Happy Halloween!

Hallow-E’en, 1914
Winifred M. Letts – 1972

“Why do you wait at your door, woman,
Alone in the night?”
“I am waiting for one who will come, stranger,
To show him a light.
He will see me afar on the road
And be glad at the sight.”

“Have you no fear in your heart, woman,
To stand there alone?
There is comfort for you and kindly content
Beside the hearthstone.”
But she answered, “No rest can I have
Till I welcome my own.”

“Is it far he must travel to-night,
This man of your heart?”
“Strange lands that I know not and pitiless seas
Have kept us apart,
And he travels this night to his home
Without guide, without chart.”

“And has he companions to cheer him?”
“Aye, many,” she said.
“The candles are lighted, the hearthstones are swept,
The fires glow red.
We shall welcome them out of the night—
Our home-coming dead.”

Happy Holidays from Family Care!

From Family Care’s family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

2015 Office Christmas Party

As a special holiday bonus, here is one of my favorite holiday poems. Enjoy!

“At Christmas” by Edgar Albert Guest

A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season’s here;
Then he’s thinking more of others than he’s thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
When it’s Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he’s seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I’d wait
Till he’d fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I’d not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of pelf,
On the long days and the dreary when he’s striving for himself.
I’d not take him when he’s sneering, when he’s scornful or depressed,
But I’d look for him at Christmas when he’s shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he’s oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that’s in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don’t know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.

Why We Are Thankful For Our Patients

While its name should make its meaning obvious, Thanksgiving is a holiday designed to give thanks to our family and friends and to tell them how much they mean to you. Without our patients, Family Care would obviously cease to exist. Our business, literally, can’t function without them. So, this seems like a good time to say “thank you.”

At Family Care, we have a lot of really great patients that we always look forward to seeing when they come in to our office. The healthcare system overall is generally frustrating and we tend to see people when they are feeling terrible, but most of our patients still come in with a positive and friendly attitude. Their positive attitudes are endearing and give us a sense of pride whenever we are able to see our work actually helping someone. We are thankful for the opportunity to do something that we can be proud of and appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every day.

The hardest part about working in healthcare is seeing the amount of pain, both physical and emotional, that far too many people have to deal with on a daily basis. Seeing someone go through a terrible experience or receive heartbreaking news is never easy, but the strength that many of our patients have shown in dealing with their tragedies motivates us to do our best to help them and prepares us be strong for the next person who needs our support. When coping with our own personal problems, it helps to know that people have gone through similar things and still stayed positive and optimistic. We are thankful for the experiences our patients have shared with us and the wonderful examples they have set for us to follow in our own lives.

I, personally, am also thankful for the people I work with. Our staff is truly a joy to be around and I am always happy to see everyone each day. They are all very good at what they do and try very hard to take excellent care of our patients. It doesn’t even matter if they add salt to their ketchup, or eat M&Ms for breakfast, or win our fantasy football league without checking their team all season, or think everything is just “too much.” They are all uniquely wonderful people and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of their lives.

Lastly, thank you for reading! To show our appreciation, enjoy the best Thanksgiving song ever created:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Why We Are Thankful For Our Patients

A Thanksgiving Meal Plan For Diabetics

“A Thanksgiving Meal Plan For Diabetics” from diabetes.org:

We all know that food tends to be front and center on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the majority of people eat well over 2,000 calories during their Thanksgiving meal. Think about it… between the appetizers, rich side dishes, and desserts – the calories can add up quickly, and so can the carbohydrates!

If you have diabetes or are trying to manage your weight, don’t let food stress you out this year. You can still enjoy the Thanksgiving feast and even some dessert (since it’s a special occasion). It just requires a little extra planning and self control on your part. Read on for more tips about how to create a healthy plate this Thanksgiving. We’ll also give you some examples of how to fit in a serving of your favorite holiday treat!

Create a Healthy Plate

One of the biggest problems that people have on Thanksgiving Day is portion control. Not only do we overload our plates with everything on the table, but we often go back for second and third helpings.

Remember that Thanksgiving is all about choices. Think about which dishes you can’t live without and which ones you don’t mind passing on. Then adjust portions to keep your carbohydrate and calorie count similar to what you usually eat at dinnertime.

When filling your plate, you can use the diabetes plate method as a guide to keep portions under control. From the start, you should only plan to fill your plate once instead of going back for more.

Navigating the Feast

Turkey is usually the central part of the Thanksgiving feast.

  • It is a high-protein food and has no carbohydrates. A portion is about 3-4 ounces, which is about the size of your palm.
  • Remove the skin on your turkey before eating it and choose white breast meat which is the leanest part of the bird.
  • Roast your turkey instead of deep-frying it. Roasting is a cooking method that requires little-to-no added fat. Just make sure you add some seasonings. Looking for a good turkey recipe? Try our Herb-Roasted Turkey this year!

The main ingredient in most stuffing recipes is bread, so it is high in carbohydrates and will need to be counted in your meal plan.

  • ½ cup of stuffing usually has about 15-30 grams of carbohydrate. Because it can vary, be sure to check the nutrition facts for your recipe.
  • Add extra non-starchy veggies like onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to your stuffing and use whole grain or 100% whole wheat bread.

Potatoes are another staple food on Thanksgiving Day. From buttery mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole – these dishes can really pack in the carbohydrates, saturated fat, and calories.

  • Keep portions small, especially if there is a lot of added cheese, butter, or cream. One-half cup of mashed potatoes usually has about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
  • At the table, there’s no need to add a lot of extra sour cream or butter to your potatoes. Simply season them with a bit of freshly ground pepper or some trans-free margarine. Instead of sour cream, try non-fat Greek yogurt which is a much healthier alternative.
  • Sweet potatoes are especially flavorful on their own – there’s no need for alot of extra sugar or butter!
  • If you’re in charge of the potatoes this year, choose a “made-over” potato recipe that uses healthier ingredients. You can find some recipes right here on Recipes for Healthy Living like Sweet Potato Fries, Potato Casserole, or Herb and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes.

Green Bean Casserole is also a very popular Thanksgiving side dish. You might be thinking this is a great option since green beans are a non-starchy vegetable. However, as with all casseroles, it can be packed with unhealthy fats and calories from ingredients like creamy soup, butter, and fried onions. Here are some tips when it comes to vegetable side dishes:

  • Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Choose vegetable side dishes that include roasted or cooked vegetables without creamy sauces.
  • Offer to bring a delicious green salad for the occasion and serve the dressing on the side. A recipe you could try is our Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette.
  • Season veggie side dishes with fresh herbs or onions and garlic. You can also put out some trans-free margarine for your guests to use if they want extra flavor.
  • Some other non-starchy vegetable side dishes that go great with a Thanksgiving meal are cooked carrots, steamed green beans, Sautéed Garlicky Spinach, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli Almondine, or our Creamy Cheesy Cauliflower.

Cranberry sauce usually has a lot of added sugar and is dense in carbohydrates.

  • Just two tablespoons has almost 15 grams of carbohydrate.
  • If you absolutely cannot live without it, make sure you use just a tablespoon or two on top of your turkey. A little bit will go a long way!

Wondering how dessert fits into it all? Read our article on Fitting in Dessert.

Diabetic-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and we have been featuring weekly recipes for DigItFarms’ CSA program, I thought it would be a good fit to feature some diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes. Below are some of the best looking recipes from diabeticlivingonline.com’s list. This is just a sample of the four recipes I thought looked the best, so check out the full article for a total of 22 ideas.

This Thanksgiving, show your loved ones how much you care by cooking up a nutritious holiday celebration. Choose from our collection of scrumptious diabetic side dishes to create an indulgent feast while keeping your eating plan on track. After all, Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most delicious meals we enjoy all year!

 

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 medium round red potato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces low-fat, reduced-sodium cooked boneless ham, cut into thin strips
  • Paprika

Click HERE for cooking directions.

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup soft whole wheat or white bread crumbs (1-1/3 slices bread)

Click HERE for cooking directions.

Rosemary Chive Parker House Rolls

Ingredients

  • 3 -3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Click HERE for cooking directions.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lower-fat stick margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Click HERE for cooking directions.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

A Diabetes-Friendly Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are a couple of helpful infographics for diabetics to use during the Thanksgiving holiday from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Click on the images for additional diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes you can try. thanksgiving_diabetes_healthyplate

thanksgiving_diabetes_healthytips

 

Thanksgiving Charity Dinner

If you are the type to go out to eat for Thanksgiving Dinner, or if you eat dinner late and want to go out for Thanksgiving Lunch, consider going to Plates Kitchen in Raleigh. Dinners are $39/person, but $20/person will be donated to stophungernow.org. Think of it as paying twice the price for your own meal, but also feeding 10 hungry people who can’t afford one. If you are interested, seats are limited so you should try to book now.

From plateskitchen.com:

Thanksgiving Charity Dinner: Plates For The World with Stop Hunger Now — Thu 11/26/15 at 12:00pm

Please join us Thursday, November 26 for Plates For The World, a special Thanksgiving charity event for the benefit of Stop Hunger Now, a non-profit, international hunger-relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other aid to crisis areas across the globe.

Our three-course dinner will feature Thanksgiving classics done in style by Chef Sam Bradford and his talented team.

Dinner served from 12:00 – 5:00 pm. $39/per person (includes tax & tip). For every meal sold, $20 will be donated to Stop Hunger Now.

Seats are limited! To make your reservation, please call us at (919)-828-0018.

Find out more at http://www.stophungernow.org/

July 10 is “Don’t Step on a Bee” Day!

The name of this holiday is just too funny to overlook. I feel like people would be much more likely to swat or spray a bee rather than step on them, but I think I get their point. Bees are good! Don’t kill them! They are also our North Carolina state insect, so you’ll probably go to jail for killing one. I’m not completely sure on that one, but its still not worth the risk!

Read more

Independence Day is July 4th!

“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” – Richard Henry Lee, Representative of Virginia, 1776

“Today is the day we celebrate our independence day!” – Bill Pullman, as President Thomas Whitmore, 1996

A brief history on the holiday from PBS.org, which you may have forgotten about since elementary school:

“Taxation without representation!” was the battle cry in America’s 13 Colonies, which were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell the early movement toward rebellion. Repeated attempts by the colonists to resolve the crisis without military conflict proved fruitless.

On June 11, 1776, the Colonies’ Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and formed a committee whose express purpose was drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, crafted the original draft document (as seen above). A total of 86 changes were made to his draft and the Continental Congress officially adopted the final version on July 4, 1776.

Enough with the internet now! Go outside and have a fun,  safe, and happy 4th of July!