County extension classes keep seniors healthy

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

Two free classes in Portales are offering diabetics a chance to learn how to use exercise and good cooking habits to stay healthy.

Roosevelt County Extension is holding “Keep Moving, Keep Healthy” and “Kitchen Creations: A Cooking School for Diabetics and Their Families” classes starting in March. Extension Home Economist Connie Moyers strongly encouraged interested people to register as soon as possible.

“A lot of people, if they get things under control, can control their diabetes with diet and exercise,” she said.

Even for diabetics who need medication, Moyers said, proper diet and exercise can make managing the disease easier and help avoid complications such as blindness and kidney failure.

“Keep Moving, Keep Healthy” encourages the use of exercise to control blood-sugar levels, according to an Extension news release.

Moyers said participants would discuss the importance of physical activity, reasons people don’t exercise and daily activities that are exercise. They are to receive exercise DVDs, resistance bands and pedometers.

Students are to take blood tests to measure blood glucose, cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C before and after 12 weeks of exercise to see if there is improvement.

As for “Kitchen Creations,” Moyers said she works with registered dietitian Judy Cox of Clovis to teach how diabetes interacts with food and how ingredients and cooking methods can improve health. Participants are to receive recipe books and to cook and taste dishes made without extra sodium, fat or sugar.

Jima Widener, who took the class with her husband, Harold, said she recommended the class.

“I thought it was very informative,” she said.

“Kitchen Creations” was fun and interesting because participants prepared and ate the sample recipes, Widener also said. She still uses some of the information and recipes from the class a couple of years ago.

Moyers said students may try dishes such as frozen peach melba cream, pork stir fry and Monterey quiche squares.

“I just make a lot of really good food they enjoy,” she said.

The class targets diabetics and people who cook for them.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and usually limited to about 25 people, Moyers said.

Information and registration: Moyers at 356-4417.

The schedule:

Keep Moving, Keep Healthy

When: 6 p.m. March 9, April 6, June 1

Kitchen Creations

When: 6-9 p.m., March 23 and 30, April 6 and 30