Can I Exercise If I Have Diabetes?

First of all, ask yourself this question:  Have you ever regretted exercising?


Second question: Have you ever regretted something that you ate?


Hello Healthy People!!

So, to answer the title of this post:  Yes, you can be physically active with diabetes.  Daily exercise is recommended and may improve your diabetes. Getting enough exercise has been shown to reduce a person’s average glucose levels and improve HgA1c (Hemoglobin A1c).  HgA1c shows the average blood glucose level over the last 90 days.

Physical activity also seems to improve how the body responds to insulin and can also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Both aerobic and resistance exercise can improve glucose levels in people living with diabetes.  Aerobic exercise could include anything that gets your heart rate up like walking, running, bicycling, swimming, and dancing.   Resistance exercise includes activities that increase strength and muscle mass.  Some examples include using resistance bands, handheld weights, and weight machines.

The current recommendation is that people with diabetes aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, and also participate in resistance and strength exercises at least twice per week.

Did you know that dancing, mowing the lawn, and gardening count as physical activity? Cleaning counts towards your activity minutes, too. To count the exercise as part of your minutes, it is not necessary to get all of your physical activity done at one time.  You can break it up into ten-minute intervals throughout the day.  Start slowly and build from where you are.

Do not let exercise overwhelm you if you are not currently active. Try different activities to keep you going and keep you interested. Add music to your workouts for more motivation. Wear a step counter to track your steps (this can also motivate you to increase steps as you ramp up the exercise). Challenge yourself each week to increase steps by a few hundred if you are able to do that.  Also, challenge yourself not only to walk more but to increase the pace every few weeks.  Find a workout buddy to keep you compliant.  If someone is waiting for you to go for your daily walk, you will make more of an effort.

More benefits of routine exercise:
  • Increased Energy
  • Maintain Muscle and Bone Mass
  • Burn Calories More Efficiently
  • Better Quality Sleep
  • Improves Mood and Overall Wellness


Before beginning a program of physical activity of more than just brisk walking, you should be assessed by your doctor. If you are taking insulin, you need to keep a close eye on your carbohydrate intake and how you feel. If your medication dose is not adjusted properly, you may be at risk for hypoglycemia.

Always partner up with your doctor to discuss adjustments in your medications and when increasing or changing your exercise plan.  Remember how many times you have regretted eating something and how many times you regret exercise.  Many and zero!

As always, be well!

Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Group Lifestyle Balance Coach




Health Benefits of Pumpkin


ello Friends!



In the last blog, we shared with you the benefits of pumpkin. One of the main benefits of pumpkin is that it supports eye and immune health. Pumpkins are also filled with antioxidants, which help the body fight oxidative stress.

Try some pumpkin pie breakfast quinoa that screams fall and features a twist on classic porridge!

Quinoa is an ancient grain and a complete protein source, which means it contains all 20 amino acids. Quinoa is a great choice for vegans and is a great gluten-free option as well. This breakfast bowl is protein-packed and plant-based.


Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Quinoa:

1/3 cup cooked quinoa

2/3 cup water or plant-based milk

2 tbsp canned or homemade pumpkin puree

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp sliced or slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

  1. Once quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork.
  2. Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Pour quinoa porridge into bowl and top with nuts.
  4. Enjoy!


Nutritional Facts:

441 kcal; Total Fat 14.7g; Saturated Fat 4g; Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6g; Monounsaturated Fat 5.9g; Sodium 77mg; Cholesterol 16.3mg; Total Carbs 63.6g; Fiber 7g; Sugars 21.9g; Protein 16g; Calcium 283.3mg; Iron 3.6mg

Recipe found at

Adding pumpkin to our fall and winter smoothies is a great way to get in additional fiber, low-glycemic carbs, and antioxidants. This recipe has all the building blocks of a great smoothie with healthy fats, protein, fiber, and spices! Make sure to pick up pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix (yes, they’re different!).

Bounce Back: The Art of Building Resilience


Finding Your Footing in the Midst of Change 

The world as we know it has changed nearly overnight. As the coronavirus has swept around the globe, it has left in its wake change for almost every human alive. Health care workers are struggling to stay protected and manage the number of ill who need care, parents struggle with how to keep their children learning as schools close, and everyone is struggling with how to maintain a sense of normalcy as jobs are lost, businesses are closing, and the best way to contain the spread of the virus is to stay at home.

All of these changes, even without the threat of the virus, can wreak havoc on our health. The most important thing we can do right now is keep ourselves healthy, physically as well as mental and emotionally.

Be Present

Now is the perfect time to start a meditation practice. There are many options out there that offer free options, (Calm and Headspace are two favorites), as well as countless online meditation challenges that you can access for free. A basic way to start is to set a timer and follow your breath, or do a body scan, where you move your awareness through your body and focus on any sensations. Creating space in your mind will help you manage the high level of stress that is all around us in these times.

Design a Routine

You probably find yourself with countless hours to fill every day. Sit down and map out when you will work out, (mornings have been found to be the best time of day to be consistent), meditate, journal, eat meals, bedtime and waking time, reach out to someone else, and of course, shower and change clothes. It may feel odd to schedule some of these, but it will help you find some consistency and a sense of rhythm to your day.

Spend Time with Gratitude

There are so many terrible things to focus on. The news offers an endless stream of them. Be sure to shift your focus throughout the day to what you are grateful for in your life right now, just as it is. You can choose the smallest thing, or reach for something bigger. Be sure to spend some time really feeling the gratitude in your body, noticing any sensations.

Look For a Way to Help

A powerful way to counteract stress is also fairly counterintuitive. Research has found that reaching out to help others in times of stress decreases stress hormones in the body, and raises levels of hormones that help us feel calm and safe. Helping will look different in these times. Reaching out via Facetime or Zoom to someone who is alone, or offering to shop for someone who is high risk are places to start.

None of us are immune from facing change right now. Do your best to support you and your family in creating healthy behaviors during this time. Be flexible; if something doesn’t feel right, try something else. We are all navigating these tricky times together, so the more we are able to keep ourselves well, in body and mind, the better equipped we will be when it’s time to step back into the world.

Kalia Kelmenson, Certified Wellness Coach :

Keeping Your Immune System Strong

Hello Friends! As I reviewed resources to share with you on the Covid-19, I am sending this along from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help get you and your family through this healthily.

Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system, which may offer protection from seasonal illness and other health problems. No one food or supplement can prevent illness but you may help support your immune system by including these nutrients in your overall eating plan on a regular basis. (more…)

Stay at Home!

Hello Friends! I hope you are well and staying safe from the Coronavirus! It is interesting how life has changed in a matter of weeks. Changes from the way we work to the way we shop and the order to “Stay Home” are things we would never imagine could happen. But since it is happening, we can all do our part to take care of each other and stay home. Socially isolating is the new normal right now.

While some people are going stir crazy during the “Stay at Home” order, others are getting creative with their time at home. My family meets virtually each night to do yoga and meditation and recently started playing board games and cards on line. We had a birthday party on line this week. I will say the cake wasn’t as tasty (because we didn’t get any)! A nutrition class that I teach has gone virtual. It impresses me how many people are using virtual chats and videos to stay connected. I’m finding that my patients are happy to chat when I reach out to do nutrition coaching through Telehealth. They are feeling isolated.

Some things we can do during this time to help others and to manage anxiety:

Reach out to family or friends that are living alone.

A simple phone call to see if they need groceries or meds delivered to their door. Some hospitals and pharmacies are providing home delivery of medications. Check with your primary care provider to see if this is an option. Grocery stores have delivery options and curb-side pick-up. If you are able to get to the store, make sure to ask a neighbor or family member if you can deliver something to them as well.

Clean out closets, drawers and pantries to donate.

Most donation centers might be closed throughout the Stay Home order so set them aside to be ready when they reopen!

Put the kids to work in the kitchen to help create family meals.

Have family craft or game night or build a puzzle together. This is a good time to read those books on your bucket list!

Create a Waste-Free Kitchen.
  • Use up greens like kale, spinach or beet greens by sautéing or steaming them before they wilt. Already wilted greens will revive in a 5-10 minute ice water bath.
  • Soft apples or pears — chop them and heat in a pot of water to make apple or pear sauce.
  • Use leftover herbs in salads or sandwiches, to garnish soups or make pesto.
  • Leftover grains (with similar cooking times), can be mixed together for a fun side dish.
  • End of week, clean out fridge and make a veggie stir-fry.
  • Keep a container in the freezer for scraps of carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic to create a stock. (need a recipe:
Storage Tips:
  • Disinfect your fridge regularly to reduce food spoilage from invisible mold spores.
  • Create an “eat first” area in your fridge for leftovers and store in clear containers to see them.
  • Store fresh herbs in a glass of water.
  • Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge.
  • Separate apples and bananas from other fruits as they can speed up ripening.
  • Keep oils that you use infrequently (sesame or walnut) in the fridge. All other oils should be stored in a cool, dark
    place in pantry.
  • Remember that most “best by” dates refer to a food’s quality, not safety.
  • Never purchase items that have an expired “sell by” date.

For more tips to create a healthy fridge, go to

My hope for you is that you will use some of these ideas to keep busy during the “Stay at Home”
time and that you and your family will be well!

Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Group Lifestyle Balance Coach

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Hello Healthy Friends!!


Although summer is winding down, it is still super hot so I wanted to talk about hydration.

I am sure you have all heard that you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, right?  Did you also know that some of this water comes from the foods you eat?  Yes, it is true that if you eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you will be well hydrated.


That being said, it is still very important to drink water throughout the day to avoid health risks like kidney stones.  Of course, the exact amount that you need to drink depends on factors including age, gender and activity level.  Obviously, if you are a young athlete, exercising in high temps, you will need more fluid than a sedentary person.


How to use foods to get hydration:  A good regimen to follow would be to get at least 3 servings of fruit and 5 or more servings of vegetables every day.


All foods vary in the amount of water content that they have.  Remember that fruits and vegetables that are cooked will lose some water content.  To optimize the hydration of these foods, it’s best to eat them raw or minimally cooked.  For the best, most hydrating effect, enjoy these foods with a glass of water.


Here is a list of foods that are most hydrating:


Cucumbers (95% water) can go well in your salad but also use to dip in hummus in place of chips or make a chilled cucumber soup this summer.  Also, you can make a refreshing drink with slices of cucumber and add fresh mint or ginger to the water for an extra zing!  Make sure to keep the skin on to reap the most vitamins and minerals.


Celery has only 14 calories per cup and is very hydrating and made up of primarily water.  Stuff celery sticks with peanut butter or tuna salad.  This reduces your carb intake by using celery to replace bread.


Watermelon (well the word water is built into its name) and it is very high in water and only 46 calories per cup.  It is very refreshing and works well in gazpacho and fruit salads.  It is quite yummy added to a summertime salad of fresh greens and mint.


Cantaloupe is very hydrating and yummy in smoothies and summertime fruit bowls!  It is packed with 427 milligrams of potassium which is an electrolyte, which means it helps the body balance its water content.


Strawberries also contain 91% water in 1 cup and are an excellent source of vitamin C.  Add these to your morning yogurt , chia seed pudding or to your lunch time salad to add some sweetness to your vegetables!


Iceberg Lettuce can be used in place of your lunch time bread or in place of the bun for your burgers.  All types of lettuce and other greens like kale and spinach have high water content, but iceberg lettuce is the most hydrating at 95% water by weight.


Tomatoes are about 95% water and, like cantaloupe, they also are a good source of potassium with about 9% of your daily value in a 1 cup serving.  They are versatile  and delicious and can be enjoyed in pasta sauce, soups, fresh salsa, gazpacho or, my favorite, eaten plain with a touch of black pepper!


Bell Peppers are about 92% water and have a decent amount of fiber too.  Add to your salads or use them to dip in hummus in place of chips.  Stuffed peppers are yummy too but, remember, cooking them will cause them to lose some of their water content.


I hope that some of these fruits and veggies are your favorites!  Remember that you still need to drink water throughout the day to keep extra hydrated.  If you do not think you get enough water, try tracking the amount of water you drink by writing it down or use a mobile ap to track for you and to remind you to drink water.


Enjoy the rest of summer, stay cool  stay hydrated, and, as always, be well!


Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Group Lifestyle Balance Coach

The Well: The Bite Size Path to Behavior Change

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut as far as habits change. Many times we come into the new year with gusto, determined to make over our lives to be healthier, thinner, and less stressed. Often though, somewhere between the end of January and the beginning of February, our determination begins to wane. Maybe we get sick, or go on vacation, or have a big project at work that demands more of our attention. Lasting behavior change is all about making slow and steady progress. Try these tips to start turning the needle towards habits that help you feel your best:

  • Add before you subtract. Before you start cutting out carbs, caffeine, and sugar, consider adding a full cup of vegetables at every meal, a big cup of water right when you wake up and between each meal, and making sure you get enough protein and healthy fats with your meals. You can begin to ‘crowd out’ the bad habits by adding habits that will help you stick to making the cutbacks you want to make.
  • Start to pay really close attention to your current habits, just as they are. Notice where you could add some healthy habits. Go to work everyday? Park your car a few blocks away, or get off a few stops before your stop and walk the rest of the way. Too cold? Walk up the stairs every time you get up from your desk. If you sit down on the couch every evening, before letting go into the couch, sit almost down and press yourself back up – do 5 to 10 squats before you finally settle in.
  • Add Breath. Create more space everywhere in your life by adding a breath before every bite you take, every text you send, every meeting you walk into. Taking a moment to take a full breath brings you back into the present, settles your nervous system, and fuels your body with the oxygen it needs to have energy.
  • Make a Schedule. Write down the small changes you are planning to make in your day, and notice how they make you feel. Are you trying to do too much, too fast? It is very energizing to begin to do what you commit to – and that creates momentum for more change. It is better to start with just a couple small changes and add to them as you make progress and feel the effects.
  • Celebrate. Be your own cheerleader. When you do what you commit to for the day or a week, celebrate yourself! Turn on some music and dance, make plans to get together with friends and go walking, dancing, or out into nature. Celebrating makes the journey so much more fun. Be sure that your celebration doesn’t throw you off your path, (margaritas and nachos are not recommended for this type of celebration.) Make a list of little and big things you love to do but don’t make time for. Then begin to cross things off that list as you indulge.


Behavior change doesn’t have to be painful and it is absolutely possible. With the right tools and mindset, you can make any changes in your life that feel important to you.

Kalia Kelmenson, Certified Wellness Coach ::

Spring Cleaning

Hello Healthy Friends!

Since it is spring time, many of us do a “spring” cleaning of our homes, cleaning out closets, preparing the yard for gardening, maybe splash some new paint in a few rooms, etc.  Spring makes me feel ready to make some healthy changes for myself as well.

Cleaning up my diet and increasing physical activity are on the list but, also managing my stress.

In April 1992, observation of National Stress Awareness Month was created!

Everyone can relate to stress, our family’s stress, our friend’s stress and, if you are in healthcare, our patient’s/client’s stress.

We encounter stress in many forms from work deadlines, traffic and relationships.  Constant stress can take a toll on your health if it’s not managed.  It is recommended to take time to lessen stress.  The following are five suggestions to de-stress from our modern stress-filled lives.  Take some time for yourself.  You will be glad you did.

  1. Stay positive – Laughter is truly the best medicine and actually lowers levels of stress hormones, reduces inflammation in the arteries and increases “good” HDL cholesterol.
  2. Meditate – The practice of concentrating on focused thought and deep breathing has been proven to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Yoga and prayer can also relax the mind and body.
  3. Exercise – When you are physically active, whether you play tennis, take a walk, swim or bike, your body releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Exercise not only helps to reduce stress, it helps protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and helping to maintain a healthier weight.
  4. Unplug – In order to reduce stress you must escape from the world even if it is only for 15 minutes each day. Unplug from electronics, social media, emails, TV and the news.
  5. Find ways to lower stress – Find simple things you enjoy such as a warm bath, spending time on a hobby, or even just listening to your favorite music. These simple pleasures provide a break from life’s daily stressors.

Take time for yourself.  You will feel more relaxed and be ready to handle each day!

As always, be well!


Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Wellness Coach