Mike was diagnosed with diabetes more than 20 years ago, however it’s only in the last few years that he feels like his diagnosis has held him back. Luckily for Mike, while he was doing his grocery shopping one day, he met Sheri Berger, RDN, at his local Safeway grocery store.
Sheri is a registered dietitian with more than a decade of experience helping people improve their health by making better nutritional and lifestyle choices. Recently, Sheri was hired by El Camino Hospital to help pilot a new program called “Answers in the Aisles.” Answers in the Aisles is a partnership between Safeway and El Camino Hospital to provide wellness education and in-store dietary advice related to heart health and reducing the risk of diabetes and cancer. Sheri is in the downtown Los Altos Safeway store on Mondays and Thursdays to answer shopper questions and provide assistance, which is when Mike first talked with Sheri.
“The first time I met Sheri, we discussed my situation and she mentioned that through the Answers in the Aisles program, she offers one-on-one store tour consultations,” says Mike. “My family will tell you that I will talk to just about anyone, but it was very fortuitous when I met Sheri.”
Since his initial happenstance meeting, Mike has done multiple one-on-one store tours with Sheri and along with his wife, they attended one of the free educational seminars that she hosts.
“On our first one-on-one tour, Sheri and I focused on only two aisles in the store – cereals and breads. We started by learning to read and understand labels and compare different products.”
Mike continues, “I was completely shocked by what was in the products I was buying. As a result of that tour, I have started comparing products on my own and am now much more aware of what I’m eating and the quantity of what I am eating. Sheri has taught me a lot about portion control and what kinds of foods are good and bad for me, especially with my diabetes in mind.”
Over the course of the few months that Mike has worked with Sheri, he has lost weight and feels more in control of his diabetes. He says that it has been her availability in the store and the ease of talking to her that has made him go back again and again.
“I definitely would not have learned as much as I have if Sheri wasn’t at the store where I shop on a regular basis. She has taught me a lot, but I’m still like a babe in the woods. There is so much more that she can teach me!”
Mike plans to continue debunking what he calls the “myths of the grocery store.” He and his wife also plan to continue asking Sheri questions when they shop and to attend more of her seminars.