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Diabetes & Discrimination?

I’m sure you (too) have a story about discrimination against you because you had diabetes?

On today’s #type1thursday, I want to hear your stories!

What brought this on was a very unfortunate ad by the police in Hamburg, Germany, where they appealed to people to call the police of they saw someone injecting themselves. With the headline “Insulin or Heroin?” Wow. Ouch! (see the image below!)

I share a few instances of my own experience with diabetes & discrimination, perhaps you can relate to some of them, too?

Diabetes & Discrimination? – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

This is the image that my friend Steffi from Pep Me Up Diabetes Blog shared on her Instagram. (Steffi also has some awesome tools to Pep Up your diabetes, check it out here!)

Diabetes & Discrimination by the Hamburg Police
Not-thought-through ad from the Hamburg Police… from @pepmeup.diabetesblog on Instagram

👉🏼 What are your stories about diabetes and discrimination? And how can/should we react to it? Let’s chat! 👈🏼

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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“Why are you so harsh on yourself?” 😳

I got a DM on Instagram recently, where the (probably) well-meaning person asked something along the lines with “why are you so harsh on yourself when it comes to diabetes?” 😳

It was implied that I pay too much attention to things like blood sugars, nutrition and HbA1c, when “all you have to do is count carbs and cover for them with insulin.”

Well. I don’t agree. 🤷🏻‍♀️ To me, that is a way too simplistic way of looking at managing something as individual as diabetes can be. Check out the rest of my answer in this short clip:

Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

👉🏼 What tools have you found that work the best for you in your diabetes management? 👈🏼

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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“How Do I Prevent High Blood Sugars Working From Home?”

Today’s question is from Taylor, and she asks: “how to prevent high blood sugars while working from home? And not only by increasing insulin?”

Tricky, tricky indeed! And welcome back to another episode of Type 1 Thursday!

Essentially, what’s at the root of this question is how to improve your insulin sensitivity. And luckily, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to improve exactly that (even without necessarily just upping your insulin). And a lot of it comes down to prioritizing yourself.

As a note insulin requirements, however, is that you need the insulin that you need. Period. Whatever the situation, changes in routine, stress etc that makes your blood sugars run higher than normal, your body needs more insulin. I know way too well how hard this can be to accept, I’ve been there. Many times! But in order for your body to run optimally, it needs varying amounts of insulin at varying times. Try to meet this need with compassion and curiosity (and the necessary insulin, of course)!

Limiting high blood sugars when working form home – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

👉🏼 What are your best tips to increase insulin sensitivity? Let’s chat! 👈🏼

Lifestyle choices that help insulin sensitivity include, but are not limited to, the following:

🌟 Stress management (try meditation, yoga, EFT, essential oils, bath…)
🌟 Movement (focus on body weight moves!)
🌟 Hydration (lots of clean water can help insulin sensitivity)
🌟 Sleep (both quality and quantity!)
🌟 Healthy and blood sugar friendly nutrition (low carb)
🌟 Any supplements? (Magnesium, Omega 3 & Vitamin D is a rule of thumb)
🌟 Find a routine that fits YOU

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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“What do you eat in a day, Hanna?”

On today’s episode of #type1thursday, one of my lovely Instagram followers asked me to make a video about what I eat in a day – so I did!

Find out what my food philosophy is, my insulin philosophy, see all my meals from Monday until Thursday, blood sugar values, and my guilty pleasure/secret food is!

“What do you eat in a day? – Hanna Boëthius – Type 1 Thursday

Now I’d like to hear from you, what’s your food philosophy?

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video & website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video & website are provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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Live Q&A with Hanna

You have been asking me to do a Live Q&A on my Instagram Stories! And now I made it a reality.

Find out my answers to your questions on this weeks #type1thursday !

I’ll happily answer most and any questions about diabetes, lock down, blood sugars, tools, tips & tricks, me – anything you want to know or have my opinion on! 😃

Live Q&A with Hanna Boëthius on Type 1 Thursday

Q&A

You’ll find out my answers to these questions:

🌟 Do you find your diet restrictive?
🌟 What insulins have you had since diagnosis?
🌟 How well do you think you manage your diabetes?
🌟 What is the hardest part of being diabetic? The best part?
🌟 Does your diabetes cause you any other problems?
🌟 What would you like a non-diabetic to know about having diabetes?
🌟 What would you tell someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
🌟 Who do you get support from? Who treats you?
🌟 Have you got any tips for keeping teens interested in their care?
🌟 Were you low carb in your teens?
🌟 When and why did you start coming back to caring better for yourself after dodgy teens?
🌟 How do you bolus for protein/fat?
🌟 Would you recommend low carb to T1D kids?
🌟 Are you using a slower insulin than Novorapid for protein and fat?
🌟 Do you eat a lot of snacks and what would they be?

Do you have any questions for me? Let me know!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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Double Diabetes, Double The Fun? 😳

What on Earth is Double Diabetes? How does it develop, and who is at risk to get it? Are there ANY solutions to it?

Learn this and so much more from this week’s episode of Type 1 Thursday:

Double Diabetes – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

What is Double Diabetes?

Double Diabetes is when a person with Type 1 Diabetes develops severe insulin resistance. They may need to use medications that are traditionally used for Type 2 Diabetes, essentially having developed both types of diabetes – hence the term Double Diabetes.

The problem is that T2D can’t really be diagnosed in T1D, no glucose tolerance test or blood insulin measurements will be accurate. Instead, the clinical diagnosis goes a little something like this: do you need a lot of insulin? IS your BMI high (although BMI isn’t even a reliable measurement!), Waist to height ratio high? High blood pressure= Fatty liver? High HbA1c?. If you are T1D and do have these, you could be in the risk zone for Double Diabetes (and no, it isn’t double the fun!). Whether the insulin resistance comes from T1D, lifestyle factors or it’s genetic, the result is the same.

Are there any solutions to Double Diabetes?

We know from the T2D, some cases of it can be reversed with lifestyle changes. But T1D will always persevere. My top tip to cut down the insulin resistance would be to decrease the amount of carbs you eat. It works (and is an acknowledged treatment) for T2D, which is half of the issue!

I actually think I was a Double Diabetic before I changed my lifestyle in 2011. Since the term was coined in 1991, there hasn’t been much activity in this field until very recently, so I was never diagnosed. But I needed an almost obscene amount of insulin, along with the other symptoms mentioned above… 🤷🏻‍♀️

Have you heard of Double Diabetes before? Do you have any experience with it? Let me know in a comment!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website and video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website and video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit

…or, “You can also have fun WITH alcohol!”

Yes, you can absolutely drink alcohol, even if you have diabetes. 🍷🥂 🍸

The main point to remember is – alcohol impacts the liver in doing its job of regulating blood sugar.

The main function of your liver is to store glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose, so that you will have a source of glucose when you haven’t eaten. The liver is also responsible for cleaning the body of toxins. Unfortunately, the liver cannot do both jobs at the same time. While it is detoxifying, it stops secreting glucose.

The Ultimate Diabetes & Alcohol Toolkit – Hanna Boëthius

Here are some helpful tools to add to your diabetes management toolkit, alcohol specific:

🌟 Keep an eagle eye on your blood sugar, before, during & after drinking.
🌟 Know what’s in your glass, alcohol % and carb count Stick to dry wines/bubbly, light beers, or liquor with club soda or diet drinks. It makes all of it easier!
🌟 Wear medical alert bracelet/jewelry, just in case.
🌟 E N J O Y your drink!
🌟 Keep hydrated
🌟 Enjoy some food or snacks with your drink
🌟 Bring glucose tabs with you .
🌟 Don’t drink alcohol if your blood sugar level is low
🌟 Don’t skip food 🌟 Don’t necessarily drink alone – alcohol is best enjoyed in company! (Also someone to check up on you.)
🌟 Avoid sweet drinks, craft beers, sweet wine… Concentrate on having FUN, not worry about how high your blood sugar will go.
🌟 Don’t drink and dance (without food)!
🌟 Don’t play around with meds.

I enjoy alcoholic beverages, and sticking to low sugar options (dry wine or mixed liquor) works the best for me. That way, I can concentrate on ONLY caring for the alcohol part, and not having to additionally care for the carb count/hyperglycemia. I usually drink with food, as part of a meal/aperitif.

What are your views on diabetes and alcohol? Do you enjoy alcoholic beverages, and do you have any tips to share? Or do you steer clear from it? 🤔 Let me know in the comments!

Transcription

If you prefer to read the information, here is a text version of the video above:

Coming soon!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video and website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video and website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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Self Love in Difficult Times

…and no, this is not Gabriel Garcia Marquez latest novel! 😝

I’m happy this topic was requested, because frankly I needed a reminder of it myself – bubble baths and face masks simply aren’t cutting it as sufficient self love anymore. Nor is making healthy food, moving my body and daily meditation and yoga (although those are GREAT, too!).

At this point of time, we need to go deeper into self love, so that we can re-join the world outside as our very best selves. But how on EARTH do we do that?

Self Love in Difficult Times – Hanna Boëthius – Type 1 Thursday

Well, here are some pointers:

🌟 You. Are. Enough.
Whether you’ve spent time reinventing yourself, or had a 7 week long Netflix marathon, you are enough. You’ve done enough, you’ve achieved enough. Your feelings are enough, and they are all OK to feel. Be honest about how you’re feeling, and do, for the love of all things holy, turn off the news blasts and take breaks from social media! Let go of perfectionism. 💖 Check in on your self talk. 💐 Don’t shut down in this crisis. 💪

🌟 Positivity is a choice
Your outlook on life is a mindset matter. Shift it and shift your view of your life and our world.

🌟 Get creative
Take time away from your screen and do something creative, challenge your mind to switch off and go with it. Whatever you want to do, you can. And should.

🌟 What can you learn from this?
Think about it. Every hardship has something to teach you. Exercise that growth mindset!

🌟 Make gratitude your attitude
Notice what’s good in your life and be thankful for it/them/that being there.

🌟 What CAN you control?
You’re not just stuck in some uncontrollable, parallel universe. You can still control your reaction, taking care of yourself and nourishing your body, for example.

🌟 How far have you come?
Imagine yourself two months ago – where are you now? What has changed? Make a list!

🌟 Reach out to your community for support.

🌟 Be kind to yourself. You are a priority.

🌟 Forgive yourself. And others. 🙏

Which one of these is your favourite way to show yourself some love? 💓

This graphic puts it all together for you nicely. Share it with someone you think needs to hear this message today:

Self Love in Difficult Times - Type 1 Thursday by Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

If you prefer to read the information in the video posted above about self love, here is a full text version:

Today, we will be talking about something as elusive actually as self love in a difficult time, like we are in now. And this is not a new novel by Gabriel Garcia MArquez, it’s not like “Love in the Time of Cholera” although sounds like it.

If you’re anything like me, you have grown a little bit tired of self love in the form of bubble baths and face masks right now. It’s not really cutting it in a self love-way anymore. And things like nourishing your body, moving your body… All of that stuff is great. It’s great to have there, but it’s not maybe all that we need? We might need to start digging a little bit deeper when it comes to self love right now. After all, we’ve been at this game for quite a while and none of us really knows how to keep going. So let’s dig a little deeper when it comes to self love!

This was a great reminder, I’m so happy that you guys voted for this topic because I really needed a reminder of this right no. I’ve been slipping on my own self love routine, so the research for this week’s episode was great for me to kick start some thought processes so that I can maybe get back on track. How do we sink a little bit deeper into self love? Well, it is actually a lot of it is a mindset shift. And if you know me, and if you followed me for a while, you know that I have a whole presentation on mindset shift, but this is specific to self love, which is not so much talked about in that presentation. So let’s go!

You. Are. Enough.

Point number one is really: You. Are. Enough. Let that sink in; You are enough. Whether you’ve been reinventing yourself in these past couple of weeks during lock downs and isolations or you’ve had a seven, eight week long Netflix marathon, it doesn’t matter, you’re still enough.

It doesn’t matter how you feel all feelings are okay, you’re still enough. And it is completely okay to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. We have to get to a point where we can see the world out of enoughness (I love that word, enoughness) That also means things like limiting your media consumption, for example, all these news flashes everywhere about spreading and this and that and politics and law and economics, blah, blah, blah, all this stuff! Turn that shit off! Check it maybe once a day if you’re really interested, but don’t have it flashing in your face the whole time. The same with social media, make sure that you take social media breaks, because otherwise you may go a little bit loopier than you have to during this time.

At the same time, be honest with how you are feeling, don’t sweep anything under the rug. It takes courage to face your own feelings, absolutely. But that is a part of self love, facing what you’re actually feeling. It also gives you a chance to show that authenticity that so many of us are willing to show. I think it’s probably very good for us to come a little bit more down to earth, a little more home to us, both in terms of self love, but also in terms of authenticity. So I really encourage you to feel what you’re feeling. If you want to talk about this with anyone, reach out to someone that you trust, that you love, that will hold your space for you. If you don’t really have anyone like that in your life, seek professional help because that is also very beneficial.

Let go of perfectionism

And other point is definitely let go of that darn perfectionism! Perfectionism is nothing apart from “what will people think?” Nothing has to be perfect. You show up as you (Hello! 👋) You show up authentically, courageously talk about your feelings, talk about what’s happening in your life right now. Perfectionism is just a fake shield against some kind of perceived criticism. It’s not worth your time or your effort to try to be perfect. Just be you. You are enough. Remember, you are enough!

Check in on your self talk. Are you talking to yourself like you’re an idiot? Or are you talking to yourself, like you’re talking to someone you love? That is where we have to get to. It is the ultimate ultimate showing of self love is to be able to talk to yourself in a positive and kind way. And I’m telling you, yes, it’s not some kind of easy fix. It’s not easy to do this. This is a daily routine that you have to get going with (or you don’t have to, but I invite you), to be kinder to yourself. It’s also important, I think, not to shut down in a crisis like this. Dare to feel these feelings, don’t bottle them up like I said before. If you’re anything like me, you know, they’re gonna explode somewhere else!

Positivity is a choice

Remember that positivity is a choice. Try to stay positive throughout this. Not just in terms of this, to sound like a cliche, not at all, but this is your entire outlook on life. And this is really a mindset shift from sort of, “oh, blah, blah, blah, why me I can’t do anything” to, you know, seeing the positive sides of life. This is called a growth mindset. Positivity is a choice, and it is also the greatest lesson you can learn for life. Try to see things a little bit more positively. If you can’t see the whole situation positively, try to see bits of it a little bit more positively.

Get creative, whether that’s painting, whether that’s journaling, whether that’s doodling, recording yourself singing (or actually just singing and then recording yourself singing), whether that’s making funny videos online. Or whether that is dancing to your favourite song – get creative. Get out of that, you know, very intentional, very thoughtful mindset. Let let go a little bit and I will promise you that you will feel better about yourself very soon.

You can also ask yourself what can I learn from this? Every crisis comes with a little bit of a lesson or learning or something that we can improve and I think there’s a whole lot of things we can improve in life right now, if we want to, or that life will improve for us a little bit later. This is also part of the growth mindset! This is where your mindset can grow so that you can interpret things in a different way. This, in turn, can lead you to create a purpose for yourself, if you haven’t find found your why yet. Your progress is still progress, even if it’s very, very slow. You can slow down as slow as you want, or you can speed up as fast as you want. It’s only your own race, you’re not competing against anyone. Don’t compare with anyone, just what can you learn from this crisis.

Gratitude is Self Love

I think something that it’s very important to acknowledge in these times is gratitude. And that goes together with the point of staying positive. as well as being enough. There are always, always, always things to be grateful for and to show gratitude for. That’s why I find it very, very important to, for example, meditate regularly. You can do that with apps, you can do that on YouTube, you can do that just in silence or with some soundscape. Meditation can really help you organise your gratitude a bit better.

Then another question to ask yourself is what can you control in the situation? It doesn’t matter if you can’t control the whole situation (because no one can no one knows what we’re handling, no one knows how this is gonna play out, and no one knows what’s happening next.) But what can you control in the situation? Perhaps it is your reactions? Perhaps it is to nourish your body properly? Perhaps it is to hydrate your body properly? Start from small things like that. They all add up so that you feel more in control of yourself and your own situation. How about today, you think about all the things you are, instead of what you are not. Think of all the beautiful, wonderful things that you are, stay positive, you are enough and what can you control and look after it.

Then, look how far you’ve come. Look at the person that got into this, well not chosen, but this forced mess about two months ago. Who was that person? Worried, perhaps stressed out, running between meetings, crazily stressing around everywhere? And now we’ve had the time to breathe and relax, and perhaps even make a few plans for the future? It depends. But ask yourself how far have you come just through these past few weeks?

Make sure that you build up your community, or a community at least, join a community. If you have the right people around you and surround yourself with the right people, you can also get the right support for you. That’s really important, I find, because we’re not alone in this. We’re all in the same boat, so to speak, and we can really help each other. So find a community that supports you.

And then almost the most important one, after you’re enough is; be kind to yourself. Make sure that you know that you are a priority. This connects connects the mind and the body to engage in something else instead of news flashes everywhere. And especially if you haven’t turned them off yet (which you really should)!

Make sure that you celebrate the smallest of things. And it’s not easy to find them sometimes, but if you really look, as I said, there’s always something to be thankful for. So celebrate the smallest of successes.

And then another super, super, super duper important one is forgiveness. Forgive both yourself for whatever perceived shit that you think you’ve caused, whether it is in this crisis, or in the past, or currently or whatever, forgive yourself and others. We’re all going through a really difficult time. This was the thing that made me realise that I needed to revisit self love on a deeper level. I realised that I have a lot of my past self to give a little bit more credit for than I have so far. So this is my version of self love right now; I give myself credit for past achievements and things that I’ve done before. I also found this quote that was fantastic:

“You got to learn to love yourself. It’s the realest love you can get.”

And how true is that? No one can love you as fiercely and as fantastically as you can, yourself. And if you keep on dwelling on and badgering yourself for past mistakes, it won’t help you grow at all it. It will diminish you and your personality. So make sure that you are able to give yourself some well deserved credit for stuff that you’ve achieved in the past!

If you want to get deeper into this, I have three books and one documentary and that I suggest that you check out. The first one is a book called “The Art of Extreme Self Care” by Cheryl Richardson, it’s fantastic. You can learn a little bit more about different ways of showing yourself self love, and setting boundaries and all these things that are so important for us.

The second one, and I really love this book. It is my favourite fictional book, it’s “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It is a fantastic little look into what magic is out there and it switches your brain off from “fact fact fact fact fact” to something else.

My third recommendation is actually a book by Marie Forleo, “Everything is Figureoutable” , because, well, it is. So also during difficult times, and self love during difficult times is also figureoutable. It’s not hopeless. I promise. You can definitely definitely do it.

And if you anyways are surfing Netflix these days, how about you check out “The Call to Courage” with Brené Brown. It’s fantastic and also goes along with these sort of notes that I’ve been giving you today.

What is your favourite tip of going a little bit deeper in terms of self love? Share with me below and I’ll be happy to chat with you there!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website and video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website and video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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My Food Log Experiment (Patterns revealed!)

Do you ever keep a food log? 🤔 As you may know, if you’ve seen it on my Instagram I’ve been doing an experiment on myself with exactly that this week.

Having had to do so many, many times since my T1D diagnosis 35 years ago (including during my nutrition training…), the result is that I absolutely can’t stand it. It’s fiddly, too many numbers and honestly, I don’t even care about them (anymore).

Despite this, I decided to check that I’m eating enough, if I eat consistently and how/if my blood sugar and insulin requirements would change with changes in kcal (etc) intake. Normally, I care as little about kcal as I do about ketones, i.e. not at all. Counting calories doesn’t work, food is nutrition, which is information that the body uses.

BUT – I do believe in eating when I’m hungry/my body needs fuel, which ends up being two meals a day for me. I also believe in eating real foods from nature and minimally processed. And I believe natural fat is good for us (yes, also saturated fat). Throughout this week, I found a few patterns:

🌟 I ate somewhere between 1100-2000 kcal/day. My basal metabolic rate is around 1300 kcal. I had a few comments that that would be too little as an intake, but if you see me I’m not exactly skin and bones. I’m also a big believer in nutrition density, and I think my kcal contain more nutrition.

🌟 I seem to intuitively vary the amount of kcal according to what my body needs and tells me. LISTEN 👏 TO 👏 YOUR 👏 BODY! It’s natural that the level of hunger varies, and as long as I’m happy, full, satisfied and well nourished, I trust my body to eat what I/she needs. For example, I seem to be eating slightly less on my more active days. And I’m ok with that.

🌟 I bolus for my meals (this I already knew, of course). As bolus strategies are very individual, I didn’t see the point in announcing doses. Throughout this experiment, I’ve used a total daily dose of 17-21 units/day, with a 85% basal, 15% bolus split, just like I usually do. My blood sugars have been fantastic, too!

How do you feel about logging food? A fun experiment or personal torture? 🤔 Discuss!

Food Log Experiment (Patterns Revealed!) – Hanna Boëthius

As a reminder, to yourself or someone you know needs to hear/see it, this is my main point:

Food Log – Hanna Diabetes Expert

Transcription

Would you prefer to read more about my food log experiment? Here’s a written version:

My Food Log Experiment

I have done something different this week. And I’m excited to tell you about it. I will tell you what I did, how I did it (well, that’s pretty straightforward)! But I will also reveal all the patterns that I found doing this little experiment.

As you may have seen, I have been logging my food, again for the umpteenth time in the history of my diabetes career, which has become quite long by this point, despite me only being 25 and I cannot see how that works?! 😉 But as you may have seen on Instagram, I have been logging my food again. I want to know from you, while I keep yapping on here, how about you tell me in a comment somewhere whether you are pro or contra logging food? I am very much against logging food – I really frickin loathe it, like I hate logging food. I hate it so much and this comes from my diagnosis having to do it well, I didn’t have to do it my but my parents had to do it for my diagnosis about 35 years ago this year. And also I’ve had to do it so many times since and especially when I’ve been struggling with diabetes, and it was really shit everywhere. And I yes, also of course, when I became a nutrition professional, I had to log a lot have food and I really, really don’t like it. So that’s, you know, my bias.

Despite this, I decided to do it now anyway, because I do think it’s good to sometimes check where I’m at in terms of how much I’m eating and all this stuff. I have to be honest and say that I really don’t care about calories, I really don’t care about macros, I really don’t care about the percentages here and energy percentages there. I don’t care about ketones at all, unless I’m sick, and ruling it out as a cause. I just focus on minimising the carbs because that’s what works for me. I know you’re a lot of people out there where this doesn’t work for or you don’t agree with it. But let’s just assume that we can be individual in our care and that different things fit different people. So yes, I really think it is a good idea sometimes to do check what it is that I’m eating. And you can do this with different providers such as My Fitness Pal or Cronometer.

Calories?

My basal metabolic rate, as in what my body burns, when I do nothing when I sit and breathe, basically, is about 1300 calories. You can find out this in many ways, you can use manual things, or you can use online calculators or I also have my wearables calculate for me as well, and they’re always around 1300 calories. So that’s, you know, what I’m working with here.

In this week’s experiment, it has revealed itself that I eat something between 1100 and 2000 calories a day. To be honest, I don’t even believe in calorie counting. So I don’t even know why I’m keeping track. But I thought it could be interesting. I don’t see that calorie counting works, and especially not the way it has been made to seem to work. I much more believe in that nutrition is information for the body that the body can use to function properly. And I also strongly believe that our bodies are wonderful machines who can regulate this! If you dare to listen to your body, and this is my main message today; if you dare to listen to your body, it will tell you if you need more calories, less calories, more energy and in which form less energy in which not form.

I did get a few comments, not just one, about why am I eating so little calories? Again, for me, this is not really a problem because I don’t really pay attention to it, I pay much more attention to whether I’m full, whether I’m happy, whether I’m satisfied, whether I’m in a good mood, all of these things. And of course, my yearly checkup, I check if I have any deficiencies, but so far, it hasn’t been that way. So why so low calories? I really believe that I do eat food with very dense nutrition. So there’s a lot of nutrition per calorie, per gram of carb, per gram of fat and protein. There’s a lot of nutrition in the calories and the macros that I do eat. That’s why, if I’m not hungrier than 1100 calories one day, I’m not going to force feed myself just to get up to an arbitrary number for me. I am well nourished, as you can see, I’m not just skin and bones. There’s ample things to take off from here, so I’m not malnourished either. I eat however much I want, I don’t have any limits for myself, I eat however much I want until I’m full, happy, satisfied. And I really believe in that.

Intuitive eating?

This experiment showed me that I intuitively vary calories according to my needs. It is something very natural for hunger to vary, and for calories to vary from day to day, depending on what you’ve done, how you feel, all of these things that have an impact. I came to the conclusion that I am quite good at intuitive eating actually, where I really listen to my body in terms of what it wants, in terms of how much it wants, in terms of what nutrition it needs on that day in that moment. Really, my philosophy is really as easy as, Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. This leads me to mostly eat two meals a day, sometimes I have a snack between the meals, sometimes I don’t. It really depends on what my body is calling out for. An important point, because this is a completely different ballgame if this is your problem, but I eat without emotion. I think that food is joyous and it’s good and I enjoy food and it has to taste good. But I don’t eat because I’m sad. I don’t eat because I’m happy. I don’t eat because you know, there’s an underlying emotion. So if this is your ballgame, then there are tonnes of experts out there who can help you with this, but it’s a completely different thing to handle.

I also noticed that I tend to eat less when I have a more active day which sounds completely weird. Three days a week, I do bodyweight exercises for half an hour, I go out walking at least half an hour, and I do at least half an hour of yoga. So that’s 1,5 hours on those three days that I move my body. I do it because it feels good and not because I feel I have to do it. And again, I listen to my body, and it wants to move! On the other four days of the week, I do walking or yoga or both. It all depends on how I feel during the day. But yes, on the days I move more I eat slightly less calories, which was weird to me. But again, I don’t worry about it. I know my body can take care of itself. It’s fine.

Bolus for minimal carbs?

I also got a lot of questions if I bolus for the meals that I eat, considering there’s very little carbs in the food that I eat. Do I even bows for it? And yes, I do bolus for my food (which is what I said in my Instagram Stories very many times, “yes a bonus for this”). It is very important, of course, to keep blood sugar stable, healthy and at normal levels. This was a great success in the in that respect as well this week, my blood sugar’s have been great! I’m very grateful for that. I also corrected when I had to, and used insulin as normal.

Because bolus strategy for every person with diabetes is very, very individual, I didn’t see the point of actually disclosing any numbers or how many units I was taking or anything like that. It’s turns out to be a pretty arbitrary number, much like calories. How much bolus I take doesn’t really matter because it’s so individual. A lot of it comes down to what your routine is, what your eating habits are like, what do you usually eat? Do you eat a lot of carbs usually? Or do you eat less carbs? Usually, your bolus strategy will depend on these factors. It also depends on what kind of a role of your basal insulin, the underlying insulin, plays, along with so many other things, like what your fat and protein factors are and how much you need to bolus for protein, for example. There are rules of thumb, absolutely, for all of this, but for you as an individual, you will need to play a little trial and error to see what works for you in certain circumstances.

But as a little factoid, I used anything between 15 and 21 total units per day in my insulin pump. That means it’s both basal and bolus insulin. It works out to a ratio of 85% basal and 15% bolus. It doesn’t really tell you much, but it just shows that I do take insulin and I do take adequate amounts of insulin and I won’t go into DKA (as that is the danger of taking too little insulin, DKA is always due to at least the relative lack of insulin in your body).

Food Log Conclusion

So what is my conclusion of my (now) four day experiment, I cannot wait to finish it tomorrow. But my four day experiment so far is that I still loathe, I still hate logging food. It was a great reminder for me., It really takes away that joy for food, the joy of eating the sheer pleasure of eating and puts it too much into my head. There are too many thoughts, there’s too much planning. There’s too much of, “oh yeah, how many blah, blah blah was this and how many walnuts did I eat there?” and “how much cream was that?” It takes the complete joy out of it for me. And it also takes me out of trusting my body, listening to my body-feeling, that I find is so, so important, especially when it comes to eating. This was the quick-ish conclusion of my four day experiment of logging food!

Before I go, I wanted to ask you, what does food logging mean to you? Have you used one of these terrible chart-things that I used to get from my dietitian (when I still saw one)? Is it a fun experiment to check in on yourself every once in a while, or are you more Team Me and it’s a bit of a personal torture? Please let me know in a comment!

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this website is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This website is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

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All About Vitamin D

Hola, Sunshine! ☀️ Today on Type 1 Thursday, we’re talking about vitamin D!

Where do we get it from, how can we improve our levels (if needed) and what is it good for?

Did you know vitamin D is THIS important? How do you make sure you have enough vitamin D? Let’s chat in the comments!

All About Vitamin D – Type 1 Thursday – Hanna Boëthius

Ps. Why don’t you share this video with someone who needs to learn more about vitamin D?

I made this handy graphic about the sources of vitamin D to go with the video. Got any questions? Let me know in the comments!

Vitamin D Sources – Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

If you prefer to read about vitamin D, here is a text version of the information :

Welcome to this week’s Type 1 Thursday and today’s topic, vitamin D. I asked you on my Instagram Stories again what you wanted me to talk about and vitamin D was the clear answer.  (Well, actually it was a yes or no question, so anyway, it was Yes on that! So that’s what we’re talking about today.)

Vitamin D is claimed to help anything and everything in your body, like your immune system to Alzheimer’s to MS to cancer and blood sugar. There have been studies showing either way on all of these so it’s quite an important thing for our body. 

Did you actually know that vitamin D is something like a pro hormone, so like a precursor of a hormone and not as much of a vitamin as we are made to believe? It’s so important in our body, and its role in many, many functions is astonishing. Our bodies can make it on its own, which I will go through in a little bit, but it basically uses cholesterol and sunlight, and we can also get it from food sources if the sunlight is not enough, which it can be, for example, in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter half of the year. 

Benefits of Vitamin D

What are the benefits of vitamin D? It can help regulate and control the body’s ability to absorb phosphorus and calcium. It may also help the body regulate the insulin production in the pancreas. Vitamin D levels in a person should ideally be around 20 to 56 ng/l and with anything clinically as low as 20 ng/l is considered deficient. It is now of course known that we need a sufficient amount of vitamin D in our system, in our body and something around 60 to 80 mark even 100 ng/l can help, for example, blood glucose levels to keep them under control, which is absolutely vital for people with diabetes. 

What else is it good for then? (If you know, how about you send me a little comment so I know I’m not completely alone out there on the interwebs!) In the meantime, vitamin D does support our immune system, our brain and our nervous system which can be very good and especially at this point of time. It also is very good for lung function and our cardiovascular system, and it can also influence the gene expression of cancer tumours. It’s not quite clear how it really works there, but it seems to be able to have an influence on cancer metabolism. 

Vitamin D also helps you have better skin, it helps you have healthier muscles. Also, more studies are finding a link between Type 1 Diabetes and vitamin D levels because of the auto immunity aspect, as well. Something I learned very recently is that there is a presence of vitamin D receptors on insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells. And to this, multiple studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation as a young child can seem to be able to prevent a Type 1 diagnosis later in life. It’s quite an interesting topic and if you’re interested, I suggest that you Google it because it is a very interesting field of research! (And of course I am invested myself, so please go find all the good stuff and report back.) It also can also help with depression in some cases, as well. 

How to get Vitamin D

So how do we get vitamin D at all? The obvious one is (I tried to depict it in my clothing today); sunshine! It is the one very natural and fantastic way of getting vitamin D and this is because 80 to 90% of the body’s vitamin D is made by the skin with the help of cholesterol and the UVB rays of the sun.  This is when vitamin D3 gets transferred to the kidneys and the liver and it’s converted to Calcitriol, which is an active form of vitamin D. It’s said that 20-30 minutes daily sun exposure is recommended and this is clearly more difficult when we are not in the summer time of the year. If you wear high enough sunscreen, it will block your vitamin D production in the skin, which is not a great thing if you are out in the sunlight trying to get vitamin D!

This is actually why it’s best to do short periods of time in the sun, however be very careful not to burn yourself, which is the key to all sun exposure. Make sure that you go without sunscreen so that you get the full benefits carefully. There are apps like for example, my favourite summer app in the universe, which is the D-minder app. I can’t tag them as they are not on social media and I do not work with them, but I think the app is fantastic! It takes into account your location, your altitude, all of these things to see what the UV index is for that day in that weather, you can put in how much clothes you’re wearing, how overcast it is, and your skin type and it calculates how long you can safely be out in the sun to get vitamin D and sun exposure. (It also helps you get a great tan, if that’s what you’re looking for!)

What if you can’t be in the sun?

If being in the sun is not an option, what are your other options? Well, you have two other ways of getting vitamin D. One is from food sources and this is of course, I always recommend whole foods sources. Personally, I’m not really sure about the “fortified” foods that are out there and in my opinion, the best forms of exogenous vitamin D is D3 and it comes from animal foods. That’s where it’s most widely available and most grains and other non animal foods, they really need to be fortified with this extra vitamin D and I feel like that’s a little too much chemistry for me so I’ll leave that alone. That’s up to each and every one of you to decide but I would recommend things like cod liver oil, salmon is a great vitamin D source and  salmon roe and it’s delicious. And how about some tuna or sardines, eggs are great, cheese and liver. (I’m having liver pate tonight and I cannot wait also because of the vitamin D, but mainly because it’s yummy.)

If you can’t get in the sun, you can’t eat any of these things, you can supplement vitamin D, so you are not left alone! Make sure that you get the vitamin D3 and not the D2, because the D2 is not bioavailable, so it doesn’t get absorbed as well in your body and D3 is already one step closer to being used, so make sure it’s D3. And make sure you take the supplements with a fatty meal for the best absorption, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin. Otherwise, what’s the point eating them if they don’t get absorbed, right? H

How much does one supplement? That is an everlasting question and I cannot even tell you how many people have asked me this, but and the fastest and easiest and safest way to check is actually with a blood test so that you can see where your level is now, and then you can try supplementing for a while, before taking a new blood test and see if you need to increase or decrease. That’s the safest way. 

Generally, living in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s difficult to get enough during the winter and especially if you also have some sort of autoimmune thing going on, like I do, and many of us do here. Remember that the official recommendations, as in what you see on the supplement package, usually tends to err on the low side. Having an excess of vitamin D is very difficult to achieve. You have to take many, many supplements for very long to get an excess which would manifest in a too low calcium in your body. 

Did you know that vitamin D is this important and if you did, tell me how you make sure that you get enough vitamin D. And if you didn’t, how are you planning to get enough vitamin D into your system?

Disclaimer

The only purpose of this video is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This video is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Instead, we encourage you to discuss your options with a health care provider who specializes in treating Type 1 Diabetes.