Read about my client Rod that I helped in Santa Monica, CA.
LindaRD, Registered Dietitian/ Nutritionist was thrilled to help her client Rod, 54 a CEO of a Santa Monica, CA company who was diagnosed with Diabetes. Rod called me because he remembered that one of his project managers Dan, who works in the Walnut Creek, CA office was being counseled for his recent diagnosis of diabetes. He was very impressed with Dan’s success with getting his blood sugar in the normal range without needing any medication. Rod asked me to fly down to Santa Monica, CA for two days and counsel him as well as go food shopping with him in Santa Monica, CA, setting up his pantry and helping him with menu planning.
Rod, is a single father and he has two teenage boys living with him. He certainly has to provide a full array of foods for these growing boys in addition to his nutrition. So when we went food shopping in Santa Monica, CA, I was also consulting with him about the best meals and snacks for his boys as well.
When I got to Rod’s lovely home I made an inventory of what he had on hand in the refrigerator, cupboards, and pantry. I showed him how to read food labels for protein, fiber, fat, sugar and calories per serving which would be helpful when we would shop later on. I could see that Rod and the boys were eating too much cheese, pasta dishes,
processed snacks such as Wheat Thins, Chips and Granola bars. Like I said to Rod there is no real food here. He said it was difficult having the boys and at times he was overwhelmed with work and did what was easy. He knew that he had to make a lifestyle change because his poor eating habits caused him to gain weight and be diagnosed with diabetes. He realized that his frequent thirst, blurred vision, lightheadness and dizziness were all symptoms of diabetes. He was shocked when his doctor told him that he has diabetes, because his dad had adult-onset diabetes and here he was with the same health issue that he always wanted to prevent for himself.
We first started to shop in my favorite store Trader Joe’s on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA which Rod would go to infrequently. He did not understand why Trader Joe’s is so popular. I hear this often and the answer is that people that are not health conscious really need a coach to walk them thru the store like I did was Rod. He was amazed at all the great food choices available and will certainly frequent the store often. I showed Rod many convenience type foods that are healthy in the freezer section such as potstickers, Chicken or Shrimp Stirfry, yummy bean soups, Kashi Go Lean cereal and Barbara’s Oats, individually 2 oz. portions of almonds to prevent his overeating, various oatmeals, already cooked brown rice in pouches ready to heat up, great salad dressings, already fresh prepared matchstick sweet potato fries, fresh steam in the bag veggies (not frozen), fresh arugula, already freshly cooked beets and lentils that can be added to salads, “Just Chicken” as it is called is cooked chicken spiced up a few different ways and great to add to wraps and salads. Some of their salads are great as long as you watch the amount of dressing used.
We then went to lunch at Whole Foods on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA which I suggested. The best aspect of Whole Foods is their convenience section with freshly cooked meals, salads, soups and a huge salad bar. Rod realized that these dishes are too expensive to serve his boys but can be great meals to pick up for himself. We picked up several dishes for our dinner such citrus salmon, arugula and quinoa salad and a couple of their fresh minestrone and white beans soups. He knew about Whole Foods but would just shop at Von’s for one stop shopping. I suggested a plan that the nights he his home he can pick up nicely prepared meals at Whole Foods. He can make the boys the pasta dishes that they love as long as he puts a salad and a veggie on the table.
We then went back to Rod’s home and we set up his pantry based on the food groups. This would make it easy for him to balance his meals correctly. We created a starch section that for instance contained his whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat couscous, whole grain cereals and dried beans. Over our snack of cottage cheese and fruit and some nuts I counseled Rod about what would be best lunches for him to order at the cafeteria in his building where he ate most often. Then we discussed what are the best entrees to order at his favorite spots near his office in Santa Monica, CA. We also discussed convenient snacks for him to have at his office such as beef jerky, cottage cheese, 2 oz. portion sized almonds and bean soups.
The next day Rod wanted to go out to breakfast at his favorite café The Omelette Parlor in Santa Monica, CA and show him the best items to order. They certainly know him at this café and I was told his regular choice was a large western omelette with a side of bacon, and hash browns. WOW, this was shocking. I had to go with the idea that Rod likes eggs, bacon and potatoes. So, we came up with having a veggie omelette with cheese lightly sprinkled on top and potatoes cooked in less oil. I also, suggested poached eggs with whole wheat toast or an English muffin.
After breakfast Rod wanted to go to Costco in Marina Del Rey which was almost an hour drive with all the traffic. There are times that he is travelling and he likes to have a large supply of staples on hand for himself and the boys. He wanted to show me typically what he buys and wanted to know what to replace his typical choices with. At this point he wanted me to look at many food labels to understand what makes a healthy product. He was really learning how to read a food label and deciding if it was a good food to add to his cart.
That afternoon when we came back to his home we continued to do menu planning for the next week since it was a quiet week at work and a good week to try new items and a recipe that I suggested.
I left Rod’s home that evening and could tell that he was very appreciative of the service and felt that he was well informed on how to turn this diagnosis of diabetes around.
I have continued to hold Rod’s hand thru e-mail and phone. He travels a lot and is often asking me questions about what to order in restaurants. Now his executive secretary calls me to help with ordering is in house meals when there are visitors or company seminars when there are preplanned meals ordered.
I am glad to inform you that after working with Rod for one month he feels like a new man and has lost 10 pounds that I guarantee he will not see again. His blood sugars are decreasing and his physician is certainly happy with this progression. Since he knows Rod is working with me he has held off prescribing medication. Rod is not feeling deprived. I have shown him how to enjoy his martini’s that he loves as well as desserts.
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