The Hippo


Aug 25, 2019








Celebrity chef Dana Herbert shares healthy recipes for Diabetes awareness event. Courtesy photo.

Diabetes Awareness Event

When: Thursday, Nov. 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua
Cost: $5 donation request, benefits the American Diabetes Association. See or call 595-3168 to register. 

Healthy habits
Cake Boss winner promotes diabetes prevention

By Allie Ginwala

 Cake aficionados and fans of TLC programming may know Dana Herbert from his win on Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, but on Thursday, Nov. 12, the celebrity chef and owner of Desserts by Dana in Delaware will be in Nashua to show people how to cook healthy foods for St. Joseph Hospital’s Diabetes Awareness event.

One of the original chefs to participate in Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Academy, which teaches people how to balance their diets and stay healthy, Herbert has spent part of the past five years traveling the country and leading cooking demonstrations at awareness events and conferences.
“Like a lot of people, I have a history of diabetes in my family,” Herbert said in a phone interview. “Winning Cake Boss and becoming a celebrity chef, it’s cool, but if you can’t do something positive with it to help the community, then what's it really mean at the end of the day?”
Pat Hunter, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, arranged last year’s St. Joseph Hospital Diabetes Awareness event, where dozens of people came out to see a dietitian cooking demo and sessions focused on reading labels and proper portion-sizing. She’s excited to build on that success with an even fuller event this time around.
“This one is a little bit bigger in terms of having five or six different disciplines in attendance,” Hunter said in a phone interview. “My goal is to be able to have a fun event providing resources for diabetics in the community.”
The components of the event include an olive oil and cheese tasting from Hannaford, a physical therapist discussing strength training and exercise, smart kidney information from Da Vita, a talk about foot care and the importance of knowing your numbers with Lisa Garneau, RN and certified diabetes educator, and a presentation of the benefits of the Mediterranean eating plan from Hunter.
Though the event is held in conjunction with Diabetes Awareness month with a focus on prevention, this year’s theme is all about the Mediterranean lifestyle and healthy eating, so anyone is welcome to attend.
“The Mediterranean diet is a proven pattern for a healthy diet. It’s delicious, satisfying, easy to swallow,” Hunter said. “We’re hoping to show people what are the healthy snacks and how should we integrate a handful of nuts [or] using healthy oils and how that affects a person's blood sugar.”
“It's an opportunity to kind of talk freely,” Garneau said in a phone interview. 
A nurse educator, she gave an overview of diabetes at last year’s event.
“It brings people together who may have it or may know somebody who has it and [gives them] the opportunity to ask some questions,” she said.
Garneau works for Novo Nordisk, the sponsor for Herbert’s cooking demo, and said having a notable guest chef can not only draw people in but encourage them to use some of his healthy recipes.
“Dana is doing a strawberry spinach salad and a smoked turkey chili verde and showing how you can eat the Mediterranean lifestyle. It’s healthy for diabetes and for most [other health problems],” she said.
When it comes to leading cooking demonstrations, Herbert said he likes it to be casual, making it more conversational than just an instructional step-by-step followed by samples.
“I’ll be giving them the steps, but at the same time I am informal in that you don't have to sit in the chair like, ‘Bueller, Bueller.’ You can ask questions right when it's going on,” Herbert said.
He chose the smoked turkey chili verde given the colder weather in New Hampshire as a healthy dish that can help “warm up those bones.”
“The strawberry spinach salad I chose because it’s something that anybody can do,” he said. “You can swap out the fruit. It's really versatile and a good way to get some greens in your system.” 

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