Author: Wendy Rapaport

Laugh Until You Drop – Your Blood Sugar, That Is!

No kidding. Well, actually, lots of kidding around has proven to give major physically beneficial effects on the body. Humor’s effects are likened to internal jogging. It is good medicine! I can give you the medical facts about laughter elevating serum oxygen levels, which benefit the cardiovascular system, or that laughter stimulates the Immunoglobulin Assay (IgA), improving immune system function. But what I really want to highlight is how humor can change one’s mind, attitude, and mood to concretely improve how you take care of your diabetes. Diabetes is not funny. However, humor in our daily lives grants us many benefits. It has been indicated that preschool age children laugh 400 times a day and adults only 15 times each day. You can easily add humor to your coping skills and reduce your stress levels by consciously shifting the way you look at things. This shift in attitude will help remove the tension that comes from listening to well-intentioned yet seemingly endless advice. Also, humor can help you manage your diabetes more effectively by bringing a feeling of openness to difficult issues. Here are some examples of the value of humor and laughter: Pleasurably discharge the difficult emotions of diabetes. This allows you to release the anger, frustration, anxiety or fear that interferes in your quality of life and mood, as well as following through with your diabetes regimen....

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An Antidote to Stress

Here’s a paradigm shift: Welcome stress. It’s a life force to be handled with optimism and planning. The antidote to stress often begins with the mind, but for now, let’s begin with the body. Exercise should not be a “four letter” word. There are so many benefits to exercise: physical and psychological stress relief, raising metabolism, lowering blood sugar, enhancing mood and improving body image. Besides, if you move, you LOSE (weight) and WIN! As the weather gets nicer, you’ll be inspired to get out and get active. Now is a great time to make a commitment to yourself that lasts for years to come. If the famous saying “just do it” doesn’t work for you, here are some additional ideas to get the good habits started. It only takes 21 days to get into a habit, so if you start today, the countdown to less stress begins today! Do something physical at the same time every day, or every day that you exercise. Making it a ritual or a routine activity makes it easier to stick with it. Do it with a friend. You and your friend will motivate one another and you’ll feel good helping another person. Plus, it gives you social support, which is an excellent for stress management. Pair it with good conversation, good music, or watching a movie. Before you know it, you’ll be...

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Are Comfort Foods Causing Discomfort?

Creamy macaroni and cheese. Piping hot pizza. Warm chocolate chip cookies. Crunchy potato chips. Mmmmmm. Now don’t go salivating, even though these are some of our favorite comfort foods. Although tasty and welcoming, these foods can cause high blood sugar, moodiness and fatigue, and can become an issue if we use these foods as a replacement for comfort. The fact is: we relate food with the aims of pleasure, nurturance and energy, and hopefully not shame, punishment, or physical illness. The success lies in making the connection about getting the right amount as opposed to too little or too much. Unfortunately, sometimes we attempt to hide or improve our feelings of loneliness, boredom, anger or disappointment with food, rather than through friendship, conversation, problem solving or fruitful activity. Take a moment and consider the similarities of healthy guidelines for good relationships with people and food: anticipation and enjoyment, planning ahead, boundaries (can you say portion control?), balance and full consciousness (i.e. savoring both friendships and food). While I have your ear, may I share a few time-tested behavior modification principles for food? They are the same behavior principles followed for emotions and/or exercise: Monitoring or Mindfulness Observe and know your patterns by creating a diary of what precedes and follows your eating habits. Slow down and enjoy your portion controlled life. Stimulus Control Program your cues to eat or...

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