Healthy Living Survey

Those of you who know me well, or have even just read a few of my blog posts, know that I’m really passionate about healthy living – especially when it comes to food. I’m by no means a stickler about never eating fast food or anything – I give in to the cravings too – but I’m very intentional about “shopping the perimeter”, cooking at home, and buying things like whole wheat, raw fruits and veggies, lean meats, etc. I often even recreate my childhood favorites with healthier ingredients as a challenge and a treat! I love cooking and there’s no reason that I can’t buy fresh, healthy ingredients and create a delicious and nutritious meal in my own kitchen.

On the other hand, I also realize that many people don’t have the time, resources, skills, etc. to do this. Busy schedules, inconvenient grocery stores, a disdain for cooking, you name it! We all have our reasons, but I would really love to be intentional in what I share to help everyone live a healthier lifestyle. SO! I’ve made a survey. All of the questions are optional, but the more you answer the better. So take my survey, share it with your friends, and stay tuned for more healthy living advice from me and my collaborators on Musing Sally!

-Shelby

 

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The Only Rice Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Okay so I have to admit – this is not my recipe. A wonderful woman taught me how to make rice years ago and I will forever love her for it! I used to always under or overcook my rice and it was so bland, but never again! Most of the time, especially if I have several meals planned that require rice, I will make a lot at once (2-3 cups dry rice) and save what I don’t need for later meals or to take as a side for my lunch. So here it is step by step!

  1. Pour about 1-2 Tbsp (depending on how much rice) of olive oil in your pan and put on medium heat.
  2. Mince 3-6 cloves of garlic, or more if you love garlic! And sauté in olive oil.
  3. Once the garlic is sizzling a bit (don’t let it brown) add your rice DRY! Sauté the dry rice until it starts to turn brighter.
  4. Add warm water, a dash of salt, and place a lid on the pot. Let cook (stirring occasionally) until all of the water is absorbed or evaporated and DONE.

FOR WHITE RICE: Use a ratio of 2 cups of water for every one cup of rice and tilt the lid a tiny bit while it cooks. Will take 15-30 minutes to cook depending on the quantity.

FOR BROWN RICE: Use a ratio of 3 cups of water for every cup of rice and leave the lid placed normally on the pan. Will take 30-40 minutes to cook depending on the quantity.

As far as the kind of rice I use, I definitely prefer Jasmine but I’ve used this method with other varieties and have had no issues. If you’re interested these are the exact brands I stock up on (at Aldi – big surprise!). However, I almost exclusively buy brown rice now, wheat pasta, and whole grain bread because it makes a HUGE difference with blood sugar control for me.

Specially Selected Brown Basmati RiceSpecially Selected Jasmine Rice

 

May you never have mushy, crunchy, or bland rice again!

-Shelby

My Type 1 Pregnancy

I am slowly learning that being a first time mom is full of surprises – and lots of belly butter! – but being Type 1 Diabetic adds some extra tidbits along the way. My conception story is a little less than conventional for a T1. You really pick up on that when the doctor seeing you at your third prenatal visit asks you, “So when are you planning to get pregnant?” … #awkward

When you have T1, pregnancy is supposed to be SUPER planned for. Or should be at least. When I found out I was pregnant I was still working to get my body into optimal baby mode. My sugars were wacky and my A1c was way too high…. 8.2 to be exact. At 8 weeks and 5 days (about a month and a half later) my A1c was down to 7.7! Small victories.

Today, at 10 weeks, I got set up on a Tandem insulin pump and I’m loving it already! I’m hoping that not having to deal with rounding my bolus units and having a flexible basal will fix the over/under correction problems I’ve been having and eliminate the crazy nighttime lows.

Because of my somewhat less than conventional T1 conception I was scrounging for resources as soon as I saw those double lines. I hadn’t had the month’s of tight control and training from a high risk OB to tell me what to expect! For any T1 ladies out there who are having a little surprise, or even if you are planning on getting pregnant, here are the things I couldn’t have lived without that first month! (both diabetes related and not!)

  1. JDRF’s Pregnancy Toolkit was so informative and comforting. If you are a type A Type 1 Diabetic this is the most comprehensive and least complicated guide to what steps you should take before pregnancy and how pregnancy changes the way you manage you diabetes – and it’s FREE! You can download the PDF from the link above and they’ll also send you a paper copy in the mail.
  2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I realize seems a little cliche and typical, but I LOVE how this book is organized and the way things are explained. Some books explain things in a more confusing way than your doctor, but this one talks you through things in a realistic and comfortable way. This latest edition also has great sections for your partner!
  3. Joining the Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy group on Facebook has been so comforting! I am only the second in my friend group to get pregnant and I don’t have any Type 1 friends near me that are women. In other words – this group is a wonderful resource for advice, product recommendations, and even just emotional support! It is a closed group so you will have to request to be added but it’s definitely worth the wait!
  4. My CGM. I’m not sure that I would recommend starting on a CGM after pregnancy because, since conceiving, my numbers have occasionally been inaccurate. HOWEVER! Since conceiving I have also had a much harder time feeling lows coming on and, had I not been wearing my CGM, I may not have noticed until it was too late. I’m very confident that my CGM has saved me from going to the ER on multiple occasions.
  5. SNACKS! I haven’t really struggled with morning sickness all that much but I am FOREVER hungry. We shop mostly at Aldi and some of my favorite snacks are their unsalted almonds, SimplyNature Organic Popcorn, Fit&Active string cheese, and oranges… or just fruit in general really!! My favorite thing about these snacks is that they’re all low carb and contain healthy fats and fiber.
  6. Coconut Oil and Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter – Two words ladies: BUTTER UP. My mother in law has had four kids and she told me to start lathering early. Not that I would argue with a little pampering, but this is one thing where I’m not really sure I want to take my chances. I like these two products because they don’t have crazy smells mainly, but I’m planning to try at least one more recommendation that I got from my cousin before I set my heart on one product. I’ll update when I do! 🙂

**disclaimer: I have not been paid by any of these companies to review their products, this is all my guaranteed very biased opinion.**

Real talk. Weird things are happening to my body AND my diabetes. Highlights? I had a lot more low blood sugars, my CGM readings were occasionally WAY off, and my bellybutton feels weird all the time! Haha 🙂

I’m so excited to be joining the ranks of motherhood and hope you fellow first time moms out there find this post helpful!

Cheers!

Shelby

Apps for Type 1 Diabetes

Let’s just admit one truth – record keeping is the bane of T1D life. Shots and pricks and site changes are a pain, but they’re what keep you alive. Keeping accurate records often feels like an UNnecessary evil. When you’ve been dealing with T1D long enough, you become confident enough in your carb counting and dosage calculation that it just doesn’t feel worth it to add writing every little thing down… at least that’s been my experience.

Part of my frustration has been that, with all the technological capabilities at our fingertips, it seems that there is no one app, website, or program that really covers all the bases. Of course, some are better than others and, used in tandem, can be rather helpful.

Please keep in mind that my review is very biased and entirely my own opinion. I have not been paid by any of these companies to review their products, I simply want to share my experience with my fellow diabetics!

recite-14sx9o1

I have been on injections for 5 years (previously used an OmniPod pump) and have used a Dexcom G5 CGM for the past 7 months. Not having a pump has definitely changed how I keep records and made it that much more important since I don’t have a handy device that centralizes all my data. I would certainly recommend the OmniPod for anyone considering a pump or thinking of switching to one. The convenience of tubeless sites and customizable settings that calculate dosage based on the carbs and BG that you enter – among other things – however, the system can be expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover it fully and I had a lot of trouble with my sites bruising and bleeding because I didn’t have enough subcutaneous tissue.

The apps I describe below are only a few of many, however they seem to be the most user friendly and comprehensive. Feel free to share your own experiences, questions, or request other reviews in the comments!

Image result for dexcom g5 app iconDexcom G5

I absolutely love my Dexcom system, but there are definitely a lot of things on my wishlist for future updates to the app. I use the app on my iPhone instead of the provided receiver because it would be just down right silly to have to carry around yet another thing if I don’t have to. The visual representation of blood sugars is very intuitive, however any other data is rather inconvenient to access after 24 hours. Even the reports from Dexcom Clarity don’t show reported carbohydrates, exercise, or insulin with the respective daily charts other than a tiny icon on the charts. Because of this I don’t even bother to use the app to log  most of the time.

FAVORITE FEATURES

  • The simplistic and user friendly design.
  • The Dexcom Share App – absolutely fantastic. My husband has it and is especially handy for nighttime lows or when my phone is on silent at work. Every once in a while I get a text from him warning me that my sugar is rising. This would have been a dream as a kid when I was first learning too and I’m sure it is wonderful as parents with T1D kiddos.
  • Clarity also allows you to share an access code with your provider so they can log in any time and see your data.

WISHLIST

  • The ability to view log entries for carbs, insulin, and exercise within the app.
  • Specific quantifiable data associated with date in Clarity for carbs, insulin, and exercise.
  • The option to specify time periods for alarms – such as a low alert that goes off when BG is below 90 between 11pm and 7am but doesn’t go off until below 70 between 7am and 10pm.
  • The ability to make notes regarding specific log entries, this would allow you to specify what you ate when entering  carbs, why you took a little more or less insulin than normal, or record what type of workout you did. All of these things can be important to know when looking at trends for the purpose of correcting your regimen. Maybe certain foods are spiking your sugar more than normal or maybe swimming drops your sugar more than biking.
  • Similar to the previous, but also being able to make notes and record questions for your endocrinologist on the Dexcom Clarity reports somehow would also be great!

 Image result for diabetes kit appDiabetes Kit

I love the interface of this app and that it’s compatible with Apple Health. Because of this I can actually import my blood sugar data from my Dexcom app to Apple Health and then to Diabetes Kit – a little round about but it gets there with a 3 hour delay. The logging options are wonderful, but it’s all added separately instead of just filling out whats needed all on one page. It also has some pretty great graphing features and counts your steps – although if you don’t carry your phone with you at all times that wouldn’t really be accurate.

FAVORITE FEATURES

  • Trends reporting within the app tracks some very helpful statistics including, my favorite, a line graph that shows glucose and insulin hourly averages.
  • Real-time data sharing via a unique URL created through the app.

WISHLIST

  • App connect options with Fitbit and Dexcom directly
  • Ability to enter several different types of data at the same time
  • A more condensed view of the log and ability to search  and filter the log

 

CaloImage result for calorie king app iconrie King

This is by far the most useful and convenient resource for carb counting EVER. The only downside is that they still don’t have an app for Android users which is just so unfair – sorry guys. But they do have a great website!

FAVORITE FEATURES

  • Ease of search ability
  • Comprehensive nutritional data
  • Ability to change the serving unit
  • Variety of preparation options for each food

WISHLIST

  • Ability to save commonly eaten foods
  • Ability to scan and add new foods

 

Image result for calorie king diabetes appHEALTHeDiabetes

This app seems to be a lot more geared toward Type 2 users, especially when logging insulin. My least favorite thing about this app is that the carb entry is made rather complicated by requiring you to select certain foods from their database rather than just entering the amount of carbs counted and some notes about what you ate. You can create foods and recipes but either way the process for tracking carbs has too many hoops if you ask me. Otherwise it has all the nuts and bolts but it’s not the best for type 1 users in my opinion.

FAVORITE FEATURES

  • Great exercise tracking feature that allows you to pick a start time, type of exercise, duration, and write down any notes about the workout which is always handy!
  • If you want to be meticulous about meal tracking, this is the app for you. While it takes a bit longer to do, entering specific foods allows the app to give you a daily nutrients summary which is pretty nifty.
  • This app also has a rather extensive “learn” section with lots of information – but again it’s entirely geared toward people with Type 2.
  • Lets you customize target ranges and goals – but again there isn’t the option to enter insulin dosages.

WISHLIST

  • Needs a similar version or customization options to make it more user friendly for Type 1 users! Need to be able to track insulin in units, have information in the learn section that is geared toward type 1, and the ability to enter data for bolus and correction doses in the settings.
  • When I’m in a rush I just want to enter a number for carbs. Maybe I’m just lazy but going through and picking every single food is sometimes just a little too over the top.
  • Add reports that show blood sugar trends PLEASE.

 

Image result for mySugrmySugr

I’m personally a little too OCD for this app, but I think it would be great for kids! It makes a game out of logging, giving you points for every entry. Unfortunately to get reports you have to pay for either monthly or annual pro membership. The pro membership also offers coaching from a CDE, which is an interesting feature, but I haven’t personally tried it out. This is definitely one of the most comprehensive apps that I have found, however I would recommend biting the bullet and going for the pro membership to really get the best use out of it.

FAVORITE FEATURES

  • Tons of logging options! (some not available in the free version though)
  • Ability to set reminders when making an entry
  • Separate log fields for long lasting insulin, food insulin, and correction insulin
  • Description fields for notes

WISHLIST

  • Simplify, simplify, simplify. This is entirely an opinion but I am not a fan of the user interface of this app. You do have the ability to customize which fields appear and in what order when making a new entry, but I prefer a  more clean cut look to the funky display mySugr sports.
  • The website does allow you to import your CGM date monthly… but I selfishly want my Dexcom app to sync with this app automatically. 🙂

Well there you have it! My unadulterated opinion of a variety of record keeping resources for my fellow type 1 diabetics, but it’s all about the best fit for you. You want to be able to track data that will help you, view your data for future reference, and have an interface that makes sense.