Calling himself the “Bob Marley of Diabetes,” Jamaican celebrity chef Charles Mattocks on Tuesday conducted a very successful diabetes tour of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn.
Mattocks, who is actually the nephew of the legendary Jamaican-born reggae superstar and an active spokesman for diabetes, hosted the “Diabetic You Patient Awareness Tour” on the main campus of the hospital on Schenectady Avenue.
Chef Mattocks’ mobile tour, sponsored by Shire & HealTogether, provided education and awareness surrounding diabetes and its complications to patients and medical practitioners alike.
HealTogether is an awareness program dedicated to promoting proper foot care for people with diabetes, educating individuals about diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) and encouraging those with DFUs to talk to their doctors about seeing a wound care specialist.
The Brooklyn native, who is based in Orlando, Fl., also facilitated healthy diabetic cooking demonstrations and provided recipe cards for attendees.
Kingsbrook’s Wound Care specialists were also on hand for questions, one-on-one advice and tours of the wound care facility.
Diagnosed with Type II Diabetes two years ago, Chef Mattocks told Caribbean Life, during a break from his presentation, that patients should first address why they have the disease before they “jump on medication.”
“Medication is good, but you still have to address why you have those issues,” he said. “You also have to get the doctor to get you off medication. You can reverse diabetes.”
He urged patients to “stay away from carbs (carbohydrates), fried foods, soda and rice, and eat more lean meat, protein, chicken and fish.”
Mattocks, who is also featured on a diabetes reality show in Jamaica, said he took on the disease not just to save his life but also to save those of over 300 million people worldwide who are diabetic.
Coined “The Poor Chef,” he said he has made it his mission to reach out and educate as many people as possible about diabetes and options for co-existing with the disease – but in a much healthier way, with a focus on healthy eating.
The self-taught chef said while he grew up around “good cooks and good food” he has had to depart from his favourite native Jamaican dishes after being diagnosed with diabetes. He said he eats a vegetable diet, with some lean protein.
“I’ve never taken medication,” he disclosed. “I made it my goal; and I said I am going to beat this thing, and I am going to figure out how to beat it and what I need to take to beat it.”
Mattocks said he uses his platform to reach people with “very practical and budget conscious approaches to eating well.”
He said everyone who is diabetic may not be able to forego taking medication, but, at the same time, should make sure what options are available and, more importantly, how a well-balanced, healthy diet contributes to beating the disease.
“I am inspired to be on almost the same mission as my uncle,” Mattocks said. “I feel like the ‘Bob Marley of Diabetes.’”
Enid Dillard, the hospital’s director of marketing and public affairs, said Kingsbrook is “very committed to the fight against diabetes, as it affects a significant portion of our community that has been deemed an epicenter for this condition.
“Teaming up with HealTogether and Chef Mattocks speaks to our mission of partnership for the advancement of care for our community,” she said.
Dillard said the medical center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center, Vascular Center, Dialysis Division and Podiatric services “speak to our commitment to providing a continuum of care for diabetics while advancing the quality for care for those who suffer with this chronic disease.”
Chef Mattocks’ mobile tour is making 40 stops in cities along the “Diabetes Belt” across America, producing a mini-documentary along the way with all participating facilities.
For more information, visit Chef Mattocks at www.charlesmattocks.com. You can also call Dillard at (718) 604-5201.