Sunday, September 24, 2023

Grilled Halibut Filets

January 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Recipes

grilled halibut filet on a plate with asparagus and tomato

This simple recipe for grilled halibut filet will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. The halibut can also be swapped out for many types of fish including tuna, swordfish, sea bass, and salmon. Adding a variety of your favorite vegetables to the meal will make this a complete, delicious, and colorful meal everyone can enjoy!

Prep Time: 1-2 hours Cook Time:15 min Serves 2


  • 2 (6 ounce) Halibut fillets
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
  2. Place halibut filets in a plastic bag and pour ¾ of the marinade over the fish. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours turning occasionally.
  3. If cooking on a grill; preheat the grill to high heat and lightly oil the grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat. Grill filets for about 5 minutes per side, or until easily flaked with a fork. Using foil on the grates may prevent any flare-ups and make cleanup easier.
  4. If cooking in the oven; preheat the oven to 450℉ and bake the filets for 15 to 20 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.
  5. For a colorful meal, toss a variety of your favorite vegetables in the reserved marinade and cook them while the fish is cooking.

Nutrition Information: Calories 373, Fat 24.4 g, Carbohydrates 1.4 g, Protein 35.38 g

This recipe is very high in iron, niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. It is also a bit high in sodium, so if you are on a low sodium diet, cutting the salt in half would be recommended.


A Large Waist is a Risk Factor for Diabetes

January 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured

a large waist with measuring tape

Having a large waist is one of the biggest risk factors for developing diabetes. People who carry fat around their waist are also called “pear” shaped. Unlike “apple” shaped people who carry their fat throughout their body, pear shaped people carry their fat in the middle of the body, deep in the belly. This deep belly fat is linked to a number of problems including, insulin resistance, reduced insulin production, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular damage, nerve damage, and diabetes. The risk of developing diabetes increases with waistlines over 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men.

Fat deep in the belly puts extra stress on the organs it surrounds. Just one gram of excess fat around the pancreas is all it takes to overburden the organ. As the pancreas ramps up its insulin production to counteract the excess fat and sugar, beta cells are damaged. If not treated, the beta cells can become so damaged they are no longer able to make insulin leading to a lifelong dependence on insulin injections to manage blood glucose levels. Having excess fat around the liver will cause the organ to release excess glucose. This can lead to elevated blood glucose levels and eventually type 2 diabetes if not treated. Fat will also strain the liver and not allow it to remove toxins as well as it should, potentially leading to other problems.

One gram of fat does not seem like it would impact the body so significantly, but it does. Fortunately, if the excess fat around the belly is reduced, most damage to the organs and cardiovascular system can be reversed. In most cases, type 2 diabetes can even be cured! If you have a “spare tire” around your waist and are worried about developing diabetes, or already have, you should talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan. There are several options you should consider including bariatric surgery, extremely low caloric diets, and more moderate diet and exercise regimens.


Calculating Carbohydrate Exchange Based on Nutritional Information

January 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured

carbohydrate exchange work cloud in the shape of an apple

To utilize the carbohydrate exchange, first you and your doctor or dietitian need to set a daily caloric goal. A healthy diet consists of 45 to 65 percent of your caloric intake coming from carbohydrates. As an example we will use the normal suggested levels of a daily caloric intake of 1,200 recommended for women and 1,600 recommended for men. That would set the carbohydrate calorie levels at 540 to 780 for women and 720 to 1040 per day for men.

One gram of carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories, so you will need to divide the carbohydrate ranges by 4 to get how many grams of carbohydrates your daily intake allows. This will set the daily grams of carbohydrates between 135 to 195 for women and 180 to 260 for men.

Next, calculate the exchange rate of carbohydrates you are allowed a day. To do this divide the allowable grams of carbohydrates by 15 since 15 grams is considered one serving. For women this would be between 9 to 13 and for men it would be 12 to 17 carbohydrate exchanges.

Make sure you pay attention to serving sizes. Many food packages have multiple servings in one container. If you plan on eating the whole package you will need to multiply the carbohydrate grams by the number of servings. A package with 15 grams per serving and 2 servings would be equal to 30 grams of carbohydrates or 2 carbohydrate exchanges.

If nutritional information is not available then you can calculate carbohydrates based on weight. An ounce of uncooked spaghetti contains 7.5 grams of carbohydrates. So in a 2 ounce serving, there would be 15 grams of carbohydrates or 1 carbohydrate exchange.

Understanding how to use carbohydrate exchanges will allow you to better manage your blood sugar levels while still enjoying a diverse diet. There are several resources available as a reference for carbohydrate exchanges. There are quick reference on the internet, and the American Diabetes Association frequently publishes a book called Choose Your Foods that is for sale if you prefer to have the reference guide on hand.


Hot Spinach and Crab Dip

December 31, 2015 by  
Filed under Recipes

crab meat in a bowl

This creamy hot spinach and crab dip is very high in vitamins A and C. By substituting vegetables instead of bread or chips, this can be a delicious and diabetic friendly appetizer!

Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 25 Min Serves 10


  • ½ cup light cream cheese
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ small white onion finely diced
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and pepper
  3. Mix in onion, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, and lump crab meat
  4. Spread the mixture in a 8 to 10 inch baking dish
  5. Sprinkle 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese on top of the dip
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dip is hot
  7. Serve immediately with your favorite vegetables

Nutrition 150 calories, Fat 12.3 g, Sodium 301 mg, Carbohydrates 8.5 g, Sugars 1.4 g, Protein 6.5 g


Type 1 Diabetes

December 30, 2015 by  
Filed under General

glasses on a paper that says type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a condition where the pancreas no longer makes enough or any insulin leaving the person dependent on insulin injections to regulate blood sugar levels for life. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. Adults who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes may actually have a lesser known form of diabetes called type 1.5 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has no cure, but it can be managed. With proper treatment, type 1 diabetics can live long and healthy lives.  

Typically symptoms of type 1 diabetes come on quickly. Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, bed-wetting, extreme hunger, weight loss, mood changes, weakness, blurred vision, and yeast infections. If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms listed, you should consult a doctor.

In most cases, type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system starts attacking beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are responsible for producing the insulin necessary to move glucose from the blood into cells to be used as energy. Without insulin the glucose remains in the blood leading to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can have serious and deadly consequences if not addressed. It is not known why the immune system starts attacking beta cells, but it is linked to genetics, environmental factors, and certain viruses.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes has come a long way, especially since insulin was developed. Prior to insulin, type 1 diabetics were subjected to extreme diets, some as low as 450 calories a day, in order to avoid high blood sugar caused by food, and life expectancy was not long.  In 1921 insulin was discovered. In 1922, a young boy in Canada was dying from diabetes, after an insulin injection his blood sugar levels returned to near normal. Insulin has became a miracle drug for type 1 diabetics, allowing them to lead normal healthy lives.  

There have been many advances in insulin therapy since 1921. Now there are many forms of insulin including insulin identical to human insulin, fast acting insulin, and long acting insulin. Currently type 1 diabetics must closely monitor their carbohydrate intake and inject a corresponding amount of insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  Researchers are currently working on systems, called artificial pancreas devices, that do this automatically. A continuous glucose monitoring system on the body checks blood sugar levels and tells an insulin pump how much insulin to release. This will one day give type 1 diabetics a much easier way of making sure their diabetes is well managed.   


Monogenic Diabetes

December 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured

puzzle pieces of diabetes and genetics known as monogenic diabetes

Monogenic diabetes is a lesser known form of diabetes that is often misdiagnosed as type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Monogenic diabetes occurs when there is a mutation of a single gene. There are around 30,000 individual genes in the body, and more than 20 genes are linked to diabetes. The most common forms of monogenic diabetes are neonatal diabetes and maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).

Neonatal diabetes (NDM) is a rare form of monogenic diabetes that occurs in the first 6 months of life. Approximately one in 100,000 to 500,000 live births will have neonatal diabetes. Often neonatal diabetes is misdiagnosed as type 1 diabetes, but type 1 diabetes typically occurs after the first 6 months of life. There are two types of neonatal diabetes, permanent neonatal diabetes (PNDM) and transient neonatal diabetes (TNDM). In TNDM the condition disappears during infancy and can reappear later in life. Many fetuses with NDM do not grow well in the womb and fail to gain weight and grow as rapidly as other infants. With appropriate diabetes therapy, growth and development can normalize.

MODY is diagnosed in 1-2% of people with diabetes. It is a highly inherited mutation, and typically patients present with a significant family history of diabetes. Frequently MODY diabetics have symptoms that are moderate or absent and are only diagnosed with diabetes after routine lab work. Younger healthier people are often misdiagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and overweight people are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In cases where the person has a strong family history of diabetes, a genetic test will be performed to confirm MODY and the rest of the family should also be tested after a diagnosis.

Scientists are not sure why genetic mutations occur, but they do know that they can be either spontaneous or hereditary. Hereditary mutations are passed from parent to child and in this case they are not dependent on the sex of the parent. Spontaneous mutations occur during fetal development, and can become hereditary for the next generation.

Treatment for monogenic diabetes varies. Certain forms require no intervention as slightly elevated blood sugar levels are considered “normal” for the individual and will not lead to complications later. Many forms of monogenic diabetes are controlled with sulfonylureas or oral medication, and some will require insulin. Genetic testing can be done to determine what the best treatment for diabetes would be depending on the particular mutated gene.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

December 22, 2015 by  
Filed under General

chart explaining diabetic ketoacidosis

Sugar is the main source of energy for our cells. Normally, the pancreas makes insulin and the insulin then carries the glucose into the cells to be broken down for energy. Diabetics are either not able to produce any or enough insulin or are not able to use it properly due to insulin resistance. If there is not enough insulin present to carry glucose into the cells, hormones are then released. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol break down fat as fuel instead of glucose. The by-product of the fats being broken down are ketones. As excess ketones build up in the blood it becomes more acidic and you can develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a potentially life-threatening condition and must be addressed as quickly as possible. DKA can happen to any diabetic, but it is more likely to occur in Type 1 diabetics and other diabetics who have a limited ability to produce insulin.

Warning Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

  • Early Symptoms
    • Thirst or dry mouth
    • Frequent urination
    • High blood glucose levels
    • High levels of ketones in urine
  • Other Symptoms
    • Constantly feeling tired
    • Dry or flushed skin
    • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. If vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, contact your doctor immediately.
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Breath that is fruity or smells like nail polish remover
    • Confusion

Checking for ketones can be done with a urine test strip similar to a blood test strip. Experts advise that you check your urine for ketones if your blood glucose is more than 240 mg/dl. You should check for ketones every 4-6 hours if you are ill and while your blood sugar is elevated. You should also check your ketone levels if you are experiencing any symptoms of DKA.

If your test reveals a high level of ketones, you should call your doctor immediately. You will need to be able to tell your doctor if you have high levels of ketones, if your blood glucose is high, and if you have vomited more than twice in four hours.

DKA can be caused by not enough insulin from missing a dose or being sick, not eating enough food, or low blood glucose. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous and potentially deadly condition. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of DKA or have elevated levels of ketones.  

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

December 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Recipes

pumpkin spice muffin on a white plate

These Pumpkin Spice Muffins are a great way to start your day! They are a great source of fiber, manganese, and vitamin A! If you make them in advance, they are an excellent way to ensure you are eating healthy, even if you are in a hurry!

Prep Time: 15 min  Cook Time: 35 min  Yield 12


  • nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 tbl pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 10 large pitted dates
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Chop walnuts and combine with flour, pumpkin spice, flax meal, and raisins. Stir to blend.
  3. Combine dates, pumpkin puree, vanilla, unsweetened almond milk, and applesauce in a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the mixture into the muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are golden.
  6. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing muffins from the pan.


Nutrition Information: Calories 101, Fat 4g, Sodium 17mg, Carbohydrates 15.6g


Type 1.5 Diabetes

December 21, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Type 1.5 diabetes, also known as latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA), is a form of diabetes where an adult has aspects of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes is caused by an autoimmune destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. As the beta cells are destroyed the amount of insulin released decreases and eventually stops leaving the person dependent on injections of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is caused by insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction. Type 2 diabetics may can control blood sugar levels with medication, diet, and exercise and may require insulin injections as well. While type 2 diabetes may be prevented and reversed, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. .

Type 1.5 diabetes has also been called slow-progressing Type 1 diabetes. Researchers noticed that a number of patients who did not require insulin at the time they were diagnosed with diabetes also showed a significant number auto-antibodies. Specifically antibodies that target beta cells in the pancreas, destroying their ability to manufacture insulin. Type 1.5 diabetics may be able to control their blood sugar levels with diet and oral medication initially, but within a few years they will need to use insulin because of the destruction of their beta cells. Type 1.5 diabetics should also be screened for auto-antibodies to adrenal and thyroid cells as they are at a higher risk of also having autoimmune diseases.

Below is a chart comparing the key characteristics of Types 1, 1.5, and 2 diabetes.

chart comparing type 1, type 2, and type 1.5 diabetes


Non-Starchy Vegetables

December 15, 2015 by  
Filed under General

If you are trying to control your caloric intake, non-starchy vegetables are a great option. The low number of calories in non-starchy vegetables will afford you the opportunity to eat larger portions and feel fuller longer, while at the same time you will have a significant reduction in calories versus other types of foods. Below is a chart of a typical serving size of various non-starchy vegetables and their respective caloric impact.

chart of non-starchy vegetables and their calories

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