After Renee Le Doux was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes she wanted to learn as much as possible to manage the disease. After researching different education options, she signed up for a four-class series through the CHER Diabetes Education Center.
“I needed more knowledge and wanted all the knowledge I could get,” she said. “I was really impressed. I really liked how the class was formatted; it was a small group that allowed a feeling of intimacy and closeness, but enough people to have a variety of good questions.”
During the classes Renee learned a lot of practical things about food, how her body processed food and how she could modify her diet and exercise to live as healthfully as possible. One of the most helpful things, she said, was learning how to mix and match foods for a balanced diet and how to read food labels with an informed eye.
“I learned a lot about deceptive packaging, like calling something low-fat or low-sodium when it isn’t; they’ve just reduced the serving size,” she said, adding that the class instruction was very specific and she left understanding far more about food preparation and what was going on with her blood sugar and insulin needs.
“There is a lot of complexity that I was not aware of,” Renee said. She learned, for example, that canola oil has chemical changes during cooking and that most processed fruit juices have high fructose corn syrup that require a lot of insulin to process.
As she soaked up the education, Renne said she made many lifestyle changes like exercising more and changing her diet so it included more fiber.
“My fiber intake is probably ten times what it was before. It’s done wonders for my blood sugar, cholesterol and general health,” she said, noting that she’s passed on what she’s learned and the some of the recipes she’s tried to others. “I pass on as much as possible whenever possible, to family, coworkers, friends – anyone I can get to listen. Most people don’t know anything about diabetes.”
Since making changes based on what she learned, Renee said her wellbeing has improved tremendously. “I feel a heck of lot better than I did seven months ago. I definitely have more energy. I’m much more aware of what my body is trying to tell me.”
Though she’s reduced sweets as part of these changes, Renne said she doesn’t feel deprived. “My body doesn’t crave that stuff anymore. It’s the difference in being well-balanced and my body getting what it requires.”
“Now I feel really good,” she continued. “My energy level is 100 times what it was. The class series was very valuable and taught by a super team that I appreciate very much.”