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Replacing Coffee with La Croix

If you know anything about me, you know that I love coffee. I love coffee too much. I’ll drink it from McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or my favorite, local coffee shops, especially a cold brew. I used to drink a lot more coffee. Like, a lot more. But, my doctor scared me enough to realize that I was drinking too much coffee and I needed to cut back a bit.

I started to cut out my afternoon coffee, but I still needed the caffeine, so I was drinking a soda. The soda I was also trying to cut out because I was trying to lose weight. And I don’t care what studies say on either side of it, when I drink diet soda, it makes me gain weight, bottom line.

I needed an alternative.

I love water, and I drink a lot of water, but I needed something “special.”

Well, just as I was going through this time period of figuring out what I could substitute the afternoon soda with, I was walking through the grocery store and I saw it. There it was. On sale. BOGO. Buy One Get One Free.

La Croix sparkling water has replaced my afternoon coffee and changed my life! Click To Tweet

La Croix, Naturally Essenced Sparkling Water

I put it in the fridge and got it nice and cold and….. “EWWW” this stuff is disgusting. It was like I was expecting something super sweet like soda because it was carbonated, but it didn’t give me that flavor.

But then, I stuck with it. And now… you can’t separate me from my La Croix. I am now drinking 1-2 cans of La Croix everyday and I love the taste. I love the flavors that they offer.

And most importantly, it has replaced my afternoon soda, which replaced my afternoon coffee. I am not getting the caffeine that I needed, but giving myself the caffeine was just putting a band-aid on the wound, it wasn’t actually fixing the problem, which was, breaking the caffeine habit.

 

So, this is to you La Croix.

I’ve Ran Out of Infusion Set Placement Sites

My infusion set sites are becoming more and more difficult for me to keep fresh. I can’t wear an infusion site on my stomach. I’ve explained this in the past, but basically, I’m too fat. I have too many “rolls” in my stomach that when I bend or stretch or exercise, the rolls do what they do and roll up. When this happens, no matter what kind of adhesive is being used, the site falls off.

I’ve tried different infusion sets over the years with the trials of all the pumps that I’ve used and they are all the same. So, I just don’t think there’s much that can be done about it.

So, I’m stuck with the upper portion of my buttocks and the mid to top area of my quads. There are only so many spots in these areas that I can inject an infusion set. This is why I take so many insulin pump breaks because I just need to allow these areas some time to “heal”

The other issue is that I use too much insulin. I’ve decreased my usage compared to the last several years, but it’s still not where I want it to be. This leads to the area under the site filling up with insulin too quickly and then pushing up on the cannula which then leads to the infusion site leaking.

This then leads to frustration, which leads to pump breaks, which leads me to not want to be surrounded by all this diabetes technology and just taking it old school to no pump or CGM. That can sometimes lead to bad news, however, I’ve had some success in the past with using Tresiba and Novolog, but that’s a different story for a different time.

All that being said, I am still excited for the MiniMed 670G and can’t wait to get started on it (don’t know when I will yet).

Any recommendations from y’all on some more interesting places to try the infusion site?

Any and all help is totally welcome.

This Week’s Meal Plan

As you have read earlier, I’m on a long-term diet. More like a lifestyle change as opposed to diet, which we all know don’t last. In order for me to stick to this, I have to meal plan.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So, here’s my meal plan:

Monday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chicken sausage, broccoli, assorted sautéed peppers and onions

Tuesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Lettuce wrap tacos, plantains, cauliflower rice

Wednesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Italian Baked Chicken, green beans, broccoli

Thursday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chili

Friday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Roasted Red Pepper Marinated Chicken, Spaghetti Squash, bruschetta

Here's my meal plan for the week including Italian baked chicken, chili and lettuce wrap tacos Click To Tweet

Saturday – this is where all hell breaks loose. I lose control of my diet and my willpower. It’s primarily because I am not at home and I am on the go. Being on the go is what is just so tempting.

When I do eat out from now on, it’s salad. Or some grilled chicken with a side salad.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures of final meals on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there – @chrisstocker

Easter Egg Hunting and a Pump in the Wild

Easter egg hunting time.

Since our daughter just turned two, this was her first Easter Egg hunt. And, it may be her last.

The parents at these Easter egg hunts are just unbelievable. Trampling people in order to get their kid into the egg hunt area even though there were 5 different sessions that they could get into it. Then, how ignorant they are to scoop up the eggs themselves instead of letting the kids do it because they want to get a special picture opportunity.

Unbelievable.

So, where’s the diabetes tie in here?

While we were standing in the long line, I looked down and saw a pump in the wild! A lady in front of me was wearing a Medtronic pump. It’s great seeing a pump in the wild, however, I felt like I was in the wild with these Easter Egg Hunt Parents!

Giveaways within Newsletter

One of the perks (or downsides) of blogging is that PR pitches are always sent your way. A lot of the time, I just say no thanks to all the books and products that are emailed to me because I know that I’m not going to read them or use them. However, lately, I’ve decided to start saying yes. And what I’m going to do with all of those products is give them away.

So every Saturday at 9 a.m. The Life of a Diabetic Weekly Recap will be going out. Every Saturday there will be a new giveaway announced in the email. Each giveaway will have a different way to enter, but, the only way that you can win is by being subscribed to the newsletter. 

You can sign up here – http://thelifeofadiabetic.com/wordpress/newsletter-signup

Welcome to the club.

Losing Weight is Hard, It’s Really Hard

From the age of 21 to 31, I gained about 60-70 pounds. That part was easy. Really easy. Going to dinner and eating my food and then half of my wife’s. Running to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s in the morning for a coffee and getting something (or two) off the dollar menu. All of that is super easy and super simple.

Losing weight is hard. It’s really effing hard! I’ve been trying for a couple of years to lose weight. I’ve had a lot of success, but it hasn’t lasted. I’ll lose 10-15 pounds and feel good and then I travel for a couple of weeks and gain it all back. I stop going to the gym and increasing the carbs, which is a recipe for disaster.

I just got back from PA again after spending the last month or so visiting family again, but this time I went to the gym a few times a week. Thanks to Planet Fitness for opening up in this area in PA!

I was able to maintain my weight, but didn’t lose any while up there because there were a lot of temptations. There are a lot of things to do, friends and family to see, activities we can only do while up here, so the gym ends up getting pushed to the side. 

I grew up in PA for the first 3/4 of my life, so I know all the great food places. When I go back there, that’s all I want to do. I just want to eat at all of the great places that I grew up eating and then eating some of mom’s good ole home cooking. That tends to lead to disaster. Big disasters.

My endo appointments are usually right after I get back from these trips. This leads to bad lab results and not a true picture of how my life is the remaining 9 months of the year.

This year, I decided to push my appointment back and force myself to lose weight. This is hard.

Here’s my diet:

Breakfast – 3 egg omelette. Every. Single. Day. I change it up a bit with some cheese one day. Peppers and onions the next. And then some ham the following. By switching this up, it makes me feel like I’m eating different foods and keeping it fresh.

Lunch – Salad every day. This doesn’t bother me because I love salad. I have eaten a salad a day, pretty much almost everyday for the last 15 years. I usually throw some chicken or whatever meat was for dinner the night before in the salad and just mix it all up. Actually, I shake it up. I put it all in a bowl, put a lid over it and shake the hell out of it. Only way to eat a salad. Shout out to my older brother for giving me this tip!

Dinner – Meat and 2 veggies. We eat a lot of chicken. Like, a lot of eat. And ground beef. We use the crockpot 3-4 days a week. We put the chicken in during breakfast, put some veggies in there and some sort of seasoning or oil based marinade and just let it cook all day. We use the ground beef for burgers (with lettuce buns) and tacos (with lettuce wraps).

This sounds delicious and sounds simple. But, damn, it’s not.

Going to the gym consistently is hard for me. I get so caught up in my business that I forget to go to the gym. Then, I don’t want to miss out on family fun time before and after dinner, so I don’t go to the gym then either.

I can’t go to the gym in the morning because I pee a lot throughout the night (even when my BG is perfect), so I wake up in the morning extremely dehydrated.

I don’t like going to the gym shortly after drinking coffee. Well, I always end up getting a cup of coffee right before it should be gym time.

But these are a lot of excuses.

Nothing worth doing is easy.

This should be tough.

This should be tough as hell.

And that’s why I’m going to tackle it. Because I’m getting too old for this extra weight to be hanging out. It’s time to set it free.

Sharing More

Sharing more.

That’s what I want to do. Sure, I have a blog which means I overshare as is. But, I don’t feel like I share enough of the ups and downs. I tend to share a lot of good stuff, because honestly, that’s just how I choose to live my life. I don’t allow myself to fret about the small stuff and constantly be down or upset about stuff that I can’t control.

However, there are plenty of downs that come along with this disease and that’s where I’d like to share more.

For example, my laziness when it comes to this disease. With access to all the technology I have, sometimes I just get lazy and I don’t feel like wearing my pump. Simply because I don’t feel like taking 10 seconds to insert a new infusion set. Because of this laziness, I will then go back to MDI, except sometimes I don’t have any Tresiba or Lantau or any other basal insulins.

I’ll wake up in the morning with a high blood sugar, but still that won’t make me have the motivation to insert a new infusion set.

Is it because I sometimes am tired of being connected? Or, am I tired of the infusion set falling out because I’m using too much insulin? Or do I honestly, just don’t feel like managing my diabetes?

I don’t know what it is.

But, I am making a promise to myself, and all of you, that I am going to share more of those down times and not just the ups.

Apple Watch for Diabetes

A few months ago I finally made the leap to purchasing an Apple Watch. I wasn’t interested in one until the Series 2 Nike versions came out and one of the bands used the same color as the company I own. But, I have a rule that I don’t purchase technology until I absolutely need it. Well, it was finally time. I needed it because I am exercising more and I wanted to track my heart rate, calories burned, etc.

I have high blood pressure and I have anxiety from time to time so tracking my heart rate is something that I like to be able to do at any time. Especially when I am at the gym exercising.

Tracking my exercise is something that has always been difficult for me. In fact, any type of logging, especially blood sugar and food, are extremely difficult because I never keep up with it. Tracking my activity levels is one of my favorite features of the watch. I can easily choose from either elyptical, playing basketball, or moderate walking from my activity tracker.

One of the biggest features that I don’t have available on my Apple Watch yet is connection to my CGM. That is probably the biggest feature that is missing at this time. It’s the only bit of information that is extremely important to me that I don’t have access to on my watch.

I highly recommend the watch if you have a fast-paced on the go lifestyle that includes exercising. It makes it easier for me to check emails, text, and see whose calling, all while working out.

Do you wear an Apple Watch? What are your opinions and thoughts? Do you wear a competitor to Apple?

Let me know in the comments.

13 Years with Diabetes Today

So today marks 13 years since being diagnosed with diabetes. There’s always a debate about whether it is April 2 or April 3, but since I don’t have the official hospital discharge papers, I always go with April 3.

I went to the ER on Friday, April 2, 2004 but by the time the doctor said to me.. “you have type 1 diabetes” to was after midnight, so it’s April 3.

I still remember that entire day like it was yesterday. I’ve told the story so many times, which is why it probably sticks in my head.

I used to do some sort of celebratory event on this day every year, but now, it’s just like any other day. A business to run. A family to take care of. And a disease to manage.

So, here is to 13 years with diabetes.

And many more to come.

How My Wife and I Managed Pregnancy and the First Two Years

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is about how my wife and I managed her pregnancy and the first two years of our daughter’s life. Meaning, what kind of research did we do, what kind of precautions did we take, what can you do to help prevent your child from developing diabetes since the father has type 1. Trust me, I did a lot of research. And I asked a lot of people when we found out that she was pregnant.

Unfortunately, my answer is…. we’ve done a lot of research and we did what we feel is best for us, but ultimately, there is nothing you can do.

Here is what we did though in case you need a starting point.

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young

The first thing that my endo told me to do is read up on the TEDDY study. And boy did I do that. I read as much from this study and follow up studies as possible. So, I recommend this being a great starting point – https://teddy.epi.usf.edu/

There is a lot of information there, but to sum it up, the TEDDY study believes that children who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have some sort of genes that are triggered by something, but what that something is, they are not sure of at this point. If we can find out what the trigger or triggers are, than that can go a long way to try and prevent diabetes. Is it something that is triggered before birth based on mom’s diet or could it be the air we breathe…. I don’t know.

We Chose to Breastfeed

This is a choice that we made very early on. We decided on breastfeeding because we felt it was the most natural thing to do.

WE DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST THOSE WHO DO NOT BREASTFEED SO SAVE YOUR COMMENTS!

This was just our own personal decision. My thought process is… we’re humans, why don’t we drink human milk. So, that was an easy decision for us. No matter what, this final decision was going to come down to my wife’s decision because she was the one breastfeeding, not me.

I do believe that there was a press release within the last few months stating that there was no direct correlation between breastfeeding and the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. My endo, who I ask her advice on everything, gave me the advice that breastfeeding for the first 12 months is the best option, for anybody.

Little to No Cow’s Milk

So my wife was able to breastfeed until our daughter was a year old. She was eating food at that time, but there was still some breastfeeding going on as well. We decided to not give our daughter cow’s milk. The reason was based on research we did and studies that had shown that the casein molecule is too large for the baby’s gut which then became a trigger to start the autoimmune process. Like I said, this decision was made based off of our research and discussions between my wife and I.

We also didn’t completely cut out cow’s milk, we just didn’t allow her to drink it. So, we gave her cheese sticks and yogurt that was made with cow’s milk. So, we didn’t fully cut it out, but as much as we could.

That is pretty much it. We obviously monitor what she eats and don’t fill her up with fast food all the time.

I hope that helps answer any questions that you have. Like I mentioned above, unfortunately, there is not much research out there that provides you a guideline on what to do during pregnancy and after birth.

If you have any other questions, please comment below, it’s a great way for the community to see your questions as well.