Nov 01

Mealtime Shortcuts + Healthy Eating Solutions

My fingers on the keyboard, pondering how to open this topic and my mind quickly goes to a phrase: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Seriously, in the world of Amazon Prime, we can surely find a way to make dinner healthier, easier, and faster. Maybe we just use Amazon Prime 🙂 So let me just get right to it. Here are some of my kitchen hacks on how to build an easier dish and simpler solutions for mealtime.

Salads:

  • If you plan to have a daily salad, make a large one and store it in the salad spinner. It will last longer, and usually, when you open the fridge it will be at eye level, which will also influence you to eat/want more of it.
  • To whip together a diverse salad without chopping a lot of things, combine coleslaw vegetables with lettuce greens. Come mealtime, top this with high-quality protein (wild, canned seafood or pre-grilled meat) and nuts, and you are good to go. Portable packets of extra virgin olive oil are clutch, along with lemon packets. This serves as a simple, portion-controlled dressing.
  • Portable fruit is a great way to round out a salad-based meal. Don’t fear carbs.
  • Whatever you store the salad in, put a paper towel in with it. It will extend the life of the leafy greens. If I have 1 limp salad, my desire for salad over the next few days…are limp.

Sides:

  • Buy pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables/fruit. Have you seen the awesome cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s and Costco? Or the frozen zoodles from Trader Joe’s? Easy peasy. You can microwave both of these. Top with some olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper. Nom nom.
  • Canned organic beans. So versatile. Open a can and rinse the beans and toss them in a skillet with a little avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Stir for 5-10 minutes, depending on the texture you prefer. Sometimes, I just want them warm. Overall beans are a great slow-cooker or vegetable addition. Have you made chili yet this Fall? It’s a 5-minute prep process! Pull a pound of ground meat out of your freezer, organic beans, organic diced tomatoes and a pre-mixed spice packet (you can make your own combination, but we are talking easy here). Toss all the above in the slow-cooker and let cook for 6 hours on high and you are good to go. I love my chili with a dollop of guacamole (Costco has a great pre-packaged one. I do not like the 100 cal packs of guacamole as they taste off).
  • Roast veggies (3 sheets of veggies at a time. Make true use of the time you are using the oven. I often roast chopped Brussel sprouts, frozen veggies and some form of potatoes).
  • Fruit or sliced veggies with nut butter packets (like these).
  • I make a box of lentil-based pasta every week (I get my pasta from Trader Joe’s or Thrive Market). I drizzle olive oil on it after cooking to prevent leftovers from clumping together. This is a handy and satisfying side to mix with most things.

Slow-cooker: Perhaps I should have put the chili comments down here, but REALLY, befriend a slow-cooker and/or an Instapot. The saved time will be worth your money. Shoot, you can even use Kohl’s cash on these kitchen tools. Tis the season.

  • I work from my freezer (A LOT) and my family really enjoys when I do slow-cooker tacos/Mexican. I pull out a bag of frozen diced peppers and onions (Trader Joe’s), a pound of ground meat and spices. Sometimes, I will get a little frisky and add in some salsa. If I don’t do the salsa, I just add a little broth. Thanks to Costco for conveniently offering bone broth at an awesome price, I often have a carton opened in my fridge at all times. The broth is great for bumping up the nutrition of a meal and reducing the need for adding fat to saturate ingredients.
  • Chicken Artichoke (hello fiber) Stew: I get the frozen artichoke from Trader Joe’s, I use 2-3 chicken breast, enough broth to just cover, a carton of sliced mushrooms and enough peas to add good color. Salt and pepper to taste, cook on high for 6 hours. This is awesome when paired with some cauli-mash.  

Breakfast:

  • Meal prep paleo pancakes. Pancakes were my go-to before I knew I was sensitive to eggs (KBMO Fit Test). Overall they are healthy, filling, high in protein and good fat and easy to take when wrapped in foil. I like the recipe of just mixing a small banana with 3 eggs – or – adding 1 scoop of protein powder (like my favorite one from Standard Process) + 2-3 eggs. Mix the 2 ingredients together until you get a batter-like consistency and make 1-2 pancakes out of it.
  • Overnight oats (gluten free) with collagen protein powder and some nuts/chia seeds in mason jars. 
  • Combine smoothie ingredients in a blender, the night before, and store in the fridge. Come morning, you can blend and go.

Lunch:

  • Carton/canned real food soups. I like Amy’s brand among many of the cartons offered at Whole Foods, Mariano’s Fresh Thyme, etc. Be sure to add collagen (I buy mine from Vital proteins or Thrive Market) to help keep blood sugars stable and assist with keeping you full until the next meal. Also consider adding a fat to round out the meal (olives, avocado, olive oil packet, nuts, seeds, etc)
  • Chicken sausages – and I am picturing the various flavors from AmyLu. Throw 2 of these in the microwave or skillet, slice and have with some fermented saurkraut. Pair with some leftover roasted veg or gluten-free grain like wild rice.
  • Mason jars salads
  • Leftovers

Dinner: always double recipes and use leftovers for following lunches and dinners.

  • Regardless of what you put together – keep the ingredients simple.
  • Breakfast for dinner! Pleases everyone.
  • Buy an organic rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods (or from somewhere like Boston Market, but when the quality of the chicken is lower, avoid eating the skin) and have it with a salad kit or leftovers.
  • Cook fish from frozen. My fam loves the salmon burgers from Costco. Heat oven to 400F, cook for 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. 
  • Have a smoothie for dinner. Mix frozen greens, vegetables, ice/water, spices (cinnamon, ginger, or cocoa) with some frozen fruit, high-quality protein powder. I always top my smoothies with something crunchy to help enjoy “eating” my meal. I like baked coconut flakes, sunflower seeds or cocoa nibs.

Above all:

  • Be organized – have the right tools in your kitchen: a good knife, cutting boards, blender, food processor, slow-cooker, ceramic skillet, and a white/board.
  • The whiteboard or menu board can help make the meal ideas easy – and assist in building a grocery list. Try to only grocery shopping 1-2x a week to save time, and download an app like AnyList to have a handy list at all times.
  • Pack your lunch – and be sure to have good containers, thermos, shaker bottles, water bottles and lunch boxes. I have way too many water bottles and bento boxes, but you know what? I am always hydrated and have a packed meal when need be.
  • Buy as many things you can online. I use Amazon Prime (also for Whole Foods produce) and Thrive Market.

What tips and tricks do you use/do? I want to hear, selfishly to make the mealtime even easier!

Oct 30

Books on Empowerment

Books are my new favorite form of self-care and no doubt, I love the self-help section. This list was inspired by Danielle over at Diabetes Dominator and hopefully it can inspire you.

Oct 26

Winning with Diabetes

When I say “winning,” please don’t think it means I have perfect blood sugars, or I am skipping through this journey with bliss. Hella no. This disease is hard BUT in the last 26 years, I have unknowingly grown to love it.

You see, I was diagnosed in second grade, which is also where most of my memories begin, and I have always expressed, written and stated we need to live life to the fullest. I believe with every single one of my doctor’s appointments, shoot blood sugar tests/pricks, I fear death, and with that fear, I want to live and appreciate every minute I have in my life.

Am I alone with this thought? I don’t think so. Last month at the Weekend for Women, Diabetes Sister’s conference I attended in DC, the keynote came from Shawn Shepheard, who happened to also have type 1 diabetes. He shared that on Christmas, many moons ago, when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he needed to immediately “squeeze every minute out of life.” What an honest thought, and I recognized that he too doesn’t want to downplay the health statistics that are not in our favor, but rather he wants to use this fuel to seek happiness.

Like Shawn – I am “winning with diabetes” because it has given me the opportunity to be more connected to my soul, my purpose, my passion and serves as a reminder to seek happiness and adventure.

I have accepted my limitations and I continue to push beyond them and I thank gratitude for the solution.

How are you winning in life?

Sep 29

Burnout

As I sit (let’s be honest, I am standing) here at my desk, I am having a serious brain bash because my mouth is numb from the dentist and my mind is telling me to run and go drink a tub of honey. How does this make sense? Well, when my blood sugar is super low my tongue and the side of my mouth always tingle. If you have diabetes, I am sure you can empathize. To say the least, while I am working, my eyes are glued to my continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

In a nutshell, this situation I am experiencing right now is how I have felt about my diabetes in the last month. It’s been a knee-jerk and while my blood sugars have been decent, they have been way too much freaking work to be where they are. And never in my (adult) life have I cared about what people think, or where their eyes go when I meet or greet them, but I am feeling sensitive about the fact many people directly look at my Dexcom arm, which usually has a bright purple sticker on it and my upper back where I have been recently hosting my insulin pod. Indeed I ripped my CGM off my arm last night partly because I am over this! I needed a break, and although my CGM break was short, I found myself seeking a new spot (my butt) to put my Dexcom to deal with this emotion.

What’s going on with me? I usually jump at the opportunity to educate people about what is on my arm and back…Ahhh, I am totally burned out.

My lifestyle and diabetes are not dancing very well together, and I realize I need to take a big deep breath (or 10) and figure out how to get the 2 at least on the same radio station. The best way to do this, I am finding is slowing down, breathing more and talking about it.

I have dozens of clients with diabetes and while I am providing sound recommendations I am being transparent with my current struggle and human feelings. Simply writing this post is allowing me to have a weight lifted off my shoulders and I would love for viewers to add any feedback or mentions on how they can relate in the below comment section.

I may be the @diabeticdietitian, but I am not superhuman. I want to eat or be able to not eat whenever I want, sleep however I want (often I roll onto my CGM or pod and it hurts), and not think about the carb, protein, fat breakdown of food. I can loosen my expectations for my control, but I know that will make me a cranky person, so what goes?

Instead, I am making small tweaks, setting boundaries (like turn phone to airplane mode come 9pm or really work at being present when I am with people) and reaching for broader goals. As shared, instead of chucking off my CGM for days or months (which is totally fine to do, and I have done that), I am finding more conservative spots to stick my CGM and my pod (lower back) until I want to forwardly talk about them in public. Instead of obsessing about tight control, I mapped out a plan to eat super nutritious, and more importantly, desired foods. I know what I like, I know how to bolus for some of my favorite foods, I just need to slow down, lighten my to-do list and ground myself.

Diabetes can knock us down sometimes, but it brings us opportunities and connections we would never have otherwise. As my Insta-friend @type1dchick put it best, “God gave his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers” and I will add that the diabetes community is a strong one and a great place to be.

Chin up.

Sep 28

Food Is Thy Medicine

Diabetes Sisters is hosting their Weekend for Women conference October 13-15 and I will a guest speaker presenting on my take on wellness with using food as medicine.

In summary, the food we choose to eat has an immediate impact on our blood sugar, and each day we are given the chance to assess, learn, and improve. In 25 years, I have learned and continue to learn through my blood sugar data and current research, low carb proves to be successful. But are all carbs equal? How low should we go? What unconventional wisdom is the biggest payoff to know for long-term health? With every bite of food, we are giving ourselves the chance to not only survive but thrive. Our grocery list shall be a prescription pad, and our kitchen is a pharmacy. I invite you to come and participate in learning.

Keep Reading

Aug 28

When Illness Meets Passion & Profession: My Take on Wellness

I can’t wait! Come September 14th, during the lunch hour, 12noon, at Columbus, OH JDRF (or more so 200 W Wilson Bridge Building (Worthington Industries)—conference room #132), I will be pumping the crowd with all my nutrition tactics when it comes to blood sugar control. I hope to see you there!

#foodisthymedicine #type1since1991 #nutritionadvocate #diabetesadvocate #letmehelpyou

PRESENTATION: Using Food As Medicine

The food we choose to eat has an immediate impact on our blood sugar, and each day we are given the chance to assess, learn, and improve. In 25 years, I have learned and continue to learn through my blood sugar data and current research, low carb proves to be successful. But are all carbs equal? How low should we go? What unconventional wisdom is the biggest payoff to know for long-term health? With every bite of food, we are giving ourselves the chance to not only survive but thrive. Our grocery list shall be a prescription pad, and our kitchen is a pharmacy. I invite you to come and participate in learning how to use food as medicine. Discover what type of meal is best to begin your day with for blood sugar control and hormonal balance, and how to go from there, to live a rich, energized, and sexy life.  

ABOUT: Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN

Kelly is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian, Author and a real food wellness advocate. On Kelly’s journey, she did not initially seek out nutrition… it came to her. In 1991 she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she quickly learned the power of, “food is thy medicine.” She has an indistinguishable passion for no-nonsense nutrition and helping people discover the healthiest version of themselves. In 2012, Kelly opened her private practice, Kelly Schmidt Wellness, where she helps hundreds of people with blood sugar control, nutrition counseling, touring grocery stores, wellness programs, speaking engagements and more.

Kelly gets it. She has had her own health struggles, including weight and nutrition confusion… after all, her childhood nickname was Stubbs! With this, she approaches each client uniquely, helping them to once again get in-tune with their body, and learn how to interpret its messages. She will be an advocate for you, and teach you how to be your own. She believes life is too short to not have the best quality of life every day.

 

Aug 17

Peach Gobbler “Sandwich”

I choose my meals based on 1) desire, 2) blood sugar control/moderating the carbohydrates in the meal, 3) foods I tolerate (use of an elimination diet and a food sensitivity test), 4) my activity level and 5) satiety. I aim to allow a meal to keep me full from one meal to the next, or 4-6 hours. On this work day, I came up with a “sandwich” that was so awesome that I had to share the details. I’ll call it the “Peach Gobbler.”

On this work day, I came up with a “sandwich” that was so awesome that I had to share the details. I’ll call it the “Peach Gobbler.” It’s packed with protein to help keep my blood sugars stable, a few healthy carbohydrates to help round out the meal, and healthy fat to keep me satiated. I have found that it’s easy to keep my blood sugars in range and steady by keeping the total grams of carbohydrates in a meal to less than 30 grams. This came to 23 grams. Nice!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 3 ounces of organic turkey deli meat
  • 1 small white peach, sliced
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese
  • 2 slices of bacon, sulfate free, turkey
  • salt, pepper, fresh cilantro and green onion to taste
  • a drizzle of raw honey

DIRECTIONS

Use 2 romaine lettuce leaves as a stand in for sliced bread.

Layer on the deli meat, goat cheese, spices/herbs, then honey, topping it all off with warm bacon and the remaining lettuce leaves.

Slice in half and enjoy.

For extra credit and nutrition add some fermented vegetables as a side and a fat-bomb for a treat!

Nutrition Details – sources include USDA

  • Total calories: 398
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Protein: 39 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 23 grams

Jul 27

Treat.Your.Self.

This year, 2017, has been filled with gems. From our first family ski trip to seeing dear friends get married to finding my village in our new(ish) community and more. But this year has also involved a lot of loss. Loss of family members and people who seem like family. After returning from my husband’s hometown after saying goodbye to his childhood home mid-June, I stated, “We’ve done enough #adulting for a lifetime.” Overall with the waves of life, we need to be reminded to make each day count and to give ourselves grace.

In the last 72 hours, I have said this very statement at least twice in all my counseling sessions. We are all focused on bettering our health, and we need to be graceful with how the journey unfolds.

Wellness is far more than diet, probiotics, sleep, and exercise. It’s about being connected with ourselves and knowing that we are worthy. We are the very person we should be at this very moment and we need to stop doing and start being. Being in the sense of self-love, forgiveness, and self-acceptance.

Life is short and amazing. Each week find time to take care of yourself. It doesn’t have to be a spa day, but it has to be something more than what we are accustomed to doing.

These images were gathered from some of my Insta-friends @thebalancedbeancounter, @catharticspacecounseling & @cappellos.

Jul 12

How Much Health Affects Your Wealth

How Much Your Health Impacts Your Wealth

Via: InvestmentZen.com

Jun 22

Activated Charcoal Lemonade with Collagen Recipe

*This article was originally published on Thrivemarket.com/blog

Our take on the activated charcoal lemonade craze looks much cooler than the sludge-colored detox drinks everyone seems to be sipping lately. We froze our activated charcoal into ice cubes, creating a stark contrast when served in bright lemonade. When the ice starts to melt, it creates a cool-looking swirling effect as the charcoal mixes with the drink. To give it an extra boost, we mixed in Great Lakes Gelatin’s Collagen Hydrolysate powder. Collagen helps keep joints flexible and skin supple but because it decreases with age, it’s important to replenish with collagen-rich foods or supplements. This powder from Great Lakes has been hydrolyzed so it won’t congeal and features a unique combination of amino acids that may be beneficial for bone and joint health.

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL LEMONADE WITH COLLAGEN

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours (freezing time included)

INGREDIENTS

For the activated charcoal ice cubes

For the collagen lemonade

INSTRUCTIONS (Youtube video here)

Make the activated charcoal ice cubes

Break charcoal capsules by cutting with scissors to add the charcoal powder to a large container. Add the water. Stir until blended. Pour the liquid into ice cube molds. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Make the collagen lemonade

In large pitcher, add honey, collagen powder, and hot water; stir until honey dissolves. Add lemon juice and cold water; stir until well mixed. Fill a glass with activated charcoal ice cubes and pour lemonade over the ice. Garnish with lemon slice.

Recipe credit: Angela Gaines

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

Related Articles:

Use of Activated Charcoal 

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