1 Minute Blueberry Recipes

During blueberry season each summer, my family eats about a pound of berries a day. I’d like to share a couple of my favorite blueberry recipes with you. They can be prepared in under a minute, are chock full of antioxidants, and have no added sugar or preservatives. As a bonus feature, if you try all three recipes in the next 24 hours, you get a free gentle colon cleanse.

2014 July 2 163Two Fisted Blueberries

1. Wash blueberries.

2. Grab two fistfuls of blueberries (don’t squeeze too hard unless your fists are hovering over toast and you’re looking to make Instant Jam).

3. Empty your fists into your mouth at a non-choking rate of speed and say “Mmm-mm-mm-mm-mmmmm”.

 

2014 July 2 216Blueberry Cereal

1. Fill bowl with blueberries. (Sometimes I add some Cheerios.)

2. Add milk and eat with a spoon.

3. When your children ask you what you’re eating, say “Blue Sugar Bombs, but you can’t have any”.

 

2014 July 2 168Two Fisted To Go Cup

1. Fill plastic cup with blueberries.

2. Carry it around with you and periodically shake berries into your mouth. This is great for car rides. Nothing draws stares at a red light like chewing your beverage.

 

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:11

And I’m so glad He did!

The Diabetes Debate: Out to Lunch (part 7)

Brain: Ladies, I need you to help me order. Stomach says she’s empty and the cells are asking for quick energy like cookies, but now I know we have the glucose in the system, it’s just not reaching the cells. Cookies aren’t a good idea because they’ll just raise our blood glucose level even more.

Pancreas: What do we order?

Kidney 1: Water.

Brain: Besides water.

Muscle: Protein!

Brain: Protein turns to glucose too, just like cookies.

Kidney 2: But it takes much, much longer to do so. Protein is actually a good idea, Muscle.

diabetes debate 19Muscle: I need it to repair myself, but yeah, dude, leftovers becoming glucose is cool too.

Pancreas: Speaking of glucose, can we get a little regulation in that department?

Brain: What do you mean?

Pancreas: I mean, it’ll make my job a lot easier if you send in roughly the same amount of glucose at each meal.

Brain: How do I do that? Katie, any ideas?

Katie: There is so much information on a diabetic diet, I don’t know where to start.

Pancreas: Give us the super simple version; we’re hungry now.

Katie. Okay, first let’s talk about portions. Imagine a plate: you’re going to fill one quarter of the plate with protein, one quarter with starches or carbs, and half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables.

Brain: Wait a minute, this sounds just like your diet book.

diabetes-debate-21.jpgKatie: The habits that help you lose weight and get healthy are the same habits that help regulate your blood glucose level and control or prevent type two diabetes. A diabetic diet is all about balance and giving your body what it needs. It needs protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.

Brain: Ugh, vegetables. Taste Buds aren’t going to like this.

Katie: They’ll learn to love it.

Muscle: What’s a starch?

Katie: Good question. Starchy foods are complex carbohydrates. Basically, the body breaks it down into glucose and uses it for energy. So you need protein for building and carbs for energy.

Muscle: And the non-starchy vegetables?

Katie: You need vegetables for vitamins, nutrients, fiber, stuff like that. Starchy veggies like potatoes, corn, and peas have more calories and more carbs than non-starchy vegetables like peppers or broccoli. Starchy foods—even starchy vegetables—raise your blood glucose level, so you’re going to pay special attention to them.

Pancreas: Those are the ones I want you to regulate, Brain. Send me the same amount at each meal.

Kidney 1: What else should we look out for?

Katie: Hidden sugar. Foods like cookies obviously have sugar, but dairy and fruit have natural sugars that aren’t bad for you, but will raise your blood glucose level. They’ll make more work for Pancreas.

Pancreas: I don’t like the sound of that. Can’t we slow down how fast the food is turned into glucose?

Katie: Yes, you can. Any time you eat whole grains instead of processed ones, you slow down glucose production. Whole grains have fiber and fiber makes your blood glucose level rise slowly instead of spiking.

diabetes-debate-20.jpgMuscle: Yo, Brain dude, can you order me a hoagie already?

Katie: One last thing: stay away from salty processed meats like deli meats and hot dogs.

Muscle: Dude, you’re killing me here!

Katie: Sorry, as a diabetic you need to be extra careful with your heart and your blood pressure. Salt and sodium increase your blood pressure.

Brain: Muscle, how about a chicken breast sandwich with lots of veggies piled on? I want you all to know that I’m going to make some changes around here. We can do this, Ladies. Working together, we can help control Body’s diabetes.

Pancreas: I told you it’s not my fault.

Brain: Don’t start that again, Pancreas, or you’ll be doing push-ups with Muscle.

Bladder: *clears throat* A toast: to a new way of life.

Kidneys, Brain, Pancreas, Muscle, Katie: Hear hear!

THE END

 

For more information about type two diabetes, check out the following articles:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/list-good-carbs-bad-carbs-6520.html

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types/prediabetes-insulin-resistance

http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/warning-signs-of-type-2-diabetes/#09

http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/how-high-blood-sugars-damage-blood-vessels/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140911163219.htm

The Diabetes Debate: Urine Trouble Now (part 6)

Katie: Bladder, stop crying, please, it’s not your…Welcome back! We’re here with Bladder who’s going to pull herself together.

Bladder: I…I…*sniff*

Katie: Bladder, this interview has taken twice as long as planned because you’ve needed to empty yourself every thirty minutes. Please, please, take a deep breath and talk to me so we can finish this show and go home.

Bladder: *sniff* I’ll try.

Katie: Thank you. You have something you want to tell the rest of Body, correct? What is it you wanted to say?

Bladder: I know I can be annoying because I have to empty so often. *sniff* But do you know what would happen if I didn’t? The glucose would stay in the blood, the blood vessels will stay tense until they harden, the Eyes won’t be able to focus –

Katie: Yes, we, uh, we covered this in between bathroom breaks.

Bladder: I worry, Katie. *sniff* I worry what will happen to all of us. Life is short. Life is fragile. If our health declines, I don’t know where this Body is headed. What if Kidneys get too tired? What if Brain stops responding to their thirst signals and drinks less water because I fill so often?

Katie: Let’s talk about water, Bladder. A study linked chronic dehydration to chronic hyperglycemia. Have you found that to be true?

Bladder: Hyper what?

Katie: Hyperglycemia; chronic high blood glucose levels. Less water equals less blood equals high concentrations of glucose in the blood. If you don’t drink enough water every day for a long time, the higher glucose levels can lead to type two diabetes.

Bladder: *sniff* It’s the end of life as we know it. *sniff*

Katie: Bladder, don’t cry. There, there, weren’t you listening? It’s not too late to change. Muscle is going to walk, Brain is going to sleep more and to stop eating before Stomach signals she’s full so we can lose some weight. Kidneys and Pancreas are determined to keep the blood glucose levels down. We need you, Bladder. Let’s bring in the team and I want you to tell them why water is so important.

Bladder: *sniff* Okay. What if I can’t—

Katie: You’ll be fine. Ladies! Can you come in here, please? Everyone, welcome back. Okay, Bladder, go ahead.

Bladder: Well. *sniff* Now that we’re diabetic, we’ll need lots of water to clean out the glucose.

Kidney 2: Hear hear!

Bladder: Brain, as you start choosing more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, we’ll need even more water.

Brain: What on Earth for?

Bladder: Plant based foods are full of fiber and fiber absorbs water. We’ll need extra water to keep the fiber moving.

Brain: Great, we’re eating sponges now.

Muscle: If we run low on water, I might cramp!

Brain: And I’ll get a headache. Suck it up.

Kidney 1: Brain, it’s easy to see if we’re getting dehydrated.

Brain: Dehydrated? We’re talking a little thirsty, here, right? Not that big of a deal.

Kidney 1: Mild dehydration, especially if it becomes chronic, can exacerbate our symptoms. According to our calculations-

Brain: Fine, fine. What do I do?

Bladder: Well, you can work with me. Whenever I empty, look at my urine.

Brain: Ew, gross. Eyes aren’t going to like this.

Bladder: If it’s clear, we’re okay. If it’s yellow, we need to drink more.

Pancreas: You can do a pinch test too. Pinch the skin on the back of Hand. If it bounces back quickly, we’re okay. If it stays pinched or the skin goes down slowly, we’re mildly dehydrated.

Brain: Geez, I need a cup of coffee.

Bladder: No coffee! It’s going to make me fill more!

Kidney 1: Just a little. Coffee’s actually good for us. It has magnesium and chromium which helps us use insulin. And it counts like water for hydration.

Bladder: Okay, fine.

Brain: Excellent! Come on, gals. Let’s get some coffee. Muscle, you can walk us there.

Katie: This concludes our show. Thanks for joining us and thank you to all of our guests.

Brain:  Let’s add food to this plan. Stomach just signaled she’s empty. Katie, care to join us?

Katie: I’d love to.

The Diabetes Debate: Belly Fat Faceoff (part 5)

Brain: Hey, you, Belly Fat! We’ve got a bone to pick with you.

Belly Fat: You talking to me?

Kidney 1: You’re to blame for our diabetes.

Pancreas: I told you it’s not my fault.

Belly Fat: You gals are, like, rude.

diabetes debate 13Brain: Belly, what is this stuff?

Belly Fat: What, you don’t like tripping on acid?

Katie: Tripping over acid is more like it. Are these fatty acids? They’re all over the place.

Belly Fat: Whatever. Cleaning is lame.

Kidney 1: They’re messing with the insulin, Belly. Stop making them!

Brain: Belly, Liver’s cells are stuffed to the gills with those fatty acids.

Kidney 1: Blood’s full of them too.

Brain: She’s inflamed and we need her to regulate all kinds of stuff.

Belly Fat: This is, like, totally unfair. I didn’t do anything to Liver.

Brain: You’ve got her completely surrounded! Insulin can barely get through and when it does, Liver can’t respond normally because you’re smothering her in a chronic squishy fatty hug!

diabetes debate 14Kidney 1: We need Liver to help suck up the extra glucose from the blood. Let her go.

Belly Fat: Like, whatever. You’re a nerd and you’re a gross pee factory. Don’t even talk to me.

Katie: Belly, they have a point, actually. Studies show that if you’re overweight or obese, you’re 90 time more likely to develop type two diabetes.

Belly Fat: There’s fat all over this Body. Why pick on me?

Katie: You’re the only fat blocking access to the organs. If you were on the thighs or jiggling under the biceps, it’d be better.

Belly Fat: What a bunch of losers! I’m not changing for anybody.

Brain: I order you to leave!

Belly Fat: Not going to happen!

Brain: I’m going to order more vegetables, I’m going to go to bed early—

diabetes debate 15Katie: Actually, Muscle is the only one who can help. Diet can help you lose weight, but exercise is the only thing that removes visceral fat like Belly, here.

Brain: Muscle, you’re going to get your thirty minutes a day. Maybe more. I want this Belly out of here!

Muscle: Nice! I’m stoked, dude.

Belly Fat: Whatever, nerd.

Katie: Bladder’s full again, so we’ll be right back. Stay tuned for our final interview with the one, the only, the soon to be empty, Bladder.

The Diabetes Debate: Brainiac (part 4)

Katie: Welcome back to Pass the Blame. We’re here with special guests Muscle and Brain. Brain? Where’d you go?

Brain: I’m hungry. I’m looking for a snack. I want a donut.

Katie: I’m glad you brought that up, Brain. Your blood glucose level is high right now, so the last thing you need is sugar.

Brain: Perhaps a cookie or two.

Katie: You want sugar because your cells are starving for energy and they’re sending you signals that they need food, but the glucose that gives them energy is there, it’s just stuck in the blood. The insulin keys aren’t working to unlock the cells and let the glucose in.

Brain: I read about this.

Katie: Yes, you probably did. You’ve been handed lots of pamphlets on type two diabetes recently.

Brain: It’s all a bit overwhelming, isn’t it?

Katie: Yes, I suppose, but you are the brain; I’m sure you can handle it.

Brain: Yeah, maybe. *yawn*

Muscle: Brain, I need to move more! Let’s go for a walk.

Brain: I’m sorry, Muscle, I’m too tired. Maybe tomorrow.

Muscle: You always say that.

Katie: Come on, Brain, you’re in charge here and Body needs to make some changes.

Kidney 1: We need you to take action.

Kidney 2: You need to fix this!

Katie: We’ve been, um, joined by the Kidney Twins. Welcome, ladies.

Brain: Me? Fix this? I’m having enough trouble keeping up with my regular duties. If you want me to take on a special project, I need down time. I need sleep.

Muscle: You get sleep!

Brain: Not the good kind. You all keep waking me up! If our blood glucose level goes down, Stomach is hungry. If our blood glucose level goes up, Bladder has to pee. Foot’s going nuts when neuropathy hits her and on top of that, now we have sleep apnea. Every few minutes Lung 1 and Lung 2 wake me up screaming, “We’re dying! We have no air! Oh, wait, we’re okay now.” It’s driving me crazy.

Muscle: I can help if you let me.

Brain: I’m tired.

Muscle: Well, push though it and let me move! Exercise helps you sleep better.

Kidney 1: It’ll help control the blood glucose level too.

Katie: Exercise or sleep?

Kidney 1: Both.

Brain: You know, Kidneys, keeping the blood glucose levels controlled will help me sleep better.

Kidney 2: Guess what, Brain: better sleep will help control the blood glucose level.

Pancreas: It’s a cycle, people. Pick a launching point and jump in already! I can’t keep on like this.

Katie: Oh, okay, now Pancreas has barged her way into the studio as well. Um, welcome Pancreas.

Brain: Why are you all looking at me?

Pancreas: Because all neurons lead to Rome!

Kidney 2: The cerebellum stops here.

Muscle: You give the orders, so you order some changes, dude!

Katie: Okay, ladies, let’s all calm down. Remember your blood pressure. If you all work together, you can manage your diabetes and Body can still have a long healthy life.

Pancreas: What do we do first?

Katie: Well, Muscle is offering to exercise. Exercise will help Brain sleep better and will help regulate your blood glucose level by removing some glucose from the blood without insulin’s help.

Brain: Okay, fine. Muscle, you can walk or something.

Muscle: I want thirty minutes a day.

Brain: What? You’re crazy!

Katie: You’ll get more blood flow and feel more awake.

Brain: Hmm, tempting. What else?

Katie: Well, you can lose weight. Being overweight increases your risk of type two diabetes.

Brain: I refuse to spend my valuable neurons counting the calories in rice cakes and cookie crumbs.

Katie: It doesn’t have to be that extreme. Start by eating smaller portions of what you eat now. Drink water instead of juice or soda so you don’t drink your calories. Make simple changes, one step at a time. You know, there’s a strong link between belly fat and diabetes. Losing even 7% of your—

Brain: Wait a minute. If we get rid of Belly Fat, this diabetes thing could all go away?

Katie: It’s not that simple, but it would really help if—

Brain: Come on, girls! This is Belly Fat’s fault! Let’s get her!

Katie: Ladies! Ladies, come back! We, um, we’ll be right back. I hope. Wait for me!

The Diabetes Debate: Muscle Mania (part 3)

Katie: Today we’re discussing who’s to blame for Body’s recent diabetes type two diagnosis. We’re talking with special guest, Muscle.

Muscle: Wassup, yo.

Katie: Your Body’s blood glucose level, that’s what’s up. Any comments?

Muscle: Yeah, Dude. I have plenty of glycogen. Tell ‘em to put me in the game!

Katie: Glycogen? What’s that?

diabetes-debate-9.jpgMuscle: It’s this stuff that gives me energy. I store it until I need it. I’ve been dying to use it, man, but Brain’s been keeping me on the bench.

Katie: Did she say why?

Muscle: Straight up excuses. She’s busy, she’s tired, blah, blah, blah. I need to move, dude!

Katie: Will you exercising help Body lower her blood glucose level?

Muscle: Yo, man, I don’t know, I leave that brain stuff to Brain. All I know is that I store glycogen, when I move I use it, then I get more.

Katie: Where does glycogen come from? How do you get more?

Muscle: From the blood. It’s called glue…something. After I exercise, I suck in the glue thing, change it to glycogen, and save it so I’m always ready to move. I want to do squats so bad!

Katie: Wait, glue-something…do you mean glucose?

Muscle: Yeah, that sounds right. Can you ask Brain if I can do some squats?

Katie: Do you need insulin to suck in the glucose?

Muscle: The what?

Katie: The glue. Do you need insulin to take the glue-thing out of the blood?

Muscle: Nah, man, after I exercise I’m so hungry for it that I just take it. No insulin needed.

diabetes-debate-10_0001.jpgKatie: So if Body had exercised when she was insulin resistant, then you, Muscle, could have lowered her blood glucose level without insulin?

Muscle: If that’s what I said, then sure.

Katie: That’s amazing.

Muscle: Yes, I am. You should see me when I flex.

Katie: Muscle, my assistant just handed me some research. It says studies have shown that exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. One study showed that even if Body overeats, exercise will help her regulate her blood glucose level.

Muscle: Cool. I work with Heart a lot. She says she feels better when I move too.

Katie: I was just discussing the blood glucose level’s affects on the cardiovascular system with the Kidney Twins! Exercise is extra important for diabetics because diabetes increases Heart’s risk of a heart attack. Look at this study: exercise plus moderate weight loss—as little as ten pounds—lowers Body’s risk of type two diabetes by 58%!

Muscle: Sweet.

Katie: Let’s get Brain in here. We need to ask her about your squats.

Muscle: Cool, but before we talk to Brain, Bladder’s full again.

Katie: Then I suppose we’ll take a break. Stay with us: we’ll be right back.

The Diabetes Debate: blood glucose levels

Katie: Welcome back to Pass the Blame. We’re here with Pancreas discussing her body’s recent diagnosis of type two diabetes. And we have two special guests with us, organs who say they’ve been cleaning up after her for years. Let’s welcome the Kidney Twins!

diabetes 5Kidney 1: Hi, Katie. Hello, Pancreas. You certainly keep us busy.

Pancreas: Hmph, again with the finger pointing. I blame the system. If only the…Katie, why are you laughing?

Katie: Because the body is a series of systems and you blame the sys…never mind. Kidney, what did you mean when you said you clean up after Pancreas?

Kidney 1: Remember how she said that when glucose can’t enter a cell it stays in the blood? Well, after a while, the blood fills up with glucose. It’s not safe and somebody has to remove it.

Katie: That somebody is you?

Kidney 1: That’s correct. We remove glucose the way we remove anything that shouldn’t be in the blood. We turn it into urine so it can be pumped out of body.

Katie: Your twin doesn’t say very much.

Kidney 1: She’s calculating how much urine needs to be produced and it’s more and more these days. We’ve been working overtime.

diabetes-6.jpgPancreas: You’re not the only ones.

Kidney 1: If you did your job and moved the glucose into the cells like you’re supposed to, we wouldn’t be up to our elbows in liquid waste!

Pancreas: Oh, boo hoo! I was working overtime way before you! I’m doing everything I can!

Kidney 1: It’s not enough! I’m not sure if what we do will be enough. The blood glucose levels are all over the place. It’s like a roller coaster in the blood stream and we’re going to lose Foot or Eyes!

Kidney 2: There, there, Kidney, don’t cry. Save the water for the urine. We’re not that far along yet. Brain is pushing the thirsty button almost constantly now, and body is drinking more. We’ll get ahead of it.

diabetes-7.jpgKatie: Ladies, can we agree that you all look exhausted and move on from there? Thank you. Now, what would happen if you all took a day off? What’s so bad about the blood glucose levels being high for a while?

Kidney 2: Glucose messes with the nitric oxide in the blood.

Kidney 1: The more glucose there is, the less nitric oxide there is. Nitric oxide makes the blood vessels relax and open wide.

Katie: So without sufficient nitric oxide, the blood vessels are stressed out?

Kidney 1: They become stressed, yes. They stay tight and hard and constricted which makes it harder for the blood to flow.

Katie: And if the blood can’t flow freely…

Pancreas: Then Body gets high blood pressure and eventually the body parts farthest from the heart don’t get enough blood.

diabetes 8Kidney 2: The nerves become damaged. It’s called neuropathy. Sometimes neuropathy causes pain or tingling and sometimes it causes numbness.

Katie: That’s why you’re worried about Foot; she’s far from the heart. Why are you worried about Eyes?

Kidney 1: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels feeding the retina. When you mess with the retina, you mess with your vision. Eyes can lose focus or even become blind.

Katie: Wow, no wonder you ladies are working so hard.

Pancreas: We can’t give up.

Katie: We’ll be right back with a special guest who says she can help reduce Body’s glucose problem.