Type 1 Diabetes? 3 Must Read Books for Better Blood Sugar Management.

Because type 1 diabetes won’t manage itself.

My four-year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 12/27/2017. The first month after diagnosis was a complete blur of finger pokes, insulin injections, food weighing and carb counting…and crying and eating pie on the couch after my son fell asleep. Let’s just say I was not at my best. After about a month of tears in my eyes and head in a fog, I needed some semblance of control in a new world that felt completely overwhelming. How do you even start to manage type 1 diabetes?

Clearly, I didn’t have any answers. But, like everything in life Google usually gives me a starting point. Google pointed me to Facebook where I joined every T1D group possible and began to connect with other T1D mamas. I started reading post after post occasionally coming across a book recommendation. Soon after I began compiling a list of every recommended T1D read…and then ordered every single book.

The second the shipment of books arrived at my doorstep I started to read and read and read. Every morning I read through as many pages as humanly possible while my toddler happily watched Moana on my lap and my T1D kiddo was sound asleep. I poured through each book, highlighting relevant information and folding page corners for future reference. You see, my personality craves control and one of the hardest attributes of type 1 diabetes is that it can feel uncontrollable.

I’ll never forget the very first book I read and will be forever grateful. This book gave me practical, hands-on information for the basic steps to start understanding the correlation between blood sugar and food. Even more, it helped guide me through the process of making small adjustments to I:C (insulin to carb) and ISF (insulin sensitivity factor) ratios that can make a big difference. And if ever there was a book title that perfectly encapsulated the subject matter of the book, well let’s just say this title would win an award.

>>Dear readers, this is not medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your routine or ratios as related to your diabetes management.<<

Your Diabetes Science Experiment by Ginger Vieira

Your Diabetes Science Experiment by Ginger Vieira

This book taught me many things, so let me share my biggest take-aways.

  • It gave me confidence to try making small ratio adjustments based on blood sugar experiments. I went from a deer in the headlights at the hospital during diagnosis to having confidence to successfully adjust ratios on my own.
  • This book gave me a general outline of how to record data points and connect the dots to know which changes worked or what to try next time. It is methodical and laid out in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Even more important, this book gave me a beginning base of knowledge to draw upon when I happened upon my next favorite book type one book.

Sugar Surfing by Stephen W. Ponder, MD, FAAP, CDE

Sugar Surfing by Stephen W. Ponder, MD, FAAP, CDE

Let me count the ways that I love this book.

  • First, it is written by a pediatric endocrinologist…who has type 1 diabetes! This doctor gets it because he lives with it…(insert mic drop emoji here).
  • Second, this book lets you choose what lifestyle works for your family. There is zero judgement whether you prefer to go the low-carb route, the we-eat-every-carb route or some lifestyle in-between. He believes you choose the lifestyle and you can best manage your diabetes.
  • Third, this book opens your mind to the possibility of dynamic diabetes management. Dynamic WHAT?! I had no idea what this was either. In a nutshell, it means managing your diabetes based on the present moment and recent trends instead of using a static (non-changing) ratio prescribed months ago.
  • Fourth, this book provides various methods to manage blood sugar. Some of these methods are for beginners and some are more advanced, so it meets you where you are on your blood sugar journey and gives you room to improve when you are ready.

With this book, you can start BIG or start small depending on your comfort level. As the mom of a newly diagnosed four year old, let me tell you I started SLOW and SMALL. But I started nonetheless and I will always be grateful for Dr. Ponder’s approach to T1D management.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the last 90 days? Click here to claim your FREE copy of Sugar Surfing!!

Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

This book is PACKED with knowledge and definitely make this your third read. It is heavy on the math and heavy on information. This is one of the books that you read and set down. You pick back up a few weeks later to read and digest again. You go back to the book for reference when something unexpected pops up along your blood sugar journey that you need to solve. It will be an entirely overwhelming read if you were diagnosed yesterday or last week or last month, so take your time and build your basic foundation of knowledge, so then you will be ready to think like a pancreas. This book is actually on my 2019 reading list…again…because it is time for me to revisit this book and digest…again. Will you join me and we can read along together?

These are my three favorite type 1 diabetes reads. Do you have any books that changed your management style or that you love in general? Drop me a comment because I would love to read your favorite T1D books too! Keep at it…hang in there…just breathe…you got this…

5 Grab-and-Go, Low Carb Snack Ideas

Because sometimes you are on the run and need a snack.

P.S. Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links. Know that I support these products because I believe in their quality and use them…not because I earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure for more details.

I never really thought much about low-carb snacking versus high-carb snacking before type 1 diabetes entered our lives. Of course, I knew eating carrot sticks was a healthier food choice then let’s say fruit snacks or chocolate chip cookies, but I’ve really upped my family’s low-carb snacking game since 2017. Here are my favorite low-carb snack ideas that both my T1D and non-T1D enjoy.

Organic Seaweed Snacks

My childhood snacking habits are a polar opposite compared to what my children eat…and I am so thankful for that. I was totally munching on some Cool Ranch Doritos and my kids are loving some Sea Salt Seaweed. Patting myself on the back right now for the parenting win. Some brands can have a strong seaweed taste and odor, but we love GimMe Organic Seaweed because of its mild taste and variety of flavor options from sea salt to wasabi to teriyaki. TIP: If your kid is a seaweed fanatic, you can buy GimMe Organic Seaweed snack packs in bulk on Amazon. I just scored a 20-pack which works out to $0.67/ package versus at our local grocer for $1.23/package. That is a savings of $11.01!

Seaweed snacks are a tasty low-carb treat for snacking on the go with kids.

Duke’s Original Shorty Sausages

I think my household contributes a good deal to their bottom line considering we eat our way through 3-4 bags every single month. These are the best snacks to tide over a hungry tummy until meal-time and they only have one carb for two “shorties”. Each serving contains 7g of protein and only 1g of sugar. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find jerky with minimally added sugar. Not to mention, this snack is so tasty! Also, if you accidentally leave them out and they harden, just slice them up and feed them to your dog as occasional treats. Zero food waste. We usually pick up a few bags of Duke’s from Costco or check them out here. 

Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages are an awesome low carb snack for adults, kids and type 1 diabetes.

Shelled Pistachios

Why should pistachios be your new favorite snack? So. Many. Reasons. Did you know pistachios are…

  • Packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are important for growing (and older) brains
  • Loaded with the mineral phosphorus that produces energy and strengthens bones
  • A source of vitamin B6 that may improve cardiovascular health
  • An excellent source of antioxidants
  • A rich source of protein

Approximately 1 ounce of shelled pistachios equals 9g of carbs and contains 6g of protein. I usually feed my kids about half an ounce (5g carbs) and it still adds up to approximately 25 shelled pistachios. To them, it feels like a fun and filling snack. (TIP: If you’re snacker is older, buy pistachios with the shells. The time it takes to crack open the shell will slow them down and make the snack last longer.) You can usually buy these in bulk at your local grocer, Costco or check them out here.

Easy, Low-carb snack ideas for when you are on the go and want to eat healthy

Wella Bars

Oh my deliciousness! These aren’t necessarily low-carb…BUT, since the main ingredients are either almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts these bars tend to have a steadier effect on blood sugar instead of a sharp spike. They are tasty as a quick breakfast or as a side to a meal or even a bedtime snack. You can’t go wrong with Wella Bars. My kids love the Almond Cacao and Hazelnut Cacao flavors the most. Wella bars can sometimes be found at your local grocer. Costco usually carries a three-flavor variety pack (Cranberry Crunch, Awesome Almond, Powerful Peanut). Or you can order any combination of boxes directly through Wella Bar. If you sign up for automatic shipments you save 5% OR save 10% on your first order. (T1D Tip: I absolutely dose insulin for these snacks, but I halve the carb count when dosing. Safely experiment and see what works for you.)

Wella Bars are an awesome on the go, low carb snack for kids and adults.

Two Good Greek Low Fat Yogurt

Y’all…this yogurt ONLY HAS 2g OF SUGAR! If you have ever checked the sugar content of yogurt, then you are amazed right now. Let me brag on this yogurt even more because it deserves the accolades. Two Good yogurt…

  • Contains 3g of carbs and 12g of protein per serving
  • Is Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Tastes delicious and comes in 5 flavors: blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, peach and mixed berry

This yogurt is hands-down delicious! My kids are super fans and I feel good about feeding it to them because IT ONLY HAS 2g OF SUGAR. I have stashed plastic spoons in my purse and my car, so we are always ready for some yogurt when the mood strikes. So far, I have only been able to find Two Good at my local Target. If you want to save serious money, join Ibotta and receive a $20 welcome bonus AND $0.50 back on each Two Good Yogurt purchase (limit 5). (T1D Tip: We have found this to be a great protein option to help blunt a blood sugar spike before eating carbs. It is considered a low-glycemic food and scores a 34 on the glycemic index.)

So, what are YOUR favorite low-carb snacks? Let me know because we are always looking for more healthy snack ideas!

Easy, low-carb snack ideas for when you are on the go and want something healthy.

18 Type 1 Diabetes Supplies to Never Leave Home Without

Because it’s not a question of if…but when.

The first few days after a type one diagnosis are a blur. There is so much information coming your way…and it’s all life or death…literally. As soon as you are discharged, you return to your house with an armful of type 1 diabetes supplies that you need ALL THE TIME. The first time you leave the house post-diagnosis can feel similar to the first time your leave the house with a newborn baby…SO MUCH STUFF! I didn’t exactly know what emergency supplies I should bring, so I brought it all. Over time, I slowly started to figure out which supplies we actually needed, added a few supplies that I didn’t realize we might need and eventually streamlined our type 1 emergency gear game. In case you are new to type 1 or just looking to double check your supply list here is what works for us.

>>Just so you know…Some of my posts might contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I support these products because I use them and I believe in their quality. See my disclosure for more details.<<

Type 1 Diabetes Supply Case

Diabet-ezy Multi-Fit Case for Type 1 Diabetes Emergency Organization

There are thousands of bags, cases, and carriers marketed for type one diabetes supplies. Some are cute, some not so much, some are economical, some not so much. The Diabet-ezy Multi-Fit Case was our first and still is our most favorite case to date. It comes in classic colors and is built to last. If you are looking to upgrade your gear, I highly recommend this case. I promise you will not regret it!

What Do I Love About This Case?

  • I love all the pockets for organization according to your needs. (T1D Tip: I use the test-wipes box as a mini-trash can for lancets and used test strips.)
  • I love that this case can hold everything! This case can fit all our supplies and all our low snacks in a single case. Why is this so amazing? If my husband takes our T1D kiddo out for the day, he simply needs to grab this case from my bag and everything he needs is right there. That means I don’t have to double-check his packing, he doesn’t need to repack or remember more than one bag. It’s just grab, transfer and go!
  • I love that this case is high quality. It is so well-made. I can easily see this case lasting us for years to come as there is not a single sign of wear and tear after a year of everyday use.

What Should You Pack?

You have your favorite case in hand…now what? More important than the case is what you pack inside that life-saving case. Here is what we carry with us everyday and everywhere.

  • Glucagon – We all hope we never need this.
  • SyringesThese are needed whether you are MDI or not. Syringes can be used to draw insulin from a failed pump if needed. They can also be used to give a mini-glucagon injection if needed.
  • Fast-Acting Carbs – Items such as glucose gel, honey sticks (our fave), juice, jellybeans, skittles, gummy bears, etc.
  • Protein + Carb Snack – Items such as Lara Bars (our fave), granola, PB/ cheese crackers to help stabilize blood sugar or in the case you utilize Glucagon and need to get some protein + carbs in your belly.
  • Urine Test Strips – Just in case you suspect ketones while on the go.
  • Blood Glucose Test Strips – Make sure you aren’t running low on strips before leaving the house.
  • Glucose Meter – For all that fun blood sugar testing.
  • Poker – You know why.
  • Lancets – Change your lancet. Just do it.
  • Insulin – Don’t leave home without it.
  • Needle Clipper – Don’t want to carry a sharps container? adhesive remover wipes, skin prep wipes, alcohol wipes, Skintac wipes and adhesive patches for CGM and pump all stored in a ziplock bag for a CGM/ pump change on the go.
  • Pump Supplies – Items such as infusion sets, extra Omnipods, tubing, etc.
  • Anti-Nausea Meds – Some doctors will prescribe this and others refuse. We carry these in case our son starts throwing up away from home, so we can quickly (hopefully) get a handle on nausea before it becomes a bigger issue. (NOTE: Always check ketones every two hours and contact your endo since anti-nausea meds can mask symptoms of DKA.)
  • Control Solution – I rarely use this to check our glucose meter, but I am of the mindset to control what you can control and this is why it is part of our supply bag.

So, has this list been helpful to you? Did I miss anything that you ALWAYS carry in your emergency case? What is your favorite emergency case for diabetes organization?

Type 1 Diabetes

It’s not the same as type 2 diabetes.

I’ll describe a type 1 diabetes diagnosis in two words…WORLD. ROCKED. If you are a fellow T1D mama…Hi. I see you and you are doing a great job. You’ve got this. You really do. If you are a friend or family member of a type 1…thank you for trying. Type 1 is hard to understand if you don’t live with it daily, but you have no idea how much it means that you are present and learning. Please keep at it because we need you and we need support.

Here you will find everything related to type 1 diabetes. Our bright spots and our landmines, organization tips and tricks, books to read, T1D news, advocacy opportunities…anything and all things type 1 because it’s basically on our minds 24/7 anyway.