It is always a pleasure to connect with fellow diabetes advocates, Rev Run and Justine Simmons. They radiate positive energy and had me laughing with their ability to call each out when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. There is no doubt, their passion to rewrite their family history with Type 2 diabetes is contagious and the Simmons kids are teaching them a thing or two.
It was just by chance our paths would cross at a T1D kiddo and parent support group. I rarely attend and Rebecca and her husband James were guests that evening. When we split off into another room, Rebecca shared her heartfelt story to the parents and there was not a dry eye in the room. For many of us who have lived with T1D for decades, sharing the impact this disease has on our state of mind can be difficult to recollect, much less share. Rebecca found the courage and is turning a life altering experience into a philanthropic dream.
Last December, Anne came to the rescue, offering help during my insulin crisis while in San Antonio, Texas. She, like many people in the DOC (diabetes online community) stayed in contact with me while I resolved the problem. She is a leader in the diabetes community and her wealth of knowledge has helped so many T1Ds and their families.
Traveling through multiple time zones with diabetes while being sedentary on the plane can be a lot to handle, but it didn’t keep Drew from his 12 month adventure across the globe. In this episode, he shares his mis-diagnosis, transitioning into life with T1D as a young adult, his love of circus acrobatics and lessons learned while traveling abroad. He is truly an inspiration to all people living with this disease and his laid back personality is warm and welcoming.
Recently, Mayor David Holt declared a pride week in my home town of Oklahoma City. It made me think – do I know any LGBTQ T1Ds? Yep, and not only is she my friend, she is one of the only people I know that has had diabetes as long as I have – hence the title – T1D dinosaurs. We are a rare breed and it was thrilling to sit with Bonnie and share what life was like 35+ years ago growing up with this disease. Bonnie and Jennifer did a fabulous job sharing how managing diabetes is sometimes a group effort.
I’ve been preparing this heartfelt episode for quite some time, and after months of research and polling friends & family, I am thrilled to announce Patreon, a phenomenal and trusted membership platform. All of the Real Life Diabetes podcast episodes will remain free, but members will receive perks. There are five tiers – all of which are affordable so I hope you will take a moment to check it out.
I’m packing up the Subaru and heading to Joplin, Missouri to attend the Stick It To Diabetes fundraiser hosted my the Mercy Foundation. What better way to bring PWD together than a happy hour? Continue reading →
I take pride in being a friendly stalker and scored an impromptu interview with American Idol super star and fellow Type 1, Crystal Bowersox while she was traveling through Oklahoma City. Her show was killer and I shared the evening with dear friends (Erik & Teneka). We sang together, enjoyed pizza and clinked glasses while sharing diabetes hacks. Crystal’s scrappy, no bullshit attitude made her the perfect guest.
I’m hitting the road and heading to Arkansas! It has been ages since I’ve hosted a Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour, but after being contacted by a fellow T1D – I’m packing up the Subaru and heading North. This event brings ALL people living with diabetes and their families together to be surrounded by folks who “get it“. Please join me Thursday, April 11th from 5-7:30pm at The Holler located at 801 SE 8th Street in Bentonville, Arkansas.
This fearless forty something T1D does an incredible job of sharing her story. Cynthia is a T1D veteran who has challenged and/or been fired by an endo. or two, faced diabulimia head on, fearlessly experimented with the newest medications on the market and laughed at the thought of being a high risk, geriatric pregnancy. Continue reading →
While on the road with the Real Life Diabetes podcast in Scottsdale, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paloma Kemak (aka Glitter Glucose). Her story is very different from mine, but her diagnosis and overall mindset is entertaining and up-lifting. Paloma’s energy and ability to laugh while sharing her story is contagious and inspiring to PWDs from across the globe.
The Diabetes Daily Grind and Real Life Diabetes podcast is growing and in order to do so, we need help. We’re pursuing every avenue possible and hope you will take time each day to vote until April 1, 2019. CLICK on the link below to vote and please share with the world!
After a tip from my sister and a little friendly stalking, I scored a killer interview with CNN Heroes award recipient, Maria Rose Belding. Above and beyond her work providing food for people in need, she is surpassing her goals while juggling life with Type 1 diabetes. In this episode she shares her passion to serve others while not letting T1D slow her down. Continue reading →
Kate Hall, is like many of us in the diabetes community – unstoppable and she decided early on that Type 1 diabetes won’t keep her from pursuing her dreams. She is an inspiration to us all and does a phenomenal job sharing her story on the road to becoming a 2020 Olympian.
Enthusiasm and authenticity are contagious. In just an hour of speaking with Daniele, we caught the wave of passion toward bettering our own diabetes management. Her own transformation–a completely authentic one driven by her own T1D experience–gives her a platform to coach from the heart. She gets the pitfalls. She understands the road to success. She has a balanced approach based upon a Nutritional Science degree, Personal Training certification, and 1000 hours of psychology training. A conversation centered on how to craft an optimal attitude toward new habits, this podcast serves as the perfect launch into 2018. And, as no surprise to anyone, moments of ridiculousness and laughter are plentiful.
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
Whether you view dating as an enticing, fun experience or there’s nothing more you’d rather run and hide from, diabetes may be one extra thing to consider (and it’s important that you do)! As a young adult who has lived with type one her whole life, albeit minus 4 years, there are many questions I ask myself when it comes to dating:
When/How do I tell them about my diabetes?
What if there’s an emergency and they don’t know I have diabetes?
Happy National Diabetes Awareness Month! What better topic to write about than the impact the diabetes online community (#DOC) has had on my life. In previous posts, it was made clear time and time again how I did not fully appreciate the value of this random group of souls until I tapped in – I mean jumped into everyone’s lives. It was SO weird to be welcomed with open arms from folks I’d never met. Continue reading →
When I received my invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, it included a primer on life in Ukraine, with general information on history, geography, transportation, culture and a small section on food. It should come as no surprise to other PWD, but I have a sometimes wonderful and sometimes dangerous relationship with food. The information shared they’re heavy on meat and vegetables, with seasonal access to produce, and the majority of grocery shopping is done in open air bazaars and small shops. This was helpful, but didn’t minimize my anxiety when it came to carbohydrate counting or questions about glucose tab availability. Continue reading →
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”. Continue reading →
The DDG set out for their very FIRST diabetes camp adventure (despite only being 24 hours in duration, it still felt like an adventure). Really, with over 50 years of diabetes experience under their belts, what more was left to learn at camp? As Advisory Board Members for Camp Blue Hawk in Oklahoma City, Amber and Ryan went to school… well, summer school for a few more diabetes enlightenments.
The DDG culinary partners in crime came together, but this time, we didn’t have a recipe or theme for that matter. The only plan of action – clean out the fridge. We’re rule breakers or makers so there’s no right or wrong way to whip things together to create a KILLER brunch. Below is a recap of how we made it happen.
Step 1: Clean out your fridge – that means EVERYTHING. We gathered fruit, various cheeses, carrots, onions, garlic (lots of it), tomatillos, tomatoes, shallots, squash and shrooms. Continue reading →
Can you believe it’s (only) been two years since we aimed to inspire the best diabetes life? We’re just getting started! We have oodles of creative content coming and could use your help to kick it out. If you’re in a place to throw a little change our way to keep the lights on, click HERE. Or… just like us on Facebook and invite a few friends. Or… just bookmark this link and click it before you shop on Amazon.
Much love to everyone. Cheers to the highs and lows.
Ryan trying to figure out how that whole lancet changing thing works.
I just returned home from the largest diabetes gathering I’ve attended to date, the Friends For Life conference. I had no idea what to expect and felt overwhelmed at times because I was surrounded by SO many PWDs. I laughed and cried during my interactions with folks who understand the path I’m on. While in such great company, I gathered data (sipping wine and sharing stories) on commonalities and lifestyle hacks to make life with T1D easier. I’ll share a few of them in a future post – BUT there was one thing that was very clear – NO ONE changes their lancet. Why is this? Are we stubborn, lazy or just gluttons for punishment? Well, I’ve developed a plan I hope you will participate in… Continue reading →
One of the biggest challenges I face as a T1D is tackling foreign foods. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely shy away from an unfamiliar dish, but guessitmating the carbs can be difficult. One dish in particular I’m drawn to is curry so what better way to update my carb calculating skills than by preparing this heavenly dish myself. I rallied my culinary partners in crime and whipped up a recipe with a few diabetes friendlier options.
This recipe might seem intimidating, but don’t let the number of ingredients freak you out. I’m breaking it down into three easy steps. Continue reading →
Just another day in the single life… blind date #1 only made it to date four. Fortunately, the dating gods were in my favor and blind date #2 was just around the corner. In our initial meeting at a concert (not a good idea), the getting to know you chit chat led to what I do for a living. I gave him the cliff notes version of the Diabetes Daily Grind and it only took a matter of seconds before he said, “my uncle died from diabetes complications“. Strike 1, right? Continue reading →
I’m settling into my life with diabetes and ultimately, the whole experience has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, there are a few pretty annoying aspects of everything. I’ve decided to make a list:
The Bag: I left the hospital with the most hideous bag I’ve ever seen to carry my supplies. It was a smushed cheap camouflage lunch box. Seriously. I had to be seen at Panera with that thing. Short-term, I bought a black make-up bag from CVS. I was surprised when I found some great bags online made specifically for carrying diabetes supplies. I got mine from this SITE and love it.
Over the time we’ve been dating, I’ve started to recognize when Liam gets low. He gets giggly and can’t speak and if he’s asleep, he doesn’t wake up. It’s becoming easier to catch the lows and they’re easy to deal with if we have sugar that is easily accessible. Liam always carries dextrose tablets with him so finding fast acting sugar is never a challenge. One of the scariest lows I’ve had to deal with was during our first year’s round of final exams. Continue reading →
Novo Nordisk was kind enough to invite me to join them in cheering on T1D and Indy race car driver, Charlie Kimball in the Phoenix Grand Prix. Upon receiving my itinerary, it was clear to be a whirlwind of a weekend. After three full days of lively, diabetes themed discussions, I prepared to head home. For 48+ hours, I had been fueled by adrenaline, insulin and red wine. My diabetes game plan going into the weekend – adjust Lantus injection to the different time zone, do my best to pursue healthy food options and have fun no matter what the circumstances. Continue reading →
I’ve never been a dater so the recent wave of blind dates catapulted me out of my comfort zone. Like most people, I had the first date jitters. What am I going to wear? Hair up or down? Can I curse? Normal thoughts, right? Then it dawned on me – at some point diabetes will be a topic of discussion and what did I really want to share on a first date?
Cooking adventures with friends fuel my fire to pursue healthier options when meal planning for the week. While discussing our next culinary adventure, my friend mentioned Shakshuka. I know what you’re thinking – I can’t even pronounce this so how in the hell am I going to prepare it? Shakshuka is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. – are you salivating yet? After binge reading recipes, we gathered with tons of ingredients and the desire to create our own spin on this traditional dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
A year ago I joined the Bourbonettes, a wonderful group of educated, savvy women who come together to enjoy this delightful libation. A pairing of Girl Scout cookies and various labels of bourbon kicked off my inaugural Bourbonette adventure. Even though I was excited to attend, I didn’t partake. My T1D fears took over. I was nervous, didn’t really know anyone and had no desire to attempt carb counting with the fear of miscalculating and being a shitshow. Lame!
Last week the gracious hostess presented a fruit adorned Fancy Free. My immediate thought – do I take the leap of carb counting/alcohol consumption faith and join in? Continue reading →
I came across an article about famous folks who are fellow passengers on the T1D train. The story focused on their diagnosis and raising $$$ for ? charity. Kudos for using fame to increase funding and awareness! As I wrapped up the article, my mind wandered… If given the chance to sit across from a T1D celeb, what would I want to know about their “real life”?
Halle Berry – Actress
Do you pick up your own prescriptions? Does your make-up artist cover up bruises from shots? Any suggestions on the best cover-up for this?
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! Continue reading →
Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter are all the same to me – a candy driven holiday. You can’t go into a store or even the pharmacy for that matter without being bombarded with isles and isles of candy. Growing up with T1D, this isle was torture! I didn’t really care about the candy, but I “had” to refrain which made me feel isolated from my peers. Well, I’ve changed my tune and created a list of ideas and tips PWDs can appreciate… and it includes chocolate.
Unique Gift Ideas:
Purchase a T1Dexposed Calendar – The Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project was created to promote awareness, connect people living with T1D, and fundraise for both local and global diabetes organizations.
My nephew Greg (aka Grandpa Henry) is headed back to Cali after a lengthy visit to Oklahoma. This trip was a bit different than years past because he’s old enough to ask questions – Real Questions. He no longer holds back pointing out bald people in the grocery store or asking awkward questions about a person’s physique at inappropriate times. During this particular visit, it was clear he needed answers. Why was I pricking my finger? Does it hurt? Why do I give shots? This short video documents one of MANY conversations I had with him and made me think – how do you discuss diabetes with a child?
The DiabetesDailyGrind.com wants to share an hour of good times with fellow people with diabetes, their loved ones and parents of T1D children. We won’t be sharing research or promises of a cure, just celebrating together as we all live the real life.
This inaugural event will also celebrate DDG co-founder, Amber’s 32nd Diaversary!!!! Continue reading →
Woohoo – We made it to 2016! In the days prior to popping a cork and celebrating an epic 2015, I took time to reflect. What did 2015 bring to the table? What lessons did I learn or refuse to address? What literature had an impact? What lifestyle choices moved me forward? My preferred form of geeking out is definitely documentary films and three particular films made quite the impact on my dietary choices (thus my diabetes management) and overall mental state when it comes to what I put in my body.
THAT SUGAR FILM – One man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. CLICK HERE to watch the trailer.
We all want to ring in the New Year with style. Pop bottles. Watch the ball drop. Kiss a stranger. These are not recommendations, just possibilities. There’s only one way to keep these option available–control the glucose. So, how do we do set ourselves up to enjoy the biggest celebration of the year?
It all starts with knowing where we’re at to start the night. Always, my goal is to keep my blood sugar in a place where I can be present and mindful of my choices. If you go into the evening in your range, this gives us the opportunity to actively make choices: Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I made a pact – I would say YES to everything. Not to cocaine or anything crazy, just to social events. For the most part it has been a pleasant, yet exhausting adventure. I’ve attended cocktail parties, happy hours, birthdays and way TOO many holiday shindigs. It’s crazy what conversations come up once I started talking about living with T1D. My friends had no idea I had to worry about anything other than over consuming on the booze as they were in the same boat.
As I entered my dear friend’s home, the first words from her mouth were, “I don’t think you can eat anything we’re serving so I fixed a spinach salad for you and it’s in the fridge“. Continue reading →
A Little History About How We Met… Liam and I met during our first year at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada as we lived in the same residence building and were part of a pretty tight knit group of friends. The very first time I spoke to Liam was during our frosh week. He was about to run a bouncy castle obstacle course race and I was behind him in the lineup. He jumped into the obstacle course and had been gone for a couple minutes. Our crew began to question why he was gone so long because the obstacle was only supposed to last about 30 seconds. Just then, Liam walked around from the back of the obstacle course (the end of the course was actually at the front) and looked very disoriented and upset. His upper lip was incredibly swollen and cut up and he was complaining of neck pain. He had jumped out of the back of the bouncy castle and landed face first onto the ground.
An Introduction To Diabetes: The next morning in the cafeteria, the first words I EVER said to Liam were “merry Christmas fat lip” because his lip was still swollen from face planting the night before and was wearing a red and green outfit. He was embarrassed, but loved the silliness of my comment and we became very close after that. From the beginning, I had no idea Liam had diabetes. He hid his pump under his shirt and never tested his blood or changed his pump sites around me. Diabetes never held him back from being athletic and energetic so I never suspected this young crazy teenage boy actually had an autoimmune disease.
A couple weeks into university I asked Liam what he was allergic to, after noticing he was wearing a medic alert bracelet. He laughed and said he was allergic to sugar, or a type 1 diabetic. I wasn’t really sure what this meant. I only knew one other PWD, my aunt who was recently diagnosed. I didn’t know Liam all that well at that point and wasn’t comfortable asking him tons of questions about diabetes. I was nervous, didn’t want to sound dumb, worried I would embarrass or upset him. I never thought any less of Liam or that he was fragile or weak because of diabetes. It didn’t change my view on him whatsoever. He was still silly, loud and had an endless amount of energy so I didn’t think diabetes could be that serious of an illness. His explanation was so brief and nonchalant, which helped to show me that it wasn’t something that would stop him from living properly in any way. Discovering Liam has T1D encouraged me to learn more about diabetes and how I could help him. I did most of my learning through asking questions and he was very open about it.
This is something I believe no type 1 should be afraid to do. Asking questions and being open to answering questions spreads knowledge and curbs incorrect and therefore annoying assumptions about type 1.
PWDs are constantly juggling the lows and highs of this disease. As Amber and Ryan look back at posts from DDG’s past – low BG was a common theme. We hope you enjoy our top three Low BG posts for 2015 as much we did writing them.
I’m NOT a parent and after my behavior today, it might be a good thing. My sister and nephew are in town and I made a point to have quality one-on-one time with Greg (a.k.a Grandpa Henry). GP Henry is four and 100% boy – fearless, somewhat stubborn and off the charts a cutie pie. We like to sing songs, eat vitamin C organic lollipops and solve the world’s problems. CLICK HERE to read more.
Over drinks with T1D friends one night, we (Kat and Tara) were talking about fundraising ideas to support our beloved diabetes camp (where we had met the summer before), and other amazing diabetes non-profits. It can be so hard to ask friends and family for money all the time when there are so many worthy causes. We laughed about how ridiculous it would be to start a T1D nude calendar. We kept joking about it, then seriously talking about it, and decided we had to make it happen.
What started off as a joke between friends turned into something beautiful as we recruited people to participate in the project. It is interesting to us that diabetes is often called an invisible disease. Sometimes it feels anything but invisible with the bumps and bruises, scar tissue and patches of sticky adhesive residue, gadgets and tubing, and constant beeping. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Diabetes can definitely leave its mark on your body, and we feel this is especially apparent when naked. During their photo shoots, T1Ds shared stories of struggle and acceptance, of eating disorders and complications, and also of finding peace.
There was a lot of laughing and a lot of crying. The love for bodies and all their amazing abilities, and the exasperation of living with a chronically ill body that requires so much mental attention to keep alive really resonated with us. It’s about acknowledging the struggle and changes to your life and body while celebrating your existence and abilities. The calendar reminds us to practice gratitude for all the amazing things are bodies are able to accomplish each day with insulin.
I’m always down for a road trip so when I was invited to Austin to share Thanksgiving with new friends, I starting packing my bags. I met Lisa and her family in Hawaii and spent a number of evenings with the Thomas family. I even attended her daughter’s wedding, so driving a few hours for Thanksgiving was a no-brainer.
As the departure date approached, I felt the anxiety creep in. I was excited to see everyone, but nervous to spend 72 hours in someone’s home I barely knew. We had discussed my diabetes so they were familiar with me testing my BG and shooting up, but a wave of insecurity came over me.
Soups and stews are a year-round favorite of mine, and not surprisingly, they become my staple during the cooler months. My current MO is to daydream a healthy concoction (a lot of garlic was on the list to boost the immune system and protect against colds, which tend to show up this time of year), and then do a little research to see if anyone else has done something similar. Pureed cauliflower (especially low carb, given that soups can be high carb) seemed like a mellow but healthy and hearty backdrop for the garlic. So with those criteria in mind… Continue reading →
This is not an advice column. It is the opposite. If you, like the DiabetesDailyGrind, want to make the most of your Thanksgiving with friends and family, avoid the following seven diabetes-related behaviors:
1) Be the high school hero during the annual family football game.
After scoring every touchdown, making every tackle, and breaking your niece’s collarbone, your family will most likely say “See you next year” and you’ll be low.
2) Join spirited conversations over the Middle East or Donald Trump.
3) Flip a family member the bird, storm out of the house, and peel out of the driveway, after losing a third game of Uno in a row. Two hours later, your blood sugar has spiked because of the stressful exit.
This is a different subject matter than the aforementioned methods, with it probably standing on loftier moral ground. Brittany got the dating ball rolling earlier in the week, and lately I’ve been pondering this very concept as I traverse the first few weeks of getting to know someone I really like, while not really knowing how much they’re into me, knowing that I’m into them, guessing she’s kinda into me because we definitely wouldn’t be spending this much time together if not, but all the while just ‘playing it cool’. As unnecessarily complex as that last sentence sounds, the diabetes intro is simpler… or it should be. Continue reading →
The DDG recently jumped on the opportunity to record a live podcast at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s Connect+Cure Gala. After months of planning, the day finally arrived. My four outfit choices were back from the cleaners, I had the perfect shoes and my checklist was complete. The average person (someone without diabetes) would be in good shape with the exception of performance jitters, but the T1D planner in me had a few other things to consider.
Ryan and I chatted the night before the event, double checking the details. As we wrapped up our rambling the conversation moved to handling a low BG during the podcast. We both agreed, the show must go on and were prepared to handle any diabetes mishap. Continue reading →