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NuGo Slim Protein Bar Review

Ever since my diagnosis in 2004, one of the biggest issues that I’ve had in my diabetes management are spikes in my blood glucose levels after meals. Because of this, snacking in-between meals has always been difficult. The primary reason of why it’s been difficult is because, even though I need a snack, I’m trying to bring my blood glucose levels down, so a snack may just keep them spiked (if it’s not a typical low-carb snack, which sometimes I want something other than low-carb).

I have tried so many different granola bars, fruit bars, nuts, this, that and everything else in the middle, and I just couldn’t seem to find something that worked great for me.

Then I found NuGo Slim.

nugo slim life of a diabetic 3

So, here is exactly what I was looking for. Something high in protein and fiber and low in carbs.

Here is some information from NuGo about their healthy protein bars:

NuGo is the only company to make REAL Dark Chocolate coated protein bars for many lifestyles. NuGo’s REAL Dark Chocolate melts in your mouth, releasing a luscious flavor. Other ‘dark chocolate’ protein bars substitute unhealthy palm kernel oil for the natural cocoa butter, raising the melt point above body temp, making it waxy and too sweet.

NuGo Slim contains 16-18g protein, 5-6 grams net carbs, and has a tested and verified very low glycemic index of 24-29 to help avoid blood sugar spikes. These gluten-free, low sugar bars are sweetened with luscious real dark chocolate and chicory root fiber without using maltitol or artificial sweeteners. Four flavors are vegan and Kosher Pareve: Crunchy Peanut Butter, Espresso, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate Mint. http://www.nugonutrition.com/products/slim/

Read and sign the petition created on change.org by NuGo Nutrition to create a FDA standard for dark chocolate.https://www.change.org/petitions/dark-chocolate-food-labeling-tell-the-fda-to-stop-the-deception

So, why am I so bullish on these NuGo Slim bars? Simple.

Steady Blood Sugar Levels

They help me when I need a snack and and most importantly, there’s no blood sugar spikes and they help maintain a steady blood sugar. Here are a couple of Dexcom screenshots to show my blood sugar graphs before and after eating NuGo Slim.


Here is a Dexcom screenshot from when I don’t eat a Low Glycemic index snack or foods. You can see the crazy spikes which then lead to a rapid decline which just makes my body feel like absolute crap!


Flavors of NuGo Slim Bars

So far, I’ve had a few different flavors:

Crunchy Peanut Butter

Brownie Crunch

Vegan Chocolate Mint

Other Flavors Include

Raspberry Truffle

Toasted Coconut

Roasted Peanut

Espresso

NuGo Slim Sample Pack

NuGo Slim Sample Pack – Vegan

COUPON CODE – USE CODE “DIABETES” for 15% off NuGo Slim through June 30, 2019

Low Glycemic Index

As you know, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I also do not claim to fully understand how the body works and how exactly the glycemic index works, but I do know the basics. For example, foods with low glycemic index have much less of an effect on blood sugar levels, especially post meal spikes.

NuGo Slim bars have a low glycemic index of 24-29, verified by GI Labs of Toronto.

nugo slim life of a diabetic 4

When I decided to sample and try these products, I wanted to wait until a time where my blood sugar was not jumping all around, up and down, so that I could get a good gauge on what the bar would actually do. As you saw in the Dexcom screen grabs above, my blood sugar did not spike after eating.

Why is that?

Chicory Root Fiber

NuGo Slim bars use a Chicory Root Fiber, which according to the NuGo website;

Has virtually no effect on blood sugar levels because it doesn’t absorb or digest until it reached the large intestine.

nugo slim life of a diabetic 2

Another important reason as to why I have enjoyed the NuGo Slim bars is because I am NOT a fan of sugar substitutes. I try to eliminate any forms of sorbitol, maltitol, or anything else. The sugar substitutes are typically used to help avoid a blood sugar spike, but there are a plethora of other negatives about using them.

NuGo Slim bars contain NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!

Energy, Energy, Energy

I am awake about 18-19 hours a day. I am working on getting a better amount of sleep, but currently, that’s just where my life is at. During these times between meals where I need a snack, I tend to get a bit low on energy as well. That is another reason why I’m loving these bars. With about 16-18g of protein in each bar, they help sustain your energy, and I sure need that!

If you are looking for an in-between meal snack, a protein bar for breakfast, maybe before or after a gym workout, then I highly recommend the NuGo Slim bars.

Where to Buy NuGo – NuGo Store Locator – Find NuGo Nutrition

Find out where you can pick up NuGo protein bars at a location near you! NuGo Nutrition makes the finest, healthiest, most delicious protein bars and snacks available.

COUPON CODE – USE CODE “DIABETES” for 15% off NuGo Slim through June 30, 2019

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Companion Medical InPen Review

Over the last 15 years of living with Type 1 Diabetes, I have been on Multiple Daily Injections, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors and have tried a plethora of diabetes products in order to help me find an easier way to manage my diabetes.

In 2018, I went off an insulin pump and went back to MDI because I felt like it was better for my own personal diabetes management. Since then, I have gone back to using an insulin pump, but, I take frequent breaks from my insulin pump and want to use MDI.

The number one thing that I miss when I go back to MDI is tracking of my insulin.

How much insulin did I take last shot?

What time was it when I took my last shot?

How much insulin is still on board?

What was my blood glucose level when I took my last insulin shot?

These are all things that I can easily answer when using an insulin pump, however they have always been difficult to do when using MDI.

Until now.

I heard about Companion Medical’s InPen some time last year and wanted to give them a try, especially for my insulin pump breaks. I thought that this product would help me answer all of those questions above when I’m taking my insulin pump break.

And I was right.

The InPen gave me the same type of data and info I need, just like I was on an insulin pump.

inpen by companion medical
Full Disclosure - Companion Medical sent me an InPen for free and has sponsored this post. The thoughts and opinions in this post are mine and mine only.

What is the Companion Medical InPen?

Directly from the Companion Medical website, the InPen is:

A reusable injector pen plus an intuitive smartphone interface equals smart insulin delivery. Simplify your diabetes care plan.

Basically, the InPen is a smart insulin pen that connects to an app on your phone via Bluetooth and tracks how much insulin you gave during that last shot and will also track your insulin on board. If you are wearing a CGM, it can also grab your Dexcom data or any data shared within your Apple Health app. It is also available on Google Play, but I use an iPhone, so that’s what this review will focus on.

First Impressions of Companion Medical’s InPen

As I just stated above, I’m an Apple user, so when I first saw this box, it made me very happy. I get excited when I see a nice, clean, bright white box. Call it the Apple fanboy in me, but I get a great first impression any time I see that.

companion medical inpen - box

Once opening the box, it looked similar to other insulin pens that I have used in the past. It looked very similar to Novo Nordisk’s Echo. There are three colors that you can choose from (Blue, Grey, Pink). I chose the grey one because, well, no reason at all.

The first thing that I noticed about the InPen is that it is a little heavier than a regular insulin pen, but it was lighter than the NovoPen Echo.

Next, just like with any new toy, I had to start playing with it, so I turned the dial where you would dial up your dosage and I loved the way it clicked and easily turned. It’s important to be able to hear the clicks because sometimes I am taking a shot at night and it’s dark and I need to be able to count the clicks.

companion medical inpen - close up

The last thing I noticed from my initial look was that it dosed in 0.5 units. For me, this isn’t that big of a deal because I use a lot of insulin, but this is huge for anybody who may need very little amounts of insulin or where the difference in 0.5 units can be life threatening.

Setting Up the Companion Medical InPen

The box came with a simple quick setup guide that made it very simple (see images).

The first thing to do was to download and install the InPen app on my phone. So, that’s what I did.

From there, you have to reset the screw which is used to push the insulin out. The hardest part about this was remembering which way is counterclockwise. Also, if you have fat fingers like me, then it was a little tough at the end to twist the screw back in. This would be one of the main things that I would recommend for them to upgrade in a new version is to somehow make this part more automated.

companion medical inpen - reset screw

Once that was completed, the app took me through a demo of how the app works and where everything is located. I will add the screenshots below and each image includes a description of what you are looking at directly from within the app.

Some highlights of what I love about this are the following:

My insulin dose appears in two locations. My last dose will be shown in the upper left hand corner along with the time so I know when it was taken. Each dose that I have taken is then located in a timeline so I can see all of the recent doses.

companion medical inpen - insulin dose

This then calculates the Active Insulin or Insulin on Board. You can see this in two locations as well. It is a big/bold number directly in the middle of the screen, but you can also see a visualization of how much insulin is remaining from your last dose because the circle will turn grey.

companion medical inpen - insulin on board

The setup then required me to input some information that came from my doctor, such as carb ratios, target BG range, correction factor, insulin sensitivity, etc. In order to connect the InPen you also had the remove the cap and the cartridge holder.

Here is the InPen in action with my first shot. (Don’t mind the kid’s rocking chair in the background.)

companion medical inpen first shot

Here is a screenshot of the logbook feature that the app includes:

companion medical inpen logbook view

I’ve used the InPen for about 3-4 days, which is the amount of time that an insulin cartridge lasts me. I would have done a longer experiment with it, but unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t cover insulin cartridges, so I was not able to obtain more than just one sample cartridge.

One cool feature that I like about the app is that since I prime my pen needle with 2 units every time I put a new needle on, the app tracks the 2.0 units, however, you can click on the dose and select the option to count that dose as a prime and not injection and it will remove the 2.0 units from the insulin on board calculator.

Now THAT is cool.

Reports Tab

Another feature in the app is the Reports tab. In this reports tab you can create a report from the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days. You can see the screenshot below for a 14 day report (even though I only have a few days of data and some missed data).

companion medical inpen reports view

I like that the report clearly states my average blood glucose level and my average Total Daily Dosage insulin levels. It also tells you what percentage of the time you used the recommended calculator dosage and how many missed doses. In this report, the missed doses are higher because I didn’t use for the full 14 days, so the data is a bit skewed (no fault to InPen, but of my own).

This report can also be easily emailed, printed, shared, and faxed directly from the app, which is very, very cool.

My Overall Thoughts – Highly Recommend

My overall thoughts and recommendations would be that I highly recommend the InPen. The number one reason why is because it gives you the tracking features of an insulin pump, without having to use an insulin pump. And, it does this all automatically.

I have used apps in the past that require me to input my dose and BG and that last about a day, if that, because it requires me to take extra steps, this does not.

It automatically connected to my phone and the information was right there at my finger tips when I needed it. The whole purpose of using apps for me is to save me time. If I have to open up the app and input any data, I might as well just write it down or not even use an app because it’s not saving me anytime.

Diabetes takes up enough of my time, the tracking of information should be done for me. And Companion Medical’s InPen does just that.

So, final review.

Two thumbs up.

If you want to try or use the Companion Medical InPen, it is a very simple and easy process.

  1. Go to the Companion Medical InPen Website
  2. Complete the short form to request a prescription
  3. Click submit

You’ll then be contacted for a no-obligation verification of your benefits!

Check out their new community – The Insulin Connection on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/myinpen/  

Like what you see? Sign up for The Life of a Diabetic Newsletter. Monthly giveaways not announced on the blog or social media!

 
 

 
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Creating Habits to Create Change

The only way to create a change in your lifestyle is by creating good habits. I’m tired of saying:

✅ I want to lose weight.

✅ I want to have better blood sugars.

✅ I want to be more successful.

✅ I want to buy a Tesla.

✅ I want to buy a new home.

✅ I want to run a 5k.

✅ I want to do a lot of things.

I’m not going to lose weight by just “going on a diet.” Because what happens when I go off of the diet? I put the weight right back on.

Having better blood sugars, meaning, having my time-in-range be in the 90% mark like I want requires a lifestyle change, not just a simple tweak.

How to Create Lifestyle Changes

So, how do I create these lifestyle changes?

By creating good habits, actually great habits.

I’ve read so many different books, articles and listened to plenty of podcast episodes about some of the habits of the most successful people in the world. And there tends to be a lot of things in common.

The most common thing amongst all of them is that they create the habit the same way.

Just keep doing it over and over and over.

I’ve written here in the past about using a method called the Diabetes Power List, where I write out 5 things that I need to do every single day to help me achieve my goals. These are not tasks for the day, but much more of macro items.

For example, wake up at 6 am. Eat less then 75g or carbs a day, etc.

By waking up every single day at 6 am for 15-20 days, it will become a habit. There are a lot of theories out there for how long you need to do something before it becomes a habit. But, this is what I am talking about when I talk about creating good habits.

Must Stick with It

Sticking with something for 2-3 weeks, every single day and then it eventually just becomes a habit. It becomes part of your daily routine and your life. For example, when I finish taking a shower, I brush my teeth, it’s just a habit, it’s just what I do.

So, what are some of these habits that I want to create in order to help me achieve the wealth, health and mental goals that I want to reach?

  1. Wake up every day before 6 am.
  2. 20 minutes (minimum) of cardio before morning coffee
  3. Meet 3 new people every single day
  4. Create 1 piece of content every single day
  5. Do not go over my daily carb goal (I’m not putting the number here, because I don’t feel like having a carb vs no-carb discussion here.)
  6. Dedicated family time, no phones, no emails, no distractions.
  7. Go to bed before 11:30 pm.

Life throws curveballs at you all the time, but habits are just that, habits. You do them without even thinking about it. It’s not something that you make an excuse for, as to why you can’t do it. You just do it because that’s just what you do every single day.

Here’s to creating better habits.

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Sudden Coffee – Product Review

If you know me, you know that I drink a lot of coffee.

A lot.

Coffee is actually a very expensive addiction of mine. I work a lot of hours and I drink a lot of coffee to keep me going.

My coffee intake typically looks like this on a normal day.

  1. Make a pot of coffee, typically 8 cups (even though 8 cups only fills up my regular coffee mug 4 times, so I consider it 4 cups).
  2. After lunch coffee. This could be leftover coffee from the morning or something from Starbucks.
  3. If I have meetings or an important project to work on that requires me to be out of the house, I typically stop off at Starbucks.
  4. Once the kid goes to bed at night, some soda, coffee, or hot tea is needed to get me through my late night shift of hustle as I call it.

So, this can get expensive if I’m constantly going to Starbucks or buying Dunkin coffee.

That’s where Sudden Coffee came into play.

sudden coffee review

Sudden Coffee is an instant coffee.

Now, before you stop reading because I said instant coffee, keep going. I NEVER drink instant coffee, until I tried this.

Sudden Coffee was created by the World’s 9th Best Barista (yes, this is a thing) and a Stanford Engineer.

It is made with 100% Arabica, single origin beans, a revolutionary new brewing method and freeze-dried in small batches.

You can check out their process of creating the coffee here.

When I came across Sudden Coffee, I initially saw their marketing that said people chose their coffee over Starbucks during a blind taste test, so I had to try it.

And I must say, I agree.

So each single serving comes in a nice tube with the grounds included. You can buy an:

You can set these up for auto reorder as well. They will automatically send these to you every month for 1-6 months before you need to renew your subscription.

So, what does this cost?

Sudden Coffee Crystalized Coffee 720x300

Well, it depends on how much you order and if you set up a subscription.

For the 8-cup pack delivered monthly, you can save 20%.

The one-time price if you are just ordering without a subscription is $20 for 8 cups. That’s $2.50 per cup. Compared to a Starbucks cup of coffee, it is worth it.

Keep in mind, that this isn’t your basic coffee or instant coffee. This coffee isn’t meant to be your only coffee you drink.

This is more geared towards being your afternoon pick me up coffee or a late night coffee for studying or finishing off a client proposal before a deadline.

The only way to really know how good this coffee is, is to simply try it.

Try Sudden Coffee for FREE Just Cover the Shipping Free Trial - Sudden Coffee 720x300
*Links above are affiliate links which means I might earn a commission when you purchase. My review of this product is my own personal review and opinions.
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Sleep Study Wasn’t So Bad

Last week I wrote about an at-home sleep study that I had to do. It was supposed to be an overnight sleep study in the sleep office, but the insurance denied it, so at home it was.

Before going to pick up the sleep study equipment, I actually had an endo appointment in the same building. Very convenient, I know.

After the appointment, I went downstairs to pick up the equipment.

It was not as bad as I was expecting. I thought that I was going to have to hook up all kinds of wires and plugs and be attached to a million different things.

Nope.

It was very simple.

Read More
Weekly diabetes News

February 1, 2019 Diabetes News

Positive results from smartphone-app-based artificial pancreas

An artificial pancreas system brought together through a smartphone app is safe and works, according to the results from a US clinical trial.

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/news/2019/jan/positive-results-from-smartphone-app-based-artificial-pancreas-94138855.html

The Unsung Role of the Pharmacist in Patient Health

Are people relying too much on the traditional doctor/patient interaction?

Click image to read article

By 2025, a lot more people will be tracking their blood sugar, predicts doctor — here’s why

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/31/blood-sugar-tracking-useful-for-more-than-diabetes-commentary.html

One Drop integrates with Apple’s Health Records, launches personal diabetes assistant platform

Patients using the platform will be able to share their EHR and medication history with One Drop coaches through the Health Records feature.

https://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/one-drop-integrates-apples-health-records-launches-personal-diabetes-assistant-platform

Diabetes can’t stop Otsego athlete from reaching college hoops dream

https://www.mlive.com/highschoolsports/2019/01/diabetes-cant-stop-otsego-athlete-from-reaching-college-hoops-dream.html

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Patient Device Rights

It’s unfortunate, but our healthcare is primarily controlled by insurance companies. If the insurance companies are acting nice, then it can be our medical team. What about the rights of the patient?

I live with Type 1 Diabetes. This means that I live with a disease that does not go away. It takes zero breaks. It is working on me 24/7/365, so the only way to combat it is to fight back 24/7/365.

Read More

Time for an At-Home Sleep Study

Tomorrow night is my sleep study. This sleep study was initiated way back in August when I saw my endo and we talked about my loud snoring and waking up to gasping for air in the middle of the night.

The sleep study referral was sent out and the office made contact with me to schedule an appointment. The day of the appointment for the over night study (which at that time, I had no idea if it was overnight, at my own house, or any general information about what goes on during a sleep study).

That was not very good customer service and patient management if you ask me.

That appointment ended up being cancelled by me because I didn’t know if there was a deductible, co-pay, what it entailed, nothing, so, I cancelled.

Read More