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Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Good Eats: Fuel for Better Living

Finding Your Just Desserts

By Owen C. Franklin

"People are always looking for desserts and, more specifically, chocolate desserts. We have a great chocolate cake called The Unbelievable Chocolate Kahlua Cake."

Food takes on many responsibilities; it rewards us at the end of a day, comforts us during times of stress and romances us by candlelight.

Perhaps Virginia Woolf explained it best in her book A Room of Oneís Own. She wrote, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

But this quote might pluck a nerve or two for people with diabetes. Too often, the strict dietary regiment chained to diabetes pushes fine dining aside to make room for broiled chicken, broiled chicken and broiled chicken.

But the diabetic diet doesnít need to preclude gourmet grub. Many recipes appease your taste buds as well as your doctor. Christine Capece thinks she knows where to find them.

Capece is a representative for Diabeticgourmet.com, a website that offers recipes and culinary information for people with diabetes. The siteís extensive recipe archive features such dishes as steamed shrimp and scallops with orange vinaigrette, garlic and sesame cauliflower and Caribbean chicken. These sweet and savory repasts are all ready with the click of a button and can be searched by prep time, meal types, ingredients or keywords.

Gabbing gourmet

savvyhealth: How did diabeticgourmet.com get started?

Capece: We started in 1995 as "gourmetconnection.com" back in 1995. We had a lot of readers coming to us asking for diabetic recipes. So we started featuring those recipes and they really took off. We saw that there was a great need for these recipes, so in 1996 we launched diabeticgourmet.com.

SH: Why do you think there is a need for this kind of website?

Capece: For a lot of people with diabetes, a doctor sends them off, they have their insulin and medication and they donít know what to eat. Most people who come to the site havenít seen a dietitian and their doctor has told them to eat less sugar and hasnít explained what they can eat. They can come to our site and see that they donít have to be stuck with broiled chicken and steamed broccoli every night.

SH: What kind of information do you offer on these recipes?

Capece: Each recipe lists the mealís cost, number of servings, prep time and difficulty level. The easy to follow cooking instructions are followed by nutritional information about calories, fat, carbohydrates, sodium and protein. Each recipe also includes the number of exchanges contained in each meal.

SH: What are exchanges?

Capece: A dietitian will look at someoneís age, weight and exercise program and then make a meal plan for them. They break that plan down into units like carbohydrates and proteins and establish how many of those units the person can have throughout the day. In our recipes, weíll say something like Ďthis recipe has two meats, one carbohydrate and one bread starchí so a diabetic can look at it and see if it fits with their meal plan.

SH: What recipes are the most popular?

Capece: People are always looking for desserts and, more specifically, chocolate desserts. We have a great chocolate cake called "The Unbelievable Chocolate Kahlua Cake" and thatís very popular. A lot of people in our community are swapping those recipes.

SH: In your community forums thereís a lot of posting about diabetic-friendly restaurants. What makes a restaurant diabetic-friendly?

Capece: Options. I think most diabetics are looking for a restaurant where than can have healthy alternatives Ė places that will broil your fish with no oil or butter versus one that has more stringent ways of cooking.

SH: Do you think people with diabetes would be surprised by the number of alternatives they have?

Capece: Definitely. Todayís recipe is pepper-encrusted salmon with fruit salsa. People can see that they donít have to be stuck with the same thing over and over. They can come to our site and combine the information their doctor has given them and make their own decisions. We believe that diabetics do need to be selective, but they donít have to be restrictive.

Owen C. Franklin is a content producer at savvyHEALTH.com.

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