If your plate could talk, what would it be saying to you?
Divabetic presented the Plate Poetry Project Workshop at the Divabetic Club at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA . This worthwhile outreach event focusing on the emotional issues surrounding food and eating for people affected by diabetes. The goal of the program is to help empower, educate and connect people living with diabetes and healthcare providers about issues surrounding food, nutrition, diet, weight loss and diabetes health.
Through an interactive art installation and poetry workshop symposium (featuring both patients and healthcare professionals) Divabetic is providing a safe forum for people to express the words and phrases we say to ourselves when we’re eating, food shopping and/or preparing meals.
Participants were handed paper plates, index cards, markers and pens when the entered the room. Participants were asked to write down one word to describe their relationship to food and/or diabetes or what they say to themselves when they eat and/or a word they would like to see on their plate. This exercise is called, “What’s On Your Plate?” The index cards were used later on in the Plate Poetry workshop portion of the program presented by Monique Gordon.
The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic with Divabetic Club leader, Neva White CRNP, CDE kicked off the Divabetic Club meeting with a quick HOT TOPICS discussion about the latest health headlines including: Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy, Coca-Cola’s pledge to fight obesity and new research findings that marijuana can help control blood sugars. There was a lot of laughter among the audience regarding pot smoking helping with self-care.
Stephanie Garber PharmD, CDE, from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, presented a ‘Tips on Blood Monitoring’ followed by a Q & A discussion.
Poet, performance artist and former teacher, Monique Gordon, who is a Divabetic Club member, lead the participants in a 15 minute poetry workshop. Monique asked everyone to write down 3 to 5 words in response to a series of open-ended questions. We were asked to relate our answers to our diabetes, diabetes self-care our health and/or our food. The workshop questions ranged from:
(what’s) ‘In my head?’ Participants shared responses such as: “stress” “taking my medications”
(what’s) ‘On the shelf?’ Participants shared responses such as: “my monitor looking back at me” and “jars of spinach dip” and “exercise DVD’s”
(what I see) ‘On the bus?’ Participants shared responses such as: “I just left my doctor’s appointment and I noticed all the overweight people”
‘At Dawn’: Participants shared “Hope to change and my personal habits”, “second chance to do right” Happy, hopeful, strong and powerful” and “Victorious Conquer”
‘In the end’: Participants shared responses such as: “YOU did a good job!” and “a different death certificate than my grandmother’s”
After Monique Gordon read all the questions we went around the room and shared our responses with the group.
Monique also read four of her original poems.
At the end of the session, Mr. Divabetic read off all the words (from people’s plates.) The Plate Poetry Project words ranged from: “humble, serious, Love & Trust & True, ‘Yes, I can do it’, Blessed, healthy, jelly, liberty, freedom, cure, guilty, tests, plan, enjoy, grateful, thank you Lord, Less Meds – Less Weight”
All participants enjoyed healthy sandwich wraps, Cabot Cheese, water and strawberries. Giveaways were provided by Max Glucose Meters.
COMING SOON: Join us for Plate Poetry Project at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA on Thursday, October 17, 2013, 12 PM. Fine Artist Susan McCaslin’s thought provoking art display will be on display, “What’s Eating You?” features tables of dish-ware labeled with assorted words. The words, which range the spectrum from ‘guilt’, ‘deprived’ and ‘fat’ to ‘hope’ ‘fuel’ and ‘beautiful,’ comprise the private thoughts we say or think to ourselves and/or others when we’re eating and drinking. Visitors can rearrange the plates to create their own phrases and statements about food, food issues and diabetes on the interactive table displays. What is your food saying to you? What are you saying to your food? These are the questions that the art installation hopes to address.
A Diabetes Resource table featuring diabetes information and nutrition advice will be located adjacent to the Plate Poetry Display hosted by various Thomas Jefferson University Hospital healthcare professionals and volunteers.