Monthly Archives: October 2011

Healthy Meals for People with Diabetes

Diabetes can be a debilitating disease if it gets worse, but you can enhance the quality of your life by keeping to the right diabetic diet. In order to find out what the best meal options should be you will definitely have to talk to a certified nutritionist. This week, Magic Kitchen reviewed some online resources that provide healthy meal options and recipes for people with diabetes:

1-      The Reader’s Digest Diabetes Super Foods Article: Offers unique information on what each super food does for your body and how it helps. Also provides tips and information on eating the right kind of food for diabetes.

2-      Diabetic Lifestyle: Magic Kitchen thought this website has a lot of information about how to cope with diabetes and how to eat healthy with this disease. Recipes are also available by food item and meal course.

3-      Fast Diabetes Recipes: HelpGuide offers a variety of advice on diabetes management but Magic Kitchen believes that the easy to make, quick diabetes recipes are definitely the most attractive part of the website.


Five Holiday Eating Tips for People with Kidney Disease

Written by Karen Dunker, RD

Did you know that the average Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner has over 2,000 calories? That number of calories is usually what you would consume over an entire day. The holidays are sometimes challenging if you are watching your waistline and following the kidney diet. But eating right during the holidays is possible. Listed below are five healthy holiday eating tips for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These tips may help you avoid unwanted weight gain without depriving yourself of kidney-friendly foods.

1. Don’t skip meals before a holiday dinner

You may be looking forward to a holiday feast with all the trimmings. But it is not a good idea to arrive at a dinner party hungry. People tend to eat more when they are extremely hungry. Before you decide to skip a meal, remember to eat a light but wholesome breakfast and lunch to avoid overeating at dinnertime. Eating well-balanced meals throughout the day may also stop you from making decisions that go against your kidney diet.

2. Make the right choices at the dinner table

Holiday dinners should not be looked at as an “all-you-can-eat” occasion. Look over the buffet ahead of time and make the best choices based on your favorite foods and your kidney diet prescription. Ask your renal dietitian about what you can eat and what to pass on when you go to a holiday gathering.

3. Portion control

Holiday dinners should not be looked at as a free-for-all when it comes to eating. Watch the portion size of side dishes, especially when there are many possibilities to choose from. You can sample many different foods if you take just a spoonful of each. Moderation is the key. Eating your food slowly and savoring each bite can also help control your portions and make you feel more satisfied.

4. Trim the fat

Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items, including fried foods, creamy dishes and casseroles, which can be high in potassium and sodium. Take off the skin from turkey and other poultry foods. If you decide to eat roast beef, be sure to trim off any excess fat. When it comes to eating dessert, choose a treat that is kidney-friendly, such as fruit pie, cobbler, angel food cake, pound cake or lemon meringue.

5. Use kidney-friendly substitutions for your meals

Are you cooking a dish for a party and want to make sure it doesn’t pack on the pounds? If you cook, use healthy recipe substitutions for your kidney diet dishes. Listed are some ingredients a recipe may call for and the kidney-friendly substitute to use instead.

Recipe calls for: Substitute with:
1 whole egg 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
Sour cream or cream cheese Low fat sour cream or low fat cream cheese
Sugar Splenda® or other low calorie sweetener
Oil (for baking) Unsweetened applesauce
Regular Jello® Sugar-free Jello® or gelatin
Fruit packed in syrup Fruit packed in juice


Watching your kidney diet does not have to drag down your holidays. Ask your dietitian about other holiday eating and dining tips. You can look on for holiday dishes that are kidney-friendly, too. Following these five tips may help you enjoy a successful holiday season and remind you that you are in charge of your health.

– Reprinted with permission by DaVita Inc.

– Source from


Sleep Issues and Chronic Kidney Disease

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Your physical and mental health can contribute to your sleep problems. Common causes for disrupted sleep patterns in kidney disease patients include: restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, inadequate dialysis clearance, emotions, changes in sleep patterns, and caffeine.

Restless leg syndrome

Some renal patients wake up in the middle of the night because of an uncomfortable sensation they feel in their legs. Their legs feel itchy or tingly, or may jerk or move on their own, waking them up. People may even experience leg cramps while they are awake, usually during a hemodialysis session. This is called restless leg syndrome. It often occurs when the legs are at rest, such as when a person is sitting or lying in bed.

Mild cases of restless leg syndrome occur periodically, while moderate to severe cases can occur regularly. The sensation varies from patient to patient. It can be irritating, itchy or painful. Some patients find that moving their legs makes the uncomfortable sensations lessen or go away entirely. Because restless leg syndrome occurs when you are trying to relax or fall asleep, it can leave you feeling tired from lack of rest.

Doctors have pinpointed several factors that can contribute to restless leg syndrome. They are:

  • Iron deficiency or anemia
  • Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Certain anti-nausea, anti-seizure and allergy medications

Tell your doctor if you experience feelings in your legs or limbs that prevent you from falling asleep. Your doctor may want to adjust your treatment to ease the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. It is a condition that causes your breathing to be interrupted or stopped during sleep. Breathing can stop for more than 10 seconds while you are in a deep sleep. These non-breathing intervals are called apneas. They are usually followed by sudden attempts by your body to breathe. One of the symptoms of apnea is snoring. Patients with sleep apnea often snore heavily. The snores continue until breathing is interrupted or stops, which signals an apnea. The person will then snort or gasp to take in air and the snoring continues until the next apnea. Many patients do not remember the apneas they experienced during the night. However, because their sleep is interrupted, they will often feel tired and drowsy during the day.

A slight or complete obstruction to the airways can cause sleep apnea. This blockage can be in your mouth, nose or throat. A doctor can determine if you have sleep apnea by conducting a physical exam and a sleep study. If you are diagnosed with apnea, your doctor can discuss treatment options with you.

Inadequate dialysis clearance

A build up of waste in the blood can cause you to feel ill and uncomfortable. This could make sleeping difficult. If you are on peritoneal dialysis, your doctor will occasionally test your dialysate to make sure it is pulling enough waste and toxins from your body.

Patients on peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis will also have their Kt/V rate tested. The Kt/V rate tells your doctor how well your dialysis treatment is working. Hemodialysis patients should have a target Kt/V of at least 1.2. Peritoneal dialysis patients should have a Kt/V of at least 2.1. In order to meet the target Kt/V, you should not skip dialysis sessions. Missed dialysis sessions can mean a build up of waste and fluid, leading to other complications besides sleepless nights.


Worry, anxiety and sadness can keep you up at night. Also, if you find yourself able to fall asleep, but then awaken in the early morning hours unable to return to sleep, this is a sign of clinical depression. Talk with your doctors and social worker. They are there to help. If your sadness, anxiety or depression lasts more than two weeks, tell your doctor immediately.

Changes in your sleep pattern

Sometimes patients who have chronic kidney disease are more tired than usual. They tend to fall asleep earlier than their normal bedtime or nap during the day. This could affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.

Although naps can be refreshing, naps that are too long can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. If you are tired and feel that a nap can help you, limit your nap time. Naps that last longer than an hour can disrupt your sleep cycle.


Caffeine is a stimulant; it jump starts your body, making you feel more alert and less tired. Many people drink caffeinated coffee, tea or sodas in the morning to wake up, especially if they have not had restful sleep the night before. This lack of sleep can lead to tiredness later in the day. Some people reach for a late afternoon caffeine “pick me up.” Unfortunately, too much caffeine late in the day can affect your ability to fall asleep later that night. In the morning, the caffeine cycle starts again.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try reducing the amount of caffeine in your diet.  Keep an accurate food diary to show your renal dietitian. She can help you identify drinks and certain foods that contain caffeine.

For those on cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis

Patients who depend on Continuous Cycler-Assisted Peritoneal Dialysis or Nocturnal Intermittent Peritoneal Dialysis may find the cycler noises wake them up. Sometimes the sensation of the exchanges can awaken them from sleep.

Many patients grow accustomed to the sounds and sensations of the cycler over time. But if you are losing sleep because of this type of treatment, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

– Reprinted with permission by DaVita Inc.

– Source from


How to stay motivated to keep up with your exercise routine

Pretty much everyone should be pushing to exercise more. Sedentary jobs and lifestyles are assisting in the obesity epidemic and we all know things should change. Even while being aware of the problem and knowing the benefits of changing, it is still difficult to make a habit of working out regularly – especially if it is a new or revisited habit to form. Here are some tips on stepping up your game and keeping motivated:

1. Work out in the morning

Working out when you first wake up is a fabulous way to just get it done and out of the way. Besides that, you will probably feel more energized all day and your metabolism will get a boost right away. You won’t be too tired and hungry like after work or school. Also, I find that working out in the evening or afternoon is annoying because I have to get showered and dressed again. In the morning you can just go to the gym from bed and then get dressed only once.

2. Grab a buddy

Working out with a friend or a group can up your motivation dramatically. Exercising will be more fun and will pass quickly. Friends tend to compete for better scores which will cause you to work faster and push harder. Talking during exercise will pass time and help you gauge your intensity level. Plus, your friends will hold you accountable for not showing up if you skip out and they’ll miss your company!

3. Find an activity you love

If you are one of those people who loves the endless sea of weights and machines at a gym and loves spending hours listening to music and reading magazines while working out in a room built especially for it – good for you! Gyms are a fabulous place to work out because that’s especially what they are built for. But then there are the rest of us who aren’t so into running in place on a treadmill going nowhere. It can be especially difficult to exercise more if you aren’t looking forward to the activity. Join a dance, yoga, or martial arts class if you can or make some time to play basketball or tennis at the park with your kids or friends. If you’re close by to a state or national park grab some comfortable shoes with good soles and explore. Find whatever makes you happy and relieve some stress exercising instead of stressing about it 😛

4. Plan an after workout drink and/or snack

Before you work out prep a protein smoothie or drink so it will be ready and waiting for you once you finish. I like to add some frozen fruit and a little soymilk to the blender container and stick it in the fridge while leaving protein powder, flax meal, and a glass with a straw on the counter. Then when my workout is done I can just combine, blend, and pour. If it’s an AM workout you can prep some breakfast like placing whole wheat bread in the toaster without starting the heat and getting out the peanut butter and a knife. Maybe you could begin by laying out your ingredients for oatmeal or setting up your scrambled egg ingredients in the fridge. Of course meals are especially easy to prepare quickly after a tough workout. The Vegetable Omelet and Spinach Quiche are especially protein rich.

5. Don’t let a missed workout deter you

If you miss a day make sure to get right back on track. Keep in mind that your muscles will atrophy after about 48 hours of working out and your metabolism boost with wear off. You will have to work extra hard to get back to where you were and gain more muscle. If you were too busy, ill, or worn out to exercise for one day it is normal. We all have our off days. Don’t feel like you failed and think about quitting. Rest days are perfectly okay as long as you know you have to get back with it the next day.

Whatever you do, find some time and get moving. Take your dog on a walk instead of sending him to the backyard or wash your car instead of paying someone else to. Try to get moving every day even a little bit. Doing a little bit more than you were before is an improvement on yourself! Make the effort and your body, mind, and soul will thank you.

Mindy – Blogger


Seniors- Staying safe on the Internet

Seniors are spending more time on the Internet. In fact, use of the Internet has changed the way they gather information and communicate with friends and family. Here’s an example of a couple of seniors exploring their new laptop:

Funny, right? OK, hilarious actually. But one thing seniors don’t do online as much as their younger counterparts is shop. They fear that their identities will be stolen, or that someone will get their banking information and take all their money, or that they won’t get what they want and won’t be able to return it.

Another worry is that they will order something and the person will take their money and then not send the product. All valid fears! But I’m here to explain why the fears are unsubstantiated for the most part. “For the most part” is stated because online transactions, like face-to-face ones, are sometimes made with unsavory people. But there are checks and balances in place to help the consumer.

For seniors who are housebound, shopping online can be a boon. And for seniors in rural communities, the internet can open up a shopping experience that a trip to the nearest city may not rival. For instance, you won’t find gourmet meal delivery in any store.

Here are a few dos and don’ts and some general advice for shopping online.


  • Shop with companies you know, or with big well-known companies like Almost anyone can establish a website. Contact information (mailing address, telephone number, etc.) should be clearly posted on the site. If you’re not familiar with a merchant, do some research or ask to be mailed a product catalogue. A good idea is to type a question into a Google search box like, “X company- review”. If a lot of bad stories come up, avoid them.
  • Before you buy, look at the company’s refund and return policies. These should be posted on its website.
  • Calculate and add up all costs. For example, check whether shipping and handling charges seem reasonable, and whether taxes will apply. You will be able to go through the checkout and determine these costs without checking out and actually making the purchase. If a company doesn’t show you shipping costs before asking you for your credit card, don’t buy from them.
  • Keep a record. Make sure you print and keep a copy of your purchase order and confirmation number.
  • Be creative when you choose a password, and keep it private. Don’t use something that’s easy to figure out, like your birthday, telephone number or street address. Using numbers for letters is a good idea. For instance, make the password your old job. For instance, if you worked for Bell Telephone, your password might be 3e117e1ep50ne. That sort of looks like Bell Telephone, but it’s very secure. Keep your passwords somewhere separate from your computer.
  • Make sure that the merchant you’re dealing with can provide a secure transaction. Before you enter your credit card number or other sensitive data, look for a website address that starts with https:// (the “s” indicates a secure connection), and a closed padlock or unbroken key icon on your screen. If you don’t see them, or if you see an open padlock or broken key icon, your transaction is not being transmitted securely.


  • Don’t conduct transactions on public computers or terminals, which could have keystroke loggers or other malware on them.
  • Don’t buy from spammers. If you get an email inviting you to buy something like “Discounted Rolex Watches,” you should think two things: 1) spam and 2) possible scam. Most spammers are just looking to make a quick buck. Some will steal your credit card or financial information and use it fraudulently. If you do purchase from spammers, there’s a good chance you’ll never get what you ordered. It is a risky deal. Also, it just motivates them to continue to spam you, along with everyone else.
  • Avoid typing in credit card information without seeing “https” in the URL address bar and a closed padlock somewhere on the screen.
  • Don’t pay online with a debit card or use a check; use a credit card instead for more protection against liability in the case of fraud.
  • Beware of offers that are too good to be true, which often end up being scams.
  • Don’t enter your credit card number or other sensitive data, before ensuring that the website address starts with https:// (the “s” indicates a secure connection), and a closed padlock or unbroken key icon on your screen. If you don’t see them, or if you see an open padlock or broken key icon, your transaction is not being transmitted securely.

Advice for shopping online:

Most of your online shopping is secure, and your payments are backed up by your credit card company. They are on the lookout for suspicious activity on your card. If you have a paypal account, or you buy from Amazon (or, you are also backed up by procedures in place. So enjoy yourself! Shopping never felt so good!

Melody, blogger


Paleo Diet – Guest Blog

Is a new diet trend making Vegans think twice?

As the environment has become an increasingly important focus point for many, we have moved to meal planning which is eco-friendly.  One of the biggest moves for many was to cut back on the amount of meat they consume and take on a more vegetarian diet.  The goals behind this were to create a healthy diet, lose weight and contribute to the environment.  The latest diet trend, the Paleo diet, has effectively taken all of that and thrown it out with yesterday’s trash!  Wow!! Meat is good for us?? Eating meat helps sustain the environment??

The answer to these questions is an emphatic yes!  The new Paleo diet does encourage meat consumption and also contributes to the environment.  This new diet trend sent the demand for pork to a new national record high.  Although there are still many skeptics, the pros of the Paleo Diet drastically outweigh the cons. This new diet is very inviting!

Also known as “the Caveman diet”, the Paleo diet focuses on food sources which were available in the Paleolithic Era.  Although we do not have any recipe books left behind by the caveman, theory has it that they were hunter-gatherers only able to eat what they could find. The Paleo diet mimics this theory adding an emphasis on fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and protein.  The Paleo diet is considered as a healthy diet based on the theory that cavemen had longer lifespans than lifespans today.

The Paleo diet became popular with a book called “Paleo Diet for Athletes” by Joe Friel and Loren Cordain.  In their book, they present a good argument explaining that we are consuming too many refined sugars, cereals, and diary products and too little lean meats, seafood, fresh fruit, and vegetables. They also support their argument with an article from the New England Journal of Medicine where the American Heart Association demonstrates that weight loss is more effective when the dieter follows a diet which is high in protein and low in carbohydrate.


Even vegetarians are becoming enthusiastic about the Paleo diet! They are beginning to realize that eating meat could be more environmentally-friendly and healthy than their current lifestyle.  For example, manure regenerates the soil and grazing promotes plant growth, so it might be better to eat grazing livestock. Another example is that the high demand for vegetable products is increasing the amount of deforestation.

Although the Paleo diet is not strictly a diet aimed at being environmentally friendly, the pro’s do out weigh the con’s — especially for those meat lovers who have been ignoring their caveman like desires to chomp into a juicy steak. Don’t fret — for you can now do so with a sound mind!  There are a few Paleo Diet variations, so it might be best to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. Surely there’s no harm in trying it out yourself?  You might even realize that your love of meat is in fact not only healthy but better for everyone!

James Kim is a writer for Unique Influence, a content service that publishes articles about trends, current events, and topics of interest.

Looks like food could work well on this diet!

Melody blogger.