Inspiring Others with Type 1 DM – My Interview with Leah

Tell us more about you!
My name is Leah. The usuals: I was born and raised in Minnesota, USA, but live in Germany now; I’m 26 years old; I LOVE to travel, and I wish I was still actively playing hockey and softball! How did I get to Germany? I studied abroad when I was in college and ended up meeting a super amazing German guy. We hit if off, did over a year of long distance, and I moved to Germany to be an Au Pair. We ended up getting married after and I stayed in Germany and here I am.

How long have you had diabetes?
I was diagnosed at the age of 14, so I’ve had T1D for 11.5 years. I always have to rewrite that last sentence, I am T1D or I have T1D. The biggest dilema.

What eating regime have you found to be most helpful in managing blood sugars? What hasn’t worked?
The last three months I have been eating low carb, high protein LCHP, Dr. Bernstein style of 30g carbs or less per day. I find that when I eat LCHP, my blood sugars are predictable and steady. I do not see big swings in blood sugar because I don’t consume very many carbs. It’s the law of small numbers: fewer carbs, less insulin, less blood sugar fluctuation. I’m really passionate about the LCHP lifestyle. I don’t mean I don’t get to eat delicious things. There are LC alternatives to literally anything you can imagine!
Prior to that, I was on a path of self-destruction. I was eating whatever I wanted and just taking insulin, you know like they told me I could do. But my blood sugars were incredibly unpredictable and the ups and downs made me feel horrible. I was moody, angry, and was so upset that I couldn’t just get it right. I was always told that I can eat anything, but the results speak for themselves. Of course, I can eat anything, but I will pay a price. I suppose all of our prices are different.

What type insulin do you use and what insulin dosage method works best for you and your lifestyle?
I currently use Novolog (Novorapid) in my Medtronic 640G insulin pump. For a time I tried Fiasp, but it does not fit a LCHP diet, so I quickly switched back. However, I did save a few vials and will use it for the
oddball high blood sugar.

How do you treat a low blood sugar?
Glucose only. I recently found chocolate flavored glucose tabs, and it has changed my life. But really, I only use glucose tabs. They work the fastest. Also, it is a slippery slope to bad habits, an unhealthy food relationship, and overeating if I choose to “treat” myself while low.

Do you exercise? What do you like to do for exercise? How do you handle activity with controlling your blood sugar?
I ride my bike to work nearly every day, weather permitting. So I get 7km in each way, a total of 40+ minutes.
Morning blood sugars behave nicely while riding bike. I don’t eat breakfast before, so I have no active insulin. However, afternoons are another story. I need to eat a few gummy bears, 8g carbs, before I leave so that my blood sugar doesn’t drop. Lunchtime active insulin will drop me if I don’t. Thankfully this works really well for me. I do not see a spike or drop when I use this method. But it was all about trial and error for me. It took me months to find this sweet spot. Other than riding bike, I do wish I would run more.

What tips would you rattle off for someone who is trying to improve their blood sugar control? Or even for someone who is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
Eat fewer carbs. Period. To be honest, I am quite angry I wasn’t told this before. It’s common sense. Why consume the one thing that our bodies are incapable of breaking down? Also, my second favorite Dr. Bernstein quote is this, “there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate”.

What does a typical day of food look like to you?
Breakfast: coffee with heavy cream, if it’s the weekend: eggs, LC pancakes, LC biscuits, bacon, etc.
Lunch and Dinner are usually very similar. I eat a lot of cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, brussels sprouts, chicken, beef, turkey, avocado, etc. and in all variations. There are SO many low carb recipes and alternatives out there. I would encourage everyone to google their favorite meal, plus low carb. There WILL be an alternative and it WILL be delicious.

What is the hardest part of being diabetic? What is the best part?
For me, the hardest part is not seeing the results of the hard work that has been put into managing the disease. Sometimes things just don’t work the way the should, but that never means giving up. And I suppose the best part is that I will always know the impact of the food I am putting in my body. That is a beautiful thing.

Any closing thoughts?
To anyone who thinks eating low carb means giving up favorite foods, don’t think that! The beginning is not always easy when adjusting to this LIFESTYLE, but it is worth it. I’ve had a few setbacks along the way, but each day when my blood sugar line gets flatter, I know I am doing the best thing for my health. That’s invigorating. And I encourage all of you to explore and find that flat line.

Inspiring Others with Type 1 – My Interview with Hanna

Hanna first caught my eye on Instagram, under the name @HannaDiabetesExpert, as she seemed like an eager soul to help others across the world. She has an unconventional approach to managing her type 1 diabetes and I believe her story is not only inspiring others but helping make bold changes too. I am excited to share this interview with you, and please let us know your thoughts on Hanna’s story. Thank you, Hanna!

  • Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m a public speaker, writer, and advocate who loves to help fellow people with diabetes to feel healthier and happier with their own care. I’m passionate to find motivational and inspiring ways to bring about a change in diabetes management, and I’ve developed a profound understanding of how things like nutrition and lifestyle choices can balance diabetes. I also co-organise Europe’s first 100% low carb events, called The Low Carb Universe.   

How long have you had diabetes?

I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for 33 years, since 1985.

What eating style have you found to be most helpful in managing blood sugars? What hasn’t worked?

I was eating a “normal diabetic diet” for the first 26 years after diagnosis, including skimmed milk with meals and extra points for fruits as dessert, not to forget the 45-60% other carbs on my plate. Throughout these years, I could never manage my diabetes like I was expected to, my A1c was always way too high, too many fluctuations in my blood sugar, I was overweight and using insulin like it was water. I quickly got the label of “brittle diabetic” in my file. When I did my education to become a nutrition coach, my teacher, who is not a medical professional, but has more common sense than most, saved my life. When we were learning about carbs, insulin and how they work in the body, he pointed me out in front of the class and said “Hanna, you don’t even make any insulin. If I were you, I’d think once and twice about what I was eating”. That was my aha-moment, and I started cutting down on carbs soon after that. Today I eat very low carb, protein-rich and healthy fat, as I’ve found it works the absolute best for me, my diabetes and my lifestyle.

What type insulin do you use and what insulin dosage method work best for you and your lifestyle?

I went through a lifestyle transformation when I finally said yes to the pump 5 years ago. It’s vastly improved my life, and I love that I can be so spontaneous with it, for example with basal rates. I use Novorapid (Novolog) and have gone from taking about 100 units a day to 15-25.

How do you treat a low blood sugar?

Always, always, always with glucose tablets. I treat them like medicine and they are the most exact way to get to a safe, healthy range again without overshooting. Treating hypos with food never worked for me.

Do you exercise? What do you like to do for exercise? How do you handle activity with controlling your blood sugar? 

I hate exercise, but I love movement! I do a lot of walking, yoga, and body weight exercises, for example. For these movement forms, I don’t feel any pressure, like having the right gear paying expensive memberships, which is also good because I travel quite often. I personally rarely have problems with blood sugar and activity, and if I do, I can quickly correct it back into range again as I don’t have masses of active insulin. But I do know it is a huge struggle for many others.

What tips would you rattle off for someone who is trying to improve their blood sugar control? Or even for someone who is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

There is always a way! You need to find YOUR way of managing diabetes, which takes some researching. And it definitely doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s or what your healthcare professionals tell you. That being said, with great freedom comes great responsibility. If you want to change your health, you need to be ready and willing to take it into your own hands.

What does a typical day of food look like to you? 

I get up, have a few glasses of water, as well as a giant cup of herbal tea to rehydrate my body after a long nights sleep. I very rarely have breakfast, as I’m generally not hungry then and don’t see the point of stressing my body with food if it doesn’t signal for it. It also gives my blood sugar a chance to stay stable for a few more hours. I wait with eating until lunchtime, 12-1pm, when I have vegetables, protein and fat, such as an omelet with vegetables and ham, smoked salmon and avocado, or just the leftovers from dinner the night before. I don’t typically snack unless my body tells me to. Then, around 7-8pm, I have dinner, which is again vegetables, protein, and fats, like a burger patty with spinach sautéed in bacon fat, chicken with cauliflower rice or salmon with pesto and broccoli.

To some, eating like this might sound boring. To me it means freedom not to feel constant hunger, being able to push meals around according to my schedule, as well as stable blood sugars.

What is the hardest part of being diabetic? What is the best part?

The hardest part for me is worrying about the future, possible complications, and limitations in life diabetes may bring me. Even if I’ve found my way of dealing well with the emotional and mental part of living with a chronic illness, it still gets to me sometimes.

The best part is that I know my body so much better than many others and can tell quickly if something isn’t right somewhere.

Any closing thoughts?

Dare to go out there and find what works for you and your diabetes management. It’s a difficult illness to handle, but it’s entirely possible to live and thrive with it on a daily basis.

This is one of the hopefully many interviews I will be showcasing on my site. If you have type 1 diabetes and are interested in sharing your story and strategies, please send me an email at [email protected]

Gut Health + Multiple Autoimmune Diseases

It’s late September and I am driving through the backroads of Indiana listening to a podcast as we head home from a very fun weekend in Chicago. It was so much fun, in fact, my husband had me drive as he was reclined in the passenger seat.

Either way, I wasn’t fussed as I spent the time reviewing information for an upcoming presentation I had on the books related to gut health and diabetes. Yet, with my intention to polish up on the facts, I nearly had to pull over as I had an “ah-ha” moment when tuning-in to “The Paleo View” hearing Dr. Sarah Ballantyne discuss the risk of getting additional autoimmune diseases for those who already have an existing one. As if 1 disease wasn’t enough, right?! Thankfully, there is something we can do to halt this from happening, but a little information first.

Autoimmune disease affects over 50 million Americans, and if you have an autoimmune disease, you have genetic predisposition to have an overactive immune system. With this, the risk of getting an additional autoimmune disease, according to Sarah Ballantyne’s literature review, is 1 every decade.

Hitting close to home, I felt it in my gut when I read how type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (AIT), celiac disease (CD), Addison’s disease (AD), and other autoimmune diseases. This isn’t common sense, nor is the information of how to prevent it from happening, but there is hope.

Looking back on my 26+ years of having type 1 diabetes I sense a relationship with this research. In 2009, my life changed when I did a gluten-free experiment. Multiple endocrinologists thought I was wasting my time, as I have proved multiple celiac diseases negative. Yet, my A1C and blood sugar control were immediately and continue to be more predictable and better than ever. Not to mention, my eczema, insomnia and female hormones are better off. Just last July I did a food sensitivity test on myself, and my reaction to wheat was off the charts, followed by gluten. An allergy (celiac) is very different than a sensitivity, and taking my food sensitivity results seriously is improving my overall well-being and help reduce my risk of acquiring more diagnoses. In the last 2 years, I’ve experimented more with my diet, and am now working to wean down or off my thyroid medication (my thyroid tanked with the onset of pregnancy with my second child). It will be a slow process, but I just had to make a decrease in my thryoid medicine dose. No doubt, food is powerful. Slower than medicine, but powerful.

In the least, it’s a good thing the progression of an autoimmune disease is not entirely determined by genetics. Reseach concludes there are 3 parts:

  1. genetics,
  2. environmental factors (from everything from a heavy metal toxicity, to a stressful emotional event), and
  3. a leaky gut. (Here Dr. Axe does a good job defining Leaky Gut, and below I highlight how to take care of your gut).

It’s valuable to understand that an autoimmune disease can sit brewing in the body for years before a diagnosis occurs and the great news is we can do a lot to prevent the last “straw” from reaching the camels back.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, the best way to be your healthiest and prevent any further autoimmune diseases from occurring or progressing is to focus on 1) what we eat, 2) what we absorb and 3) how we take care of our body/lifestyle. 

Diet/What We Eat:

  1. The AIP is a good starting point for anyone dealing with one or more autoimmune diseases. Not only does it exclude grains, dairy, and legumes like the basic paleo template, it also eliminates nightshades, nuts, seeds, eggs, alcohol, and sugar, leaving a pure and basic diet of meats, seafood, certain vegetables, certain fruits, healthy fats and spices that help to promote anti-inflammatory reactions within the body. Upfront, I want to highlight that while this diet can be a very low-carb diet, it can also be a high carb diet sourcing healthy foods including plantains, sweet potatoes, yams, fruit, yucca, taro, etc. This approach can be tough. Thankfully there are great resources, from books to websites and podcasts. Pheonix Helix is a leader in communicating effective ways of living this lifestyle. Her website is a wealth of information as is her podcasts and guests.
  2. A few other paths to take to make sure someone is eating the right things for their gut is they can do an elimination diet, removing the biggest offenders: gluten, wheat, sugar, eggs, soy, dairy, seed/man-made oils (think corn, canola, soy, safflower seed oils) and corn. Like I did in 2009, begin avoiding one or all of these food groups and take notes on how you feel.
  3. Increasing vegetables and fruit in the diet,
  4. Diversify meals,
  5. Incorporate good spices and herbs,

Gut/What We Absorb:

  1. First REMOVE inflammatory foods and chronic stressors, REPLACE the problem foods with healing foods, such as items listed below, REPAIR the gut with specific supplements, and REBALANCE and nurture the gut, ongoing with probiotics. This is known as the 4 R Protocol.
  2. Research suggests the gut can take on average 2-12 weeks to heal, and likely longer for this of us with an autoimmune disease. For anyone with an autoimmune disease who is also sensitive to gluten and consuming it, it can take closer to 6 months for the gut to heal. And there is little benefit in a “gluten-light” diet. A fraction of a crumb can inflame the body, and I know this first handed when the cook in a cafe I used to work in, would cut my chicken breast with the same knife he was cutting chicken sandwiches with, I’d get ill. I also think of my mother who has osteoporosis, Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis, but still gets non-gluten free communion at church every weekend. Bottomline, it’s important to be 100% gluten-free when experimenting and if implementing when a results are positive.
  3. Increase fermented foods in the diet along with coconut products, bone broth, and collagen,
  4. Avoid food sensitivities – Get tested using Cyrex Labs, MRT LEAP, or KBMO. (I can be a resource in acquiring a test). Learn how well you tolerate FODMAPs
  5. Moderate saturated fat as it can impair the microbiota,
  6. Replenish nutrient stores with potent supplements, and ask for advice from a health professional to find a high-quality product and the right product for your needs and background.

Lifestyle/How We Take Care of Ourselves:

  1. Prioritize sleep, both quantity, and quality, Did you know in 1965 we got on average of an hour and a half more of sleep per night than compared to today? That’s a big difference, and females need more sleep than males. Here is a list of how to tweak your environment to improve the quality
  2. Engage in adventure and hobbies. If you don’t have the time, shift things around so you do.
  3. Not that you don’t already, but prioritize blood sugar control. The swings cause inflammation and disturb the peace in our gut.
  4. React better to stress. It’s common to say reduce stress, but that thought only makes me a little more strung out. Instead, I put my energy on my response to challenges and tough tasks.
  5. Work on communication so you can be heard and respected.



  • 5 At Home Test Gut:

Strategies for Eating Out With Diabetes

As a type 1 diabetic, I think of myself as a walking, human pancreas. The role is no joke, but one I can’t disown.

Every time I eat, as do my fellow type 1 diabadasses, we need to review, assess and time what foods, in what quantity we want to eat, without rocking our blood sugars. It has gotten easier with time, but when eating foods we don’t prepare, it can be more challenging.

I get through this hurdle with the following steps:

  1. I choose a meal that includes what I call PFF: 1) animal/egg/fish protein, 2) fat, including olive oil. butter, avocado, nuts or a bundle this with choosing a fattier protein source, and 3) a food high in fiber, including vegetables, gluten-free grains, beans, lentils.
  2. When ordering drinks, I politely and try to casually mention to the waiter/waitress I need a gluten-free meal. About 1 in 100 people have celiac disease, but about 10% of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This doesn’t include the high number of gluten sensitivity.
  3. Adjust your order to your needs. I will see something on the menu I like, for example, a grilled salmon, and I will adjust what comes with it to make it lower carb. Often salmon will come with potatoes of some sort, and I will ask for broccoli instead.
  4. Know that most restaurant meals add salt, sugar and extra oils to a dish to make it taste better. This results in eating more and needing more insulin. Just being educated on this, I focus on eating just enough and taking a larger dose of insulin for the dish.
  5. If ordering a salad, opt for olive oil and vinegar. Canola oil or vegetable-based oils are often the standard for many restaurant dressings and these fats are harmful to our health. As well, dressing can often have a lot of hidden sugar.
  6. Review a menu before you go and ask questions to understand how much sugar/carb is in the meal you want so you can calculate your needs. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your server if an entree can be baked, grilled, or broiled instead of fried.
  7. Don’t deny yourself, but also don’t overeat. Keep it simple and be present and mindful. 
  8. If you are on an insulin pump – use the “Dual/Square or Extend” bolus options so you don’t take your insulin too late, nor bottom out before your meal arrives.
  9. While sitting and talking with company, drink plenty of water and try avoiding alcohol while you eat. Make it the appetizer or dessert if you wish to drink.
  10. For dessert – ask if you can have fresh berries and cream instead of the other dense options.

Lifestyle: Getting Accustomed to Making Your Meals At Home

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be labor-intensive. With planning and being efficient with shopping, you can save your mola and feel good. Here I am highlighting some how-tos on eating home-cooked meals, catered to those looking after blood sugar control, which in a way, relates to everyone. 

“If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Sketch out 7 days and plot 2-3 meals, based on real food, plus snacks (if needed). Intend to make surplus for the meals so you have leftovers. Looking at your calendar:

  • Do you have plans for meals out this week? Will you need to pack any meals for school/work/appointments? For the latter, can you make things or buy items that can easily be eaten as is, or cooked in the microwave?
  • How many people are you responsible for feeding? 
  • Do you have any long days or night errands to run? You will need something portable
  • Make a grocery list with meals in mind and use ingredients that can come from the freeezer or pantry, in the scenario your schedule changes. No one likes throwing money away. 

A French man once said he walked into a North American grocery store and couldn’t find any food.

What? Well, if you think about and roam the aisles and food labels enough, you will find that this certain man is onto something. A majority of our packaged food is not real food. Just this morning I rant to the grocery and reviewed a dozen products and set them right back down because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients listed on them such as GMO beets (sugar), canola oil (very inflammatory), food colorings, chemicals, HFCS, more sugar, MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA/BHT, nitrates, sulfates, the list goes on. Yet, my point is, know what is good for you and have an idea of where to get it.

Put together a grocery list before you head out. Ideally capture it on your phone. We often leave home without a list, but rarely forget our phone. Review your list before you go, and make sure the items you plan to buy, reflect the volume of foods you want on your plate. For example, if you intend to have half a plate of vegetables, make sure you buy enough vegetables. Same for protein, make sure your cart is about 25-30% of animal protein and 25-30% of fruit, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.

Additional ways to save and simplifiy:

  • Look at ads, use coupon apps available on smartphones
  • Buy ingredients, not products
  • By produce in season, when cheapest
  • Grow your own vegetables/herbs
  • Never overeat and see how the quality of food, not volume, makes you feel satisfied (intuitive eating)
  • Cook in bulk and freeze portions for leftovers
  • Buy in bulk, and choose ingredients that can used in multiple dishes
  • Buy whole, canned wild fish or frozen fish
  • Buy fruits and vegetables frozen (just as healthy, if not more healthy)
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow-cook it to tenderize it.
  • Don’t major in minor things. Focus on buying real food and don’t stress if you can’t get organic or grass-fed
  • Avoid foods void in nutrition, which can simply just increase appetite. For example, gluten-containing grains, sugar, processed food, granola bars
  • Cut out the extras – bottled water, mints, etc
  • Keep food simple, yet, have variety so your palate doesn’t get bored.

Food prep can be therapeutic; especially when you look at it as a time to unwind and forget about stressors. We need to unplug, to recharge. Set aside time, one time a week, to prep meals so when you come rushing in the door, or out, you have something nutritious to quickly reheat or consume within a short window of time.

Meal Ideas:

  • Frittata – these are great, and can be made in advance, sliced and heated or chilled for a well-rounded breakfast or lunch. The ingredients do not need to be elaborate. Choose some produce, lean meat and spices. 
  • Slow-cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup
  • Salad with Tuna – as simple as it sounds. When I was on the road a lot with work, I would run to the grocery before Monday AM, pick up a bag of lettuce greens, canned tuna, eggs (then hard boil them) and some other type of produce, and throw it all together for 3 lunches or so a week. 
  • Lettuce Tacos – buy some lean meat, mix some spices and throw it over some vegetables or romaine leaves. Leftover meat is great with eggs too. 
  • Grilled Fish and Frozen Veg with spices – buy some frozen fish in bulk, pull out however many filets you need in the morning, thaw in the refrigerator, and cook in a skillet with some lemon, butter and pepper and pair with a vegetable. 
  • No-bread Sandwiches
  • Snack options, including portable food ideas
  • Scrambled Eggs and Ham – simple, cheap and satisfying. 
  • Banana Pancakes – take 2 eggs and one small banana, mash, and make 2 pancakes. 

Real change is not easy, but it is worth it.

Cheers to you and good health,


Let’s Make This Year (2018) Different

How many people do you think made a weight loss wish when the ball dropped this year? Chances are, quite a few.

With two-thirds of Americans overweight, there are an estimated 45 million people on a diet right now, chalking up $33 billion per year on weight loss products.

Yet, times are changing, and so are the approaches to improving our health. The dogma of calories in, equal calories out has been exploited. There is far more involved with wellness and weight loss than the obsession with eating perfect portions of perfectly healthy food.

Make this year different by relaxing the efforts on dieting, and create a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing how you feel, how, what and when you eat, and what you believe makes you healthy. I’ve included a few items to focus on below:

1. Hydrate

The goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, and more if you are exercising or traveling. Start the day with an inner bath and drink 20 ounces first thing. In the winter, I fulfill this need by carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go, or more often you will see me with my Continga containing hot water with lemon.

2. Don’t Major in Minor Things

Sometimes eating “perfectly” can do us more harm than good. Relax and don’t give up 95% of your life to drop 5% of your weight (or fill in the blank of what you are trying to achieve). The healthiest version of yourself isn’t how good you look in a swimsuit. The healthiest version of yourself is when hormones are balanced, your body and mind are strong and you have the energy to do what you love. When you push your body to extremes, including talking to yourself in a negative way, you’re giving up more than calories. You miss out on life.

3. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Man-Made Oils (Canola. Corn, Sunflower, Soybean oil, Safflower and Cottonseed oil)

These oils have large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful to our health.  The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil. palm oil, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking, and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and the right kind of fat.

4. Know Hunger is the Best Sauce

Master hunger and feel comfortable being hungry 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead. 

5. Moderate

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation (and I am not talking food). While working hard in your career, parenthood, friendships, life, find a balance in enjoying things like make you happy. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection.

6.  Stress Less – Sleep More

Sleep is the backbone of good health. Guard your bedtime as sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.


Mastering Your A1C

Blood sugar control is tricky. What often works this month, won’t work the next as there are a number of variables that play into the result. Unconventional variables include hydration, the weather, stress/workload, sleep (deprivation), hormones (my basal changes every week of the month), sunlight exposure, magnesium status, nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte status, activity, happiness, diet, etc.

However, in my 26+ years of having type 1 diabetes and working with hundreds of clients with diabetes, below are key players that help keep an A1C ideal. Please note, that an A1C is not the only goal with diabetes, it’s just an easy lab to draw that can paint a picture of blood sugars averages over the last 60-90 days.

  1. Check blood sugar regularly. In the book Sugar Surfing, the authors suggest skimming the information on a CGM up to 50 times a day, and I totally agree. It’s most crucial to review information/moving blood sugars that occur upon awakening, post meals, and pre/post workout.
  2. Review trends. it’s hard to manage what we don’t monitor, and thankfully there are great apps and programs that make tracking easy. I personally use Glukoo and I have a number of clients using OneDrop.
  3. Be mindful when eating, and this includes eating slowly and chewing your food. If you are on Humalog or Novolog, always eat your carbs last, and your protein and vegetables first. The new insulin, Fiasp, you may not need to do this as it works 3x harder and acts faster out of the gate.
  4. Have consistent meals from one day to the next with the same amount of carbs. Besides optimizing our metabolism, this practice can help us create the right portioned meal to sustain satisfaction to the next meal and appropriate insulin delivery.
  5. Practice eating with the sun, and allowing an intermittent fast for 12-16 hours. I like turning this into a fun game and using the Zero app to track my fast from an early dinner to breakfast.
  6. Hydrate – I recommend 10 glasses of water a day. This will take effort, and it’s worth it. Hydration leads to better blood sugar control and fewer cravings.
  7. Post meal – move. Walking is magical for blood sugar control. Indeed a fast-paced walk can lower blood sugar 1-2 mg/dl per minute.
  8. Make sleep quality and quantity count. Have a set bedtime, turn off electronic hours before bed and/or use blue light blocking glasses, make sure the temperature is ideal (68F) and there is no light exposure.
  9. Take supplements such as a high-quality probiotic, B-complex, magnesium, and fish oil. I recommend and source only pharmaceutical grade supplements.
  10. Tap into (or build) your Diabetes Team. Seek out a health coach/dietitian if the need is there and the timing is right. Be prompt with your endo appointments and seek a social support system.

Cheers to you and good health,

The Diabetic Dietitian

The Ultimate Wish List & Gift Guide

As a minimalist, this list is hefty, but I promise, I LOVE every item on here. Perfect gifts for your friends & family…or put some aside for yourself! Happy holidays, enjoy the season!


  • Thrive Market 25% off and Free Shipping on your first order In the Real Food & Fitness Masterclass we talked a lot about keeping things simple. I love Thrive Market for this very reason. Just saving money on my obsession with Siete Tortilla chips is also another reason I love Thrive Market too.
  • Facial Mask: As a time-starved mom, a facial mask allows me to have my own spa at home. It’s a fun thing to do with friends (and husband) when traveling! Multi-Masker Set $68
  • Chemical free lip gloss: The glosses stay on, taste yummy and look awesome. This bundle comes in 3 colors and you can purchase and divvy between 3 friends for gifts. Perfect Pout Trio: $48
  • Food Sensitivity Test: It can beneficial knowing what healthy foods are actually not supporting out health. This test I use with clients, cuts to the chase of know what ingredients are stalling weight loss, gut health repair and progress. If interested, send me an email and I can answer and questions, or send out a kit to have the test done in your own home. Small Business Saturday discount (valid until 11/27 midnight) $325. 
  • Detox: Most Decembers I will do a 21 day detox program, and there are a few of them I really like. Read more here. Along with Small Business Saturday, I am offering 15% off all detox programs and supplements from Standard Process, Pure Encapsulation, and Thorne; which are all pharmaceutical grade supplements (valid until 11/27 midnight). 
  • Energy Bead Bracelet: this chakra lava bracelet is elegant and suggests to support healing. I also like how the beads absorb essential oils so it can carry aroma. $12


  • Continga insulted mug: I use 2 of these a day. I start with a coffee in one and use another repeatedly throughout the day, filling it with my favorite tea. Sometimes in the winter, I just use it to hold my warm water, sipping on it while I work.
  • Dry Farm Wines: One way to hold onto that glass of wine without sacrificing your health is to consume low alcohol, natural wines. Natural wines are produced organically, without dangerous chemicals involved or artificial additives. Above all, when I drink Dry Farm Wines wine, my blood sugar levels remain stable on my CGM and I feel fine the following day. That’s a touch expectation, as I can usually tell when I just have a single glass when out to dinner. Love this brand, and they are changing the way people enjoy wine.
  • Instant Pot: Okay I will admit it. It took me 8 months to use mine, and that was n 8 months wasted. My instant pot makes dinner so much easier. I made an awesome chicken vegetable soup after returning home from a long trip and it was just what my family needed. From perfectly cooked eggs, sweet potatoes, soups and more
  • Bone broth – I use bone broth in soups, but I also freeze it in an ice cube trays and use a few cubes when I am stir-frying something or roasting vegetables. It bumps up the nutrition, flavor and protein content (slightly) of the meal. This is a great gift for a health conscious person, or for the elderly, as it supports immunity through the flu season (and so much more). Kettle & Fire is offering their biggest discount of the season until Cyber Monday.
  • Amazon Echo: So last year? Maybe, but just as good, if not better. We use our “Alexa” (Echo) all day long. When the kids get witchy, I ask her to play music to change the mood. If I am playing chef, I quickly ask “Alex” how long I need to cook something or set a timer. This consumer good was something I thought Siri could fulfill, but I have been proven wrong.


  • Panda Planner: Best Daily Calendar and Gratitude Journal to Increase Productivity, Time Management & Happiness – Hardcover, non-dated, 1 year. $27
  • The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day. $23
  • Unconventional Medicine by Chris Kresser: This is his new book about the call to action to reinvent healthcare and reverse chronic disease. It’s a great read and I highly recommend if you haven’t already read it.
  • Tribe of Mentors: Short Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferris: We all need mentors, particularly when the odds seem stacked against us. To find his own, four-time #1 best-selling author Tim Ferriss tracked down more than 100 eclectic experts to help him, and you, navigate life. In short, action-packed profiles, he shares their secrets for success, happiness, meaning, and more.

In celebration of Small Business Saturday, I am offering 15% off all my services (counseling, grocery store tours, kitchen reviews), supplements, detoxes, and products. This offer is valid until 11/27 midnight. 

My Favorite Real Food Detoxes


First, I will share a few notes on how to make the most of the program you decide to go with:

• I suggest with all cleanses to kickoff the program with a 1-day warm-up – this a great way to slide right into starting it off successfully. The main goal for the warm-up is to be sure you have plenty of foods readily available and so you can prime your body to ease into the cleansing foods and supplements.

• Weigh in before day 1 and not again until come the last day of the program. Take at least 2 measurements on body – naval and hip measurements. Write the data down and consider keeping a journal, collecting the info on your meals and your feelings. I do not suggest using a calorie counting app. Above all focus on listening to what your body needs and really try to take care of yourself.

• Really drink water – it will help you detox faster and more efficiently, excreting the toxins you are breaking down, and allow you to feel more energized and reap all the benefits of the program. The first 1-5 days you will be tired. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids and to keep your schedule light.

• Make salads fun. Great creative with your meal combos. 1) dice cucumbers with diced avocado, diced tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro. 2) shredded Brussel sprouts with lemon, green onion, olive oil and sunflower seeds. Think outside of the box.

• Prioritize sleep and stress management, along w meal prep, then move daily (gentle or vigorous; sense what your body is wanting).

Please note the prices below, do not reflect shipping, taxes or any processing fees. 

Standard Process Cleanse – 21 Days ~$250

• This program includes a number of supplements to aid proper detox at each meal (3x a day) + a protein/nutrition shake 2-3x a day. The program kicks off with a vegetarian focus (3-5 days), then seafood, grassed beef, and poultry are introduced. There are no nuts, dairy, grains (except quinoa or if blood sugar is not an issue, I advise white rice), no legumes/beans (except lentils), no pork, no shellfish, nor sugar; see the Guide for more details, linked below.

Guide, it’ll give you all the details of what to do on the cleanse.

• Comes with a cookbook pdf ($10 for purchase) cookbook and can be followed 100%, or can just provide meal ideas. Overall, you don’t have to follow the meal plan, but you should follow the list of allowed foods.

• In addition to the cleanse protein powder, I recommend adding 2 heaping tablespoons or a packet of Great Lakes collagen powder for each shake you make. Ensure you have plenty of fat with your shakes too (pumpkin seeds, avocado, coconut, ghee). Both of these suggestions will optimize blood sugar control and weight loss.

• Eat 2x as much of veg verse fruit. Get sneaky by adding frozen spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, etc to the smoothies. It’s amazing how well they are disguised in there.

• Start protein come day 4 versus what the program suggests (they recommend day 11). Fish must be consumed daily once the animal protein is introduced. NO pork, shellfish, dairy and no nuts. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are allowed. This program does NOT include eggs.

review some posts I wrote about last year when I did it for the first time. Just know the first week is tough, the 2nd is much easier, and by the third, results start to show and it becomes breezy.

• The shake comes in a nondairy form, which is also unflavored, but it also comes in whey (vanilla or chocolate). From most of my client feedback, the unflavored is preferred.

Standard Process – 10 Day Blood Sugar Support ~ $151

• The program comes with a pdf Guide, as a variety of supplements and shakes to be had daily. It’s suggested to have 1 shake per meal and ~10 supplements per meal. There is a chart that is easy to follow.

• Excludes high allergen foods (soy, dairy, gluten, wheat, nuts, shellfish, pork). The program comes with a list of foods that are suggested on the program. Eggs are allowed.

• Avoids caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed meats, artificial sweeteners

• In addition to the cleanse protein powder, I recommend adding 2 heaping tablespoons or a packet of Great Lakes collagen powder for each shake you make. Ensure you have plenty of fat with your shakes too (pumpkin seeds, avocado, coconut, ghee). Both of these suggestions will optimize blood sugar control and weight loss.

Standard Process – 10 Day Healthy Inflammation Response – $145

• Program comes with a pdf Guide, a list of suggested foods, allows for nuts, eggs, seeds, butter, legumes, lentils

• A shake and ~10 pills are taken at each meal.

• Avoids caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed meats, artificial sweeteners

Thorne – Mediclear – 10-day program  ~$140

• A hypo-allergenic diet + shakes + probiotic + fiber. Each is taken 2x a day.

• $67 (Thorne’s MediClear Protein Powder) + $31 (probiotic) + $42 (fiber) —> the shake comes in vanilla, chocolate and unflavored.

• In addition to the cleanse protein powder, I recommend adding 2 heaping tablespoons or a packet of Great Lakes collagen powder for each shake you make. Ensure you have plenty of fat with your shakes too (pumpkin seeds, avocado, coconut, ghee). Both of these suggestions will optimize blood sugar control and weight loss.

• This can also be expanded into a 21-day program, (week 1, 3 include animal protein, week 2 does not)

• Foods to Avoid – processed foods, refined sugars, potential allergens, such as soybeans/soy, corn, dairy, and peanuts. The diet also excludes beef, pork, shellfish, tuna, processed meats, gluten – found in wheat, rye and barley. Grapefruit can alter your body’s detoxification enzyme, according to Thorne Research, so it is also excluded.

• The program includes a Thorne Research dietary supplement designed to be taken while following the diet. The MediClear supplement is a rice-and-pea protein powder and contains added vitamins and minerals. Thorne Research claims the MediClear supplement is designed to aid the detoxification process. It’s crucial to consult your health care provider to determine whether the MediClear diet is a good option for you.

Let me know if you have any questions or need a hand in ordering from either company. I do not recommend ordering such from Amazon for various reasons, including each company forbids us to sell their products to Amazon. 

Mealtime Shortcuts + Healthy Eating Solutions

My fingers on the keyboard, pondering how to open this topic and my mind quickly goes to a phrase: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Seriously, in the world of Amazon Prime, we can surely find a way to make dinner healthier, easier, and faster. Maybe we just use Amazon Prime 🙂 So let me just get right to it. Here are some of my kitchen hacks on how to build an easier dish and simpler solutions for mealtime.


  • If you plan to have a daily salad, make a large one and store it in the salad spinner. It will last longer, and usually, when you open the fridge it will be at eye level, which will also influence you to eat/want more of it.
  • To whip together a diverse salad without chopping a lot of things, combine coleslaw vegetables with lettuce greens. Come mealtime, top this with high-quality protein (wild, canned seafood or pre-grilled meat) and nuts, and you are good to go. Portable packets of extra virgin olive oil are clutch, along with lemon packets. This serves as a simple, portion-controlled dressing.
  • Portable fruit is a great way to round out a salad-based meal. Don’t fear carbs.
  • Whatever you store the salad in, put a paper towel in with it. It will extend the life of the leafy greens. If I have 1 limp salad, my desire for salad over the next few days…are limp.


  • Buy pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables/fruit. Have you seen the awesome cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s and Costco? Or the frozen zoodles from Trader Joe’s? Easy peasy. You can microwave both of these. Top with some olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper. Nom nom.
  • Canned organic beans. So versatile. Open a can and rinse the beans and toss them in a skillet with a little avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Stir for 5-10 minutes, depending on the texture you prefer. Sometimes, I just want them warm. Overall beans are a great slow-cooker or vegetable addition. Have you made chili yet this Fall? It’s a 5-minute prep process! Pull a pound of ground meat out of your freezer, organic beans, organic diced tomatoes and a pre-mixed spice packet (you can make your own combination, but we are talking easy here). Toss all the above in the slow-cooker and let cook for 6 hours on high and you are good to go. I love my chili with a dollop of guacamole (Costco has a great pre-packaged one. I do not like the 100 cal packs of guacamole as they taste off).
  • Roast veggies (3 sheets of veggies at a time. Make true use of the time you are using the oven. I often roast chopped Brussel sprouts, frozen veggies and some form of potatoes).
  • Fruit or sliced veggies with nut butter packets (like these).
  • I make a box of lentil-based pasta every week (I get my pasta from Trader Joe’s or Thrive Market). I drizzle olive oil on it after cooking to prevent leftovers from clumping together. This is a handy and satisfying side to mix with most things.

Slow-cooker: Perhaps I should have put the chili comments down here, but REALLY, befriend a slow-cooker and/or an Instapot. The saved time will be worth your money. Shoot, you can even use Kohl’s cash on these kitchen tools. Tis the season.

  • I work from my freezer (A LOT) and my family really enjoys when I do slow-cooker tacos/Mexican. I pull out a bag of frozen diced peppers and onions (Trader Joe’s), a pound of ground meat and spices. Sometimes, I will get a little frisky and add in some salsa. If I don’t do the salsa, I just add a little broth. Thanks to Costco for conveniently offering bone broth at an awesome price, I often have a carton opened in my fridge at all times. The broth is great for bumping up the nutrition of a meal and reducing the need for adding fat to saturate ingredients.
  • Chicken Artichoke (hello fiber) Stew: I get the frozen artichoke from Trader Joe’s, I use 2-3 chicken breast, enough broth to just cover, a carton of sliced mushrooms and enough peas to add good color. Salt and pepper to taste, cook on high for 6 hours. This is awesome when paired with some cauli-mash.  


  • Meal prep paleo pancakes. Pancakes were my go-to before I knew I was sensitive to eggs (KBMO Fit Test). Overall they are healthy, filling, high in protein and good fat and easy to take when wrapped in foil. I like the recipe of just mixing a small banana with 3 eggs – or – adding 1 scoop of protein powder (like my favorite one from Standard Process) + 2-3 eggs. Mix the 2 ingredients together until you get a batter-like consistency and make 1-2 pancakes out of it.
  • Overnight oats (gluten free) with collagen protein powder and some nuts/chia seeds in mason jars. 
  • Combine smoothie ingredients in a blender, the night before, and store in the fridge. Come morning, you can blend and go.


  • Carton/canned real food soups. I like Amy’s brand among many of the cartons offered at Whole Foods, Mariano’s Fresh Thyme, etc. Be sure to add collagen (I buy mine from Vital proteins or Thrive Market) to help keep blood sugars stable and assist with keeping you full until the next meal. Also consider adding a fat to round out the meal (olives, avocado, olive oil packet, nuts, seeds, etc)
  • Chicken sausages – and I am picturing the various flavors from AmyLu. Throw 2 of these in the microwave or skillet, slice and have with some fermented saurkraut. Pair with some leftover roasted veg or gluten-free grain like wild rice.
  • Mason jars salads
  • Leftovers

Dinner: always double recipes and use leftovers for following lunches and dinners.

  • Regardless of what you put together – keep the ingredients simple.
  • Breakfast for dinner! Pleases everyone.
  • Buy an organic rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods (or from somewhere like Boston Market, but when the quality of the chicken is lower, avoid eating the skin) and have it with a salad kit or leftovers.
  • Cook fish from frozen. My fam loves the salmon burgers from Costco. Heat oven to 400F, cook for 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. 
  • Have a smoothie for dinner. Mix frozen greens, vegetables, ice/water, spices (cinnamon, ginger, or cocoa) with some frozen fruit, high-quality protein powder. I always top my smoothies with something crunchy to help enjoy “eating” my meal. I like baked coconut flakes, sunflower seeds or cocoa nibs.

Above all:

  • Be organized – have the right tools in your kitchen: a good knife, cutting boards, blender, food processor, slow-cooker, ceramic skillet, and a white/board.
  • The whiteboard or menu board can help make the meal ideas easy – and assist in building a grocery list. Try to only grocery shopping 1-2x a week to save time, and download an app like AnyList to have a handy list at all times.
  • Pack your lunch – and be sure to have good containers, thermos, shaker bottles, water bottles and lunch boxes. I have way too many water bottles and bento boxes, but you know what? I am always hydrated and have a packed meal when need be.
  • Buy as many things you can online. I use Amazon Prime (also for Whole Foods produce) and Thrive Market.

What tips and tricks do you use/do? I want to hear, selfishly to make the mealtime even easier!