Tag Archives: type one diabetes

New Years Schmew Years.

It was brought to my attention that I missed a HUGE opportunity by not posting anything about:Holiday Collision Diabetiquette

1. Thanksgiving

2. Christmas

3. New Years Eve

Yeah, I get it.

BUT the holidays are over.

If you’re like most Americans you have just finished The Cycle:The Cycle

It also happens to be the time of year when a lot of this happens:facebook Diabetiquette

Now if you’re me and the majority of people you used to date are recently engaged, married or pregnant your first thought is, “Dear God. That could have been me!”

If you’re like most normal people, seeing your friends and family parade their good fortune around could really bum you out. Big time. (Yes, we know it’s not their fault and they have a right to share their happiness. Blah blah: I don’t want to hear it.)

Somewhere between your “Day of Regret and Shame” and your “Self-Induced Depression over current state of Body” you might decide an extra gin and tonic, or another helping of mashed potatoes, or another cookie… or an entire gingerbread house would taste REALLY good.


Caution Sadness Diabetiquette

No, I’m kidding.

But I do think it’s important that emotional eating is brought up.

Me? I’m an emotional puker. Anyone who knows me can corroborate that story.

I’m not saying that being an emotional puker is better than being an emotional eater, but around the The Cycle being one is definitely going to pack on fewer calories than being the other.

In my short lifetime I have heard many older/wiser folks complain about holiday weight gain or say, “Watch out for the holidays!” as though they’re a monster who sneaks in while you sleep and forces fudge down your gullet.

I don’t think it’s the holidays that should be “watched out” for but I do think the accompanying stress, loneliness, money-anxiety, family-anxiety, anger, feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt should be kept under watch. Those are the big ones: the pound-packers. The chubby-makers. The fat-factory. Man there are a LOT of fun ways to say that.

Emotional eating is eating for any reason other than being hungry. So you aren’t getting the tummy rumbles and

light-headedness that come from being hungry, instead your ex-boyfriend from middle school just got engaged to his uber-peppy fitness trainer girlfriend of 6 months and it suddenly feels like a good idea to eat ALL the spaghetti.

Short Version:

It isn’t.

Long Version:

It isn’t.

There is an idiom floating around in the universe that goes something like this, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

This is true and The Cycle is prime family time. This isn’t to say that your family (and not your friends) are the only people who can stress you out, but your family knows you very well and your extended family thinks they do so they usually bother you best.

Eating when you are not really physically hungry leads to extra poundage on your person. Now add all that extra special, extra terrible-for-you holiday food within easy reach and you slam right into “Self-Induced Depression over current state of Body” which if you’re an emotional eater–and you are, will probably cause you to eat MORE.

Another cycle for another graph.



The point of reminding you that you can’t choose your family is this: there are going to be things and people around you who will make you anxious. It’ll be difficult to avoid them.

I think it is more important to recognize the things that trigger the response of emotional eating. That, you’ll have to do yourself with some quiet reflection. I don’t offer quiet reflection here.

If you cannot or do not want to figure out what triggers you, at least know the signs of emotional hunger vs. physical hunger.

Physical Hunger:

  • Empty stomach feeling
  • Tummy rumbles (or growls but that’s less cute)
  • Being dizzy, tired, light-headed
  • Cranky, can’t concentrate

Emotional Hunger:

  • Happens in an instant
  • Crave one specific type of food. Like bacon.
  • It is hunger that you have to fix IMMEDIATELY or else.
  • You feel guilty when you’re done eating.  (I mean soul-crushing guilt, not the giggly “I’m out with my GIRLS! Oh my God, we’re so bad -winky face-” guilt.)

I’m not going to say it won’t be hard to kick the emotional eating habit. It will take a lot of strength and time and patience but the payoff could be HUGE.

Not to get too touchy-feely but I think Socrates advised us to, “Know thyself.” I mean, he said it in Greek but whatever.

Also, it might have been a NUMBER of other Greek gentlemen, like Pythagoras, but I thought he was more in to triangles than philosophy. However, if it was Socrates I get to use this cool graphic I made:Socrates Know thyself diabetiquette

Point being: I might still be the girl who gets really annoyed at work and says, “I need bacon,” but now I know why.

And finding that one emotion-food has made it easier to find others. It’s also made it easier to be annoyed and say, “I need bac–k scratches when I get home.”

Your best bet is being prepared. That, and not being too hard on yourself at Thanksgiving when you eat the whole pumpkin pie because no, you STILL don’t know what you’re going to do after college even thought it’s been 5 years.


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Filed under Random Extras

What a Disaster.



I’m kidding.

If you think Lady Sandy is nothing to worry about you must be Lindsay Lohan AKA a completely insensitive illiterate doofus.

As of noonish yesterday (October 30th) Hurricane Sandy had killed more than 80 people, left MILLIONS without power and cost an estimated $7 billion worth of damage. But you’re right Linds, just project positive energy to those people who’ve lost their homes, their loved ones and their cities. It’ll warm them right up.

I heard that more than 90 hospitals had lost power and/or had to be evacuated. It made me nervous for what would happen if my own hospital had to be evacuated. What would happen to the people on life support if we lost power? I know most hospitals have a generator system but how long does that last?

Similarly, every time I think about the Zombie Apocalypse I wonder what my best course of action would be? I know, I know: fill the bathtubs with water but what about AFTER?

In any type of apocalyptic situation (be it a natural disaster or the undead) my first priority as a diabetic is finding insulin. And lots of it.

I know the mantra for life, “3 minutes without oxygen, 3 days with water, 3 weeks without food” but how long can I go without insulin? Hours? One day?

Basically I would end up playing a risky little game of balancing NOT eating food so my blood sugar wouldn’t go up but eating enough food so my body and brain don’t shut down.

My pancreas is a ticking time bomb. (I still look happy though, don’t I?)

Naturally thinking about these situations makes me worry and worrying makes me plan.

So I have come up with a Diabetic Emergency Contingency Plan or DECP:

1. Be alert.

Watch the news, read the paper, go to college for meteorology. If you don’t have ANY idea what’s coming it is much more difficult to prepare.

2. Be ‘That’ guy.


You know the person everyone makes fun of because they are constantly nagging about the impending flood or the British? Well guess how many of those people died?

While I wouldn’t suggest living your life in a panick, it is more than within your reach to share imminent doom with others. You might save a life.

3. Stock up. Remember Y2K? Slightly embarrassing. But if you’re watching the news like I told you to you will probably be able to tell with a degree of certainty when the hurricane/blizzard/tornado is going to hit and where. So call your pharmacist NOW. Not later, NOW.

Oh you need test strips and insulin? Get. Them. Now. You don’t want to be the yahoo wandering around the wreckage of your hometown trying to find the CLOSED Walgreens which has probably already been looted for the good stuff. Of course I mean insulin, lancets, syringes and those types of things…

I read somewhere once that you should have a backup insulin pump. That to me is completely unreasonable because I am not made of money. The suggestion fills me with Wayne Brady rage. If I had an extra 5 grand lying around… well I wouldn’t be buying insulin pumps.

But there is a point to that. If you are an insulin pump user, you’re going to want to have some backup syringes on hand. You never know what kind of flood/fire/evil spirit will knock out your pump. You might need a prescription for those and that is something else that you need to GET RIGHT NOW. I guarantee your doctor is going to be too busy to fax you a prescription while he’s taking care of the hundreds of people injured by X disaster.

4. Stock up.


I know I already used that one but there are SO many things you might need that are easy to forget.

Mini List!

batteries for glucose meter and insulin pump

alcohol wipes

bandaids/tissues/cotton balls

flashlight with which to read your meter

glucose tablets


syringes, lancets, test strips

juice/fruit snacks

aspirin etc.

5. Waterproof that shiz.

Well before you go waterproofing things, you should first get copies of ALL your prescriptions. I’m talking insulin, metformin, test strips and whatever. Get a copy from your doctor. She or he WILL give them to you if you explain what they’re for and if you get them renewed once a year. It will not cost you anything to get a copy of your prescriptions because you’ll already be paying for the doctor’s visit and insurance won’t charge you until you fill.

So take copies of ALL your prescriptions, a copy of your insurance card, a list of numbers and addresses (doctors, friends, family) of people who know your medical situation, and whatever else (I don’t know, your birth certificate if you live in Arizona so they don’t try to deport you for getting insulin) and put it in a waterproof, fireproof pouch.

I don’t know of a company that makes something both water AND fire proof so my best bet would be buying a fire resistant pouch and putting that inside the waterproof pouch. You’ll thank me.

6. Identify yourself.

Hark, who goes there? A diabetic.


On the off chance that something terrible happens to you, it would be excellent for whatever type of medical personnel find you to know that you have diabetes. That is on the list of pertinent information.

There are tons of cool medical alert bracelets now, my friend Kelsey has this rad version from American Medical ID. They look more like Livestrong bracelets instead of medical alerts.

I still have a jewelry type that my mom got me ages ago from Lauren’s Hope. You can hardly tell it’s not just a bracelet.

The important thing is that people check your wrists for medical information. Getting a tattoo of “diabetic” on your neck might look BA in prison (just kidding, you’ll get shanked) but no EMT will think to check your neck for anything other than a pulse.

7. Protect your meds.

I lived in Hadar, Ethiopia for a couple of months, desert-style, and the average temperature was 110 degrees F. We were 12 hours away from “civilization” which was a town with no electricity.


While this experience was a total dysentary-filled blast, it required a lot of planning on my part. With no electricity and no shade, figuring out how to keep my insulin the proper temperature for WEEKS was terrifying.

Luckily, Bill Kimbel researched himself a solution!

He found the Frio Cooling Wallets which turned out to be literal life savers. They come in all shapes and sizes.

Not only would they keep a bottle of insulin cool, but there would be room for test strips and other medications as well.

They also make an insulin pump pack which not only keeps the insulin inside the pump cool, but it protects it from minor mishaps. Like falling and breaking your tailbone.


It does require some cool-ish water to activate, but hopefully that’s around. And it doesn’t have to be clean or drinkable water so that helps a little.

8. Take care of your other human needs.

This means food, water/water purification tablets and things like that. I also think it’s really valuable to have an emergency phone charger. The one I’ve linked to is a hand crank version. That seems to make the most sense because the battery ones can die and the solar chargers are expensive and take a lot of time to charge. The hand crank should work for everyone unless you don’t have an arm and then I’m sorry for being insensitive.

Your phone can be a major resource for you and anyone else that might be trapped with you. Consider it.

Being prepared for a disaster might be the thing that saves your life. Who knows, maybe you can save someone else’s life who isn’t as prepared as you are. If nothing else, you have a really kick ass survival pack that you can show your friends at parties.


Filed under How to: get diabetes., List Posts-Diabetiquette


It makes me feel ridiculously special when someone asks to be a guest blogger on Diabetiquette or asks me to review an article or product of theirs. It is almost as though what I say matters.

I’m just kidding, it obviously matters. Just look at my huge Facebook following!

Well, a website called SlimKicker found me and asked if I’d like to try their new product next year, but first would I try the website?


Ah-ha, yes I would. 

I’ve tried online nutrition counters in the past with mixed results and I am more than thrilled to try this one! 

Also, look at the logo. Would I like to “level up my body”? 

I might not be entirely sure what that means but if it gets me anywhere closer to looking like the female (and albeit less Aryan) version of Daniel Craig’s 007–which is not natural–I’ll do it.


As of today, I have begun.

I logged on to the website and registered myself. It asks you for your main goals and how you look now. It also promised that they’d never show anyone (you know, other than the team of market research people who are busily looking into your demographics).

Then you choose your diet/fitness goals. It let me choose to be a “just a normal” person which is just one of those things that makes me laugh. And by laugh I mean grit my teeth, but at least it was my choice.

Next, it tells you your results. Apparently I should be eating 1200 calories a day. That’s reasonable.

But, 75 carbs? Chunk that sucks. I think I eat like 45 carbs for breakfast… this is not looking good.

Later it asks you start adding the foods you’ve eaten during the day.

It gives you points (toward your reward for good behavior) just for adding foods but it does make fun of you a little for what you eat.

I added my typical soda and potato chip breakfast and got this message:

Well this is awkward.

I don’t know if I’m ready to commit to that.

As far as the SlimKicker website goes, it’s too early to tell. I’m going to keep plugging away and hit you back in a few weeks with the prognosis.


Filed under Articles and Review

I’ll never let go, Jack…

Thinking about The RMS Titanic fills me with a weird mix of emotions.


My thought progression usually goes like this:

1. Oh man, I haven’t seen that movie in so long.

2. I wish Rose had said, “I will physically let go of you, but I will never mentally release you.”

3. Physics always wins.

4. That ship was huge.

5. There were real people on that ship.

6. I can’t believe so many died. I can’t imagine how terrible that was.

7. Now I’m picturing the sounds, the smells, the unrelenting cold…

8. Bummer.

9. That ship looks creepy now. Water ghosts?

10. I wonder if both of them (Jack and Rose) could have survived?

BAM! That brings us to October 2012. Myth Busters has settled my mind, they COULD have survived.

I am going to be honest with you, this Titanic talk is only vaguely related to what this post will be about which is being supportive.


I talked about getting yourself a support system before but I don’t think I properly conveyed how important it is, as a partner, to BE SUPPORTIVE.

If your child, or friend, or partner has diabetes (type one or two) I think it is your responsibility to support them even in the most simple of ways.

Some might disagree with me and say that it is only the diabetic’s responsibility to take care of him or herself. That’s fine. We don’t have to agree on everything, but I am judging you and thinking that you’re kind of an a-hole.


 If it helps, think about someone with alcohol addiction.

 I’m a little foggy on the exact steps but I’m fairly certain that if an alcoholic went through all the trouble of realizing their problem, admitting they need help, and going to some type of rehabilitation or meeting and continued to hang around with their “old drinking buddies” in bars or where ever that it would SEVERELY stunt their personal growth and make it almost impossible to change.

It is the same with diabetics.

For someone who is recently diagnosed with TOD or TTD a major lifestyle change is in order. Gone are the days of eating candy by the pound, refusing to exercise and being carefree.

Let me share an example:

A coworker of mine’s wife has TTD. Her TTD has progressed to the point where she needs to take insulin injections. Her doctor has requested she lose weight which she is unable to do.

Her husband routinely comes in to my office and complains about how much ice cream/bread/potato chips/bagels/cookies she eats and then is genuinely surprised that she cannot lose weight and has to take injections.


Are you freaking serious? I ask him every time he complains WHY he doesn’t simply stop buying the cookies/cake/ice cream so it won’t be around to tempt either of them.

He responds with, “Why? I can eat it so why should we get rid of it?”


This, of course, fills me with two things:

1. Rage.

2. A quote from Wayne Brady on Chapelle’s Show which I won’t write here but I will link to a video: Wayne Brady Chapelle’s Show. Go 10 seconds in.

Now I don’t actually say what I’m feeling because I’m from the Midwest, but I feel it hear it really loudly in my head on repeat.

Instead, I try to calmly explain how difficult it is to make these large changes in a world driven by food and sitting in front of computers (I realize this is ironic coming from me) and suggest that next time he does the grocery shopping maybe he should NOT buy the junk food. Not only will it remove the temptation but his wife will see that he is supporting her. Maybe that little burst of support will be the tiny extra push she needs to be healthy.

Something as small as knowing your partner has your back can make all the difference in the world.


I am going to have to defer to a different married couple for an example of what good support can do.

The husband was diagnosed with TTD. He decided to start eating healthy and exercising.

Both of them threw themselves completely into helping each other. They buy healthy food, she packs him a healthy lunch filled with vegetables, they walk together, they bike ride together. She only eats healthy foods now as well.

It was never a question of WHO would have to give up what. It was just unconditional, loving support. And it works. They are both healthy and happy. They look 15 years younger than their real age. The husband’s TTD is more than in check.

It changed the game from “newly diagnosed diabetic” v. “my former lifestyle”, “my family’s lifestyle”, “advertising”, “the world” to a more simple “us” v. “the old us”.


It just doesn’t get any better than that.

So if Rose had supported Jack more would they both have survived? Thanks to Myth Busters I think that answer is yes…


Filed under How to: get diabetes., List Posts-Diabetiquette, Random Extras

Eyes, meet Stomach. Part Duex

The Duex.

I have to finish this post. It haunts me.

I last wrote about how TODs and TTDs should read labels. It was conveniently followed up by my first-ever guest blogger, DrugWatch.com, and their advice about label reading.

I wish I could title this next section Portion Size, but I already did that before so I have to be slightly creative here:

Portion Size Estimation:

BOOM! Minds blown!

Thanks Troll Me for the photo.

That’s enough screwing around for now.

Lettuce get down to business!

Recognizing that you need to eat a certain amount of food, or a portion size, is step one of the better eating/more responsible eating.

The next: recognizing how much 3 ounces of meat is while you’re “oot and aboot” is a total mind mash and on the whole, annoying.

However, if you’ve already spent all that time learning how to read food labels and you’ve memorized how many servings of what you’re supposed to be eating per meal you might as well go the distance.

(Cue Michael Bolton song)

I am going to give you a basic food plan. If it is not completely accurate to your age, weight, and gender… well that’s not my problem. I said basic.

Fruits: on average you need 2 cups of fruit/day

Veggies: on average you need 3 cups of veggies/day

Grains: you need 7-ish ounces of grains/day

Protein: 6-ish ounces/day

Dairy: 3 cups/day

Fat: you get 6 teaspoons/day. Don’t be a jerk.

*Now would be a really great time for a “size matters” joke but I won’t go there today. Insert your own!*

A dietitian could give you a list of what a cup of something looks like, or an ounce, etc. For example, a cup of veggies is roughly the size of a baseball.

Do you regularly carry a baseball around with you? How about a woman’s fist? I am a woman, I do not have woman-sized fists. I have tiny little baby hands that can barely tie my own shoes. This means I wear slip on shoes and will not be getting enough fruit.

So I am re-doing this. For you.

Protein: you should eat 3 ounce portions. Formerly this comparison was a deck of cards. Unless you’re a magician I’m assuming you don’t carry cards around with you.

Look at how big your iPhone, iPod (not nano or shuffle), android cell phone, or compact (if you happen to carry one around) is. THAT IS CLOSE ENOUGH.

So take your meat, hold out your cell phone, and only eat that much. It shouldn’t be thicker than any of those things either. Now eat that twice a day.

Fruits and Veggies: Cup sized portions are recommended but I usually don’t see how many cups of apple are in the apple-shaped apple I’m consuming.

My suggestion for this estimation would be, eat as many veggies or pieces of fruit would fit in a coffee cup. Not the FRIENDS-sized coffee cups that have become so popular, but a standard coffee cup.

Eat two coffee cups full of fruit and three full of veggies per day.

Grains: Grains are kind of tough. For example, an ounce of grain is one piece of bread. So if you feel like knocking this one out with minimal effort, eat 7 pieces of wheat bread in the morning and call it.

If you like rice, you have to go by cups. A cup of rice is hard to guesstimate but you could pretty safely say that if you’re eating enough rice that fills the bowl made by your hands when you put them together (cooked) that it’s a little more than a cup. This is also 2 ounces of grain.

Pancakes and waffles are a great way to get grains in the morning if you don’t want to just eat your 7 pieces of toast. BUT, if the pancake is AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD, it’s too big. If it’s as big as half your head, that’s a serving.

Dairy: If you’re going the milk route this should be a no-brainer. You need 3 cups of dairy so drink three 8 ounce cups of milk and quit. If you need to know how many 8 ounces are, look at a normal sized glass.

If you like yogurt, eat one container per serving.

If you like cheese… well, think of a Kraft Single. That amount of cheese is a half of serving of dairy.

If you have a piece of cheese or pieces of cheese that collectively make up the size of your cell phone (thickness too) that’s a serving.

Ice cream always bites me in the butt. As much ice cream as you can fit in a tea cup, TEA CUP, is a serving. That does not seem like enough and  I think MOST people don’t usually eat just that amount.

Oil: Estimating a teaspoon can be easy because let’s face it, teaspoons are
pretty common.

If you don’t have one, a teaspoon of butter is a pat of butter. One tiny little pre-wrapped pat.  You only get 6 per day, choose wisely.

Chances are you don’t need to add any fat/oil to your diet because you’re getting enough in the processed cheeses, ice creams and Taco Bell that you eat daily.

Hopefully this will help you when you’re eating out or lazy and at home.

I also take requests in the form of comments. Any foods you’d like help estimating?


Filed under How to: get diabetes.

Inconsistency, thy name is Diabetes.

I realized two things while beginning this post:

1. Holy craps it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.See what I did there?

2. I still have not finished my two-parter I started so many months ago.

We’re (and by we I mean me) going to work on that.

But I wanted to address something!

Diabetes, type 1 or type 2, sucks. It’s not fun, it’s not cool, and it rarely gets you as much sympathy as something like–well insert your own disease that is typically considered “serious” so I don’t offend anyone. Let’s just say I said lupus.

Now all of us know that diabetes is a serious disease so we can scoot past that discussion, but it’s also an extremely discouraging one.

For TTD’s you’re faced with stupid stuff like this on a daily basis:

This was the tray insert at McDonalds in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Really McDonalds? That piece of paper says, “Eat well!” It should say, “Eat well and P.S., BTW, don’t eat here!”

(And yes, half of that is my food…)

For certain TODs, part of your pancreas still functions or at least secretes insulin occasionally. Same with TTDs. Your pancreas still works, your body is just resistant to the insulin your body puts out. This means that some days, or some weeks, or some months your body may secrete and be very receptive to the insulin it’s producing. THIS means that having consistent blood sugars goes out the window. And you can’t prepare for it.

As much as I hate to say this, the only way to really understand when this is happening to you is to check your blood sugars. Without that data, you really can’t know what you’re dealing with.

I like to write EVERYTHING down so that I know my blood sugar is high/low because I missed some insulin or I ate something that spiked my sugars or I exercised some time the week before… the only downside to writing everything down is that it is really easy to get sick of doing it and just quit.

Someone I love very much was recently given the gift of TTD. He has literally busted his butt and completely changed his WHOLE life to adapt. He even eats vegetables now. He lost a ton of weight and walks miles and miles a day.

Honestly, this man now eats fruit and vegetables, drinks soy milk, exercises twice a day, and is just in general an exemplary diabetic.

His sugars are almost always low 100’s.

But he went to his doctor the other day and had an A1C done (which was UNDER the limit for diabetes) and sent me an email that sounded a little bit discouraged because his A1C was not as low as he was expecting.

It breaks my heart that someone who is and has worked SO hard could still feel like they weren’t doing enough.

But that’s what diabetes is. It is a constant struggle, adaption and feeling inadequate.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We are going to give the proverbial middle finger (or whatever expression of disdain your culture has) to diabetes and it’s inconsistency.

No, it won’t change anything but I am of the opinion that it is healthy to express a little anger and it is OK to be mad about diabetes, it is the WORST.

Next, we are going to pat ourselves on the diabetes.

Good job us. Good job diabetes.

Now let’s move on. Try to remember that yeah, diabetes is a pain in the tukhus but we are doing our best so we deserve to feel good about ourselves.


Filed under How to: get diabetes.

Eyes, meet Stomach.

“You’ve enjoyed all the power you’ve been given, haven’t you? I wonder how you’d take to working in a pocket calculator…”

You, as a TOD have been given the power to control your metabolism. As a TTD, sadly, you’re up a creek sans paddle.

I’ve said before, that if I gave advice I’d try my best to help you follow that advice so here goes:

Portion Size.

Them is fightin’ words in some parts of the US. (Here’s looking at you, Wisconsin… and the South)

Regardless, portion size and portion control are important for any and all types of diabetics.

Over the years America’s portion sizes have grown out of control. Well most have grown and some, like vegetable portions, have shrunk. Some people call it portion distortion.

Now, I tend to shy away from eating foods that aren’t pre-packaged and drinking milk that doesn’t come in a carton because I never remember how to estimate how much half a cup of something is when I’m out at a restaurant or at a friend’s house or I just don’t care.


Let’s talk portion control. (Talking about this stuff always makes me want a cheeseburger)

I digress.

If you are a TTD and need a simple way to figure out how much food you should be eating, well welcome to diabetiquette!

There is a very easy trick any dietitian will tell you about if you ask them nicely. Or even if you don’t and they just catch you eating cake for lunch.

Preferably you eat off of a round plate, preferably your math skills aren’t sub par, and preferably you also know what vegetables, proteins, and starches mean.

We can tackle this one problem at a time.

No round plate? No problem! Fractions and percentages work with ANY geometric shape.

Bad math skills? Well, just don’t think of it as math. You need roughly half of your dinner plate to be veggies. That’s easy. Break the plate in half and put vegetables on it… just watch the ceramic shards afterwards. If it’s too tricky to find the 30% and 20% of your plate, just do 25%’s (that’s 50% cut in half!)

Don’t know what veggies, proteins, and starches are?

Well, you can buy a book that will tell you what each food you’re eating IS, or you can guesstimate. For instance, vegetables are typically crisp when you bite them, have leafy parts,

and/or can be found in the vegetable section of the grocery store.

Proteins are meats. People eat a lot of meat in this country. This is not necessarily good for the economy of OTHER countries, but that’s besides the point. You do NOT need to eat a meal entirely comprised of meat or some meat byproduct. What you do need is roughly a quarter of your plate to be protein related.

Technically, almost all foods have protein in them, but to simplify your life. We are doing this:

Starches are trickier if you aren’t familiar with foods and haven’t been beaten to mental death by a nutritionist. Some people think of starches as carb-y things. Actually, after typing that, THAT’S how I want you to look at starches. Basically, anything that tastes sweet (or fulfilling) when you eat it, has carbohydrates in it.

Please keep in mind that is a VERY very basic way of describing starches and carbs and is just a “rule of thumb” and not actual science. Starches are foods like potatoes, corn, breads, pastas, and other grainy type foods.

These foods need to take up only a quarter of your plate each meal. 25% or half of the half of your plate that’s not being taken up by veggies.

You also need fruits and stuff too, but that’s going to complicate our plate…


If you’re a TOD and a carb counter (which you have to be to know how much insulin to take) you need to be able to estimate how many ounces or servings you’re eating.

That brings me to another point. Servings.

You can look at your bag of potato chips and see that it’s 15 carbs. Well yes, it’s 15 carbs in one serving.

But, then you have to look at how many pieces make a serving and how many servings are in the entire bag:








So, you eat the whole bag, you should be taking insulin for 120 carbs, NOT the 15 that it appears to be in the serving size. And WOOFTY that’s a big difference when it comes to blood sugar levels. I have learned this the hard way.

Editor’s Note: I feel this post is becoming extremely long and long-winded. Therefore, I will be breaking it up into TWO posts! That’s right, two for the price of, well nothing as these posts are free.


Filed under How to: get diabetes.

Speak of the Devil!

I was just browsing one of my favorite time-wasting sites ThinkGeek and saw this:

This pint glass, while not only looking sweet, will accurately measure how much alcohol you’re drinking!

So, don’t ever let it be said that I told you do something and didn’t try to make it slightly easier for you to do it!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled daytime activities…


Filed under Articles and Review

Blame it on the Alcohol

We are doing this.

We are sitting down and having the talk.

“Ok, so I know we’ve been hanging out a lot lately… and I mean, like, and if not that’s totally cool but, I wondered what you thought about us, like, dating…”

No, no not THAT talk.

This talk:

People drink. Adults should be the only ones (according to USA laws) but that’s not always the case. And people, whether legal or not, drink irresponsibly.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m not here to tell you what to do so drink or don’t drink, just don’t be an asshole about it.

Coincidentally that is also my life philosophy: Do it or don’t, just don’t be an asshole about it.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re 21 years of age or older. Let’s also say that you have diabetes. Fantasy over right?

Tell me about it.

So, you’re of age and a TOD and you’re either out with friends or sitting alone in your room, in the dark watching Breaking Bad or playing Soul Calibur (the GameCube version because it’s the best) and you have a couple. By “a couple” I mean alcoholic drinks.

Your body starts to digest it shortly there after.

First, where does it go?

Mouth, Pharynx, Trachea, Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine (where the Pancreas, Liver, and Gall Bladder help out), Ileocecal Valve, Large Intestine/Colon, and Rectum?–damn near killed ’em!

Now, what happens?

Your saliva actually starts breaking down the sugar to start. And loved ones, that’s what alcohol is when you get right down to it, sugar, and not the useful kind. That’s why Dietitians call it “empty calories”. Protein and Carbohydrates hold 4 calories per gram, Fat holds 9 calories, and Alcohol holds 7. It’s less than fat that’s true but think of how many drinks you suck down in an hour versus how many Volcano Tacos you can eat and you’ll see their point.

A series of muscles and magic pushes your food around but what breaks down the sugar?

Enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts. They break your fat into fatty acids, your proteins into amino acids and your carbs into sugar.

In “normal” people, when their bodies encounter glucose their pancre-i secrete insulin. In TODs, well nothing happens. If you have a partially functioning pancreas you’ll get some insulin but it won’t cover everything you’ve eaten.

Let’s get back to the alcohol.

When your body metabolizes things, it’s really converting it to another substance. When your body metabolizes alcohol, it’s making it non-toxic. I don’t know if any of you have ever played around in a lab or have peeled your own skin off and put it under a microscope “just to see”, but adding alcohol to cells destroys their integrity.

Same with drinkable alcohol, that’s why your body converts it, else you would die upon drinking.

Enjoy the dead wombat to your left.

Depending on your nationality (not kidding) and/or weight and body composition, your body gets good feelings for a while from breaking down the ethanol.

Of course, then that ethanol starts to feel like poison and you want to die a little.

Luckily (and I mean that sarcastically) diabetics already have trouble with metabolism.

The thing about alcohol is, is that it’s really easy to drink.  The more you drink, the easier it is to forget about things like carb counting and you can end up either not taking any insulin or taking too much.

I have done both.

If you like to drink to the ridiculously unhealthy point of passing out, you better make sure you have a friend around who ISN’T intoxicated and can watch you for alcohol poisoning AND low blood sugar.

On the flip side, you can also fall into a coma because your blood sugar is too high. If you’ve had enough that you’re falling down drunk and haven’t taken any insulin, chances are pretty good your sugars will shoot up and you actually could “take a coma” instead of that nap you wanted.

 Actually, click this link and look under the Diabetes heading. It sums up what I just said, but better.

So how do you drink responsibly with diabetes?

Well you can just not.

Or, you can make sure you’re checking your sugars before you start and that you have a Designated Diabetes Watcher with you while you do. Or, you can promise yourself not to have too much and actually keep that promise. (That’s what I usually do because then I don’t have to depend on anyone else which means EVERYONE has fun… usually. Unless EVERYONE shares drinks that night and then two weeks later EVERYONE has strep throat.)

Make sure your DDW knows how to use your glucose meter, knows where your Glucagon is if you have one, knows how to give injections or use your pump, and is dependable in general.

If you can’t find a good one, be prepared to look out for yourself.

There are certain types of alcohol that are “better” for you than others, as far as carbohydrates go.

Examples: dry red wine has less sugar than a sweet white.

Vodka and light beers are usually safest. Liquors are usually the riskiest. Amaretto, for instance,  has 25 grams of carbs in 1.5 ounces. That is NOT a lot of Amaretto and almost 2 carb exchanges. This is fine if you know what to count for, but if you don’t your blood sugar can jump up really quickly.

Similarly to greek yogurt thing, additives are what you have to watch out for. The vodka is good but the orange juice and Amaretto you mixed it with adds tons of carbs.

So, moral of the story: keep your wits about you! (If not your wits, at the very least a liquid scale so you know how much you’re drinking.)

That is kind of the anti-alcohol mantra, but you were one of the chosen ones. And with great power comes great responsibility.


Filed under Random Extras

Get ‘Em to the Greek

Lately, my All-Potato-Chip diet has started to fail me.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Abbi, your steady diet of  Taco Bell and processed foods is a failsafe plan!”

To you I say, “You’re right! I lost seven pounds this month!”

And I’m not kidding. I went to the doctor on June 1st, got weighed, went back to the doctor June 27th, got weighed, and there was a seven pound difference!

But, what I didn’t add into that sequence of events was the horrific stomach flu I got that lasted almost 3 days. What I also didn’t add was that my oh-so-nutrient-deficient diet was mostly to blame.

I also got an A1C done, but we aren’t talking about that today. Or tomorrow. The same adjective applies to both my stomach flu and my A1C. Sorry doc.

Anywhoo, I took a vacation and when I came back to work I decided to make a change for the better! Instead of my fallback Egg and Cheese McMuffin or Strawberry Creamcheese Croissant, I went for the Greek Yogurt:

Again, I know what you’re thinking:

“Abbi, that looks like someone vomited into a bowl, gave you a spoon, and told your diabetes to take a hike.”

Well, you’re right again! But it isn’t vomit.

I swear.

People go on and on about Greek Yogurt, to the point where I want to start stabbing jugulars, but they’re mostly right.

And if you’re thinking, “But Abbi, I don’t like eating things that don’t TASTE like anything.” Then I’d tell you, “Hey. Stop complaining and add stuff to it.”

E.G. Nuts, Granola, Cherries, Grapes, Strawberries… blah blah blah

The fact is, Greek Yogurt is good for you. Not only does it have the normal benefits of yogurt (calcium, aids digestion, etc) but it’s lower sodium, lower carb, higher protein, AND you can use it in recipes to substitute for fattier things like mayonnaise.

God, I love mayo.

Right, back to the point: if you can get around the fact that it doesn’t really taste like anything, it’s a good diabetic snack. With fewer carbs than regular yogurt you can either eat twice as much (therefore getting twice as full on yogurt and less full on T-Bell) or eat the regular amount with more nutritional benefit and less insulin to take!

Be aware though, I always forget this, if you ADD to the yogurt (damn you Maraschino cherries) that WILL add to the carb count. I am usually so preoccupied trying to figure out how many ounces of yogurt I’m eating that I forget to add carbs for fruit.

If you’re looking for different varieties of Greek Yogurt (live cultures, low-fat) then look here. That is a nice short blog post about Greek Yogurt with a list at the bottom for different kinds. The comments are good too!

Over this Fourth of July weekend remember: if you are also on the All-Potato-Chip Diet, or the All-Beer Diet, or even the Healthy Diet, adding something new like Greek Yogurt can be your small step towards a slightly healthier life.


Filed under Confessions, How to: get diabetes.