Tag Archives: Nourished Living

Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

Stop smoking to eliminate most preventable cancer risk

As I have mentioned the past couple of weeks, November is Diabetes Awareness Month—but it is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

I find this rather ironic as I have been a card carrying Type 1 Diabetic for 30 years and on November 30th I will be celebrating the memory of my late husband.

Doesn’t seem possible that he’s been gone for eight years! In the case of my husband’s family, heredity plays an incredibly ridiculous role.

But for those of us without a familial cancer history there are things we can do to “better our odds” so to speak.

No one food or food component can singularly protect you against cancer.

But strong evidence does show that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans helps lower risk for many cancers.

However, foods can fight cancer both directly and indirectly. In laboratory studies, many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anticancer effects. Continue reading

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Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

Listing the pet peeves of someone living with diabetes

As a Registered Dietitian I have enough pet peeves regarding nutrition to fill a thousand pages.

But since Marianne and Jay won’t give me that kind of space, and because it is National Diabetes Month, I will only discuss the pet peeves I share with other diabetics who live with the illness on a day-to-day basis.

Personally, I group ignorance and unsolicited advice together. It seems that those with the least knowledge about diabetes are always the ones to ask such questions as: “Are you supposed to eat that?” or “I thought diabetics weren’t supposed to eat sugar?” or “How about a piece of fruit instead of that chocolate cake?”

My favorite was the patient who told me his MD said he shouldn’t eat baby carrots, fruit, carbohydrates or milk.

The sad part was that as a RD and veteran Type 1 Diabetic I had to bring up every resource I could find to prove the MD wrong. I work with all kinds of medical professionals and still hear, “should you be eating that?”

People, there is NO reason we cannot enjoy a piece of birthday cake or a slice of bread or an occasional alcoholic beverage.

I know that much of what people say is out of concern, but if you don’t have the latest and greatest factual medical information, I bet the person with diabetes does.

If a doctor is telling you that “sugar is poison,” please refer to the above.

Another pet peeve is listening to the horror stories about someone’s friend’s cousin’s aunt who is a double amputee on kidney dialysis. Continue reading

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Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

 Simple lifestyle changes can ward off diabetes diagnosis

It’s the first day of November which means it’s the kick-off to National Diabetes Month. Most of you are probably aware of Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes, but there is also a relatively new diagnosis called prediabetes.

I have often been told by people that they have prediabetes, but they aren’t exactly sure what it means and what they should do.

Prediabetes is when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetics.

People with prediabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and may have some problems from diabetes already.

Tests that used to make the diagnosis of prediabetes are: fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), or an A1C test.


• Requires a person to fast overnight. The blood glucose is measured first thing in the morning before eating. Continue reading

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Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

Cereal—Is there any such thing as a healthy variety?

Have you walked down the cereal aisle lately? There are a million different varieties (slight exaggeration) that boast “whole grain,” “low sugar,” “high fiber,” or “heart healthy” benefits. But are there really ANY good cereals?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits or detriments to claims made by cereal producers.

Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar

Increasingly, breakfast cereal makers are offering more nutritious, low-sugar options. The trick is trying to find them amidst the Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes, or Lucky Charms-like sugary options on the grocery shelves.

As always, ignore the health claims plastered on the front of the box and READ THE LABEL.

If a cereal has 10 grams of sugar in a 30-gram serving, that means the cereal is one-third sugar.

Even if that same cereal boasts that it’s “High in Fiber,” it hardly matters if it’s 30% sugar.

Companies often add fiber to sugary cereals to give parents a false sense of security. Keep in mind that 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams.

So, for example, Cheerios has 1 gram of sugar per serving so that is less than a teaspoon. Frosted Flakes has 11 grams of sugar, or almost 3 teaspoons.

As a point of reference, an Old Fashioned Donut from Dunkin Donuts has 9 grams of sugar, less than 2 teaspoons.

Sugar numbers will also include any sugar from fruit. So, if you’re eating raisin bran, don’t be concerned if the natural sugars from the fruit make the sugar content a little higher.

Read the ingredients—if it’s real fruit, it’s okay.

Load Up on Whole Grains Continue reading

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Nourished Living

by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN 

Tips for keeping your home, cottage or campsite critter-free

At 2:30 a.m., I was awakened by the sound of cracking wood. Generally this is indicative of a bear helping itself to my garage.

Sure enough, a small-ish one—probably a female—was walking out with a bag of garbage and towards my neighbor’s yard to enjoy her picnic.

God bless my Dad who had it cleaned up before I got up!

Based on all reports, I should have bear-proofed my garage. (A very high tech process. Take one picnic table and place it in front of the old-type pull out garage doors. Then park a truck in front of it for good measure.) But I thought I was safe. Famous last thoughts!

So, although I generally write about food safety as it pertains to keeping those volatile summer dishes from causing illness, I thought I’d offer some ideas to keep your food safe while you are here in the “Dacks.”

Whether you’re tenting, in an RV or a camp, take appropriate precautions to keep your campsite/area as unattractive to bears as possible.

A key element here is to keep your food out of the reach of bears, whether you are cooking, eating, snacking, performing other camping duties or sleeping.

And don’t forget to secure your garbage! Continue reading

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Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

The return of nutritionist favorite Kelly Hamlin: You can achieve your weight loss goals using some simple math

If you are looking to drop a few pounds, it could be as easy as following some simple math. Keep in mind that a pound equals 3,500 calories (kcals), so if you consume an extra 3,500 kcals per week you’ll gain a pound.

Conversely, if you either burn off 3,500 kcals or consume 3,500 fewer kcals, you will lose a pound.

You will have a comparable one pound weight loss if you burn 1,750 more kcals and consume 1,750 less.

Journaling what you eat in a week’s time can help you determine where you need to cut the addtional calories to achieve that amount of weight loss.

Think about it this way… you can lose a half-pound a week simply by cutting 250 kcals per day from your diet. Here are some tips for you to consider: Continue reading

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Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin MA, RD, CDN

Nutritional claims, advice need backing from health care pros

Every day we are bombarded with nutritional advice, from blogs, gyms, products, well-intentioned friends and, well, newspaper columns.

But how do you know if what’s “real” information or if someone is just trying to scam you and make a buck?

Good nutrition advice is supported by evidence and lets you know if findings are based more on theory than science.

But even if there is research, double and triple check your sources.

Among reliable sources are usually Universities and accredited hospitals.

You do not need to understand everything that is written (trust me, statistics/research practices are above me) simply ask for the research behind claims.

If your source quotes one study, ask if that reflects all of the science in the area.

If they act flustered, you know they haven’t done their homework.

This is particularly useful when people offer their opinions.

Be leery of strong, unsupported claims.

A big red flag for nutrition advice is strong statements saying X causes Y. Continue reading

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