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Why Quinoa Is the Perfect Food for Diabetics

Why Quinoa Is the Perfect Food for Diabetics

Quinoa has only recently begun to rise in popularity in the United States but it is already made a name for itself as a great source of nutrition.  Compared to other grains, quinoa has more protein, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.  Quinoa is also gluten free, making it the perfect food for people who are sensitive to gluten.  On top of that, it has recently been shown as a good nutrition source for diabetics and can be used as a healthy way to maintain blood sugar levels.

What is Quinoa?

While it may be new to supermarkets in your area, quinoa has been a staple of the South American diet for centuries dating all the way back to the time of the Incas.  It is native to the Andes Mountains and is able to survive harsh conditions.  Quinoa is eaten like a grain with the Incas referring to it as “the mother of all grains”, but it is actually a seed.

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There are currently 120 different known variations of the seed, but the most popular are the white, red and black quinoa making these three varieties the types you will most likely see in your local grocery store.

Research into the benefits of quinoa is relatively knew compared to research in other foods and it is only in the last thirty years that researchers have begun to discover the health benefits of this little seed.  While more research is needed, it is currently believed that adding quinoa to your diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and it is has also been shown to provide many benefits to people suffering from diabetes as well.

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How Quinoa Can Impact Blood Sugar

One of the keys to living a healthy life with diabetes is managing and controlling your diet.  Quinoa is a great choice for diabetes because it is a whole grain, one of the key components of a healthy diabetic diet along with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and unsaturated fats.

Foods that are high on the glycemic index will raise your blood sugar and could make it difficult to control.  Quinoa, however, is very low on the glycemic index meaning it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar when eaten.

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While most grains don’t have the amino acids necessary to form a protein, quinoa has enough present to be considered a complete protein.  Quinoa is also a great fiber source that doesn’t impact blood sugar that could help you maintain proper body weight to prevent other chronic conditions associated with diabetes.

Easy Ways to Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa is prepared in water and cooked in a similar fashion to rice.  When preparing the dish, place one cup of uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Once the water is boiling reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa until most of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.  In most cases, this usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

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Quinoa can also be used as a healthy addition to other types of dishes as well.  Much like rice, you can add it to soups, stews or chili to give your dish an extra touch that is not only healthy but quite tasty as well.

With all of the good things we keep hearing about quinoa, it’s a wonder that anyone still uses rice anymore.  For diabetics, it is the perfect grain that is built for a healthy diabetic diet.  Incorporating this little seed into your diet can help you control your blood sugar while also maintaining a healthy weight to prevent many of the secondary problems that are caused by diabetes.

Featured photo credit: By Vi..Cult… (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons via upload.wikimedia.org

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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