“Lose weight, exercise and don’t eat anything white,” the advice given to most diabetics, makes Paige Cartledge, RN-BSN, bristle as she feels it to be a woefully inadequate strategy.
Cartledge, diabetic care coordinator for Northern Medical Group, says that sort of useless advice makes some people want to go out and eat everything that’s white, down to the sheetrock on the walls. “People get overwhelmed, discouraged and want to throw in the towel,” she says.
Only 58 percent of Americans receive any diabetic education, according to information provided byCartledge from diabeticeducators.org. She, along with the rest of the staff at the Diabetic Center of Excellence, are on a mission to improve that statistic.
Their Diabetic Self-Management Education and Support Program, developed in partnership with a $148,500 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, is working on a homegrown program that “gives patients the opportunity to have a wonderful retirement with our program,” says Cartledge. Participants in the program have seen their hemoglobin A1C levels drop by an average of 2.6 points.
“If our program does anything, it helps patients see diabetes as a more manageable part of life,” says Cartledge. “I teach them as much about their disease as I know.” Diabetes is the number eight cause of death in Surry County, according to a 2016 draft document that Northern Hospital will release later this year. Cartledge believes that if all of the resources in the county could work together to point people to the best resource for them, that number could be reduced dramatically. As many as 15-30 percent of people in the county are pre-diabetic. Cartledge wants to get as much information as possible to all of them.
Cartledge recently completed a “how-to” video on grocery shopping for diabetics, complete with recommendations and label-reading advice. She pulls no punches and uses brand names in her recommendations. It is available on YouTube on Northern Hospital of Surry’s channel. ( https://youtu.be/UxBU3wxw834 )
Northern’s Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) brainstorms regularly for ways to improve their program. One suggestion was a cookbook for diabetics. As Mike Cartledge, PA-C, director of Diabetic Center of Excellence puts it, “A group of elders requested I write a cookbook.”
Since Cartledge likes to cook, he went for it, with the intention to write a practical cookbook that actually works for people. “It’s got some very simple meals people from this neck of the woods will find palatable.” Then he pushed it a little bit and included a few simple Italian dishes.
Cartledge’s primary goal is to help people by planting a seed and getting the ball rolling. After having success with his cookbook, he hopes readers will be motivated to seek out simple recipes in other resources. He wants to make the life of a diabetic easier.
The cookbook should be useful both for people who cook for themselves or for a family. The recipes use limited ingredients and the ingredients called for are useful for other meals. “Simply Surry: Cooking with Diabetes” starts off with appetizers and side dishes and then moves on to main dishes. Cartledge designed the recipes to have balanced amounts of carbs, proteins and beneficial fats.
When pressed for his favorite recipe from the book, Cartledge chooses chicken piccata. “Everybody likes chicken piccata,” he says. “It’s very simple.” He’d pair it with a green vegetable and a small portion of starch, such as risotto or pasta.
Though designed for the special needs of diabetics and pre-diabetics, the book is a useful resource for everyone. “Even Hillary can use it. It’s not classified,” laughs Mike Cartledge.
Paige Cartledge adds, “If I can get anybody to eat like a diabetic should eat, they will lose weight. They will lose weight from their mid-section.”
The release of “Simply Surry: Cooking with Diabetes” has been timed to coincide with National Diabetes Education Week, Nov. 6-14. It is available by calling Ashly Lancaster at Northern Hospital at 336-783-8079. The cost is $10. Funds generated from book sales will be used to replenish the grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, some of which were used to produce the book.
The grant can then continue to be used to improve the outcomes of diabetics in Surry County.
Paige Cartledge is personally committed to that cause. Using the trademark humor that accompanies her considerable enthusuasm, knowledge and empathy, she says, “I want to keep all my patient’s feet firmly attached to their legs.”
“Simply Surry” is one part of that plan.
The following recipes are a sampling from “Simply Surry: Cooking with Diabetes.” Recipes are by Mike Cartledge, PA-C.
A simple yet delicious chicken dish.
4 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of flour
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 lemon, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1. Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Cover in flour and set aside.
3. In a saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add chicken and lightly brown on each side for 4 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from heat and place in a bowl.
5. Add chicken broth to saucepan used to brown chicken. Stir to mix up brown bits from the pan. Add lemon juice and mix well.
6. Place chicken back into same pan, cover and cook 15 minutes over low heat.
7. Remove chicken to warm plate and garnish with thinly sliced lemon.
Sautéed Yellow Squash
This recipe is full of flavor and will add colorful vegetables to your plate.
2-3 medium yellow squash. sliced thin
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in medium pan.
2. Add onion and squash.
3. Stir for 5 minutes over medium heat.
4. Add salt, pepper, butter and enough water to barely cover onion and squash.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 25 minutes stirring twice.
6. Remove from heat and serve.
This leafy green vegetable will offer you lots of flavor while adding color to your plate.
1 family sized bag of frozen Brussels sprouts
3 slices of bacon
3 tbsp. black pepper
3 tbsp.extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1. Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water for 5 minutes.
2. Drain, cool, and cut in half.
3. In a frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove and drain grease.
4. Over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté sprouts for 15-20 minutes until browned.
5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.
6. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary
These sweet potatoes are a healthy, filling, and delicious side dish to pair with any entree.
2 medium size sweet potatoes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 sprinkles of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. of fresh rosemary, slightly chopped
1. Heat oven to 350°F. with rack positioned in the center.
2. Wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
3. Toss in olive oil with cayenne pepper.
4. Spread potatoes evenly on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and slightly chopped rosemary.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
6. Remove from oven. Serve.
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Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699, on Twitter @BillColvard.