Venturing Into Uncharted Vegan Territory… And Lower Insulin Levels | Amy McKinnon, A Plant-Based T1D Runner, World Traveler, and Yogi | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 19

Vegan Type 1 Diabetes Podcast

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. She and Ryan “met” on Instagram, probably while admiring each other’s photos of papaya or something strange of the sort. She too has felt the transformative power of a plant-based diet and joined us to share her own experiences with a vegan lifestyle. For fun—and honestly we mean this—she loves to go for casual 10 mile jogs. If you’ve ever been intrigued with the marathon running life but aren’t sure how to get started, she’ll tell us how to make it happen.
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The Dawn Of Vegan Diabetes Management: A Few Surprising Findings

(Photo Credit: Red Dirt Ruminations)

(Photo Credit: Red Dirt Ruminations)

I am no hero–nor am I trying save the free animal world–but just a guy trying something out, just to be a little healthier, just to feel a little better. That’s always been my mantra when it comes to going plant-based (vegan). Right now, a day’s meals consisting of purely kale smoothies and kale chips works for me. Just kidding, I like to treat myself with cacao dusted goji berries when I really need a splurge.

Okay, in all seriousness and devoid of another vegan stereotype, it’s been an awesome journey over the past two years. I feel more connected to food’s power to energize. I understand more deeply the effects of various foods on my blood sugar. Yet, I’ll admit that no consideration was given to how it might affect my blood sugars, insulin levels, or diabetes in general. For those who know me this will come as no shock, I am firmly in the “not a planner” camp. I tend to take action and make diabetes adjustments on the fly. Does that always pan out for me? No, it does not (proof here).

So, when I jumped off the carnivore cliff and explored uncharted vegan territory, surprises were aplenty: Continue reading

How Going Vegan Changed My Type 1 Diabetic Life

Vegan Type 1 Diabetes

In one year, my life with type 1 diabetes changed in ways I never thought possible.

After 12 months of eating a plant-based diet, my insulin needs decreased by 50%. As a 24 year old with Type 1 diabetes, I injected on average 60 units of insulin per day. Now at 25, I dial up 30 units per day. While defying conventional wisdom, I achieved these results while doubling my carbohydrate intake – effectively increasing carbohydrate consumption from 100 to 200 grams per day.

For those not familiar with Type 1 diabetes, let me clarify. People with Type 1 diabetes make no insulin. Every carbohydrate I eat is compensated for with insulin. We with diabetes do not know why our pancreas went on permanent vacation, but it did. I can exercise, eat right, and meditate until the proverbial cows come home, and I will still be using insulin.

How then, can we explain that I am eating more carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes) but taking less insulin? Continue reading