In gearing up for this epic unicorn episode I sincerely reflected on the impact becoming a diabetes advocate has had on my life. Two of the first people I discovered were Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson. I had found my people! Reading their stories and watching them present at various conferences gave me the courage to “really” find my voice. The podcast and blog posts have lifted a huge weight, one I didn’t realize was there. I am truly blessed.
Today, January 7th, 2021 I celebrate my 29thyear on this beautiful planet and considering the current shit storm of world events and quarantine I would normally be sad, BUT connecting with my diapeeps every Thursday during the Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour has literally saved my life. I would love for you to join me tonight or any Thursday you are free to pop in between 5 – 6:15pm CST. Please be sure to register – CLICK HERE.
This birthday pic was taken three weeks before I was diagnosed with T1D and celebrating with other people who “get it” is a reminder – I am not alone and you don’t have to be either.
Dr. Allyson Hughes is a self-proclaimed animal lover, methodology geek and research scientist who collaborates with various industries to develop research projects from beginning to end, and advocates for health policy with the data she collects. Having been diagnosed with T1D herself, she knows all too well the struggles we face. This is what prompted her career path as a health psychologist dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
I’m a sucker for witty banter and was thrilled to connect with Jutta Haaramo, co-founder of the Happy Bob app, who has brought a bit of lightheartedness to managing her son’s life with T1D. Her mission is to share the latest diabetes data, without overloading people with information by making it a fun, and rewarding experience. This is just the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jutta and the Happy Bob app team. Continue reading →
Thankfully, many of us living with Type 1 diabetes have a supportive parent(s), but have we really taken time to think about how our diagnosis affected our loved ones. When Janet’s media kit fell on my desk, I knew I wanted to connect. Their story of strength and partnership as they navigated through this disease, both highs and lows, is a reminder – we are not alone. Continue reading →
With a little friendly stalking I had the pleasure of chatting with two incredibly inspirational industry leaders, and self proclaimed friendemies, Sean Saint and John Sjolund. Their drive to succeed and multiple success stories mirror my mission to help improve quality of life for all people living with diabetes. They are entertaining to say the least and had me laughing throughout the interview while giving me hope for the future of diabetes management. Continue reading →
TheReal Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The theme or activity has attendance growing because we have a TON of fun with folks who “get it”. This event is a great place to meet new people, connect with old friends and hopefully lift your spirits as you roll into the weekend.
Checkout a few fun pics below and be sure to click on the Happy Hour logo to register. Continue reading →
Can you imagine being diagnosed with T1D and five years later stating you’re in the best health of your life? In this episode, we’ll be learning more about my new friend from the land downunda’, Astra-Lia ‘Ozzy’ England. Several years ago, Ozzy would receive news from the doctor that would shake her world; a T1D diagnosis. In a matter of weeks, she went from living a relatively normal life (albeit with Celiac disease) to being put on insulin therapy. Her fiery personality and unapologetic curiosity about life with diabetes made her the perfect guest.
You don’t have to hide, let’s have the tough talks. In this episode you’ll learn why this is so important with guests Matt Tarro & Brandon Denson the Founders of Bolus Maximus. Matt and Brandon have created this community with a focus on filling a major void in the male community, the need for vulnerable connections for men dealing with diabetes. Both diagnosed at later ages, they know first hand how diabetes can get in the way of your goals and plans. Now they are on a passionate mission to help those grinding through this disease. Let’s jump right into their stories and start talking about some hard truths and good advice.
The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour has brought SO many interesting PWD together. We thoroughly enjoy basic pub talk, poking fun, cracking jokes, live music, embarrassing some of us crappy trivia lovers, etc. Recently I connected with a woman who wowed me with her written word skills.
* I feel confident you will enjoy this reading as much as we did. Continue reading →
The battle against diabetes doesn’t have to be done alone, we need community. That is the mindset of today’s guests (yes plural!) the Diabuddies App Founders, Amy, Sarah and Charlene. As we dive in, you’ll learn how these ladies’ experience with diabetes led them to create something ALL people living with diabetes can support. Continue reading →
I’ve hardcore quarantined since March and recently started to feel the impact it has on me mentally. I miss my friends, I miss strolling the aisles of Target, I miss spending too much time looking at fresh produce, I miss brunch and definitely miss happy hour at a local watering hole. As I shed tears writing this post, I thought – why not do something about it. Continue reading →
This impromptu episode was created to hopefully set your mind at ease. As PWDs are flooded with stories on social media concerning the fear of an insulin shortage or the disruption of diabetes supplies, I felt compelled to act. Even though most companies have issued statements reassuring people living with diabetes that everything would be okay, I wanted to hear it for myself from the company leaders. Continue reading →
I felt compelled to write this post after reading a NY Times article about pandemic mortality rates over the decades. In 1999, I gave myself a graduation present to visit a friend in Paris, France to celebrate the millennium. My family warned against the trip because of the uncertainty of Y2K, but that didn’t stop me. My friend was a nanny for the US Ambassador and I knew my time in France would not be the typical tourist adventure. I headed out with a HUGE backpack and cannot recall what diabetes supplies were on board. Continue reading →
I stumbled upon a YouTube channel, Between Two Lines, that was informative and hilarious at the same time. In each episode, Levi shares his down to earth thoughts on a particular Type 1 diabetes related subject using a real talk, no sugar coating, approach. His dry wit and ability to make light of what living with this disease is like had me laughing and saying – man this guy gets it. Continue reading →
The dust has settled and the Real Life Diabetes Consulting team is back at home and taken a moment to reflect on our visit to the JDRF TypeOneNation summit in St. Louis. I love chatting with this crew and thought it was time to recap our roller coaster of events in Missouri. We aren’t shy and touch on personal take aways, connecting with new diapeeps of all ages, and how we battled our own diabetes debacles on this trip. Real life! Continue reading →
As my Diaversary soon approaches, I take time to sit in silence and reflect on what I’ve learned, more specifically, in my diabetes world. New technology & pump therapies, apps, partnerships, #insulin4all campaigns, etc. have me a bit exhausted, but hopeful for the future. Below are a few 2019 highlights I would like to share.
Podcasts Released: 18 episodes found on various podcast platforms and HERE on the DDG podcast page. Continue reading →
The i2U Culinary Solutions motto is “Food is Medicine” and is comprised of a team of registered dietitians, certified personal trainers, and award-winning chefs all dedicated to bridging the gap between food and medicine. Use promo code, DIABETESGRIND, at checkout to receive a 10% discount on your first order.
I am wrapping up this decade with one last longepisode, but I promise, it is worth listening to the very end and entertaining if nothing else. The theme of this episode is knowing the difference between being a constant, and being a pest. Monica backs this motto by providing actionable items and tips to help us relinquish fear and get involved. Her demeanor is calm and her voice is soft, but her words are powerful and changing lives for all people living with diabetes. Continue reading →
Chris and his wife Candace are honest, vulnerable and a little sappy at times, but are the perfect reminder there are still good ones out there. You know, the ones who support you and your diabetes through the good, the bad and a serious hypo while educating their three kiddos along the way. Together, they resonate love, compassion and a supportive partnership and are role models for us all – diabetes or not. Continue reading →
After reading the Cali’flour Kitchen cookbook from cover to cover, I knew Amy Lacey would be the perfect guest to wrap up diabetes awareness month. Her desire to bring back dietary normalcy, especially her family’s pizza nights, after her auto immune diagnosis was the driving force behind Cali’flour Foods – the first cauliflower pizza crust. Her brand will bring pizza back into the lives of people like me, who live with Type 1 diabetes. Continue reading →
I was honored to be chosen as one of ten Patient Voice Contest winners for the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit. During the two day event, I was surrounded by industry leaders, tech gurus, genius creators of diabetes apps, and many fellow advocates. This Summit coalesced the mother lode of advancements in diabetes management, and a few of the brave souls in attendance took time to chat with me. Though our interviews were brief, each guest radiated an optimism and passion for helping to better the lives of those of us living with diabetes, and I hope their energy inspires you as well.
This globetrotting T1D just embarked on a 12-month remote year journey with a focus to reach one million people living with diabetes. Her candid approach, charismatic attitude, and ability to touch on hot topics will transform lives and prevent diabetes burnout. With 39 1/2 years of experience and a handful of degrees, Dr. Jody is an expert in all things diabetes making her the perfect guest.
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 →