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November 23rd, 2010

Beans (lentils, kidney beans, string beans, pinto beans, and black beans) are an overall healthy food to add to one’s diet; they are a good source of protein and several vitamins and minerals, while also being low in fat.
They are also a good source of soluble fiber, which is beneficial to diabetics. According to Karen Collins (a nutrition advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research), soluble fibers slow down the body’s digestion and absorption of sugars, helping maintain blood sugar levels. Not only that, but these fibers also help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels should be maintained regardless of whether or not one is diabetic, but beans are especially beneficial to diabetics due to their higher risk for developing heart disease. However, beans also contain large amounts of sodium and carbohydrates, so they must be carefully integrated into one’s diet.
For great bean dishes, look into Italian, Greek, Indian, Caribbean, Mexican, and Middle Eastern food. Included below is a recipe for one of my personal favorites – lentil soup! So grab some beans and enjoy the benefits of these delectable legumes.
Diabetes-friendly lentil soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound lentils
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
Cook all together until lentils are soft. Add one 7 ounce can of tomato sauce. Add one 1/4 cup of vinegar. Cook for 15 minutes.
A big thank you to Michael Hernandez, the Awareness and Recruitment Officer for the UC Davis Diabetes Advocacy and Awareness Group.  For more information about this new student group at UC Davis, please visit their website:

Introducing Our New Student Group Partners: The Diabetes Advocacy & Awareness Group

November 15th, 2010

The UC Davis Good Life Garden is so pleased to announce its partnership with a new UC Davis student organization called DAAG (The Diabetes Advocacy and Awareness Group). The group’s founder, Zuhayr Mallam, contacted us a while back to talk about possibilities and the multiple reasons that such a partnership makes sense. We hope this partnership will further promote one of the main tenets of the UC Davis Good Life Garden: Good Food = Good Health!

Thank you DAAG! As part of this partnership one of the members of DAAG will be posting a blog entry about once a week about diabetes, nutrition, gardening, food, eating fresh, eating local…basically everything we already do, but perhaps with a special angle as it relates to diabetes awareness. Please find the first such entry courtesy of Zuhayr Mallam below.

Above:  Photo of some of the fresh fruits and vegetables picked from the UC Davis Good Life Garden over the summer.  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can drop one’s risk factors for diabetes considerably!

The Diabetes Advocacy & Awareness Group (DAAG) is a new UC Davis student organization aimed at educating others about health and spreading knowledge and awareness of diabetes in order to lower disease incidence and foster healthy living among members of our community.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), over 20 million children and adults in the United States are living with Diabetes. And with the current rate of growth, it is estimated that approximately 1/3 of the US population will be afflicted with diabetes within the next 20-30 years.

Yes, the numbers are astounding! But, diabetes itself is also astoundingly preventable!

Research has proven that by adjusting your diet to include essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables, your risk factors for diabetes drop considerably.

Therefore, the Diabetes Advocacy & Awareness Group and the UC Davis Good Life Garden have partnered up with the goal of educating the campus and Davis community about nutrition and healthy eating through the wonderful resources we have available to us like the UC Davis Good Life Garden, its blog and related social media outlets, in addition to outreach events throughout campus, and much more!

So keep an eye out for us!

For more information, visit:

or contact us at:


It’s our second birthday!

November 10th, 2010

Officially the second birthday of the garden was in October.  But it’s hard to believe that it has already been two years since the grand opening!

And to celebrate, and because everyone loves “before and afters,” enjoy the following photos that show how much the garden has grown!

All photos were taken by David Phillips.








Participate in an ORGANIC RICE STUDY & Receive a $20 GIFT CARD

November 2nd, 2010

CONSUMERS NEEDED FOR A RICE TASTE TEST!  Be sure to forward to your friends asap.  The study is taking place this week!

Jean-Xavier Guinard, Ph.D., UC Davis professor of sensory science, is looking for 200 people to participate in a rice taste test.

You qualify if you meet the following criteria:

  • US Citizen or Resident, age 18-65;
  • No food allergies or dietary restrictions;
  • Purchase organic products once a week or more (preferably beyond dairy and produce); and,
  • Consume rice or packaged rice products twice a month or more

AND can attend one of the following 1-hour session time slots at the Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Theater:

  • Thursday, November 4th: 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm
  • Friday, November 5th: 3 pm, 4:30 pm, 6 pm
  • Saturday, November 6th: 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm.

To sign up, please contact Chirat (Art) at (530) 754-8691 or email

For a map of the location click here

Those who meet these criteria and attend the 1-hour session will receive a $20 gift card.  Whoo-hoo!  When you are done, take a stroll through the UC Davis Good Life Garden to see what we’re growing this season!  (We’re located right outside in the courtyard of the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.)