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Time for change

During the testing prior to her foot surgery, Sandy had learned she is prediabetic. She’s an engineer working on the industrial level. It’s long hours and some travel without much time for herself. She makes great money and is a fantastic success in the work aspect of her life. This pre-diabetic diagnosis is threatening her way of life. It is definitely time to make some lifestyle changes.

Health is wealth. Soaring healthcare costs lead to higher insurance costs, copays, and deductible amounts. Unfortunately, what we eat can harm our health. More and more processed foods have increasing amounts of carbohydrates and sugar in them. It also happens when we go to restaurants out working on the road. The menu is loaded with meat and carbohydrates. They usually offer a few vegetable options but most favorites tend to have a larger amount of carbohydrates, Unfortunately, potatoes are not a good diabetic option. All these carbohydrates and sugars lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes.

I was actually excited that Sandy‘s diagnosis was just prediabetic. I had another friend Tom who was diagnosed as prediabetic. He made adjustments to his diet and was able to reverse/heal is body. He isn’t diabetic. I knew Sandy would be able to do the same thing.

It started slowly with day by day discussions about food nutrition. She really enjoys this process, so she doesn't get overwhelmed with too much information at once. Without going into glycemic indexes here's some basics... Simple carbohydrates cause high blood sugar: potatoes, breads, pastas, rice, & cereals. This led to another discussion was about sugar spikes lasting an hour or two versus a long term high blood sugar of a couple of days from a grain based food or root vegetable listed above.

An Interesting complication to being diabetic, is that each person is unique. What may blow my blood sugar up, may not even affect her blood sugar. She may be able to eat small quantities of oatmeal. That will blow my blood sugar through the roof. Portion control does factor in. One person said to me, “ you can eat anything you want as a diabetic. You just have to pay attention to the portion size.” The more food you eat, the more food there is to turn into sugar. So one really good trick is to eat food high in nutritional content with complex carbohydrates; more vegetables and some fruit.

Sandy asked me to look into her cabinet. She really does eat a lot of healthy things. Making the lifestyle changes she needs to make will just take some time. She just needs knowledge. One example is to eat some protein before eating any carbohydrates. Protein doesn’t dissolve into sugars as fast as carbohydrates.

When I look at any food labels, the first thing I notice is the serving size. This tells me how much I can actually eat of this food. Next are the sugars. You will see sugar alcohols, sugar substitutes, and sugar listed on the back of ingredient labels. If there is a sugar listed, I add it all together. I prefer to stay below double digits when it comes to grams of sugar. As for the carbohydrates, I like to see 17 g or less per serving size. And fiber is important as well. Fiber slows down carbohydrate digestion. It is helpful in weight loss since it scrubs your digestive walls and helps with bowel movements. Nutrient dense complex carbohydrate food contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals and usually make you feel full for longer, assisting in weight loss as well.

The nutrition I like best is homemade. I can control the ingredients. I get to decide if I want to splurge with cheese and a processed meats which can cause inflammation in the body. This week’s recipe is a bit of a splurge; but I use cheeses aged longer than the store brands and choose turkey based processed meats for a healthier bad option. It is versatile and can be an appetizer or a snack.

T’s Terrific Toasted Tomatoes


- 2 small tomatoes

- 4 slices of applewood smoked turkey

Or 16 turkey pepperoni slices

- 1/2 cup of cheddar or mozzarella

- 1/8 tsp of onion powder or oregano

- 1/4 cup virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Cut each tomato into 4 slices.

  3. Pour the olive oil into a bowl and coat the slices in the oil.

  4. Lay out the slices on a pan.

  5. Top them with either the Applewood Recipe of one thin layer of cheddar cheese followed by smoked applewood turkey, the onion powder and cheddar cheese (pictured on the right side below) -Or- For the Italian recipe use the mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, powdered oregano, and mozzarella for an Italian toasted tomato (pictured on the left).

  6. Cook for 10 min.

  7. Allow to cool on a plate for 5 minutes.

*** For a crispier outside and juicier inside, reduce the cook time and increase the heat up to broil for 2 or 3 minutes. ***

Tomatoes are good for you. They have lycopene which not only gives them their red color but also can assist in protecting your cells from UV rays. Lycopene may also make you less likely to get some types of cancer and prevent diseases that affect the pancreas, throat, breasts, colon, mouth and cervix. This micronutrient lowers bad LDL and blood pressure which can improve heart health and reduce your risk of strokes. Tomatoes contain Vitamin E that helps improve your vision and potassium that can help with leg cramps. Lutein and zeaxanthin found in tomatoes may be helpful for those with asthma and prevent emphysema because they fight cigarette smoke’s damaging effects. These two compounds may protect your eyes from electronic devices that emit blue light.

Source: “ The Health Benefits of Tomatoes

WebMD 11/05/19

Sandy has been making these gradual weekly changes to her lifestyle and eating habits. We work together to customize the changes to her eating habits to foods she likes. This makes her want to keep these changes permanently in her life. If you would like to have a Health and Life Coach work with you, please contact me for a free consultation. Meanwhile, I'm headed back out to the garden to collect more tomatoes for another round of these snacks before the current hurricane floods the yard. Let me know if you try this snack. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up to date lab work.

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