American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, and this evening Mayor Steve Adler will issue the Proclamation of National Diabetes Month in Austin. SFC’s The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® (THK) incorporates dietary diabetes prevention and management education into its curriculum. In honor of Diabetes Month and the City’s Proclamation, we’d like to highlight some of that work.

Part of the American Diabetes Associations’ call to action this month is for individuals with diabetes to share their stories using the social media hashtag #ThisIsDiabetes. In THK, we find that sharing stories and learning from one another is one of the best ways to inspire lasting behavior change.

Many participants in our six-week community cooking class series are diabetic or pre-diabetic, and while the series provides a great foundation for general healthy eating, we identified a need for additional resources that are more specific to diet-related disease. We developed a one-time follow-up class called “Eating to Control or Prevent Diabetes and Hypertension,” and it has been a huge hit.

Like the rest of our free programming, the class is peer-facilitated. In our class last May, THK facilitator Linda Clark prepared Lemon Mustard Salmon Salad and Creamy Green Dressing from our cookbook, Fresh Seasonal Recipes. In order to incorporate the recipes into specific nutrition information, Linda facilitated a conversation highlighting the importance of controlling blood sugar, heart healthy oils, and monitoring sodium intake. Class participants got a lot out of the tips and information, but the larger take away was receiving the information from people like Linda who are also on their own journey towards health:

“I’ve heard it all before but today was more of a meaningful lesson & her personal testimony helped me to really listen and want to make changes.”

THK owes its success to wonderful facilitators, like Linda. We’re all on a journey towards health, and there is comfort and inspiration in doing it together.