7 Little Lifesavers

Just one or two of these ideas can help make your days with diabetes easier!

Health Monitor Staff
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1. Downsize your plate.
The bigger your dish, the more food you're likely to eat. Swap your dish for a smaller plate and portion control will be automatic!

2. Say "yes" to sunflower seeds.
If you're struggling with constipation, a common problem for folks with diabetes, try sunflower kernels: These tasty nuggets are packed with fiber and are a good source of protein. Just choose the unsalted variety so they're blood pressure-friendly. Bonus: Sunflower seeds have been proven to help lower cholesterol, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

3. Take time to breathe.
Take the edge off anxiety with this breathing technique: Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four. Hold for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth for eight, making a "whoosh" sound.

4. Think this, not that!
If self-injecting makes you cringe, try pinpointing your underlying fear. It might be "This will hurt." Then write it down, cross it out and write: "This shot can make my life better." Focusing on the positive can help lift anxiety.

5. Make better use of mornings.
Can't remember if you took your insulin or not? Try filling the syringes you'll need for the day first thing. That way you'll know for sure whether you took a dose.

6. Practice on-the-job treatment.
"I used to wait until after work to take my insulin," says Francine Criscione, who has type 2 diabetes. "But then I'd have to wait an hour before I could eat! Now I keep my kit at work and inject right before I leave."

7. Get creative with can't-fail testing.
Prop your blood sugar meter inside your coffee cup so you'll remember to do your morning check before breakfast.

January 2012