Dining with Diabetes at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie
Posted: September 15, 2011
The class was attended by forty sisters, some of whom live on site and some who live in the community, but work at the monastery.
At the fourth class, the attendees were asked to share their successes and challenges regarding the recommendations made at the previous class that had covered fats and sodium in the diet. Comments included using less table salt and trying to limit the number of Easter treats that were consumed. In a communal living situation, there are special challenges for food preparation when considering the needs of all individuals. The Dining with Diabetes program offers healthier versions of familiar foods and ones which everyone can enjoy, even if they do not have diabetes!
One of the significant benefits that the members of this group share is the strength of the support system in their community living. Ideas and strategies were shared for how they could encourage each other to pursue healthier choices. These included: having food labels available for foods offered, posting the Plate Method placemat at the beginning of the serving line as a reminder and having healthier choices available for snacks at meetings.
According to Janice Ronan, an important follow-up to the class has been the formation of a committee from members who attended the class and are now focused on setting goals for changes within the community. The group has already met to begin looking at ways to provide healthier options so that all members of the community may benefit. As one sister stated, "It is important for us all to get and stay healthier so we can continue our ministry within and outside the community."