Candy Photo

Hi Everyone.  It’s day two here at the AHIP Institute Conference in San Francisco.  “I’m in the kitchen”…well… really in the booth… partnering with Alere Health,  to cook up several healthy recipes that taste good and that are good for you – with a bit more emphasis on diabetes management. Diabetes is a serious health issue all across this country. An important key to healthier living, and diabetes management starts in the kitchen by making smart decisions about what you eat.

It’s important to eat in moderation, stick to regular mealtimes, and eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. Below are five quick tips to help get you on your way to optimal health:

  1. Take stock of your kitchen. First and foremost, get rid of all unhealthy foods in your kitchen. Stock your kitchen so you can see what is available to cook a delicious meal. By having your choices more visible, you can better plan your healthy meals for the day or grab a nutritious snack on the go. Finally, be sure to stock up on the nutritious foods you love. For instance, if you love raw vegetables, have a bowl cleaned and cut up in the fridge so you can easily access it when you are hungry.
  2. Choose your sweets wisely. Sweets can be the hardest to give up, but who said you have to totally give up the foods you love completely—just make smart choices. For instance, instead of having a whole dessert split a sweet treat with a friend. By eating your dessert slowly and savoring every bite you will appreciate those sugary splurges even more. Think about making healthy substitutions by switching out soda for sparkling water or choosing to top a bowl full of fresh fruit with low-fat ice cream instead of the other way around.
  3. Select carbs high in fiber. You don’t have to avoid carbohydrates, just think about how you plan your meals with the right carbs. Prepare your favorite sandwiches with whole-grain bread instead of white bread, use steel-cut oats at breakfast instead of processed cereals or instant oatmeal, keep whole wheat pasta in your pantry instead of regular pasta, and brown rice instead of white rice.
  4. Choose fats carefully. Although some fats are healthy, they are all high in calories so it’s important to choose carefully. Instead of snacking on cheese, chips or crackers, a great option is to enjoy a handful of nuts or seeds.  You’d be surprised how satisfying this snack can be, especially if you chew them slowly and enjoy the natural flavor whether you’re munching on a few at home or taking them with you if you’re in the car on a long commute. Be careful not to overindulge though, nuts, while they’re good for you, are high in calories and add up fast.
  5. Make the choice to stay healthy. To stay healthy and to lessen your risk of diabetes in the future, healthy cooking and eating is all about modification –  not deprivation. It starts with coming up with a healthy, delicious eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. Don’t be afraid to break out of your routine, get creative and try new things! If you’re here at AHIP today, stop by the Alere Health booth #401 and I’ll share some great, new nutritious recipes with you to try at home.  Be sure to check out my recipes, posted on Alere’s Facebook page — www.facebook.com/alerehealth.