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Practicing Mindfulness - Survival Tips For The Holidays

>> Saturday, December 24, 2016

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season, with some time to relax and have fun with family and friends!  With the abundance of food and drink that often accompanies the merriment,  it can be particularly tough to stick to our healthy lifestyle plans - let's be honest, it's hard to say no.

So - don't say no.  Just engage in a few practices that will help get you through!  The theme here is eating mindfully - give purposeful thought to the choices you make.  Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Make sure it's worthy of splurging: If you are going to treat yourself, make sure it is awesome enough to deserve it.  If it's not delightful with the first bite, stop.

2.  Portions, portions, portions.  If it's not a healthy choice, have a small portion.

3.  Take your time: remember that it takes about 15 minutes for the fullness hormones to kick in and tell your brain that you feel full.

4.  Fill your plate wisely:  Fill half of your plates with vegetables (avoiding dressing/butter/sauces); choose lean proteins; minimize portions of foods where it's very hard to know what's in it (eg mashed potatoes and stuffing can hide a lot of extra calories); and minimize gravies and sauces.  Eat the vegetables first.

5.  Don't starve yourself all day before a big meal or party: you'll end up very hungry and likely to eat more than your full day of calories.

6.  Be aware of liquid calories, especially alcohol.  Alcohol is empty calories that does not give any fullness sensation.  Your body essentially puts the brakes on burning anything else until the alcohol is out of your system.

Happy Holidays to all!

Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen © 2016


An Inspirational Kid with Diabetes!

>> Monday, December 19, 2016

This youngster has grabbed my heart, and this week I'm sharing him with you.

Meet Carter: He's 2 years old and has type 1 diabetes.  He has learned to test his own blood sugars and is doing it here for the first time.

Many people living with diabetes struggle with commitment to testing their own sugars - hopefully Carter serves as an inspiration!

If you're looking for a cause to support this holiday season, consider the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen © 2016


Gingerbread Cookie Dough Bites - A Practice In Portions!

>> Monday, December 12, 2016

Whaaaaat??? you say.... Dr Sue is blogging a cookie dough recipe?!  Yes, in fact, I am.  Let's face it - it's the holiday season, and indulging is likely to happen one way or another.  This brings me to one of the most important survival skills when less healthy choices present themselves: Portion Control.  Years ago, I conducted and published a clinical trial on a portion plate and showed that it was helpful for weight management, but the trouble is, foods like desserts and cookies can't really be measured on a plate.  So, if you are in need of a holiday treat recipe, consider this fantastic bite-sized recipe.  Not only is it delicious, but it reminds us that just a bite or two can be enough to enjoy without setting all your hard work staying healthy off the rails.  Amy uses applesauce in her recipe as a low calorie way to cut back on the margarine - I like it!

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine, melted
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar, packed


  1. Whisk together the flour, ginger, and salt in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, stir together the margarine, molasses, applesauce, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Mix in the brown sugar. Add in the dry flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. Line a baking sheet or large plate with wax paper. Roll the cookie dough into 32 little balls, using between 1 – 1½ teaspoons of dough in each ball. Place on the wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 32 bites.  Per bite: 
  • Calories: 31
  • fat: 0.4g
  • carbs: 6.5g
  • protein: 0.4g
I would suggest 3 bites (or less) as a serving. 


Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen © 2016


New Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Update

>> Monday, December 5, 2016

While the full Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Clinical Practice Guidelines are formally updated every 5 years (with the next edition due in 2018), interim updates are published if new evidence emerges that is considered to be practice changing.  As such, the CDA has just released an interim update with revised recommendations, in light of the new cardiovascular outcome trial of a diabetes medication called liraglutide.

As blogged previously, in people with type 2 diabetes who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease, the liraglutide cardiovascular trial (called the LEADER trial) demonstrated that liraglutide reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 13%.  Put another way: if 66 people are treated for 3 years with liraglutide, one cardiovascular event would be prevented.

In the LEADER trial, 81% of patients had a past history of established cardiovascular disease, while 19% of patients did not (but they were still considered to be at high risk of CV events due to their risk factors).  Subgroup analyses suggested that it was patients who had a history of established cardiovascular disease who had the reduction in risk with liraglutide. As patients had to be age 50 or older to be included in the study, we do not know if these findings apply to a younger population.

In the revised CDA Guidelines, liraglutide now joins another medication called empagliflozin, as medications to consider after metformin, in patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease, who are not at target blood sugar control.  As ongoing cardiovascular outcome trials of diabetes medications are completed and published, the CDA Guidelines will be updated accordingly.

I have pasted the new algorithm below, but the resolution isn't great - it's a little friendlier on the eyes here.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Expert Committee for the writing of the Canadian Diabetes Association 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines. 

Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen © 2016



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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