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Type 1 Thursday – Mindset & Diabetes Management?

How important is mindset in diabetes management? What difference can it make? 🤔

It took me so long before I realized just how big of a deal mindset work is when it comes to diabetes management. How do you react when you see an undesirable number on the display? What are you thinking when you’re faced with a meal you know you won’t feel good eating? And what can you do to help your diabetes management be a success in the long run?

It’s time for Type 1 Thursday!

And – if you want the whole presentation on this topic from me, why don’t you join me at The Low Carb Universe in Mallorca, 12-17 November 2019? Check it out!

And 2 – I do a live every week on Facebook and Instagram to discuss a topic about Type 1 Diabetes that maybe you haven’t discussed with your doctor or healthcare crew. Join me at 6pm CET on Thursday’s!

Have you noticed a shift in your mindset? Or do you need one? Talk to me! 😊

Text Version

If you prefer to read rather than watch a video about mindset, here is a text version of the points I made above:

Mindset

How can mindset can help your diabetes management? How he can help it and what difference can it make, or how can it hinder you?

As I define it, these are my own figures, not at all scientific! This is my experience and from the people that I’ve talked to about this, but I see that having success maintaining a healthy lifestyle, 30% is food and medicine, I see another 30% in other lifestyle factors, movement, hydration, sleep. To actually make your health care successful, I do see that there is a 40% need for mindset, as well. Don’t discount the mindset part because it is very important! And maybe even more important than you know! How exciting is that?

There is a fear of geting caught in a trap of constant perfection. No type 1 diabetic is always perfect. No health cares are ever completely perfect. We all make mistakes. And that’s okay. And that’s a huge part to realise when it comes to mindset! You have to be kind to yourself – that is just the starting point. And do remember that all feelings that you have, whether it’s about diabetes or something else you’re trying to get a better grip of, all feelings are completely and entirely OK! It’s okay to feel them. It’s okay to have them. They are all OK.

“Fixed” vs “Growth”

There is this theory of that we flip flop between what is called a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. (I have a full length presentation on this, join me in Mallorca to find out more!) What I’ve seen from my research, we basically flip flop between these two mindsets depending on the situation, depending on what we’re faced with, actually depending on a lot of factors. As a sort of rule of thumb, a fixed mindset is that you avoid challenges, and that you give up very easily. Making effort is actually a bad thing for you, in the specific situation. You’re “just not talented”. A “why me” mentality usually goes into the fixed one. Running away from critique is also common. Other peoples success is threatening, too. I’m sure we can all recognise some parts of this in ourselves in what we were doing and how we’re reacting to things!

On the other side of the fixed mindset is the growth mindset. A growth mindset is where you seek challenges, you keep trying, even though you maybe fail sometimes and you see making an effort as the key to actually making something a success. You ask yourself, “what can I learn from this situation” rather than, you know, “why me” and “I’m not talented”. Your motto is basically “I can do it”, and other people’s success is inspiring to you.

These are the two mindsets that we flip flop between, depending on how we how we react to things. Also, I think that we are many who can recognise ourselves in the growth mindset. So it’s not all bad! We’re not only, you know, “everything is shit” and “why me” and “I don’t want challenges”. I think we all have parts of both! I find it very interesting when we start paying attention to this. And I’m sure this is something that you can do, for example, in your diabetes management. How do you react to, for example, that blood sugar reading? Is it “why me” or is it “okay, what can I learn from this?”, for example.

Mindset is not…

Mindset is not a magic bullet of motivation. It is definitely not a shortcut to success, if anyone got that, and mindset is nothing that we’re born with, it’s something that we learn. Mindset is not the same as positive thinking, either. It’s also not fixed in these two categories I talked about above. You’re never stuck in one, as I said, we flip flop between both of them.

Diet Mentality

Added to this, more specifically to food, is actually the diet mentality, or diet mindset. I wanted to highlight it, because I think it’s so terrible for lots of people with diabetes, and for anyone really who tries to look out for their health.

A diet mentality is where you see food as the enemy and you’re focusing on your bad habits – that you would have bad habits to break somehow. You’re looking for temporary fixes. And you’re focusing on what you don’t like about yourself, how silly is that? That’s not the way forward, the way forward is to focus on things that you do like about yourself and increase those and then the other ones will follow. Diet mindset is where you’re really focused on the scale. I don’t feel like that is a good measurement of anything really, the scale. I threw out my own scale very many years ago, and I only weigh myself at the doctor’s office, because they require it. Otherwise, I don’t really care what it says. It’s some sort of arbitrary number on a piece of electronic machinery (or even if it isn’t electronic) – it doesn’t really matter that much. Try to step away from the scale! Also in a diet mentality, you think that you have a finish line, that you will have arrived at some point, whatever that means. And I’m only highlighting this because I think it can offset the rest of your mindset work, which can be quite crucial in type one or diabetes management in as a whole.

Setbacks?

How do you view setbacks? Are setbacks something informative to you? Do you draw information out of it? Basically, going back to the growth mindset of “what can I learn”? Or are setbacks a label on you as a person? It’s also silly, but we all get to that point at some points of our lives, and that’s fine. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just something to be aware of!

Success = Mindset + Learning

Success whether within health, whether it’s in sports, whether it’s in life in general, it is mindset, plus learning and the willingness to learn new things. No one can do everything from the beginning. So we do need to learn, in addition to our hopefully, majorly growth mindset work.

How do you change your mindset? This can be a tricky one, but a few short tips is to start small. If you know the analogy of chopping up the elephant into small bite sized pieces, basically eating the frog first? That’s how you get forward so you look at the whole picture first and try to accomplish all of it at once. You have to start with the very smallest goal that you can imagine. Also, you have to think forwards. “How will I feel in a week of doing this?” (or in a day, and a month, in a year, in 10 years?) How will it feel making this change for me? Provided that it is for you, but I would hope so because otherwise it’s not going to be motivating for very long. You have to find what motivates you? No one else can tell you what motivates you, you have to find that within yourself. And that’s a very big part of mindset work!

And also, don’t make excuses. It’s all about prioritising. You can say that, “oh, I don’t have time to check my blood sugar”, but today, especially with CGM’s and these very fast blood sugar meters, it’s really quick. It’s just that you don’t want to do it. It’s that simple. So please don’t make excuses for yourself.

And now I would actually love to hear from you, have you noticed a change in a change in your mindset? Or perhaps you need a change of mindset? Talk to me in the comments below and I’d be happy to chat with you more there.

Diabetes Expert?!

“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO CALL YOURSELF A DIABETES EXPERT?!”

I could sense the frustration behind his words, the anger in his question. (IG DMs are almost always a joy. 🙃)

“Oh, honey”, I thought, “it’s not the first (and presumably not the last) time someone gets triggered by my username & brand.”🤷🏻‍♀️

The thing is, I’m not THE expert on diabetes, by any means! 🛑 I am, however, the expert on MY diabetes, just like you are the expert on your diabetes (or at least should aim to be). 🌟 Figuring out the individual aspects of diabetes management is what makes you better at it, get more knowledge, know where to find resources for issues you can’t solve yourself – an expert! And it also makes you more able to help others figure out theirs. 💪🏼

I’m not a medical professional and I’ve never claimed to be one. What I am is a Type 1 Diabetic, who’s had 34 years of experience with this, and have made every mistake, every pitfall, every terrible decision a diabetic can make. I’m also a nutrition coach, specializing in T1D and lifestyle. 💉

What I’ve also done is to drag myself up after each and every single one of those downfalls. That’s the thing, right? Fall down 100 times, but what really matters is that you get up 101 times. 🔝

So, who the fuck am I to call myself a diabetes expert? I’ve figured out a formula of lifestyle measures that you can us to help your diabetes management. Things that your healthcare team haven’t even thought of yet, but can have an incredible impact! Because diabetes management is SO much more than just “eat whatever you want and cover it with insulin – oh, and do some exercise”. And I have tons of resources to turn to when I find something I don’t know.📚

All I want to do is to inspire you to take your health into your own hands, because I know you can. You can become the expert on your diabetes and your health, because it’s important, if not life dependent in some cases. If I could do it, so can you. 🙌🏼😃✨

Ps. This post was originally posted on my Instagram page, @hannadiaebtesexpert. Follow me there for more updates!

Also, you can read my thoughts of when I started using the word Expert in my branding here!

Barndiabetesfonden

The Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation, Barndiabetesfonden, celebrates its 30th anniversary! 💙

There is still so much work to be done when it comes to #T1D, from awareness and advocacy to realizing the importance of individuality in management. And, most important of all – finding a cure.🌟

#BlåKnuten , the Blue knot, is a symbol for this awareness. 900 people, just in Sweden 🇸🇪, are diagnosed yearly with Type 1. And a cure is yet, sadly, very far off from becoming reality.

We need more research. We need a cure. Until then, we’re not waiting. 💪🏼💙🎀 ✨

Ps. Post originally posted on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert. Follow me there!

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Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements

Are nutritional supplements needed for people with diabetes? And, which ones could potentially help?

Some say they can help diabetes management, others say supplements are the hugest waste of time and money. So what should you believe?

Here’s my take on nutritional supplements, and which ones may make sense for you to explore.

Type 1 Thursday – Nutritional Supplements – Hanna Boëthius

What supplements do you take, if any? Why?

Transcription

If you’d prefer to read this information, please find a written version below:

The topic for today is supplements and nutritional supplements. Are they are needed for people with diabetes? Do they actually help at all? Is there a point of taking them? Or why should you take them at all? It’s quite a weird topic here because this one I can actually somehow give a little bit of advice on in comparison to last week’s episode where I couldn’t really say anything.

What are nutritional supplements? They can be anything from enzymes, for digestive issues, to amino acids that you may need for something specific that is not working properly in your body, vitamins, minerals. herbs, if you find that they help for something. It doesn’t have to be diabetes that you’re taking supplements for, it can also be something else. And why would you take them as a Type 1 or Type 2, as a diabetic? Well, some have been proven to increase your insulin sensitivity, for example, which we can all appreciate very much. It can also lower inflammation, some of them that have been studied on that in that department. That can also be good. because fluctuating blood sugars do cause a lot of damage, not only complications of diabetes. If you think of inflammation as rust in a chain, they can basically make your body feel like a rusty chain. And who wants that? Nutritional supplements are there to add the nutrition that you may be normally wouldn’t get or not enough.

I, myself, do take supplements. I have optimised my supplement game quite a few years ago when I really studied this and really got into what is good for people wanting a potentially healthier blood sugar management, improving your insulin sensitivity. I found that if I take the supplements in “batches”, so I buy a package of them and I eat them until they’re finish, then I have a break, then I eat them again, I noticed the most actually benefit for myself. That’s only myself and cannot be said for any other person.

What do I consider the most important supplements for blood sugar management, at least in my own case? I’ll also mention a few more that I’m currently not taking myself.

Chromium Supplement

Number one of what I take myself is chromium. It helps the body to use glucose in a more efficient way. And it has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in that way. Chromium is one of these classic ones that I think when I was growing up, it was said to “help people with cravings”. My guess is that just means that it gets the nutrition in the form of glucose actually to be used better by the body- That’s why it would curb cravings, because cravings are sometimes (not all the time but sometimes) a lack of nutrition that is masking behind that.

Magnesium Supplement

Number two is another mineral that is magnesium. I swear by magnesium, I love it! I sleep better, for example. It helps the body relax, it builds up bones, it helps build and relax your muscles, and it also helps your insulin sensitivity to increase. That’s why I really, really like it. If you want a band aid of nutritional supplements, I would say magnesium is a big one of them, because it helps in so many ways! It can really be beneficial for a lot of things. Doesn’t have to be, but it is in many cases.

Vitamin D3 Supplement

Especially this time of year when is grey and crappy outside, vitamin D3 comes to the rescue. The “sun hormone” is what they call it in some publications. When the skin is hit by sunlight, cholesterol helps to build vitamin D3 to help the body with actually almost anything. That’s why they lean towards calling it a hormone, because of all the benefits it has. Vitamin D3 is unbeatable and if you have too low vitamin D, it can cause problems. Low vitamin D3 is linked to auto- immunity, that has been shown in a couple of studies. That’s my main reason why I take it, but also because I noticed it on my energy levels when my vitamin D3 is not in range. I really have to look out.

Zinc Supplement

Zinc is very helpful for the immune system, which you know, if the immune system works properly, maybe I don’t have to be sick that much? That’s also what vitamin D3 does, it can also help your immune system to function properly. I take supplements that help my immune system along so that I don’t have to be sick. Being sick complicates diabetes management a lot, whether you have good control normally or not – it doesn’t really matter. Zinc does a whole lot of other things, as well, for example, it activates the insulin signalling pathways in the body so that the body can realise that there is insulin, and in that way may increases your insulin sensitivity. It can also help in the processing of insulin and very many other things when it comes to insulin in a normal, healthy body, but also for us diabetics.

Omega 3 Supplement

Omega 3 fatty acids is another supplement I take. I don’t generally eat that much fish when I am in Switzerland because I’m not close to an ocean. I’m in the middle of Europe, put a pin in the middle Europe, and you get somewhere in Switzerland. I just don’t feel that fish is that fresh that often and that’s why I normally don’t eat that much fish when I’m here. When I’m by the ocean, say on a Mediterranean island, for example, I do eat a lot more fish. There it is actually freshly caught the morning, and for me, that feels a lot better. That’s why i supplement with omega 3 fatty acids when I don’t eat that much fish. Omega 3 can act as an anti-inflammatory in the body. It has not been proven to help diabetes management, per se, but if you get the inflammation reduced, it definitely can help your blood sugar management. What it has been shown to do, though, is to lower triglycerides and raises your so called “good cholesterol”, the HDL, so it does do good things in the body.

CBD Oil Supplement

CBD oil calms you down, it is anti-stressing, anti-anxiety, and leads to better sleep. Sleep is a crucial part in diabetes management! If you don’t sleep well, you won’t have good numbers. Magnesium can also do that, of ocurse. But sometimes you need a booster in this sleep department.

Those are the ones that I take; chromium, magnesium, vitamin D3, zinc, omega 3, basically every day and CBD on and off when I have to. What else could be good for people diabetes?

Berberine Supplement

I don’t like comparing a supplement to medicine, because they can’t be the same. But berberine can have a similar effect on blood sugars, as for example Metformin. It basically can make you more insulin sensitive.

Alph-Lipoic Acid Supplement

Alpha-lipoic Acid is an antioxidant, and it can increase insulin sensitivity, as well. It had also it has also been shown to help a couple of complications of diabetes, like for example, neuropathy or macular degeneration.

Probiotic Supplement

Also, you may find it a good idea to take care of those fancy little gut bacteria with some good quality probiotics, because we all know about the brain-gut axis and we know that we feel better when our gut flora is intact. Your gut flora can also be harmed by blood sugar’s fluctuating a little here and there.

Thyroid Supplements?

Also, thyroid specific things, because another thing that people with autoimmune issues get… are more autoimmune problems! If you do have problems with your thyroid being a bit lazy, maybe a Selenium supplement could help? Or iodine? Do read up on that so that you know what you’re doing!

As always, do check with a healthcare professional or your doctor before you start anything new, and adding anything to your diabetes management.

So what supplements do you take? Do you feel they’re helping? And do you understand why you’re taking them? Let me know and let’s chat more in the comments below.

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Inspire – don’t judge!

“You give other people with diabetes bad conscience!”

The words of my Sweet Friend surprised me. I was gobsmacked, then I was amazed, then everything suddenly made sense.

“That’s soooo not my point”, I said, laughingly. “I know, I know it’s not, but if everyone knew how to take care of themselves like you do, then everyone would feel better. Not everyone has that motivation,” she continued.

My goal is always to inspire others, not to make anyone feel less worthy. I don’t want to be the one who makes you feel bad about your diabetes management, or yourself. I‘m not ever ”better than you!”

I want to inspire you, because higher powers know I would have needed it myself. When I was at my absolute worst, with double digit A1C’s and didn’t know my ass from my elbow in terms of diabetes management, I was trying everything out, one thing after the other and it all lead to the same shit… I wish, I wish social media would’ve existed, and I could’ve found some sort of motivation and inspiration in people who have walked the same path. And even when I had A1C’s of 7-8% I would’ve needed someone who I could look up to.

That’s who I aspire to be – I want to be your cheerleader, the one that cheers you on when the going gets tough! Me sharing my values and numbers, me sharing my lifestyle and tips, me sharing everything that I do on social media is NEVER about bragging. It’s about me being on the diabetes journey / just as much as you are. And I want you to see it as inspiration.

If I could get myself from double digit A1C’s to a healthy, healing, happy range of blood sugars, so can you. I promise And I’ll be there for you, to guide, inspire and motivate you. If you want me to, that is. Always rooting for you. 🙌🏼💗🌟

Post originally published on my Instagram account, @hannadiabetesexpert

Type 1 Thursday – Medication

Are you taking the right medication, or medications, to manage your diabetes?

We often just “take what we’re prescribed” in terms of medications. But is this always the best strategy? Is there anything you can do as a patient to influence your medication?

In this week’s Type 1 Thursday, this is exactly what I’m talking about, how we as patients can get more of an insight and clue into what we’re actually given, and should be taking.

Type 1 Thursday – Medication – Hanna Boëthius

Are you taking the medication you need to manage your diabetes as well as you can? Is there anything you should perhaps check with your health care professional? Let us know in a comment below!

Transcription

If you prefer to read this information, please find a text version below:

I can’t wait to discuss today’s very important, but this may be my shortest Thursday ever. The topic today is medication and although this is a super important thing when managing your diabetes, I am unfortunately not a medical professional. Ergo I am not allowed to give you any advice on this. (This is why this might be my shortest type on Thursday, ever.) But what I will give you are some general tips and tricks of what you can do and what you should look out for and when it comes to medication and your diabetes management, whether this is Type 1 or Type 2, it doesn’t really matter. Most of us need to, unfortunately, be on medication anyway, Type 1’s, of course, forever and ever until the day we die, we need to be on insulin, at least, if not other medications. Type 2’s can get away with not being medicated, in some cases. But in case you are, then this could be something for you as well.

The first thing to really make sure that you have is a great cooperation with your healthcare professional, because they, in comparison to me, can give you advice on medication, and medical issues in your management. I can only give you results, tell you things that I’ve done and that has worked for myself and that I know from other people’s experience, nothing else (glad we got that covered!) With your healthcare professional, you need to find out whether or not your medications are actually what you need. In many cases that I know of, are actually not given the correct medication, which they find out in hindsight. This is where you really have to speak up as a patient and tell your health care provider, whether that’s an endocrinologist, or CDE, or nurse or nurse practitioner – whatever you prefer to go to. You have to have an open conversation with them in terms of how you feel, how it’s affecting you, how it’s affecting your lifestyle, your energy and what your blood glucose values are, if you live with diabetes. This can both relate to the amount of a medicine that you’re already taking, or a type of medication that you’re taking. Do have someone that you can really trust on your team so that you can get the help that you need in terms of medication.

This medication, as I touched upon a little bit before, needs to fit into your lifestyle, as well. If it doesn’t fit you to feel sluggish, not energetic slow and just generally crappy, then definitely speak up, do something about it! There’s always, always, always something that you can do to feel better, as I usually say. And there’s most often another medication that you can try instead. Make sure that you get what is right for you for your lifestyle, for your body type, for everything that can have a an influence.

Let’s go more into insulin. Have you been given the correct types of insulin, for example? There are many types of insulin, of different efficacies, and how long they last in the body. How long insulin works in your body is very individual. For me, for example, my short acting insulin, that I’m on all the time through my insulin pump, last quite short in my body, it’s only two hours. That being said, the same insulin can last a lot longer in someone else’s body, even up to four or five hours. That’s something that you have to find out. Do you have the right type of long acting insulin, for example, for your life, for your diabetes, for the way that you want to feel? There are many different types of long acting insulin, and they have different aspects and attributions to them. Check out if you may be need to change yours or try another one for a while. In most cases you can try if you want and then go back to your normal routine if it doesn’t work out for you. I think, as patients, it’s very important that we have that choice. There are also different types of short acting insulins, rapid acting ones, which you need to find out which one works the best for you. We also have, for example, regular insulin, which covers, for example, protein very well. It can be a great tool to use if you are willing to try it. It doesn’t act like the other insulins, so don’t expect it. But it can be very helpful in certain cases, especially with a more protein rich way of eating.

When was the last time you did some basal testing? When was the last time you did a proper basal test to check your basal insulin? Whether that comes from a pump, or long acting insulin is accurately dosed for you, your life, and your diabetes. For example, someone maybe more insulin sensitive at times of the day or more insulin resistant at other points of the day. We have to make sure that the basal insulin is the correct amount for you. This is best done with through fasting and you check your blood sugar every hour throughout a 24 hour time period, this can be split up in different days, as well. Anyway, I’ll get to that in a different chapter in a couple of weeks time. Basal testing is very important to figure out if you’re doing the right thing with the insulin.

Another thing is to pre bolus. Do you need to pre bolus for your meals? Maybe check it out, if you feel comfortable with it, you can try around a little bit with pre bolusing before meals, and see if you get better blood sugar results through that.

Other, not directly diabetes related medications, that you may or may not be prescribed. Again, you have to work with your healthcare provider and see what can be maybe improved, maybe added, maybe taken away. Being diabetic, one of the milder complications can be high blood pressure. Maybe you are on blood pressure medication already, maybe you need to be on one? Maybe you need to be an ACE inhibitor, which has been shown to sometimes protect the kidneys from damage, for example. And it’s a statin really necessary in your specific case? Discuss with your doctor, and bring papers, bring your research along and they usually try to accommodate, or, rather, should try to accommodate you. But it doesn’t mean that everyone does, of course. A medication like Metformin, for example, maybe it could be beneficial for you? Maybe you don’t need it anymore?

Again, you have to have an open dialogue with your healthcare provider. That’s my main point when it comes to medications. I can give you ideas of things to think of and bring forward to your doctor, but I cannot give you advice on exactly how to do it.

Are you taking the medication you need to manage your diabetes as well as you can? Is there anything you should perhaps check with your health care professional? Let us know in a comment below!

Ps. Do you want to learn from amazing medical professionals at Europe’s healthiest event? Join us in Mallorca, Spain in November at The Low Carb Universe 2019!

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Movement?

Why should you focus on movement as a person with diabetes? Isn’t exercise just boring, but has to be done and potentially raises your blood glucose?

Not necessarily! It’s time for Type 1 Thursday, my Sweet Friend, where I explain why moving our bodies is a GREAT THING, what we need to focus on and how to do it.

Why Movement? – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

How do you move your body?

Transcription

If you prefer to read about why movement is so good for us people with diabetes, here’s a text version:

Movement – I’m talking about another lifestyle factor that you can do to perhaps help your diabetes management along. I call it movement, because exercise sounds like a lot of work, quite honestly. And I don’t like it to be seen as a burden for myself mainly, but perhaps also for someone else out there. So that’s why I call it movement. It should be fun!

Why should we pay extra attention to movement as people with Type 1 or Type 2, (or actually any kind of diabetes at all)? This is one of these power tools that we can use to get better diabetes management and results. Number one is that it helps our blood sugar management, even if we do perhaps spike during the the movement that we have chosen. The general rule of thumb is that heavy lifting and and anaerobic movement will raise your blood sugar, whereas cardio and aerobic movement will lower your blood sugar. This is, of course, as usual, individual, it’s just a rule of thumb. But it is just something that you can bear in mind when you are trying to get moving. With the fact that it helps blood sugar management, it also can help you lower your HbA1c. This is something that I have recently managed to do, again. That can be a good motivator for moving your body.

Movement raises your well being , to use your body the way it’s intended to, are not meant to sit (like I’m doing right now) we are meant to be moving around and enjoying using our bodies. The risk of cardiovascular disease is lowered with exercise. Also a potential weight loss tool if that is needed and wanted. Then it can be a huge benefit to move your body! Also more biochemically, the engines in your cells, called mitochondria, they actually increase in the cells with movement. The cells have bigger engines, essentially, when we move our bodies. This is a really good thing, as it keeps the mitochondria young, which is part of staying young in mind, body and soul. Movement can also lower your triglycerides, if that is a problem for you, and it can also lower your blood pressure. Movement raises our immune function, which is really great in times, like now, when the fall “nasties” are here. It also, first and foremost, raises our insulin sensitivity (I will get into why that is in a little bit). First, movement increases our muscle strength, and also our bone density, which is really great to prepare our bodies for maybe higher age. And yeah, those are some of the main benefits of moving your body. There are of course many more, you get out in nature, perhaps you feel and a sense of accomplishment, along with many mental factors that are really good when it comes to moving your body.

Why is movement helping our insulin sensitivity? Because the main part of our glucose storage is actually in our muscles. In our liver, too, absolutely, but it’s mainly in our muscles. We can use movement to help with sensitivity and blood sugar management. Insulin is key number one, of course. But movement can help control your blood sugar levels. The glucose in your blood goes into the muscles and is stored there. In a very short explanation, we become more insulin sensitive because the blood sugar isn’t in the blood anymore. It’s stored in the muscles.

Exercise does so much! But how do you do it? Well, it’s easiest to work it into a routine, it’s easiest to do daily movement, to have set times when you do it. What type of movement is best? It’s quite simple – choose something that you think is fun! It shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t be feeling like a burden. It shouldn’t feel like that at all! It should actually feel like fun, like something you are rewarding yourself with, something that you’re giving your body as a treat. So the type of movement can be whatever you want, whether that’s dancing along to your favourite song, yoga, or maybe something on YouTube. I found a really great resistance band workout, for example, my muscles can feel it… Or you can go for a walk in nature, or you can run if you think that’s fun, you can go lifting if you think that’s fun. Play, for example, Primal play with Daryl Edwards is a fantastic way of moving your body without you actually realising that it’s proper exercise (and your muscles will be hurting afterwards). The key is to have fun when you are moving your body!

How to get started, it really is easiest to start small. It don’t take on too much, “I have to go to the gym three or four times a week, starting now”. NO! Start small, start moving more in your everyday life, take the stairs instead or the elevator or escalator, get off the bus stop earlier, park further way at the parking lot – all of these things that that are cliches by this point, BUT they actually do work! It gets your body moving. Slowly start to increase your muscle mass because muscles are our main glucose storage devices. The more glucose that is stored in there, less is in the blood. A really easy way to do this is, and this is something that I’ve been doing myself. Recently, I was inspired by a few people that I follow online, and I started the 100 push ups a day challenge I thought it was ridiculous, I thought I could never do it. I thought I was one of the weakest people on the planet! I started actually doing push ups against my kitchen counter, because I couldn’t do them on the floor. But very quickly, within those first 30 days, I could move on to lower and lower surfaces, until I now am doing all 100 (not in one go, I do them in sets of 15, and then 10 at the end) on the floor on my yoga mat. I’m very happy about it! It feels like an accomplishment. I really like that it also builds muscles, works many big muscle groups in your body. The bigger the muscle groups, the more effect you have. The other one that I added was squats. So I do 100 pushups and 100 squats, which takes me about 15 minutes or so to do this. It’s not a lot of time that you actually give up from whatever else, whether it’s 15 minutes or social media, 15 minutes of TV watching a day… It’s not a lot of time you give up in order to get the benefits of getting a bigger muscle mass.

Before you start anything like this, whether it’s yoga, the 100 pushup challenge, dancing – anything, do check with your doctor if you are okay to start exercising. In some cases, maybe not. So check with them.

Generally, movement can be a great tool for our diabetes management, all of us. I would love to hear from you, how do you move your body? What do you think is fun? Let me know in a comment.

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Gratitude

Reflecting on all the things we have to feel gratitude for is sometimes overwhelming, even if they’re all little individual sparks of joy in our lives.

Sitting here, being so overwhelmingly grateful that I have the chance to start yet another year. A year that I can choose to shape and form in exactly the way that I want to. A year where I’m more determined than ever to inspire those around me to become healthier, happier and feel more joy (not unlike my own goals!)

Throughout my life with T1D as my constant companion, starting a new year of life hasn’t always been a given. Yet, for many years I took it completely for granted. No more.

I found this great quote, which I think is very fitting today:

“I know as a woman I’m supposed to be afraid of getting older but I love this shit so much. Every year I sink deeper into this bath of unapologetic realness and it’s amazing.”

Bunmi Laditan

No matter how bad the world may look today, there’s always, always, always something to be grateful for. So much gratitude in the world!

What are you grateful for today? 🌟

(Post originally posted on my Instagram account – @hannadiabetesexpert

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Type 1 Thursday – Stress & Blood Sugar?

What does STRESS have to do with your diabetes management?

Have you noticed that your blood sugar reacts in an unexpected way, either up or down, when you’re stressed? We can distinguish between physical and emotional stress, and, sadly, we are way more emotionally/mentally stressed today than ever.

Today, I talk about why this happens and what causes it, along with stress prevention and coping mechanisms. You can read a written version below if you can’t watch the video.

Have you noticed that stress impacts your blood sugars? How? Leave a comment!

Stress & Blood Sugar – Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius

Transcription

Stress and the impact the stress has on your blood sugar management is sometimes overwhelming, because it can make things a little bit more interesting than intended to be.

Here, I’m going to cover what happens in your body when it experiences stress, and how we can alleviate it and what we can do to cope with the stress that we do face, perhaps even on a daily basis.

What happens to blood sugar, or rather, why does it happen that blood sugar gets impacted by stress? It is our beautiful stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline and epinephrine, that are impacting your blood sugar. They tell the liver that your body needs more energy to cope with this stress. That’s why your blood sugar will react either way, in the vast majority of cases, your blood sugar will rise when you are under stress. But there are also instances, which I’ve experienced myself where, during stress, your blood sugar unexpectedly does drop, which is unexpected, and you have to roll with the punches. An example of this, that maybe most people with diabetes can relate to, is Dawn Phenomenon. This is when our stress hormones tell our liver that “hey, it’s time to wake up. Let’s get some sugar in the blood from your storage system and get this party going.”

There are two main forms of stress. One is physical stress, for example, if you had an injury, or if you exercising super hard, or you’ve gone through surgery or some sort of physical trauma, and infection, then definitely your body is under stress. That’s also why we can see when we are getting sick or that when we are sick, that the blood sugar’s can rise, because it is a stress for the body, and stress hormones are released and the little sugar party is going on in your body.

It can of course also, and it may be more usual for us in today’s society, that it’s emotional stress. This can be things like, being overwhelmed or you’re just too busy, you have too much to do, too much on your plate, anxiety, your phone going off all the time, the train is late… Essentially, it’s what becomes more of a psychological stress. But that can also have an impact on your blood sugar, which is why I bring it up. The fact that we experience so many things as stressful has been left throughout our evolution. When we had to be afraid of wild animals in nature, so that we had that quick release of energy, so that we could run far, far away from that mountain lion/bear, and get into safety. That’s why our body reacts with the sugar rush when we get stressed. The problem is today though, that some things that shouldn’t be stressful are interpreted by our bodies as stressful. It can be nutrition, for example, too much sugar can be a stress for the body. It can be, as I said, the train is late, or your phone’s going off every second. There’s so many things that stresses us today that didn’t use to stress us. This also means that we can see more volatility on our blood sugars because of that.

What can you do to mitigate stress? Find patterns. Is there certain situation every time that you do it, that causes you to stress and have a blood sugar spike, for example? Is there something that you do in your daily life that you don’t feel well doing? Is there something that goes against even your own values? Could that be stressing you? Find a pattern, so that you know how to react! When you have the prediction, you can also prevent it. It’s really important to pay attention to this (and with everything else) to see the patterns in it, so that you can just simply prevent it. Bear in mind that this is very individual. What stresses me for, example, may not stress you, you lucky person! And what stresses you, may not stress me at all. It’s very individual and we have to see on an individual level how we are impacted by stress.

What are some coping mechanisms for stress? Cut down on the nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, all of the stimulants that we may use under the impression of that it will help us with stress. It will probably stress our bodies even more. Recognising that we are tired and doing something about it, taking a break. Physical movement also really helps stress. Make relaxation a priority, if you don’t make space for it, it won’t happen. You know that with a lot of other things in your life perhaps, but making space for it and making time for it does matter. So make sure you schedule in relaxation. Make sure you also have a sound sleeping schedule, so that you make sure that you sleep enough during the night.

Accept things that you cannot change. This is really hard, but it’s really worth it. It does remove a lot of stress. Improve your time management, maybe that’s where you’re lacking a few tools? And my personal favourite jump on the No-train. Say no to things that do not light you up, that you are not excited about and that you know that you won’t be enjoying.

When we are in the stress situation, how can we alleviate it? This goes hand in hand with the coping mechanisms mentioned above, but how can we alleviate it as well as we can? Movement. do move daily. How about actually scheduling a holiday? That could be something great right? Listening to your favourite music for example, that could be an amazing stress reliever. Take up a hobby that takes your mind away from the from the stress. How about meditating? Meditation can really calm you down, along with breathing exercises. Breathing deeply can really distress you quickly! Or how about taking up yoga, stretching your body and feeling and really being in tune with your body also helps stress.

Relaxation cannot coexist with stress

Do remember that relaxation cannot coexist with stress. If you’re relaxed, you cannot be stressed at the same time.

I would love to hear if you’ve noticed that your blood sugar has been impacted by stress? What happened? How can you change it until next time? I can’t wait to chat with you further in the comments below.

Ps. Are you looking for a stressless retreat to soak up the last of the summer sun, learn from international health experts, spend time with likeminded people, all in a place too gorgeous to miss? Join me at the amazing The Low Carb Universe 2019 in Mallorca, Spain in November!

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Type 1 Thursday – Why Real Food?

Real food is actual food, food that comes from nature and is not refined, made in a factory or tampered with by humans. And no matter of what way you choose to eat, be it keto, paleo, vegan or otherwise, we can all agree that real food is what is the best for our bodies, health and blood sugars.

But why is eating real food so important? And especially so if you live with diabetes? In this week’s episode, I outline a few quick points. Watch the video, or read the transcription below, and let me know your thoughts!

Ps. If you do like the concept of eating real foods, why don’t you join me and an amazing group of people at The Low Carb Universe 2019 in Mallorca, Spain in November? Incredible international health experts, amazing views, movement, joy AND 100% real food! You can book your ticket here!

Type 1 Thursday with Hanna Boëthius – Why Real Food?

Do you eat mostly real foods?

Transcription

If you prefer to read to learn, below is a text version of the video about real food above. You can also read why low carb is a great option for Type 1 Diabetics here!

Why Real Food?

Today I have quite an exciting topic, if you ask me, because my background is within nutrition. My topic for you today is the importance of eating real food.

I am so happy to hear your comments and ideas and thoughts about this topic or any other topic, actually, I’m easy that way! Jot them down in a comment below and I will be happy to chat with you there anyway, about real food.

If you ask me, that is the only topic where we can actually agree on, no matter what kind of diet we choose to follow or eat. I don’t really like the word diet, but I choose to use it anyway, as it’s normally the one used. The thing is, whether you are keto, paleo or vegan, or, well, maybe not the Standard Western Diet, actually, because the importance of real food may not be so, so big there. In any other diet that you may or may not be following, I think real food is the one thing that we can agree upon, that it is very good for us.

What I define as real foods is foods that don’t have a label. Real foods actually comes from nature, which is quite rare, if you think about the standard Western diet. It is foods like meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, and all these things that actually come from nature and from the earth and not through a factory, or from a factory or has been tampered with too much with by human beings. They’re just as clean and natural and real as possible. That’s my definition of real food, so that we’re all on the same page throughout this discussion.

The main point of this is that real food has no additives. What additives often do, is that they mess with your blood sugar. For example, maltitol is a classic example of this! It is a sugar substitute that still affects your blood sugar. Don’t be fooled and eat that, although it’s supposed to be great and “diabetic friendly”, can be labelled whatever you want to be labelled with whatever health claim. They still include things that are really not good for your blood sugar and really not good for your health. In effect, you’re not doing yourself any favours by buying these “health foods”. No additives, so that they can’t mess with your blood sugar, in this case, if you are diabetic, or live with a blood sugar problem.

If you are going to venture into that kind of a sphere with pre-made foods, I have as a rule of thumb for you. The food item can include five ingredients, and those five ingredients all have to be recognisable to me, I need to know what they are, without googling, because that’s cheating. Then, if I approve all of those ingredients, then yes, absolutely, I will buy it and consume it and enjoy it. But if that is not the case, it will most likely go back on the shelf! “I see it, I love it, I want it, I checked the carb count, put it back”, is pretty much like going to the grocery store with me. My poor husband, I mean, seriously… Anyway, 5 ingredients that are recognisable otherwise, to me, it is not worth the gamble of a possible really high blood sugar or a possible low blood sugar, because I’ve overdosed insulin. It’s just not worth the hassle for me.

What are the top my top three “watch out” ingredients for additives in food?

If you do live in the States, or a similar kind of an environment, high fructose corn syrup. Just stay away, that can really mess up so many metabolic markers within you, so much of your metabolic health can be ruined, because of the consumption of high fructose corn syrup. It’s just so highly refined and so highly tampered with that it’s not really worth it to consume in my opinion. It’s no longer food, it is just factory made.

Number two, trans fats, man made oils, trans fats, are really not good for you. They add a lot of unnecessary strain on your body and your metabolism (that you can just actually fix with eating real food). Adding real fat such as butter, avocado, olive oil, things that are actually not man made, but is made by nature, is a lot better for you than highly refined and processed fats.

Number three, and this can be a tricky one, I do admit it. So bear with me before you slam down the lid of your laptop or turn off your phone, but it’s artificial sweeteners. And with that I really mean the artificial sweeteners, the ones that have been made in a factory. Maybe stevia is fine for you, if you enjoy the the flavour of it. And monkfruit can also be fine. Erythritol to a certain extent, absolutely. But things like aspartame and things that we don’t really know what it’s doing with our bodies yet. It’s definitely not natural in any way or form, and that I would be careful with. I remember growing up, this was a huge thing, as long as there were artificial sweeteners, then, hey, this product is a go! I was raised in the 80s and 90s, when it was still a little bit more controlled what people with diabetes should be eating. I had to eat a lot of terribly sweetened things. It’s been shown in studies since that for example, fructose, which we thought back then was the holy grail for diabetics, can actually clog up your liver, so that it can’t do its job properly. Then your whole metabolism might be damaged.

There’s a lot to be said about this stuff, of course! These three things impact your gut health, they can have an impact on anxiety levels, they can, as I said, clog up your liver, so that can do its job properly. And other things like your skin and other things that are really important for us to work properly. These additives can make an impact on our health, and that’s not very good, is it?

I do want to sort of give a special warning, I did touch upon it a little bit at the beginning of this. For example, “keto foods” some of them or “vegan food” or whatever it’s labelled, heart healthy, don’t even touch this stuff is not healthy for you at all. Don’t trust the labelling on the box! Look at the ingredients, does it have five ingredients? Do you recognise them? Buy it, if you think you’re going to enjoy it, if it doesn’t, maybe you should rather leave it alone? “Foods”, such as salad sauces, sauces, spice mixes, soups, ready made things that you don’t think will have an impact can actually contain a bucket load of sugar and will impact your blood sugar. Stay with the real food is my opinion! It’s better for us, it’s healthier for us, and we’re going to feel a lot better.

If you’re just starting out from, for example, a standard Western diet, to going to more into the real food way of eating, then I really suggest you adopt the 80/20 rule, so that 80% of the time, on work days, you eat real food, and on the weekends, you can still have a bit of what you still think is fun.

I would love to hear from you. Do you eat mostly real foods? Let’s talk in the comments below and I can’t wait to see you next time.