Glenda Lanning is a staple in the lives of the people who frequent the Yankton Community Library. You can find her behind the desk most days, ready to suggest a good book that she’s just read. However, some people might not know that Glenda has been living with Diabetes 2 for 10-12 years. Glenda was diagnosed pre-diabetic at first but she figured she would be ok and ignored it. It eventually developed into Diabetes 2 and she could no longer put it off. “If diagnosed prediabetic – pay attention” is the most important piece of advice Glenda wants everyone to know. Though if you ask her about her journey she will tell you it’s not as hard of a journey as it’s made out to be. She finds herself fortunate and believes that the diagnosis might be one of the best things to happen to her. She has learned to take better care of herself and she’s learned to eat better. She is also fortunate enough to only have to take one medication. Her husband, 4 children, and 6 perfect grandchildren have supported her through all of this; her youngest child is actually the one who bought her the first membership to Avera. Glenda also receives a lot of support from work who understand her limitations and are supportive of her using her lunch hour to go work out, which she does for 20 minutes every day.

Glenda, a self-proclaimed homebody, has always loved to cook.

Just because she’s diabetic, this hasn’t changed. She has just learned to cook healthier and plans her meals better. Glenda loves to make a soup of the week and that’s the mainstay of her lunches. Sometimes she’ll add a sandwich, fruit, or vegetable but the soup is the main part. She has also learned to eat a big breakfast to help her not snack between meals. She makes sure to eat vegetables with every meal and says this is an important thing to follow. She also makes a point to never weigh herself. She has lost weight but that’s a result, not a goal. Glenda’s goal is just to be as healthy as she can be. Artisan bread is a weakness of hers, all breads really, and her baking has become limited but she will be the first to tell you that she still “sins” sometimes. If she cheats too much, however, her skin will break out and that’s a sign that she needs to cut back.

Glenda’s one wish is that people know that being diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t eat well, in fact, you can eat just as well but in smaller portions. “Diabetes isn’t a punishment.” A doctor told her, when she was first diagnosed, “if something doesn’t taste good, it’s good for you.” Glenda doesn’t agree with that. “So many healthy soups don’t taste ‘healthy.’ It’s a good lifestyle and it’s a manageable disease where you can still enjoy food, but just in a healthier way.” The hardest thing about diabetes for Glenda is seeing others who aren’t taking care of themselves; that are still in denial. Otherwise, Glenda’s journey hasn’t been hard and in fact, she’d tell you she has the “best life ever.”

Glenda wanted to share a couple of her favorite soup recipes that are delicious but also healthy to prove you can still have great tasting food.


The Best Homemade Minestrone Soup

Glenda Lanning

1 cup wine

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped onion

2 leeks, cleaned, cut in half moons

9 cups chicken stock

1 package coleslaw mix

2 cups chopped zucchini

1 small piece of Parmesan rind, optional

¾ cups tiny orzo pasta

1 package baby spinach

1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (always use rosemary basil)

salt & pepper to taste

Cook in crock pot or oven until vegetables are tender.


Lentil Pumpkin Soup

Glenda Lanning

2 cups lentils

olive oil

chopped celery

chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

smoked sausage – sliced

16 oz can of diced tomatoes

16 oz can of pumpkin

salt & pepper to taste

Thyme, rosemary to taste

6-8 cups of chicken broth

Cook in crock pot or oven