Many patients started off quite well at the start of the pandemic as they were motivated to lose weight. But then their lifestyles changed through working at home and gyms being shut.
The change in daily routine has been a struggle for some. They found it not so easy to keep up with blood sugar control or weight loss when their energy levels changed.
One trend we noticed is that initial availability of foods changed. People weren’t doing their shopping as regularly as before. So we've been helping people decide how to make a balanced meal using things in the freezer and cupboards.
One thing I'm excited about is a recipe competition I’ve started. It's for our pregnant ladies coming through the diabetes clinic. And it's to celebrate the diversity we have in the community around our hospitals.
When advising what to eat, we want to suggest things that different communities want to eat and like to eat. It's good to involve our patients in sharing good practice to help other women who are struggling.
So we've asked women who have found a meal or snack they're prepared to share that recipe. It needs to have kept their blood sugar levels within a tight range. We want them to tell us what the inspiration is behind it and what culture it belongs to.
Joy of food
We’re hoping we can build up a lovely collection of different foods and meals for our patients to try that fit in with our healthy eating guidelines.
Food should be an enjoyment - and I quite often say to patients - I want you to enjoy your food. It's important.
My partner and I have tried a few new recipes during lockdown. It’s having more time. We couldn't get out to our usual places at the weekend or do our hobbies or eat out. At the start I was using more long-lasting vegetables and more tinned products. And trying out different casseroles and curries.
Things I’m looking forward to
I'm been looking forward to going out to dinner and being able to see family and friends a lot more.
I was going to say I was looking forward to going to the gym, but I haven’t been since it re-opened. That’s a big change for me. I find I enjoy being outdoors a lot more now.
And I’m excited about running group education again. It’s so nice to talk to more than one patient at a time and get conversation going. Patients enjoy it too. Another patient might ask a question they hadn’t wanted to ask or hadn’t thought of.