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How to Increase Self-Control for Diet & Food

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Dec Infographic 2Food discipline is challenging to maintain throughout the many holiday parties. All the food and desserts act as a constant temptation. To manage your diabetes, you will have to work extra hard to maintain the willpower necessary for healthy eating habits. If you’re worried about struggling with diet and food this holiday season, just keep these tips in mind to increase your self-control and food discipline.

  • Be on the Offense: One of the best ways to stay ahead of your diet is to be on the offense. They say the best defense is a good offense, and the same goes for your food discipline. You can’t fall behind if you start far ahead due to preparation.
  • Define Your Goals: When you have an aim in mind, in this case, to increase your food discipline, one of the most powerful techniques is to define your goals ahead of time. The act of formally defining your goals can serve as a powerful motivator to stay on track. Write your goals down somewhere you can come back to frequently.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: At some point, you may find yourself cheating on your diet or slipping up. With all the temptations of the holidays and the fact that it is a time to relax and be merry with family, you’ll probably find yourself eating some foods you probably shouldn’t. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not productive in the end.
  • Manage Your Stress & Sleep: As we’ve mentioned earlier, high-stress levels can wreak havoc on every aspect of your wellness if left unmanaged. The holidays might be jam-packed with parties and family plans, but for the sake of your health, both physical and psychological, make sure to get the right amount of sleep every day. Otherwise, you’ll feel extra stressed, fatigued, and much less disciplined with your diabetes management.
  • Make Healthier Treats & Food: In terms of a really practical technique, bake and cook healthy treats and food you can bring with you or serve at the holiday parties you have planned. We have numerous recipes on our website you can check out if you need some good ideas. Check them out here.
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Turkey leftovers give diabetes-friendly options

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gif_turkey002PR_cAs we approach the holidays and observe Diabetes Awareness Month, Chef John Wright offers some suggestions on using turkey leftovers and ways to incorporate turkey into your eating plan.

Meals built around turkey can be more than just holiday favorites. Turkey is low in fat and high in protein. It is cheap source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. A serving of turkey is a 2 to 3-ounce cooked portion. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 2 to 3 servings from the meat group each day.

The following portions represent 100 grams, approximately 3 1/2 ounces, of sliced meat from a whole roasted turkey. A 3 1/2-ounce portion of turkey is about the size and thickness of a new deck of cards. The fat and calorie content varies because white meat has less fat and fewer calories than dark meat and skin.

As you ponder menu items for your leftover holiday bird, consider these recipes from Chef Wright:

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Roasted Turkey Chicken Salad

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IMAG3879-11 cup roasted turkey, chopped

2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise

5 red seedless grapes cut in half

2 teaspoons chopped pecans

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Put mixture into a half of whole wheat pita with lettuce and tomato and serve.

Categories : Holidays, Nutrition, Recipes
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1 whole wheat tortilla (8 inch)
¾ cup chopped roasted turkey
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 teaspoon olive oilturkey-leftovers

Place half of pepper jack cheese on bottom half of tortilla.  Put chopped turkey on top and then put remainder of pepper jack cheese on top of the turkey.  Fold tortilla in half.  Heat non-stick skillet to medium and put 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet and brown each side of the tortilla, about 3 minutes each side.  Remove from pan and cut into wedges and serve.

Categories : Holidays, Nutrition, Recipes
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Turkey soup a cozy, but smart meal option

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The fall change in weather and the approaching holidays bring opportunities for soup with meals and ideas that use a fall holiday favorite – turkey. Hearty Wild Rice Turkey Soup is not just a turkey dish, but it also offers a wise choice for those living with diabetes and those trying to eat healthier.

Whether your turkey is cubed from the deli or leftovers from a holiday meal, it offers a lean, high protein ingredient. Turkey breast is low in fat and contains only about 30 calories per ounce. The recipe referenced calls for about 8 ounces of chopped turkey in the entire dish.

The dish is also a low-carb delight because its main source of carbohydrates – long grain wild rice – adds only about 10 grams of carbs per serving. Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice also provides a hearty, nutty flavor and is a source of fiber, protein and whole grains.

IMAG3811This dish contains tasty fresh vegetables (onions and celery) that are sautéed in a margarine-type spread instead of oil. The Diabetes Management & Supplies “I’m in Control” program recommends using plant stanols to get a heart-health benefit.  Plant stanols or plant sterol esters lower total cholesterol and LDL.

They are found in fortified items such as margarine-type spreads, orange juice, cheese, and yogurts.  These products can be found in your local grocery story.

Recommended intake 2 grams /day = 2 Tbsp of these:

  • Smart Balance®
  • Promise Activ®
  • Benecol®

The rest of the soup contains your choice of canned or frozen vegetables. The examples shown use a frozen blend of corn, green beans, peas and carrots. If you use canned veggies, it is recommended that you rinse them thoroughly to eliminate the excess salt. There’s plenty of salt in the low-sodium chicken broth and no other salt was added in cooking or at the table.

See recipe: Hearty Wild Rice Turkey Soup

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Hearty Wild Rice Turkey Soup

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1 TBSP heart-healthy buttery spread containing phytosterols  (Benecol, Smart Balance, or Promise Activ)

2 TBSP finely chopped white onion

2 medium (6 inches) celery ribs, chopped

¼ tsp black pepper

8 oz leftover chopped cooked turkey (about 2 cups)

2 cans (14.5 oz) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup leftover (or frozen) chopped mixed vegetables

1 cup cooked wild rice blend, any brand

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp ground thyme

In a medium saucepan (2-3 quarts), melt margarine over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery and sauté until vegetables are softened. Sprinkle with black pepper. Added chopped turkey, broth, vegetables, rice, onion powder and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook 20 minutes. Serve with whole grain crackers.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 1 cup

Per serving: Calories: 127 | Carbohydrate: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g | Saturated fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g

Exchanges per serving: ½ starch |  2 lean meat | Carbohydrate choices: ½

Categories : Holidays, Nutrition, Recipes
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Eating Wright: Cook your way to good control

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john_close_ingredientsHealthy eating and nutritional support are valuable assets for people living with diabetes. Chef John Wright of Diabetes Management & Supplies uses both his culinary knowledge and his personal experience with type 1 diabetes to provide meal-planning support and cooking demonstrations.

In a recent cooking demo, Chef Wright prepared a Breakfast Burrito while DMS dietician Ellen Smith, RD, LDN, explained the nutritional value of the meal and how participants can incorporate the dish in a healthy eating plan. The breakfast dish features two very lean protein sources  – shrimp and eggs – as well as vitamin-rich bell peppers and whole wheat tortillas.

See slideshow below and full recipe and nutritional values: Breakfast Burrito.

Chef Wright, the DMS marketing and sales director, uses an insulin pump to help control his blood sugar and has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years. Follow Eating Wright through the following online features:

Live cooking demonstrations with nutritional support:

  • 1st and 3rd Thursdays – Humana Guidance Center, Veterans Boulevard, Suite 2B, Metairie, LA, 70005
  • (504) 219-6616
  • 3rd Wednesdays August-December – Diabetes Management & Supplies, #10 Commerce Court, New Orleans, LA 70123 (504) 734-7165

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DMS offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific nutrition needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

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Breakfast Burrito

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Breakfast Burrito


1 egg, scrambled

3-4 shrimp, sautéed

2 tablespoons white onion, sautéed

2 tablespoons red bell pepper, sautéed

1/8  cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

1 small wheat tortilla

1 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper


Cook onion and bell pepper in olive oil until tender.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan and cook until pink.  Set aside.  Scramble egg in non stick skillet and set aside.  Take wheat tortilla and fill bottom half with shrimp, onion, bell pepper and eggs.  Top with pepper jack cheese and roll up.  Serve with salsa or sour cream.

Makes one serving

Nutritional value: Calories – 412 calories; Carbohydrate – 29.33 g; Fiber – 3.6 g; Sugar – 1.04 g; Protein -  16.86 g; Fat – 26.71 g; Cholesterol – 39.7 g; Saturated Fat – 7.33 g; Sodium – 434.11 g

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Don’t let diabetes sideline you at the cook-out

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Summer-grill--party--BBQ-jpgThe summer months are a prime time for outdoor dining and entertaining. People living with diabetes may think that they have to miss out on, but there’s no reason to stay home and miss the fun. From holiday cook-outs to weekend barbecues, the fun time summertime gives people living with diabetes several opportunities to be social and healthy butterflies.

Elaine Blackwood, Diabetes Management & Supplies certified diabetes educator advises that you plan ahead and keep blood sugar and portion control in mind. “I always encourage looking for veggies but not the dip to munch on,” Blackwood said adding that a couple pieces of cheese is great finger food while mingling at a cook-out.

shrimp_appChef John Wright’s collection contains a Shrimp Appetizer that can also be served over rice or pasta and used as a side dish. Served alone, the shrimp appetizer doesn’t contain any carbohydrates and can be a great substitute on the chip-and-dip table with the other crunchy snacks. Loading up on low-carb items and fruits and veggies will help control the blood-sugar spikes that can often occur after a cook-out or barbecue.

Blackwood also recommends bringing your own bottled water in case your hosts only have soda or alcohol. It is also a perfect time to drink flavored water or sugar-free soda as a treat.

Another strategy is to not leave home hungry. “Depending on the timing of the barbecue, I try to keep my timing the same and may eat ahead of time or have a snack so I’m not so hungry and want to eat everything.” Blackwood said.

If you are doing the meal-planning, remember that heart healthy items like salmon and tuna are also great for throwing on the grill. Check out this recommended recipe for Grilled Salmon Salad. It’s a quick, easy way to eliminate a lot of fat and calories, but it keeps the favor and variety high. Fresh fruit is a summertime treat and ending with something like Strawberries and Yogurt Sauce is a good way to keep things fresh and lite.

salmon_saladIf healthy grill items are not available, Blackwood says you can always eat the hamburger (mustard and relish are free foods), but without the bun. This leaves carb exchanges for the corn-on-the-cob or potato salad. Pile on the salad fixings and dab a tiny bit of dressing.  Blackwood adds “My brain will look at my plate and say ‘Wow, you have a lot to eat!’”

For more on summer picnic and cook-out ideas, check out “Get Ready for Summer Picnics and Barbecues” from the American Diabetes Association.

DMS offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific exercise needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.

Contact DMS diabetes educator Elaine Blackwood at

Also see these related items:

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Shrimp Appetizer

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Shrimp Appetizer



  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 4 teaspoons cajun seasonings
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 18 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 medium fresh lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Blend together garlic and basil and place in oil. (This can be mixed together ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend). Sauté’ garlic and basil in a skillet for about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and continue to saute’ for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Add seasoning blend (to taste), then add white wine. Allow to simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Immediately before serving, squeeze fresh lemon over shrimp. Serve hot. This can be used as an appetizer or as part of the main course for a meal if served over pasta or rice. Serves 4.

Nutritional value: Calories: 150 – Carbohydrate: 0 grams – Protein: 14 grams – Fat: 5 grams

Nutritional value with 1/3 cup of brown rice: Calories: 222 – Carbohydrate: 15 grams – Protein: 16 grams – Fat: 5.5 grams (1g fiber)

Nutritional value with 1/2 cup of wheat pasta: Calories: 237 – Carbohydrate: 18 grams – Protein: 18 grams – Fat: 5.5 grams (3g fiber)

Categories : Nutrition, Recipes
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Ordering Supplies and Equipment

A diabetes treatment plan is very important. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan's success. Make sure you don't run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don't run out of medication.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, we value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is promoting good health.