Photo taken by Emily Tingley
I had such a great response to this post regarding my life with type 1 diabetes that I have decided to break up the questions I received into two separate posts. So here is part one!
How has eating Paleo affected your diabetes?
It has helped stabilize my blood sugars and my A1C is the best it has ever been since eating this way.
Do you keep a food diary and BG log? (this question came from a mom, whose 7 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with diabetes).
I have had diabetes for so long that I no longer do this, BUT it you are newly diagnosed this is is great way for you and your doctor to keep track of everything you are doing.
Do you snack?
Yes. I am a total snack-aholic. But I choose my snacks wisely. I snack on almonds, mixed nuts, baked cauliflower, turkey slices, green beans, avocado, cucumbers with hummus (hummus is not Paleo but I freakin love hummus) and celery with almond butter.
Do you have any specific recommendations for a pump?
I have a Paradigm Revel Insulin Pump from Medtronic. It is the only type of pump that I have ever used and I love it.
Do you wear your pump ALL the time - or are there moments you take it off and use injections (ex. exercising, swimming, etc...)
I take my pump off when I am exercisising as well as when I am swimming or at the beach.
Were you able to breast feed? I've heard that diabetics produce milk differently...
Yes I am able to breast feed and had no problems with either one of my sons. I did notice with both boys that in the beginning stages of nursing my blood sugar would go super low each time I nursed so I was constantly snacking in order to keep them stable. My body has now adjusted but that is something to keep in mind for first time nursing moms.
What other suggestions/recommendations do you have for someone wanting children and has Type 1 Diabetes (other than keeping my A1C under 7%, which I have been for a few years now). Anything you wished someone had told you?
Get ready to become military with your diet. Really try to not give into those foods that will spike your blood sugar. Remember that this short 9 months of pregnancy determines the rest of your future child's life. Eating a giant bag of M&Ms or wanting to binge on Taco Bell (those were my pregnancy cravings) might seem like a great idea at the moment but it's just not worth it to put your baby in danger by having high blood sugars. Secondly, be prepared to go through the hardest 9 months of your life in terms of diabetes management but know that all the sacrifices you make to stay healthy and all the extra testing and doctor's appointments (twice weekly) are all worth it once you see your perfect little baby in the end.
I was wondering if you would be willing to share your pregnancy journey with type 1 and what changes did you notice in your blood sugar control?
I would love to share my pregnancy journey! Since that is a story all on it's own I will save that for another post. During both pregnancies I noticed I became a lot more insulin resistant, especially in the beginning. The slightest change in my diet while pregnant would send my blood sugars into the high zone. I learned my lesson with the second pregnancy and stuck to the SAME thing every day diet, which was boring let me tell ya. I drank this smoothie every single morning and it really helped with the weird don phenomenon high blood sugar spike I saw a lot with the first pregnancy.
How do you manage your weight, specifically how you have lost weight while on insulin therapy? "As I'm sure you, and all the other ladies on here know, it's a difficult balancing act to workout, eat, and dose insulin! None of us are the same, but I'm interested in what has worked well for you."
There is no magic answer for this. I work my ass off. If I don't work out and eat right I gain weight and it all goes straight to my butt! I work out at the gym five days a week. I am a big runner and I also incorporate weight lifting into my workouts. I am also really really strict with what I eat and what has worked for me is to stay away from refined carbs and I avoid almost all dairy.
I'd love to hear about your fears and how you manage them. Also, how do you handle your diabetes care around your children...
One of my biggest fears is getting low and having a seizure while with my children and they don't know what to do and as a result something happens to them. I manage this fear by always being way over prepared wherever I go. I always have tons of juice boxes (in my purse, in my glove compartment, in my diaper bag, in my trunk etc...) and I never go anywhere without some source of sugar. I also have talked to Max extensively about how to tell someone I was diabetic if something was ever to happen. He can say perfectly, "Mommy has diabetes, and Mommy is low." It is SO important to teach your kids about diabetes if you have it. I struggled with this for a long time and did not want my children to ever feel "responsible" for me but I have realized how crucial it is to be real and open with them.
Could you please share your favorite resources related to diabetes and health?
Ah I wish I had a better answer for this but I really don't have any favorite resources. I do read TONS of health magazines and books but not ones that are specifically geared towards diabetes.
Would you put your child on the same diet as you (Paleo) if he had T1D?
It has always been a challenge for me to find the motivation to work out. Do you have any tips in that area?
Find some kind of physical activity that you enjoy and just do it. If you are not a gym person try walking around the neighborhood with your friends, taking up a dance class, attempt home workout videos or join your local rec center and swim. You will feel so much better mentally and physically if you find the time to exercise.
Thank you to all who left great questions! If you left a question that was not yet answered be sure to check back on part two.