21. December 2011 04:56
Recently, I read about a new concept that uses a contrast in the plate color and the food served on it. The contrast of the plate and food can affect how we view portion sizes.
You can perform your own experiment to see how this works.
- Place cream colored pasta on a white plate
- Serve pasta with red sauce on a white plate.
You will notice that you have a larger portion of creamed colored pasta compared to the pasta with red sauce. This shows that the less contrast between the color of food and the plate, the more you will eat. Two-hundred people participated in a study and this is exactly what happened. It was also noted during the same study, when a white plate on a black tablecloth is used, the servings were 10% larger than a white plate on a white tablecloth. So, the opposite occurs; The higher the contrast the larger the food portions.
Try this and see if it makes a difference in controlling your food portions. Let us know how it goes!
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204753404577066253349009674.html?KEYWORDS=heaping+plates , accessed 11/29/2011.
2. December 2011 04:44
Have you or a loved one ever found yourself in this scenario?
You were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently and now you have lost interest in things. The holidays are the happiest time of the year but you are sad. You don’t understand what is going on. You may also be struggling with managing blood sugar levels and you have stopped testing altogether.
You talk with your doctor about your feelings and she performs a mental health screening. She tells you that there is a link between diabetes and depression. A 10 year study at the Harvard School of Public Health found a relationship between diabetes and depression, called a “two-way street”. This means that diabetes puts people at risk for depression, and people with depression are at risk for type 2 diabetes. The doctor says she will pay close attention to your mental health and the psycho-social aspect of diabetes care. It is comforting to know that you are not alone and there is help for this problem.
Help yourself, if you have experienced any symptoms of depression, ask your doctor for a screening. Remember, treating depression in people with diabetes can improve diabetes care. Also, people with depression can decrease their risk for type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can be treated and managed.
22. November 2011 06:49
I found a wonderful web page that shows how to enjoy Thanksgiving and still eat healthy. It demonstrates exactly how to enjoy the stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie we all love to eat on Thanksgiving Day. The plate is divided into three portions/sections so you don’t have to measure your food. Fill one portion with vegetables, divide the other half into two equal sections, one for stuffing and sweet potatoes and the other for the turkey.
You will also find easy recipes to make these favorite foods with healthier ingredients. One recipe that caught my eye was the tangerine cranberry relish which has zero grams of carbs or fat. Also included are eleven health tips for you to use for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!
I’m going to try to stick to calorie-free drinks throughout the day so that I can enjoy some dessert!
Also, don’t forget to sign the Healthy Holiday Eating Contract (Page 5 of the web page). It is always helpful to set goals and list what you want to accomplish this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving from CCS Medical!
http://www.diabeteseducator.org/export/sites/aade/_resources/pdf/general/ThanksgivingPlateResource.pdf Accessed 10/21/2011.
11. November 2011 06:54
Everybody is talking about the economy today. The question on most people’s mind is how can I save money and how does my spending affect the bottom line? If you have Medicare and are getting your glucose strips from CCS Medical, you are already helping save Medicare money. Mail order glucose strips are paid by Medicare at $31 per box, while glucose strips you get from your local pharmacy (i.e. Walgreens, Rite Aid, or Sav-On) are paid at $38 per box. This is a difference of $7 per box. This means that pharmacies are making on average $84 more each year on a patient that fills a prescription for 1 box a month.
Now I know $84 a year doesn’t sound like a lot of money but let’s put this into perspective:
- 66% of all patients with diabetes are covered by Medicare at about 14 to 16 million.
- If you take out just 1 million people with diabetes that are getting their glucose strips from the local pharmacy, that is $84,000,000 going out of the Medicare coffers each year.
Don’t you think that with this type of savings would take Medicare dollars farther?
Do you know people with diabetes that are not using mail order for their prescription needs?
Let them know how they can have a more positive effect on Medicare’s bottom line by getting their strips through mail order.
How will you pay for your prescriptions in the future if Medicare disappears? You decide.
10. October 2011 05:31
Did you ever think there was anything good about fat? Well, there is! It’s called brown fat and it is the type of fat that burns away the “bad” white fat. This burning process results in weight loss.
Brown fat increases in children up until puberty and then starts to decline. However, brown fat is active in about 5 percent of thin adults, with higher rates seen in women. Researchers have discovered two pathways that activate brown fat production. Their study has opened the door for new ways to treat obesity.
With this development, what can we expect to see in the future? Most likely, a new medication will be developed that can stimulate brown fat growth. Some researchers believe they may be able to grow brown fat in the laboratory and then transplant it into the body. Whatever the treatment, this discovery could play an important role in fighting obesity and diabetes.
Have you heard any news about brown fat or a new way to fight obesity?
Reference: http://endo.endojournals.org/content/152/10/3680 accessed 10/1/2011
23. August 2011 08:43
Recently there have been television commercials about PAD. (Peripheral Arterial Disease). But what is PAD?
PAD is a buildup of plaque in the lower extremity arteries. People with PAD can be at risk for developing ulcerations to their lower extremities that can lead to amputations. The most common symptoms of PAD can be painful cramping of the leg and hip muscles during walking that stops during rest.
In some cases this cramping can be severe enough to hinder walking, or numbness, weakness, or a feeling of heaviness in the legs with no pain. PAD can often be stopped or reversed. Quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet low in fat and salt can be a step in the right direction. Your Doctor can test you for PAD and recommend the best treatment.
Take a pro-active approach to your health care and talk with your Doctor if you think that you may have PAD. It could be the best thing you can do for yourself!
4. August 2011 04:22
We have looked at the top ten ways to keep your feet healthy. Today I will describe another ailment that can cause long-term pain and discomfort: bunions. People often live with this problem when there are ways to treat it.
Bunions are caused when the great toe joints are misaligned. This area can become swollen and tender. The deformity causes the first joint of the big toe to slant outward and the big toe to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to run in families, but the tendency can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe. There are conservative and preventive steps that can minimize the discomfort of a bunion, but surgery is frequently recommended to correct the problem. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the bunion and amount of pain experienced. Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve pain and pressure of a bunion include:
- Changing shoes. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
- Padding and taping. Your doctor can help you tape and pad your foot in a normal position. This can reduce stress on the bunion and alleviate your pain.
- Medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve) may help control the pain of a bunion. Cortisone injections can also be helpful.
- Shoe Inserts. Padded shoe inserts can help distribute pressure evenly when you move your feet, reducing your symptoms and preventing your bunion from getting worse. Over-the-counter arch supports can provide relief for some people though others may require prescription orthotic devices.
If these treatments do not work:
If conservative treatment doesn’t provide relief from your symptoms, you may need surgery. A number of surgical procedures are performed for bunions, and no particular surgery is best for every problem. Knowing what caused your bunion is essential for choosing the best procedure to ensure correction without recurrence. Surgery is not recommended unless a bunion causes frequent pain and interferes with daily activity. Consider trying conservative treatment before having a bunionectomy.
Remember your feet have to last a lifetime so take the best care of them that you can! If you have found a specific treatment that has helped relieve your bunion discomfort, please share with us!
29. July 2011 04:51
Have you heard the comparison of how we take better care of our cars than we do our bodies? Well, this is definitely not the case for me. And, I realize I just might be in the minority here. So as you can imagine, I am sitting at the auto tire store waiting and waiting….
My teenage son had a flat tire last night with my car. Now I should have known this was going to happen because the tread was wearing down. I just thought I had a little more time. So because I choose to ignore this tire a little bit longer, I inconvenienced not only my son, and myself, but my coworkers as well. People needed me and I let them down. Has this happened to you? I can’t help but relate this to the way we take care of our bodies. If we neglect ourselves and our diabetes, what is the fallout? What is the aftermath of our procrastination? Will our work suffer? What about our family and friends that may depends upon us? We know better. We know preventative maintenance is important for both our bodies and our cars, and especially for people with diabetes.
Just like the maintenance checklist my mechanic gave me, did you know there is a list of diabetes health maintenance checks that we should be following every year to stay well?
Click here to see the list.
So think about that diabetes wellness appointment you have been neglecting. I know we are busy, but I have found that if you just call and get the appointment on the calendar, we usually follow through. Keep up with your preventative diabetes maintenance or you may be letting your family, friends, coworkers and most importantly, your body, down.
So, what is your next appointment you will be scheduling?
27. July 2011 03:35
1. Don’t buy the specialty “diabetic” or “dietetic” foods. They are usually more expensive and not necessarily better for you. You need to check the label and compare with the regular product. Most of the ‘diabetic’ foods still raise your blood glucose levels and can have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.
2. Buy fresh fruits & vegetables that are in season and use at the beginning of the week. Then switch to frozen or canned near the end of the week when all your fresh produce is gone. Watch for sales on the produce that is in season at your local store or consider a Farmer’s Market.
3. Buy in bulk. This can save you money. But be aware there have been studies that show that people who buy food in bulk and have a lot of extra food storages in your cupboard, tend to eat bigger portions. It is psychological. When you see an abundance of food, our mind says, “I have plenty, I can have more” or “I need to eat this up, I have so much on the shelf”.
4. Make your meals stretch further. Add frozen non-starchy vegetables to your dishes, especially casseroles, stews and stir-fry’s. Try adding frozen broccoli, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, or cauliflower. These have minimal effect on your blood sugar.
5. Try Meatless Mondays. Beans are inexpensive compared to meats. Plus they are low in fat, high in protein and fiber. Keep in mind, a serving size of beans (1/2 cup cooked) is considered 1 starch and 1 lean meat.
19. July 2011 03:29
One easy way to save money when buying your blood glucose supplies is to check not only your “pharmacy” benefit but your “medical” benefit, as well for the best price.
Are you confused? Did you know there was a difference?
A Pharmacy Benefit is a benefit within your insurance plan that covers prescriptions and some medical supplies. This benefit charges you a co-pay. Your Pharmacy benefit is also sometimes referred to as your “drug card” benefit and is the only benefit checked at your retail pharmacy.
A Medical Benefit is a benefit within your insurance plan that covers medical services and medical supplies. This benefit charges you a co-insurance.
What does that mean to you? Your Medical benefit co-insurance can sometimes be cheaper than your co-pay with a Pharmacy benefit.
For example, let’s say you need a three month supply of diabetes testing supplies and your Pharmacy co-pay is $15. Every month when you go to the Pharmacy, you will have to pay that $15 co-pay, totaling $45. Let’s say you also have a Medical benefit, which is 10%. When you obtain your three month supply of diabetes testing supplies using your Medical benefit, you will only have to pay 10% one time. Because of this, sometimes the Medical benefit can be less expensive.
So you need to check both your Pharmacy and Medical benefit! How? By calling a company like CCS Medical because this is what we specialize in doing – checking both your Pharmacy and Medical benefit to ensure you have the lowest payment possible.. Your local Retail pharmacy will only check your Pharmacy benefit, which may not cover your diabetes testing supplies or be your lowest cost option!
Tell us, have you checked both your Medical benefit AND your Pharmacy benefit for the best price?