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Curry Roasted Cauliflower!

>> Thursday, September 27, 2012

OK.  I don't know how I'm going to get this message across without being able to make letters jump off a page...  this is an AMAZING CREATION!!  Since I discovered this recipe, I have been going through cauliflower like nobody's business.  It makes a great veggie dish for company, or just to enjoy on your own!  No muss, no fuss.   I've tweaked the recipe from the original at - thanks for the inspiration!

Two words:  TRY IT!

INGREDIENTS (yes it can be this simple!)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • curry powder to taste
  • 2 packets of Splenda
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 500F (260C). 

2.  Mix all of the above together in a bowl to coat evenly.  

3.  Cover a baking tray with tin foil and spray with a bit of cooking spray.  Spread the cauliflower evenly over the tray. 

4.  Cover with another layer of tin foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking another 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to cook evenly.   The goal is to cook until the tips of the cauliflower are a bit browned and crispy. 

Makes 4 servings.  PER SERVING: (assuming medium size cauliflower, 1kg = just over 2lb): 

CARBS: 10g
FAT: 4g

Mmmmmm.....ENJOY!!   Thanks to my friend Susan for pointing this magical creation out to me. :)

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen


Women, Sex, and Diabetes

>> Thursday, September 20, 2012

It is well known that men with diabetes are at risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).  We are now learning that it is not only diabetic men that are at risk of sexual challenges - a new research study reveals that women with diabetes can struggle with several aspects of sexual function too.

The study, which was done in California, administered questionnaires to well over 2,000 women aged 40-80, asking questions about sexual function.  They found that:

  • women with diabetes were more likely to report low sexual satisfaction;
  • insulin treated diabetic women were more likely to have problems with lubrication and orgasm than women without diabetes.
  • women with serious complications of their diabetes (eg heart disease, kidney complications, stroke) reported less sexual satisfaction and activity than diabetic women without these complications.

So what is the link between diabetes and lower sexual health?  Just like for men, several possibilities exist, including:

  • blood flow to the genital organs may be impaired (in the same way that blood supply to other organs can be damaged over time, especially if blood sugar control is poor);
  • the nerve supply can be damaged over time (just like nerves to the feet can be affected, again, especially if blood sugar control is poor over the long term);
  • some medications can affect sexual function;
  • sex drive can be decreased if a person is not well because of their diabetes, or diabetes-related complications.  

A note on the finding that insulin treated women had more problems with lubrication and orgasm -  this probably reflects the fact that the women using insulin had more advanced complications of their diabetes (eg nerve damage), and should NOT be interpreted to mean that insulin itself decreases sexual satisfaction.  That being said, if a woman on insulin is having frequent problems with low blood sugars, this could certain dampen the sex drive - the solution here would be to adjust the insulin dosing with the help of health care providers so that the lows are no longer occurring.   The psychological issues that are sometimes associated with starting insulin could have an effect on the libido as well, which can certainly take time to work through - I want to emphasize that the solution is not to stop the insulin, as not taking insulin when it's required can have truly devastating effects on health.   I always encourage my patients to think of starting insulin in a positive light, as it provides the opportunity to get good control of diabetes!


1.  Diabetic women are at risk of having sexual health issues - both patients and health care providers need to ask about it, and talk about it.

2.  Preserving sexual health is one more important reason to have good control of blood sugars, as poor control increases the risk of damage to nerves and blood vessels that are important for good sexual function.

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen


Making Healthy Meals as a Working Parent

>> Friday, September 14, 2012

My patients often tell me that having to find time to cook for their family makes it harder to eat well themselves.  I polled some of my friends who are working moms to get some real life tips, and I got an especially awesome response with lots of great ideas from my good friend Dr Ronagh Hatcher, a family physician in Calgary who has two little ones at home.  Here's what she had to say!  

#1 - Be organized.   It takes time to get there but the more you can plan ahead the healthier you will eat.  As we have food alergies/intolerances in our family, we don't have a lot of options so we have to be organized.  Every Sunday, we plan out our meals for the week; from there, we develop a grocery list.  That way, every day I know what we are having for dinner, and most days we already have everything we need.  You will also find it saves you money!!

#2 - Make freezer meals.   Once a week I try to make triple or more of a meal that freezes well.  We have it for dinner that night, then store the unused portions for those days when you won't have time to cook.  After a few weeks I end up with a great selection in the freezer.  This is a huge timesaver as it means I don't have to cook a few nights a week.  Things I find that freeze well are spaghetti sauce, pulled pork, lasagna, curries, chicken taco meat, shepards pie, turkey meatballs, chili...  Just to name a few!  Homemade muffins and soups also freeze well for healthy lunch/snack options.  I invested in some quality Pyrex glass storage wear with plastic lids...  They can go straight from the freezer to the microwave or oven.  

Dr Sue's comment:  I'm secretly a bit envious of Ronagh's family and all the great food they get to eat.  Ronagh was my roommate years ago in med school, and I LOVED it when she cooked for me!

#3 - Get aquainted with a slow cooker - this is key for working parents!!!! It means you can take 5-10 minutes in the morning to throw stuff in your slow cooker, turn it on, and presto...  dinner is done when you get home.  I recommend buying a large volume one because these meals are usually good for leftovers, or for 'freezer meals'.  I have a recipe book that does not require you brown the meat first, which is also a big time saver.  

#4 - Make ahead healthy lunch options.  There are certain lunches that I can eat for days in a row and never get sick of them.  It is worth making the effort one day to have the convenience for the next three!  Things I like to do this with are homemade soups, like roasted butternut squash, or salads like couscous or quinoa ones that keep well.  Some pre made options I really like are 'Imagine Organic Creamy Tomato' and Costco quinoa salad.  

Dr Sue:  Nutritional info for these foods is in the links - just click on them! Remember to portion control. :)

#5 - Shop around for healthier pre made food options for when you just dont have the time or energy...  here's a few ideas to get you started:

  • Superstore blue menu has some great flax chicken strips
  • Buy Costco falafels, heat in a pan and serve with rice and salad
  • Cooked whole chicken -  chop and sauté with onions and tomato sauce for a quick pasta sauce, or serve over salad for a fresh lighter meal.  The possibilities are endless here.  
  • If you need a pizza fix...  Delicio harvest wheat thin crust pizza is a MUCH healthier opinion than takeout
  • local premade food companies...  I use one called 'Green Figs and Yams' - for $16 dollars a dish you can buy healthy freezer ready entrees for 3-4 people.  

#6 - If you don't know how to cook, learn!   Some great healthy cookbooks are the Looney spoons/Crazy Plates ones.   They have tons of healthy yet tasty recipes, complete with nutritional information. 

Dr Sue's comment - I use these recipe books too - I love them so much that I asked for (and received) permission from the authors to post the odd recipe from their collection

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen


Sensational Baked Portobello Mushroom Wedges!

>> Friday, September 7, 2012

French fry fan?  Here is a great substitute that is much fuller in taste and easier on the waistline.   Note that as always, portion size is important - share this delicious treat with three friends or family and enjoy at only 140 calories per serving!

Thanks to for the fabulous recipe idea which we've tweaked a bit, and to my best friend Deb for finding it!  We think that Prego tomato sauce makes a great dip, or indulge with two tablespoons of Bolthouse Farms Caesar Parmigiano Yogurt Dressing, at 25 calories per tablespoon (good for a creamy dressing, but not as low calorie as the Prego sauce which comes in around 8 calories per tablespoon) - remember to portion control the sauces as well.  


  • 2 medium portobello mushrooms (about 150g each), gills removed, sliced about 1/4" thick 
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • spices as you like: try salt & pepper; cajun spice; rosemary & spice - or make up your own!

1.  Preheat the oven to 425F. 

2.  Mix the bread crumbs, cheese, and spices together. 

3.  Roll the mushroom slices in flour, then the egg white, then the bread crumb mixture. 

4.  Place the mushroom slices on a baking sheet (lined with tin foil and sprayed with a bit of non stick spray) until golden, about 7-10 minutes per side. 

Makes 4 servings. PER SERVING: (Approximate, and not including sauces!)

CARBS: 21g 
FAT 2.5g

***NOTE that this nutritional info assumes that ALL of the flour and breadcrumb mixture is used, but in reality, there is still some left after you've coated all the mushrooms.  

Therefore, FOR DIABETICS who are counting carbs, please note that the amount of carbs will actually be lower than what is written here.  It's a bit tough to say exactly how much carb you will be getting, as it totally depends on how much of the flour and bread crumb mixture you use, as this is where most of the carbs in the recipe come from.   If you only use half of the flour and bread crumbs, cut the carb count above in half per serving (ie 10g of carbs instead of 21g). 

I'd be thrilled to hear what kind of herbs and flavors you try in this recipe - please feel free to comment and share your ideas!

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen



I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!

Are you ready to change your life? Let's begin our journey together, towards a healthier, happier you!!

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