MAKING A DIFFERENCE NEWSLETTER - Issue 1, Volume 18 (Jan 2018) Issue 1 Volume 18 (Jan 2018) - Page 13



Harris county healthy holiday

diabetes cooking schools

ovember is recognized as National Diabetes Month. In Houston there are approximately 750,000 people living with diabetes, 1.8 million people are pre-diabetic and alarming 200,000 individuals are undiagnosed. The holiday season is full of dishes, deserts and beverages that may compromise a diabetic’s meal plan.

Sonja Davis, Harris County - Family & Community Health Agent, partnered with the DAWN (Diabetes Awareness Wellness Network) Center, UTHealth McGovern Medical School, UTHealth Dietetic Interns, American Diabetes Association, and City of Houston to host a Healthy Holiday Cooking Events. Approximately 70 individuals attended the event.

The cooking school was held at the DAWN Center, which provides free, educational workshops, counseling and exercise classes for diabetics, pre-diabetics and individuals at-risk for developing diabetes.

A certified diabetes educator with UT Health conducted sessions on Holiday Traditions & Managing Diabetes. Participants were taught how to manage their carbohydrate intake during the holidays, how to use their hands to estimate serving size and how to modify traditional recipes to make them healthier. They were also provided with tips for dining out, surviving holiday parties, and enlightened on risks associated with beverages and spirits.

A Public Health Educator for the City of Houston engaged participants in Yoga to demonstrate breathing and stretching exercises as a method for overcoming holiday stressors. In addition to planning holiday menus, everyone was encouraged to plan family physical activities for burning calories and a Master Wellness Volunteer instructed a line dancing session as an example of a family activity.

Harris County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) staff, Master Wellness Volunteers and UT Health Dietetic interns conducted 4 recipe demos: Mississippi Pot Roast, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse and water infused with strawberries, cucumber and mint. All were healthy, carb friendly dishes.

Participants received Dinner Tonight bags filled with goodies from the Texas Beef Council, a Harris County Holiday cookbook, and Healthy Holiday Eating Contract from the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

wisdom, power & control: diabetes

self-management educational series

iabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Texas and diabetes related illnesses cost the state more than 29 billion dollars annually. In Harris County, an estimated 10.2% of adults 18 years and older reported having diabetes.

Agent Davis partnered with Mangum Howell-Doss Park located at 2500 Frick Rd, Houston, Texas 77036 and El Franco Lee Senior Center located at 9500 Hall Rd., Houston, Texas 77089 to implement the Wisdom, Power, Control diabetes educational series to their seniors. Wisdom, Power, Control is an evidence-informed, educational program targeting Type 2 diabetics, pre-diabetics and their family members. The classes were conducted for 6 weeks with 2-hour, weekly meetings.

Approximately 40 seniors attended the weekly sessions and were taught what is diabetes, how to check their blood glucose, understanding blood glucose ranges, eating healthy with diabetes, using the plate method, the importance of taking medications, stress management, avoiding diabetes complications, and much more.

Each week participants were assigned homework related to the topic and set personal goals to better manage their diabetes or improve their lifestyle. Samples of homework and goal topics included exercising, reading food labels, counting carb servings and checking their blood glucose levels. If a participant set a goal, but didn’t achieve it, they were held accountable, but never reprimanded in a negative manner. Classmates provided support, motivation and encouragement to one another. Participants were equipped with knowledge and lifestyle skills to better manage their diabetes.

The group was so motivational and receptive to the information.