Your doctor may have recommended that you make some healthy lifestyle changes.
The key word here is "lifestyle" or a way of living that helps keep your nutrition, activity level, and stress in balance. With practice in working toward that balance, you’ll find yourself making healthier choices every day.
Making healthy lifestyle changes may also help you with your overall diabetes management:
Along with these changes, when you partner with your doctor, you can work toward managing your blood sugar levels with a treatment program that may include Toujeo®.
Once-daily Toujeo® provides:
Talk to your doctor about what to do if you have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Toujeo® should not be taken if you have low blood sugar or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Toujeo®.
You probably know that healthy eating is important for everyone, but it is even more important for people with diabetes. Your doctor or diabetes care team may tell you the best way to be well nourished is to eat a balanced diet.
What is a balanced diet? A balanced diet provides a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, fish, and beans for protein.
Here’s a few other general guidelines that could help you make appropriate food choices (be sure to speak with your doctor before you make dietary changes):
The goal is to choose foods and drinks that can fuel your body in a healthy way.
Taking Toujeo®, along with eating healthy, can help you manage your blood sugar.
To help you get started, here are links to some delicious AND diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as informative articles to help you improve your diet.
Remember: the recipes and information presented here may not be appropriate for all people with diabetes. Work with your healthcare professional, diabetes educator, or dietitian to design a meal plan that's right for you, and includes the foods you love.
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed of fat)
1 egg white
3 tsp corn starch
6 oz bean sprouts, rinsed
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
⅔ of a red or green pepper, quartered and cut into ½-inch pieces
6 Tbsp water chestnuts, sliced
4 green onions, sliced into ½-inch pieces
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp cooking sherry
2 Tbsp Smart Balance Omega oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Slice chicken breasts diagonally into ¼-inch slices. In a small bowl, combine egg white and 2 tsp cornstarch, add chicken slices and set aside. Drain bean sprouts, place in a bowl and add celery, tomato wedges, and bell pepper; combine and set aside. Place water chestnuts and green onions in small bowl; add Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1 tsp cornstarch, and sherry. Heat 1 Tbsp oil on high heat in a nonstick or heavy skillet. Add chicken and stir-fry until it loses its pink color, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp oil to skillet; add bowl with bean sprouts, celery, tomatoes, and bell pepper; stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add water chestnuts and onions. Stir-fry for 1 minute; add chicken and stir-fry until heated through. Add pepper to taste.
Calories from Fat: 90
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 65 mg
Sodium: 240 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 13 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 28 g
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
¾ cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Morton's kosher salt
1 cup 2% low fat buttermilk, shaken
½ cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the 2% low fat buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Total Fat: 11 g
Total Carbohydrate: 52 g
1½ cups whole-wheat macaroni or other short pasta
2 cups (1-inch) broccoli florets
¾ cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons plain whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
38 g carbohydrate
9 g total fat
5 g saturated fat
25 mg cholesterol
5 g fiber
17 g protein
398 mg sodium
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1¼ pounds skinless boneless breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
⅓ cup whole-wheat flour
1½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1¼ cups 1% low-fat milk
¾ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 cup frozen baby peas
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 sheets frozen phyllo, thawed
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
24 g carbohydrate
7 g total fat
2 g saturated fat
59 mg cholesterol
4 g fiber
28 g protein
496 mg sodium
Make carbs count
Choose carb-rich foods with health-boosting nutrition like whole grains, fruits and milk more often than sugary treats or highly processed grains. Your favorite casseroles and other dishes will deliver great taste when made with whole-grain pasta, brown rice and other healthful swaps. Try some of these:
Fill in with non-starchy veggies
Amp up the nutrition and enjoy larger portions with fewer calories, carbs, and saturated fats by bulking up your favorite recipes with non-starchy vegetables. Mexican food, spaghetti sauce, and casseroles get a healthy makeover, for example, when you use half ground meat and half finely chopped mushrooms. Trim carbs in pasta and potato salads by filling the bowl with cherry tomatoes, carrots, snow peas, broccoli, and any vegetable you have on hand.
Try this recipe for a healthy take on chicken potpie.
Make mac and cheese lighter by adding broccoli, leafy greens or tomatoes. Serve pasta sauces over green beans or zucchini noodles, or try half veggies and half spaghetti. Use a food processor to create cauliflower rice. Mix tiny cauliflower pieces into your usual rice or significantly cut the carbs by preparing fried rice with just cauliflower.
Get the recipe for diabetes-friendly mac and cheese.
Trim unhealthy fats
To cut back on saturated fats, choose lean meats and low-fat and non-fat dairy products, and remove visible fats and poultry skin. Try these simple swaps too.
Savor small servings
Focus on quality, not quantity. Whatever you love most, enjoy it in small servings. Try baking individual casseroles or baked goods in tiny ramekins. Or serve ice cream in similarly sized small dishware.
Most importantly—and this is for all of your food—sit down, slow down, and savor every bite.
Before you head out, do a little research about the restaurant you've chosen. Many restaurants have information online, or you can call ahead to learn more about their meals. Here are some suggestions that are helpful to know:
When you're considering what to order, keep an eye out for certain words. Some of these will mean a meal is probably a healthier choice, while others mean you should stay away. Take extra care as you read a fast food menu. It's easy to eat an entire day's worth of fat, salt, and calories in one meal if you're not careful, but it’s also possible to make wise choices and eat a fairly healthy meal.
Your food has arrived—bon appétit! While you're enjoying your meal, there are more things you can do to make it seem much more filling.
Not everyone with diabetes has the same meal plan or the same nutrition goals. For some, cutting calories is most important, while others may need to limit saturated and trans-fat and salt, and eat more foods high in fiber.
Work with your healthcare team to identify your own goals, and to get further guidance on ways to eat healthier at restaurants.
Rather than avoiding your favorite foods completely, look for substitutes that are just as tasty but naturally rich in nutrients and lower in fat and calories.
You can do the same thing when planning your meals.
Deciding what you’re going to eat doesn’t have to be complicated; your doctor can recommend a meal plan that’s easy to incorporate in your daily routines. A simple one is known as the Plate Method.
The more you learn about food, the easier it will be to make healthy choices. Here are some basic tips for you to keep in mind as you plan your meals each day.
Certain types of foods have been shown to be packed with nutritional value--that’s why they are called “super foods.” They are healthy for anyone, not just those with diabetes.
Here is a short list of these super foods and why you should consider adding them to your menu:
While taking Toujeo® as prescribed is important, regular activity is also a key part to help manage your diabetes. Regular physical activity can have an impact on many things that can affect your diabetes. For example, exercise can help:
Before you start or modify any exercise program, it’s important to check with your healthcare team. Your doctor may have safety tips or offer to help you set realistic goals. Be sure to ask about when to monitor your blood sugar levels.
Exercise can have an important effect on your blood sugar levels and your insulin.
1 Exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels
Sugar is stored in muscles. When you exercise, your muscles work harder, and as they work, they use the stored sugar. As the sugar stored in muscles runs low, sugar is "pulled" from the blood to be used as energy.
2 Exercise can help your body use insulin more efficiently
Your muscles and other tissues use insulin more easily when you exercise. With physical activity, less insulin is needed to move sugar out of the blood and into muscle cells.
Of course, talk to your doctor before you start an exercise plan.
If you've been meaning to add more physical activity to your routine, there's good news: All of those steps taken throughout the day count as fitness. Walking can be an effective and economical way to burn calories, strengthen the body's muscles, help lower blood sugar levels, and even build stronger bones. In order to get the most benefits, you'll need to walk more than just around the house or workplace. To help you get started, here's a beginner's guide to walking for exercise.On Your Mark
Before you start or modify any exercise program, it's important to check with your healthcare team. Your doctor may have safety tips or offer to help you set realistic goals. Be sure to ask about when to monitor your blood sugar levels.
Once you've gotten the okay, it's time to gather the right gear. Proper supportive walking shoes are very important. Be sure you try a few pairs on so that you know you're getting the right ones for your feet. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but your feet shouldn't slide in the shoe as you step. Cotton socks absorb moisture, which may make feet more prone to blisters — polyester or nylon might be a better bet.
While it may be tempting to start walking just as soon as you have the gear, take a few minutes to come up with a plan. To chart out a safe, pedestrian-friendly route for outdoor walking, see if your city or town has any walking maps. Or research local parks, nature preserves, or school tracks. Some locales may post the length of their respective trails or laps and have well-groomed walkways.
If possible, recruit a friend. If you both have similar goals, you can help one another stay motivated. Of course, don't overlook man's best friend. If you have a dog, you've already got a built-in walking buddy!
During cold or inclement weather, consider a walk inside an indoor shopping mall. Or try out a treadmill at your local gym or recreation center; if you've never used a treadmill before, be sure to ask a member of the staff to go over the controls and settings with you before you begin.
The first few times you go out you may want to walk a slightly shorter distance than you think you can cover. The American Diabetes Association recommends starting slow, especially if you're not accustomed to physical activity — beginning with 10 minutes per day, adding 3 to 5 minutes per daily walk to an eventual goal of 30 minutes per day, five times a week.
The same goes for speed. Start slow, walking at a leisurely pace to warm up. Experiment with quickening your steps after the first 3 minutes of walking. You can always return to a more comfortable pace if you get tired.
Make sure to drink plenty of water. Feeling thirsty is often a sign that you're already a little dehydrated. Before you head out on your next walk, drink extra water. (Remember to drink water after your walk, too, to replenish any fluid you may have lost through sweat).
To get a sense of how many steps you're taking each day, you may want to invest in a fitness tracker. These range from a bare-bones pedometer, which tracks just steps and can cost as little as $10, to a high-tech accelerometer. These digital devices often cost around $100; most measure steps, stairs climbed, hours slept and more, syncing all of that data back to your phone or computer.
Over time, as you build endurance, you should be able to walk farther and longer. When walking at a steady pace no longer feels quite as challenging, you may want to try adding intervals. To do so, stagger short bursts of speed with slower steps. For example, you might walk as fast as you can for 1 minute, then slow down and recover for 1 or 2 minutes. This type of training may be more beneficial than walking at a steady pace. You'll burn more calories, give your heart rate an extra boost, and get stronger with each step!
Life is full of stress, and it can be difficult for anyone to manage stress levels. Scientists are discovering that stress can be a serious health hazard, especially for people with diabetes. Sometimes, just thinking about managing your blood sugar can lead to stress.
Stress can alter your blood sugar in 2 ways:
1 People under stress may not take good care of themselves.
They may forget or not have time to check their sugar levels or plan healthy meals.
2 Stress hormones may also change blood sugar levels directly.
Relax, there also are strategies to help manage it:
It's important to talk to your doctor about how you feel, including when you feel stressed. The doctor can suggest several ways you can help manage stress.
How stress affects people with diabetes
When a person experiences stress, the body goes into what is known as “fight or flight” mode.
For people with diabetes, this means that stress can increase their blood sugar levels, and make managing their condition even more difficult. Plus, focusing on the source of your stress can make it harder to stick with your diabetes management plan. You may forget to take your medication on time, or feel tempted to eat the wrong kinds of food.
Whether you have diabetes or not, long-term stress can also take a toll on your body. Stress has been shown to affect a number of body systems, such as the immune system, digestion, as well as the renal (or kidney) system.
Give yourself a break: Don’t add to the tension and pressure you’re already feeling
Discover ways to “blow off some steam”: Look for ways to free yourself from some of the stress you’re feeling
Take care of you: Be your own best supporter by taking on these healthy habits
One of the best ways to help manage stress is to reach out to others. Let your friends and family know when you’re struggling to balance all of life’s daily pressures. And reach out to others with diabetes, either through support groups or web communities.
Also, sign up for the Toujeo® COACH Support program to get access to tools and resources to help with your diabetes management. And be sure to talk to your doctor and the rest of your healthcare team about other ways you might be able to reduce your stress.
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Whether you've been taking insulin for
some time or are just starting, the Toujeo®
COACH program can help with tailored
information and support at no cost to you.
A diabetes educator covers the basics.