About Karen Graham

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

Thank you for visiting my website!

For almost 30 years I worked as a Diabetes Educator at the diabetes education centre in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  While spending time with thousands of clients, I was able to help you make positive lifestyle changes and overcome difficult and challenging struggles. I often feel I have been so lucky to devote so much of my life to the important fight against diabetes.

During the past five years I have been working as a Public Health Dietitian in Kelowna, British Columbia. I have been the Coordinator of a five year project called the Breastfeeding Art Expo. The project ended in the Fall, 2018, and I am now working on a project to help improve practices and policies that will better support women to breastfeed. Often women do not get well supported and have many challenges to breastfeed – I am working to improve the way women are treated in hospitals before and after they give birth to better enable them to successfully breastfeed.

I started my life out in Nairobi, Kenya, where I learned to be active outdoors, and appreciate many cultures and wonderful ethnic foods. Africa inspired me to want to work with people and to study food and health. From this passion, I became a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Canada, and I also did volunteer work in areas such as literacy and international dietetics. My work with health professionals and the public led me to write books and resources about nutrition and diabetes. My goal was always to make these easy-to-read and practical, and also beautiful and inspiring. Thank you to all my clients and customers, and colleagues, friends and family who, over the years, have inspired me.

My Bio

Education
Graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Home Economics in 1982 and completed the Dietitian training at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre in 1983. Certified Diabetes Educator since 1994. Completed the YMCA of Canada Fitness Instructor Certification in 1987.

Present Volunteer
Treasurer, Executive (2018-2020) of Diabetes Canada, Professional Section, Thompson-Okanagan Chapter.

Upcoming publications
Presently working on a new book, which will be published by Robert Rose in the Fall of 2019.

Publications

  • Indigenous Placemats – 11 x 17″, 2018, Paper Birch Publishing
  • Healthy Eating Guide (Food Guide 11 x 17″ poster) – North American version, 2018, Paper Birch Publishing
  • Healthy Eating Guide (Food Guide 11 x 17″ poster) – Indigenous version, 2016, updated 2018, Paper Birch Publishing
  • Diabetes Calendars (2016, 2017, 2018), Paper Birch Publishing
  • Mieux vivre avec le diabète de type 2, 1st edition, 2014, Les Èditions Caractère inc. (French translation of The Complete Diabetes Guide for Type 2 Diabetes).
  • The Complete Diabetes Guide for Type 2 Diabetes, 2013, Robert Rose, previously published by Paper Birch Publishing in 2011.
  • Diabetes Meals for Good Health, 2nd edition, 2012, Robert Rose, previously called Meals for Good Health first published in 1998.
  • The Complete Diabetes Guide DVD Train-the-Trainer DVD, 2013. This video was produced in cooperation with the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association and with support from Sanofi. It is a half hour inspirational and educational diabetes video. Watch the video.

Past publications (now OUT OF PRINT):

  • Meals for Good Health DVD, Paper Birch Publishing, 2006
  • Gestational Diabetes: A guide to help you have a healthy baby, Regional Health Authority – Central Manitoba Inc. (co-authored), 2006
  • La santé au menu (translated version of Meals for Good Health), Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2005
  • 生活習慣病にも役立つおいしい洋食レシピ  Japanese translated version of Diabetes Meals for Good HealthDIP Publisher, Japan, 2009
  • Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, Nutrition Basics Training Manual, Health Canada, 2004.
  • Meals for Good Health Manual, Paper Birch Publishing, 1999
  • Nutrition Resource Guide, and companion In-service Binder, Manitoba Health Home Care Program, 1999 and 2001.
  • Meals for Good Health Teaching Binder, 2001
  • “Food Irradiation. A Canadian Folly”, Paper Birch Publishing, 1992 and 1993.

Awards

  • 2017: Diabetes Canada, Thompson-Okanagan Professional Section, Diabetes Educator Day Outstanding Contribution Award, November 27, 2017
  • 2012 & 1999: Dietitians of Canada and Kraft Canada, Regional Speaking of Food and Eating Award, 2012 for Complete Diabetes Guide and 1999 for Meals for Good Health
  • 2005: National Health Information Award, Health Promotion Disease and Injury Prevention Information
  • 1997:Manitoba Association of Registered Dietitians and Manitoba Milk Producers,  Outstanding Performance in Community Nutrition Award
  • 1995: Manitoba Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Literacy nomination by Manitoba Association of Registered Dietitians

Diabetes Educator
Karen has worked at several clinics across Canada, and from 1987-2012 as a part-time diabetes educator in a provincial (Regional Health Authority) diabetes education program in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (central Canada). In Spring 2012 Karen moved to British Columbia to work as a renal dietitian. Over the last 30 years, Karen has counseled over 5,000 clients. Early in her career (in 1997), she was awarded the “Outstanding Performance in Community Nutrition Award” by the Manitoba Association of Registered Dietitians.

Public Health Dietitian
2013-present Karen has worked as a Public Health Dietitian for the Population Health team of Interior Health, working in renal care, food security and breastfeeding, including initiatives in Indigenous populations. From 2013-2018 she coordinated the Breastfeeding Art Expo, a region wide community-based art expo. She is now the Coordinator of the Baby-Friendly Initiative Pilot Project.

Speaker
Interviewed on national television and radio, and reviewed in hundreds of newspapers, magazines and professional journals. Karen has been a key note speaker at conferences and diabetes Expos across Canada. Also see speaking engagements.

Nutrition Consultant
Successfully completed nutrition/teaching contracts for the Health Canada, Dietitians of Canada, Manitoba Health, and Yellowquill College.

Professional Membership
College of Dietitians of British Columbia; Diabetes Canada, Professional Section; and the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association.