Defeat Diabetes

This article is the last of our series of Diabetes related posts to close out Diabetes Awareness month this November.

A dose of prevention for you and your kids

Diabetes has become a full-blown epidemic in the U.S. and Canada. Twenty-six million people have been diagnosed with the disease; millions more unknowingly live with it. Among the newly diagnosed are children as young as age five.

The exponential rise of diabetes across North America is no mystery. It’s directly tied to our consumption of processed, refined foods, compounded by our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. If we return to a more natural way of eating and living, the vast majority of us need never worry about diabetes and its associated dangers — blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure, and premature death.

Switching to a healthier, more active lifestyle may pose an inconvenience. But it’s far outweighed by the inconvenience of having to live with a chronic disease.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce or doesn’t properly utilize insulin, the hormone that stores and releases blood sugar (glucose) for energy. It comes in two main forms: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes) is the rarer form of the disease. In it, the beta cells of the pancreas are completely destroyed, requiring lifelong insulin injections. Experts still don’t know what causes type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and, in some ways, more insidious. Experts agree on one of its main causes: over-consumption of simple carbohydrates, which are found in foods that contain refined sugar and refined grains such as white flour, rice, and bread.

How type 2 diabetes develops

One contributing factor to Type 2 Diabetes is the consumption of white bread. White bread is a byword for bland innocuousness. But ironically, it’s foods like white bread that give rise to type 2 diabetes.

When you eat a piece of white bread, it rapidly breaks down into blood sugar due to the dearth of fiber, protein, and essential fat. Your pancreas responds by secreting increased amounts of insulin. If you continue eating simple carbohydrates without sufficient fiber, protein, and essential fat, your body will keep secreting more and more insulin to cope with the surge in blood-sugar levels.

Too much insulin leads to two major health problems: it causes excess glucose to be stored as fat, contributing to weight gain; and it causes blood sugar to drop, a state known as hypoglycemia. To counter the symptoms of hypoglycemia — fatigue, moodiness, and mental fogginess — most people will consume sugary or starchy foods, prompting the vicious cycle to begin all over again.

The body gradually grows accustomed to these fluctuations in blood-sugar levels. As a result, the warning signs of impending disease may go unnoticed for months, even years.

Amid all the bad news, however, there is some good news: unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is preventable.

Help from whole foods

To keep blood sugar balanced, you should eat smaller meals that put less stress on your pancreas and, above all, reduce your daily intake of refined sugar and other simple carbohydrates.

Buy unprocessed, whole foods instead of packaged goods. Whole foods include unrefined grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. These are the most natural foods you can eat and contain an abundance of fiber and essential nutrients without refined sugar or any other unhealthy additives.

Eat as much fresh, raw food as possible. Vegetables contain more nutrients raw than cooked, since the heat of cooking destroys many vitamins and enzymes. Be sure to include fruit in your diet, as well: apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, and grapefruit are particularly beneficial. Given that fruit does contain natural sugars it’s important to consult your physician to understand how much fruit to eat on a daily basis.

Experiment with healthy foods

If eating this way is new to you, take the time to experiment with unfamiliar foods and recipes. Start your day with muesli made from raw oats instead of sugary breakfast cereals or baked goods. Try recipes with quinoa or kamut pasta, brown basmati rice, and bulgur wheat in place of the usual plain white rice and noodle dishes.

Read food labels to ascertain sugar content: some foods, such as pop, consist almost entirely of sugar. Use butter, nuts, seeds, fruits, and whole-grain snacks to replace baked goods and sweets.

If you must indulge your sweet tooth, small amounts of stevia and fructose are the best sugar substitutes. Artificial sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and saccharine, may actually promote weight gain and increase sugar cravings.

Get active

Along with eating well, exercise is also vital for preventing diabetes. Regular exercise stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces the body’s need for insulin.

The best way to start an exercise regimen is slowly but regularly. Just 30 minutes of walking a day offers enormous health benefits and can help to balance blood-sugar levels.

By eating well and being active, you can avoid becoming another statistic and live the long, diabetes-free life you deserve.

Related Diabetes Awareness Month posts:

WalkingSpree’s 30 Days to ask “Why you should care about Diabetes” calendar.

For Diabetes Awareness Month, you can download WalkingSpree’s Diabetes Awareness calendar with walking tips for posting in your workplace or on your fridge as a reminder of the importance of every step you take.

D-Blog day

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Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain

As the holidays approach, this is the time of the year where most people begin to gain weight. It is also the time of year where most people make resolutions to start exercising, eat right and lose weight. It is extremely important to stay disciplined during the holiday season. So for the next few weeks my blogs will focus on holiday tips that will assist you in “Avoiding the Holiday Bulge.”

1. Survey the food first before filling up your plate.
2. Use a 1-10 scale for your favorite holiday foods- Only eat 9s and 10s.
3. Use smaller plates and utensils to help in controlling your portion sizes.
4. Chew sugarless gum while preparing or cooking your holiday food to prevent holiday sampling.
5. Drink a glass of water before your holiday meal. Water is a natural appetite suppresant and may help in controlling your portion sizes.
6. Make a deal with your friends or family that their will be a healthy alternative for every unhealthy dish (Ex. Marshmallow yams and sweet potatoes)
7. Bring your own healthy dish to your friends or families holiday gathering
8. Avoid alcohol because it reduces inhibition and may result in overeating. Instead try drinking apple cider, fruit juice or light eggnog.
9. Fill up on the healthier low calorie foods first, such as vegetables, salads, fruits, high fiber foods.
10. Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have everyday. Instead, use your calories for special holiday or family foods (Meaningful Foods).

Read my other related posts:

Eating in a Tough Economy 1

Eating in a Tough Economy 2

Eating in a Tough Economy 3

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Parfait

Pumpkin Parfait



“This easy parfait would be welcome on any holiday menu. Preparation time is 15 minutes. This recipe is from The WEBB Cooks, articles and recipes by Robyn Webb, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association.”

Serves 6


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 (1 ounce) package instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 cup skim milk


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk and skim milk. Blend together until smooth; place in parfait glasses and chill until set.
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WalkingSpree invited as WELCOA Premium Provider

WELCOA Premium Provider

WalkingSpree has accepted a membership invitation with the Wellness Council of America’s (WELCOA) Preferred Provider Network. WELCOA is one of the most respected resources for workplace wellness in America. With a membership in excess of 3,200 organizations, WELCOA is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all working Americans.

Through WELCOA, WalkingSpree will be able to bring its employee wellness program to more corporations so they can also experience the terrific results. Our corporate members have been able to achieve a 30% to 50% participation rate among employees (as opposed to the wellness industry average of 15%) and add an extra 4,000 steps/day on top of their original starting step average. Research shows a person’s health profile is significantly improved with a 5 to 7 pound weight loss if they walk an extra 2,000 steps a day and maintain it for a year. This shows that WalkingSpree can bring a significant cost savings to a corporation by helping employees become healthier.

WalkingSpree is pleased to be a premium provider for WELCOA and will continue to reach for the highest of industry standards in employee wellness.


WalkingSpree was interviewed on the Cost of “Presenteism in the Corporate Work Environment”. Listen to the podcast to find out the effects of corporate wellness programs, keeping people motivated and your ROI.

Direct link to w3w3 podcast.

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Accelerate your Walking Workout

I have a great walking workout to accelerate your results this week:

1. Clip on your Pedometer (don’t forget to use your lanyard. The lanyard is essential to use to prevent losing your pedometer).

2. Start off with any easy pace, making sure that you’re keeping your arms bent and moving.

3. Make sure to contract your abs, stride strong and now.…..

4. 10-minutes into your walk (your aerobic steps are now activated), do 1-minute of squats making sure you sink back on your hips, keeping your knees behind your toes and exhaling when lifting. When done.

5. Continue walking for another 5-minutes.

6. Stop for 1-minute for a set of Push-ups either against a wall, bench or on the grass if possible. When done, continue walking…yeah…feeling great!

7. Continue walking for 5-minutes increasing your intensity, either by walking faster or a jogging…oh yeah!

8. Slow down and for (you guessed it!) 1-minute Walking Lunges or Stationary Lunges

9. Now if your goal is 20-minutes of cardio end with a BIG FINISH by sprinting/jogging or running for 1 minute. Burning?..Oh yeah…Increased Calories…Definitely!

10. If you want to continue on change your walking with 1/5 combo (1 minute of walking/sprinting/running followed by 5 minutes of walking).

11. Make sure you cool down, followed by stretching. YEAH YOU DID IT!Cool

If you have any questions for me, I’m now online for live chat support every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 (pdt), so don’t hesitate to log on or email me.

Fitfully yours,

Lisa (aka Trainerlisa)

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