February is all about the heart. From the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day to advocacy and awareness of heart health. In relation to diabetes, heart health and the former share some common ground. For worse, one complication increases the risk of the other, yet, on the positive, these health conditions provide a push to take extra care of our health and food choices.

In the least, here are some small steps that can aid big health results for blood sugar control and caring for our heart.

  • Nurture sleep. Tis the secret sauce of our health. We should act like we are getting paid to sleep; because in the end, we really are regarding health. When we are sleep-deprived, we are not only sparking a cascade of events in hormonal imbalance, including insulin resistance, but we are also throwing our cravings for a loop. Even if you are not able to pack in the needed 8 hours of sleep by catering to a bedtime, etc., then strive for quality sleep. How? Make sure your room is cool (68F), pitch black, quiet and calm. Get blackout curtains if needed, use some ear plugs if you are a city slicker like myself and detox from electronics a good our before making it to your pillow. Lastly, look into trying a magnesium supplement. Every night I have a routine of sipping on some tea with some unflavored Natural Calm (a magnesium drink).
  • Choose each meal based on a combinations of vegetables and some fruit. From there add in high quality protein. Indeed, make the target of vegetables 2 cups per meal and select of variety of color.  Does this recommendation sound familiar? It not only stems from my philosophy of eating more real food, but rides on the recommendations of one of the top-rated diets in the last 6 years, the DASH diet. 
  • Measure your current weight, and then take that number and divide it in half. The number you get is the value of ounces you should drink within a day. And sorry, the liquids from coffee/tea do not go into this estimation. Find a good water bottle and take it along with you EVERYWHERE.
  • Get up every 60 minutes. Sitting in the modern cigarette. It’s hurting our health on a daily basis. If you follow the tip to drink more, you very much so will be getting up to use the loo more. Either way, cardiovascular health isn’t about hitting it hard in the gym, although that can be a plus if monitored in a healthy dose, but just moving more each hour of the day can please your body, improve blood sugar control, production and more.
  • Lastly, it’s not only about what we feed ourselves with food, but it’s also about what we feed our mind. Pay attention to how you talk yourself, and if the tone can be more gentle or nicer, start changing your thoughts. Be kind, supportive and reassuring.