Diabetes Diet #17: Cookies & Summer Exercise

Diabetes Recipes:

Judith’s Health Nut Cookies
Everybody Loves A Brownie
Mango Banana Ice Cream

A Summer Hike And Cookies Too

Summer is an invitation to exercise. Every marathon starts with a walk around the block. Some of us don’t get to actually run the marathon, but we become athletes in our hearts, no matter what. Sports, exercise, and athletics make us feel good about ourselves. They give a sense of well being, accomplishment, a twinkle in the eye, healthy skin, buoyancy, strength, muscle tone, a strong heart, weight stabilization, and good blood sugars.

Exercise is a terrific part of the care before the cure. And even when that seemingly mythical day peaks, over the horizon, don’t stop exercising. If you are a beginner, use caution to awaken your stiff and sleeping body. Start slowly. Build gradually. Increase in time. Increase in power. Find the exercise/sports that are best for you. Exercise should be fun. Walk, dance, run, swim. Go bowling. Play tennis, baseball, paddleball, ping pong, football or soccer. Stretch to some jazzy music. Jog with a friend. Ride a bike, try martial arts, yoga, pilates, rollerblade, Work out at the local gym or YMCA. The list goes on and on. Find your game and play it with passionate gusto and bursts of laughter.

At the Diabetes Mall bookstore, there are some great books on diabetes diet and sports. Put them in your shopping cart and browse through them on rainy afternoons. Guarantee you’ll learn and be inspired. There are a few basic rules you should follow with exercise and diabetes. Even the most experienced diabetic athlete needs a refresher course in these once in a while. Check your blood sugar before and after exercise (if you are doing endurance sports, clip your meter on your belt, in a fanny pack or in a pocket to test at least every hour).

Keep hydrated. Drink water, water, and more water, the nectar of Nike. Water feeds the muscles you are using to make them work more efficiently. Water acts as a tonic lubricating and cleansing the system. Water is refreshing and tastes good. If you are carrying a bottle with you on a hike or run, squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime into it for added refreshment and thirst-quenching jump.

Always carry a snack. This doesn’t mean sometimes, or if you remember, or if you think of it as you walk out the door. It means always. Take a minute to run a mental checklist. Keys, water, ID, $$, meter, and food. If you practice the checklist for a few weeks, it becomes a habit. And we diabetics live a life of forming habits to stay healthy. So, what’s one more.

Sure you can grab a Power Bar or a few packs of Sweet Tarts or glucose tablets (and you should for extended time endurance sports), but at Cyber Kitchen, we love to make our own snacks for the road. Recently, I was part of a Diabetes and Exercise Conference in New York City at which LifeScan launched its new “Steps to Control” program which encourages and promotes exercise as a tool for good diabetes management.

All attendees were given a small pedometer (and instruction booklet for the “Steps to Control” program) as they exited the conference. The goal is to achieve 10,000 steps (5 miles) a day for fitness. Everyone from seasoned athletes, beginner athletes to nonathletes, type 1’s and type 2’s loved the concept of clipping this simple device on a belt buckle and at the end of the day knowing how many miles and steps you walked. Nothing like a little competition with yourself to get you into the game.

For the conference, I baked batches and batches of cookies I used to sell to a local health food store. The original recipe is loaded with almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, pignoli nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seed, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. We won’t talk about the calories and fat involved. I have scaled the concentration of nuts down a bit, but it remains a great treat to carry along to any sport this summer. Come on over to Cyber Kitchen for a baking lesson on these simple delicious cookies and a few others to get you ready to take a Summer hike.

Diabetes Recipes: Cookies To Enjoy With Summer Exercise
Judith’s Health Nut Cookies
This recipe makes about 70 cookies. They freeze very well in ziplock freezer bags. Defrost at room temp.
1 / 2 cup canola oil
1 / 2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large fresh eggs
1 / 2 low-fat milk
r 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ts. baking soda, a pinch of salt
1 generous t. ground cinnamon
2 cups regular oatmeal (not instant)
¼ cup toasted wheatgerm
1 / 2 cup dried cherries, cranberries or apricots (diced)
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. With an electric beater, mix oil, peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and milk until smooth and well blended. This should take about 3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients one at a time or mix them together in a separate bowl, and add all at once.
  4. Line baking sheets with parchment or foil and drop small walnut-sized cookies on the baking sheets. Leave in irregular shapes for a homey, rustic look. Bake 15 minutes or until cookies begin to turn slightly golden brown.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 2 Cookies, Calories: 95, Carbs: 12 grams, Fat:  4.2 grams, Protein: 2.5 grams

Optional Addition
Stir in 1 / 2 cup chocolate chips.
Changes in nutritional information:
Serving Size: 2 Cookies
Calories: 105
Carbs: 13 grams
Fat:  5.2 grams
Protein: 2.5 grams

Everybody Loves A Brownie
1 / 2 cup cocoa
1 / 2 cup sugar
1 / 3 cup canola oil
2 large fresh eggs
1 cup sifted whole wheat flour
½ t. baking soda and 1 t. baking powder, a pinch of cinnamon
1 / 4 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cocoa, sugar, oil, and eggs until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time. Stir until blended.
  4. Bake in 8-inch pan lightly spritzed with vegetable oil spray for 20 -25 minutes.
  5. Cut into 16 squares.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 Brownie, Calories: 118, Carbs: 14 grams, Fat: 7 grams, Protein: 2 grams

Optional Flavor Additions:
A few drops of vanilla, mint or almond extract to add subtle background nuance.

Almost Instant Mango Banana Ice Cream
Don’t throw out overripened bananas freeze them. This is one of those great kitchen tips I learned long ago and continue to use. When bananas are ready to be dumped in the garbage because they are overripe and getting mushy, cut them into chunks and put in plastic freezer bags, freeze until you have a hankering for banana ice cream.

2 cut-up frozen bananas
1 / 2 cup frozen berries

  1. Place fruit in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. This may take a few minutes since fruit is quite frozen. You can let fruit rest on counter 5 or 10 minutes to soften a bit before beginning.
  2. Add a pinch of cinnamon or a grating of fresh nutmeg if you like.
  3. Serve immediately with a couple of cookies.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: ½ cup, Calories: 60, Carbs:  15 grams, Protein: 1 gram