Monthly Archives: January 2012

Eating a Diabetic Diet

Just because you’re a diabetic does not mean you have to give up great tasting, delicious food; or feel restricted by what you can put in your mouth. You can live with diabetes AND eat (mostly) what you want.

Be Balanced

The key to indulging every once in awhile – for everyone, though diabetics have to be a touch more careful, is to ensure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet and making the right food choices. Portions are important, so make sure you’re eating appropriately sized meals. And of course, ensure you’re getting your fruits, non-starchy veggies (think carrots, broccoli, and spinach), whole grains (instead of processed grains), lean meats, and non-fat dairy products.

Watch your carbs

There’s three main types of carbohydrates – starches, sugars, and fiber. You can help keep your blood sugar levels in your target range by watching how many carbs you’re consuming. Any grains made from wheat flour (rice, pasta, bread), potatoes, peas, and corn are all examples of high in starch foods, and should be avoided when possible. Fiber, on the other hand, can be your BFF. It helps keep your digestive system in tip-top shape, and – surprise – you CAN still eat things like cereal, bread, and pasta – just look for whole grain cereals that are low in artificial and added sugars.

It’s okay to indulge

Yup, it’s true – as long as you’re generally a healthy, balanced eater it’s okay to have that small slice of chocolate cake on your birthday. And being diabetic doesn’t mean never eating chocolate or a cookie ever again – it simply means checking ingredients, and being aware of what you’re eating when. Look for treats with less than 10 carbs per serving – things like sugar free jello, no sugar added cookies, dark cocoa chocolate, and low carb ice creams (literally – some of them say this on the package!) can be great choices when you’re craving something sweet. And, if you’ve been day dreaming about a chocolate chip cookie all day – another trick is to “trade” that dessert for another high-carb food you had been planning on eating. Maybe skip the lunchtime chicken sandwich and have a salad instead (or one of our fab prepared diabetic meals!) to make room for that ooey, gooey, cookie.

And remember – as with anything in life, moderation (and in some cases, a lot of moderation) is key to being healthy and happy while still tantalizing your taste buds – yes, even for us diabetics.

Lauren- MagicKitchen.com Blogger

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Top Ten Retirement Activities

You’ve been looking forward to your retirement for years; all that free time to do what you want to do for once! But all too often, after the first joys of sleeping in and doing nothing much all day, boredom sets in and you begin to look for things to keep you busy. Here’s a list of the top ten retirement activities.

  1. Start a part-time business. Start a senior’s exercise or yoga class, buy a hot dog cart, or go to craft shows and sell that beautiful craft you’ve been making.
  2. Start a garden. There are many sites to get you started. Google “gardening in (yourstate)” to find them. Here’s an example of one in California: California Gardens – The Year Round Gardening Site
  3. Start camping. You don’t need a big motor home to do so, instead purchase or rent a camper van. MagicKitchen.com has delicious foods for camping. 
  4. Find a retirement job that you can work at temporarily as a fun job. (Greeter at Wal-Mart, drive a delivery van, be a bartender). Here’s a good resource: www.seniorjobbank.org
  5. Travel!! Now’s the time to get out there and see the places you always wanted to see. There are any number of tour companies that will allow you to travel at your own pace and comfort level.
  6. Tutor or mentor students. There are many young people out there who would benefit from your knowledge and experience.
  7. Read. Now you have time to read all those wonderful novels you may have put aside for lack of time. Go to the library to borrow books or just to get ideas on what to read.
  8. Volunteer. If you’re financially secure, you might think about volunteering part time. It will make you feel great!
  9. Go back to school. Maybe you wish you would have gone on to get that masters degree. Or you didn’t get to college at all and want that experience. Nothing could be more mentally exhilarating. Even learning a new language is a wonderful way to keep your mental facilities in good shape.
  10. Set yourself an athletic goal- train to run a marathon, swim a mile, get a black belt, walk a mile a day.

We hope you’ll enjoy and take advantage of these ten retirement activities. Here are more!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

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How to get More Fruits and Vegetables into your Diet

The new year is a perfect time to start eating healthier. Here are five easy tips for getting more fruit and veg into your diet.

1. Breakfast

Everyone knows about eating fruit for breakfast. It’s a refreshing way to wake up. Perhaps try eating some veggies in the morning as well. Try adding some kale or spinach to a berry smoothie and blend well. Or eat some leftover veggies from the night before as a side dish to anything else you’re eating for breakfast. Slice up some mushrooms and grab some baby spinach to add to an egg or tofu omelet. Breakfast doesn’t have to be typical- eat something you would eat for lunch or dinner like a veggie burger to get that morning energy. Just like exercising first thing, eating veggies when you wake up is a way to get it out of the way for the day or just add more!

2. Two-Veg Dinners

A typical dinner is a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. Why not make your standard meal a 2 vegetable one? Always make sure to make a salad in addition to your cooked veggie or have your veg on the side along with a one-pot meal that has your protein, starch, and lots of added in veggies. Or, eat a vegetable as your main course! There’s no need to limit how many veggies you are eating. If you’re feeling it, add a side of fruit to the table or toss some apples, halved grapes, or mandarin orange segments into your salad.

3. Snacks

I know I love to eat crackers, pretzels, and quesadillas as snacks, but veggies are an outstanding alternative to those almost empty calories. Dip some crudité into your favorite roasted vegetable hummus or an herb based dip such as low fat green goddess. Have peanut butter apple slices or celery sticks like you did when you were a kid. If you are super low on time and don’t have time to chop and trim, rinse off an apple, grapes, or grab some baby carrots for speedy nourishment. Fruit and vegetables are fast and easy to prepare for a quick bite, and you can feel good about eating something not out of a box as your snack!

4. Mixing and Combining

Mix vegetables in with something else you already make. Add  sautéed chopped veggies to brown rice. Mix in carrots, celery, bell peppers, and mushrooms to your usual chili. Dice up any veggies you have and add them to tomato sauce for your pasta. Make a sauce with prunes or other dried fruit. Sneak vegetables and fruit in to everything you make to add texture, flavor, and nutrition. Don’t forget the herbs and spices to flavor things up salt-free.

5. Dessert

I don’t think I’d be able to sell anyone on eating a vegetable for dessert… but fruit can be amazing for the end of the day. Froyo with berries piled on, a small slice of poundcake with berries or apples, or even just a big pile of whatever fruit you have on hand diced up and mixed together with a little yogurt glaze as a fruit salad! Try to stay away from desserts with lots of added sugar because they can be more detrimental than healthy. Either bake those creations at home to control the amount of sugar and flaky crusts you use or go for fresh fruit options instead. You don’t have to feel guilty about dessert if it’s fruit-based!

Mindy, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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HOLLYWOOD’S CRAZY DIET FADS

If I were a sugar plum fairy, I’d make a fortune by selling some sort of crazy, quick fix, magic diet to the celebrity

masses. If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of in Hollywood – it’s crazy diet fads. From liquid diets to color-coded

diets to one-food-only diets; Hollywood has tried it all.

Here’s some of the  craziest diet fads we’ve heard of.

The Martini Diet

Hands down, this diet screams “every sorority girls dream” – this crazy diet fad centers around the idea of portion

control: if you can fit it into a 3 oz. Martini glass, you can consume it (and loose weight doing so). Three shots of

vodka and an olive, please.

Baby Food Diet

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are allegedly doing it, and you can be next. Babies look totally young and cute,

so logically eating nothing but baby food means you’ll look totally young and cute too, right? And who wouldn’t want to

spend their days mowing down on pureed bananas and green, pea-flavored mush?

Grapefruit Diet

The Grapefruit Diet is also nicknamed “The Hollywood Diet”- and that should really say it all. This is the literal definition

of a crazy diet fad – by following it, you’ll lose 10 pounds in 12 days by eating a ton of grapefruit and drinking lots of

black coffee! Sounds super healthy, right?

Acai Diet

While I’m not denying the Acai berry has awesome antioxidant powers – after all, it has been named the number one

antioxidant food on Oprah, and Oprah doesn’t lie – an entire diet fashioned around the berry (and claims the berry will

increase your vitality and, therefore, see you shed pounds) is just silly. Inject some Acai into your diet, sure – but don’t

believe the pricy Acai berry supplements will magically zap you into a ten-pound-lighter you.

Liquid Diets

The Cambridge Liquid Diet is one of the oldest crazy diet fads around (does that even qualify it as a fad anymore?) –

it’s been in existence for over 20 years; and is still garnering attention. The basic idea involves drinking three liquid diet

formulas a day; no food required. I once tried a variation of this with milkshakes and fro-yos, but it didn’t have the

same results. Maybe I should have used Skim Milk instead of 3%.

 

Personally, I believe all you really need to lose weight is a healthy, nutritious diet plan chock full of balanced portions

and fresh, nutritious foods – like Magic Kitchen’s healthy, chef-prepared meals that are quick to prepare. Forget about

jumping on the Hollywood Crazy Train; and take a look at these fantastic products instead – I mean, why bother with

these crazy diet fads in an attempt to lose weight – and be disappointed when they don’t work, or worse, be

unhealthy, lightheaded, and unhappy because of the extreme nature of some of these fads?

 

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