Reality Check


Back to the Most Magical Place on Earth

Well, I just got back from my second visit to the most magical place on earth, Disney World! It was a great vacation with my entire family including my wife and two kids but also my parents, brother, sister, nieces and nephews. It was a week long vacation filled with fun, exhaustion, good times and hot weather.

Not So Magical Food Options for Plant-Based Diets

If it wasn’t difficult enough to manage my T1D through diet and exercise alone, vacations certainly don’t make things any easier. I’m generally very disciplined with my mostly raw plant-based diet while in the routine of everyday life, but vacations have temptations from all angles including omelettes, ice cream, blue cheese and bacon to sugary cocktails by the pool. While I generally don’t have much problem avoiding these items while at home, I do have temptations while on vacations (I’m only human).

This vacation was no exception. I initially decided to treat myself with an omelette breakfast early on in the vacation. My fasting blood sugars remained around their baseline levels for most of the vacation with readings under 110. As the week progressed, I continued to indulge on things like additional omelettes, wedge salads with blue cheese and bacon and some sugary pool drinks (i.e. Mai-Tai).

Toward the end of the trip, I was surprised at how my blood sugars were remaining relatively low considering the multiple cheat foods I was having each day. I started getting a little cocky thinking that maybe my body could handle some animal products and the occasional fruity drink.

I do have to give Disney some props, they did have a restaurant called Chef Mickey’s which did have some healthier plant-based options.

Reality Check

However, the following week after vacation, I got a reality check and came right back down to earth. I got home on Saturday from the trip, and my fasting blood sugar readings the following 4 days were 129, 126, 132, and 137. I put a quick graph showing the ramp up in my fasting blood sugars.

Disney FBS

It’s funny how my body works that I’ll have some cheat meals but I won’t see the full adverse effects on my blood sugars until days following my ill-advised indulgences. This has been the typical pattern that I’ve noticed happens with my body over the past 4.5 years since I’ve had T1D.

Luckily, They Always Come Back Down

Whenever my blood sugars start getting to these elevated levels, that’s when I get scared straight and get ultra-strict with my diet focusing on nearly all raw plant-based low glycemic meals. As you can see the days following my sharp increases, I was able to get my fasting blood sugars back down to a low point of 72 soon after the high marks of 139. It never ceases to amaze me the healing power of the foods I eat when my diet is on track. It also amazes me that it doesn’t take much for my blood sugars to get off track after a few cheat meals.

I still truly believe that T1D is much about excess inflammation in my body which prohibits my limited beta cells from being able to adequately manage the sugars in my blood. It’s been a few weeks since Disney World, and my blood sugars have leveled out to their typical range of between 100-110 each morning. That’s still not perfect, but they are undoubtedly less than if I ate the Standard American Diet and used insulin to manage the disease.

Next Up, Annual Endocrinologist Visit

This week is also a fun one because it’s my annual visit with my endocrinologist. Each year our conversations get more interesting as I’m able to stay off medication for a longer period of time. Stay tuned for my next blog post to learn about my visit.

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