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An Scary Statistic

I’ve been attending some conferences down in Virginia the past few days and am glad to be able to sleep in my own bed tonight. I always enjoy traveling, but there’s no place like home 🙂 Although I don’t usually read the USA Today newspaper, there’s always plenty of them at hotels.

So, this morning I picked one up on my way down to get some coffee, and on the front page was a huge article about diabetes. The info in the article was not good. 

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A Very Good Day

Thanks for everyone who was praying for our Faith Fights Diabetes meeting this morning.  To say that it was a success would be an understatement.  I don’t know how many people will ultimately sign up to help with this initiative, but there is no question in my mind that our message resonated with the nearly sixty people who came.

The statistics are simply too hard to ignore.  I talked about some numbers yesterday, but there was one slide that was shown today that took my breath away.  According to the American Diabetes Association,  one-third of all caucasian children born in the United States after the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.  For ethnic children, the number jumps to fifty percent.  That’s either one out of three, or one out of two.  Absolutely staggering.  

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A New Adventure

This picture of Old Faithful in Yellowstone was taken the other day by my brother Don.  Right about now, he’s headed home from a two-week trip throughout the Great Plains.  Yesterday, I wrote about how, when I’m having a bad day, I often daydream about Tuscany.  I guess if I were to ask my brother, he’d choose the great outdoors, fishing, hiking and camping.  I think the key to it all is finding your happy place, and getting to it as often as possible, if not physically, then at least in your mind.

I’m really excited about a new adventure I’m embarking on.  Tomorrow morning,  a group of faith leaders from my county will gather to discuss ways we can fight diabetes.  There’s supposed to be about fifty of us, and your’s truly is acting as the MC.

Somehow, I even got myself appointed Co-Chair of the future Action Committee which will hopefully be an outcome of this initial meeting.  Not that I’m looking for more to do, but this issue is vitally important, not only in my community, but in yours too.

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Today was a great day for me, and I hope you had a great one too. First off, I had a meeting with some folks to discuss the possibility of making Faith Fighting Diabetes a reality here in Carroll County.  As I gave them the background of this heartfelt desire I have, I could see the concept was resonating with them.  It was awesome.

Just to fill you in, I was away on retreat at the beginning of the summer.  I was a bit bored one day (it happens on silent retreats), and I started flipping through a magazine in the retreat center library.  I saw a small advertisement for an organization called Faith Fights Diabetes.

Although I probably shouldn’t have, I ripped the ad out, and put it in my wallet.  When I got home, one of the first things I did was jump on-line to check this organization’s website out.  I was really impressed with what I saw.  In a nutshell, the website was all about encouraging the leaders of faith communities to educate their congregations about diabetes. Statistics show that people trust their faith leaders more than they do their doctors.  Go figure.

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Persistence Pays Off

Did you know that it took Thomas Edison thousands of failed experiments over decades before he invented a long-lasting incandescent light bulb that revolutionized the world? He never stopped trying, he never saw himself a failure.  His persistence paid off.

Did you know that over a span of thirty years, Abraham Lincoln repeatedly failed at business, love and politics before becoming the President of the United States?  He never stopped trying, he never saw himself a failure.  His persistence paid off.

It seems to me that persistence has become like a dirty word nowadays.  Many people throw in the towel before they even start, thinking whatever task is before them is simply too difficult to overcome.  There’s a lot of folks that, once beaten down, never get up again.  They lose hope and give up trying.  Persistence is no longer part of their vocabulary, if it ever was.

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D-Feast Friday

Yesterday, I was out visiting some blogs dealing with diabetes,  and there was some excitement about a new venture, D-Feast Friday’s.  Bloggers post their favorite recipes that are great tasting and diabetic friendly.  Since it seems like the Zucchini-Corn Quesadillas I’ve been making lately have become quite a hit, I thought it would be a great recipe to contribute. It’s also a tasty way to incorporate some of the local produce that is so abundant right now into our daily diets.

Zucchini-Corn Quesadillas

makes two quesadillas

3 tb. vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)

6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 medium zucchini cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2 cups)

1/2 cup (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn)

1/2 cup cooked black beans

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tb. lime juice

chili powder for sprinkling

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

4 Low Carb Wheat Tortillas (I used  Wrap-itz Tortillas only five net carbs per tortilla. Trader Joe’s also has a good product).


Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, and saute 7 minutes.  Add zucchini and corn, and saute 7 minutes more.  Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Heat pan/grill.  Spray cooking oil lightly on tortilla and place in pan/on grill.

Spoon one cup of zucchini-corn filling onto tortilla, add cheese.  Top with second tortilla. Spray top tortilla lightly with cooking spray (do not spray directly into flame). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Using spatula, turn gently.  Cook additional 2-3 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Cut into quarters and enjoy. (Original recipe and nutritional info from Vegetarian Times)

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Good Things Are Happening

I feel like I’ve been on a crazy amusement park ride the past week, one with plenty of fun but lots of twists and turns.  I’m ready for a little r and r, and hopefully things will settle down a bit.  I have a lot of things to catch up on.

A couple of days ago, I met with some local healthcare folks, and they loved the idea of an outreach linking faith communities to diabetes education.  I could sense the excitement in the air as the meeting broke up.  We could all see the potential in this, and how it could greatly benefit our community.

Plenty of groundwork has to be laid first, but it was a very promising first step.

One of the things that I was most happy about this past week was a conversation I had with a college student.  I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s matured into a terrific young man. Because diabetes runs in his family, he’s been trying to get himself on track to avoid the disease, but he also wants to help his family eat a little healthier.

So, earlier this week, he had the chance to share my zucchini-corn quesadilla recipe with his grandmother, and they whipped up a batch together.  To me, these types of “sacred feasts” really excite me, because it validates to me that this blog is touching people in a positive way.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be making some important changes to my blog.  As my knowledge base expands, I can see how my posts can be presented more clearly, more consistently, and more on target with my overall goal of helping people transform their lives.

Any input that you would like to give on this would be most appreciated and welcomed 🙂

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Faith Fights Diabetes

While I was on retreat in June, I picked up a copy of a Christian newspaper.  As I was perusing the articles, an advertisement caught my eye.It was for an organization called Faith Fights Diabetes.  According to the ad, if faith communities got involved with helping people better understand diabetes, many more people would be able to either avoid getting the disease, or they would be better equipped to deal with it.

Of course, the ad piqued my curiosity, and when I got back from the retreat, I jumped on my computer and learned all I could about this organization.  There were some good things, and one unfortunate thing.  We’ll start with the good.

Almost universally, people trust their religious leaders.  Studies have shown that, when religious leaders talk about health issues such as diabetes, members of their faith community pay attention.  When they see that more nutritious food is served at their gatherings, they pay attention.  Generally, when something becomes important to the faith community’s leaders, it becomes important to the community at large.

I could immediately see how using faith communities to help improve the physical health of its members could have many positive ramifications.  The potential was great.

Now, for the unfortunate part.  Faith Fights Diabetes is a program developed by the New York State Health Department.  Yes, it’s just for New Yorkers 🙁

So, I began thinking.  The concept seems so right, and I know the need is great.  How can I bring this to my community?

Well, I’ll find out today.  This afternoon, I’m meeting with some folks from my local hospital and an organization called Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County.  From my initial conversations with them, it sounded like this would be something they’d be very interested in. I’ll let you know how it goes.