What are you grateful for? Benefits of Gratitude

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus

Thanksgiving is a time where we emphasize gratitude more than at other times of the year, but it is best to consider being grateful at all times of the year. This talk by Robert Emmons explains how gratitude (and of recording gratitude in journals or some other form) can make us healthier in many areas of our lives.

  • Psychological – positive emotions
  • Physical – exercise more, take better care of their health, sleep better and longer
  • Social – feel more connected, feel more helpful, feel less alone

Watch the 10 minute video to learn about the benefits of gratitude, and then check out the resources below if you need some ideas on how to be more grateful.

Resources:


What are you most grateful for? Leave a comment below.

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Leftover Turkey Recipes

Roasted Chicken Or Turkey / Photo Credit: FrameAngel via FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Leftover Turkey Recipes
Photo Credit: FrameAngel via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Leftover turkey is good for 4 days in the refrigerator. Here are recipes and tips to save money and reuse that leftover turkey (and other leftover foods) without getting food poisoning (also called food borne illness).

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Recipes for leftover turkey

(These are also good recipes to use already cooked or roasted chicken.)

Tips for using leftovers safely

Eating leftovers is a great way to save money and is better than letting the food go to waste, but be careful to prevent yourself from getting food poisoning:

  1. Keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
  2. Label leftovers with the date they were made, so that you can keep track of how long they’ve been in the fridge.
  3. Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius).
  4. Use an app like Is My Food Safe? (free for Apple and Android) or Leftovers ($0.99 in iTunes app store). These apps tell you how long food is good for, what temperatures they need reach when cooking and reheating, and information on food poisoning. Is My Food Safe also has a kitchen safety quiz and an Ask an Expert feature.

How long do leftovers last in the refrigerator?

This is a general list. Please use your common sense and best judgement – “When in doubt, throw it out!” If it doesn’t look, smell, or taste like it did when you put it in the fridge, it may be a good idea to throw it away.

  • Meat, poultry, seafood: 3-4 days
  • Soup, stew, chili: 3-4 days
  • Packaged lunch meat: 3-5 days after opening
  • Vegetable salad: 1-2 days
  • Cooked vegetables: 2-3 days
  • Pasta or potato salad: 3-5 days
  • Rice, pasta: 2-7 days
  • Stuffing: 1-2 days
  • Pie: 2-3 days

For more information, read…

Do your leftovers add up to a safe meal?
Refrigerator Calculator Printable from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (very conservative on some foods, for example: rice is only listed as 1-2 days)

Food Safety: Foodborne Germs and Illnesses
FAQ page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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Diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving recipes and tips

Thanksgiving at the Trolls by floodllama, on Flickr
Photo Credit: “Thanksgiving at the Trolls” by Josh Wedin/floodllama, on Flickr
Used unmodified under the CC Attribution license

November is American Diabetes Month. It is also the month of Thanksgiving, which is known for food in abundance, especially food full of starchy carbohydrates.

What Thanksgiving foods have fewer carbohydrates? What recipes can be changed or substituted so people with diabetes don’t feel like they can only eat one bite of the rest of the family’s food?

The American Diabetes Association has a large list of free diabetes-friendly recipes for holidays and throughout the year. Another good sources of recipes is the USDA SNAP-Ed recipe finder (although these vary in carbohydrate content), and they even give information on cost (per recipe and per serving).  I’ve pulled out a few examples here, with carbohydrates (in grams per serving). You can go to each recipe to find the rest of the nutrition information.

What foods have carbohydrates?

In general, carbohydrates are found in sweets and desserts; grains and grain-based foods (pastas, rice, bread, crackers, etc); beans, peas, and legumes; milk and yogurt; and fruits. Carbohydrates are not bad. We need them to survive. However, eating too many can be harmful, especially for a person with diabetes. The amount of carbohydrates we should eat depends on what we are doing and our own bodies. A dietitian (or other members of your diabetes healthcare team) can help you figure out how many carbohydrates you should eat.

Other tips for a healthy Thanksgiving

In addition to new recipes, people with diabetes (and everyone at the table) can practice moderation and mindful eating to help reduce the amount of carbohydrates (and calories and fat, etc)  that they eat during the holidays.

Moderation means being aware of how much we eat, thinking about portion sizes, and eating slowly to allow our bodies to realize that we’re actually eating.

Mindful eating is being aware of and enjoying whatever we’re eating by thinking about how the food tastes, smells, and feels as we eat it.

It may also be helpful to eat a small snack an hour or two before you sit down for the Thanksgiving meal, to avoid excessive hunger and filling your plate with more food than you need. Snacks like cut vegetables, a small handful of nuts, or a piece of cheese are good choices.

One more tip to keep in mind: you can’t save up your carbohydrates and eat them all at once on Thanksgiving. Rollover minutes may work for cell phone plans, but there is no such thing as a rollover carbohydrates meal plan. You diabetes medical team should have told you an estimate of grams of carbohydrates per meal, or given you a number of carbohydrate exchanges per meal. Stick with this plan, even during Thanksgiving and other holiday meals.

If you need help figuring out how many carbohydrates you should eat each meal or want help with eating well with diabetes, including tips on portion sizes, meal planning, and eating out, you can use this Find a Registered Dietitian tool to find an RD near you.

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