Wellness

Summer at the Farm Market & Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

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Summertime is the best time for fresh food and enjoying the local harvest. Have you checked out your neighborhood farm market yet this year? A few favorites in the SE Michigan area are Eastern Market, the Oakland County Farmer's Market, and the Royal Oak Farmer's Market - but big or small, most communities have a local market. Last weekend, I happened upon strawberries, garlic scapes, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, lettuces, herbs and veggies ready to be planted, swiss chard, kale, early tomatoes, microgreens, rhubarb, sunflowers, and the list goes on! The market is full of colors and textures and hustle and bustle and the freshest food you can find (short of picking out of your own backyard).

Summer cooking is great on the grill, and simple creations let the flavors shine! When you're cooking at home this summer, get creative! You may find inspiration from these sources for diabetes-friendly recipes and new flavor ideas:

Some of these sites state that their recipes have been medically reviewed while a couple others don't. Be sure to use your best judgment for your own health needs when choosing recipes. Eat well and enjoy!!

Our Pets Help with Diabetes Management and Stress Relief

These days, we are loving the opportunity to bring our dogs into the Healthy Living office during the workday. It has been amazing being able to have our best buddies along to work for both productivity and peace of mind.

Beyond Type 1 just posted a really cool article about how pets can help with T1D management - beyond the role of diabetic alert dogs. These are some of the key benefits the article cited:

  • Our pets can help reduce our stress. - "When stress hormone levels spike, blood glucose levels have been known to rise significantly. The decreased stress and anxiety that interaction with animals can provide can positively affect blood glucose levels as a result!"

  • Our pets can help prevent loneliness. - " One major cause of stress, anxiety and depression is the feeling of loneliness. Having a beloved animal that provides consistent, unconditional love is a great way to battle these feelings and avoid those blood sugar-spiking hormones that come along with it."

  • Our pets encourage us to exercise. - "People who own pets (and dogs in particular) on average get more day-to-day exercise than people who do not have an animal to walk and care for. Exercise is a natural way to speed up insulin absorption and lower BG levels."

  • Our pets help motivate self-care. - "The added responsibility that comes with pet ownership can make you more aware of the importance of your own health. Your furry friend depends on you! Out of that love, you may love yourself more."

The quotes above are directly from the Beyond Type 1 article "Can Pets Help in T1D Management?" Settle in and take some time with a fluffy friend to help prevent and relieve stress and burnout from diabetes (or any other cause!).

TED's Non-Cheesy Guide to Gratefulness

As we transition into the New Year, this can be a really great moment to find a little gratitude for the good (and not so good) things in our lives. But if we, our family, or our friends are in an especially hard spot, or we are just plain worn out, getting in the mindset of gratefulness can be near impossible. Take a look at this blog post from the TED blog: A non-cheesy guide to gratefulness: What to read and watch. Here you will find some truly fresh takes on how to approach gratitude and say "thank you" in a new way.

Grateful for Gratitude: 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Feeling Thankful

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“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
             -- Melody Beattie

At Thanksgiving, many of us pause and take a little extra time to consider what we’re thankful for. Beyond November, gratitude that is revisited throughout the year can have awesome benefits for the person with the grateful heart as well as the friends and family who interact with him or her. Check out this article to learn about the positive health impacts of practicing gratitude. Here is a preview from the article…

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude

  1. Gratitude can make you more patient
  2. Gratitude might improve your relationships
  3. Gratitude improves self-care
  4. Gratitude can help you sleep
  5. Gratitude may stop you from overeating
  6. Gratitude can help ease depression
  7. Gratitude gives you happiness that lasts

Today I want to thank you for supporting the Healthy Living blog and our community. Happy Thanksgiving!

Adult Summer Cooking Classes Excite at Eastern Market

Eastern Market in the Summer (Wikipedia Commons)

Eastern Market in the Summer (Wikipedia Commons)

Did you know that Eastern Market is offering cooking classes this summer? I checked out the schedule, and there are plenty of enticing adult classes still open. Each class is $15, or $12 for seniors. The upcoming schedule includes:

  • Baking Quick Breads and Biscuits – August 15
  • Breakfast Foods a Go-Go – August 22
  • Slow-Cooked Pork with Tomatoes and Sweet Corn Broth – August 29
  • Pan-Fried Lake Perch with Remoulade, Wild Rice, and Green Beans – September 5
  • Chicken Breast with Fresh Greens, Peppers, and Grits – September 12
  • Steak with Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, and Mushroom Demi-Glace – September 19

Shed 5 houses the Eastern Market Community Kitchen, where classes are held from 1 pm to 3 pm on each specified date. Register for classes here. I just signed up to try one myself!

MIT Researchers Developing Color-Changing Tattoo Inks that Could Help Track Health

Flickr, Rebecca Brown

Flickr, Rebecca Brown

In the project called DermalAbyss, the “body surface is rendered an interactive display.” In collaboration, MIT and Harvard Medical School researchers are creating tattoo ink that has biosensors to respond to changes in the body, such as blood sugar, pH, and sodium levels. The ink color shifts in response to changes in interstitial fluid.

This work could be of special interest to people with diabetes. The sensor ink changes from blue to brown as blood sugar rises, and researchers hope that one day users will be able to monitor their glucose levels and need of insulin through their own tattoo color changes.

DermalAbyss “blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry” and is currently in the proof-of-concept change. The next challenge for the researchers will be to test the biosensor liquid in animals for adverse reactions and possible allergies. And of course the biggest goal is to make the tattoo indicators as accurate as possible, as reliable as a blood glucose test.

Sources for article information and more images can be found at:

The Summer Power Smoothie to Keep You Going

Summer is a time for outdoor activities, fresh grown foods, and lots of sunshine. Take advantage of readily available and locally grown fruits and vegetables during this time. Adding these into a power smoothie will not only help you get all the nutrients you need, but will also keep your energy up during those long, hot summer days. Try out this smoothie recipe and check out all of the benefits that come along with each ingredient. Enjoy!

Smoothie Ingredients

Blend together:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries or raspberries (or any fruit you like)
  • ½ cup kale
  • ½ cup plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed
  • 1 splash of coconut or almond milk
  • 1 serving of protein powder (flavor of your choice)

***Add water, additional coconut milk, or ice as needed for consistency***

Benefits of Ingredients:

Bananas: Rich in fiber and antioxidants, also provide excellent fuel for endurance exercise.

Blueberries: High in fiber, support digestion, sometimes called the king of antioxidant foods.

Kale: High in iron, vitamins, antioxidants, and a natural detoxifier.

Greek yogurt: Packed with calcium and probiotics to help keep you regular and boost your immune system, also a great protein source. My favorite Greek Yogurt.

Honey: Nature’s sweetener!!! Delivers a fast boost of energy to your body. If your honey is local, it can also help fend off allergies.  ***Tip: Make sure your honey is pure and raw.***

Turmeric: A potent anti-inflammatory, meaning it reduces inflammation in your entire body which can otherwise lead to disease and health complications. Also helps you heal faster and brings more nourishment and extra immune activity to the site of an infection or injury. See Emily’s past post about turmeric's benefits for people with diabetes.

Flaxseed: Provides Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects, also improves skin and hair health.

Chia seed: A great source of plant protein to keep your muscles happy and healthy, high in fiber, and also rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids.

You don’t have to follow this recipe exactly! Enjoy and make your own creations! Try out different ingredients and combinations for a variety of taste and color!

Note: Please consult your provider for medical advice.

Review: Why Perfectly Healthy People Are Using Diabetes Monitors

Fresh abundance, image from Thinkstock.

Fresh abundance, image from Thinkstock.

We found this article in Time magazine about how continuous glucose monitors are beginning to be used by people who are not living with diabetes. This may sound surprising, but it also makes some sense.

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a federally approved medical device that tracks blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. The CGM patch has a small needle that probes the inside of a person’s arm or other area of the body, and a sensor that tracks changes to blood sugar in real-time. The data is then sent to the wearer’s smartphone or another device.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • In the “quantified-self” movement, some people say it makes sense to track their blood sugar and learn a lot about nutrition and exercise, especially given all the recent attention to the risks (like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity) associated with over-consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates.
  • Tabb Firchau, an entrepreneur from Seattle, had been wearing a CGM for about a month at the time of the article to track (and then adjust) what was happening in his body. He said, “I’ve been trying to learn why some days I feel fantastic, and other days I don’t. I had a cinnamon roll recently and my blood glucose doubled in 60 minutes. The monitor helps you understand the costs of the decisions you are making.”
  • To obtain a CGM, people without diabetes must either convince a doctor to prescribe one or purchase them online on sites like eBay. Even if a doctor prescribes one, it’s highly unlikely insurance would cover the system for someone without diabetes. It’s estimated that CGMs cost $5–10 per day, or around $3,000 a year for replacement parts.
  • Some people believe, “There’s a need for some analytics that could process the data appropriately and provide [actionable] information to people versus a datastream every five minutes.”
  • CGM users are making their own great observations. Exercise is known to be helpful for blood sugar regulation and Damiano, a doctor who uses CGM personally, says he notices “profound” drops in his blood sugar while on walks in the woods. “If you have a meal and blood sugar rises, take a walk, it’s like magic,” he says. “It can reinforce people to think about exercise after meals.”
  • The company Sano Intelligence is planning to release a continuous glucose monitor to the general public sometime soon.

Continuous glucose monitoring could be an incredible, motivating tool to help any person make better decisions about what they eat and drink. Check out the article!

Apple Watch’s Non-Invasive Glucose Tracker: Said to Become the “Holy Grail” in Diabetes

Apple Watch, image from pexels.com.

Apple Watch, image from pexels.com.

From Hints to a Peek at an Apple Watch CGM

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told students at the University of Glasgow in February that he had been wearing a glucose tracker, and that it helped him understand the impact of different foods on his blood sugar levels. Fast-forward to April. News surfaced that Apple was developing a solution, integrated with its Apple Watch, to diagnose and manage diabetes, with a non-invasive sensor that continuously measures blood glucose levels. One month later – May. Tim Cook was spotted wearing a prototype glucose tracker that pairs with the Apple Watch around Apple’s campus.

For over five years, Apple has had a team of biomechanical engineers working on developing a continuous blood glucose sensor to pair with their Apple Watch that does not break the skin. Their Palo Alto-based research team has already begun feasibility tests with the tracker they have engineered to date. Apple calls their challenging intention of creating this technology the “holy grail” in diabetes.

"It's mentally anguishing to stick yourself many times a day to check your blood sugar," Tim Cook said, according to CNBC. "There is lots of hope out there that if someone has constant knowledge of what they're eating, they can instantly know what causes the response... and that they can adjust well before they become diabetic."

Speculation about the Tracker’s Functionality & Watch Integration

Based on the description from CNBC, it sounds like the tracker Cook is wearing is a separate, independent unit that communicates to the Apple Watch over Bluetooth, as opposed to a feature integrated inside the Watch itself. Some are hypothesizing that Apple will sell the glucose tracker as an additional accessory. This could be especially helpful since the blood monitoring feature requires approval and regulation of the FDA. If Apple sells the tracker as a separate accessory, they will be able to avoid adding regulatory procedures to the production of the entire Apple Watch.

One report indicated that Apple would manufacture smart bands that expand the Watch with additional functions, meaning the glucose monitor could become a part of one of those separate smart bands, which would communicate with the core Apple hardware.  

The Apple Watch & Health Monitoring

If Apple can successfully create this next-generation glucose monitor, it will transform the Apple Watch from a wearable accessory to a revolutionary health device, beyond heart rate and activity tracking. Tim Cook recently told a group: "This is an area where I'm very excited about Apple's contribution. Very excited."

Upcoming Dexcom Integration

Dexcom is an existing, trusted leader in continuous glucose monitoring technology. Apple announced at their recent WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) that they were releasing a Bluetooth API for their Apple Watch that would allow it to pair directly with health sensors such at Dexom CGM.

Article References

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15662316/apple-watch-glucose-tracker-tim-cook

https://9to5mac.com/2017/05/18/report-tim-cook-testing-wearable-blood-sugar-tracker-on-apples-campus-connected-to-apple-watch/

http://mashable.com/2017/05/19/tim-cook-glucose-apple-watch/#HpD71gq60OqA

http://www.macworld.com/article/3197691/wearables/tim-cook-is-testing-a-new-apple-watch-device-that-monitors-his-blood-sugar-monitor.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/dexcom-stock-spikes-on-apple-watch-deal.html

Living with COPD: 7 Strategies for Better Management

You may be familiar with COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic lung disease that gets worse over time. This disease damages the airways in the lungs and leads to shortness of breath, impacting work, exercise, sleep, and other everyday activities.

Even if you are living with COPD, you can still maintain a high quality of life. Try making some changes or careful choices based on these recommendations so you can stay active and continue enjoying your life while managing COPD.

7 Strategies for Better COPD Management

Use each link to delve into details about the subjects below. Information and links come from the American Lung Association.

1.      Protect Your Lungs: Since your lungs are weaker when you have COPD, learn how to reduce exposure to anything that could make your COPD worse (like smoking) or could cause an exacerbation or flare-up.

2.      Be Thoughtful about Nutrition: Many people are surprised to learn that the food they eat can affect their breathing. The right mix of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier.

3.      Be Intentional with Physical Activity: When you have COPD, the right amount and type of exercise can have many benefits and is important for staying healthy.

4.      Learn to Cope with Emotions: Find ways to get emotional support and learn to recognize and handle feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, or stress.

5.      Make a Plan: Use the American Lung Association’s COPD management tools and resources.

6.      Manage Lifestyle Changes: Follow the steps at this link to manage the lifestyle changes that COPD brings.

7.      Plan for Your Future with COPD: Discuss some important points about your future care with your doctors and caregivers.

How Is COPD Treated?

Physicians work closely with their patients to select the best treatment options for managing COPD. Treatments may include medications, rehabilitation, or surgery. Since each person’s COPD is different, a variety of medications can be used to create the best plan to address an individual’s symptoms and needs. Benefits of taking the right medication at the right time include:

  • Breathing better
  • Being able to do more of the things you enjoy
  • Having fewer flare-ups or exacerbations

Learn more about COPD treatment.

Inhalation Medications from Healthy Living Pharmacy

If you are taking medications to manage your COPD, try working with Healthy Living Pharmacy to obtain your prescriptions with concierge-level customer service and free shipping to your home. Call 866.779.8512 (Option 4) to speak with a pharmacist! 

Healthy Living Speaker Series with Briana Greenlee – Fight Inflammation: The Root of Disease – a Recap

Learning about the Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle

Ongoing research has been making it more and more clear that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses, including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s. On Saturday, April 8, Healthy Living was honored to welcome Briana Greenlee, Registered Dietitian and Food Scientist, to speak with a group of employees and guests about the benefits of living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Our Healthy Living Speaker Series event finished with a dinner prepared with an anti-inflammatory focus.

Why Is Chronic Inflammation Harmful?

Learn more about the mechanics of the inflammation process and what to do about whole-body inflammation, as explained by Dr. Andrew Weil.

    Dietary Choices 

    Your daily food and drink selections are a couple of the most important elements for keeping inflammation down in your body. What is an anti-inflammatory diet? As a broad answer, Briana recommended following the Mediterranean Diet. She also spoke about and prepared a handout with the more specific information below.

    13 Fundamentals of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    1.     Boost consumption of fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat (4-5) servings each of fruits and vegetables daily. Choose produce with deep green, orange, yellow, and purple, as these have the greatest nutritional value.

    2.     Get at least (30) grams of fiber per day. Fiber keeps your GI tract moving.

    3.     (4ea) – half cup servings of alliums and crucifers per week. Alliums include garlic, onions, scallions, and leeks. Crucifers include cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. These vegetables support your detoxification pathways.

    4.     Cook with unrefined oil. Olive oil is your champion when it comes to cooking. Make sure the oil is first cold-pressed, unrefined, and non-GMO. Oil extracted by chemical solvents and/or heat has the potential to go rancid and increase inflammation. Stay away from vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, etc. [Check out How to Choose a Quality Olive Oil.]

    5.     Snack on whole foods. Processed foods may be tasty in the moment, but you’ll be hungry soon after. Snacking on fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein will tide you over until the next meal.

    6.     If you eat grains, make sure they are whole. White, refined grains have been stripped of their nutritional value and will spike your blood sugar.

    7.     Eliminate sugary foods and drinks. Sugar spikes your blood sugar and causes energy highs and lows, mental fog, irritability, sleepiness, weight gain, and cravings. Incorporate fruit as your dessert and try adding small amounts of cider, fruit juice, drinking vinegar, or citrus wedges to water to enhance the flavor.

    8.     Always pair carbohydrate-dense food with protein and/or fat. Protein and fat take longer to digest and keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day (ex. apple with peanut butter).

    9.     Eat organic eggs, dairy, whole-cut meat. Organic animal products have a lesser chance of contamination with pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, sewer sludge. Contaminants disrupt hormone balance that could factor in chronic disease.

    10.  Only buy foods in which you can pronounce the ingredients. If you don’t know what it is, then your body will not either. Put the box back on the shelf.

    11.  Eat fatty fish such as salmon, or walnuts, flax, chia seed (2-3) times per week (unless pregnant) to get more omega-3 fatty acids as they directly counteract inflammation.

    12.  Eat fewer fast foods. Reserve fast food for a special treat once in a blue moon.

    13.  Munch on pineapple. Fresh pineapple is high in Vitamin C and contains the enzyme bromelain which helps digestion and reduces inflammation in the joints.

    Keeping Chronic Inflammation at Bay

    We learned that overall, you can maintain an anti-inflammatory lifestyle by:

    • Focusing on a whole food diet
    • Optimizing blood sugar
    • Exercising consistently
    • Sitting less
    • Keeping a healthy weight
    • Having an outlet for stress

    WE LOVE TO HELP.

    • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
    • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
    • Sign up for the Healthy Living Blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.
    • Check out our online store at store.myhlms.com for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
    • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

     

    Keep Learning - A Visual Guide to Type 2 Diabetes

    Sometimes conditions like Type 2 Diabetes can be hard to understand, and hard to explain to others. WebMD offers a great overview of Type 2 Diabetes in Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Type 2 Diabetes.

    Go at your own pace to learn about Type 2 Diabetes, or use this slideshow as a tool to educate your friends and family members. The presentation has interesting and clear images and photos, and simple, easy-to-understand descriptions and explanations. Its value is in its simplicity and clean presentation.

    The slideshow teaches about these areas of Type 2 Diabetes:

    ·        Prevention

    ·        Symptoms

    ·        Diagnosis

    ·        Treatment

    ·        Details of the condition

    ·        Risk factors

    ·        Long-term effects

    Keep learning and empowering yourself with knowledge about diabetes!

    Part 4: Shining a Light on SAD – 10 Ways to Give the Winter Blues the Boot

    Rigorous scientific research has shown that winter’s shorter days, less intense sunlight, and later dawns are the main cause of the winter blues or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). The effects on individuals can be low energy, hypersensitivity, moodiness, and more. The great news is that there are some strategies for warding off and lessening the effects of a long winter.

    10 Ways to Give the Winter Blues the Boot

    1.     Light therapy. Try sitting or working near a light box to mimic sunlight and reset your body’s clock. A light box emitting full-spectrum light of 10,000 lux can decrease the duration of melatonin release in the brain while increasing serotonin and other positivity-boosting neurotransmitters. This allows the body’s regular rhythm of waking and sleeping to be restored. You might also experiment with using a ‘wake-up light’ alarm clock.

    2.     Exercise. Exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety and can energize your body and your mood by increasing dopamine.

    3.     Medications. Some people with SAD benefit from antidepressant treatment, especially if symptoms are severe. If SAD is recurrent, your doctor may recommend starting treatment with an antidepressant before your symptoms typically begin each year (early- to mid-fall).

    4.     Psychotherapy. Talk therapy can help with identifying and changing negative thoughts and behaviors, learning how to manage stress, and learning healthy ways to live well and cope with SAD.

    5.     Food & supplements. Eating consciously can make a big difference in mood. Foods with lots of omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts, help the brain use serotonin more efficiently. An omega-3 supplement can help keep the brain in balance. Taking a Vitamin D supplement can offset decreased sun. Avoiding simple carbs and maintaining stable blood sugar can also help.

    6.     Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open your curtains and blinds, trim tree branches and bushes that block sunlight from coming in your house, and sit close to bright windows as often as you can.

    7.     Go outside. Take a walk, play with your dog, eat lunch at a park, or just sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Bundle up – even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help.

    8.     Mindfulness. Energizing yoga practices and conscious, meditative activities can help increase mental clarity during dark days.

    9.     Sleep. “It’s important to keep in sync with nature’s rhythms,” says Henry Emmons, MD, an integrative psychiatrist who recommends getting up at the same time every day, ideally between 6 and 8 a.m. This way you’ll have more chance to enjoy the sunlight that is available during the darker months.

    10.  Appreciate the wonders of winter. Big dramatic skies, bright snow blankets, cold moons, and the warmth and coziness of going home. Give yourself some time to look around and feel the beauty of this winter season…that soon will make spring possible.

    This is the last blog of the ‘Shining a Light on SAD’ series. To view the earlier posts, visit myhlms.com/blog. To subscribe to the Healthy Living blog, sign up at myhlms.com/subscribe

    And great news - here in Michigan, we're having a sunny week!

    Resources:

    https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    https://experiencelife.com/article/beating-the-winter-blues/

    WE LOVE TO HELP.

    • Sign up for the Healthy Living Blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.
    • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
    • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
    • Check out our online store at myhlms.com/shop for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
    • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

    Part 3: Shining a Light on SAD – Observing Patterns

    For seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other health complications, it can be hard to know what to watch for and how much to worry about symptoms as you try to figure out what is happening in your body. A good rule of thumb is to look for patterns in your feelings and behavior and notice how you are functioning over several days. Observe how your current behavior and feelings compare to your ‘normal’ or ‘summer self.’ If you feel down for days at a time and can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor.

    Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD include:

    ·       Irritability

    ·       Tiredness or low energy

    ·       Trouble getting along with other people

    ·       Hypersensitivity

    ·       Heavy feeling in the arms or legs

    ·       Oversleeping

    ·       Weight gain

    ·       Appetite changes, especially cravings for high-carb foods

    Watch for our next and final blog about SAD to learn about treatments that have been proven to alleviate symptoms and other adjustments in daily life that can be helpful to chase off the winter blues.

    Resources:

    https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    https://experiencelife.com/article/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    WE MAKE MANAGING YOUR DIABETES SUPPLIES EASY.

    • We work with many insurance plan partners.
    • You can approve your refills via text or phone.
    • Our company’s focus is excellence in customer service.
    • In addition to providing supplies, we also have a mail-order pharmacy.
    • Diabetes is our specialty, and we’re prepared to help!

    WE LOVE TO HELP.

    • Sign up for the Healthy Living Blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.
    • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
    • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
    • Check out our online store at myhlms.com/shop for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
    • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

     

    Part 2: Shining a Light on SAD – The Diabetes Connection

    Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year for most people: late fall or early winter. To say it simply, SAD saps energy and intensifies moods. Alternatively, SAD can cause depression in the spring or early summer – but this is much less frequent.

    Although it is not known how many people with diabetes experience SAD or ‘the winter blues,’ clinical depression is significantly more common among people with diabetes than in the general population. This could be partially because diabetic retinopathy (a disease that affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye) can interfere with the transmission of the light signal to the brain, which may cause a year-round ‘blues.’

    An article in Diabetes Management has other good insight about how SAD relates to insulin:

    Since people with diabetes may experience symptoms similar to those of depression when their blood glucose levels are out of target range or are fluctuating greatly, this is a good area to examine first. Pay attention to whether your low moods, cravings, or feelings of irritability are accompanied by out-of-range blood glucose levels, whether they resolve when blood glucose levels return to normal, and whether they last minutes or hours versus weeks or months.

    Winter blues expert and psychiatrist Dr. Norman Rosenthal observes that SAD sufferers tend to produce a surplus of insulin during the winter months; this excessive insulin production “appears to subside” with bright light therapy [more to come on this in Part 4 of this blog series] and with the advent of summer.

    Exercise benefits people with diabetes by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Physical activity can also help send the winter blues away. Numerous studies confirm what many of us have felt - vigorous exercise clears the head, helps generate energy, and boosts feelings of well-being.

    Follow the Healthy Living blog for the next week to learn more about SAD, its symptoms, treatments, and lifestyle changes that can benefit those suffering with these winter blues.

    Resources:

    https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    https://experiencelife.com/article/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    WE MAKE MANAGING YOUR DIABETES SUPPLIES EASY.

    • We work with many insurance plan partners.
    • You can approve your refills via text or phone.
    • Our company’s focus is excellence in customer service.
    • In addition to providing supplies, we also have a mail-order pharmacy.
    • Diabetes is our specialty, and we’re prepared to help!

    WE LOVE TO HELP.

    • Sign up for the Healthy Living Blog at myhlms.com/subscribe.
    • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
    • Reach us through online chat at myhlms.com.
    • Check out our online store at myhlms.com/shop for accessories and over-the-counter medications.
    • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.

    Part 1: Shining a Light on SAD – Shorter Days & the Winter Blues

    Winters can be long and dark, and for some people, the impact can be very intense. Up to a third of people in the United States experience a decrease in mood and energy during the winter. Scientific research has established that changes in light (shorter days, less intense sunlight, and later dawns) are the main cause of the winter blues. This can be called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. SAD symptoms usually appear during late fall or early winter and stay until sunnier days come back, in the spring and summer. Symptoms can start out mild and become worse as the winter season progresses.

    Our bodily processes rely in a large part on cues from visual light. Ideally, the sun alerts us to wake up, and nighttime darkness prepares us to retreat for sleep. The changes in quantity and schedule of light, including less winter light exposure, can throw the body’s internal rhythms out of whack, negatively affecting mood, energy, appetite, and mental acuity – creating the ‘blues.’

    Melatonin plays a big part in controlling the body’s internal clock. A hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles, melatonin is made from the same molecule that produces serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps create feelings of well-being. In the winter, longer nights cause the brain to produce and release more melatonin — at the expense of serotonin production. Without as much serotonin, people often end up feeling more down.

    Follow our blog over the next week and a half to learn more about seasonal affective disorder, including:

    • How it relates to diabetes
    • Symptoms
    • Treatments and small changes to lessen the impact

    Resources:

    https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/emotional-health/beating-the-winter-blues/

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

    https://experiencelife.com/article/beating-the-winter-blues/

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    Working with Wabi-Sabi – Finding Beauty in Imperfection

    Wabi-Sabi Bowl

    Wabi-Sabi Bowl

    Wabi-Sabi can provide a fresh perspective on our so-called flaws, including illness, emotional weaknesses, or physical features that we’re not crazy about. This Japanese aesthetic philosophy is about seeing the beauty of things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

    The philosophy of Wabi-Sabi can become a practice of embracing imperfection, being kind to ourselves, and accepting things as they are with no judgment. Learn more in this article - The Wabi-Sabi Self - and create an opportunity to develop a new approach to loving your body and yourself.

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    Food Choices Are Individual: What Not to Say to a Person with Diabetes

    It can be a joy to eat a meal with family or soak in a festive gathering with friends. But things can get complicated when it feels like your food or portion choices are being questioned or judged. Christel Oernum says that she has received hundreds of comments about what she eats. Christel is an accomplished fitness professional and has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since she was 19. She and her husband, Tobias, created TheFitBlog to help other people with diabetes live a fit, active, and healthy life.

    Earlier this year, Christel posted about coming home after a party and feeling (once again) annoyed by people commenting about what she ate. She wrote a short list of things you should never say to a person with diabetes, or really anyone else.

    5 Things You Should Never Say to a Person with Diabetes

    1.      Should you be eating that?

    2.      Can you eat that?

    3.      Wow, you must be really hungry?

    4.      You look so skinny/fit/healthy/good, eat some more.

    5.      You can’t be writing a health blog since you are drinking that...

    Read Christel’s original blog for her thoughts on why each of these comments just doesn’t work. Based on your experience, what comments or questions would you add to her list?

    It’s impossible to completely know what another person is going through or what their body needs. Most people don’t want to be scrutinized, so keep Christel’s insights in mind.

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    3-Every-30: New Activity Recommendations from the American Diabetes Association

    Leandra practices leg extensions.

    Leandra practices leg extensions.

    Get ready to keep moving. This November, the American Diabetes Association released evidence-based recommendations for physical activity and exercise. As part of blood glucose management and overall health, physical activity and exercise are recommended as a critical focus for all individuals with diabetes and prediabetes. Exercise is planned, structured physical activity (like jogging, elliptical, swimming, or strength training) and physical activity is any movement that increases energy use. 

    The American Diabetes Association suggests that all adults decrease daily sedentary time and recommends breaking up sitting with bouts of light activity. Their statement explains that interruptions of inactivity are highly beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes. This light physical activity should be a complement to more structured exercise sessions to improve blood glucose and insulin sensitivity. Improved heart health and weight loss are also benefits of this activity combination.

    3-Every-30

    Think “3-Every-30” – three minutes of activity for every half hour spent being relatively still. Here are some examples of light activities to intersperse with sitting:

    ·       Walking

    ·       Calf raises

    ·       Shoulder shrugs

    ·       Leg raises or extensions

    ·       Overhead arm stretches

    ·       Climbing stairs

    ·       Desk chair swivels

    ·       Torso twists

    ·       Standing hip extensions

    Other daily activities that reduce sitting time – such as yard work, house cleaning, walking the dog, and running errands – are also great ways to keep moving and improve health.

    Choose exercises and activities that work for your individual preferences and needs. The hope is that these behavior-changing strategies will help create a more natural, intentional lifetime of physical activity and improved health for many people.

    Learn much more, including details about the ADA’s recommendations:

    Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association

    Three Minutes Every 30 Minutes – New Exercise Recommendation for Diabetes and Prediabetes

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