Publisher's note: The author of this post is a contributor to ECU News Services.
As the holiday season approaches, a multidisciplinary health care team at East Carolina University is helping patients balance celebration with self-care through a new cooking series called "Eat Right Now!"
Six video segments, developed by the Department of Family Medicine's TeleTEAM for Diabetes Care and hosted by ECU registered dietitian nutritionist Jill Jennings, were created with diabetes patients in mind, but the content is useful for anyone who'd like to eat healthier or anyone who needs help implementing dietary recommendations in their own kitchens, Jennings said.
"Instead of merely focusing on a list of forbidden foods, we're trying to teach viewers, especially those with diabetes, about the types of foods and meals they are encouraged to eat,"
said Jennings. "Typically, when people focus on what they cannot eat, they become dispirited, feel deprived and lose motivation. We want to show them how to make healthier choices for themselves so they can achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their cholesterol and blood pressure, and just feel better overall."
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, but it's also a time when many people experience stress about food choices associated with special occasions and gatherings, so Jennings and her fellow team members have taken their show on the road recently.
Representatives from nutrition, behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy have been visiting clinics to provide diabetes education, both in person and via telemonitor, to selected groups of patients. Each meeting begins with a viewing of "Eat Right Now!" followed by an open discussion among patients and providers.
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration are funding the efforts.
For more information on ECU's TeleTEAM for Diabetes Care or to view the "Eat Right Now!" episodes, go to www.ecu.edu/fammed