Take diabetes to heart this Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 5, 2019 at 12:28 PM CST
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November is National Diabetes Month. This year’s focus is on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes. This is because over time, high blood sugar from diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart. The good news is that the steps you take to manage your diabetes can also help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

One of these steps is to manage your A1C level. The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about your average level of blood sugar over the past three months. This test can be used to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes; it can also provide insight into blood sugar management for someone living with diabetes.

Have you had your A1C tested? This month Hy-Vee is offering a FREE A1C Screening with your Hy-Vee Dietitian. For this test, participants do not need to fast and walk-ins are welcome. This quick 10-minute test will include discussion of your results. For more information or to find out when the A1C test will be offered at your Hy-Vee store, contact your local Hy-Vee Dietitian.

Free A1C Test at Hy-Vee

Locations for Healthy You Mobile, store parking lots:

- Tuesday, November 5; 3-7pm; 20 Wilson Ave SW, Cedar Rapids; Kim Proctor (319) 366-2700

- Wednesday, November 6; 3-7pm; 5050 Edgewood Rd NE, Cedar Rapids; Christy Frese (319) 378-0762

- Friday, November 15; 8am – Noon; 3285 Crosspark Rd, Coralville; Julie Gallagher (319) 665-2220

- Tuesday, November 19; 8am – Noon; 1914 8th St, Coralville; Stephanie Vande Brake (319) 351-5523

- Thursday, November 21; 8am – Noon; 1125 N Dodge St, Iowa City; Lindsey Frisbie (319) 354-9223

- Thursday, November 21; 3-7pm; 1720 Waterfront Dr, Iowa City; Natalee Gent (319) 354-7601

- Friday, November 22; 8am – Noon; 812 South 1st Ave, Iowa City; Hailey Boudreau (319) 338-9758

Tips for Managing Diabetes over the Holidays

Diabetes Tip: People living with diabetes can enjoy all the same foods everyone else in the family enjoys. While no foods are off limits, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind for your holiday meal:

• DO eat breakfast rather than skipping it in “preparation” or anticipation of the holiday meal. Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day can help stabilize blood sugars. Plus, it’s easier to make better food decisions with a mild level of hunger as opposed to being extremely hungry. Opt for a nutritious high fiber breakfast such as oatmeal and/or a pre-holiday-meal snack such as raw vegetables and dip.

• DO choose a smaller plate. Food psychology shows less food is just as satisfying when served on a smaller plate. We eat with our eyes – often until our plate is cleared. Less is more – especially on a smaller plate!

• DO plan your buffet line strategically. Again, food psychology shows we’ll fill our plates with the first items in line, and then take less of the later items as the plate fills up. Place your dishes in this order on the buffet line: vegetable or fruit trays, cooked vegetable dishes, protein options (turkey, ham, etc.), higher fiber carbohydrate choices (for example, our wild rice stuffing recipe), other carbohydrate choices (mashed potatoes, traditional stuffing, rolls, etc.) and then desserts.

• DO pay attention to the order you eat your food. Did you know the order in which you eat your foods can affect blood sugar? First eat your protein, then your vegetables, and then eat your carbohydrates last. The protein & fiber help to slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar.

• DO bring a vegetable side dish or a healthier recipe to holiday gatherings. This way you’ll for sure have one good option to enjoy!

• DO be aware of holiday beverages. Did you know we tend to poor a larger glass of white wine versus red wine because it is more difficult to see the white wine filling up the glass?

• DO choose your favorite holiday dishes or desserts and ENJOY them! There are no foods off limits. Deprivation typically back-fires. It can be difficult for people living with diabetes when well-intentioned family members play food police. Remember, all foods can be savored, pie included – especially on Thanksgiving! Do keep portion size in check and relish each bite.

• DO balance the meal with activity! A nice walk after the meal can help you stabilize blood sugar.

• DO try one of the diabetes-friendly recipes below!

Wild Rice Stuffing

Diabetes Tip: Choose higher fiber carbohydrate sources and pair them with protein for better blood sugar control. This recipe uses a whole grain (wild rice) that is naturally higher in fiber and protein. It then adds in vegetables (squash, onion, celery and mushrooms) and nuts (pecans) for even more nutrition. Plus this recipe works for a variety of special diet needs as it is also gluten-free and vegan – a perfect side dish for a large holiday gathering.


Serves: 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

All you need:

1 ½ cups wild rice blend

1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeds removed, and chopped*

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cups, plus 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided

1 yellow or red onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup roughly chopped pecans

Salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

1. First, cook the wild rice. Add 1 ½ cups wild rice blend, 3 cups vegetable broth (or water), and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top of the pan and turn the heat down to low. Simmer 40-45 minutes or until the rice is al dente. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the butternut squash. *For easy peeling, pierce the whole squash with a fork or knife and microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften. Then proceed to peel and chop. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the diced squash on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender, turning once.

3. Sauté the vegetables. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until tender. Add the mushrooms, garlic, herbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons broth and cook until vegetables are softened.

4. Assemble components of recipe. When the rice is done cooking, pour the rice in a large bowl. Add the roasted butternut squash, sautéed vegetables, dried cranberries and pecans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm as a hot side dish or at room temperature as a cold salad (or even over salad greens with an apple cider vinaigrette dressing).

Nutrition facts per serving: 277 calories, 10g fat, 43g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 7g protein, 186mg sodium.

Holiday Pie Stacks

Diabetes Tip: Pumpkin or pecan? It can be hard to pick your favorite kind of pie.. why not have both with this elegant and satisfying smaller portioned pie stack! Make a big impression with this show-stopping dessert that’s easier to make than it looks!

Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Magazine

Serves: 8

Total Time: 10 minutes

All you need:

2 fresh Hy-Vee Bakery Pumpkin Pies

2 fresh Hy-Vee Bakery Pecan Pies

Whipped cream, for garnish

All you do:

1. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out four rounds out of each pie.

2. Stack pecan pie rounds on top of pumpkin pie rounds.

3. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.

Stephanie Vande Brake represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community. Stephanie is a Registered Dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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