Category Archives: Diet

T1D Parent Alternatives – High Protein / Low Carb

The Diabetes Summit was truly eye-opening. One of the very interesting segments was from a parent who is raising a T1D child. I always say that my battle is half as difficult as those that a parent of a T1D child must face. His name is RD Dikeman, and he has a very interesting story to share.

RD Dikeman

As with most parents, this father was caught completely off guard when their child had a diagnosis of T1D at the young age of 8. Like a majority of parents in this situation, the first and foremost discussions were with their doctor about how to manage the disease using medication.

60 Carbs Per Meal, Are you Serious…?

The doctor initially explained the disease and how the child should maintain a typical diet with lower sugar intake but shouldn’t deviate much from what a standard american diet entails. The doctor recommended a diet with 40-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal (I probably eat this in a day, if that), which seems odd considering the child has a disease deficient in adequately being able to process carbs.

T1D on Standard American Diet = Extreme Blood Sugar Volatility

After initially following the doctors orders, the family experienced heavy doses of insulin injections and subsequent extreme volatility and unpredictability in their son’s blood sugars.

This father was interesting because he was very quantitative about how he helped his child manage the disease by experimenting with different foods and monitoring how they impacted his son’s blood sugars. This was a similar strategy that I took once I became diagnosed with the disease.

Not only were his son’s blood sugars extremely volatile, but his A1c readings were in the mid-to-high 5 levels. The fact of the matter is that even though the mainstream doctors will target an A1c in the 5.5 to 6.5 range for a T1D, this is still relatively high and causes damage to the body.

Early on the father realized that it’s nearly impossible to predict what his son’s blood sugar levels would be while eating the doctor recommended diet. The father followed the doctor’s orders, but soon realized how stressful not only his son’s life was, but also the life of his family.

Dr. Bernstein to the Rescue

Much like me, the father started to question the doctor’s recommendations and began experimenting with other diets to help stabilize his son’s blood sugars. This was mostly through his son’s research in finding Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution which promotes a higher protein / lower carb approach to managing T1D.

After researching Dr. Bernstein’s strategies, RD Dikeman realized that although the doctor’s orders were allowing their son to live with the disease, his son was still experiencing extreme highs and lows in his blood sugars on a daily basis which would ultimately adversely affect his health down the road.

The father did a ton of research and decided to go against doctor orders and placed his son on a high protein / low carb diet which ultimately made the disease much easier to cope with and began yielding A1cs in the high 4’s and low 5’s.

After implementing this diet, his son now has a consistent A1c around 5.0 which is astounding for a T1D, especially a child (much better than my 5.6). His commentary was very interesting in the Diabetes Summit video as he stated that the mainstream medical community pushes for a T1D disease management that promotes high blood sugars to a certain extent.

Doctors Bullying T1D Parents

One quote that stood out to me in the segment was “It’s as if the doctors are so fearful of litigation from hypoglycemia (low blood sugars) that their mode of practice is to run the children as high as possible to avoid any legal repercussions.” He even mentioned parents getting “bullied” by the doctors to push a high carb / high insulin diet as the only alternative to managing T1D in their child.

Now, I don’t fully agree with how this father is managing his son’s disease, but I do agree that he heavy protein/low carb is a much better approach than the mindless recommendation of a heavy carb approach that mainstream doctors regurgitate to parents day in and day out.

Realistic Juvenile T1D Management

I’m going on nearly 3.5 years of managing this disease medication free with a mostly plant-based raw vegan diet. I realize though, that this is, for the most part, an unrealistic diet for a young child to maintain. I personally don’t even know how I would manage my own child’s T1D if the situation ever came.

So, I absolutely applaud this father, and his son, for thinking outside of the box and doing the extra research to realize that doctor’s do not have all of the answers, and borderline recommend disease management tactics that can be more detrimental to a child’s health than other alternatives.

It makes sense though from doctor’s perspective. I mean why would you recommend a higher protein/low carb diet that would potentially expose a child to the risk associated with lows. The low blood sugars can result in immediate issues that could cause a child to pass out or go into diabetic hypoglycemia (very bad stuff).

By promoting a higher carb diet that requires heavier doses of insulin, the child will have higher blood sugars than a normal individual, but the harmful effects would not be seen for years to come which is the standard way to approach the disease.

T1D is a Business, Everything is a Business

It begs the question of why would doctors not at least provide this alternative method of managing the disease to parents? Not to mention people like me that can manage the disease medication free with a plant-based mostly raw diet.

I know people probably think I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist, but everyone must realize that diabetes management is a massive lucrative business enterprise. If everyone managed the disease like me, there would be way less revenue generated from diabetes medication.

I encourage parents of T1Ds and all walks of T1Ds to think through this strategy at managing the disease. It’s just plain wrong of the lack of education that mainstream doctors provide T1D patients on the options of how to manage the disease.

Doctors will always have their place in the world helping people cope with diseases, but they are educated and employed to push medication, it’s as simple as that.

My endocronologist is  good guy, but he is astounded at what I’m doing. He said that he has no other patients that are able to do what I do. We need to educate the doctors and let them know that their are other alternatives to managing the disease and they need to inform other patients of these approaches.

For all of you doctors out there, you must agree that this is the right thing to do. You have great responsibility in that you are the main focal person that nearly all T1Ds are funneled to soon after diagnosis. You must start providing all of the options to T1Ds and not merely recommend this high carb / high insulin diet.

Type One Grit

For more information on this father’s journey, please check out his facebook page at Type One Grit. From my understanding, it’s actually the largest following of T1Ds that manage the disease from the high protein / low carb approach.

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Back to the Basics – Who Needs an Oven…

Sometimes whenever my blood sugars start creeping up, I have to go back to the basics of what I learned years ago that has kept me off of medication. There are so many food temptations every day that it’s tough not to cheat every now and then.

For the most part, I’m very disciplined, but it doesn’t take much deviation from my plant-based diet to increase my blood sugars to higher than desired levels.

Cruise Control

Whenever I was first diagnosed, I was extremely passionate about researching methods of keeping me off of medication.  I’m still passionate, but now that I’ve settled into a successful routine, the stress has been greatly reduced with my disease management.

That said, I still have to be very careful with what I eat on daily basis.  As I always preach, the more uncooked (raw) foods you eat, the lower your blood sugars will be. Uncooked foods retain many more nutrients relative to cooked foods, which helps heal your body.

Reducing the Inflammation

I’m a firm believer that T1D is as much a disease about excess inflammation than it is about getting your beta cells destroyed. I believe the more raw foods you eat, the more your body can heal which in turn reduces the inflammation.

This reduced inflammation allows my pancreas to function as efficiently as possible to produce the insulin necessary to manage my blood sugars to near non-diabetic levels. This explanation sounds plausible, but who really knows. Whatever I’m doing is working, so I’ll just keep at it.

The Benefits of Raw Food

My point with this blog is to focus on the great benefits of raw foods and the creative recipes that you can use to make delicious meals that help heal your body.

My breakfast and lunches are always raw vegan, but my dinners are mostly cooked vegan.  I try and mix a raw meal in for dinner at least a couple times a week to try and help heal my body and keep my blood sugars down.

I’m typically fine with eating cooked dinners, but there is a difference that I notice the morning after when eating a cooked vs. uncooked meal. It’s not a massive difference, but very noticeable which = less stress.

Fasting Blood Sugars Cooked vs. Uncooked

I’d say my fasting blood sugars are usually around 100 in the mornings after I eat a raw dinner vs. around 110 if I eat a cooked dinner. Not a big difference, but noticeable.

Recently I wanted to do some research and try and find some more raw meals that are conducive to the plant-based low carb diet that I follow.  Due to time constraints with work and dealing with two kids, I decided to outsource the project to a nutritionist that I was introduced to.

Outsourcing Raw Recipes

Her name is Deanna Mollicone, and she has a website at www.deesdailydish.com.  She is currently working to become a registered dietitian and she creates meal plans for individuals.  I worked with Deanna and explained my dietary restrictions.  Our goal was to find 20 or so raw vegan / low-carb recipes that I could mix in with my diet.

Deanna ended up doing an excellent job and uncovered some great dietary options that I could choose from.  I wanted to share some of those recipes for you T1Ds out there reading this blog.

Creative Raw Recipes for Everyone

As you’ll see below, you can get quite creative with uncooked plant-based meals. I can’t promise these will taste as good as a big mac with fries from McDonalds, but you will be astounded at the positive effect that these foods will have on your blood sugars.  Not to mention your overall sense of well-being and health will be greatly enhanced by mixing these meals into your diet.

Raw Vegan Spinach Manicotti

Raw Pad Thai with Spicy Almond Sauce

Smashed Avocado Kelp Noodle and Lemon Bowl

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Broccoli Hoisini Sauce Parsnip Rice

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup (Not Raw but Good)

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables on White Bean Mash (Partially Raw but Good)

Bon Appetit…

 

What Do I Feed the Kids!?

I have two little rugrats running around and they are so cute. My son just turned 3 and my daughter just turned 1. My son was actually born two weeks after I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Talk about a stressful month. Below is a recent picture of the two from their 1 and 3 year old photo shoot.

Silver Lining

Over my first year of being a T1D, I learned a lot about food and its effects on your body. It sucked getting T1D, but I feel like it resulted in my children being great benefactors of a healthier diet. Kids will be kids, so getting them to eat healthy foods is always a challenge, but my wife and I (mostly my wife) try our best to have them eat a plant-based diet.

Many of the plant-based nutritional books that I read said the greatest gift you can give your child is a healthy diet, and I personally believe that. We try and fuel our kids with some of the healthiest foods on earth that will significantly aid in their development, especially in their early years.

That said, we aren’t perfect and they get their fair share of snacks in order for my wife and I to keep our sanity. For the most part though, they eat a relatively healthy diet. Below is a quick outline of what we try and feed our kids on a daily basis.

Almond Milk

Most days start off with a big glass of almond milk. After my research over the past few years, I try and avoid dairy like the plague.  It’s horrendous for your body and I personally feel like it increases the risk of children getting T1D. So with my family history, I really try and avoid cow’s milk.

Mainstream media will try and scare the living bejeezus out of any parent that tries to avoid cow’s milk by saying that their child will be lacking significant nutrients that are necessary for early childhood development. I’m not saying that cow’s milk doesn’t have some healthy stuff in it, but it sure also has a lot of unhealthy stuff in it too.

God only knows how grocery store cow’s milk is processed and, from my understanding, cow’s are artificially inseminated at the dairy farms to trick their body into thinking they are pregnant so they can produce larger quantities of milk. Freaking weird and gross…

It was tough as a parent to go against mainstream medical recommendations and avoid dairy in the early years, but there are many alternatives. Some alternatives include coconut milk, soy milk, and almond milk to name a few.

Dairy Alternatives, Almond Milk Wins

Coconut milk is a nice alternative, however, it didn’t have much protein. Soy milk is an option, but a lot of research says this isn’t the best for little kids either. That left almond milk which is a great option with hardly any negatives that I know of.

One caveat is that you have to make it yourself in order to ensure that a meaningful amount of protein is in the milk. The store bought almond milk tastes good but it’s extremely watered down with lower amounts of protein and usually added sugar.

We make two batches a week with organic almonds and put dates in it to add flavor. Our kids worship the stuff. I make one batch for the kids with the date flavoring and then one batch for myself without dates. Dates are one of the highest glycemic fruits out there, so they don’t jive well with my diabetes.

In summary, almond milk is a great alternative to dairy, so hopefully you aren’t allergic to nuts. I won’t lie, its a pain making it, and nothing is worse than coming home from a long day of work and having to make a batch of almond milk, but it’s great for your children’s health.

Breakfast

Along with almond milk, we usually give the kids some kind of fruit. My son really likes bananas cut up with some peanut butter on them. My daughter usually will eat some bananas too or some blueberries.

Lunch / Dinner

Lunch and dinner seem to blur together for the kids. I wish I could say that they eat a flavorful diet of assorted foods, however, that’s not reality. We try out best to keep our kids on a plant-based diet, and for the most part, that is case. We try and avoid dairy, but we occasionally give them chicken and eggs. But besides that, it’s mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Beginning when they were little, my wife always pureed their lunch and dinner foods. Some examples of pureed meals were 1) vegan chili; 2) peas; 3) squash; 4) spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots and avocado combined. Both of them loved an assortment of pureed foods initially, but became pickier as they got older, but to this day my son still eats pureed chili and mixed veggies and he is over 3.

In some cases it’s amazing that our kids have settled into a nice diet of healthy vegetables, however, my poor wife still has to puree our 3 year old’s lunch / dinner so he’ll eat it. It’s something about the texture of the food that he is comfortable with. He still won’t eat a normal dinner that we eat, but things could be worse.

Both kids have become fairly picky with their diet, so a majority of the time the lunch/dinners are either vegan chili, an avocado or the pureed vegetable mix of spinach, sweet potatoes and avocados.

Most mainstream people would think that our kids are missing out on tons of protein and essential nutrients found in animal products. However, the vegetables that they eat have more than enough protein, and healthier protein, relative to a child that would eat an animal based diet.

They both have vitamins too that help supplement their nutrient intake to ensure they are getting adequate nutrients in their diets. Some parents might be nervous that their kids wouldn’t develop normally with a diet like this, but I can tell you both of my kids are in the 75th to 85th percentile for height and weight. They are growing like weeds.

Snacks

Finally there are snacks. In a perfect world our kids would eat non-stop vegetables with no problem. However, with two kids it seems someone is always hungry or whining or crying. In order to keep our sanity we have to give them snacks.

We try and give real fruit as snacks as much as we can, like oranges, apples, blueberries, mangoes or things of that sort. However, sometimes we are traveling or just tired so we’ll give them less healthy options like vegetable/fruit squeeze pouches or veggie straws.

I always take the position that if a majority of what they eat and drink is plant-based and healthy, then I’m fine with a few veggie straws here or there.

Conclusion

Well, that’s the daily diet of the two little ones. They seem to like the plant-based diet and the earlier you start them on it, the more likely they’ll stick with it in their early years. My son is 3+ years old and he still eats mostly vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit and is growing up so fast.

Don’t get bullied by your pediatrician or the mainstream dietary recommendations of a diet predominately based on  cow’s milk and animal products in order for your kids to grow big and strong. There are other safer and healthier plant-based routes to go with your children’s diets that will have them developing just fine.

To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat

That is the question….

Almost 3 Years and No Meds

I’m glad to report that I’m coming up on 3 years with Type 1 Diabetes (“T1D”) and have yet to take any medication. Of those 3 years, the past two have been following the mostly raw vegan plant-based diet (“PBD”). As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts, I truly believe a diet of this type is the only way a T1D has a prayer of staying off of medication for a prolonged period of time.

A Little Rusty on the PBD Facts

I have to admit, when it comes to my current diet, I’m a little rusty on many of the facts surrounding the great benefits that a plant-based diet can bring. When I first transitioned to the PBD, it was following at least 40+ hours of research which included me reading countless books and watching several documentaries. I remember feeling truly empowered when I first started the diet and witnessed my blood sugars dramatically drop (Fasting Blood Sugar Chart).

In One Ear and Out the Other

So, here we are 2 years later. I’ve since settled into a groove and haven’t done much research since I switched diets.

Since I began the diet in November 2014, I’ve discussed my diet with many people. Each and every person congratulates me and has nothing but positive things to say about my discipline to manage T1D the way that I do (you’d be a pretty big jerk to not support a poor guy with a chronic disease that could prove fatal if not controlled).

I thought telling my story would enlighten people and help them understand how a plant-based diet is beneficial for everyone. However, in a majority of cases, people nod, smile and praise my discipline, but then I see them crushing a juicy steak soon after and continue maintaining their habits of an animal-based diet with hardly a blip on the radar.

I’m used to this by now, but it’s one of the most astonishing things to see how little my closest family members and friends change their dietary lifestyle after understanding my story. I do admit that my diet has impacted several family members and friends, but for the most part, nothing.

Why Am I Ignored

I always wonder why this is the case. Maybe it’s because people either 1) don’t understand T1D enough to let it really sink in; 2) are so programmed with an animal based diet that it seems unrealistic to seek healthier alternatives; 3) are fully aware of the adverse health effects from animal products but are totally fine living life with higher risk of disease, or even with diseases, and the greater likelihood of an earlier death because it’s just easier and tastes good or perhaps; 4) it’s really the notion of unless yourself or your wife/children are affected by a tragic disease, then there just isn’t time in people’s busy lives to make lifestyle changes.

Is Not Eating Animal Products Really the Answer?

Who knows…but my focal point with this blog is to address the fact that even I have started to question over the past few months whether a plant-based diet is truly that much healthier than an animal based diet.

After what I’ve experienced, it will be tough to  ever convince me that animal products are beneficial for my body. However, I hear people say things like humans were born with incisor teeth to eat animal flesh or humans were intended to be hunters and gatherers.

I will admit these are good points and I can understand why people think animal products are fine. I mean, many people have grandparents that lived into their 90s on an animal based diet (I had 3), so it’s not a cut and dry answer. Also, for every one plant-based nutritionist, there are probably 3 or 4 animal product based nutritionist, so I know I’m going against the grain.

Our Generation is Far Worse Off Than Previous Ones

I will say that I think people in my generation, and possibly one above, are in far worse shape than our grandparent’s generation. Just think of all the processed foods and fast food restaurants that have been created over the past 30 to 40 years. These were hardly around when our grandparents were growing up. Also, I’m hardly an animal rights activist, but I think it’s a plausible argument to make that slaughtering animals to over feed the human population is just as weird as eating a PBD diet.

Proof, for Me At Least…

The crowning fact that truly convinces me that animal products are bad news is the fact that they meaningfully raise my blood sugars. To explain, I have a disease that has the inability to process carbohydrates effectively. It’s really all about the carbs. So it’s obvious that if I eat white bread, my blood sugars will skyrocket.

However, shouldn’t eating chicken, steak or fish that have zero to minimal carbohydrates have a nominal effect on my blood sugars? A novice on T1D theory would think so. However, this is hardly the case. There is something in animal products that is bad news that is raising my blood sugars. And there is something that is good news in low glycemic vegetables, nuts and seeds that is lowering my blood sugars. This fact alone just shows there is something carcinogenic with animal products.

Forks Over Knives Refresher

Anyway, I digress…I thought a good way to refresh my memory on the benefits of the plant-based diet would be to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives again.

This documentary had a huge impact on my perspective about why my body is able to live medication free with a plant-based diet. I would suggest everyone watch this documentary as it has some great information that can make everyone live a healthier life. I thought it would be beneficial to put some quick facts that I learned after watching the documentary in this blog just to illustrate how profound the difference in health outcomes can be from choosing between a plant and animal based diet.

Heart Disease

Every minute in the U.S. someone dies of heart disease. Yes, every minute! This disease could essentially be eliminated from the human population if everyone ate a plant-based diet.

Eating a Plant-Based Diet is Extreme

Some people think that eating a plant-based diet is unrealistic and consider it extreme. Maybe they are right, but let’s say you have open heart surgery or stents put in your arteries. Some say that would be extreme.

Sugar Consumption

Sugar consumption in today’s society is absolutely out of control. This blog focuses on animal products, but sugar is destroying people’s health at arguably a greater rate. In 1912, the average person consumed 40 lbs of sugar per year and by 2012 this increase to nearly 130 lbs.

Genetic Cancers

It’s estimated that only 2 to 3% of cancer diagnoses are the result of genetics. The other 97 to 98% are the result of lifestyle factors (i.e. eating animal products, processed foods, sugar and not exercising).

Where Do I Get Protein in a Plant-Based Diet

I too was guilty of thinking this before I got T1D. If you ask 10 people what is the main reason humans eat meat, 9 will say it’s to get enough protein. Actually, you can get the same amount of protein from vegetables/nuts/seeds and other items like beans, and they are healthier forms of protein.

Vegan MMA Fighters

The documentary showed a successful mixed martial arts fighter that lives with a plant based diet. If a professional fighter can be vegan, then probably anyone can. There are also countless other professional athletes who competed at the highest level while on a vegan diet (Famous 10). I hope you like Mike Tyson.

Health Stats Pre and Post Plant Based Diet

A central part of the documentary centered around a gentleman who switched from a animal based / processed food / sugar filled diet to an organic plant-based diet. Here are his health stats before and after:

Weight 231 to 211

Blood Pressure 142/80 to 112/70

Resting Pulse 92 to 60

Total Cholesterol 241 to 154

LDL 157 to 80

Wow!

Finally the China Study

This essentially is to date the most detailed and thorough study between the consumption of animal products and chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc. The co-authors concluded that those who eat a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet-avoiding all animal products and reducing their intake of processed foods will escape, reduce or reverse the development of numerous diseases.

Conclusion

After my refresher with Forks Over Knives, I once again feel completely at ease about my decision to live a life that is centered around a plant-based diet.

I understand that most individuals in our society would rather eat an animal based diet and significantly increase their risk of disease and a shorter life span than switch to a plant-based diet. However, I hope my blog can continue to enlighten people about what the right dietary choices are and just how profoundly they can impact one’s health.

Scary Dairy

I thought a good post would be to talk about the laundry list of problems that dairy products (i.e. cow’s milk, cow’s milk based yogurt and cheese) can cause . Before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (“T1D”) in 2014, dairy products were staple of my diet including cow’s milk in my cereal for breakfast, a yogurt everyday and cheese sprinkled throughout my diet whenever possible.

1st Realization Dairy was Bad News

During my first meeting with my nutritionist post-diagnosis, I was amazed to hear of the harmful effects that dairy can have on your body. I mean “Milk does a body good”, right? Why would society market a product so heavily that is so bad for you?

As my eyes have been opened over the past few years, I realize marketing harmful products to consumers at grocery stores is standard these days. There is a large and growing variety of cancer causing and auto-immune disease triggering products located in every isle!

Dairy – Evidence of Association with T1D

After my research, I personally think dairy consumption is associated with acquiring T1D, or at least an enabler. It triggers auto-immune disorders and it’s just straight up weird that we are drinking the milk of a different species (we are the only mammal to do this), so I’m not surprised that our bodies get thrown out of whack when we intake dairy products.

Dairy Alternatives

I know cutting out dairy from one’s diet is very difficult. The hardest for me was cheese. Not necessarily because it takes so good, but it’s on everything. It was easy to swap out cow’s milk for almond milk and you can find nut-based yogurts in the stores too. You can also use nuts like cashews for a base to make cashew cheese, so there are alternatives.

What Ever Happened to Those “Got Milk” Commercials?

I always remembered milk promotions when I was growing up as a kid, but when is the last time you saw a commercial promoting milk? At least for me it’s been a while. Probably tough to promote a product that has been proven so unhealthy.

Global Dairy Demand Way Down

Also, dairy milk demand has been in a free fall for decades. Most likely because people realize how unhealthy it is, but also because there are many more alternatives these days. Check out some of these articles talking about the demise of dairy demand. As always with my anti-mainstream articles, they take a whole 5 minutes worth of googling to uncover, yet a majority of the population remains in the dark about things like this.

Got Milk – More Americans Aren’t Bothering

Why is the U.S. Bailing out Another Big Polluter?  It’s Time to Cut the Cheese

It’s a Demographic Time Bomb: Dairy Farms Crisis Youngsters Shun Milk Because Health Professionals Treat it as the Enemy

The Potential Negative Side Effects of Dairy

So, the next time you crush a big glass of cow’s milk (aka liquid meat as I like to call it) please keep in mind the following lovely health consequences that may be lurking around the corner.  For the full article that I mainly reference for this info, please click here. I got this from a great plant-based diet nutritionist located in Pittsburgh.

  1. It has been found that infants exposed to cow’s milk early in life may be at risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Incompletely digested dairy proteins that enter the bloodstream in infants with a compromised gut barrier (also known as leaky gut), may trigger an autoimmune response. In a misguided attempt to destroy what the body sees as a foreign invader, the partially undigested cow’s milk proteins, it mistakenly destroys the cells of the pancreas rendering the infant unable to produce insulin for the rest of his or her life.
  2. Dairy may increase the risk of kidney stones.
  3. Consumption of dairy over time tends to weaken, not strengthen, our bones (contrary to popular belief).
  4. We absorb a greater portion of the calcium found in kale, broccoli, or fortified orange juice than the calcium in cow’s milk.
  5. Dairy can cause a substantial drop in the amount of activated vitamin D in the blood.
  6. Dairy products are the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet.
  7. Increased risk of cancer due to increased levels of IGF-1 in our blood.
  8. Consumption of dairy products has been found to be one of the most consistent dietary predictors for prostate cancer
  9. The most comprehensive study on nutrition ever conducted, The China Study, found that casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process, and according to traditional regulatory criteria, casein is the most significant chemical carcinogen ever discovered.
  10. Other fun autoimmune diseases that have been tied to cow’s milk protein include: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, nephritis, and arteritis.
  11. It is also a factor in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, macular degeneration, cataracts, and Alzheimer’s disease. Milk was found to have the highest statistical association with heart disease than any food.
  12. Dairy consumption has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, chronic nasal congestion, fatigue, depression, chronic constipation, especially in children, diarrhea, arthritis, migraines, cataracts, Parkinson’s disease in men, menstrual cramps and heavier menstrual flow, recurrent vaginitis, fibroids, increased pain from endometriosis, and is the number one cause of food allergies.
  13. In children, cow’s milk has been shown to cause or exacerbate asthma, colic, earaches, eczema, and intestinal obstruction.
  14. Potential allergic reaction to cow’s milk may be a primary culprit in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in some cases.
  15. Increased risk of children’s bed wetting due to compromising of the gut and bladder inflammation.
  16. Dairy can also be contaminated with salmonella, listeria (which can cause miscarriages), tuberculosis, rabies, and paratuberculosis, which is believed to be involved in the development of Crohn’s Disease.
  17. 14% of the animals slaughtered for food are found to be too diseased for human consumption. So instead, they are fed to herbivorous animals like cows to increase their milk production.

Really, the American Government Recommends Dairy for Our Children?!

The american government makes sure to note that dairy is an important part of the American Diet and recommends 2.5 servings per day (click here for link). Thanks for the advice Uncle Sam, but I’ll take my chances feeding my kids dairy alternatives that don’t have the laundry list of potential harmful effects. Unfortunately, their recommendation is not surprising considering most of what government and medical professionals recommend for the public from a disease prevention perspective is garbage and completely misguided.

Check out this quote from the article link above: “It’s startling to see that almost 90 percent of the population isn’t eating the recommended three servings of dairy daily.” Yeah, very startling. I’m sure any reader of this blog just couldn’t imagine why any american would want to cut back on their dairy intake.

It’s always the same message from the establishment, “Eat this unhealthy food, get sick, and then go to the doctor to become heavily medicated to temporarily fix your problem!” This is the norm after all, right? There is so much bureaucracy and lobbying money tied up in the government to promote poor health to society that I honestly believe about nothing they say at this point from a preventative health standpoint. The Man is more worried about his agenda than the health of the American people.

It’s almost comical how they come out with these health guidelines that are easily proven as unhealthy, but they dress it up so professionally and altruistically and distribute it through mainstream media in order for the masses to take it as gospel.

Conclusion

I can personally attest for the drop in my blood sugars once I cut dairy out of my diet so I do believe in many of the harmful effects it can cause.

Like me, I realize confronting dairy as a poor health choice is tough, but the global decrease in demand is obvious proof that consumers are seeking alternatives for a variety of reasons. Also, do your own research. This blog is just the tip of the iceberg.

I personally know many people who have cured or greatly alleviated their chronic conditions through the elimination of dairy from their diet. Some of the cured conditions include asthma, acne, Crohn’s Disease and even diabetes like me.

The Medical Community – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

My April 2016 blog post is going to describe my general thoughts on the medical community and other haters of my cause.  My experience with doctors as a non-insulin T1D has not been the most pleasant, but I do have much respect for the medical community as a whole.

I divided my blog post in 3 sections…the good, the bad and the ugly…

THE GOOD

Overall, I believe a majority of doctors are really trying to help people and have their patients’ best interests in mind. Over the years, the medical community has been able to eradicate numerous diseases and also allow people to live with certain diseases that would otherwise prove fatal if left untreated (i.e. type 1 diabetes).

Helping my Dad

Specifically, my Dad was diagnosed with T1D in the 1970’s when he was in his twenties. At that time, the disease was much more difficult to manage and far less information was available than it is today.

A powerful example was that blood sugar monitors were not around when my Dad was first diagnosed. He actually had to pee on a test strip, and the color determined whether his levels were high or low (talk about stressful). Present day I can get my actual blood sugar readings within seconds of putting a drop of blood on the test strip…much easier.

The medical community’s invention of diabetic insulin has allowed people like my Dad to survive with the disease. My Dad is currently in his 70’s after living with the disease for over 40 years. If doctors had not invented insulin, he almost certainly would not be here today.

Helping Me

Also, I’m lucky to have two healthy children, and I couldn’t even imagine not having doctors and nurses around to help make sure the delivery went smooth. In addition, if I ever broke my leg or needed a surgery, doctors would be the first people I call.

I guess my point is that although I do get frustrated with the medical community at times, I fully admit they do a lot of good for the human race.

THE BAD

The “Bad” can include two different aspects; 1) the drug manufacturers and; 2) the medical schools.

Greedy Drug Manufacturers

The drug manufacturers have a major conflict of interest with the general health of society. On one hand, you can say these companies help save people’s lives and/or help people with diseases manage their daily lives. On the other hand, they are making billions of dollars each year making sure society stays heavily medicated.

The problem is that a large portion of diseases in the world are the result of a poor diet. A poor diet helps disease fester in our bodies and promote an overall lower quality of health.

Great big pharma article…click here.

Lack of Incentive to Cure Disease Through Diet

I truly believe the drug manufacturers are fully aware of the extent to which a proper diet can eliminate disease. However, there is just too much money floating around the industry that supports a heavily medicated society.

I mean, if you were the CEO of drug manufacturer, why on earth would you want people to stop taking medication? That would mean far less money in your pocket.

It’s unfortunate to say, but there are a lot of bad things in this world that are motivated by greed. Can someone please tell me how cigarette companies are still able to sell cigarettes to the public? It’s proven that they give you cancer and promote disease.

Unfortunately, these companies pay lobbyists a significant amount of money to make sure the government can’t shut them down or stop selling their products.

Lack of Diet Education at Medical School

Medical schools are part of the problem as well. I was listening to a documentary a few weeks ago, and they asked a doctor how much of their medical school curriculum was devoted to how a diet can impact disease. The answer was around a few hours. Yes, of 8-10 years of medical school, only a few hours were devoted to how a diet can affect disease. Something wrong here?

It’s not the doctors’ fault that their schooling doesn’t educate them on the profound impact that a diet can have on disease. I put blame higher up with the people funding / running these universities that have to be aware of how diet is more so than ever eradicating disease and making medications less relevant.

Once again  though, what incentive do medical schools have to push education on fighting disease through diet and exercise as opposed to medication? These medical schools are making money hand over fist to support medication as the fix for all disease.

Also if I was a doctor and I just went $200,000 in debt for medical school, I certainly would be hesitant to shift my practice to diet over medication for treating disease. Medication has a much more lucrative recurring revenue model considering many drugs just put band-aids on the problems and don’t address the underlying issues.

Type 2 Diabetes Making Drug Manufacturers Rich

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most profound examples of this. T2D is borderline an epidemic at this point, but can you imagine how much money the drug manufacturers and medical community make each year by keeping their T2D patients on medication? Again, why on earth would they want these T2Ds to know that a diet can cure their disease with a 100% effective rate.

My comments are meant to be general in nature and are directed at a majority of the medical community. I’m certain there are doctors out there who try and push diet to help their patients, but it certainly seems like these individuals are the minority.

THE UGLY

My “Ugly” category is reserved for ignorant haters. In my experience so far, these haters have taken the form of certain doctors and parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes.

Ignorant Haters – Doctors

Some of my biggest supporters have actually gotten in arguments with people in the medical community when discussing my situation. The tension was purely the result of certain doctors that are so ignorant that they refuse to believe that a T1D can be living free of medication for over two years.

They claim that I’m either 1) a Type 2 Diabetic or 2) that I’m still honeymooning.

Shame On You!

First off, shame on any medical professional that believes that I’m lying. Do you really think that I’m not a T1D? Do you think that I didn’t go through an extremely stressful 2-3 months post diagnosis trying to figure out what was wrong with me? I wish I was a Type 2 Diabetic as my life would be much less stressful.

Secondly, so I’m still honeymooning? You ignorant haters could be totally correct that I’ll some day need medication, however, what about the specific examples in my previous blog post. I’m certainly not the only one doing this for a prolonged period of time.

Medication – Old School Way of Treating Disease

My final thoughts to you doctors that are ignorant haters is to please keep an open mind and don’t argue with my supporters. Also, initially treating disease through medication is the old school way to approach things. All medication does in most instances is put band-aids over the problem.

The new school way to approach disease is to hit it at its core through a better diet. This is the only true long-term fix for most disease. If medication is necessary, then so be it, but every patient should know that diet is paramount to the overall eradication of most diseases.

Parents of Children with T1D

First off, I want all parents with children of T1D to know that I’m on your side. I couldn’t even imagine how difficult life would be to raise a child with T1D. This is a very tricky disease and I absolutely emphasize with your situation.

That said, I’ve received nastygrams from parents who get very frustrated with my message like I’m creating some sort of false hope for their situation. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I can not guarantee your child could be removed from insulin with the correct diet, but it is a possibility.

At the end of the day, I have the same disease that your child has, and a raw plant-based diet can significantly decrease the amount of insulin that your child needs. I bet your child would be very excited if you told them they had to take less shots each day, or had to worry less about extreme highs and lows. 

Please just don’t be brain washed by your doctors who claim that everything I’m saying is totally incorrect. I have heard of stories of children with T1D who have been able to stay off of medication as well with this type of strict diet. So, try and challenge your doctor and send them my blog posts if need be.

Conclusion

Hopefully you all enjoyed my portrayal of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In summary, I truly respect doctors and the good they do, however, there are many conflicts of interest out there in the medical community that everyone needs to be aware of.

I will always be skeptical of big business and their greater motivation for financial incentives than the general well-being of the human population.

Thank-You Supporters!

A special thanks to all of my supporters, and if any of the haters start getting in your face, please just direct them to my blog post. Even better, give them my cell phone number and tell them to call me.

I am fully confident they have no argument, and after all, the proof is in the pudding. I’m the one having to live with this disease, and they are only prescribing medication to others with the disease. Who would you listen to more?

Success Stories – Cured Type 1 Diabetics

Success Stories – Cured Type 1 Diabetics

My first couple posts outlined my story as a type 1 diabetic (“T1D”) and my daily diet that has helped me stay off of medication for over two years.  A natural progression for my next blog would be to list the key resources that I used to educate myself on natural alternatives to fight this disease and illustrate multiple cases of cured T1Ds.

Over the course of the past two years I have read many books and watched a number of great documentaries.  For this post, I’m going to focus on the two key resources that essentially changed my life and provided the education and inspiration necessary for me to manage this disease medication free.

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

Link to the Documentary

This documentary was the first major step in understanding how to manage Type 1 diabetes with no medication.  This film is truly inspiring for not only diabetics throughout the world, but for anyone looking to fight diseases naturally.

The film starts off with all sorts of fun facts like 1) the cases of Type 2 diabetes has tripled in the past 10 years; 2) the US is one of the sickest countries in the world; and 3) we currently have the most overweight population in the history of the human race.

The genesis of the documentary was to follow 6 Americans with diabetes through a 30 day journey to “cure” their disease through purely a raw natural food diet.  Like most diabetics, all 6 subjects prior to the documentary had been advised by their doctors to pump themselves full of medication with zero guidance on how a raw plant-based diet could essentially cure their disease. This was exactly the rhetoric I heard from my doctors when I first was diagnosed, as well.

All Type 2 Diabetics Cured

The subjects all attended a clinic at the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia, Arizona which is led by Dr. Gabriel Cousins. Of the 6 diabetics in the film, 4 or them were Type 2 diabetics (“T2D”) and 2 were T1Ds.  The T2Ds were hard core diabetics, meaning they all were heavily medicated and in poor health. The one T2D was on 17 different pills and insulin.  After 1 week, each of the T2D were 100% off of medication with fasting blood sugars approaching normal ranges.

I don’t want to dwell on the T2Ds here because my primary purpose is to help T1Ds, however, this pretty much shows that even the worst cases of T2D can be completely reversed within a week once following this type of diet.  I’m no doctor, but from my understanding, every single T2D out there can be cured, or at least stop medication, if you just follow the general guidelines of this documentary.

Type 1 Diabetic Success Story #1 (drastic insulin reduction)

Now for the T1Ds at the clinic…the one T1D had the disease since he was about 10 years old. He came into the clinic very skeptical about a “cure” or the potential of living insulin free, even though the doctors told him of several cases of “curing” T1Ds. After the 30 day program, this individual was able to reduce his daily insulin units from 70 to 5. Since I’ve never been on insulin, I really don’t understand doses/units but this represents a 93% decrease in required insulin.

Type 1 Diabetic Success Story #2 (cured)

The second T1D was the more interesting subject. Not to play spoiler, but this person was thought to be a T2D at the beginning of the film but it was proven at the end he was actually a T1D. His name is Kirt Tyson and he was diagnosed with the disease in his early 20s. When he was diagnosed he had a fasting blood sugar of 1,200 (normal is < 100), and had been on insulin ever since.

Within one week at the clinic, Kirt was off of medication and his fasting blood sugar was 73. One could argue that he was cured of his disease. Dr. Cousens mentioned that Kirt has been medication free for over 10 years now.

In conclusion, the transformation of each person was truly remarkable following the retreat. Each person felt much healthier, lost significant excess weight, and got their life back on track. It wasn’t easy though, and the documentary shows the battle that people have adjusting to this raw vegan diet. However, 5 of the 6 individuals were completely euphoric following the retreat and were overly thankful at how this changed their lives.

Profound Impacts on All Disease

One final point worth mentioning is that this can positively affect each and everyone one of us. The Standard American Diet (“SAD”) promotes disease in all of us, not just diabetics. The one doctor in the film stated that he believes 50% of all diseases could be completely eliminated if the population focused on a raw plant-based diet. 

Whether you suffer from illnesses like diabetes or cancer or other issues like acne, stomach problems, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or fatigue…I can assure you that implementing a raw plant based lifestyle can help counteract these problems. There are examples of multiple people that I know who have cured or significantly alleviated their problems through a healthier diet.

I certainly don’t expect everyone to become a raw vegan foodist. However, just take baby steps like eating a salad everyday for lunch made up of healthy vegetables. I promise you that you will feel like a million bucks after a 2-3 weeks on the diet. Don’t underestimate the power of food!

The 2nd Resource: Dr. Gabriel Cousens

Tree of Life Center (website)

There is a Cure for Diabetes (book)

After I viewed the documentary discussed above, I was completely floored that a T1D was able to remove himself from insulin and achieve a fasting blood sugar of 73. If you talk to any doctor, this just isn’t supposed to happen. I was very eager to learn more, so I started researching Dr. Gabriel Cousens who runs the Tree of Life clinic.

More Diabetics Seek to Get Cured

After a little digging, I discovered that Dr. Cousens published a book in 2012 that summarized his interactions with another 120 diabetics, both T1 and T2 since the release of the documentary. Apparently, once the Simply Raw documentary came out, many other diabetics throughout the country were interested in attending the Tree of Life retreat to try and cure their diabetes.

More Type 1 Diabetics Cured

Of the additional T1Ds that Dr. Cousens treated, approximately 31.4% were off all insulin in three weeks and approximately 21% were off all insulin with a fasting blood sugar less than 100 (cured). Although 69% of the T1Ds treated at the clinic were not able to come off of insulin, they had a 70% average drop in their insulin requirements. Not bad…

Unfortunately the book didn’t provide exact numbers of how many T1Ds were treated, but a 30% success rate of removing T1D patients from medication in three weeks is astounding. Much better than the 0% that your typical doctor / endocrinologist will tell you!

After reading this, I’m guessing the question that most people have is how is this possible? Aren’t T1Ds supposed to have an autoimmune disease that destroys their beta cells and prohibits the creation of insulin? Well, I’m living proof that my beta cells are not all destroyed, contrary to popular belief.

Without getting too technical, Dr. Cousens believes that his diet was effective because 1) it reduced inflammation in a T1Ds body which allowed more beta cells to survive and produce insulin; 2) the live foods stimulated beta cell production; and 3) the diet significantly reduces the amount of insulin needed to produce normal fasting blood sugars.

Conclusion

For any of you skeptics, hopefully after reading this blog you can see there is concrete scientific research to support my practices. There is a whole community of other T1Ds out there doing the exact same thing as me, some even better!

Unfortunately, this diet is not full-proof and a majority of T1Ds will not be able to completely remove themselves from medication. But, I feel like every T1D out there deserves to be educated on this (you hear that American Diabetes Association?!?) so they at least have the option that nearly all doctors will not provide. Instead of hopelessly injecting yourself full of insulin everyday, you now know that you have a 30% chance of living medication free with this diet.

No one really knows why this diet works for some T1Ds. My personal opinion is that I believe all T1Ds, no matter when diagnosed, still have some functioning beta cells in their body. And the utilization of these remaining beta cells are able to be maximized by eating the diet discussed above.

Is This a Cure?

Is this a cure…? I don’t know. Is it true to say I’ve cured my disease because I can manage my blood sugars naturally by eating a diet of mostly vegetables, nuts and seeds? I certainly don’t think I technically cured my disease, but living medication free with the disease is damn near close.

What’s funny is that a more acceptable cure for society would be the introduction of drug that injects beta cells in one’s body (hypothetical example) to stimulate insulin production. This may eliminate the insulin need for many T1Ds, but they would still be eating the SAD. Now, is this a cure?

For having to live with a chronic disease that could slowly kill me, I’d say life really isn’t much different than it was before I became diabetic. Besides the change in diet and having to prick my finger each morning, there really isn’t much of a difference. Sometimes I don’t even like telling people I’m a T1D considering I’m not on medication and my A1c readings are technically classified as “non-diabetic”. 

I consider myself very fortunate that my body is still able to combat this disease medication free, and hopefully I have many more years of medication free life ahead of me. 

 

My Diet – Foundation for No Medication

Raw Plant-Based Diet is the Key

For my second blog post, I thought it would be a good idea to just lay out what my diet is. After all, any T1D interested in staying off medication will be mostly interested in this topic. I will discuss in more detail below, but I predominately eat a raw plant-based diet. When I say raw, I mean uncooked foods (i.e. garden salad). Raw foods retain higher nutrient levels that aid in healing my body. The more cooked foods I eat, the less nutrients my body absorbs.

When I say plant-based, I mean that 90 to 95% of what I eat is centered on vegetables, nuts and seeds…all organic. The other 5-10% of what I eat is animal-based (i.e. chicken, fish, eggs, steak). The only reason why I still eat animal products is because it’s very difficult to completely eliminate these considering how ingrained they are into our society. I do admit they taste good, but I know they are bad for me, so I try and avoid them as much as I can.

When I first was diagnosed back in January 2014, I read a few books outlining the benefits of the plant-based diet. I initially thought these books were crazy talk as I was coming from a completely animal-based diet, so the concept of limiting my diet to 1-2 small servings of animal products per week almost seemed comical.

However, what wasn’t comical was the continued rise of my blood sugars over the first 9 months after my diagnosis when animal products were still a staple in my diet. This included eggs for breakfast, chicken on my salads for lunch and some kind of animal product for dinner. Newly diagnosed T1Ds have some flexibility soon after diagnosis (0-9 months) when your pancreas is still functioning to a certain extent, but this “honeymoon period” does eventually fade unless you convert to a plant-based diet, at least in my experience.

Plant-Based Diet is Good for Everyone

Before I jump into my diet, I want all non-diabetic readers of this blog to know that I would recommend my diet for everyone, not just T1Ds. We all should be eating plant-based diets. It’s what’s natural and the food that is meant for our bodies.

I realize many of you are rolling your eyes right now, just like I was when I first started researching this, but it doesn’t take much internet research to uncover a lot of the adverse effects from eating animal products. I’m not saying you need to completely eliminate animal products, but just know that the more you eat the worse off you will be.

My Diet And Path To No Medication

Below I’m going to outline my routine for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on a daily basis. At this point, I’m on cruise control with my diet. I was stricter when I first began following it, but over time I’ve learned certain areas where I can loosen up because my blood sugars remained in a desirable range. I will admit this diet is not cheap and it’s high maintenance, however, staying off medication will save you money in the long run, and you will have an extreme sense of personal accomplishment.

Breakfast (Raw Nut Granola Recipe)

For breakfast I eat raw nut granola with homemade almond milk. On a typical 30 day month, I probably eat this 26 days for breakfast. It actually tastes very good and is filling. This is probably my favorite thing to eat. The other 4 days of the month I eat pecan porridge which has similar ingredients to the nut granola.

I use something called yacon syrup that flavors the granola with a similar taste to that of maple syrup. Yacon syrup tastes amazing, and I’m not sure how it’s low glycemic, but it is. It’s also super expensive unfortunately. Here is the link to the yacon syrup I buy: Amazon Therapeutics. The granola is dehydrated on 115 degrees for 12+ hours. Cooking foods at 115 degrees or less preserves the nutrients so the meal is still technically “raw”. Here is the dehydrator I use: Nesco.

Lunch

For lunch I almost always have a garden salad made up of low glycemic vegetables. The items I typically include on my salad are spinach, kale, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, chickpeas, green/red pepper, tomatoes, avocado, carrots, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds. For dressing I use some type of low-to-no sugar organic salad dressing from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

This really should be the staple in everyone’s daily diet, not just T1Ds. All of these vegetables are key in reversal of disease and healthy living. If you wanted to be stricter, you can try using apple cider vinegar dressing. I used ACV for a while, but just couldn’t handle it anymore…I needed something with more taste.

Dinner

Dinner is where things get interesting. This is probably the biggest pain in my diet. I have the breakfast and lunch routine down, but it’s not easy finding low maintenance vegan dinners (at least in my experience). I really wish I was filthy rich and could just hire someone to research and prepare vegan dinners for me each day, but for now I’m stuck working through this myself. I will give credit to my wife though as she does find cool things for me to eat.

Many of the dinner items I experimented with tasted great at first, but I became sick of them after about 4 or 5 times. So, I’ve had to keep searching for new things to eat. A good website / app to locate good vegan meals is Pinterest (clean eating). My wife got me into this, and it does provide some excellent options. I’m going to list below the link to some good meals that I’ve had. These are probably my top choices at this point. I just try and rotate them to try and keep the appeal. Worst case scenario I just eat a salad for dinner if I’m in a crunch.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Raw Lentil Tacos

Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli, & Sun Dried Tomato Salad with Chickpeas

Black Bean Meatball Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Snacks

The above diet can leave you a little hungry during the day, so I almost always eat some kind of daily snack in the afternoon. I’ve experimented with many types of foods, but the most low maintenance, good tasting snacks I found are kale chips and flax snacks.

If you go to Whole Foods, they have a snack isle with a lot of good options. Just make sure you read the ingredients to ensure there is no added sugar in the kale chips. The “Brad’s Raw Chips” are really good and they are located at Whole Foods.

Fruit

I hardly eat any fruit. I wish I could eat more, but most fruits in general have a large amount of natural sugars and carbohydrates which translates to higher blood sugars for me. If I do eat fruit, I try to eat berries as they are the lowest glycemic fruits out there (i.e. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries).

The next best would be fruits like apples, pears and oranges. Dried fruit should be avoided if you are a T1D. These are fruits such as dates, raisins and cranberries, and they are extremely high on the glycemic index.

Sweets / Deserts

I almost never eat sweets, deserts, soda or other sugary drinks. I may have something once per month. I did used to love ice cream, but the dairy and sugar in ice cream will throw a T1Ds blood sugar out of whack, so I suggest avoiding them. If you must indulge, there is ice cream made out of nuts like cashews that tastes just as good as cow’s milk ice cream.

Ultimately, I would suggest not eating any sweets or deserts. They are packed with sugar and garbage ingredients that wreak havoc on your blood sugars, not to mention your entire body. My guess is that this is where a lot of T1Ds would have trouble following my diet.

However, once you research and better understand the adverse effects that sugar desserts have on your body, my guess is that you’ll be less inclined to eat them.

Alcohol

YES! I definitely still indulge in a few drinks here and there. I do, however, drink much less than I used to, but this can be attributed to me just getting old as well and being married with children. In my experience, having a glass of red wine or two has typically lowered my fasting blood sugars the following day. Alcohol is known to have this effect on blood sugars. If I drink beer, I’ll have Miller Light or Michelob Ultra which are two of the lower carb beers.

If you want to be super strict, drink potato vodka, club soda with a lime…this would be your lowest glycemic choice. I tried drinking these, but I never was much of a liquor fan, so I just stick with red wine for the most part and have the occasional beers. Just remember there is a tipping point where consuming too much alcohol in a given night will actually raise your blood sugars.

Supplements

In general, most supplements are not good for you. A majority of them contain all sorts of weird chemicals that hurt your body. Even if you find a healthier one, chances are they provide more nutrients / minerals than your body actually needs. If you follow my diet above, you will not need any additional supplementation and you can rest assured that your body is getting all of the nutrients and minerals it needs.

There is one caveat, you need to take a B12 vitamin if you are vegan. From my research, this is the only mineral that your body needs that comes solely from animals. This is the spray I use: Pure Vegan B-12 Spray.

There is one supplement that I took for a while when I first started the plant-based diet. It is super healthy and contains only raw vegan natural ingredients (no chemicals). However, the drawbacks were 1) it gets expensive; 2) it tastes awful and 3) I had to use stevia to stomach the drink which actually increased my blood sugar levels. Ultimately, I stopped purchasing it, however, here is a link to the one I used to get: Healthforce Vitamineral Green.

Conclusion

This diet definitely took some getting used to, but I truly enjoy it now. Obviously it’s no fun having T1D, but it’s sure a great feeling when I can manage a disease naturally that nearly all standard doctors say is impossible. I’ve learned a lot over the past couple of years regarding diet and its effects on your body. Even if the medical community found a cure for T1D tomorrow, I sincerely believe my diet wouldn’t change much from what it is now.

I’m certainly not happy about having this disease, but in some respects I feel blessed that my wife, children and myself will be much healthier in our lives than we otherwise would have been if I’d not been diagnosed. I wish the rest of society could become enlightened like I was. Unfortunately, it usually takes some form of tragedy in one’s life before getting the motivation to change.