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Living with Diabetes

Quick and easy meal prep with what’s on hand on Coaches Corner

4/24/2020 by mySugr

Quick and easy meal prep with what’s on hand on Coaches Corner

Coach Maggie takes us through her pantry and fridge to show us that it doesn’t take much to come up with a delicious meal in this episode of Coaches Corner with Scott K. Johnson.

Enjoy this demo of how to make a quick & easy salad with ingredients you may already have in your fridge!

Note: We cannot provide medical advice. Please contact your doctor directly for specific questions about your care.


  • Staples to have in your pantry and fridge
  • How to make a quick and easy salad to have on hand 



Scott K. Johnson - Hi great to see you. Thanks for tuning into another episode of Coaches Corner. I hope you're holding up all right and hanging in there. These are stressful and challenging times for almost everyone. We are full of gratitude and appreciation for everyone doing their part to get through this. One small way that mySugr can give back is by hosting these short conversations with our diabetes coaches to talk about staying healthy in body and mind during these unusual times. Now, I have to give the standard disclaimer. We cannot provide medical advice. Please contact your doctor directly for specific questions about your care. Today, we've got Molly answering a few questions from our last episode. And then Maggie takes us through her pantry and fridge to show us that it doesn't take much to come up with a delicious meal.

Molly Wagman - Hi everyone, it's Molly from mySugr here to answer some questions that came in during Coaches Corner with Live with Scott. And the first one we have is around sugar substitutes also known as non-nutritive sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, or whatever you want to call them or wherever you've heard their name. They are out there and they're an option for you if you want something that does not have sugar in it but that tastes sweet. So, first I wanted to talk about what sugar is. So whether that's cane sugar, or honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup. These are all called nutritive sweeteners meaning that they have calories and they will raise blood glucose. And they can also contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. So if you're looking for an alternative, there are some things out there for you. And the best one for you it just, it depends on a few things. Your taste preference and your goal. So if you are looking for something to put in your coffee or in your tea, and you want something that just adds a little bit of sweetness, then these artificial sweeteners. that come in a little packet like in the restaurant. So that can be aspartame or sucralose. So aspartame, there's Sweet N'Low, sucralose, there's Splenda, And then there's Equal. So there's a couple out there, they're really pretty much equal to each other as far as taste goes. They're all like several hundred times sweeter than sugar. And in small amounts, they taste just fine. And they're going to have no impact on your blood sugar. However, with the artificial sweeteners, there is some research that shows that they can have a negative impact on your gut health. Which is important for us to think about We want a healthy gut, healthy gut bacteria when we are thinking about inflammation. So most people with diabetes have some type of inflammation. And harming the gut health can contribute to that further. However, if you're eating these or drinking these in really, really small amounts it's not going to have a huge impact. I know there's a few others that are called more natural derived sweeteners that are natural derived non-nutritive sweeteners and those are things like Stevia and Monk Fruit. And they're pretty new to the market all things considering. So they are absolutely safe. There's just not a ton of research around them. But they are my favorite to use in small amounts because they come in little chocolate forms you can get them and use really, really small amounts. Because, again, they're super concentrated so they taste hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. If you use too much, then they can taste bitter. So both the artificial sweeteners and the natural derived like the Stevia and Monk Fruit can be found in typically the baking section in your grocery store. Another category is sugar alcohols. So that's something like malitol or erithrytol or xylitol. You may have seen xylitol's really popular in gum, sugar-free gum. And so you've definitely seen this and probably consumed these. There are also in sugar free candies and if you eat a large amounts of sugar alcohols they can cause stomach upset like stomach cramping and diarrhea. So you really want to be careful there on the quantity. And it's also important to remember that when sugar alcohols which are mostly used in the sugar-free cookies or sweets. It doesn't mean it's carbohydrate free, and it doesn't mean it's fat free. It doesn't mean it's healthy for you. So really read the label. And if you're not sure how to interpret that for you, and you have coaching through mySugr reach out to your coach, or if you have a doctor, dietician, or a diabetes educator that you work with, you can ask them too what's the best option for you is. But really, all of them are safe to consume. It just depends on what your goal is. So if you want to reduce sugar for blood glucose or weight management, then choosing one of these is definitely a great option. But however, if you are using just a tiny bit of real sugar, and you like the way that real sugar tastes, like let's say you're using just a teaspoon in your coffee in the morning or for your iced tea, and you like it and are not seeing a huge impact on your blood sugar, then go ahead and use it. And if you're not sure if it has an impact on your blood sugar then you want to test. So you can test before you eat it and then an hour or two after you eat the sugar. That's in your coffee or your tea. So just try it out and see what works for you. But really... We're all about being curious and experimenting to find again, what works best for you. So try out one of these. I have a link for you here from the American Diabetes Association that summarizes what we just talked about. And you can go and try these different sweeteners for you. But again, they are all safe to consume. Artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, they have very minimal impact on your blood sugar. So it's a fine option if you are wanting to decrease that blood glucose rise. So the next question that we had, it came up during this cooking conversation which Kristin and Maggie just did such a good job to go through some of that meal prep.

And someone had brought up, they use their sous vide. And someone had asked what a sous vide machine is. And sous vide machines are, they can be quite pricey. But they are basically like a water bath. You can stick this little almost like a stick in there. And it heats the water up to a defined temperature. And it keeps it there. And you cook your food in these little baggies, and you can leave it in there for hours. And it just keeps it at that same temperature so it's almost impossible to overcook it. So I'll link to one of those here, if you want to try that. It sounds like the instant pot and the Crock pots are really popular too. So use all your gadgets to help you make really healthy wonderful meals for you. So thank you so much for attending these Coaches Corners. We love seeing you here. And I look forward to answering your questions in the future, bye.

Maggie Evans - Hey guys, Maggie here, one of your mySugr coaches. I'm just going to be showing you guys a quick and easy little salad that I'm planning on making with just some stuff that I'm finding in my pantry and in my fridge. I think we're all in this kind of lockdown together, this shelter in place. So I'm going to show you guys some tips for the things that I like to keep on hand.

 Maggie Evans - So we're in my pantry right now, pretty messy. But I'm just kind of scanning through to see what I've got on hand. I think one of the best things you can do whether you're in a sheltering place or you're just on a normal day to day is to have a really well stocked pantry. You'll see I have some beans over here, I've got my diced tomatoes, some stock. And an array of different grains and things like that. So I do have a big old bag of quinoa here that I've been eating a lot from that this week. So I do kind of see. I have this little bag right here. Which is just this quick easy farro that I bought from Trader Joe's. So I think I'm going to be using that in my salad today. I think that's going to be one of my main ingredients. But one of the best things yet again, you can just keep various different grains on hand. I've got brown rice, I've got some pastas here. I've always got some bread around. There it is right there. I keep my soy milk, my shelf-stable soy milk here. Onions, things like that. So you just always want to have an array of different canned food items that you can keep on hand. Like I said, big old stack of beans here. And then all my different oils and vinegars as well. So that's my pantry. Then again, to keep things nice and stocked, we're going to use this today in the salad. And I will go check out my fridge now. All right, now I'm at my fridge. And we'll just see what odds and ends I have in here. I haven't been to the grocery store in a while. So we're just going to kind of pick through and see what we can find. This is actually an old salad I made earlier this week. And like I said quinoa salad. So like I said I've already been having that quite a bit this week. And I've got these little salad kits that I got from Costco which come together really nicely. And I'm noticing that I have quite a bit of kale So I have a couple of bags of kale. I think I'm going to use in my salad. Kale tends to hold up really well during the week. That's why I like to make bigger salads with it, so I just get mine pre-chopped from Trader Joe's. I also like their pre-cooked lentils. And I tend to use those quite a bit. But when you're thinking of kind of stocking up for your fridge, especially your vegetables you kind of want vegetables that are sturdy So I've got some snap peas, those tend to hold up pretty well. I've got my citrus we use the rind for flavoring and cooking and things like that.

I've got some old carrots here. Carrots and any type of fruit vegetable hold up really well so I'm going to grab those. Asparagus, I've got on hand. That was just on sale at the store so I just thought I'd grab it. Did you see the celery here? So I'm going to grab this guy and one of those carrots. So I'm just kind of going to throw this salad together as fast as I can. I'm just going to go from there. On the side of my fridge I've got some different sauces and things like that as well. Pesto and things like that that I can kind of throw in meals throughout the week. All right, so my farro is all cooked and I have some of my other ingredients While my farro was cooking, I chopped up some celery and shredded some carrots. I defrosted some edamame that I had, just I found in my freezer. So I wanted to increase the protein content of it. And then I have my cooked and drained farro. So now, I'm just going to take my kale I'm going to pour some of that in my bowl. So this one's an old bag from a couple of weeks ago and this one I just bought I think last week. So I'm just going to drop some of that in there. And with kale when you make a salad you really got to do something called massaging the kale. So I do have some olive oil here as well. So what you're going to do is, you're just going to drizzle some olive oil on top of the kale. And then just massage that into it. So by massaging it, you're actually helping to break down some of the leaves. And that helps to break down so well and just makes it a lot easier to eat. I don't know about you but if I eat such raw kale without massaging it first, it hurts my tummy quite a bit. I also take out this big ribbed parts of the kale just so that it's not as dense and chewy to eat. You can also add some lemon juice at this point if you want to. Just to kind of make the kale, help to break the kale down a little bit more. I don't have any on hand, I'm just going to keep massaging this. This is to help break that kale down. Actually, the kale will start to turn a little bit darker too. So that can kind of help. You can use any other greens if you want to. Hardy greens, or you can just make some spinach if you want to, that should hold up pretty well with this salad. If you use spinach I would not dress it. And I would not do this massaging process because it doesn't need that. It's pretty delicate and it doesn't need that massaging part. So yeah, I just really like salads like this throughout the week. Because they're just easy to make all at once. And then it's pretty hardy so it can last me throughout the week. And it's pretty much a complete meal.

So the farro's got... For a serving of farro, you're getting about 34 grams of carb. You're getting five grams of protein per serving of the farro. And then you're getting a lot of more fiber from the vegetables, from the celery and the carrots. So that helps with staying nice and full throughout the day. And then you've got more protein from the edamame and then you're going to get a nice source of fat from the olive oil and just the quick little dressing that I'm going to throw together. So that's looking pretty good. And at this point now, I'm just going to dump all my other ingredients in there. Nice oily hands, but I'm going to take my pre-done celery and carrot I'm going to throw that in there. Of course, you want to wash your hands when you do stuff like this if you're going to be mixing it with your hands. And then I'm going to take my edamame I'm going to dump that in there. Edamame I usually just buy in the frozen section at Trader Joe's. And all you have to do is run it under some warm water, and it will defrost or you can put it in the microwave. And then now I'm going to put my farro in. Toss that farro in. I'll rinse my hands really quickly. All right and then I'm just going to grab some tongs and toss this all altogether so it comes together really beautifully. So mix all of that in. And then I'm just going to make a quick little dressing to go on top.

So I've mixed quite a bit of salad. If you want, you can also add chicken to this throughout the week. Other proteins if you want. You can use that as a main dish, as a side dish. I just really like it's versatility. I'm going to set that to the side. And now I've got my little bowl. And I'm going to make quick little dressings. I'm not going to use as much oil 'cause I did dress the kale with a little bit more oil. So I'm just going to use about a tablespoon. One to three tablespoons. And then just a little bit of red wine vinegar. So for this just a little bit more than oil. And then I do have a little salt. I'll toss that in there, a couple of pinches. And then just a little bit of pepper. Mix that together really quickly. And then you can either toss it over or pour if you want so it just kind of soaks into the salad. Or you can do it kind of throughout the week. You can always buy a bottle of dressing and do that. I'm just going to toss to coat. And there you go, you've got a nice big salad. So you've gotten a nice source of greens, lot's of color, lot's of variety in the foods in here. Something to keep you nice and satiated. And full during the shelter in place. Feel free to ask any questions or email me if you have questions or want some other recipe ideas. I'm more than happy to address those. Thanks guys.

Scott K. Johnson - All right, there you have it, good stuff right there. What a beautiful looking salad. With that, have a great weekend. I hope you'll come back on Monday where I talk with Kristin and Maggie about remembering to take our medications and check blood sugars and how routine is such a big part of that. And with our routines so disrupted, that can also disrupt our remembering to take our medications and check our blood sugars. So they've got some great tips and tricks for you. And hey, like both Molly and Maggie said, if you have any questions, leave them for us and we'll be happy to address them in an upcoming episode. Until then, stay well, and we will see you next time. Bye.


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