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March 15, 2015 

Eating the right foods can help keep blood sugar on an even keel. Find out what to put on the menu when you have type 2 diabetes.

By Mikel Theobald

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD

Following a type 2 diabetes diet doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love — you can still enjoy a wide range of foods. The best diabetes diet is one that is well balanced and includes a variety of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The trick to this balancing act is choosing the right combination of foods that will help keep blood sugar level in your target range and avoid big swings that can cause diabetes symptoms — from the frequent urination and thirst of high blood sugar to the fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and mood changes of low blood sugar.

The Basics of the Type 2 Diabetes Diet

To follow a healthy diet, you must first understand how different foods affect your blood sugar. Carbohydrates, which are found in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables, are broken down into glucose in the blood faster than other types of food, which raises blood sugar levels. Protein and fats do not directly impact blood sugar, but both should be consumed in moderation.

To hit your blood sugar level target, eat a variety of foods but monitor portions for foods with high carbohydrate content, says Alison Massey, RD, LDN, CDE, director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. “Carbohydrate foods have the most impact on blood sugar levels. This is why some people with diabetes count their carbohydrates at meals and snacks,” she says.

Best and Worst Type 2 Diabetes Choices by Food Group

As you fill your plate at each meal, here’s a helpful guideline to keep in mind: Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Round out the meal with other healthy choices — whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and small portions of fresh fruits and healthy fats. Sugar should be limited, says Massey.

Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best options from each group.


Best options: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends lean proteins low in saturated fat, like fish or turkey. Aim for two or three servings of seafood each week; some fish, like salmon, have the added benefit of containing heart healthy omega-3 fats. For a vegetarian protein source, experiment with the wide variety of beans. Massey adds that nuts, which are protein and healthy fats powerhouses, are also a great choice — just watch portion sizes as they're very high in calories.

Worst options: Processed deli meats and hot dogs have high amounts of fat along with lots of sodium, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Heart attack and stroke are two common complications of diabetes, so keeping blood pressure in check is important.


Best options: When choosing grains, make sure they’re whole. Whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa, and whole grain breads and cereals contain fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Whole grains also contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Worst options: Refined white flour doesn’t contain the same health benefits as whole grains. Processed foods made with white flour include breakfast cereals, white bread, and pastries, so avoid these options. Also try to steer clear of white rice and pasta.


Best options: With only 6 to 8 grams of carbohydrates in a serving, plain nonfat Greek yogurt is a healthy and versatile dairy option. You can add berries and enjoy it for dessert or breakfast; you can use it in recipes as a replacement for sour cream, which is high in saturated fat.

Worst options: Avoid all full-fat dairy products and especially packaged chocolate milk, says Massey, as it also has added sugar.


Best options: Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and other nutrients, Massey says. You can eat non-starchy vegetables in abundance — half of your plate should be filled with these veggies. If you’re craving mashed potatoes, give mashed cauliflower a try, she adds.

Worst options: Stick to small portions of starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and peas. These items are nutritious, but should be eaten in moderation. The ADA groups them with grains because of their high carb content.


Best options: Fresh fruit can conquer your craving for sweets while providing antioxidants and fiber. Berries are a great option because recommended portion sizes are typically generous, which may leave you feeling more satisfied, Massey says.

Worst options: Avoid added sugar by limiting fruits canned in syrup, and be aware that dried fruits have a very high sugar concentration. Also, fruit juices should be consumed in moderation as they’re high in sugar and don’t contain the same nutrients as whole fruit.


Best options: Some types of fat actually help protect your heart. Choose the monounsaturated fats found in avocados, almonds, and pecans or the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and sunflower oil, which can help to lower bad cholesterol.

Worst options: Saturated fats increase bad cholesterol, so limit butter, cheese, gravy, and fried foods. Keep calories from saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total daily intake. Trans fats are even worse than saturated fats, so avoid them as much as possible. Look for the term “hydrogenated” on labels of processed foods such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers. “I always tell my clients to double-check the ingredient list to make sure they don’t see any partially hydrogenated oil in their food products,” Massey says.

Date: 03-14-2015

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – More Kentuckians have health insurance, are covered by smoke-free policy, can access physical activity resources, seek care for heart disease and cancer prevention, and get dental services since the launch of kyhealthnow last year, according to the program’s preliminary inaugural annual report previewed Thursday by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

The draft report, which was discussed during the kyhealthnow quarterly oversight team meeting, shows Kentucky is moving in the right direction in meeting the ambitious and wide-ranging goals laid out in the initiative, which was launched in February 2014 by Gov. Steve Beshear.

“To truly reverse or significantly reduce the major indicators of poor health in the state, we must continue to monitor our progress and programs through initiatives like kyhealthnow,” Beshear said in a statement. “This latest report is another important tool for us in our continuing efforts to create a healthier Kentucky.” 

Kyhealthnow, chaired by Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen, includes individuals from various areas of state government to develop innovative strategies for addressing the state’s health woes, while challenging local governments, businesses, schools, nonprofits and individuals to take meaningful steps toward improving health in their communities.

“We’ve heard statistic after statistic illustrating how profoundly unhealthy our state is, but until recently we didn’t have a comprehensive plan to address it,” Luallen said. “Kyhealthnow not only identifies the major issues affecting the health of Kentuckians, it provides achievable strategies that will help Kentucky become a healthier state. This report illustrates that while we still have a long road ahead of us, we are making progress.”

The program is designed to build on Kentucky’s successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which paved the way for the state-based health benefit exchange – kynect – and expansion of the Medicaid program. Over the past 18 months, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians have purchased a qualified health plan through kynect or enrolled in Medicaid, many of whom were previously uninsured and unable to afford health coverage, a state news release said.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, vice chair of the kyhealthnow oversight committee, noted the importance of reducing tobacco use in Kentucky, which, in 2013, had the second highest rate of adult smoking in the country at 26.5 percent of the population.

“It is encouraging that we have made considerable gains addressing tobacco smoking, which is the number one preventable cause of death in Kentucky and the nation,” Mayfield said. “Both kyhealthnow’s policies addressing tobacco use and expanded health care coverage have given us the tools we need to truly start reducing tobacco use in Kentucky – and the numerous health problems and diseases associated with it.”

About kyhealthnow

Kyhealthnow targets seven major health goals to be met by 2019, focusing on increasing health insurance coverage; reducing the smoking rate and tobacco use; lowering the prevalence of obesity; lowering cancer deaths; reducing cardiovascular disease; treating and reducing dental decay; and reducing drug overdoses and mental health issues in Kentucky.

Among numerous other achievements, the kyhealthnow annual report shows much success in recent years, indicating progress toward meeting the goals of the program. Some of the findings include:

More access to health care coverage:

· The number of uninsured Kentuckians has been significantly reduced. According to a Gallup Poll released in February 2015, Kentucky’s uninsured rate dropped from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 9.8 percent in 2015 following the launch of kynect and Medicaid expansion. This was the second largest decline in the nation, moving Kentucky from the 10th highest number of uninsured to the 11th lowest.

Smoking and tobacco use:

· Numerous steps have been taken to address smoking and tobacco use, including an executive order signed by Gov. Beshear last year to expand the prohibition of all tobacco products and e-cigarettes in executive branch buildings. The action makes Kentucky one of only five states in the country to enact such a policy. Furthermore, there are now 24 smoke-free ordinances in communities across the state; 37 school districts are smoke-free and 51 individual college and university campuses have tobacco-free policies. In addition, Senate Bill 109, which was passed during the 2014 General Assembly, prohibits the sale of all types of e-cigarettes to minors. 

Increasing Physical Activity/Obesity Prevention:

· Two “trail towns,” located in Morehead and Olive Hill, were recently certified by the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism and eight more are expected to be completed by the end of 2015. In addition, Dawkins Trail, a rail-to-trail project in eastern Kentucky, continues to grow. As of June 2013, 18 miles had been completed.

· Over the past eight years, 224 bicycle and pedestrian projects funded by federal grant dollars have been awarded, increasing the opportunity for cycling or walking in neighborhoods.

· Kentuckians now have increased access to the nationally recognized Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Available to state employees via the state health plan and now offered via 23 CDC recognized organizations around the state, DPP helps people who are at risk of developing diabetes reverse the onset of the disease.

· School districts are showing an increase in the amount of time devoted to physical activity. According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Education, there is an increase in Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) implementation at proficient or distinguished levels at all grade levels (515 of the 746 elementary schools, 186 of the 329 middle schools and 109 of the 228 high schools). Also, more schools report they are using BMI data to inform school wellness policy. DPH is also working to implement physical activity and obesity prevention curriculum in early child care centers. DPH received CDC grant funding to assist child care centers as they incorporate physical activity and healthy eating standards for preschool age children. The goal is to develop healthy habits in children before the age of 5 and prevent obesity.

Cancer Screening and Prevention:

· Last year, $1 million was awarded to the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program to provide screenings for the uninsured population. In addition, DPH is working to increase rates for HPV vaccination, which would help prevent the spread of the HPV virus linked to cervical and other forms of cancer. Gov. Beshear and DPH have also have supported legislation that would prohibit the use of tanning beds by minors.

Heart Disease:

· The report shows that more adults have been screened and identified as having high blood pressure and are able to control their hypertension.

· More adults have had their cholesterol checked.

· Diabetes management has improved among adults. One study of Medicaid patients showed an overall decrease in those with poor diabetes control measures.

Dental Care: 

· Pediatric dental visits among Medicaid patients have significantly increased in the last year. In addition, in 2014, DPH announced grant awards to five health departments to implement public health dental hygiene programs. These programs broaden access to hygiene services, such as cleanings, screening and referrals, by providing staff and resources to supply mobile units to deliver care in schools. Five more grants will be awarded this year.

· The report also states there has been an increase in the number of children enrolled in Medicaid receiving two fluoride dental varnishes per year.

Substance Abuse: 

· In 2014, more than 13,000 individuals in the Medicaid program received substance use treatment services.

· In addition, a naloxone pilot program launched, which will fund the purchase of naloxone rescue kits for participating hospitals. The kits will be provided free of charge to every treated and discharged overdose victim.

“The findings of the first annual report of the kyhealthnow initiative demonstrate important progress in achieving our key goals, but there is much work still to be done,” said Lt. Gov. Luallen. “And while we should celebrate our successes, like the considerable gains Kentucky has made in addressing tobacco use, it’s important that we not become complacent in our efforts. We must remain focused on our goal of improving the health of Kentuckians and the long-term educational and economic benefits our improved health status will provide for generations to come.”

Date: 03-11-2015

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is joining forces with two Democratic senators – Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey – to introduce legislation that would allow easier access to legal medical marijuana.

Speaking Tuesday alongside Gillibrand, Booker and patients who have used and advocate the use of medical marijuana, Paul said society is becoming more accepting of medical marijuana.

“I think society is changing their attitudes on it,” he said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, or CARERS ACT, would allow people in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without the threat of federal prosecution, according to a news release from Paul’s office.

But Tommy Loving, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force, said the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association continues to oppose “so-called medical marijuana.” Loving is a past president of the association.

He said the association’s counterparts in other states have said legalization of medical marijuana ends up essentially being “de-facto legalization.”

The bill would also reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, which would allow medical marijuana to be prescribed and researched more easily, Paul said.

“We know of many instances where people have gotten palliative help with this, and I’m proud to be part of this effort,” he said.

The legislation, if approved in Congress, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies, allow doctors in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to recommend medical marijuana to military veterans and remove some hurdles for researchers to gain government approval to do research on marijuana, among other measures, according to a news release.

Sandy Faiola, a New Jersey resident who has multiple sclerosis, described at the news conference how her illness left her unable to sleep well. Treatment with marijuana helped her to do so.

Faiola said the bill could help patients access medical marijuana by removing the barriers of fear and higher costs.

“There is an urgent need for this change,” Faiola said.

Booker said the legislation “seeks to right decades of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws.”

Gillibrand said the bill would allow patients and their families to take medicine recommended by their doctors without fear. “This is clearly a case of ideology getting in the way of scientific progress,” she said.

Research is already being conducted about medical uses for marijuana, Loving said.

The Food and Drug Administration is already involved in research on a marijuana derivative in the treatment of seizures, he said.

“To me, this is something that should be played out in the scientific community by the FDA, rather than by legislators,” Loving said.

By Katie Brandenburg
Bowling Green Daily News

March 12, 2015

Learn which foods fight hunger by keeping you feeling full longer

It's the dieter's worst enemy — that gnawing hunger when you're trying to eat less and lose weight.

But fighting off those feelings of hunger could be as simple as a walk to the nearest soup and salad bar for lunch. Here's how you can make food choices that will keep you feeling full and help prevent the hunger pangs that lead to diet-busting snacks or binges.

Food Strategies For Losing Weight

If you want to feel full all day on less food, focus on these eating strategies:

Get enough lean protein and fiber. A study of 22 men who changed the amount of protein in their diets for 18-day periods showed that those who ate the least protein were the most likely to report being hungry. "Protein is the number one thing to help you feel full," says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. "The second thing is fiber."

Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Researchers tracked the weight-loss success of 71 obese women between 20 and 60 years of age on a low-fat diet. Half of the women were also told to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. At the end of one year, both groups of women had lost weight, but the women who ate the most fruits and veggies reported the greatest weight loss and were less likely to say they felt hungry on any given day. In fact, when the researchers crunched the data, they found that whether the women reported feeling hungry frequently predicted their ability to lose weight. Other studies have shown that changing your eating habits to focus on these water- and fiber-rich foods will help you maintain weight loss for up to six years.

Sip soup. Adding two low-calorie soups to your diet every day could stave off hunger pangs and keep you satisfied longer. Choose soups that are broth-based, not cream-based, to reduce the calorie count; also look for soups that are low in sodium. Consider chunky, pureed vegetable soups, as they have been shown to produce the most lasting full feeling. Timing your soup so that you have it before a meal also reduces the amount you eat at that meal by about 20 percent, according to a study of 53 overweight adults.

Eat whole grains. A serving of whole grains will stick with you longer than a serving of refined wheat bread or any other refined flour product, for that matter. Most refined flour is white and often bleached.

Pick "airy" snacks. If you must snack and you don't have a piece of fruit or a veggie tray on hand, choose the snack food that has more air in it — think cheese puffs instead of potato chips, rice cakes instead of cookies. You will feel just as full as you would if you ate the same serving size of another snack, but you will consume fewer calories on average.
Another way to fight off hunger is to develop a "low-energy density" eating plan. This means that you can eat a large quantity of foods that do not have a high calorie count. Learning about portion sizes and counting calories is one way to approach this, but you can also try the plate method, which dictates that half your plate be full of veggies, one-quarter dedicated to a starch (preferably whole grain), and one-quarter to a lean protein.

And speaking of plates, it's worth noting that a study of 45 adults demonstrated that the oft-repeated advice to eat on a smaller plate if you want to feel like you have more food in front of you actually has no effect on the amount you eat at a meal (if you are serving yourself) or your feeling of being full.

So, if you prefer, you can go back to eating on your good china — just make sure to emphasize lean proteins, fruits, and veggies.



March 3, 2015


Before                                                              After


By Jennifer Ferguson

Though lifetime Lawrence County resident Monica Hickey appears to have her fitness life all in order by not only participating in Cross Fit, but actually owning her own box (Cross Fit business), she’s the first to admit she hasn’t always led the healthy, active lifestyle that she does today. 

It was in a dressing room in June 2007 that Hickey had her, what she refers to as an “Ah Ha Breakdown.”

“I locked in after being in that fitting room and realizing my waist size was expanding from a women’s size 20 to a 22 in pants. I had walked around for years feeling miserable and finally that day, in that fitting room, I realized I had to take charge and do something about it.”

Though Hickey says she’s always “felt fat,” it was the moment in that dressing room that changed her way of thinking

I had no idea that in high school being a size 10 or 12 wasn’t as big as I thought. Just a couple of years out of high school was when I started having real weight issues. I worked my way up to a size 14…16…18…20 and when I discovered I had made it to a size 22, that was my breaking point.

Participating in workouts such as CrossFit and Yoga, Hickey has lost 95lbs and completely turned her lifestyle around.

Losing weight has helped me improve at life. I can do things now that I never imagined possible! Fun adventures such as biking, hiking and swimming. I most certainly would be in a different place today and I not walked the path I have over the last eight years. I have went from working multiple jobs to owning multiple businesses and exploring community growth and creation. None of this would have happened had I still been eating out of drive-thru restaurants for every meal and “sleep walking” 24/7. My energy level, mood and the simple strength to face each day had increased greatly! I give all the glory to God for leading me down this path and giving me the strength to continue on it.

Several members of Crossfit Louisa

Hickey also follows a Paleo-ish diet, she says she’s had to put in lots of work to discover what foods she is intolerant to and those that she’s not affected by.  She also supplements with Omega 3, Vitamin D and Magnesium Zinc which she says helps with her levels of soreness, her mood and also rest and recovery from an intense workout or CrossFit competition. 

Though she has traveled and even moved away a couple of times for school and to explore the world, Hickey says she always finds coming back to Louisa which she refers to as “home.” However, she never planned to actually open her own business there.

When I moved back to Louisa I didn’t plan on opening up a box, but realizing the amount of people that wanted a CrossFit Affiliate here it was a no brainer for my husband and I that we had to do whatever it took to keep it going. Seeing that within six months our group had grown from five members to thirty, we knew we had to do it.

Though CrossFIt Louisa is a full time commitment for Hickey, she also has recently learned to quilt, a passion of her late mothers, and also recently renewed her license as a massage therapist.  Hickey credits her mother and the fellow coaches and athletes at the box with keeping her motivated.

Every person that walks through the door at CrossFit Louisa, along with every person that may possibly walk through the doors in the future keeps me going when I feel like giving up. How can I expect them to believe a word I say if I’m not fully living the lifestyle myself? Also, my mothers’ precious spirit will forever remain in my heart urging me to get back up when I fall. She was ill the majority of my life and the experiences I had with her have always inspired me to (now in honor of her life more than ever) become the healthiest I could possibly become. It is truly my greatest blessing to live each day doing what I dearly and passionately love in my hometown with my family and all the while feeling better than I ever have in my life!

Hickey advises others to always seek prayer and support when wanting to take control of their health.

“Change your lifestyle, not your diet! That’s very difficult to do alone and without others that live the healthy lifestyle you with to live. Find a coach and/or mentor who has already achieved what it is you wish to achieve. Remember, you must be coachable (it took me a long time to learn this one!) Set goals and make them public. 3,2,1…GO!!

For more information on CrossFit Louisa visit To coneect with Hickey and learn more about her journey, you can find her on Facebook at