Make time to move

Physiotherapist, Saadia Kirsten Jantjes, gives us practical moves to up your everyday exercise and move.


A few weeks ago, while scrolling through social media, I came across the following quote: “If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

It dawned upon me that so many of us wait to be told by a doctor or medical professional, “You have diabetes/high cholesterol/high blood pressure, so you need to move and start exercising and taking better care of your health.”

After attending a diabetes workshop last month, I realised how much time and effort really goes into managing diabetes. Constantly checking blood glucose levels; being conscious of the amount of food consumed; how eating different food groups will affect your blood glucose at different times of the day; and adjusting doses accordingly. It definitely is time consuming.

Add that to all your day-to-day activities, means that you have very little ‘me-time’. Yet, your doctor and dietitian constantly tell you to add exercise to your routine. So, when and where are you meant to do this?

Make movement a part of your lifestyle

Our bodies are meant to move and not be sedentary. If we look back to our old friends, the cavemen, they were hunting, dancing around fires and exploring their surroundings. Ah what a life!

Unfortunately, in this day and age, we must schedule time for movement otherwise our day just runs away with us. But it shouldn’t have to be like that. Making movement an integral part of your daily living will result in more active calories been burnt throughout the day and, essentially, more time for yourself.

Start with baby steps…literally. Take the stairs.

Skip the lift and elevators and take the stairs whenever and wherever you can. Studies show that climbing just eight flights of stairs lowers early mortality risk by 33%; seven minutes of stair climbing a day can half the risk of heart attack over 10 years; and just two minutes of extra stair climbing a day is enough to stop middle age weight gain.

There are numerous other benefits like improving muscular tone, strength and balance as well as increasing your cardiovascular fitness. Riding the elevator up three flights burns 3kcal while walking up three flights of stairs burns over 20kcal.

Get in touch with Mother Nature…in your backyard

Gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding and it is particularly exerting. Using a leaf blower for 30 minutes burns 115kcal but raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 175kcal.

Add some simple exercises to your gardening regime to increase your calorie count. For example, performing a deep squat every time you bend down to water the flowers. Standing on your toes to pair the leaves. Doing some overhead presses with the watering can. Or, if you’re up for it, add a jog around the garden or some high knees on the spot. So, not only are you working out while gardening, but you’ll reap the benefits of some fresh air too!

Move at work

You probably spend most of your waking hours at work. So, what if you could workout while you work, without having to carve out a big chunk of your time?Try these quick moves in the workplace:

  • If you sit at a desk, make it a habit to stand up every time you make or answer a phone call. March on the spot or pace in a circle to keep moving.
  • Need an energising break? Stand up and do some basic strength and balance exercises. For example, squats, desk push-ups, wall sits, calf raises, tree pose and chair pose.
  • Walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch instead of driving or ordering in.
  • Alternate sitting and standing throughout the day, with lots of walking and stretching breaks.
  • Explore your options for using a standing desk, treadmill desk or sit-stand desk riser.

These are all practical tools to get you moving throughout the day. It can also be a great way to figure out what you may actually enjoy in terms of exercise. So, that when you’re able to set time aside for exercise, you’re able to do so with something that you enjoy.

MEET OUR EXPERT


Saadia Kirsten Jantjes is a physiotherapist with a passion for health and wellness. With a second degree in Sport Science, exercise is one of her favourite rehabilitation tools, to not only rehab injuries but prevent injuries too. Saadia has her own private practice in Morningside, Gauteng, SKJ Physiotherapy while working at a Sub-Acute Clinic and furthering her studies in Pilates.

 


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Healthy and easy ways to make smoothies for people living with diabetes

Brought to you by: FUTURELIFE®


Smoothies are one of those foods that have stayed popular and remained on the food trend list for the last few years. Everywhere you look; restaurants, recipe books, food blogs and Pinterest are filled with the most delicious smoothie recipes and a simple google search on smoothies can pull through pages and pages of articles and recipes, but needless to say, looking through all this information can be a pretty daunting task. For those of you who don’t know anything about smoothies…you are in luck, here is all the information you need to know about making a nutritious smoothie.


WHAT ARE SMOOTHIES?

A smoothie is a blended drink made from a combination of fruits and/or vegetables; a liquid such as milk, a milk alternative, yogurt or juice and ice.1 Smoothies can vary in thickness depending on the ratio of solid to liquid ingredients used.

WHY ARE SMOOTHIES A GREAT ADDITION TO YOUR DAY?

As smoothies contain a combination of foods and are a great way to boost your nutrition in one meal. They often contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre as well as healthy fats and protein. Smoothies are versatile, and if made correctly they can be had as a meal, snack or healthy treat.

There are endless combinations of ingredients that you can use to make smoothies, therefore it’s difficult to get bored. Smoothies are also quick and easy to prepare. Just put all the ingredients into a blender and ‘voila’ you have a nutrient dense meal.

ARE SMOOTHIES SAFE FOR INDIVIDUALS LIVING WITH DIABETES?

Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you need to deny yourself all the foods you love, but it is still important to ensure that you make healthier food choices. As smoothies contain many ingredients, they can often be high in sugar, carbohydrates and calories which can cause havoc on blood sugar levels. Therefore, it’s important to choose your ingredients carefully and keep an eye on how much you drink at a time.

HOW TO MAKE A ‘DIABETIC-FRIENDLY’ SMOOTHIE

1. Choose your produce

Most smoothie recipes call for the addition of a selection of fruits. Fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and natural sugars. Any seasonal fruit of your choice can be used but make sure include fruits of different colours. Examples include all berries, apples, pear, melon, nectarine, citrus, kiwi and plums etc. Watch your portion of the following fruits as they contain more sugar per portion e.g. banana’s, grapes, figs, paw paw, melon and dried fruit.

If you are going to include other carbohydrate sources in your smoothie, such as dairy or a cereal product e.g. FUTURELIFE® or oats, it is suggested you only include 1/2 – 1 fruit portion per smoothie.

One fruit portion = 1 tennis ball size fruit OR 2 golf ball size fruit OR ½ cup
People often forget about adding vegetables to smoothies. Vegetables also contain fewer carbohydrates than fruit therefore are helpful in keeping the total carbohydrate of the smoothie down. Including vegetables in your smoothie is a quick and convenient way to include more vegetables into your day. Any of the green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, cucumber and avocado are great additions to any smoothie as they contain little carbohydrates. Be careful of starchy vegetables such as carrots or beetroot. Some recipes also call for cooked vegetables like sweet potato or legumes that contribute to fibre content, texture and taste.

One vegetable portion = 1 cup raw vegetables OR ½ cup cooked
Natural sugars, found in fruits and starchy vegetables, also cause spikes in your blood sugar levels if too much is eaten at once. Remember to count the fruit and starchy vegetables you blend into your smoothies as part of your daily fruit allowance. This will ensure you don’t overdo it on carbohydrates.

2. Add your liquid

There are many choices when it comes to liquids, many people just add water or ice. Including plain, unsweetened dairy such yoghurt or milk not only contributes calcium and vitamin D which is important for bone health but also increases the protein content. This helps to lower the Glycaemic index (GI) of the whole smoothie (refer to article on GI & GL),2 which helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.2,3 Bear in mind that dairy also contains carbohydrates, therefore contributing to the total carbohydrate content of the smoothie.

For dairy free options include a non-sweetened milk alternative such as soy, almond, rice, hemp, or a little bit of coconut milk. Other recipes also call for fruit juice, however for people living with diabetes, fruit juice isn’t recommended as it contains natural sugars but no fibre. Remember these smoothies contain multiple ingredients that contain carbohydrates, fruit juice will push the carbohydrate content up quickly.

3. Boost nutrition
Protein & Fat
Including a source of protein and fat in your smoothie is helpful as they both slow the rate at which the meal leaves the stomach. This slows down the absorption of the sugars into your blood which prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.

  • Ways to boost the protein content would be to add a protein powder such as whey and /or casein which is milk based or a plant based protein powder include hemp, soy, brown rice, and pea.
  • Include the following healthy fats in your smoothie: 1 small handful of nuts, 1 – 2 Tablespoons of seeds, ½ small avocado (gives your smoothie a creamy texture), 1 tablespoon of sugar free nut butter and 1 teaspoon of seed oils e.g. coconut, flaxseed, macadamia or olive.

Other tips:

  • Whole grains can also be a useful addition to the smoothie as they contribute texture and boost the nutritionals by adding vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein and are low GI. Oats or oat bran are a great option. Remember to watch portions as they will contribute to the carbohydrate content
  • Don’t add extra sweeteners; remember fruits and dairy contain natural sugars already.
  • Remember to consider the carbohydrate content of the total smoothie. This should be no more than 1 – 3 carbohydrate exchanges depending on if it’s a meal or snack.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?
FUTURELIFE® products are a great addition to any smoothie as they contain nutrients that are useful when looking at the steps for making diabetic friendly recipes above. They are high in protein, fibre, healthy fats and omega-3. Many of our products are also enriched with vitamins and minerals; contain the prebiotic inulin and MODUCARE® which supports the immune system. Our products are also quick and easy to prepare, just add water or milk.

FUTURELIFE® Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ and ZERO Smart food™ are the recommended products to add to any smoothie. While all are high in protein and fibre, low GI and nutrient dense, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ has the highest protein content of 30 g per 100g. It contains SmartProtein3D which is a combination of soy, casein and whey protein, and has the lowest carbohydrate content and GI of all our products. FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™ is free of cane sugar and contains Smart Sweetness, a combination of Stevia, Erythritol and Sucralose. All 3 offering great benefits despite your preferences.


How to make a diabetic friendly smoothie:

ONE

Choose your produce. Include both fruit and vegetables and stick to portions

One fruit portion = 1 tennis ball size fruit OR 2 golf ball size fruit OR ½ cup

One vegetable portion = 1 cup raw vegetables OR ½ cup cooked

TWO

Add your liquid e.g. water, milk, yoghurt or dairy free option such as unsweetened soy, almond or coconut milk

THREE

Boost the nutritionals with a source of protein and fat

FOUR

Consider the carbohydrate content of the total smoothie


There you have it, see how simple it is to make your own smoothie. Remember by following these principles above you can adapt any smoothie recipe into one that is suitable for people living with diabetes. Included below are some easy recipes containing FUTURELIFE® products for those living with diabetes. Consult with your dietitian or diabetic nurse educator if you have any questions. For more delicious smoothie recipes, nutritional advice, health tips, Diabetes meal plans and more, visit www.futurelife.co.za


Try our healthy and easy recipes!

FUTURELIFE® Mixed Berries and Mint Crush

Ingredients 1/3 cup mixed frozen berries 125 ml plain fat free / low fat yoghurt 125 ml water 40 g or 4 Tbsp. FUTURELIFE® Smart

FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients ½ cup of coffee, already prepared ½ cup low-fat or fat-free yoghurt (vanilla) 1 handful of ice 50 g (5 heaped Tbsp.) of FUTURELIFE®