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How About Trying This Southern New Year’s Custom?

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions related to diabetes management. I’m fine with “call Mom more often,” “stop spending paycheck on Powerball” or “bike from Miami to Seattle.” But, I think the whole New Year’s resolution thing is usually just a reaction to the custom, and is not supported by a lot of planning and preparation. That’s why so many people fail to even make it to Naples on their bike – many even turning back after encountering their first alligator blocking the road through the Everglades. I detailed a better approach to making diabetes-related lifestyle changes in a post a couple of years ago.

This year I’ve decided to recommend a different New Year’s custom for you, however. And, the odds that this custom will bring you good luck and prosperity in 2018 are virtually equal to your odds of hitting that Powerball jackpot you’ve been spending your paychecks on. Plus, it’s undoubtedly better for your diabetes management.

Eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day.

Now, a fair portion of the country already does this, and I have been aware of this southern custom since I first “took up” with my southern husband years ago. But, now that we’ve moved to the “old” south we even grow our own collards. And, of course, I wouldn’t be making this recommendation if there wasn’t a nutritional payoff.

A ½ cup portion of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring you guaranteed good luck in 2018*, 100 calories, almost 25%DV (daily recommended intake) of fiber (including heart healthy soluble fiber), 14%DV protein with all essential amino acids, 12%DV thiamine, 45%DV folate, 20%DV manganese and 8- 12%DV iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and copper. Count this as 1 carb choice – approximately 15 grams carbohydrate.

A 1 cup portion of chopped collard greens (green for money) on New Year’s Day will bring you guaranteed prosperity in 2018, 50 calories, 20%DV fiber, 300%DV vitamin A, 60%DV vitamin C, and more than 25%DV for calcium (a great non-dairy source for calcium). Collards are loaded with vitamin K (10x the %DV in 1 cup), and may be restricted with some health conditions and when taking some medications.

Of course, beans/legumes and green leafy vegetables are a pretty good addition to your diet any day, but adopting this New Year’s Day southern custom is fun. Don’t forget to count the carbohydrates, and go easy on salt and traditional fatty additions like ham (try a dash of liquid smoke, or something like smoked turkey necks). Happy New Year!

*While the nutritional benefits are backed by sufficient scientific evidence, the data is thin for good luck and prosperity

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