Food for Life: Diabetes and nutrition cooking classes being offered (Free)

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Healthful market - Flickr Creative Commons by Computix - http://www.flickr.com/photos/computix/
Healthful market - Flickr Creative Commons by Computix - http://www.flickr.com/photos/computix/

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 – Washington residents who struggle with type 2 diabetes can attend a workshop with Neal Barnard, M.D., on March 25 to learn how to avoid complications from the disease and reduce or eliminate the need for medications.  The seminar will show participants how to use a plant-based (low-fat vegan) diet to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. People who have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes will benefit from the seminar. Family members, health care providers, and friends are welcome and encouraged to join.

Food for Life instructor Kara Blank-Gonzales will guide a follow-up series starting Tuesday, April 1.

Communities Digital News is happy to welcome Dr. Barnard and his weekly column, Food for Life, where he will be sharing this, and other information with readers. A diabetes researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D., is president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The seminars are free to attendees.


Tuesday, March 25: 6 to 8 pm

Introduction to How Foods Fight Diabetes with Neal Barnard, M.D.

The road to diabetes does not have to be a one-way street. There is reason for hope! People who eat plant-based meals are less likely to ever develop diabetes, and for those who have diabetes, plant-based meals can help to improve blood sugar levels and prevent complications. These meals are affordable and can be quite delicious and satisfying. A low, fat, plant-based approach offers a new tool that many have found to be very useful. Review the latest science behind this approach, consider some simple ideas for getting started, sample four dishes, and explore useful resources.

Four-Class Series

Tuesday, April 1: 6 to 8 pm
Class 1: How Foods Fight Diabetes

Cooking Demo and Workshop with Food for Life instructor Kara Blank-Gonzalez

The road to diabetes does not have to be a one-way street. There is reason for hope! People who eat plant-based meals are less likely to ever develop diabetes, and for those who have diabetes, plant-based meals can help to improve blood sugar levels and prevent complications. These meals are affordable and can be quite delicious and satisfying. A low, fat, plant-based approach offers a new tool that many have found to be very useful. Review the latest science behind this approach, consider some simple ideas for getting started, sample four dishes, and explore useful resources.

Cooking Demo and Food Samples:

Good-Enough-for-Guests Green Salad
Yes-You-Can Black Bean Chili
Sweet Potatoes or Toasted Brown Rice
Chocolate Cherry Nirvana Smoothie

Tuesday, April 8: 6 to 8 pm

Class 2: The Power of Your Plate and Grocery Cart
Workshop with Kara Blank-Gonzalez

Let’s get practical. This class provides the knowledge and resources for trying out a new way of eating. By using the tools provided, participants often experience better blood sugar levels, weight loss if needed, and other health benefits within a surprisingly short time. The Power Plate is a diagram that illustrates the essential food groups: vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits. From these groups, you will be assisted to create your own Weekly Meal Planner and learn how to navigate the grocery store to find the treasures (and avoid the troublemakers!). We’ll discuss common concerns, including how to prevent and treat low blood sugar for those taking certain medications, and how to ease your transition into a filling, high-fiber way of eating. Taste some of the staples that you’ll want to bring home from your grocery store.

Tuesday, April 15: 6 to 8 pm

Class 3: Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Cooking Demo and Workshop with Kara Blank-Gonzalez

New research shows that reducing the fat we eat helps to reduce the fat that can build up in muscle cells, which can improve the body’s ability to use insulin. Common dietary fat-lowering techniques, such as taking the skin off the chicken or switching to low-fat milk, do not go far enough in reducing the total amount of fat for many people to really repair this underlying problem in type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, the Power Plate foods are all naturally low in fat. Sample several flavorful dishes that are sure to become favorites— chances are good you won’t even miss the fat.

Cooking Demo and Food Samples:

Very Primo Pasta
Broccoli Salad
Steamed Kale with “Parmesan Cheese”
Gingered Melon

Tuesday, April 22: 6 to 8 pm

Class 4: Designing a Diet for Maximum Weight Control
Cooking Demo and Workshop with Kara Blank-Gonzalez

This is not a “diet” that asks you to walk around hungry or feel deprived. How can you lose weight, if needed, without skipping meals or limiting your portions? In a word, it’s all about FIBER. Plant-foods have it, animal foods do not. Fiber is what makes us feel full, and, as a bonus, it also helps to control blood sugar levels, protects against certain cancers, and, of no small importance, it keeps us “regular.” Learn to comfortably fill up on whole foods and watch the pounds melt away. Enjoy some delicious high-fiber dishes—without any cardboard taste.

Cooking Demo and Food Samples:

Asian Persuasion Coleslaw
Sweet-and-Sour Vegetable Stew
Quinoa

Two additional Food for Life Diabetes classes will start on May 13 and June 17. They will follow the same format and structure. Learn more about the series here.

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