The Real Life Diabetes Podcast is inspiring fulfilled diabetes lives through honest support and practical tips. Founders Amber Clour and Ryan Fightmaster saw an opportunity to share their humorous stories, transform lessons learned into how-to-guides, and produce a type 1 and type 2 diabetes podcast inspiring folks with the disease to get the most out of life. By getting at the heart of what matters, Amber and Ryan offer a message that fills a much needed void.
“We’re not experts, just people doing our best and starting conversations.“
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An hour before her emcee duties at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala in OKC, Nicole Johnson joined us and shared her perspectives since winning Miss America in 1999. From the surprising career trajectory afterward, to dating and diabetes scenarios, we embraced the whole journey. Per the usual flow of the show, many laughs were had, and we all got to know each other.
With such busy lives these days it has been almost two months since team DDG crafted time to catch up. As everyone in the diabetes community knows, we all need our T1D bestie time chatting about life with the disease SO… after a long day at work we penciled in this episode to review life, recap breaking diabetes news, and discuss listener questions. We talk allergies, food choices, fight or flight response, T2D compassion, defense mechanisms, T1D anxiety and an honest conversation about how our diabetes management is constantly changing.
Honesty and perspective–two traits people with diabetes cherish from those who give us advice about food. Christina has both. Having served with Ryan at Camp Blue Hawk on the medical staff, he was ready to pick her brain about her thoughts on paleo vs vegan, parenting pitfalls in diet, and how she found dietetics. The result? A conversation that stays open-minded and focuses on the big picture: steady blood sugars without compromise to long-term longevity. Oh, and as a show first, Amber arrived midway through the conversation by surprise. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Finally, the most welcoming force in all of the Diabetes Online Community joined the show: Scott Johnson. If you’ve ever composed an article about diabetes, odds are, Scott has given you praise. As one of the founding members of the diabetes blogging world, Scott has watched the DOC bloom into a world that hosts 1000s of posts per year, and he couldn’t be more proud. He’s honest, approachable, and has done a lot of diabetes introspection over the years. Amber labeled him the “most huggable” person of the DOC. You’ll soon understand after listening. CLICK HERE to check it out.
You know what takes courage? Looking at your weaknesses, then sketching out a path forward to wellness. Led by her well-intentioned sister Pooche, Belle sat down to chat with Amber (a good friend) about her complicated relationship with type 2 diabetes. As a person with type 1 diabetes, it stands as a fresh look at life with type 2 diabetes, helping us all understand each other a little better. CLICK HERE to check it out.
One of our favorite podcast guests is back! Back in the fall, he joined us on Podcast 32 where he shared his love of Chick-Fil-A, coffee, Equal and Omnipod. We highly suggest a retrograde listen before hopping into this show. During this go round, we catch up on life, hear about an epic insulin prescription journey, discuss what diabetes maturity means, and laugh hard. CLICK HERE to check it out.
We love realness. Much of type 1 diabetes marketing revolves around this idea of, “Hey, Nick Jonas is super cool and all people with type 1 can sing and dance!”. Don’t get us wrong, we love Nick Jonas and obviously he has struggles too. But, what about just a couple of normal bros who have diabetes, their journey, and how they’re changing diabetes lives in the real world? That’s the story we tell today, with Chris “Pick” Pickering from the TheBetesBros. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Imagine you’re at work. It’s 10AM. You search through your belongings for your meter, maybe you need to calibrate the CGM. But… you left the meter on your kitchen table. If you’re Elliot Gatt, you simply walk down the hallway and open up a new box of Good Glucos strips, a company he developed after years of frustration with test strip price gouging. Without insurance, they offer accurate strips at an affordable price while giving strips back to someone in need. Ever heard of anything like this? CLICK HERE to check it out.
Finally, the long-promised, definitely under-delivered Ask Us Anything podcast is back. The questions rolled in from Oregon, LA, NYC, and a suspected location below the Mason-Dixon line. Of note, we looked back at those practices we loved from our parents… and those we would advise against, kindly. As it turns out, low blood sugar symptoms change over time, and we covered our own evolution. Par for the course in most episodes, we politely disagreed about the distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Listening to someone give advice, you can usually tell the level of authenticity behind the statements. When chatting with Dr. Stephen Ponder, there’s no question about authenticity–this sugar surfing wisdom is a part of his being. Growing up with type 1 diabetes (for 50 years), becoming a CDE (certified diabetes educator) and then a pediatric endocrinologist, passion fuels a life committed to inspiring people with diabetes to live a normal, possibly extraordinary life. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Pregnancy’s intimidating. Your body changes. There’s another thing in there stealing the food you eat. You crave things like pickles and peanut butter. But, with all this normal stuff aside, what if you have type 1 diabetes and you’re pregnant? Sarah Swanberg walks us through both of her pregnancies–the blood sugar challenges, perilous diet decisions, and lessons learned. Per the norm, we held nothing back, and explored every pregnancy/diabetes-related question known to man. After the interview, Amber and Ryan looked at each other and said, “She’s freakin’ awesome” (give or take a few adjectives). CLICK HERE to check it out.
Diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to us. This guy, Ideen Tabatabai, lives out that mantra, and diabetes continues to shape his path as he exits medical school. Alongside Ryan, they explore the subtle, and not so subtle, ways that diabetes shaped their medical school experience, oftentimes in absurd, hilarious ways. Ideen is a 4th year medical student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City. He’s been living with T1D for 18 years, with Dad and brother as fellow folks with diabetes. He plans to specialize in pediatrics, and to further sub-specialize in pediatric endocrinology (takes one to know one). We can’t wait to follow his path. CLICK HERE to check it out.
When seeking diabetes healthcare, it’s rare to find a person who delivers advice that he or she has felt. In speaking with Kim, you know she lives and breathes every word of her life lessons with a no fear philosophy. Ryan and Amber went to school. Fortunately for us, she’s also a CDE (certified diabetes educator). Diagnosed at 5 years old with type 1 diabetes, Kim found her calling as a CDE (and RN) with Diabetes Solutions Oklahoma since it’s inception in 2000. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Just getting back to our DDG roots: reflecting on 2016, making fun of each other, and catching up. CLICK HERE to check it out.
In less than a week from our last podcast conversation with Clayton McCook, he managed to “close the loop”, by himself, with the help of many (including the NightScout Community). His focus is singular: restore as many childhood moments to his daughter’s life as possible, without diabetes hovering in the background. He walks us through the “closing the loop” steps and his bigger motivations. As a parent of a person with diabetes, if you’ve ever thought about tinkering with your gear to allow the CGM and pump talk, Clayton stands as proof that it’s possible to pull it off with determination, love, and a small desk somewhere. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Diabetes is rough right? Even with a CGM and around the clock basal insulin from a pump, most days are still a grind! But staggeringly, across the globe insulin prices are accounting for up to 40% of monthly expenses, and people are walking 100 miles to get a prescription. Elizabeth Rowley, founder of T1International, is digging deep to gain awareness to the disparities in care and often inadequate access to standards in daily management, like strips and insulin. They campaign for systemic change that not only meets daily needs, but aims to solve the underlying issues in healthcare. If you’d ever like more information on the subject of diabetes across the globe, they are the knowledge hub. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Riding 800 carbs of fruit to steady glucose control? Huh? Robby Barbaro (a person with type 1 diabetes) joins the podcast from Santa Monica to bust paradigms by introducing the high-carb, low-fat philosophy to revolutionize type 2… and type 1 diabetes management. Currently, Robby is a plant-based diabetes coach: hosting retreats, 1-on-1 coaching sessions, and blogging from MindfulDiabetic.com. If you, like us, have always been curious about the mysteries of insulin resistance, this is the avenue to enlightenment. We laughed, we learned, and we left inspired to push the boundaries of our perceived diabetes knowledge. He walks the walk and talks the talk. CLICK HERE to check it out.
The DDG hit the road and headed to Kansas for the Live Well Diabetes EXPO. We had less than 24 hours to spread the DDG love to the people of Wichita. Along the way, we picked up a few stories from folks in the great plains area who are living the real life – diabetes style. In this episode we share our take aways and life philosophies from our time with SO many fellow PWDs and their families. CLICK HERE to check it out.
You never know when you’ll run into someone who shares a similar life philosophy, but after a chance meeting in college, Mark Carter resurfaces on Okie soil. He’s real and doesn’t hold back about his love of Equal and Chik-Fil-A. In this episode, our longest one yet, he shares his journey of being an ambassador for people with diabetes who don’t have a voice. If you’re brave enough to listen to the whole thing, we hope you’ll leave with the thought – is diabetes a blessing or a curse? CLICK HERE to check it out.
At the JDRF Summit last January in Oklahoma City, we struck up a conversation with the father of Lily, an adorable, youngster who lives with T1D. She had on this awesome-looking watch with her blood sugar and so did her Dad. We had to explore further. In this episode, Clayton shares his family’s philosophies on parenting and empowering the T1D life. While not a “techie guy”, he managed to discover and use Night Scout… while continuing to develop an artificial pancreas in his basement. There’s some wisdom in this one folks. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Amber loves to travel so she hit the road and ventured to Texas (one state away from our OKC home). What better way to meet fellow PWDs than traveling the southwestern countryside? Before heading out she contacted the American Diabetes Association to see if anyone in their part of town had a story to share. They totally hooked her up with Deirdre Murphy, a lovely woman who went from an original Type 2 diagnosis to eventually being re-diagnosed with Type 1. In the 30th show, Deirdre shares her 12+ year journey and reflects on living life with T2D… and now T1D, eventually coming to a place of relief at the type 1 prognosis (a rare event). CLICK HERE to check it out.
One can only talk oneself for so long, right? Wrong, Amber and Ryan dedicated an entire show to each other (we thought they talked plenty already about themselves in ordinary episodes). In conversation a week prior, they realized much of life had passed by since they had a good sit-down chat. It was time t0 “catch-up” on life, diabetes, and pick-up strategies (Ryan heads to the trail and Amber heads to Whole Foods). Amber elaborates on a DDG post about her recent extraordinarily ignorant endocrinologist visit, while Ryan updates on his new, old-school approach to diabetes management. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Amber and Ryan sweet talked past guest, fellow T1D, and long-time diabetes camp enthusiast, Kelly McKeever, into joining a summer edition of the show. Kelly’s had 13+ years at camp and shares what keeps him coming back, now in a medical personnel role. In this episode they catch up on life with diabetes, cutting edge developments in diabetes tech, the camp life experience, what we learned about ourselves, and the value of having “a diabetes community in person”. CLICK HERE to check it out.
What started as a mini pod quickly blossomed into a full blown podcast once Amber began diving into the nitty gritty as to how Tara Layman (T1D Exposed co-founder) scored a new pancreas and kidney. The question of the hour – Will two pancreases and three kidneys reverse her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Well, in this episode they chat openly about the pre surgery process, switching from insulin shots to a handful of pills, how important it is to have a support team and what the future holds for someone who no longer “technically” has Type 1 diabetes. CLICK HERE to check it out.
What’s the recipe for innovation? Funny you ask, we were thinking it went a little like this: timing, drive, wit, guts, luck, and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. At least in Amy Tenderich’s story, all of those factors came together magically when she received her diagnosis in 2003. CLICK HERE to check it out.
The DDG invested a weekend afternoon to dispel a diabetes urban legend… HOT TUBS, and their effect on blood sugar. In this episode, they do scientific research, or something resembling the scientific method, while rambling about everyday life, social media and all things diabetes. Why hasn’t there been an experiment like this before? Well, maybe there has been, but the evidence was nowhere to be found. Leave it to the DDG to get to the bottom of this T1D fear. Bear witness folks, this is diabetes research history. CLICK HERE to check it out.
After a few months of friendly stalking, we scored the opportunity to chat with hip hop legend and diabetes advocate, Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons. With 1 in 3 adult Americans being at risk of Type 2 diabetes, they’re spreading the word about T2D prevention with the help of Ask.Screen.Know™. In this episode, we’re swapping recipes, avoiding the food police (while simultaneously encouraging them) and sharing how to lead by example in hopes of changing their family’s history. The message is clear – Do it for the ones you love. CLICK HERE to check it out.
We got the green light to interview IndyCar driver and fellow guy with type 1 diabetes, Charlie Kimball. He not only keeps his car on the track, he stays out of the low BG pits. In this episode he shares his father’s in-car orange juice invention, his daily attitude, and how he became the (sort of) first T1D IndyCar driver. CLICK HERE to check it out.
While Ryan was studying for the boards, Amber gathered a few shoe lovers from across the country to discuss the “dream” shoe for PWDs. Maybe they didn’t find that “dream” shoe, but she enjoyed a lively discussion with guest, Shelene Kinsley, Tales From A Type 1 blogger, T1D and upcoming shoe designer. This episode was recorded in Oklahoma City’s own Betsy King Boutique. Betsy is a seasoned buyer and Amber appreciates her attention to detail when looking for the perfect high heel. Who knew that heels are better for your feet than flats? Seriously though. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Amber scored a once in a lifetime interview with the “Human Highlight Film”, NBA legend and Hall of Fame Inductee, Dominique Wilkins (imagine his name echoing within in an arena). Wilkins is no stranger to diabetes as his father and grandfather both died from diabetes related complications. When diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes post retirement – he knew it was time get back in the game. In this unique glimpse into his personal life, they discuss his childhood diet, diagnosis day BG numbers and changing his diabetes regimen from pills to injections. This man is honest, entertaining and inspirational. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Well, we warned you and now it’s time to share another episode of “Ask Us Anything“. In this episode, we received stellar questions from #DOC royalty and some brave souls who were kind enough to leave us a SpeakPipe message. Amber & Ryan share their deepest thoughts, not advice on diabetes complications, drinking bourbon, carb guessing in uncharted territory and how to encourage a “friend” to make healthier food choices. We’re keeping it real and sharing some laughs. Hope you enjoy the show. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Don’t they always say that Instagram brings people together? Actually, no, we’ve never heard anybody say that, but the rule applies when you’re vegan and have type 1 diabetes. Amy McKinnon, an Aussie originally, quit her job a few months back to explore the world, traveling the likes of Cuba, Peru, Mexico, and Ecuador. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
The DDG team is honored to be advisory board members for OU Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Camp Blue Hawk, a 5-day residential camp for children with type 1 diabetes that focuses on improving camper’s quality of life. In this podcast we chatted with high school student, twin, cello/bass playing and volleyball champion, Paul and his mother. He shares his honest reflection on what camp was like with stories of clean latrines, good food and forgetting he had diabetes. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
The Winters family strive to live in the now, while grinding with two children with type 1 diabetes under the age of 7. They were the perfect guests as they’re honest and open about the daily diabetes struggles; highlighting the daily battles force-feeding when low or having to pull out the Glucagon pen. If a black light were involved, their home might resemble a CSI crime scene, but they choose to use laughter as their number one form of medicine. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
Over drinks with T1D friends one night, T1D Exposed founders, Kat and Tara, discussed fundraising ideas to support their beloved diabetes camp (where they had met the summer before), and other amazing diabetes non-profits. They laughed about how ridiculous it would be to start a T1D nude calendar… Well, in the time since its inception, The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project has blown up! Tara allowed the DDG crew to probe her on the awkwardness of the shots, the beauty in the scars, and… the possibility of Ryan and Amber flying out to San Francisco for a shoot! – CLICK HERE to check it out.
In the midst of a VIP cocktail hour LIVE from the Connect+Cure Gala in Oklahoma City, leaders on the diabetes research and treatment frontier were kind enough to converse with us. We didn’t focus on run of the mill research questions. We got to the heart of their individual diabetes motivations. We covered the importance of a physician’s own A1C, the equal importance of cowboy boots, favorite Toby Keith (he played a full concert that night) songs, and why both Amber and Ryan haven’t been dropped as patients for non-compliance… yet. As the night’s feature ceremony, the Hamm Prize–$250,000 for research advances toward a cure–was awarded to Dr. Ronald Kahn, and he joined us to share his enlightening perspectives (that’s not hyperbole, it’s truth). CLICK HERE to check it out.
Well, 2016 is officially here and the DDG crew has survived yet another eventful holiday season. With another year under our belts with all things that diabetes entails (using 4 total lancets, troubleshooting 129 high blood sugars for unknown causes, and Instagramming sunsets with insulin pumps in the foreground), we want to reflect on what all transpired in 2015 – lessons learned (some multiple times), blood sugar mysteries solved, and new adventures that sparked enlightenment. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
We love this guy! Mike Hoskins, in our mind, is one of the bonafide leaders of the diabetes online community and was the perfect guest to launch the show into 2016. His perspectives over at DiabetesMine.com have always caught our eye, especially his honest takes on real life. Most recently, he published some high quality, scientific method driven (okay, it’s not perfect research) on the effect of varying beers on his blood sugar. We delved into the state of the DOC and his takes on Medtronic’s new Enlite system. As always, we kept it casual and laughed a lot. CLICK HERE to check it out.
In the next month full of holiday occasions, the focus is on family, friends, and in reality, FOOD! When turning down pumpkin pie, fudge, and or a hottie tottie can sacrifice long-standing family relations, what’s the pancreas-deficient to do? We got your back, dishing out the best advice we’ve got built on the back of a few hangovers, highs, lows, and good times. Kelly McKeever Registered Nurse, making his 2nd appearance today, dropped by to lend some professional and personal advice as a guy with a type 1 diagnosis. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
Diabetes and driving – race car driving that is… is the topic today as Amber recently won the Lilly Diabetes My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes! She’s officially an honorary member of Ryan Reed’s pit crew and was given the opportunity to interview the Nascar driver about life on the road with diabetes. In this first ever MiniPod, we talk real life – Amber style (no filter). Ryan Reed indulges her “non-traditional” questions, shares his go-to recipes, and who has access to giving him a shot. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
As Amber and Ryan have poured their collective souls into the Internet (a slightly terrifying thought) over the past two years, they’ve noticed a few themes when it comes to living life with this disease. That’s what today’s all about: realness in the form of personal experience. With 40+ years of experience between the two, they widdled down the advice into 8 simple, everyday lessons. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
Welcome to the 10th episode of Real Life Diabetes Podcast with guest Tonya Cameron – She’s a dear friend and mentor of Amber’s from her days of slinging pasta and chatting at Joe’s Taverna in Norman, OK. Tonya is a full time registered nurse, certified mirco-pigmentologist, lover of all things flora and fauna and a professional student according to her mother. Passionately devoted to a healthy lifestyle, her value in an Integrative Medicine Clinic is unquestioned. This gal can talk kale smoothies, load an IV, or give a botox injection while blowing your mind with her wealth of knowledge and opinions on all things health transformation. She’s the perfect DDG guest! CLICK HERE to check it out.
For those who are familiar with how our website operates, this will come as no surprise–we held nothing back. Today’s show is all about sharing the diabetes journey. Every so often, it’s just nice to know that you aren’t the only one digging the trench. That’s sometimes the metaphor we use when thinking about diabetes on a daily basis. We’re not experts, just people living a real diabetes life and talking about it. Thanks to all who dropped in a question and to John Brandenburg for joining the show. – CLICK HERE to check it you.
All in all, Amber and Ryan were pumped to cross paths on the island of Maui and share their traveling journeys to date. How do each of them deal with airport security? What do they eat in airports? Snacks? You know they both had snacks. At the time, Ryan had been on Maui for a month, mainly combing beaches and pretending to be a surfer. Amber focused on socializing in every happy hour across the island for a week. She breaks down the Hawaiian culture and cuisine, while he gives us insight into managing blood sugar while surfing. CLICK HERE to check it out.
At the age of 13, did an event define your career path? For Kelly, it happened. A PWD–the importance of using this term instead of diabetic was discussed, too–he now counsels patients with diabetes on a daily basis as part of a diabetes clinic. His real perspective for patients is invaluable. He relates to the ineffectiveness of the 15–wait–15 rule. He understands what it’s like to do something you regret when low or high. He’s been in that spot, where no matter how much insulin you dial up, your blood just won’t come down. He can empathize. CLICK HERE to check it out.
This man has a story to tell and we jumped right into it. Mike Hosty is a musician by trade, playing 2-3 shows a week across the Southwest. His weekly Sunday institution at The Deli has entertained a couple of decades of students, leading to more than a few skipped Monday morning classes. We brought him on the podcast to hear about his health journey. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
It’s one thing to be the person receiving a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. It’s yours. It’s pretty straight forward for you. Take shots, count carbs, and survive. To be on the other side of the glass, as the parents, is another challenge in itself. Parenting can set the foundation for a successful life of TqD management. The Fightmasters have an endless collection of diabetes experience, including crazy low blood sugars, insulin mix-ups, little league sports, and sending a kid to college. Their perspective is one of autonomy, flexibility, forgiveness, and empowerment. CLICK HERE to check it out.
We admire and respect what Trae Carson and Jonathan Stapleton are crafting over at 405 Brewing, Norman’s first microbrewery. As PWDs, we were curious about the brewing process, the carbs, and, well, the taste of their Spring Stout. On all fronts, they did not disappoint. We talked about why carbs aren’t on the outside of most beer bottles. They helped Ryan unravel the mysterious effects of different beers on his blood sugar. We dug up carbohydrate counts on Guinness, Bud Light, IPAs, stouts, and lagers. We even got into the science behind alcohol’s interaction with the liver and how it causes the eventual plummeting of blood sugar. For all of those folks who love good weather and a drink to go with that occasion, this podcast was for you. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
Amber and Ryan got together, just to catch up. The diabetes world is booming with news. Inhaled insulin is on the diabetes radar again, with Afrezza now on the market. New research revealed how diabetes leads to an increased risk of depression. They were not surprised. Mindfulness plays a role here, and they discussed its benefits. They shared their opinions. Coconut oil has them obsessed. Along with those topics, they rambled as only those with diabetes can, regarding just about everything that affects blood sugar, which is well, everything. – CLICK HERE to check it out.
On the second episode of the Real Life Diabetes Podcast, John Brandenburg joins the DDG Founders Ryan and Amber. His honesty, commitment, and outlook on life and type 2 diabetes was beyond refreshing. Imagine watching your father pass away from diabetes complications, your mother succumb to Alzheimer’s disease with diabetes, and then be given the same diagnosis in your 40s. Talk about terrifying. He felt the fear but then found empowerment. On no insulin, no medications, owning a near perfect A1c, and living out his best life, John outlines a path for how to catalyze your best life as we look back on his journey. CLICK HERE to check it out.
It’s official. DiabetesDailyGrind has a podcast! If you’re familiar with the content offered on our site, you’ll understand what’s coming in a podcast. Real support! The first podcast gives an intro to the passion behind the DDG and what lies ahead for the show.