Friday, September 10, 2010

Diabetes Victory Gardens, Too!

No, the news piece on WGN-Chicago did not call these gardens exactly that, but the idea is exactly the same as Cancer Victory Gardens™.  The Be Well Lake County(IL) Diabetes Program is encouraging people with diabetes to grow a "diabetes garden" to increase their intake of vegetables, i.e. by taking charge of one's own health through vegetable gardening. In addition to helping lose weight and eliminate some medication for diabetes control, the statement that really caught my attention was the gardener who stated "This is my first and only garden. Once we started, I found out it was really exciting. I love it and we're going to do it again". Those are just different words that convey exactly what I hope the tag line for my blog inspires:  "Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of both body and soul". 

To make this news piece even more exciting for me is that Cheryl Bell, the registered dietitian heading up the program is a friend of mine. I have no doubt that Cheryl's love of great-tasting food (and nothing beats locally-grown food for great taste!) plus her passion for using food to help improve the health of her community will lead to many more of Lake County's 50,000+ citizens who have a diagnosis of diabetes (without counting the thousands and thousands who also have pre-diabetes, many not yet diagnosed) becoming involved and excited about growning their own diabetes garden in the future. 

Cancer, diabetes, what is next? There are no limits to the benefits of gardening! I would love to hear how you have started to use vegetable gardening to improve your personal health or the health of your patients, clients, and/or community, and please remember that gardening is also good for the soul, equally as important as no longer needing diabetes medication. :-)

"Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of both body and soul"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD