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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Many people will expect this series to be about normal, prescription diabetes medications, but these do not treat the root causes. So, instead, the natural foods and herbs which send accurate messages of support and positive-change are preferable for diabetics to use, along with regular meds (if you and your doctor think this is best). I have always used the natural medicines at hand: food in good ratios and choices, movement, clean air, pure water and sunlight, alieviating stress by viewing Nature and other natural methods; all these are the tools of real Health.

I have been introducing you to 10 importqant herbs which can positively impact healing your diabetes: turmeric, garlic, peppermint, parsley, rosemary, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, basil and lavender. Turmeric is a member of the same botanical family as ginger is. Both are ant-inflammatories, and diabetes has an inflammatory component.

Dr, Mercola lauds turmeric and it is well-respected in the ancient health system of India, Ayurveda, humanity’s first formal system of medicine. You can buy turmeric on its own, but most of you will have had it when you use curry powder; it colors it naturally, and although it does not have the wonderful flavor of ginger, it’s neutral and is really a powerful food ally and healer.

In a recent email, Dr. Mercola said:

‘What makes turmeric so sought after and even revered by those who use it? Well, not only is turmeric a popular spice, but it has also become one of the most thoroughly studied nutrients for Health. Turmeric and its active compound curcumin affect more than 700 genes and 100 different pathways inside each of your cells. (Em: this is a potent example of epigenetics at work.)

What that means for you is this  is turmeric supports a normal immune response, healthy joints and bones, optimal digestion, blood and liver functions, and so much more. Liver health is critical for diabetics, as it is in the liver that the opposing hormone, which counters insulin excess, glycogen, is made and stored.

The turmeric rhizome also acts as an adaptogen – which is a substance which modifies your stress response – bringing it “down” if you are too anxious, and raising your response if you are lethargic or out-of-energy.

Turmeric is also a phenomenal antioxidant which helps your body defend against free radicals, providing support for your eyes, skin, and and all your cells. ‘

So, start investigating ways to add either curry powder or just turmeric to your recipes. Alone, turmeric doesn’t have a hot, spicy flavor (it can be bitter if using too much)(I’d say no more than 1 Tablespoon for a large soup-pot of food, at least until you know your tolerance for its flavor).  Also know that its rich color does stain! Curry powders do come in mild to hot. You can even start to make your own mix, as most Indian home-cooks do. It’s not hard!

If you suffer from GERD (Gastric Esophogeal Reflux Disease) or if you take Warfarin or Coumadin, ask your doctor about guidelines for amounts to use. If you are on anti-depressants, realize that turmeric does affect neuro-transmitters like serotonin and noradrenalin in positive ways, so you may not need as much medication with regular turmeric use; discuss this with your physician.

If you are just using normal food amounts, rather than curcumin supplements, the spice should be safe during pregnancy and probably is fine for the conditions just mentioned, too.

Just make sure that you start incorporating this wonderful food into your life.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

For some healthy recipe ideas, see these at Eating Well.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM

The past couple of weeks, we’ve looked at diabetic-friendly beverages. The following herbal recipe contains 3 anti-inflammatory herbs. As diabetes contains an inflammatory process, this beverage should be helpful in making healthy diabetes food choices.

This is also a low fructose recipe as pineapples only contain moderate amounts. There are serious issues about how fructose behaves in our bodies (see below) and we should not ingest any more than 1 – 2 pieces of low-fructose fruits, daily. Learn more about low fructose foods, here (note the measurements here are in milligrams [mg] and 1,000 mg = 1 gram [g].

I also advise NO juices most of the time, except vegetable juices (note: tomato is a fruit).

Dr. Mercola’s fructose recommendations are no more than 25 grams of fructose a day (and only 15g. from whole fruits  —no juices). All fruit must be ORGANIC!

An apple contains 9 grams.  One whole pear would be most of your limit, as would be 1 cup of grapes or 1/4 cup of raisins. These just mentioned fruits are to be used carefully. Other dried fruits should be used even more carefully, if at all.

Of the melons, watermelon is the most nutritious and least problematic except for fructose issues; you reach your daily fructose limit using just 1/16 of a medium watermelon.

The Best Fruit Choices: Kiwi, berries, pineapple, citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, orange), fresh apricots, fresh prunes, cherries, nectarine, peach, papaya, guava, banana, avocados and moderate amounts of tomato.

NOTE: The nightshade vegetables and fruits (white and red and yellow potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos, cape gooseberry) are implicated as sources of inflammatory chemicals causing arthritis pain in sensitive individuals. So, if you are having skeletal or muscle pains, these foods might be reduced or eliminated for a few months to see if your Health improves. Sweet potatoes come from a different botanical family and do not cause these issues.

Pomegranate is not on the charts at the links. I use only the prophylactic 2 oz. dose of unsweetened pomegranate a day, as 1 of my few fruits (I mostly eat vegetables).

As this 2 oz. dose of pomegranate helps clear out cholesterol-restricted arteries (harmed by inflammation, and using cholesterol as a “natural bandaid”), I think it is probably OK, as long as we make enough natural cholesterol (from organic coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids) to do all the “good work” that cholesterol is meant to do.

Vitamin D is also important in this process and as much as 8,000 IU of Vitamin D3 seem to be needed rather than the 800 IU spoken about now.

Evidently, even at 8,000 IU (equivalent to 20 minutes in summer sun over 40% of your body skin), there is not toxicity, but the Vitamin D3 (only supplement form to use) is still NOT as good as natural sunlight. The supplement is not ready-to-use by our body, yet, and if we do not do the extra step well (which requires cholesterol), then we are still Vitamin D deficient.

Dr. Mercola continues about the harm from fructose:

“Thanks to the excellent work of researchers like Dr. Robert Lustig , and Dr. Richard Johnson, we now know that fructose:

  • Is metabolized differently from glucose, with the majority being turned directly into fat
  • Tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
  • Rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure — i.e., classic metabolic syndrome (Em: also known as Syndrome X).
  • Over time leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.”

Agave is also problematic and turns out to be just as bad as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is a cheap sweetener found in almost all processed and refined foods. Both wreck your Health.

In the past, I espoused agave as it is “low-glycemic”, but the stuff is at least 75% fructose (that’s high!) and it has other serious Health consequences because of that. In the 1970’s, powdered crystaline fructose was touted as “better” than sucrose (“table sugar”) and so we used it. Crystaline fructose is the worst of all. I sure wish scientists were interested in the research back then!

The only safe sweeteners for diabetics, and anyone else, are moderate amounts of pure ORGANIC maple syrup and stevia or organic brown sugar, like Succanat (even less frequently) I prefer the liquid form of stevia, after trying many of the powders.

Organic honey can be used rarely, as all honey has a fairly high amount of fructose, but it has some other benefits. (Never give raw honey to children under 3!); it has botulism spores, as does all honey, and children under 3  immune systems can’t handle that, yet. Organic molasses can also be used sparingly, infrequently.

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WEEKEND WARRIORS JOINT TEA

Three of the herbs incorporated into this drink — turmeric, ginger and cardamom — produce a natural anti-inflammatory effect. The black pepper and the cayenne also help to synergize the benefit of the anti-inflammatory herbs. Cayenne also helps to raise your metabolic rate so you burn calories better. Be aware that cayenne should not be overdone as you do not want to have digestive upset.

I recommend only using organic, non-irradiated spices. Regular spices are irradiated (they don’t have to say that on the label).

6 cardamom pods, cracked
1 T chopped fresh turmeric* or ¼ teaspoon ground dried turmeric
1 T chopped fresh ginger
¼ t whole black peppercorns
2C   filtered or spring water
organic, ground cayenne pepper, to taste
1C pineapple juice, chilled **
2 mint sprigs for garnish, optional

In a small pot, combine the first 4 ingredients with 2C of water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.

Using a strainer, pour the tea into a large jar, add pineapple juice and chill. Before serving, add the organic cayenne pepper to taste.

Divide the tea between 2 – 4 glasses.  If desired, bruise the mint sprigs in the glass.

* You should be able to find fresh turmeric (a member of the Ginger Family) in Asian markets, where it will be part of the recipe for curry powder. Enjoy! Turmeric (and its active ingredient, curcumin, is a wonder-food. More about it in later posts).

** the pineapple provides bromelain, an enzyme which helps digest your food (and is efficacious elsewhere in your body), but this would only be present in fresh, fresh puree and frozen forms, not canned.

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Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:  see the links above to Nutrition Data’s Fructose Charts and Doctor Mercola’s article. The recipe originated at Bottom Line.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing with the Culinary Herbs Useful to Diabetics series, here are some more recipes! Food IS Medicine, just as Hippocrates, the father of western medicine said. Indian Ayurveda – humanity’s oldest medical system, which birthed all the rest – uses food as medicine, too. Join a long lineage of healing with foods for diabetic treatment.

Here are 3 sweet potato recipes today. This food is a nutritional powerhouse and can fulfill important fiber requirements, as well as boosting Vitamin A nourishment critical for diabetes — by helping to support your eyes’ and skin’s Health with the vitamin’s building block: beta-carotene.

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MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH LAVENDER AND LIME
from the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

2 lbs organic sweet potatoes
1 stick organic, unsalted butter, melted (or equivalent of organic coconut oil)
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/2 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender*
Celtic or other sea salt and freshly ground pepper
minced fresh cilantro leaves (do not cut ahead of time)
grated zest of one lime
cayenne pepper, to taste — start with 1/8t and work upwards

This food may be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Then, rewarm it to serve. Sweet potatoes are an excellent alkaline pH food!

___   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
___   Prick the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, and then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until very soft. Set them aside until cool enough to handle. Be careful, as they retain their heat.
___   Scoop the flesh right up to the skin’s border. Discard the skins.
___   Using a blender or food processor, pulse until a smooth mixture forms.
___   Stir in the butter, lime juice and lavender.
___   Next, season with salt, fresh pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
___   Just at serving time, top with cilantro and lime zest, and serve. Do not cut the cilantro ahead of time, as it can impair the flavor.

*Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle or in a thoroughly-cleaned coffee grinder (least recommended).

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EM’S SWEET POTATO HUMMUS SPREAD

Because sweet potatoes and coconut are excellent pH alkaline foods, I added, the following to offset the acidic pH of the beans:

___   steamed sweet potatoes (about 2 cups, cubed small) to 1 tub of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (10 oz. size)

___    add a dash of Coconut Secret’s Coconut Aminos (from Whole Foods or coconutsecret.com)

___   Spread it on NO Thiamin Mononitrate crackers or breads! Check the labels, as this synthetic B vitamin flour additive is harmful. Natural, whole-grain breads from health stores are less likely to have it at all.

For those who do not have a Trader Joe’s nearby, the ingredients listed are: 

___   ground chickpeas (you can use healthier cooked black-eye peas or dal)

___   tahini (sesame seed paste) – from health stores or Mid-East markets

___   fresh puree of organic red bell pepper or bottled pimento

___   (canola) oil – use extra-virgin olive oil instead

___   sea salt, lemon juice, garlic powder

If you make this at home, using a standard recipe like the one below, then you will not have the stabilizers in commercial hummus, either (which I did not show here), and you will be making a better pH alkaline food.

This would be great in children’s school lunches! And, it’s a perfect after school snack, too, as well as hors d’ouvre.

Home-made can always be healthier with the right recipe. Next time, I’ll make mine, but in a pinch, combining better ingredients into the Trader Joe’s product made it healthier.

Original recipe

SWEET POTATO HUMMUS
From Jaclyn Enchin ~ http://www.sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com

Makes 6 servings

1 medium sweet potato, cooked
1 C  cooked chickpeas
2 T tahini (unsweetened sesame seed paste)
1 T  olive oil
1 T   lemon juice
2-3 t  coconut aminos (a protein source, salty-perky taste)
1 sm  garlic clove, fresh
1 t   cumin
1/2 t  cinnamon
1 t  coriander, fresh
Pinch of sea salt
black pepper, to taste
diced or sliced organic almonds, for topping

Combine all above ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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MAKING THE PERFECT OMELET

Eggs are nutritious for diabetics, but there are some guidelines to have them be the healthiest.

Firstly, they should be organic, vegetarian fed, free-range animals producing the eggs. Next, the eggs should never be whisked together as breaking the yolks exposes them to oxygen which is when the oxidized yolks become unhealthy, engendering heart disease.

Unbroken yolks have natural balancers (lecithin +) and are heart-healthy.

So, only cook intact eggs – either boiling, coddling, poaching (my favorite) or making the unique omelet technique I explain below but separating the eggs first.

In my method, the egg whites are beaten as directed. The unbroken egg yolks are added later as filling. Add the diabetic herbs at the same time as the yolks — desired savory combinations of turmeric (which will help color the eggs to the usual more yellow look; garlic, fresh onion (minced small), rosemary (ground fine),  cayenne pepper, fresh basil, parsley, ginger. For a sweet-oriented omelet, use diabetic-friendly lavender (grind finely), ginger or cinnamon. Disperse the herbs well over the entire surface.

America’s Test Kitchen explains why this recipe works:

“In contrast to half-moon diner-style omelets, the French omelet is a pristine rolled affair.”  Critically, the temperature of the pan must be just right, the eggs beaten just so (NO, as explained above — I adapt this part!), and hand movements must be swift. This usually intimidates home cooks, but it need not.

In their experiments, America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) (a PBS TV show) ditched the stuffy attitude and came up with a foolproof method for making the ideal French omelet — unblemished outer surface with an ultra-creamy texture, rolled around minimal filling (the diabetic herbs are perfect, along with some cheese, or not).

The classic French method requires a black carbon steel omelet pan and a fork. A nonstick skillet worked fine here (but I am NOT a fan of these pans which always must be used a medium or lower heat ranges).

Instead of a fork, which will scrape nonstick pans (also hazardous to ingest the coating), ATK used bamboo skewers and wooden chopsticks which made small curds with a silky texture. They tested various pans and the Kitchenaaid non-stick at about $20 was fine, if pre-warmed as directed. The Julia Child and Calaphon pans were expensive and excellent.

Adding a little oil, and then preheating the pan for 10 minutes over low heat eliminated any hot spots. For creaminess, very cold butter was added just after the egg (whites) were in the pan. The cold butter dispersed evenly and fused with the eggs for a moist, rich omelet.

To keep the omelet light, ATK found the perfect number of strokes — and, as it’s the egg whites which hold the “loftiness”, my changes should not affect this much, if at all. They used precisely 80 strokes with a classic metal hand-whisk, not one stroke less or more. Be exact here! Copper bowls also help to add lightness to egg whites, so I suggest a copper bowl for my version technique, if you have one. Make sure to keep a copper utensil well-cleaned, as the copper-oxide coating is not healthy.

Excessive beating physically unravels egg proteins, leading to denseness!

For cooking temperature, they tried different heat levels, but even at medium heat, the omelet cooked so quickly it was hard to judge when it was done.  Therefore, turn off the heat when it is still runny (add the egg yolks and herbs) and cover it to finish cooking!

Finally, for an easy rolling method, which mirrors a classic French presentation, slide the newly-cooked omelet onto paper towel. Then, use the towel to start to roll the omelet into the sought-after cigar-shape cylinder.

Because making omelets is such a quick process, make sure to have all your ingredients and equipment at the ready — this is called “mise en place”.

If you don’t have skewers or chopsticks to stir the egg whites, then use the handle of a wooden spoon.

Warm the plates in a 200-degree oven. Serve on the warmed plates.

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Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes Recipes – Lavender
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns – marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website address shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Last time you learned that certain herbs can be helpful for diabetics when using them directly for the condition or for likely companion concerns. Today, here’s some recipes to help with the fabulous 10 – Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

After visiting beautiful lavender fields in California and Oregon, I have to say that I want to speak about this time-honored herb first, as it is the one which you are least likely to be familiar with (although you may already have some in the famous herb mix called Herbes de Provence).

The owners of Hood River Lavender Farm provide some great recipes for their Organic Lavender as well as a place to purchase it dried.  The link is in the Reference section.

Every time I have tasted lavender in food, I have been intrigued. As with all food-stuffs, I recommend only organic produce, so if you are just grabbing lavender at the nursery or from a friend’s garden, please be sure that it has not been chemically-sprayed (as outside France or England, it’s not likely to have been regarded as a food plant).

The Farm site gives a little history of the herb:

” While most of us know about the beauty and fragrance of Lavender, somehow we have forgotten that it is indeed an herb. An herb that may not be common place in American spice cabinets, it has been in use as a culinary herb for centuries … One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this varable herb.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the prefered lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of it’s milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia.

Our personal favorite is a pink-flowered English lavender known as Melissa. It has a sweet, yet floral note, and enhances dishes from soups, to meat, and even drinks and deserts.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, drinks, and one should use some caution to not use too much.

Lavender should be a background flavor, not in the forefront, and when used in proportion enhances foods with a distinctive and mysterious flavor, while adding a lovely color to your dish.”

Here are some Lavender recipes to try!
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Honey Lavender Shake – Rockin’ Raw-style Vegan

2 T Raw almond butter
2 T Raw honey (not for use for children under 3 years old) *
3 vanilla beans (use vanilla extract, if more flavor desired; less expensive, too)

1 t organic Lavender – minced

1 tray of small ice cubes
1/2C spring water (to desired thickness for the shake)

Blend until smooth. Serve in tall glass and garnish with a little of the Lavender

Variation: Almond milk can be made with soaked almonds and
water in a blender. Then strain it through a nut milk bag. Omit the 1/2 cup of water in recipe above if using almond milk.

You can also purchase almond milk in cartons (and the protein content of this recipe will be better than when just using water).

This is a useful recipe for those with sensitivities to dairy.

* Raw honey is not acceptable for the immune systems of children under 3, so use pasteurized honey in this case.

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Lavender Grilled Salmon or Steelhead

3 pounds of wild salmon (filet)*
4 T raw honey
6 T organic extra-virgin or virgin olive oil
1 T organic Lavender, crushed or run through a spice grinder
1/4C white wine
1 T Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice

* do NOT use farmed fish!

Place all ingredients, except salmon, in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by 1/3, to create a sauce.

When sauce has cooled slightly, divide the sauce into halves. With one portion, baste the raw salmon filet.

Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, basting with the same portion of sauce, if desired.

Use the second sauce portion to pour on salmon just before serving, as it has not been in contact with the raw fish at all.

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Sweet Potato Pie with Lavender

This recipe also uses Cinnamon, another one of your diabetic-friendly herbs and spices. I did not use the sugary topping in the original recipe, but rather added the lavender into the pie itself. Sweet potatoes are also a fabulous food for diabetics!

2 medium, organic  sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
4 T unsalted organic butter, melted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
3 lg free-range, vegetarian-fed, eggs, separated
1/2C sugar (better: use the equivalent of Stevia! Check the box for the amount.)
2 T all-purpose whole-grain flour OR ground quinoa
3/4C organic buttermilk

1/2t organic lavender, minced (or use a spice grinder)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pour 1 1/2″ of water into a medium stockpot (with a strainer basket) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, add the sweet potatoes to the basket, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Let them cool to near room temperature, covered with paper towel to absorb the steam.

Mash the potatoes to a smooth puree, (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the organic butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix after each addition.

2. Then, in a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar/ Stevia and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and then stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistently bright-orange in color.

Next, add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.

Finally, add the buttermilk and lavender. Stir until mixed in.

3. With a clean, dry whisk and in a clean, dry, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes or use your mixer until results are achieved.

Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended, using a vertical figure-8 motion with a spatula.

Pour the mixture into a prepared piecrust. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the center is firm and set, about 35-40 minutes.

4. Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!

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Lavender Infusion

This can be used in other recipes — as varied as cheescake, sorbets, ice-cream, lemonade and more.

Measure 2T Lavender buds for each cup boiling temperature liquid (water) or (organic milk // organic cream).

Steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the lavender from the liquid.

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Lavender Tea

Steep 1 t lavender in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
This is a good recipe for insomnia, or when relaxation is the goal.

———————————————–
Lavender Lemonade

1 quart fresh squeezed or pre-made lemonade
1 t to 1T culinary lavender
1C boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add to the lemonade. Serve well chilled.

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Lavender-Ginger Apple Cider

This recipe includes Ginger — another one of our 10 helpful-to-diabetics herbs and spices!

1 gallon organic apple cider
6 T organic Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend” (Hood River Lavender Farm)
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 med. culinary muslin bag or some cheese cloth

Bring the apple cider to a simmer, and then turn heat to low. Add the muslin bag filled with culinary lavender and ginger (or several layers of cheesecloth and some thread). Cover, and simmer 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the spice bag. Serve warm.

You can use this as a cool drink, too. The recipe makes 16 cups.

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Lavender, Rosemary, Garlic, Black Olive Foccacia Bread

You struck the Mother-Lode. This recipe includes Lavender, Rosemary, and Garlic and Black Pepper or Chili Pepper — more of those diabetic friendly herbs and spices as well as heart-healthy olives!

Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 12-15 min.
Servings: 6

1 lb fast pizza dough OR 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ C pitted, chopped imported black olives – like Kalamata
2t chopped lavender buds
1 – 2T chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t coarse Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste OR a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (better)

Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a work surface, roll pizza dough out into an 8 x 14 rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise at room temperature for 20 min.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.

After this final rising on the baking sheet, gently make dimples into the  dough with finger tips.

Brush on 2 Tp olive oil; then add herb mixture, pressing it gently into the top of the dough.

Herb Mix is:  1 -2t chopped lavender, 2T rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic and the chopped olives.

Sprinkle with 1 t coarse sea salt and a little fresh black pepper or cayenne. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack, then cut into pieces to serve.

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====================

REFERENCE:
Enjoy the recipes and be sure to check out Hood River Lavender Farm.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

Read Full Post »

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s some of the advice that Hippocrates would give for at least a partial prescription for treating diabetes, as he always said “Let food be thy Medicine!”, and these foods are particularly useful for diabetics.

Lavender helps alleviate stress for diabetics.   Lavender

 

 

 

Registered dieticians Patricia Partain, RD and Jamie McDermott, RD list 10 herbs and spices below as some of the healthiest to incorporate into your diet, and many of these are especially helpful for diabetics.

Turmeric

Health benefits: The active ingredient is curcumin. It’s found in most curry mixes (it’s what makes them look so yellow). Turmeric is a calming spice and aids digestion. A 2006 study at Johns Hopkins University suggested that curcumin may also be helpful in reducing colon cancer.

How to use it: Add to curry mixes when making your own, otherwise, use a pre-made mix (check it’s in there on the label). You can also buy it as a single spice (when it is not a hot spice).

Mix it into any curry recipe, soup, or use with scrambled tofu or eggs.  You can also stir it into the water being used for quinoa, rice or couscous – and it will color them yellow as well as be more healthy.

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Garlic

Many people have learned about the amazing “stinking rose’s” health benefits: possibly lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, being a natural anti-viral and more. Holistic physicians use it to prevent onset of heart disease.

How to use it: It is most beneficial when it is raw. You must use it immediately after chopping or mashing withing 10 minutes or coat it in olive oil to give yourself a bit more time. Use in savory smoothies, dips, salad dressings, compound butters and spreads.

People suggest cooking it, but that does compromise it.

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Peppermint

Many diabetics have digestive issues as your overworked pancreas may not be supplying enough alkaline buffers needed for complete digestion.

Mint’s health benefits include:  relieving indigestion and nausea, as well as symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  But Partain and McDermott say peppermint is not recomm-ended for people with acid-reflux disease.

Peppermint also has some energy stimulation components.

How to use it:  Most people use Peppermint as herbal tea by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes.

For a summer drink: crush the mint along with some lemon juice as a base for lemonade. Then to sweeten, add diabetic-friendly Truvia or other stevia powder to taste. If you crush or shave the ice, it becomes a cooling granita.

Mint can be used as an edible garnish, mixed in with lamb, added to feta cheese, salt and pepper to use as a dip or spread and more!

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Parsley

This herb is a cleanser. It helps to clean the GI tract and thereby “sweeten” breath. But, it is much more!

Health benefits: Parsley is high in potassium – a critical mineral which can help control high blood pressure and fluid retention. It is also high in vitamins K, C and A (which helps to keep skin healthy — which is also vital for diabetics).

How to use it: Add to basil pesto or tabouli.  You can even make a completely parsley pesto! Sprinkle it over potatoes, quinoa or brown rice. Add to fresh tomato sauces and finely chop into dressings. Use in savory smoothies. Juice it! Make a Mediterranean-style salad with lemon juice, tomatoes, chopped fresh onions and feta cheese. Add it to soup just as you take it off the burner, as long as it is minced (be sure to use the stems, too). Mix into meatloaf or hamburgers (this is a good place to use finely-minced stems as these dishes cook longer).

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Rosemary

This is an herb used in classic European cuisines, as the Simon & Garfunkle song implies “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.

Health benefits:  rosemary may reduce potentially carcinogenic HCA levels when mixed with meat before cooking — HCAs are produced during barbequing, especially.

This herb has also been used to cure indigestion.

But, be aware that it can act as a natural diuretic (as can lemons), so keep your fluid levels up by drinking at least 64 ozs. of pure water a day (unless you have kidney disease — in which case, follow your urologist’s recommendation). If you are taking diuretics, you need to make sure that all your liquid intake is water. Other “liquids” will dehydrate you, in varying amounts..

How to use it:  rub rosemary extract or ground rosemary over meat before grilling (it goes particularly well with lamb). Sprinkle this herb over potatoes before roasting. Add it the water when poaching salmon. Bake it into breads (along with some garlic and black, Greek olives). Add rosemary to tomato sauce as you heat it, but be sure you have ground the leaves in a mortar and pestle, as the leaves don’t soften in cooking, easily, whether fresh or dried versions.

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Chili Pepper

Chilis, especially the smallest Asian ones, along with jalapenos, are very good sources of anti-oxidants, and are  nerve pain relievers (usually as a pharmaceutical cream — not as food).

Health benefits:  the component called capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory. This can also temporarily increase heat production in the body, so it helps cool you in hot weather and helps burn more calories for revved-up metabolism and weight-loss. Capsaicin has also been used to help with circulatory problems, which is an issue that many sedentary diabetics have.

However, if you have a sensitive stomach and colon already, use this with great care. Maybe start with small amounts of dried chili powder or a Japanese 7-spice powder, instead of any of the hot, fresh chili peppers.

I would not give this to most children. For diabetic kids, use alternatives.

How to use it: Mix tiny amounts of chilis into mashed potatoes or eggs. Stir it into softened butter, along with a tiny bit of lime, then spread on corn on the cob. Stir a tiny bit in to make Mexican hot chocolate.

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Cinnamon

The word has been out for quite a while about cinnamon’s ability to help diabetics, but actually quite a bit is needed, more than people think. Plus, some things labeled as “cinnamon” are actually “cassia” which is not helpful for this purpose.

Health benefits: real cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effect and it can lower blood sugar. Cinnamon can also have an anti-cancer effect.

There has been some indication that cinnamon can increase metabolism, but exercise and diet are what’s really needed to make the difference.

How to use it: as a sweeter spice, people are more willing to use it. So, sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, sweet potatoes and into applesauce. Even though you can, I don’t recommend eating cookies and pies, but if you do, then be sure to add cinnamon!. Use it to spice meatballs and in drinks when they will be well-mixed.

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Ginger

Ginger is in the same botanical family as Turmeric, so it has many of the same properties. The main one, apart from fabulous flavor (fresh or dried) is that it is a well regarded anti-inflammatory, so it helps to lessen pain, especially for those with osetoarthritis.

Health benefits: Ginger helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, and is very useful for children on car trips or for sea-sickness!

It also helps nausea when related to pregnancy.

For the rest of us, ginger is good for digestion.

How to use it: Grate it and add to broths or to stir-fry dishes. If you steep ginger in hot water and add lemon and honey this will make a soothing digestive tea. Bake gingersnaps or gingerbread as a way for diabetic kids to enjoy this spice as long as you use a diabetic-friendly natural sweetener like a tiny bit of organic maple syrup or stevia. Personally, I like undyed sushi ginger to chop-up into dressings, smoothies, popsicles and more.

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Basil

Basil is a cousin of mint. Most people only think of it in terms of pesto — an Italian sauce for pasta, but Basil is quite versatile. Thai food uses it to good advantage and the Holy Basil of India is used in Tulsi — an important herbal tea.

Health benefits: Like mint, basil also freshens breath. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and it has an alkaline pH. Basil is a  good source of magnesium and vitamin A — both of which are needed in potent doses for diabetics.

How to use it: of course, we’ll mention pesto sauce, and you can pair fresh leaves with tomatoes and mozzarella in a Caprese salad (which I personally find hard-to-eat and suggest you dice everything up and eat it on a plate instead of how it’s usually presented). Finely mince and immediately sprinkle over fish just after cooking. Add it to lemonade. Make holy basil into Tulsi tea or buy the tea directly (at Whole Foods).

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Lavender

Ah, this is another French secret! They will have the best lavender recipes, and lavender honey is incredible (use just tiny amounts, but you don’t need much as it has wonderful flavor!).

Diabetes is very stressful on your body and psyche, so lavender can be very beneficial to help bring calmness, allowing your body to rest and also have a better chance to rejuvenate.

Health benefits: Lavender is very calming and can aid with sleep.

How to use it: The flowers can be used in a tea (for sleeping, add a few lavender buds into chamomille tea — unless you are sensitive to daisies or other aster flowers. Otherwise, just brew a purely lavender tea.).  Lavender can be baked into cookies – with stevia as sweetener.

In the famed herb mix, Herbes de Provence, is a mix of fennel, basil, thyme and lavender which is used with meat, fish, quinoa or brown rice.

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Fresh herbs may seem expensive, but they are not when you think of the benefits they bring — and with less liklihood of side-effects. They are also easy to grown in your garden, or on a patio or balcony or on a windowsill in winter. You can always benefit from many of these listed above, all year, for reasonable cost. See the Titles Archive tab above for my excellent posts on container and indoor gardening!

Enjoy these useful herbs and see if your Health also improves as you incorporate them daily.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

Sources: Patricia Partain, RD; Jamie McDermott, RD; University of Maryland Medical Center; American Cancer Society; whfoods.com; Prevention Magazine; Memorial Sloan Kettering; Food Network.
(c)2011 Chatanooga Times http://www.timesfreepress.com

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I want to revisit low thyroid, as it is a possible source of an incomplete or inaccurate diagnosis for diabetes! Yes, you read that right. Let’s learn more from Dr. Robert Rowen, MD and from Dr. David Brownstein, MD. The first article is here: Diabetes and Thyroid Connection

Dr. Rowen asks in a recent email:

Is your diabetes really hypothyroidism?

If you have hard-to-treat Type 2 diabetes, your problem might not be insulin and your pancreas, but rather, it could be your thyroid!

Research scientists know that both humans and animals exposed to cold temperatures get high blood pressure. Next, they wondered if diabetic mice exposed to cold would get the problem even faster than normal mice.

They placed diabetic and control mice in a constant 41 degrees F environment. The normal mice survived, while the diabetic mice died (in just two hours)!

The team surmised that the diabetic animals died because they couldn’t maintain their body heat — which is regulated by their thyroid gland.

In good scientific fashion, the researchers decided to take it to the next step. They wondered if giving the diabetic animals thyroid hormone might help them withstand the cold.

So, they administered thyroid hormone to the diabetic mice. Those mice increased their body temperature AND even more interestingly, they also had a significant drop in their blood sugar within two hours (and a 50% blood-sugar decrease within four hours)!

The researchers then looked at blood sugar levels at the start of the study, and in the diabetic animals, they found the level had been five times normal! They found that the thyroid levels in these animals were also low.

Diabetes affects at least 150 million people worldwide, and that’s an understatement, as many people do NOT know they are diabetic.

In Oklahoma, where this research was conducted, there are over 268,500 cases of human diabetes. Most of these people, at any age, are obese or overweight;  most can cure it with a proper diet and moderate exercise, alone.

However, Dr. Rowen says that in his practice, he has  seen a number of people resistant to a simple dietary fix. And, there is also a group of adult diabetics who are thin. Yes, you can be thin and be hypothyroid (low thyroid). You can also be heavy, with low thyroid as a contributing factor to that overweight condition — often ascribed to your “diabetes”.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, at any age, then get your doctor to check your thyroid level by blood tests, to include a “free T3, free T4 and TSH” (and Dr. Brownstein insists on these and a few more lab tests: reverse T3, antithyroglobulin and antimicrosomal antibodies … and I think and knowing your Iodine level would be useful). Do not allow your doctor to just order a TSH test (it’s notoriously inaccurate).

However, Dr. Rowen uses the tests and learns a lot because he also compares the results to his patient’s basal body temperature. What’s that?

It’s the important lab test you take yourself as Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, famous endocrinologist in the early 20th century, described.

Dr. Rowen and Dr. Brownstein both ask you to check your “under the tongue” temperature the moment you open your eyes in the morning, three days in a row (several days away from your menstrual period, for women).

You have to have a Basal Thermometer (a special one from the pharmacy — with a numbering scale that let’s you see the tiniest changes in the temperature range that you need to understand).

Shake the mercury down the night before. Have a clock where you register the time. Open your eyes and reach for the thermometer and look at the clock. Do not move, except to breathe, until the 2 or 3 minutes are up.

Your morning, without movement, “basal temperature” should be at least 97.8F. If it’s not, see your integrative physician immediately!

What’s likely needed then? A prescription for T3 (as used in this study) might help your low thyroid and diabetes all in one go. Do NOT let any physician put you on synthetic thyroid preparations! Read more on that next time.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brownstein, MD alerts us to the facts that:
“Your body is composed of 70-80% water, and your brain is closer to 85% water!”

And, thyroid problems, like all illnesses, cannot be solved without getting sufficient water in your diet.

So, here’s how to know if you’re drinking enough water:

Do you have any of these signs of dehydration?

Fatigue
Dry tongue
Coated tongue
Vertical ridges on your nails
Dry skin
Poor skin elasticity

Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, Dr. Brownstein says you could still be water-deficient. It’s extremely common, especially in those with thyroid issues, and maybe that helps to account for that famous “diabetic” thirst!

Here’s an important formula for your recommended water intake:

Take your weight (in pounds) and divide in half.
That amount (in fluid ounces) is your recommended water intake.
That number divided by 8 equals the number of 8 ounce-sized glasses of water you should drink per day.

This process probably works for metric, too, but confirm this with your physician.

I recommend getting a big water bottle and loading it up in the morning. Then, carry it with you, while sipping on it through the day. That’s what I do.

Also, Dr. Brownstein addresses tips to prevent water loss that could lead to dehydration. All liquids are not equal. Only water counts to hydrate you, the rest dehydraye your tissues, in varying degrees. He says:

___   “Don’t overload on caffeine”  . . . (I say, try not to use caffeine, except for 2 cups of green tea a day)
___   “Don’t drink a lot of soda”  . . . (I say, don’t drink any! It’s VERY pH acidic.)
___   “Take it easy on the alcoholic beverages”  . . . ( I say “Why use them?” They are Carbs and do affect your blood-sugar levels, rob you of minerals and vitamins and stress your liver.) Get the “goodness” of wine by eating red organic grapes, instead!

Dr. Brownstein and I recommend that you use a water filter that removes fluoride and chlorine as well as bacteria and parasites. Tap water and bottled water (in plastic bottles) contain chemicals potentially harmful to your thyroid.

Now, I have yet to find a water filter which states that it removes fluoride! So, as my city stupidly voted to fluoridate the water, before I arrived, I go to markets in nearby suburbs which do NOT fluoridate their water and get state-of-the-art commercially-filtered water OR I buy spring water — and decant it into a porcelain crock, immediately.

You need to do all these steps to get baseline information on your health AND to stop the slide on a slippery-slope from these various beverages. More next week.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Still trying to catch-up after my California trip! Dr. David Brownstein, MD – a long-time holistic physician from Michigan –  sounds the alarm bell and we all need to listen! It’s about how your thyroid’s health is connected to diabetic health, heart health, brain health and more!

First thing — watch Dr. Brownstein’s video at: Dr. Brownstein Explains Low Thyroid and there’s an important FREE OFFER, too. You only pay only $5.95 for shipping and get a DVD and 2 books and 2 editions of his newsletter (I think)! Great help for a fabulous price.

And then read another 2 of his newsletters at the following links!
Diabetics and Low Thyroid – 59 Diseases  — and many of these diseases are: 1) life-threatening and 2) avoidable when you know how.

I’ve discussed the importance of the 2 forms of the mineral Iodine many times — now, Dr. Brownstein connects all the dots and shows you what happens when you are malnourished by lack of Iodine, as most people are in the world, now — either due to poor soils, poor food access or poor food choices. Read  Diabetics and Iodine – A Critical Nutrient.

I found all this information very clear and have taken the free offer myself. I try to keep up with thyroid issues as I think it is a multi-generational problem in part of my family. Even I learned new things from Dr. Brownstein and I expect the 2 books will be worthwhile, too.

Do make sure that you learn all you can about hypothyroidism as low thyroid can be causing or contributing to your diabetes!

While you are waiting for more of his information:

___    start eating sea vegetables and edible seaweeds – they are Nature’s blood-thinners and are a great alkaline source of unpolluted Iodine. (If you are on blood-thinners, consult your physician. You can still eat these, but the dose of meds may need to be adjusted.).

___   You can make sure that you erase man-made foods with nitrates, as nitrates wreck our thyroid!

For example – breads are “fortified” with the synthetic B vitamin Thiamine Mononitrate (make sure your flours, pastas, dry cereals and doughs [and vitamin pills] do not have it! Use natural whole grains, instead.)  Do not use processed meats, sausages, bacon which have nitrates added. Check labels on other processed foods.

___   Iodized salt is NOT a good Iodine source! (Dr. Brownstein explains why it is not). Instead, use a complete, whole sea-salt like Celtic Salt from Brittany, France  OR Eden-brand Sea Salt.

___   Avoid most baked goods, dry cereals, pasta and pizza doughs which are literally killing you, for a second reason. Because of a changed-process in industrial baking made in the 1970s, Bromine was added instead of the long-used Iodine.  Business hasn’t changed even though the problems with Bromine came to light a long time ago.  Sodas also contain a form of this killer, Bromine.

More when I can!

Best to all – Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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