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WHAT: Native Food for Life Online Program to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
WHEN: May 3 to June 7, 2022 on Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:15 PM Central Time
WHERE: Online via Zoom COST: Free

The Native Food for Life Online Program to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes is a FREE six-class series starting May 3 that teaches healthy, culturally relevant, plant-based eating habits for individuals, families, communities, and workplaces where people have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or gestational diabetes, and how plant-based nutrition can help prevent and reverse them.
Eating a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who already have type 2 diabetes, a plant-based diet has been shown to drop blood sugar, along with blood pressure, cholesterol and extra weight. Need for medication also drops. “The precontact diet of Native American ancestors in what is now the Southern and Southwestern United States was largely plant-based,” says chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Indigenous Concepts of Native American Food, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, N.M.

Over the course of six 75-minute online lessons featuring cooking demos, nutrition lessons, and online discussions, participants will learn about the significant connection between food and diabetes, gain new cooking skills, try new recipes, and build new habits. Participants will gain knowledge, skills, and support to make and sustain significant dietary changes. These changes can prevent and, in many cases, turn diabetes around. The class details are as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 3, 6:00 – 7:15 PM, The Power to Heal Diabetes in Indian Country
  • Tuesday, May 10, 6:00 – 7:15 PM The Power of Your Plate
  • Tuesday, May 17, 6:00 – 7:15 PM, Blue Zones and the Magic 8
  • Tuesday, May 24, 6:00 – 7:15 PM, Grains, Beans, and More
  • Tuesday, May 31, 6:00 – 7:15 PM, The Story of 2 Sisters (A Lesson about Digestion!)
  • Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 – 7:15 PM, Virtual Potluck and Graduation

What class attendees are saying:

“When I started, I was on 2 different Blood Pressure medications and 3 different Type 2 Diabetes medications. Today, six months later, my Blood Pressure is no longer elevated, my Cholesterol level is also in the “normal” range and I am off ALL 5 of those medications. My daily blood sugar levels are constantly in the “normal” range, around the eighties to the mid-nineties, without any medication…all using food as my way of healing. The added benefit has been losing 55 pounds…with still more to lose.”
“I appreciate the simplicity of introducing plant-based foods into your diet.”
“I liked hearing the stories from real individuals and how happy they were with their life choices and changes, and also how impactful a plant-based diet was on their health.”

This program was initially developed as a 12-week program at the request of the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Program, with assistance from their nutritionists and nutrition experts at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Clinicians and staff members at Sacred Peaks Medical Center, Native Americans for Community Action (NACA)/Lasting Indigenous Family Life (L.I.F.E.), and Kinlani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff, AZ piloted this program and contributed further content.
In July and November of 2021, the American Indian Institute, University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education offered the Native Food for Life Online series, and is a partner in this series: will receive a certificate of participation from the University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education.

Meet Our Faculty

Marc was born in Norman, Okla., and is Seminole through his mother. His family moved north soon after he was born. Marc studied civil engineering at the University of Michigan and is a professional engineer and certified water right examiner in Oregon, where he resides. He has worked as an environmental and water resources consultant to Tribal governments since 1997. He remembers his grandmother telling him as a child, “You don’t have diabetes... yet.” After connecting with his extended Seminole family in 2009 and discovering the average overall life expectancy of Tribal members was only 60 years, he has been motivated to adopt and promote a plant-based diet, learn about traditional foods, cooking, and gardening, and better understand the connections between food, health, cultural affirmation, sustainability, and climate change. He’s been a volunteer with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine since 2012.

Tammy Robertson, RN, BSN, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has been a nurse for over a decade. She is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), a certified Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies with a certification in plant-based nutrition. She is passionate about the power of plants in her own life and for her patients and clients.

Everyone is welcome!

Questions?  Contact    

Thank you to the American Indian Institute, the Physicians Committee, University of Oklahoma Outreach, Native Americans for Community Action, Sacred Peaks Health Center, Red Mesa Cuisine LLC, Diné Food Sovereignty Alliance, Sun Life, Seeds to Inspire Foundation, and San Felipe Pueblo Diabetes Program for your partnership in Native Food for Life Online.