Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My Cooking Matters Experience

I wanted to share my wonderful experience teaching the cooking matters class to seniors.
I recently volunteered for the Cooking Matters Program conducted by the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE).  I came across this interesting program in the Midland Daily News. I contacted the main instructor for SNAP-ED Nutrition at MSUE who was coordinating the cooking matters program.

Luckily, she was also looking for someone to assist her with the nutrition piece and there I was conducting nutrition education classes for Seniors at the Mills Seniors Centre in Midland, MI for the next six weeks.

I had a wonderful experience preparing for lessons and making them interesting and fitting to the needs of seniors. Making the seniors feels relaxed and creating an environment of friendly discussion and exchange of ideas and experiences, rather than just the expert talking.

The lessons were conducted in the centers lunch room right after everybody had their lunch. People, would sit and talk and ready to begin the class. I got opportunity to mingle with them make friends. I had such a great time!
The classes were fun and seniors would share there experience with certain topics like eating whole grains and dealing with diabetes or limiting salt intake and hypertension. We learnt how to cut a whole chicken, some were expert already and had their bag of tricks to do a clean job.

I consider this program a wonderful experience of learning. Also, this program is helping so many low income seniors, families and kids providing them the education regarding proper nutrition on a budget. The instructor and participants book has wonderful easy to make recipes that participants love trying out.

I am so thankful to MSUE for giving me this opportunity to be part of cooking matters.

 

Here is my recipe to Share:

Spicy Guacamole
Ingredients: 1 Avacado, 2green chiles/ Jalapeño Peppers finely chopped, 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, 1.5 tsp finely chopped onion, 1.5tsp finely chopped Tomato, Salt to taste and finely chopped Cilantro to garnish.

Recipe: Mash Avacado in a bowl with a fork
Add all the other ingredients to it and mix well
Serve with tortilla chips, as a spread for sandwiches, add to a taco salad or burrito

Note: Addition of lemon helps with maintaining the green color as the juice prevents browning. Press the cling wrap gently on the top of guacamole and cover the bowl, this prevents the surface of the Guacamole from exposure to air and helps maintain freshness and color.

Health Talk: Avocados are a rich source of vitamins like Vitamin C, E and B6 and minerals like potassium and folate. They are a good source of “Heart Healthy”fats that helps lower the bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. A serving of avocado which is 2Tbsp provides 45 kcal and 4 gms of fats. Although a source of good fat a small portion of avocado quickly adds to calories and should be consumed in moderation to rip the health benefit.

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Pre-Diabetes and Doctor Questions

 Here is a question that I received from: www.foodpicker.org

Q) I was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  Could you tell me what questions I should be asking my doctor in order for me to be successful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes?

 Answer: The most important thing to discuss with your doctor would be about diet and lifestyle changes you will be making to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Some questions to ask would be :

1. If you have a weight issue getting on a diet plan would be beneficial. Ask your doctor about refering you to a dietitian or a diabetes educator.

Watching your carbohydrate intake and understanding portion sizes for every meal is very essential something that a dietitian would be able to help you with.

2. Talk about cooking habits, do you enjoy cooking or do you eat outside? Get information about various cook books for diabetes and options for eating outside.

3. Along with diet comes exercise, plan on a good exercise regimen with your doctor. If you have any other health issues that prevent you from exercising, talk to your doctor about them.

4. Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, are you extremely busy, or at home and how you can gradually make changes.

5. Discuss how often will you be checking your blood glucose, if you need any medications and how often will you be following with your health care providers.

6. Find information about various community programs and support groups you can join for additional guidance.

6. Discuss about payments and insurance options.

It is not easy to accept that you can be at a risk of developing diabetes and family support becomes very important during this time. I would advice you to take a family member or a friend along. Doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of listening ears for all the instructions.

Increasing Access and Affordability of Produce Improves Perceived Consumption of Vegetables in Low-Income Seniors

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Increasing Access and Affordability of Produce Improves Perceived Consumption of Vegetables in Low-Income Seniors.

 

Pre-Diabetes and Doctor Questions

 Here is a question that I received from: www.foodpicker.org

  Q) I was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  Could you tell me what questions I should be asking my doctor in order for me to be successful in the prevention of type 2 diabetes?

  Answer: The most important thing to discuss with your doctor would be about diet and lifestyle changes you will be making to prevent type 2 diabetes.

  Some questions to ask would be :

 1. If you have a weight issue getting on a diet plan would be beneficial. Ask your doctor about refering you to a dietitian or a diabetes educator.

 Watching your carbohydrate intake and understanding portion sizes for every meal is very essential something that a dietitian would be able to help you with.

  2. Talk about cooking habits, do you enjoy cooking or do you eat outside? Get information about various cook books for diabetes and options for eating outside.

  3. Along with diet comes exercise, plan on a good exercise regimen with your doctor. If you have any other health issues that prevent you from exercising, talk to your doctor about them.

  4. Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, are you extremely busy, or at home and how you can gradually make changes.

5. Discuss how often will you be checking your blood glucose, if you need any medications and how often will you be following with your health care providers.

  6. Find information about various community programs and support groups you can join for additional guidance.

6. Discuss about payments and insurance options.

  It is not easy to accept that you can be at a risk of developing diabetes and family support becomes very important during this time. I would advice you to take a family member or a friend along. Doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of listening ears for all the instructions.

Exercise Ideas?

Here is a question I received from: www.foodpicker.org

 Q) I have pre-diabetes and have been doing a pretty good job of exercising outdoors during the spring and summer months.  Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I am trying to determine what I can do for physical activity in the colder months.  Suggestions?

 Answer: Since the weather will be restricting your outdoor activities, unless you are a peron who can once in a while brave the cold and go out for a walk. You can always experiment with something you have never tried before for physical activity:

  • Walking on the trade mill or using the exercise bike
  • If you enjoy dancing and music really gets you excited then you can always try taking a dance class or something like aerobics or zumba
  • If you enjoy relaxed activities you can try joining a yoga class
  • You can take up some light sports like swimming or badminton
  • If you enjoy window shopping you can go for a walk inside the mall. Use stairs whenever possible instead of an elevator or escalator

While it is challenging to stay active in winter, it is important to remember that any light activity within the house can also contribute towards being physically active for example:

  • Increase standing activity by cleaning the house, ironing, cooking, getting up to take the remote or switching off the television

Hope these help you keep going!!

Diabetes & Healthy Tailgating?

Here is a question I received from: www.foodpicker.org

Q) My husband has diabetes and this time of year we attend a lot of football games.  Before the game we often will meet up with friends for tailgating parties.  Can you give me some healthy ideas of what we can eat during the tailgate?

 Here are some ideas for healthy tailgating:

v    As tailgate parties involve a lot of grilling, choose lean meat like chicken without the skin, turkey, meatless burger which are usually made of soybeans or veggie burgers.

v    Go for whole wheat buns instead of regular buns.

v    Use mustard or horseradish sauce (if you like that zing!!).

v    Add a couple tomato slices, cucumber and some shredded lettuce, to make it tasty. You can also grill the vegetables before adding them on the burger.

v    If you have the option of chipping in a few food items than you can get- whole grain chips, pita chips, a bean dip instead of fattening dips. You can also carry a tray of fruit or vegetable kebabs.

v    If you are just attending it fill up your plate ones and savor the food by eating it slowly.

v    Invest more time talking to friends.

v    Stay away from the serving table.

v    Drink water, squeeze in a lemon for taste. Stay away from soft drinks and colas as much as possible.

 

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Here is a response to the question that I received from: http://www.foodpicker.org

 Q) Diabetes runs in my family and I think this puts me at risk.  Could you tell me what are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

 Type 2 diabetes is a condition marked with high blood sugar in the blood. In type 2 diabetes the body does not respond well to insulin, so the blood sugar does not enter the cell to be stored as energy causing hyperglycemia (excess blood sugar). As a result the pancreas produces more and more insulin but it is not enough to keep up with the body’s demand.

  • Hyperglycemia is first observed in postprandial blood glucose level due to insulin resistance followed by elevation in the fasting blood glucose level.
  • Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
    • Family history of diabetes (parents or siblings)
    • Obesity particularly intra-abdominal obesity
    • Are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2
    • Physical inactivity
    • Intake of excessive calories
    • Hypertension (blood pressure > 140/90 mm Hg)
    • Have a low High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) ≤ 35mg/dl and triglyceride > 250 mg/dl
    •  Had impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes)
  • Symptoms can vary from person to person and include:
    • Hyperglycemia
    • Excessive thirst
    • Excessive urination
    • Unexplained weight loss     
  • Proper lifestyle changes include:

The goal is to manage the blood glucose level to normal.

  • Regular exercise of moderate intensity for 30 min for days of the week
  • Making the right food choices- include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low fat food choices
  • Losing weight ~ 1-2 lbs /week, can help maintain blood sugar levels
  • Reducing total calorie intake

 Below is a table to refer to the recommended blood glucose goals for diabetes by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Clinical Endrocrinologists (AACE): 

Goal ADA AACE
Pre-prandial (before eating) 90-130 mg/dl 110 mg/dl
Post-prandial (1-2 hours after beginning to eat) < 180 mg/dl 140 mg/dl