Ending Type 2 Diabetes One Exercise, Nutrition, and Gardening Class at a Time

Providing Individual Feedback on Food Diaries – A Delicate Task

In Nutrition Class on July 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Recently, a discussion flared up when one woman from Mexico flatly declared that a cooking suggestion could not apply to both her and the Guatemalan woman sitting to her right.

How does a medical provider advise patients on dietary practices while at the same time being sensitive to the cultural, historic, economic, and social implications of food habits?

This is the question that our Nutrition Class teachers ask themselves before, during, and after each session. How can I say this in a way that acknowledges the difficulty of obtaining fresh leafy greens where they live, and at the same time be uncompromising in my commitment to their health? How do I respond to a woman for whom eating tortillas is as natural as breathing, and yet is not reaching her weight loss goal?

Our teachers have discovered that asking this question repeatedly is in fact the answer to the question itself. As in, there is no straight answer. The key is to be aware that food has implications that stretch much further than waist circumference, and having what innovative businesses call a double bottom line is essential: plant a few pots with spinach seeds on your back stoop. Have one tortilla instead of two. Be committed to your wellbeing AND your cultural heritage, financial stability, and social obligations! You can consider all those factors with every choice you make.


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