and next 3 ingredients; pour evenly over beef and vegetables. Add bay leaf.

3 .  Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles. Garnish, if desired.
Heart healthy

Maxy sez : 4 Top Diabetes Diet Myths Exposed

By Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or even if you’ve had diabetes for a long time, you may be confused about how to eat to manage your blood glucose levels. It seems that everyone has an opinion, and many of these opinions contradict each other.

So what are you to believe? And what truly works at helping you keep your glucose levels in a healthy range?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest diabetes diet myths, why they don’t work, and what actually will.

Myth No. 1: If You Have Diabetes, You Must Avoid All Sugar

The Truth: A lot of sugar isn’t good for anyone’s diet, regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. But just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that sugar and sweets are entirely off limits. All carbohydrates, including simple sugars as well as complex carbohydrates, are broken down into glucose during digestion. This glucose is then used as energy in your cells. Because all forms of carbohydrates break down into glucose and therefore raise your blood glucose levels, you need to monitor your total carbohydrate intake — especially what you eat within one sitting — for optimal glucose management.

Although you must be careful not to overeat carbohydrates at one sitting, you can still indulge in a few sweet treats on occasion. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat milk are the best choices for everyone due to their rich nutrient and fiber content. But as long as you keep portions under control, you can still enjoy foods containing simple sugars (such as cookies) in moderation without spiking your glucose levels. Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to simple sugars, moderation is key for everyone — not just people with diabetes.

Myth No. 2: All White Foods Are Bad for People With Type 2 Diabetes

The Truth: When you think of white foods, what comes to mind? White flour, white sugar, and white bread? What about white potatoes, cauliflower, and onions? Are all of these white foods bad for glucose levels? Definitely not! Sure, some white foods are highly processed, such as enriched flour and sugar. But just because a food is white in appearance doesn’t mean it will be rapidly converted into glucose in the body and spike your levels. In fact, white vegetables such as cauliflower and onions are excellent for blood sugar control because they’re very high in fiber, and low in both calories and carbohydrates.

White potatoes get a bad rap as well. It’s true that sweet potatoes are digested more slowly and prompt a smaller elevation in glucose levels after eating than their paler counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid white potatoes altogether if you have diabetes. In moderation and as part of a balanced meal — with vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats — you can enjoy white potatoes as your starch and still maintain healthy glucose levels.

Myth No. 3: The Only Way to Lower Glucose Levels and Body Weight Is to Follow a Low- or No-Carb Diet

The Truth: If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel as if everyone around you is telling you to steer clear of all sources of carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates are found in everything from fruit to bread to milk and even vegetables, you may feel as though there’s nothing left to eat. But the good news is that you can actually still eat carbs. Managing diabetes is about keeping your glucose levels in a healthy range. Glucose levels that are too high can damage your body, but very low levels can be dangerous as well. Eating carbohydrates as part of a well-balanced diet will help you keep your levels within a healthy range.

Instead of avoiding carbohydrates, focus instead on choosing the healthiest types.  Space your carbohydrate intake out throughout the day by balancing your plate with carbs, lean protein, and healthy fat at each meal. A balanced diet will not only help you achieve optimal glucose levels — it will also improve your overall health.

Myth No. 4: Sugar-Free Foods Won’t Impact Blood Sugar Levels

The Truth: Sugar-free doesn’t necessarily equal carbohydrate-free. Many foods marketed as sugar-free have replaced sugar with sugar alcohols, which provide fewer calories and make less of an impact on glucose levels than regular sugar — but can still elevate glucose levels if you consume them in large amounts. In addition, bread-based sugar-free foods, such as sugar-free desserts, are typically rich in carbohydrates from sources such as flour and grains. It’s essential to read labels carefully on sugar-free foods: In particular, look at the total grams of carbohydrates, not just grams of sugar. If you focus only on the marketing claims such as “sugar-free,” you may struggle to lower your glucose levels without knowing why.

As you can see, there are many diet myths surrounding diabetes. But managing your glucose levels doesn’t have to be complicated. A balanced diet rich in whole foods and limited in processed foods and simple sugars — the same diet that we should all follow, regardless of whether or not we have diabetes — can help you keep your glucose levels in a healthy range.

Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who has contributed to national media outlets such as  The Doctors, and the Chicago Tribune. She serves as a media spokesperson, nutrition consultant, and speaker. Erin is the author of multiple publications, including Belly Fat Diet For Dummies and the 2-Day Diabetes Diet, and coauthor of the Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies. She specializes in the areas of diabetes, adult and child weight management, sports nutrition, and cardiovascular disease. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chicken with Field Pea Succotash -----slow ccoker

You’ll love the simplicity of this Creole Chicken with Field Pea Succotash that you will become full-bodied and deliciously flavored after simmering throughout the day in your slow cooker. This recipe is made even easier by using a few packages of frozen vegetables to help it all come together—frozen field peas, a frozen gumbo mix, and frozen corn can all be tossed right in. Spice it up with a few teaspoons of Creole seasoning that bring just the right amount of heat. Complete the meal by trying this easy side: Drizzle sliced fresh tomatoes with oil-and-vinegar dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.
 Makes 6 servings             Total time: 5 Hours, 30 Minutes

1       (16-ounce) package frozen field peas with snaps, thawed
1      (10-ounce) package frozen vegetable gumbo mix, thawed
1      (16-ounce) package baby gold and white whole kernel corn, thawed
2      teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
4      teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
1-1/2       teaspoons paprika
6       skinned, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2-1/2 pounds)

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients and 2 tsp. Creole seasoning in a lightly greased 6-qt. oval-shaped slow cooker.

2. Combine paprika and remaining 2 tsp. Creole seasoning; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or until chicken is done.
Heart healthy

Food for Thought : Mistakes to Avoid With Heart Medications

If you're taking any kind of medicine for heart disease, you're probably taking it for life — so you need to learn to take it safely. Here are tips for avoiding common pitfalls.

By Diana Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Taking heart medications isn’t easy. You'll likely have to remember multiple pills and specific instructions for each. But these medications, when taken correctly, can help manage or prevent heart disease, control blood pressure and cholesterol, and generally keep you healthy for years to come.

You probably know this. But you also need to know that if you take your medicines    incorrectly, not only can heart disease and related health problems progress, but you may start to feel sick — from progressing heart disease, drug interactions, or a side effect from your heart medications.

Taking Heart Medications Correctly

It may seem simpler to just swallow all your pills at once whenever you think about it. But there's definitely a method to taking heart medications to maximize their effectiveness against your health problems and minimize their side effects.

Here are some ways to prevent some of the most common mistakes people make when taking heart medications:

1 .  Make a list of your medications. Taking multiple drugs increases the risk of drug interactions. Keeping a complete list of all the medications that you take — and showing it to all your doctors at every visit — can help reduce the likelihood of any new medication interacting with ones that you are already taking.
2 .  Make a habit of taking your medications as directed, every day. It can be easy to forget to take your heart medication — but it can also be very serious to your health. Find a way to make remembering to take your heart medication easier, by doing it along with a daily activity like eating a meal or brushing your teeth. You can also group your medications in a daily pillbox, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or ask for reminders from your spouse.
3 .  Don't stop taking your medications unless your doctor tells you to. When you start feeling like yourself again, and when your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers improve, that doesn’t mean you're off the hook for your heart medication. Unless your doctor tells you to, never stop taking your heart medication or change the frequency with which you take it.
4 .  Get all your drugs at one pharmacy. Your pharmacist can help you keep track of your medications and spot any possible drug interactions. He can also help you identify any side effects that might be stemming from your heart medications. Rather than traveling all over town to several different pharmacies, fill all your prescriptions in one place to help you manage your medications better.5 . Don't forget your refills. Stay on top of how much medicine you have left, and refill  prescriptions promptly. Don't wait until you run out, as you might not be able to get to the pharmacy and may miss a dose.
5 .  Be aware of possible side effects. Heart medications can cause some side effects, so it's important to know what they are so that you can be on the lookout. If you suddenly notice yourself feeling a little dizzy, coughing more often, or feeling a little nauseated, it could be caused by your heart medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what side effects are common, and speak with them if you start experiencing problems. Sometimes taking a medicine in the evening can avoid side effects related to dizziness — ask your doctor if this would be safe to do.
Avoiding Side Effects
Most side effects aren't serious, but they can be bothersome. The most important thing that you can do to prevent side effects is to take your medications exactly as your doctor prescribed them. Your pharmacist can also give you some suggestions on taking your medications — for instance, one medication may need to be taken with a lot of water, while another may need to be taken along with a meal to prevent an upset stomach, while another should not be taken with other medications.

Remember that list of medications you wrote down? You might want to write down the side effects — and how to handle them — on it, as well.

You should also remember to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the over-the-counter medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbs that you take. Those could cause side effects from a drug interaction. Check with a health care professional before you take any other medications in conjunction with your heart medications — even simple cough and cold medicines.

A proud grand-poppa                G.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beef or Lamb Stew

 1/2      cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4        pounds boneless lamb/or beef  shoulder or top round, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2     cup olive oil
2        cups dry red wine
2        tablespoons sherry vinegar
4        cups chicken stock
2        tablespoons chopped tarragon
1        pound baby carrots, peeled
1        pound baby parsnips, peeled
1        pound small fingerling potatoes
1/2     pound baby turnips, halved
8        baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds reserved and chopped
1        large shallot, minced
2        tablespoons minced parsley

1 .  Preheat the oven to 350Put the flour in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the lamb/beef  cubes in 4 batches, tossing to coat thoroughly.

2 .  In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the lamb /beef  cubes and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Brown the remaining floured lamb in 3 batches, adding 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot per batch. Reduce the heat if the casserole bottom darkens too much.

3 .  Return all of the lamb /beef  to the casserole. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the stock and tarragon and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the casserole and braise the stew in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the meat is nearly tender.

4 .  Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, fennel and shallot to the lamb stew. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to distribute the vegetables. Cover the casserole, return it to the oven and cook until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour longer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and fennel fronds and serve the stew in deep bowls.

Pair  the stew with a rich, powerful Pinot Noir that is full of dark-berry fruit
Heart healthy

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mama bear puts baby back to bed

Mama panda at Taipei Zoo in China puts baby to bed

Maxy sez : Tired All the Time? It Could Be Your Diabetes

Fatigue in people with diabetes is often attributed to blood sugar fluctuations, but stress and emotional concerns can be major contributors. Learn coping strategies that can help boost energy and mood.

By Beth W. Orenstein           Medically Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD

If you’re coping with diabetes and feel wiped out all the time – the kind of fatigue that isn’t helped by eating or getting a little extra sleep – your doctor might tell you that your blood sugar levels are to blame. But new research shows that the duo of diabetes and fatigue could have other causes. In a study published in The Diabetes Educator, researchers Cynthia Fritschi, RN, PhD, and Laurie Quinn, RN, PhD, of the University of Illinois College of Nursing, found that stress, depression, body mass index (BMI), and lack of physical activity can all be significant contributors to fatigue in people with diabetes.
The study looked at 83 women ages 40 to 65 with type 2 diabetes. The women completed questionnaires about their health, fatigue levels, diabetes symptoms, depression, emotional distress, physical activity, and how they were managing and coping with diabetes. Some of the women wore a continuous glucose monitor for three days to assess the changes in their glucose (blood sugar) levels.

The researchers found no relationship between the women’s fatigue level and their blood sugar control. Fasting blood sugar, glucose fluctuations over the study period, and A1C, which measures average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months, did not predict how tired the women reported feeling. “It appears that other factors – such as being overweight, getting little physical activity, and having higher levels of distress – could be causing their fatigue,” Fritschi says.

Diabetes and fatigue can set up a Catch-22, Fritschi adds. “One of the key strategies for taking care of diabetes is exercise, yet people with diabetes can be too tired to exercise," she says. If you’re also depressed, you’re even less likely to have the energy to take other steps needed to manage diabetes, such as preparing healthy meals and monitoring your blood sugar. “I think there are definitely quality of life issues that come with diabetes and fatigue,” Fritschi says.

Coping With Diabetes and Fatigue
Take a proactive approach to dealing with fatigue by addressing your symptoms and concerns with your health care providers and support team.

· Give specifics. When talking to your doctor about how you feel, don’t just say, “I’m tired all the time.” Tell your doctor that 'I’m too tired to go for a walk or go grocery shopping,' ” Fritschi says. Let your doctor know that your exhaustion is preventing you from doing activities that are important to keeping you healthy.

· Keep a journal. How many times do you get up at night to go to the bathroom? Are you skipping meals because you’re too tired to stand and prepare them? Make detailed notes on these issues and use your journal to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about concerns that make living with diabetes harder for you.

· Work with a therapist. Managing diabetes is a 24/7 commitment. That alone can cause you to feel anxious, stressed, and depressed. And, in turn, depression can lead to fatigue and a lack of energy, Fritschi says. If you feel burdened and depressed by your diabetes, consider getting professional help. A therapist who is trained in treating depression can help you improve your mental health. Ask your doctor or diabetes caregiver . 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hawaiian Short Ribs ... get in ma belly

Hawaiian Short Ribs

This sweet and spicy dish is like an instant tropical vacation, especially since your slow cooker does all the work.


2 red onions, cut into 1-inch wedges, root ends left intact
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (about 6), cut in 3 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups dark-brown sugar
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha or other chili sauce
3 cups 1-inch-cubed pineapple (1 pound
Cooked white rice, for serving
Chopped scallion greens, for serving ( optional..spring onions work too)

Place onions, garlic, and ginger in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with short ribs in a tight layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and Sriracha and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until ribs are almost tender, 4 hours. Add pineapple and cook until pineapple is tender, 1 hour.

With a slotted spoon, transfer ribs, pineapple, onions, and ginger to a platter and tent with foil. With a ladle, skim fat from cooking liquid. Serve ribs and pineapple mixture with rice; drizzle with some cooking liquid and sprinkle with scallions.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Food for Thought : 10 Unhealthy Relationship Myths to Stop Believing

Thinking that "happily ever after" is real can spell trouble for a relationship. Discover the truth behind some common relationship misconceptions so you can boost your bond.
By Gabrielle Frank
Falling in love is easy. Maintaining a happy, healthy relationship? That's the hard part. And if you go into a relationship buying into myths like “opposites attract” and “happy couples never fight,” you’ll be setting yourself up for failure, says Charlie Bloom, a psychotherapist based in Santa Cruz, California. These ideals are unhealthy and unrealistic since they tend to be based on fairytales (Cinderella, anyone?).

To help improve your relationships, we've decided to clear the air. Read on to discover the truths behind 10 common relationship myths.

Myth #1: Opposites Attract
The Truth: This is one of those myths that’s ingrained in us as teenagers: the good girl falls for the bad boy. And while there is some truth to it — extroverts tend to be attracted to introverts, for example — the key to a successful relationship is to complement one another. “I like to say complements attract,” says Bloom. “This means looking for someone who has the qualities you lack.” It’s also a big plus to have similarities in your personal history, as well as interests in common. Coming for a similar background will make it easier for you and your partner to relate to one another.

Myth #2: Happy Couples Never Fight
The Truth: A lot of us fall for this misconception, and it’s no wonder why. Movies, television shows, and society perpetuate the myth that for happy couples, life is always roses and sunshine. The truth? “All couples have differences, and fighting is not a sign that you’re with the wrong person,” says Bloom. “In fact, it’s healthy to debate issues. You’re not always going to see eye-to-eye, and that’s okay.” What is important is being diplomatic during arguments, and not judging or being critical of your spouse. Speaking the truth without blame and judgment will establish trust and strengthen your bond.

Myth #3: Couples Should Have Sex 5 Times a Month
The Truth: “There is no correct frequency for sex,” says Bloom. “Everyone has different needs.” If you want to have sex more or less often, talk to your partner and figure out a groove that works for you both.

Myth #4: Good Relationships Are Easy and Don’t Require Work
The Truth: People tell themselves, "If I find the right person, it’s smooth sailing from there." The reality is a lot different. “You don’t know a person until you’ve been with them for a while,” explains Bloom. “In the beginning of a relationship, you’re both putting your best foot forward. But eventually your flaws start to show, and your partner has to learn how to deal.” Recognizing that all relationships take work will keep you from feeling disappointed later on.

Myth #5: Getting Married or Having a Baby Will Solve Your Relationship Problems
The Truth: “Women who deal with trust issues tend to think that marriage and babies will make their partners more committed,” says Bloom. “But that’s not necessarily the case." Rather than solve your problems, having a baby may actually create new issues that will only add to the ones you’re already dealing with. To improve your bond, you have to look at what’s happening inside the relationship rather than looking to outside forces to fix it, recommends Bloom.

Myth #6: Commitment Is a One-Time Event
The Truth: Saying your vows and exchanging rings on your wedding day isn’t enough: You need to commit to your marriage every single day, according to Bloom. “Great relationships don’t just happen,” he says. “You have to cocreate it with your partner all the time."

Myth #7: If He Loved Me, He Would Know What I Need
The Truth: “Your partner isn’t a mind-reader,” says Bloom. “It’s up to you to tell him or her exactly what you need to feel loved.” For example, if you want physical connection and attention, tell your partner what that means for you. Maybe it’s a hug and kiss before you leave for work, or cuddling on the weekends. Bloom suggests saying something like, “It would mean a lot to me if ....” and filling in the blank with whatever you need to feel loved and supported.

Myth #8: All Men Are Prone to Cheat
The Truth: This myth is endlessly supported by the media, so it’s no surprise that a lot of us fall for it. But the reality is not that all men are cheaters, and buying into this myth can have negative consequences for your relationship. “You’ll be less trusting of your partner and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop,” says Bloom. If you want a solid bond, you have to trust your significant other and communicate if you have concerns about his fidelity. It isn’t always easy, but it’s important to be open and honest with one another.

Myth #9: People Don’t Change
The Truth: People can change — as long as they want to. “You have to be willing and open,” says Bloom. Remember that change can be scary, so it's important to be loving and supportive of your partner.

Myth #10: Happily Ever After Exists
The Truth: “We all grow up with the Cinderella story,” says Bloom. “People are taught to think that love should be enough. But if you’re caught up in that myth, you’re not going to take the responsibility required to create a great relationship.” You have to be ready and willing to work for your relationship. It doesn’t just happen; it takes effort and determination.

A proud grand-poppa            G.