Where Do I Get It? Nutrition September 2020

Dining with Diabetes

Do you know how to live well with your Diabetes? Do you know the Carbohydrates and Sweeteners that you should be eating and how much? Do you know about the Fats and Sodium that are not good for you?Do you know how to put all of this together and become healthier while living with Diabetes? If your answer to these questions are NO, then, I would say that you should register for a Dining with Diabetes class to learn how to live healthier and well with Diabetes. As you know, Diabetes is diagnosed when excess blood glucose is found in the blood, either because the pancreas has stopped making insulin or glucose is not being absorbed by the cells.Learning when and what to eat, why your blood sugar is high or low, and when or how to exercise and take medication is a lot to learn when you are first diagnosed or diagnosed period. If you are interested in attending the class email me Cynthia Clifton at cclifton@agcenter.lsu.edu to register and learn how to live well and healthier while having Diabetes.

Nutrition Blog

Meal planning can help limit grocery store trips

The coronavirus has turned a trip to the grocery store into a planned event that may happen only once a week or even less frequently.

Now is a great time to brush up on our meal planning. Most of us went from eating one to two meals at home daily to now eating three meals and snacks a day with everyone at home. Our food budgets have increased, while eating away from home and entertainment budget have decreased since we are under the stay-at-home order.

The following are some tips and ways to plan healthful meals while limiting grocery store trips.

  • Take an inventory of your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Make a list of everything and check expiration dates. Try to use items that will expire soon and those that have been in the pantry or freezer a while. Also be sure to use any fresh produce before it must be discarded.
  • Once your inventory is done, make a meal calendar or plan. It does not have to be fancy, just map out each meal and what items will be used from your inventory.
  • Use your meal plan and inventory to help make your grocery list or pickup order. By planning and knowing exactly what you need, you can save both money and time.
  • When planning meals with your inventory list, try to plan meals that include at least three to five food groups from the MyPlate food guide. The food groups are fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products.
  • The whole family can participate in the process. Perhaps the kids can plan one meal or one day of meals, and one parent can plan the snacks for the week.
  • Try to have healthful snacks available and reachable for everyone. Cut up fruits or vegetables and place them in the refrigerator or keep a bowl of whole fruits on the counter. This is a great way to ensure no produce goes to waste and to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Pull out the cookbooks that you have hidden in your closet. Find a recipe that you have all the ingredients for and try that recipe. You might be surprised how much your family will enjoy something new and tasty.
  • Make leftovers into something new or cook meals that will feed the family twice. Repurpose leftover cooked chicken into either chicken salad sandwiches or quesadillas or make a big batch of spaghetti sauce or gumbo and eat at least two meals from it.
  • If you have a lot of breakfast foods in your inventory, mix things up and do breakfast for dinner. Most kids will enjoy having breakfast at night, and they can get in the kitchen to assist you in the meal preparation.
  • Be flexible. What you planned for Tuesday’s lunch can be Thursday’s dinner, which is perfectly OK.
  • Hang your meal plan calendar either on the pantry door or refrigerator so everyone can see it. This will help you when you start preparing meals.
  • Get kids involved by letting them wash vegetables, chop, and measure ingredients, and locate items in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Older kids can help cook the meal with some supervision.
  • Take an occasional break from cooking and support local restaurants.

Healthy Recipe

Skinny Gravy (Dining with Diabetes)


  • 2 cups de-fatted drippings, or non-fat broth
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch


  • If using meat dripping, remove the fat from the broth by (1) allowing the fat and broth layers to separate in a gravy separator and then pouring off the fat layer or removing the fat layer with a baster, (2) add ice cubes to the drippings causing the fat to congeal around the ice cubes.
  • Bring the de-fatted broth to a rolling boil in a small saucepan.
  • Combine cornstarch in a small amount of cold water to dissolve.
  • Slowly pour cornstarch slurry into boiling broth, whisking, or stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  • Reduce gravy to a simmer.Cook until gravy thickens to desired consistency.

Virtual Online Nutrition Classes Offered

The LSU AgCenter is using technology to transform the way they offer nutrition classes in the wake of the pandemic.

In the past, nutrition agents and educators offered lessons in a face-to-face setting. With the virus still persisting, the LSU AgCenter adapted nutrition lessons to virtual format.

The benefit of offering online nutrition education classes is that we can still connect with our audiences and provide them with research-based nutrition information while remaining safe during the pandemic. It also allows us the opportunity to explore alternative ways to reach our audiences who may not be able to attend face-to-face classes in the future.

We wanted to be able to continue to offer nutrition education because eating right and exercising are increasingly important to an individual’s overall well-being. Our goal is to offer lessons to clientele that meet their needs and are easily accessible.

The nutrition lessons cover topics such as healthful eating and meal planning, managing food dollars, physical activity, and food safety. Lessons will be offered for both adult and youth audiences.

The virtual lessons will include a 20 to 25-minute interactive segment and a brief pre-recorded food demonstration for healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes. The entire length of each segment will be about 30 minutes.

Virtual nutrition lessons will be offered either directly through the LSU AgCenter or in collaboration with community partners. Partner organizations may include local libraries, WIC offices, healthcare groups or other state agencies.

If you have a computer, tablet, or smart phone, you will be able to join through a link provided by the LSU AgCenter or a community partner. If you do not have one of these devices, there will be an opportunity to participate by phone.

Individuals who are interested in attending a series of virtual nutrition lessons can contact the St. John the Baptist Parish LSU AgCenter at (985) 497-3261 and ask for Cynthia Clifton. You can also email Cynthia Clifton at (cclifton@agcenter.lsu.edu) directly to register.

The LSU AgCenter is a statewide campus of the LSU System and provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

FCS September newsletter 8-31-2020pdf

8/31/2020 6:30:08 PM
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture