Time for us to embark on another year of Thrive! A community-wide wellness initiative with a goal of helping us all take small steps on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Loren Ewert of Mankato is certainly an example of that, he helps KEYC News 12's Lisa Cownie kick off a new year of Thrive.
Loren Ewert was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005. Loren says, "I didn't pay that much attention and wasn't that careful with what I was eating." That's because Loren didn't feel like anything was wrong. Loren says, "I knew 7.9 was very high and that if I didn't do something, didn't find a way to solve this, there would be major complications down the road."

Complications from Diabetes can include heart disease, loss of eye sight or a limb, even dementia. Erin Gonzalez, a registered dietitian with Mankato Clinic, says the good news is that diabetes can be controlled with proper diet. The better news is that it is a diet no different than anyone else's. Erin says, "It's more about moderation and how often are we making the right choice." She says to use the "Plate method" look at your place and make sure half of it is vegetables, a quarter whole grains and the other quarter a protein.

Mostly through diet, Loren has turned his numbers around. Last check his blood sugar was down to 5.3 and he's lost 45 pounds. Loren says, "I went from size 40 waist to size 34 which is important, you just feel better all the way around." In 2017 Loren plans to add strength training, exercise being another key to battling diabetes. Erin says, "As soon as we engage in physical activity, it automatically reduces our blood sugar and is the cheapest prescription someone can be prescribed."