Category Archives: Education

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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The Diabetes Summit

Understanding disease is never an easy task. When I was first diagnosed in early 2014, the doctors made type 1 diabetes sound so simple to me. They told me that my beta cells were being attacked and that I will soon no longer have the ability to create insulin on my own.

Diabetes is not so Simple

At the time, I was very depressed when I went home from that initial appointment. However, after researching the hell out of the disease over the first 9 months, I came to find that T1D was anything but simple. Not only that, I came to realize that the mainstream doctors are only communicating one side the story to a majority of the T1Ds out there.

After I explored the alternative approaches to managing the disease, I came to realize that this is the path that I needed to take. No pills, no insulin, no shots, no doctors (except for an annual visit), just a mostly live plant-based diet and plenty of exercise.

Continuing Education – The Diabetes Summit

I always continue seeking ways to better educate myself on the disease in an effort to add value in my blog and help other people (even non-diabetics) improve their way of life.

One great educational forum that I was made aware of was the Diabetes Summit (website).  I actually only came across this because my wife found it. She is very into a holistic approach to fighting disease, so she comes across things like this on occasion. The Summit is facilitated by Dr. Brian Mowll (website) who is known as “The Diabetes Coach”.

The definition from the site is “The Diabetes Summit 2017 is the premier event in natural diabetes prevention, management,
and care to help you discover the root cause of blood sugar imbalance, and set a path of change to enable your body to regain optimal health and blood sugar”.

Summit Structure

The program is structured to last one week and include 30 different speakers via video podcasts, so it was about 4 different videos per day for a week. A nice thing about the program is that it was actually free during the week of March 20 to March 27.

However, if you are like me, it’s tough to find the time to watch five hours per day of videos for a week straight. So, the site gives you the option for around $60 to just buy the summit and have access to watch it at your leisure. This is what I did, and I’ve been trying to watch one per night if I can.

As of today, I’ve only gotten through about 1/3 of the videos, but it has been eye opening. The Summit is focused mostly on type 2 diabetes, but there are many references to type 1 diabetics throughout the presentations.

Summit Topics

The topics run the gamut as to the different ways to help combat the issues of high blood sugars. The topics of the videos that I’ve watched so far include:

  1. A New Understanding of Insulin and Blood Sugar
  2. From the Trenches, Strategies for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Using Detoxification and Clean Eating to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
  4. A Parent’s Journey to Managing Type 1 Diabetes
  5. A Functional Medicine Approach to Managing Blood Sugar
  6. Autoimmune Disease and It’s Connection to Diabetes
  7. Using Naturopathic Medical Principals to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
  8. How to Get your Sleep Right to Improve your Insulin and Blood Sugar
  9. Using a Raw Foods Approach to Reversing Diabetes

Number 9 above was a video with my boy Dr. Gabriel Cousens (Tree of Life Center), which is the gentlemen whose live food diet strategy has been the key to my ability in staying off of insulin. During the video he discussed his track record of getting 20-30% of the T1Ds that he treated off of insulin with a fasting blood sugar below 100. Absolutely remarkable.

Reigniting the Fire

Being involved and watching forums like this are an important ingredient to keeping me motivated to stay off of insulin and medication as a T1D.

Sometimes what makes life so hard is that I feel like I’m on an island by myself on this plant-based journey. When I’m in the comfort of my own home, it’s a lot easier. However, as soon as I leave my front door and jump into the real world, it’s a constant struggle of seeing nearly everyone around you eating steak, chicken, fish, sugar, dairy and other products that I know are detrimental to my ability to manage this disease insulin free.

You Vote with your Fork Everyday

One of the best lines from a Summit video that I watched thus far was “You vote with your fork everyday”. I truly resonate with this saying because I could curl up in a ball, pump myself full of insulin and eat the standard american diet (SAD) and go about my life and fit in a lot better with society.

However, I see this SAD lifestyle choice as only perpetuating the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes, not to mention many other SAD induced diseases. I think of my children growing up in this crazy toxic / GMO / sugar filled / animal-based protein society, and I just can’t buy in to supporting these SAD ways which are proven to be unhealthy and cause disease. This probably motivates me more  than anything to continue my march down the lonely road of being a T1D off of medication.

Even if my kids grow up and choose to eat a poor diet, I’ll be damned if I don’t at least set a good example and educate them during their adolescent years of how to optimize their health because I know the schooling system and corporate media machine certainly won’t.

Conclusion

The Summit has been a great reminder that there a significant amount of people out there that know and seek the truth about how diet can affect and cure disease, and it’s great to see the top researchers in homeopathic medicine come together to educate the public and spread the word.

One of the videos mentioned that nearly 50% of the population either has, or is in the early stages of type 2 diabetes. Talk about an epidemic. This Summit can be useful for everyone, not just for diabetics, and I encourage everyone to check out this information and start yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

My Words of Wisdom

Well, this past December marked the official 3 year anniversary of me being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and also the 3 year mark of managing the disease with no medication.

It’s been an incredible journey over the past few years, both with ups and downs. My blog has been a great forum to spread my message and help other people, but it’s also been a forum that has allowed me to learn from other people as well.

Since I have been diagnosed, I have logged my fasting blood sugar each morning for nearly 3 years, which is also the only time I test my blood sugar each day. You can click below to access my graph of fasting blood sugar results and quarterly A1c tests since I was diagnosed.

Last 3 Years Daily Fasting Blood Sugar and Quarterly A1c

My goal with this post is to write about my “Words of Wisdom”. Like anything in life once you get some experience, your management of something becomes more efficient and you just intuitively start to know what works and what doesn’t.

At this point I am in a rhythm and things are still going well. My blood sugars have remained relatively stable and I hardly even notice that I have the disease.

So, without further ado, below is my quick cheat sheet guide of what any T1D can expect that desires to try and get off of medication and leave the insulin ball and chain behind.

Words of Wisdom

#1 – This Isn’t Easy

Obviously if this was easy, there would be many more T1Ds like me. I personally now like eating a plant-based diet, but I am the minority. Society is tailored around an animal based diet and I am going against the grain. I think a vegan diet is becoming more en vogue with each passing year, but it’s a constant battle and is not for the faint of heart.

#2 – Not All T1Ds Can Do This

Unfortunately, not all T1Ds can remove themselves from medication through my diet. From my understanding, about 30% are able to. I am very fortunate to be one of the lucky ones. This said, the other 70% that can not completely get off meds can still drastically reduce the amount of insulin needed each day.

#3 – Drink This Each Day

Drink a scoop of this everyday – Vitamineral Green. It tastes terrible but it alone will noticeably lower your blood sugars.  I started taking a scoop of this per day in November 2016 and right away my average fasting blood sugar dropped from 110 in the 30 days prior to 102 in the 30 days post taking it.

#4 – Alcohol Can Be Your Friend

Obviously alcohol is not a great thing for our bodies, however, a small to moderate amount almost always lowers my fasting blood sugars. I’d say 4 out of 5 times my fasting blood sugar is below 100 is a morning after I have some drinks. I typically drink red wine as an FYI. Tito’s vodka, or other potato vokdas, with club soda and a lime is a nice choice too.

#5 – Eat Raw Vegan for Breakfast and Lunch Everyday

In order to stay off of medication as a T1D a majority of what you eat will need to be low glycemic, vegan, uncooked (raw) foods. My breakfast is always the raw nut granola (recipe) and my lunch is always a salad. My dinners vary depending on what my wife is cooking, but they are almost always cooked and mostly vegan.

Rule of thumb is the more uncooked, organic, plant-based foods you eat, the lower your blood sugars will be.

#6 – Track Your Fasting Blood Sugars

At this point, the only time I check my blood sugars is each morning when I wake up before I eat anything. As long as this number is within that 90 to 120 range, I’m usually comfortable with everything.

Another added benefit is that I can usually predict what my A1c is going to be each quarter by taking my rolling 90 day average of my blood sugars. This takes alot of the stress out of the unknown.

If you download the iphone app called “Pocket A1c“, it quickly tells you what an average fasting blood sugar corresponds to what A1c level. Immediately before my A1c test, below are my last four 90 day fasting blood sugar averages, the Pocket A1c predicted A1c and then what my actual A1c was. As you can see, there isn’t much difference.

February 2016 (A1c testing month) – 108.8 (90 day rolling average fasting blood sugars at day of testing) – 5.3 (predicted A1c per Pocket A1c) – 5.6 (actual A1c)

May 2016 – 106.5 – 5.3 – 5.5

August 2016 – 108.2 – 5.4 – 5.7

November 2016 – 108.0 – 5.4 – 5.7

As you can see, it’s usually about 0.2 or 0.3 higher than what the pocket A1c predicts but very predictable.

#7 – Know That You are Better Off on this Diet

A plant-based diet is a major life-style change, and it’s hard. But you need to realize that you are better off on this diet, not just from a diabetes perspective, but from an overall health perspective.

I don’t know what blows my mind more, the healing power of a plant-based diet or the fact that no doctor in my 30 years prior to getting T1D ever told me about the profound effects that a diet can have on disease.

A plant-based diet has literally cured cancer in some instances that I’ve read about. I will assure you that a plant-based will 1) give you more energy; 2) make you think clearer; 3) make your vision better; 4) make your body ache less; 5) make you sleep better; 6) make you just feel better about yourself; 7) help you lose weight.

#8 – It’s All About the Diet

If you are a T1D trying to stay off of meds, it’s all about the diet. You can be a triathlete, but if you eat an animal based diet then you are headed for insulin. In contrast, if you eat a diet like mine and exercise moderately, you have a strong chance of staying off medication.

Some newly diagnosed T1Ds start going insane at the gym because their doctors tell them that exercise helps lower blood sugars. This is absolutely true, but exercise is only a small, but necessary, piece to the puzzle.

I’ve actually exercised my whole life 5-6 days per week, so I can’t provide a reference of my blood sugars in periods of no exercise. But, I can tell you during the fist year after diagnosis my blood sugars continued to rise to hazardous levels while I was on the animal based diet with my same exercise routine.

#9 – Juvenile Diabetes and My Diabetes are the Same Disease

I know some parents of T1D children get frustrated with my message, but please understand that I have the same disease as your child. I’m not an PHD on T1D, so there may be differences between me getting the disease at age 31 vs. getting it at age 7, but we both have an auto-immune disease doing the same damage to our bodies.

I realize it’s 10x harder to manage T1D in an adolescent vs. managing as an adult later in life, but please understand my methods can drastically reduce the amount of insulin that your child needs.

#10 – Think for Yourself

Please don’t look at the medical community as Gods. In my opinion, they are merely one reference point on how to manage disease. Most doctors are smart and well intentioned, but are purely trained on fixing you with medication.

Realize that in most instances food has healing power far beyond that of any medication that your doctor prescribes. Do your own research and pick a method at managing the disease that makes you comfortable regardless of what your doctor tells you.

#11 – You will Positively Affect the Lives of Others Around You

I sometimes write about how most of my family members still maintain their animal based diet lifestyles. However, I have noticed a meaningful amount of people that are close to me modify their diet to include more vegetables, less dairy, or other plant-based sources of food.

My diet and motivation to stay off of medications is not only to avoid sticking myself with needles and medication for the rest of my natural life, but also to try and make a difference in the lives of those who know me. Even if you merely stop buying dairy milk and start buying almond milk, my god this is such a step in the right direction.

#12 – It Will Turn Into More Than Just Staying Off of Medication

Building on my last point, staying off medication as a T1D is much more than just a simple choice. It represents a stance against the mainstream ideology that medicine is the way to fight disease. Maybe in extreme examples medication is necessary, but a proper diet can do wonders in preventing all sorts of disease.

I’m by no means an activist, but I have no problem standing up for what I believe. I personally avoid doctors at all costs unless I would have an emergency. I am hardly ever sick anymore and feel better than I ever have. Unfortunately, society seems to be set up to have a revolving door in and out of the doctor’s office.

#13 – This Could Work for Decades

I truly believe that I can be off of medication for decades, and possibly the rest of my life. I am committed to making my diet more strict if needed to ensure I stay off of medication. I guess I’m saying do not get discouraged when you doctor tells you that you are doomed. It’s not always true.

#14 – Not Everyone Will Agree

Not everyone that hears your story will agree with you. I will say that almost all T1Ds that know my story respect my message, but many just would rather be on insulin and eat the standard american sugary foods or steak/chicken/fish. I totally get it, but that’s not me. I am a firm believer in full disclosure, and I do not believe T1Ds get this perspective from their doctors.

#15 – It’s Easier Than You Think

I know eating a plant-based diet sounds insane, but it’s not that bad once you get used to it. I eat this kick a*s nut granola for breakfast and a great salad for lunch each day. Then my wife usually makes me some sort of creative vegan dinner. I love my diet and am super happy about the plant-based focus.

Once you settle into the diet, it becomes second nature. Also, once you start feeling all of the benefits that a plant-based diet brings, you will be more reluctant to go back to your old ways. There are also plenty of vegan / plant-based websites or apps to help you find ideas for food.

I also cheat more than you probably would think. I almost never eat junk food, but probably 2 or 3 times per week I will eat some animal products. I definitely would have no problem being vegan, but it’s very hard so I probably slip up every so often. I guess my point is that you have some wiggle room here and you don’t have to be a raw vegan foodist to accomplish what I am doing.

#16 – Avoid Fruit and Grains

Unfortunately, most fruit is high in carbs. Although they contain natural sugars, they are high in carbs. I avoid most fruit, but I do eat goji berries (these are a super food) and also berries on occasion (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry) because they are the lowest glycemic of fruit.

The only grains type foods that I eat are lentils and quinoa. Although I try and avoid these if I can as they are moderately high on the glycemic index.

#17 – Dining at Restaurants is the Hardest Part

I won’t lie, eating out is the biggest pain of my diet. Most restaurants have a poor plant-based selection. There is always the option of just getting the garden salad at restaurants, but I have found it very difficult to eat a garden salad while looking across the table and seeing my friends gnawing on a massive steak.

My wife and I have tried to find more vegan restaurants which has helped make dining out stay fun. I absolutely love going to vegan restaurants. It takes a lot of the stress out of eating out.

#18 – Somehow This Stuff is Low Glyemic

Buy some yacon syrup. Thanks God for this stuff. This is what’s used in my nut granola recipe. Essentially it tastes similar to maple syrup but it’s very low glycemic. It is expensive though, but well worth it.

#19 – This Diet Isn’t Cheap

If you are committing to a plant-based diet, be prepared to spend some money. Buying anything organic immediately adds 20% to the price. Unfortunately in today’s society, the cheap and most readily available foods are the worst ones for us. Isn’t that a*s backwards?

#20 – All T1Ds Deserve to Know Their Options from Day 1

To all T1Ds, talk to your doctor about me. Talk to them about how a diet can affect your blood sugars. Challenge your doctor. Make them realize it’s not all about the medication and there are other alternatives that are safe and effective. Educating the medical community is a first great step in getting this message out.

I will happily get on a conference call with you and your doctor to help educate them. I am serious…

#21 – There is T1D and T2D, That’s It

Finally, I know some people think that I’m Type 1.5 or some other new term. At the end of the day, if you are a diabetic, you either have an auto-immune disease (T1D) or your body has just stopped managing insulin effectively due predominately to poor food choices (T2D).

Doctors try and justify their draconian T1D scenario by claiming people like me are a mix between T1 and T2, or are just straight T2 and were misdiagnosed. Come on Docs, please just admit that you don’t have all of the answers and that diet may be able to do a better job than you at managing my disease.

Summary

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to summarize everything that I’ve learned over the past few years for those new blog followers that may be looking for a quick summary.

Happy New Year everyone!

My Blog – A Year in Review (How am I Doing?)

One Year Blogging!

Well, it’s already been one year since I started my blog. I wasn’t really sure what I expected this to turn into when I started it back in December 2015. Like most people, I had a busy life and knew I didn’t have much time to devote to this blog, but I knew I had a powerful message to convey and I wanted to commit to at least 1 blog per month.

Overall, I’ve been happy with the blog. I certainly don’t have a tremendous amount of traffic each month, but I have been gaining traction as the months go by. I’ve also managed to have several conversations with people seeking help, and I’ve also received a decent amount of positive messages from people.

I’m Your Average Guy

I think the beauty of my situation is that I’m a fairly normal person that can relate to most T1Ds. I work a demanding job, have a wife and have two kids which consumes most of my time. The fact that I can manage T1D medication free while maintaining a normal “The American Dream” type of life should inspire hope to other like minded T1Ds that my path is an option for all T1Ds.

I realize that certain posts have rubbed some people the wrong way, and I’m sure I’ve alienated myself to a certain extent from some individuals as well. However, my message is too powerful to just sit on the sidelines and not try and help other T1Ds. I would have given anything to read a blog like  this right after I was diagnosed instead of having to hopelessly listen to a doctor’s depressing prognosis of what my future insulin dependent life will be like.

There Will Always Be the Haters

Certain people out there just love to hate on my blog, and I understand that will never change. The typical comments that I receive include people telling me that my blog is BS and that I’m a Type 2 Diabetic, or, that I’m just in my honeymoon phase and my body will eventually shut down and need insulin.

Believe me, if I could be diagnosed as a T2D, I would gladly accept that and immediately shut down my blog. Life would be much less stressful as a T2D and I know I could then live the remainder of my life medication free with a healthly diet and exercising.

Unfortunately though, my test results all point to T1D, and I have to stress over almost everything I eat and also the anxiety of knowing that my body could continue to deteriorate to the point that I’ll need medication.

My Message Will Persevere

However, until that day, I’m going to continue blogging and spreading my message in an effort to accomplish my goals. My blog has given me a bit of peace and serenity in dealing with this disease. Life is so fast paced but writing my blog allows me to slow down and really think about how impactful my message can be for not only T1Ds but all people.

Revisiting My Goals

I thought it would be good to revisit exactly what I’m trying to get out of this.

My main goals were:

Goal #1 – Help Other Like Minded T1Ds

To help other T1Ds to realize that there are alternative methods of managing their disease besides the hopeless draconian scenarios of endless insulin shots and stressing over blood sugar levels. I realize not all T1Ds have an interest in managing the disease in my fashion, but they should ALL be aware that this is an option.

Goal #2 – Educate on the Profound Impacts of Food on Disease

To educate the general public of the profound impact that diet can have in fighting all sorts of diseases, not just T1D. Before I was diagnosed in 2013, I ate a very similar diet as most people (steak, chicken, fish, pasta, occasional junk food).

However, after my experiences and education over the past few years, my eyes were completely opened to the truth about food. All people should know that diet can eradicate many diseases out there, and you typically don’t need to subject yourself to a lifetime of medication if you make the right dietary choices.

Goal #3 – Raise Awareness that Doctor’s May Not Have All of the Answers

As I’ve mentioned before, I believe most doctors are trying to help people. That said, the fact that the medical community does not inform 100% (or even a majority) of T1Ds about how a plant-based diet can potentially cure them is just wrong. I just can’t get wrap my head around it.

I totally understand the T1Ds that love their cheeseburgers and would prefer being on medication than to eat my diet. However, all T1Ds deserve to know the absolute truth about the disease from their doctors from the very beginning, and that’s just not happening in today’s society.

So I feel like this blog is my way to give a big middle finger to whoever is controlling the information that doctors are trained on that omits information about people like me.  I mean, how is there not a big fat chapter in the medical school books about a story like me? It’s arguably a cure to an incurable disease!!

Unfortunately, someone seems intent on keeping it out of mainstream medical schools, and it’s not fair to people having to live with this stressful disease. I guess though we are a capitalist society and the medical community isn’t making money off people like me. It’s a tough battle, but I’m in this for the long-haul. I guess you can call me a conspiracy theorist, but if you were in my shoes, what would you think?

Progress

So, I hope efforts with this blog have been worth my while. Over the past year, I’ve received enough positive reaction that I feel reinforced in my efforts and will try my best to continue putting out a monthly blog. As time goes on and I remain medication free, I’m sure I’ll start gaining the attention of more T1Ds and raise awareness about alternatives to treating this disease.

A special thanks to all of my followers and your efforts in helping me spread my message in my initial year of blogging. It’s people like yourselves that keep me motivated to continue blogging and helping more T1Ds.

Keep Helping Me Spread My Message

Even if you are not a T1D and enjoy my blog, I’m sure you know a T1D or a parent of a T1D, and now understand that sharing my story can truly change the lives of those affected with this frustrating disease. We all know that they will not receive this information from their doctor.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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.

Staying Disciplined While Traveling

One of the hardest parts of managing type 1 diabetes without medication is staying disciplined while traveling. Whether it’s a business trip or a vacation, they both present many opportunities for me to get off the wagon.

I’m Only Human

I know many of you that follow my blog and are educated on T1D probably think that I’m part human, part robot for being able to almost go 3 years without medication. I am very disciplined but at least 3 or 4 times a week I’m probably eating something that I shouldn’t be, so I’m far from perfect. The good thing is that since most of my diet is raw vegan made up of healthy choices, my body is able to manage a hiccup here or there.

That said,  vacations are a whole different animal. As I’m sure you all experience, vacations are full of eating out and minimal exercise. Not a great recipe for a T1D trying to stay off of medication.

Staying Off Meds at Disney World!

I had the pleasure of going to Disney World earlier this month with my wife, son, daughter and my mom. I was actually nervous about this trip because I knew it would be chaotic with a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old at Disney, but it actually was easier than I thought.family-with-mickey

I was on vacation from Saturday through Thursday at Disney. I only test my blood sugars once per day in the mornings when I first wake up (fasting blood sugar). My readings for the week were 102, 112, 98, 114 and 99. These actually didn’t differ much from my typical readings when I’m on routine.

I thought a good idea for a blog would be to describe how I handle being on vacation for a week but still being able to maintain some semblance of my typical diet.

Breakfast

I love my raw nut granola (recipe). This has been my breakfast for over 2 years since I started the plant-based diet. I just brought a container of this on the plane and took it to Florida. Each day for breakfast, I just ate a huge bowl of this with almond milk like I usually do. This breakfast is great because it’s a ton of calories and is very filling, so I am usually not hungry for a while after I eat it.

Lunch

Lunch was a little trickier because I was usually at the park and was forced to eat something at a food stand or restaurant. A couple of days my lovely wife actually packed my usual salad that I eat. This was great, but it was logistically tough carrying items like this on our stroller that was packed to the brim.

Our first day at Animal Kingdom, we actually ate at this one buffet style restaurant that was very vegan friendly. I was amazed at all of the options. Honestly, it was probably one of the most vegan friendly restaurants that I ever ate at. It was called Tusker House Restaurant.

I would suggest it if you are ever at Animal Kingdom. It also has some Disney characters walk around during lunch to take pictures with you and your kids. Aiden loved it!

aiden-with-mickey

Another day I got 2 sides of green beans! Mmmmmmm. Here is the menu of where I went (menu at Starlight Cafe). It literally was the only thing on the menu that I could eat. It also was quite astonishing at how unhealthy this place’s options were considering it probably has more kids go through it than anywhere else in the world.

Dinner

Dinner was were I cheated a little bit. One of the evenings I ate out at the resort restaurant and had a shrimp salad with avocado. Another night we got Chinese take out, but I just ate steamed vegetables, but did dip them in a sauce that could have no way been healthy.

Exercise

This vacation was a little unique in that I was constantly walking and pushing a stroller. I didn’t worry too much about getting off of my exercise routine because I knew walking for 4 to 5 hours per day would be good exercise.

Drinking

I won’t lie, I had some drinks each night. This definitely helped my blood sugars stay a little lower during the trip. I mean, you have to enjoy some beers when you feel like you are in Germany.

matt-with-drinks

Summary

Ultimately, I was able to manage my blood sugars well on this vacation with no real highs. Vacations make it challenging to stay on a plant-based diet, but sticking with my granola and the usual salad for lunch helped me stay on track for the most part during the week.

 

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.

For Parents of Type 1 Diabetic Children (Juvenile Diabetes)

I wanted to create a blog post that could try and help parents with type 1 diabetic children, or also known as juvenile diabetes. It’s one thing to hear of other adults with T1D, but I feel so much worse every time I hear of a new child becoming diagnosed with the disease.

My Heart Goes Out to Parents of T1D Children

I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to try and raise a child with T1D. Being a parent and watching your child’s blood sugars swing from high’s to low’s has to be a taxing endeavor. The constant birthday parties with ice cream, pizza and soda, not to mention the school lunches filled with processed food. I feel so bad because these children don’t even have a chance try and manage the disease naturally.

The Myth:  I Give a Sense of False Hope for Juvenile Diabetics

A lot of parents with T1D children actually become angry when they read my blog or hear about what I’m doing. They think that I’m representing some false hope that their children could be removed from medication with a change in diet and lifestyle.

However, I know that there are just as many parents of T1D children out there constantly searching for ways to ease their child’s suffering and help their kids enjoy life without constantly worrying about blood sugars and needles.

Reality

Unfortunately, a majority of doctors won’t point you in the natural direction because there is too much liability. They tell you your child has stopped producing insulin and they require insulin injections to live. In some cases, this is probably true, but in other cases, I’m highly confident that the child is still producing some insulin, just like me.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m a doctor, but I am a diagnosed T1D that’s been off meds for over 2.5 years with a most recent A1c reading of 5.5 (non-diabetic reading).

I’ll be the first to admit that managing T1D without medication is much more difficult for children compared to people like me that are diagnosed later in life. I can make my own decisions and see the results. However, in order for children to live medication free, the entire family must buy in to the diet in order for it to work.

Based on my research, I do believe that an individual is hit harder with T1D when diagnosed at a earlier age relative to a later in life diagnosis like me. However, there are families out there raising medication free T1D children.

My Objective

My goal with this blog is to provide hope and insight to parents that are interested in helping their child manage T1D naturally, or at least drastically reduce the amount of shots / insulin that their kids need to take.

Resources for T1D Children Off Insulin

Below are links to articles or sites that represent success stories of T1D children that are living medication free. Some of these articles are dated and do not exactly preach what I follow, but they are real instances of parents removing their children from insulin or young adults doing the same. I put a brief description of the article afterwards as well.

Link #1 – Sergei Boutenko

There is a guy named Sergei Boutenko who was one of the 1st individuals that I researched that has been living for years without meds as a T1D. Researching his story provides a wealth of knowledge for those seeking to manage T1D naturally, especially for parents of T1D children, as his family raised him medication free for his entire childhood. (Link)

Link #2 – Two T1D Brothers Living Medication Free

Article about two brothers with T1D that have been medication free since 2008.  (Link)

Link #3 – 1/3 of T1Ds produce Insulin for Decades

Interesting article that says about 1/3 of T1Ds can have residual insulin production for nearly 4 decades. (Link)

Link #4 – 9 Year Old Boy Removed from Insulin

Article about a young boy using a Paleo diet to remove himself from insulin (Link)

Link #5 – Child Weened Off Insulin

Good article talking about a child that was weened off insulin (Link)

Link #6 – 20 Year Old T1D Living Medication Free

This link is about a girl in her 20s that was able to ween herself off of insulin and remained medication free for over 2.5 years, although she did have to get back on insulin. (Link)

Link #7 – 13 Year Old Girl Weened Off Insulin

Article about a mother who removed her 13 year daughter from insulin. (Link)

Conclusion

My goal of this blog was to try and provide hope and insight to parents of T1D children that it is absolutely possible to manage your child’s disease medication free.

These articles prove that T1D children all over the world are having success living medication free through various methods. Worth noting is that I probably only put 30 minutes into googling to find these articles, so a determined parent could probably find much better info than this.

Personally, I believe a mostly raw plant-based diet is the only way for true longevity in living medication free as a T1D, however, these articles prove that there is more than 1 approach to helping your child.

I realize this may seem very difficult for parents, but adopting a new lifestyle will help not only your child but also the rest of your family. I always preach that my family has been much healthier ever since I became diagnosed with T1D, and I still adamantly stand by this notion.

Creative Ways to Improve Your Health

Intro

There is no doubt that diet has the most significant influence on my body in my effort to stay off of medication as a Type 1 Diabetic (officially just passed 2.5 years no meds!).  However, I personally believe one has to watch other lifestyle and environmental factors as well in order to optimize their health and limit toxins.

I will be the first to admit that chemical intake is not my area of expertise, but I know enough to be dangerous. My wife is actually the one who is much more up-to-speed on the daily toxins that enter our body through something as simple as shampoo or cleaners.

I thought a good blog topic would be to describe several other ways that my family improves the quality of our lives by minimizing our toxin intake. Although diet is much easier to gauge its effect on my blood sugars, I know that minimizing other toxins entering my body can only help my cause to remain medication free and keep my blood sugars low.

Many people probably think we are weird for doing things like this, however, the one nice thing about having a chronic disease is that you get a free pass on being weird when it comes to raw vegan diets and holistic approaches to things!

Toxin Fighting Products

Tower Garden

As I’ve mentioned before, this diet is not cheap as it involves purchasing a significant amount of organic produce. To try and save on costs long-term, we invested in the Tower Garden.

Using aeroponics, the Tower Garden grows plants with only water and nutrients rather than dirt. Research has found aeroponic systems grow plants three times faster and produce 30% greater yields on average.

This thing is pretty sweet. It’s super easy to use and provides you probably the safest way to eat your produce because you are growing it yourself. My wife or I don’t have the time to manage a garden, and the Tower Garden allows you to grow everything in the basement!

The upfront cost is about $1,000 +/-, but the Tower Garden grows so fast and in abundance that it provides nearly all of the base for my salads in a given week (I eat ~7 salads/week). So, my guess is the amount we save on buying store organic spinach, kale, etc. is probably $500 to $1,000 per year, so the payback is quick.

Here is a picture of our Tower Garden in the basement…

Tower Garden

Essential Oils

I used to use your typical grocery store bought products for things like face lotion, shampoo and body wash. They work great, but the ingredients look like a science experiment on the packages.

My wife buys Essential Oils which allow you to make your own home products. We don’t use these for everything, but my shampoo, face lotion, shaving cream and body wash are all based on the Essential Oils. 

When buying essential oils, you want to make sure they are 100% therapeutic grade. We mostly use DoTerra, but Young Living is also another good brand. These brands are so pure, that you can actually cook with them or take them in a capsule. Many of the cheaper versions of essential oils have additives and chemicals, so you have to be careful. 

Wellness Mama and Sophie Uliano have some great DIY recipes and also DoTerra has quite a few on their web site.

Berkey Water Filter

The water you drink is very important to understand. Obviously most people understand tap water is bad and use some sort of water filter. However, even filtered tap water contains a significant amount of chemicals that your body doesn’t necessarily need.

The Berkey Water Filter is the stud of all water filters. It removes viruses to purification standards, pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites to non detectable levels, and harmful or unwanted chemicals to below detectable levels. We have the fluoride filter add-on too for additional chemical removal.  I just fill up a large thermos before I leave for work and that’s the water I drink all day.

The Berkey is a low cost system that requires to be refilled. More expensive options are reverse osmosis water filtration systems that can be installed into your home and don’t require refilling. However, we’ve enjoyed using the Berkey since we purchased it earlier this year.

La Croix and a SodaStream

Since I’m not able to indulge on many drinks besides water and almond milk, my life can get a little boring in that regard. Enter La Croix! I am definitely hooked on these. To the average person, these are pretty boring. But to a type 1 diabetic trying to stay off of medication, these things are amazing! They provide consumers with a non-artificially sweetened sparkling water that tastes pretty good.

The only problem is that they are packed in aluminum cans with water from god knows where. So, we purchased a SodaStream on Amazon which allows us to create our own homemade La Croix that we can use our Berkey filtered water. Talk about amazing (sorry, I know this is not really that exciting)!

I’ve actually started to see a lot of other people drinking La Croix over the past year. I think people are wising up and realizing that a majority of drinks at the grocery store contain all sorts of harmful chemicals and added sugar, and people are relieved that there is a flavored sparkling water with no artificial sweeteners.

In the News

VAXXED (website)

This gets off subject slightly, but it still has relevance as it involves the truth hiding pharmaceutical companies that I have learned to distrust since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2014.

I’ve been mildly obsessed with this film ever since it came out in March 2016, and I personally think it’s one of the biggest stories we will see in our lifetimes. The producer, Del Bigtree, even goes as far to say this could be the largest cover-up in the history of mankind.

It’s a documentary about a Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) whistleblower who confessed that the CDC had omitted crucial data in their final 2004 report that revealed a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Without getting into the weeds too much, the whistleblower was the lead scientist on the study, and he was recorded admitting that the CDC covered up, manipulated and destroyed data to hide a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

My guess is that most of my blog readers probably have heard nothing about this, which is the most mind-blowing part. Somehow, mainstream media has blacked this story out to the general public.

The most unsettling part is that the whistleblower provided an affidavit to Congressman Bill Posey (click here to view his speech to Congress) asking to be subpoenaed in 2014 to testify in front of Congress regarding the corruption on this report, but nothing has happened yet. Yes, that is 2 years of nothing…absurd.

What’s even MORE interesting, is that California just implemented a new law, SB 277, that requires all children to follow the one-size-fits-all CDC vaccine schedule or the child will not be allowed to enroll in any public or private schooling. 

And any child currently in school that is not fully vaccinated would be required to get all the vaccines before starting school this fall. Prior to this law, California parents could claim a personal belief exemption to avoid vaccinating their child, but that is now removed.

Pretty interesting that a state just passed this law with the CDC whistleblower situation just coming out, right? Check out this speech by Del Bigtree (Be Brave) talking about the situation. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

I’m not trying to get into a pro / anti-vaccine dialogue because it’s outside of the scope of this blog. My desire to work this into my blog is to try and make the public aware about what’s going on inside the pharmaceutical industry and certain government health organizations. It’s pretty shady stuff. Actually, it’s outright fraud and illegal.

Whether you are pro or anti-vaccine, or somewhere in between, I think all people can unite and realize there is something really wrong with this situation.

Why Alternative Health is Booming

This is a great article talking about how the general public is starting to engage more holistic health care professionals instead of conventional medical care. It even talks about how standard medical doctors are often referring patients to holistic health professionals to help patients with chronic pain.

It drills down the point that the medical community treats disease with more treatments, and they don’t really focus on the root cause of the disease. Much like how the fact that a raw-plant based diet can potentially keep a type 1 diabetic off medication is just not in the conversations with standard health care professionals.

My Annual Endocrinologist Visit

Each June, I have my annual visit with my endocrinologist. For those who may not know, endocrinologists are the specialist doctors that diabetics typically go to once they are officially diagnosed with the disease.

I thought an interesting blog post would be to describe what my visits are like considering I’m a type 1 diabetic (“T1D”) living medication free for nearly 2.5 years. Obviously this is contrary to what most doctors understand, so this should be interesting, right?

My Personal Routine

I visit with my endocrinologist once per year, and it’s typically in June. Since I’m not on medication, there is no need to visit more frequently unless my fasting blood sugars or A1c readings start climbing to higher levels.

In August, November and February of each year, I only get an A1c test. This is the standard benchmark to test how well a diabetic is controlling their disease. So, for 1Q, 3Q and 4Q, I really only worry about my A1c.

In May of each year (2Q), I typically get my A1c test done along with several other T1D specific blood tests to measure the antibody levels in my body. Since I visit with my doctor in June, we are able to have a more comprehensive discussion about my current state, which is the reason for the extra tests in May.

Other than this annual visit, I really have no other interaction with the medical community in a given year. The annual visits are more of a formality at this point so I can stay registered as a T1D in order to get my testing strips to check my fasting blood sugar each morning.

My Most Recent A1c and Historical Fasting Blood Sugars

As promised in my earlier posts, I will continue to post my most updated A1c results and most recent fasting blood sugar charts each quarter.  As you can see below, my May 2016 A1c was 5.5, which was actually down from 5.6 in February 2016.

Historic Fasting Blood Sugar and A1c Readings Through June 2016

As a refresher, the general guidelines for A1c readings are A1c < 5.7 = non diabetic, A1c > 5.7 but < 6.5 = pre-diabetic and A1c > 6.5 = diabetic. So, according to my A1c, I’m classified as a non-diabetic.

My average fasting blood sugars over the past 30 and 90 days were 109 and 107, respectively. Now, I do fail this test, because non-diabetics have a fasting blood sugar < 100, pre-diabetics > 100 but < 125 and diabetics are > 125.

My Goal

My overall goal each quarter is to keep my A1c reading below 5.7 and have a trailing last 30 day average fasting blood sugar reading below 110. I could get my sugars lower if I really wanted, but that level of dietary strictness and discipline is something that even I find difficult to follow.

Yes, I am Confirmed as Type 1 Diabetic…Again

The other two tests I received were the IA-2 Autoantibody and the GAD-65 Autoantibody. My IA-2 came back at 4.2 and a T1D reading is anything above 1.0. My GAD-65 came back at 9.0 and anything too much greater than 0.0 is a reading of T1D.

I realize some people / doctors out there may think that I’m a Type 2 Diabetic or perhaps the mythical Type 1.5 / LADA diabetic. But these tests prove that I have an auto-immune disease, and I am indeed a T1D.

Progress with My Endocrinologist

I personally like my endocrinologist. He’s a nice guy, and I know that he wants the best for me. That said, he is still the typical medical professional that, from a disease management standpoint, is highly trained from a medication perspective, but nominally trained from a dietary perspective.

1st Visit – 2014 (6 Months Post Diagnosis)

My first visit back in 2014 was about 6 months after I was diagnosed. This was when I was still figuring out the disease. I was off medication, but my blood sugars were rising, and he gave me the typical dooms day scenario that medication was in my near future.

2nd Visit – 2015 (18 Months Post Diagnosis)

My second visit in 2015 was after I was off medication for nearly 1.5 years. This was after I implemented the mostly raw, plant-based diet that caused my blood sugars to rapidly drop. I explained to him in decent detail about the documentaries I watched and the teachings of Dr. Gabriel Cousins.

He was happy for me, but my general impression of our interactions were 1) he thought my diet was weird and unrealistic and 2) that this was only temporarily helping and my body would fail and require medication soon. He did not say any of this, but it was just the general vibe I got from our visit.

3rd Visit – 2016 (30 Months Post Diagnosis) – Now I Have Your Attention

Fast forward to June 2016 for our 3rd meeting. At this point, I felt like now I had his attention. We had our typical conversations, but this time he actually pulled up the internet in the room, and we briefly looked at Gabriel Cousins website together. He also jotted down the name Kirt Tyson, who was the first T1D that I identified that has been off medication for an extended period of time.

My doctor openly admitted that he does not have any other, nor knew of any other, T1D patients that have been able to avoid medication for the length of time that I have while still maintaining non-diabetic readings. To me, this was major progress.

Light Bulb Going Off

We both agreed that my diet is not realistic for most people, and that not all T1Ds could achieve my blood sugar levels with this diet. However, I could tell I was starting to change his thinking about the different strategies at managing this disease. He openly admits that there is still alot of unknowns about the disease, and people like me are perfect examples of that.

As I mentioned in other blog posts, I think a majority of doctors are truly out there to help people and give them the best advice possible. My grudge is with the medical schools and even the pharmaceutical companies and why they do not educate doctors about people like me.

Apparently Novo Nordisk is the largest manufacturer of insulin in the world. I bet their executives know all about people like me, however, what is their incentive to educate doctors on how diet can potentially allow thousands of T1Ds to live medication free? This would only decrease their profit.

Final Thoughts at my Appointment

We ended our meeting with a couple things. I first wanted to re-confirm that I am indeed a T1D, and he said yes with absolute certainty.

Potential Cures On the Horizon?

I then asked him whether there were any cures on the horizon for T1Ds. He’s been pretty consistent over the years on this one saying that strides are being made, but it’s most like 10-20 years away until we see something that could truly be considered a cure.

I’m really not overly concerned about a cure at this point because I don’t believe I would change my diet much if I was cured anyhow. However, my fasting blood sugars are definitely at levels that are adversely impacting my body, so I would like to find a way to get these down lower without me having to eat a 100% raw vegan diet.

We always part ways with him saying that he hopes we don’t see each other for another year, because that means I’m still off of medication and managing the disease well.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s been a tough 2.5 years dealing with this disease, but I’ve settled into a groove with my diet. I’ve been able to put some weight back on, and I’ve started to enjoy a greater variety of healthy foods now that I understand my body better.

I realize my blood sugars aren’t perfect, but I believe they are better than most T1Ds managing the disease with medication. If I can keep my A1c below 5.7, I feel like that is a win in my book, and I’m content with my management of the disease.

In the News (New this Blog)

I also wanted to start something new with each blog by putting in any interesting articles I read over the course of the last month. This post is from CNN that talks about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shifting towards a mostly plant-based diet. He was educated by his trainers about how this diet can extend his career by making his body healthier and reducing inflammation.

He also notes that other QBs in the NFL follow a similar diet like Tom Brady. Kind of makes you think there is something to this diet if some of the wealthiest, top athletes in the world are shifting away from an animal based diet and towards a plant-based diet.

Aaron Rodgers Comments on Changes to Diet, Impact on His Health