Food was the primary focus at Wednesday’s Diabetes and You class.
But not just food to heal and restore the body, but also food to heal and restore the soul.
Carmen Long, extension agent of family and consumer education at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Dobson, and Goldie Sparger, volunteer, quickly and efficiently put out the needed ingredients for the first food dish of the day — The Any Days a Picnic Chicken Salad — as the class began.
This chicken salad, per serving, has 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein — great for someone who has diabetes and is trying to help control blood sugar levels.
Food is one of the key lynch pins in helping to manage Type II diabetes and control proper sugar levels, Long said..
But on Wednesday, Long made three main dishes.
The second dish was called the Life Preserver Meat Loaves.
“I like to be as creative as possible,” Long said. The original recipe called for picante or spicy-hot V-8 juice, as seen in the recipe below, but Long used Low-Sodium V-8 juice Wednesday, so the meat loaf wouldn’t be too spicy for some of the students. (And it tasted just fine. Some of the best meatloaf I have ever eaten, even if I say so myself.) And don’t let the “Low-Sodium” label dissuade anyone from trying it. Not only does it taste good, it also provides two servings of a person’s daily vegetables.
Long recommends substituting some ingredients in all the recipes she gives out to please individual tastes.
The individual serving of this meatloaf, made with egg substitute and fat-free milk, not including the ketchup and mustard, contains around 275 calories, 11 grams of fat (4 grams of which are saturated fat), 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 27 grams of protein.
And, for dessert and as the third dish, Long and Sparger made Jello-Yogurt Pie. Long suggests trying out different flavors of yogurt and jello — blueberry, mango, cherry, peach — to entice the taste buds. She also likes using the fat-free Cool Whip rather than the sugar-free because the consistency of the first is better and doesn’t add too many extra carbs to the dish.
The Jello-Yogurt Pie dish has 182 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 26.9 grams of carbohydrates and 3.5 grams of protein.
“This is the easiest recipe you’ll ever make,” Long said. Long recommended Oikos yogurt because it only has 15 grams of carbohydrates, but 11 grams of protein — well-suited to fit into a diabetes diet. Long also recommends putting the yogurt mixture in individual containers for easier portion control — another way to help control food on a diabetes diet. And these yogurt pies can be kept in the fridge and can be an easy snack “whenever the urge hits.”
“The recipes are delicious … They always are,” said Helen Dalton, who attends the Diabetes and You classes given by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center. New recipes are given out every class, even if they aren’t actually prepared in that class.
In addition to learning several new recipes, Long made other food substitution and food choice suggestions.
For example, “a great way to cut fat in a recipe is to use lower-fat mayonnaise,” Long said. “You won’t even notice the difference.”
“It all adds up,” Long said. “Everything we do is important.”
And although last Wednesday’s Diabetes and You class largely emphasized the proper food choices, as well as making some recipes during class for everyone to enjoy, this class also emphasized how to make proper emotional and mental choices to help manage diabetes.
In fact, these series of classes also addresses how to handle diabetes emotionally, how to incorporate the exercise, how to count carbohydrates, how to know what fat is good and what is bad, and how to take care of your heart while managing your diabetes, and so much more.
Two primary instructors, plus several volunteers, help provide the diabetes classes. Long emphasizes the food aspects and Kelly Whittington, RN, BSN, coordinator for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center in Dobson, concentrates on the diabetes education.
About a dozen students attended last Wednesday’s class.
Deanna Goodson and her husband, Jimmie, have attended these diabetes management classes for the second time because Jimmie Goodson has diabetes. The couple has found them informative and educational — as well as motivational.
“When I first found out I had diabetes, I didn’t want to do nothing,” said Jimmie Goodson. He highly praises these diabetes management classes to help him get through it. “Before, we didn’t know anything about diabetes … Now, I’m learning what I can eat and what I can’t eat … And I’ve learned what might happen if I didn’t change my habits … These classes make it easier … They’ve helped a lot.”
His wife attends so she also can help him stick to what he needs to do, as well as to cook the various meals that are helpful in managing his diabetes. Jimmie Goodson has already lost eight pounds, he said proudly, through changing his eating habits and adding walking to his routine.
“And he’s feeling a whole lot better,” Deanna Goodson said.
Helen Dalton also attends the class.
“I’m also here for my husband,” Dalton said. “I do the cooking for him … And, the recipes are good … I use Carmen’s recipes faithfully.”
So, it just seemed to make sense to her to find out what she could do to help change her husband’s eating habits. She learned how to count carbohydrates and how to make new recipes and how to change some of her old recipes to make them healthier.
“He’s gone from four shots per day to almost no medicine,” she said. But it’s not through a change in eating habits alone. Dalton’s husband also has added an exercise routine to his lifestyle.
Nancy Hill has had diabetes for years. She started coming to these classes because her doctor recommended them.
“You always get new and fresh information at these classes … You can never learn too much about diabetes,” Hill said. Now, her blood sugar is under control.
In addition to the cooking lessons, Long and Whittington also both emphasized that people with medical issues, such as diabetes, need to make sure every day is “happy and cheerful.” In other words, folks trying to cope with diabetes not only need to feed their bodies properly, but they need to feed their souls, their emotions, their mental outlooks properly as well.
After being diagnosed as having diabetes, many thoughts and emotions run rampant, Whittington said. Shock. Surprise. Depression. Anger. Feeling overwhelmed. Guilt.
But the real issue, Whittington said, is what to do with these emotions and feelings. What has helped them cope and overcome and deal with their medical issues, she asked the group.
“Finding out that others have gone through it,” said Victoria Thompson, one of the group who has diabetes. “And, realizing I am not alone.”
Then, Thompson added, it’s what you decide to do about it that becomes key to a healthy, fulfilling life.
“I had no choice,” Thompson said. “I had to make changes.”
Even small changes can make a big difference, Whittington said. In fact, some who were diagnosed with this medical issue said that it actually prompted them to take much better care of themselves than they might have otherwise.
The next Diabetes and You class is from noon to 1 p.m. on May 1 at the Reeves Community Center-Kids Klub Room in the lower level. The topic will be “Spring into Action-Managing Highs & Lows.”
The last class in the series for this session will be from noon to 1 p.m. on June 12 at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Center in Dobson. The topic is “Decoding Fat: Is it Good or Bad?”
For more information, call 401-8025 or email Long at Carmen_Long@ncsu.edu. Or contact Whittington at 401-8419 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECIPES FROM THE DIABETES EDUCATION CLASS
Life Preserver Meat Loaves
1 can (or 5 1/2 ounces) of spicy-hot or picante V8
(or other flavors, according to taste)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoned salt
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
Ketchup and mustard
An old standby gets a new look when formed into rings to resemble life preservers. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into six balls; flatten slightly. Make a hole in the center of each ball with the end of a wooden spoon handle. Place in a greased 15-inch-x-10-inch-x-1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Place a little ketchup and mustard in separate resealable plastic bags to easily pip fast, flavorful markings on the moist mini meat loaves. Decorate with the ketchup and mustard. Makes 6 servings. Ready in 45 minutes or less.
12 ounces of fat-free yogurt (any flavor to match the Jello)
1 box of sugar-free Jello mix (same flavor as the yogurt)
8 ounces of fat-free Cool Whip
1/4 cup of water
1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust
Boil the water and add the Jello mix and stir until dissolved. Whisk the yogurt into the Jello. Fold in the Cool Whip. Pour mixture into pie shell(s) and refrigerate. Makes 8 servings.
Any Days a Picnic Chicken Salad
2 1/2 cups of chicken breast (cooked and diced)
1/2 cup of celery (chopped)
1/4 cup onions (chopped)
2 Tablespoons of pickle relish
1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use within 1 to 2 days. Chicken salad does not freeze well. This basic chicken salad recipe can then be seasoned to taste, and/or have ingredients added according to individual tastes. This recipe can be used in several ways, including making chicken salad sandwiches, making a pasta salad by mixing with 2 cups of cooked pasta, or serve the chicken salad in a tomato or a cucumber boat. Kids, in particular, love this type of presentation. Makes 6 servings.
1 medium head of cauliflower
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (3 ounces) of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 percent low fat)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of diced pimento
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons of sliced almonds, toasted
Remove the outer leaves and stalk of cauliflower. Wash. Leave the head whole. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the cauliflower. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain the cauliflower and place in a service dish; keep warm. Combine the cheese and next three ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over a lower heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts. Spoon over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with almonds. Yields 4 to 6 servings.
Zucchini, carrots, and basil
3 small zucchini
3 small carrots
2 green onions
1 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
A dash of pepper
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh basil leaves, chopped
or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves
Kitchen equipment needed
A medium-sized saucepan or an electric frying pan
Cut the zucchini and carrots into very thin strips (the size of wooden matchsticks). Cut the green onions into thin rounds. Include some of the green tops. In a medium-sized skillet or electric frying pan, heat the oil and add the carrots. Saute, stirring frequently. Heat should be medium to high. When the carrots soften, add the zucchini and green onions. Add 1 to 2 Teaspoons of water, if needed. When the vegetables are almost done (crisp-tender), add the garlic. Season with the pepper. Add lemon juice and basil. Serves around a dozen.