Home Local News Johanna Hicks Weekly Column for February 22nd, 2019: You CAN Manage Your Diabetes! and Becoming a Healthier You

Johanna Hicks Weekly Column for February 22nd, 2019: You CAN Manage Your Diabetes! and Becoming a Healthier You




You CAN Manage Your Diabetes!

            As many of you know, our youngest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 2 ½ and our world was turned topsy turvy!  When I re-entered the career as Extension Agent several years ago, my passion was diabetes education.  Our son was my inspiration for helping others manage diabetes.

            Approximately 12% of Hopkins County residents have type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” series is designed to help individuals learn to control diabetes through proper diet, physical activity, self-monitoring, and taking medications as prescribed.  The series is not diagnostic in nature, and we do not give medical advice.  However, we give solid, research-based information supported by the American Diabetes Association standards of care.  Individuals who have participated in the past have exhibited lower Hemoglobin A1c numbers, learned what foods affect their blood glucose the most, know the signs of high and low blood sugar, and have been able to follow a healthier eating pattern.

            Another series is scheduled, and we hope to reach even more people.  If you, or someone you know, would like to participate, please keep this information handy:

  • What:  Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes series
  • When:  Mondays and Thursdays, March 11, 14, 18, 21, and 25
  • Time:  6:00 p.m.
  • Where:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, Hopkins County
  • Cost: $25, payable at the first session.  This covers materials, refreshments, and door prizes
  • Call: 903-885-3443 to sign up.  Leave your name, address and phone number.  A registration form will be mailed to you, or you may pick one up at the office.

Topics for the series are: How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose; Self-Monitoring and Sick Days; Improving Blood Glucose Control with Physical Activity; Improving Blood Glucose Control with Medication; and Celebrating Diabetes Control While Avoiding Complications.

The series is taught in a manner that is easy to understand, and provides practical information.  Classes do not take the place of a visit to your doctor and dietitian, but they do help explain in more detail how to manage the disease.  Please contact the office if you have questions.

Becoming a Healthier You

            Because we all lead different lifestyles, it is no surprise that dieting is not “one-size-fits-all.” Therefore, it is important to follow a healthy eating regimen that is tailored to you and your daily needs.  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, carrying too much body fat may have harmful effects on your health. More than ⅓ of U.S. adults are obese, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of >30. There are many contributing factors that cause obesity, most of which can be prevented or regulated. Some of these factors include:

  • Family history and genes
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Eating behaviors
  • Stress
  • Too little sleep
  • Medical problems

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist David Leal recommends creating long-term goals that are broken down into achievable steps – those then become goals that are focused on daily.  We often feel like there’s so many things we need to change; eat better, exercise more, lose weight, lower cholesterol. However, this can become overwhelming. Remember that progress, no matter how small or slow, is still progress.

While exercising is a key component in being healthy, failure to eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet is often the limiting factor that keeps people from becoming the healthiest version of themselves. For weight loss, or improving any chronic disease, eating 2-3 servings of vegetables a day can make a tremendous impact. Add balance to your meals by making half of your plate fruits and vegetables while decreasing the amount of protein and starches, such as meat and potatoes.

If you want to stay on the straight and narrow by eating healthy but are looking to mix up your mealtime routine with new recipes, visit AgriLife Extension’s “Dinner Tonight” to choose from a variety of healthy meals like Flatbread Pizza, Mediterranean Chicken, Taco Boats, and even desserts like Banana Chia Bread, Pistachio Cake, and Unicorn Popsicles!  https://dinnertonight.tamu.edu/

Closing Thought

To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born – Emily Dickinson


Hot Alaska Salmon Melts



1)      Drain salmon.  Add onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and pepper to taste.

2)      Mix well. Add half of cheddar cheese to salmon mixture.

3)      Spread on English muffin halves and place on baking sheet.

4)      Top with remaining cheese. Broil in oven for 3-4 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories – 170: Total fat – 5 g; Total carbs – 15 g; sodium – 450 mg; vitamin D – 40%; Calcium – 15%





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