Tag: healthy eating

November 23, 2020

Start 2021 the Right Way – By Taking Charge of your Health!

Written by Dana Onesti, RD, LD and Kayla Bechtel, RD, LDN, CPT

Do you have the same New Year’s Resolution each year only to lose sight of it come February? With less than 8% of people achieving their resolutions, make a change to avoid type 2 diabetes and ensure you don’t fall in this statistic!1

Enroll in the GemCare Wellness Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to make certain this will be the “New Year, New You” that you have always wanted. While many fad diets and promises of a “quick fix” bombard your newsfeed, the DPP classes are built on a lifestyle change program. This free, year-long program – funded by the Ohio Department of Health – focuses on long-term changes and results that will last! During your journey, you will work alongside Registered Dietitians (RDs) who will provide you with the tools and knowledge to succeed. Furthermore, you will have the accountability and support of other like-minded individuals who are working toward similar goals.

Past and current participants of this program have cut their risk of developing type two diabetes by 58%.2 To do this, they lost 5-7% of their body weight and exercised at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Each class, your dietitians will educate you on a new topic, diving deeper into nutrition and exercise. Some of the classes include topics such as the struggle of lifestyle change, stress management, tactics to stay motivated, food preparation, preventing a relapse, and many more.

For the first 6 months, classes meet on a weekly/biweekly basis. This provides the essential accountability needed for long-term success. For the last 6 months, the group meets monthly to tackle any new challenges and ensure your progress is still going strong.  As a virtual program, it could not be easier to join from your home while achieving your goals!

Two years ago my glucose numbers started to creep up, and I was overweight for my body structure.  This class class helped me to understand lifestyle changes in both diet and physical activity. Learning to limit carbs  and moderately exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day has really changed me.  – 2019 DPP Participant

Don’t let another year pass by! Make the commitment to your physical and mental health; let our team help you feel your best while reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes! Click the link below to get started.


  1. UAM Medicine. (2019). 10 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved from https://www.uabmedicine.org/-/10-secrets-of-people-who-keep-their-new-year-s-resolutions#:~:text=Less%20than%208%25%20of%20people,about%20sticking%20to%20your%20goals.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, November 15). About the National DPP. Retrieved from https://libguides.massgeneral.org/c.php?g=679228&p=4982801
November 4, 2020

Take Charge of Your Health This Holiday Season with GemCare Wellness’ Diabetes Prevention Program

Written by Jenna Adams, MFN, RD, LD & Heather Fowler, RDN, LD

Want to get a jumpstart on your health before the new year sets in? Want to learn how to manage your health during the holidays while still being able to enjoy your favorite seasonal foods? Food is a big part of the holidays, and it can be challenging to stay on track, but GemCare Wellness’ Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) can help you learn and implement lasting lifestyle changes to improve your health and delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Our free-of-charge*, virtual Diabetes Prevention Program is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with prediabetes or who is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes (T2). Losing 5-7% of your body weight and getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58%, and if you are 60 or older, you can lower your risk by 71%.1

DPP classes provide you with knowledge and tools to navigate not only the holidays but each day successfully. You’ll learn how to incorporate the tools you learn in this program into lifelong, lasting change. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Have a light meal or snack before a holiday event to help control your appetite.
  • Bring a healthy option, such as a veggie or fruit tray.
  • Hold a glass of water to stay hydrated and prevent grazing.
  • Scope out the selections at family meals and prioritize your favorites, forgoing those you could do without.
  • Select a moderate portion of the dessert that appeals most to you.
  • Plan for fun family activities indoors or outdoors, such as going for a walk, playing board games, or having a snowball fight.

Topics we will cover throughout the year include how to eat to prevent type 2 diabetes, shop and cook, manage stress, take charge of your thoughts, and stay motivated. With weekly classes in the first sixth months of the program, you’ll find the needed support to help you navigate the holiday season. Join now, end the year strong, and start 2021 one step closer to your health and wellness goals!

*Program free of charge to participants. Funded by the Ohio Department of Health.


  1. “About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.” National Diabetes Prevention Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Apr. 2019, cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/about-prediabetes.html.
October 26, 2020

Can food affect cancer risk?

While food choices cannot prevent a breast cancer diagnosis, a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle can help reduce risk

by Chelsea Jackle, RD

Did you know that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer during her lifetime? (1) These odds may seem grim, but you should also know that survivorship has increased over the past several decades. (2) Better early detection and treatment are part of this improved outlook, but another important piece to the survivorship puzzle is prevention.

In addition to regular self-breast exams, mammograms, and follow-ups with your doctor to detect cancer early, being aware of lifestyle and nutrition changes that reduce your breast cancer risk is key. While no food or diet can prevent any cancer, eating a nutritious diet and living a healthy lifestyle can give you a better chance of reducing your risk.

There are many different types of cancer, all involving a variety of tissues and areas of the body. These differences impact how the disease behaves and how risk factors will affect it. For example, breast tissue is sensitive to changes in hormone levels (like estrogen), and this is especially true in cancer. Tumor growth is often affected by hormone levels. As most ladies know, your hormone levels change throughout each stage of life (and even within a month). This information on hormones will come in handy later.

Researchers are always studying how our diets, activity levels, and lifestyles affect cancer risk and survivorship. One of the largest ongoing projects on this topic is the Continuous Update Project (also known as CUP) from the World Cancer Research Fund. After analyzing many studies and looking for the strongest evidence available, the experts involved in this project identified a list of key factors that can impact your overall cancer risk. (2)

Foods to Include to Reduce Cancer Risk

Fruits and Vegetables

We’ve all heard that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables, but it may help to understand why experts emphasize the recommendation, especially when it comes to cancer risk.

Eating non-starchy vegetables can decrease the risk of a specific kind of breast cancer called ER- (or estrogen-receptor-negative). (2) Non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, leafy greens, onions, and so many more!

Fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods like whole grains and beans contain special compounds called phytochemicals. These compounds have some long, fancy-sounding names (glucosinolates, isoflavones, and polyphenols… oh my!), but what you really need to know is that different foods have different amounts of phytochemicals, and they all play different roles, which makes it important to mix up the plant foods you eat. When you eat a variety of foods you get a variety of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

According to the CUP research, an important family of phytochemical for reducing your breast cancer risk is the carotenoids. (2) If you’re thinking to yourself, “that word kind of reminds me of carrots,” you’re right! Carotenoids are found in carrots, but they are also found in other fruits and vegetables like cooked tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, winter squash, sweet potatoes, watermelon, apricots, oranges, and cantaloupe.

Soy Foods

Soy always seems to stir up controversy. Does it help? Does it hurt? According to the CUP project, breast cancer survivors who ate soy foods saw better survival rates!

The controversy around soy has to do with phytochemicals in soy called isoflavones, which are plant forms of the hormone estrogen. (See, I told you hormones were going to come up again!) Since high estrogen levels in the body have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, some believe that the plant estrogen in soy is harmful. Some of this belief also comes from studies where rats were given very high doses of isoflavones and saw increased cancer rates.

However, the isoflavone levels we get from real food are much smaller than this, and humans are not the same as rats! Current evidence in humans has not shown a link between soy foods and breast cancer risk. (3) Generally, 1-3 servings from whole food sources like tofu, edamame, miso, tempeh, and soy milk is recommended.

Calcium-Rich Foods

The CUP project concluded that diets rich in calcium decrease breast cancer risk. (2) High-calcium foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as fortified non-dairy alternatives. This research project also found that dairy intake can reduce the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer. (2)

Other Lifestyle Modifications to Consider

Limit or Abstain from Alcohol

Consuming alcohol increases breast cancer risk as well as the risk for other cancers (colorectal, stomach, liver). The risk increases the more someone drinks. (2)

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being in the overweight or obese categories for Body Mass Index (BMI, which can be used to screen for health problems, but in itself is not diagnostic of an individual’s health) decreases the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, but being in these weight categories during adulthood can increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. Weight gain that happens in adulthood can also be a risk factor. (2) The key here is maintaining a healthy weight long-term.

Include Physical Activity

Evidence strongly suggests that vigorous physical activity (any activity that elevates your heart rate to 70–80% of your maximum heartrate) can decrease your risk of breast cancer, but any amount of physical activity can be helpful and may also reduce your cancer risk. (2, 4)

Key Takeaways

  • Eat non-starchy vegetables and a variety of plant-based foods
  • Include fruit and vegetables that contain carotenoids
  • Include calcium-rich foods like dairy or dairy-alternatives
  • Limit or exclude alcoholic beverages
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay active and include vigorous physical activity if possible

Following the World Cancer Research Fund guidelines has been shown to lower the risk of developing many cancers, including breast cancer. (5) Knowing these guidelines is one thing, but implementing them can be a challenge. Our team of registered dietitians is here to help you make lasting lifestyle changes to improve your health. Book a consultation today: https://www.gemcarewellness.com/nutravantage-request-a-call/ 


  1. https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts
  2. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/breast-cancer
  3. https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/soy-and-cancer-risk-our-experts-advice.html
  4. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates
  5. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/96/1/150/4571421
October 19, 2020

Achieving Results with GemCare Wellness’ Diabetes Prevention Program

Written by Emily Topp, MS, RDN, LD

“I’ve seen numbers on the scale that I haven’t seen in years thanks to the GemCare Wellness Diabetes Prevention Program!” – 2019 DPP Participant

Did you know that 1 out of every 3 American adults has prediabetes? Additionally, of those with prediabetes, more than 8 out of 10 of them don’t even know that they have it. If those with prediabetes do not take action, they run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 years.1

GemCare Wellness is delivering a Free, Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to assist participants in achieving their personal health goals, along with reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The overall goal of the DPP is for participants to lose 5% of their starting body weight and to average at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. For high-risk individuals, achieving these goals reduces their chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. Since 2017, class participants have exceeded these goals and lost more than 6.4% of their starting body weight while averaging over 200 minutes of physical activity per week!

This year-long, evidence-based intervention program is no-charge* and open to anyone who has been diagnosed with prediabetes or those who may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Our classes provide participants with the tools to make lifestyle changes, including dietary improvements and an increase in physical activity, along with a support group that includes individuals with similar goals and challenges. Our Registered Dietitians are dedicated to helping participants make positive, long-lasting changes, one step at a time.

Are you at risk? Take our Prediabetes Risk Test today!

While most DPPs use health coaches to teach their sessions, our program is led by a team of Registered, Licensed Dietitians who are healthcare experts. They will be available to you during and between classes to answer any questions you may have!

All classes are virtual, making it easy to join from the comfort of your own home! To secure your spot and begin your journey to better health, click below.

*Program free of charge to participants. Funded by the Ohio Department of Health.


  1. “About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.” National Diabetes Prevention Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Apr. 2019, www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/about-prediabetes.html.