Life With Diabetes

Guest Blog from The American Recall Center:
November is National Diabetes Month and at The American Recall Center, we wanted to do our part in helping to raise awareness. Diabetes affects over 25 million people in the United States, or 8.3% of the entire population. Within those 25 million people, over 8 million are undiagnosed, or do not know they are living with diabetes. For diabetes being so widespread, there is a lack of common knowledge about how to recognize diabetes, the different types, and what it takes to manage the disease.  There are also potential risks associated with taking diabetes medication, such as Actos, that we are happy to educate this community about.  An Actos recall has been issued in France and Germany, while the US issued a black box warning on the drug in 2007.
At The American Recall Center, we want to use National Diabetes Month as a platform to help educate everyone about life with diabetes and what they can do to help. With that idea in mind, we reached out to bloggers from all different walks of diabetic-life and asked them for one thing they would like the world to know about this condition. The infographic below, “Life With Diabetes” describes what they want the world to know. So this November, help us raise diabetes awareness by sharing, posting, adding your own voice, and making diabetes awareness the forefront of the national conversation!
Did You Know?
1. Priya Kedlaya, Sugar Free Sweetheart
2. 2011 national diabetes fact sheet. (2011, 05 20). Retrieved from

Vit Fit & Eating Healthy

As a new service we are providing I would like to give you some instructions on just how you should be eating to be as healthy as possible. This will be a good guide for you as you begin logging your meals.

First, I would like to see your current eating habits and what you enjoy eating right now. On our journey together we will see what you may need to eliminate, add or substitute into your diet. I am interested in what YOUR eating habits are like so that my suggestions can be for YOU personally.

Whether, you prefer several small meals or snacks is really your preference. Some people like to eat small meals others like to have a few larger meals. You really need to find what works for you. Different clients of mine have done both methods and have been successful if it is what the client prefers. One thing is for certain, you cannot skip meals. Breakfast especially is important.

Your goals may dictate what foods or the amount of foods you need to eat. Please inform me of your goals and if you have any other diet restrictions or health conditions. You can do this on Meal Logger or by emailing me.

What exactly is a healthy way to eat? 
Any diet that eliminates an entire food group, generally is deficient in many nutrients and is not healthy. Healthy people should consume a variety of foods from each food group in moderation. The food groups include grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy and protein.

A well balanced meal should include a grain or starchy vegetable, a non-starchy vegetable and/or fruit and a protein and/or dairy source that has protein in it.

Grains include breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and things made from flour. The more you can eat that is whole grain, the better. This is because there is more fiber in whole grains which usually results in a person eating less because they feel fuller quicker and longer. Fiber also can help prevent or assist in resolving constipation. Examples of servings from this food group are a half cup of rice or 1 slice of bread. Depending on what you are eating for snacks, each meal should include one or two servings from this food group. This is particularly important when you are exercising because your muscles use the carbohydrates from these foods.

Vegetables include a variety of types, such as starchy vegetables like potatoes, dark green or vegetables of a variety of colors. Usually, when the vegetable is a different color than another vegetable, they have different nutrients. Therefore, you should try to consume a variety of vegetables. Since there is much water in some vegetables, different serving sizes apply to cooked versus raw vegetables. Typically half of a small dinner plate would be two servings or one cup of a cooked vegetable. If you are eating raw vegetables the serving size generally would be double as in the case of spinach which shrinks significantly when cooked. This portion should be your goal for at least two of your meals per day, depending on your needs.
Fruit also comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Try to eat different fruits during the day for a mixture of nutrients. One small fruit like a mandarin, usually is about a half cup and a medium apple is one cup. Fruits can be incorporated into your meals or as snacks. Eating certain fruit with the skin can provide additional fiber.

Foods that contain protein are not just limited to meat. Beans and nuts also contain a significant amount of protein and usually are high in fiber. One-half a cup of beans contains the same amount of protein as if you had two ounces of meat. Two tablespoons of hummus, one tablespoon of nut-butter and one egg all contain as much protein as one ounce of meat. A piece of chicken, meat or fish, the size of your palm is generally one serving of three ounces. If you are trying to cut back on calories and fat, three egg whites contains as much protein as two ounces of meat. If you are concerned with the high fat content of foods, consider lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey and legumes. Many people think when you are exercising you need an extremely high amount of protein. This usually is incorrect and you normally can consume enough protein from food sources.

Dairy includes yogurt, milk and cheese. There are a lot of products on the market now that reduce or eliminate the amount of fat that normally is in dairy. These make a great snack or part of the meal. If you have a lactose intolerance, there are lactose free products, however, people who are lactose intolerant usually do not have an issue with yogurt. There also are a lot of other foods that contain calcium and other nutrients that are found in dairy. Soy products are often fortified with calcium. Dark leafy greens also contain calcium. Calcium is very important for your bones so make sure you are having at least three servings (three cups) of these foods.

Whether you are cooking the meals at home, packing it to go or eating out this method of eating can be successfully done. However, you must plan your meals. Do not leave healthy eating to chance. Keep vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats and low or non-fat dairy available in your house or at work.

I look forward to seeing how you incorporate these things in your meals. If you are having trouble, do not worry. We will work on it together. When you record your food, please be honest and lets have some fun!

I look forward to being able to help you discover how to obtain a balanced, healthy diet that meets your nutritional needs and lifestyle!

Please post any comments, interesting articles or topics of interest and they will be addressed promptly...

In good health
Nicole Tapia
VitFit Nutritionist

Get Fit with Vit

Eat right. 
Go to sleep early. 
Do not drink too much.

We all have heard that we need to do these things to be healthy. Why is it so hard? After all most of us know we should not be snuggling up to an ice cream sundae with a side of a bag of butter lovers popcorn. Some times it is a lack of motivation. Other times we need support.

I have teamed up with Vit Fit Personal Training to help you to achieve the greatest results from your exercise. If you live in or near Sydney, Australia come check out the gym. It is a well-equipped, private training space, where clients can focus on reaching their health & fitness goals.

Meeting your nutrition needs will assist you in achieving your athletic and weight goals. Together with Vit, I can help you to achieve the greatest results from your exercise.

Check out Vit Fit's website at

Stay Health-Minded During Your Vacation by Cole Millen

Consuming savory and sweet foods on a vacation is something that is extremely tempting to most people.  When vacation time arrives, many people are simply tempted to toss in the towel when it comes to maintaining their good dietary habits.  While it is pleasurable to eat delicious foods during a relaxing vacation to savor as much of the trip as possible, this can be done in moderation to maintain a healthy figure and a healthy style of living.  Keeping in mind a few easy suggestions is a great way to mentally prepare yourself to stay fit, active and healthy during the entire time of your getaway while still having a blast!
Be Reasonable About the Foods You Will Eat
It is one thing to make a commitment to avoid all restaurant foods that may be covered in gravy or fried or topped with a ton of delicious melted cheese.  It is another thing to actually follow through with this commitment.  If you really want to indulge in a delectable chocolate dessert or a steak and potato dinner during your vacation, allow yourself that option but simply make preparations to counter-act the extra calories consumed during the indulgence. Try your best to choose the healthy options for the dishes that you are consuming. This will ultimately save you a number of calories and fat at the end of every day.
If you know in the evening you will dine out and try some of your most favorite foods, consider walking during the daytime.  For example, if you tour the city to explore art houses and museums, walking a good portion instead of using a taxi can help you to burn off extra calories to make up for the food you will eat that night.  Additionally, taking time to stroll through the city or area you are visiting will also give you a first-hand view into the location and will give you an even more real experience than zipping through the city in a cab would give you.
Take Advantage of Hotel Services
More than ever hotels are attempting to accommodate to healthy conscious travelers desires and needs. Even still, it is often times difficult to find a place to stay that will allow you to maintain your healthy lifestyle. I have found that a little due diligence goes a long way in this regard. I took a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding not only their different amenities and services but also regarding the restaurants in the surrounding area. This made it so extremely easy to plan ahead and find a great hotel as well as healthy restaurants to eat at on my stay. I have been using it ever since!
Many hotels provide concierge services to meet the needs and comfort of their guests.  This is a great service for any fitness-minded person to take advantage of.  By communicating your desires to engage in a workout session and to find healthy restaurants to dine out at to the concierge service, you will be able to obtain a wealth of good information about fitness options and health food services in the area you are staying at during your vacation.
Begin Each Day with a Good Breakfast
Starting out each day of your vacation with a wholesome and healthy breakfast is a terrific way to ward off hunger cravings and binge temptations throughout the day.  If your hotel offers a continental breakfast, consider opting for oatmeal with fruit or a whole grain cereal and a cup of yogurt.  Fresh juice and fruit and vegetable snacks during the day can also help you to keep from over-indulging during lunch and suppertime.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes for Cancer

By: Michelle Y. Llamas from The Mesothelioma Center
Several studies have been published on the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including potential protection against the development of cancer. Cancerous cells can form when healthy cells are damaged. Fruits and vegetables are sources of antioxidants, molecules that inhibit the damage of the body's cells.
Tomatoes, in particular, have been studied for their cancer-fighting potential. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their rich red color and shows anti-tumor effects in scientific laboratory and animal studiesHowever, lycopene works together with the unique blend of vitamins in tomatoes to produce health-protective effects more potent than lycopene supplementation alone. In one animal study, scientists fed one group of rats tomato powder and another group lycopene supplements. The results showed that the rats fed tomato powder had a much lower cancer risk.
Research has indicated that dietary intake of tomato products may protect against several forms of cancer, however, tomatoes shows particular promise in the prevention and treatment of lung andprostate cancer. In addition, tomatoes also appear to have benefits for people at risk of developing asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma, oral cancer and stomach cancer.
Tomatoes and Lung Cancer
Because the lungs are exposed to high levels of oxygen and other pollutantsthey are more susceptible to oxidative cell damage. To combat this process, lungs can store antioxidants in tissue cells and in the lining of the lungs. One study showed that lycopene was a predominant antioxidant used by the lungs to protect against lung cell damage. 
While research suggests that eating tomatoes may help preventcancer, a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato products may also inhibit tumors in patients with cancer. One study showed that patients with lung cancer who ate more tomatoes were more likely to survive cancerScientists found that whole tomatoes and tomato products were more effective than lycopene supplements.
Tomatoes and Prostate Cancer
Some of the more recent breakthroughs in the study of the benefits of tomato consumption are related to prostate cancer. Scientists at the University of Portsmouth found that lycopene in cooked tomato products may actually inhibit cancer cells from being able to attach to a blood supply, preventing their growth.
While this effect on cancer cells was observed in all types of cancer, researchers focused on prostate cancer because lycopene is known to be stored in the prostate. The initial results have encouraged scientists to pursue more studies. Studies show that lycopene also enhances the anti-tumor effects of the prostate cancer drug Docetaxel.
Tomatoes and Asbestos-Related Cancer
The benefits of tomatoes even extend to asbestos-induced cancers such as mesothelioma. The consumption of tomatoes and tomato juice reduced the risk of developing mesothelioma by as much as 40 percent in people who worked in occupations with asbestos exposure. Tomatoes may also reduce tissue inflammation, one of the aggravating factors for mesothelioma.
Tomatoes also reduce the risk of other cancers that can also be caused by asbestos exposure, such as cancer of the oral cavity and the pharynx. A study showed that people who ate high quantities of tomatoes had half the risk of developing these types of cancer. Lycopene and lutein from tomatoes also prevented the growth of cancerous cells in the colon.
Most researchers agree that processed tomato products contain higher levels of absorbable lycopene. Since the antioxidants in tomatoes are fat soluble, cooking tomatoes with a small amount of oil or fat also helps the body absorb the nutrients.
Bio: Michelle Y. Llamas researches and writes about asbestos and its related diseases for The Mesothelioma Center.
Check out our latest mesothelioma cancer tweets on our twitterpage.
Arab, L., Stck-Scott, S. & Fleishauer, A. (2002). Lycopene and the lung. Retrieved from
Giovannucci, E. (1999). Tomatoes, tomato-based products, lycopene, and cancer: Review of the epidemiologic literature. Retrieved from
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (2012). About herbs, botanicals & other products: Lycopene. Retrieved from
Saren, S., Lieberman, R., Bayraktar, U., Heath, E., Shin, K., Andic, F. & Kucuk, O. (2008). Lycopene in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Retrieved from
Science Daily. (2012). Tomato nutrient may intercept cancer growth. Retrieved from
Tang, Y., Parmakhtiar, B., Simoneau A. R., Xie, J. Fruehauf, J., Lilly, M. & Zi, X. (2011). Lycopene enhances docetaxel's effect in castration-resistant prostate cancer associated with insulin-like growth factor I receptor levels. Retrieved from

Nutrition for the Cancer Patient

By Jillian McKee, Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

For people who have been diagnosed with cancer, whether just diagnosed, in
treatment or remission, proper nutrition is essential. And while making healthy
food choices is important for everyone, cancer patients can benefit even more
from getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals from food. Both the
illness and the treatments used can severely affect appetite. Without the
proper nutrition, symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment can
worsen and greatly decrease health, mood and quality of life. For example,
poor nutrition in cancer patients can lead to fatigue, extreme weight loss, poor
body function and low energy levels.

While good nutrition is recognized as a method to prevent certain cancers, it
can also be used to improve health for those who have already been
diagnosed with the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, good
nutrition is key in improving strength and overall wellness in cancer patients.

The following is a list of foods that increase energy, body function and overall
health and wellness for individuals who are living with cancer:

Fruits and Vegetables

Colorful fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily and with every meal.
Brightly colored produce, from deep greens to bright reds and purples, are
packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The high vitamin and
mineral content will nourish the body, while the antioxidants fight off disease
and rid the body of harmful toxins. Great produce choices include leafy
greens, cherry tomatoes, avocados and antioxidant-rich blueberries,
blackberries and raspberries.


Protein is essential to any diet. Without it, the body loses strength and the
ability to fight off infection. Lean cuts of meat, such as grilled fish or chicken,
are great sources of protein, as are beans, nuts and soy. These foods will
boost strength and energy, and also aid in healing and recovery after
treatments or surgery.

Dietary Fiber

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and pain management
can wreak havoc on the body. One common side effect of such treatments is
constipation. The dietary fiber found in whole grains, such as brown rice,
quinoa and barley, will help relieve the discomfort of constipation by helping
to properly rid the body of waste.


Fats are an important part of any diet: they aid in the digestion of vitamins
and minerals, insulate the body, provide energy and promote healthy organ
function. However, some fats are better than others. Unhealthy fats include
trans-fatty acids and saturated fats, which should be avoided whenever
possible if not eliminated completely.

Some studies suggest that good nutrition can even increase rates of
remission. Mesothelioma survival rates, for example, have been shown to
increase through proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. The bottom
line is that maintaining proper nutrition promotes better health and quality of
life, a primary concern for cancer patients and their loved ones.Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Coconut Fried Brown Rice with Chicken

Eating with any sort of budget can get boring if you do not explore different cuisines. Thai food can certainly be quicker to buy out, but this recipe packs much more nutrients and will help you stay on budget. Using brown rice, adding extra vegetables and using egg whites helps to make this dish healthier than the traditional fried rices you can find in a restaurant. 

Coconut Fried Brown Rice with Chicken