Adopting healthy eating and lifestyle habits is important for those diagnosed with diabetes, and a step-by-step approach makes those goals attainable, according to Diana Ramirez, executive director of the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association (RGVDA).
“Taking a step to prevent and control diabetes doesn’t mean food deprivation—you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. On the contrary, the RGVDA teaches how to cook healthier and take pleasure from your meals without feeling hungry or deprived,” she said.
The RGVDA, in partnership with Frontera Audubon, will now be offering cooking classes led by a registered dietician every other month for adults with or at risk of diabetes in the Mid-Valley. The first cooking class will be Tuesday, May 26th at 5:30 p.m. at the Frontera Audubon Society, located at 1101 S. Texas Blvd.
The free class will focus on the importance of a healthy diet for those with diabetes. To register for the class, please call the RGVDA office at (956) 782-1900. Space is limited.
Ramirez says with obesity as a leading factor contributing to diabetes and related complications, educational events such as these help not only raise awareness of this epidemic and disease in the Rio Grande Valley, but also encourage a lifestyle change.
“We can help you to make these changes by teaching you how to cook the right way. RGVDA will be providing you all with tips need to prepare a healthy lunch, along with delicious and healthy recipes,” she said.
Ramirez said the RGVDA hosts cooking classes and lectures in the McAllen/Edinburg area, but the organization saw the need to provide classes in the Mid-Valley.
“We saw that many who attend our lectures and cooking classes live in the Mid-Valley area, so we wanted to make these opportunities accessible to them,” she said.
“We partnered with Frontera Audubon because it is a beautiful, natural setting where participants can take a walk on the nature trail. It’s a beautiful and safe haven to walk and relax as well as view birds and butterflies,” Ramirez added.
The RGVDA is a local non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to the prevention of diabetes and its complications through educational services, early detection and awareness. The RGVDA’s focus is to bring attention to a growing health epidemic that affects one out of every four people in Hidalgo County, making it one of the worst-afflicted areas in the country. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and manageable through a healthy regimen of exercise and diet.
Frontera Audubon is located at 1101 S. Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. The property is home to a15-acre nature preserve that includes walkable thicket trails, gardens, wetlands, and ponds. Frontera Audubon also houses a Visitor’s Center and the Skaggs House, a Texas Historical Landmark, built in 1927.
The mission of Frontera Audubon (a 501c3 nonprofit organization) is to preserve and promote the natural and historical environment for the education and enjoyment of the community. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The preserve is closed Mondays.