Molly Monday: Lets play catch up!

Molly Monday: Lets play catch up!

Hi everyone, Molly here. Its been a few weeks since I took over Mom’s blog. Mom and I have been running around a lot. October and November seemed to be filled with stuff we planned and stuff, well, nature planned. Hurricane Matthew was hard, Mom packed Judd (my brother) and I up and we had to evacuate and we went all the way to Maryland from Florida. I was able to keep an eye on Mom while she was stressed out. Afterwards, my brother had to be left at my Auntie Soly’s house for a few weeks while Mom and I flew back to go back to work. I got to stay in a hotel when we got back. I’m not sure I like those places quite yet. Mom was pretty stressed after that, but all is normal now.

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. Mom got to visit with the human side of the pack, and I got to hang with my canine pack friends. Mom always tells me that I bark too much and I am bossy  with them. What can I say? I know all the answers to all the questions.

Thanksgiving was hard for Mom, apparently her insulin line got pinched off so she wasn’t getting her medicine so I had to rescue her to tell her she was smelling weird. I sat in her lap until I knew she felt better. It took a long time that night, but that is what my job is, and I will do it!

Speaking of blood sugars, what is going on? Mom (and therefore me), have been riding a roller coaster lately with her blood sugars. Mom told me she went to her endocrinologist and they made some tweaks, but dang it, its been hard having to be on call all day long. Since the change though, things are going back to normal and I do get a little break. She seems less stressed too.

Mom is doing a lot more reading lately, and a lot of picture taking. I think these things make her happy. Personally? I think I make her the happiest, even more than my brother Judd. I just want her to be happy.

What have I been doing? Outside of helping Mom out, I have hidden a few more things like toilet paper rolls, tin foil and Judd’s favorite stuffed animal in my secret hiding spots. I can’t tell you where they are because they wouldn’t be so secret, now would they?

I also had a photo shoot with my Auntie Soly when we saw her. Did you like one of the pictures? I don’t look too shabby, huh? Thanks Auntie!

I hope everyone is doing good. I will see you guys next week!

❤ Molly

 

Molly Monday Blog Takeover: Hi!

Molly Monday Blog Takeover: Hi!

Hi everyone! I am Molly. You know my huMom (doggy language for female human), Suny. She is usually tapping away at the keyboards, instead of paying attention to me…. or Judd (I say this begrudgingly).

My Mom found me after my first family got separated and taken to lots of other places when I was a baby. Little did I know where I would end up. I thought my new family was crazy. I had a bossy older brother who always seemed to get more attention than me (or so I think). I joined a pack of dogs that just never learned to listen to me. I had to teach them a lesson or two. I am Morkie, hear me Roar!

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Watching over Suny makes me tired, don’t worry I got your back!

 

Well, a few years ago, Suny began acting weird. She was tired and she stopped playing with Judd and me. I knew something was wrong. It took a long time but I think she went to the Vet a couple of times and I think she finally felt better. After that it seemed like I could tell when she was about to not feel good. I’m not sure how I know, because Judd thinks I am crazy, but I began telling Suny that something was going to happen.

I  am not sure if that was a great idea. Now apparently, I have a new job. I think its an important job. She tells me that I need to tell her when she is about to not feel well. Sometimes I want to tell her that I can’t read her mind, but hey, we morkies will do anything for treats.

My huMom is important to me. She loves me and I love her. I guess I am ok with taking care of her because she takes care of me.

I can’t wait to get to know you guys more!

Till Next Time,

MollyMonster DaD

PS. Do you like my professional initials?

PSS. Mom says we are going on an airplane. What is an airplane? Do I need to be worried?

Introducing Molly: My Diabetes Alert Dog (In Training)

Introducing Molly: My Diabetes Alert Dog (In Training)

It was one night 6-8 months after my diagnosis and within the first month of using my insulin pump, I’m in a deep sleep and I am rudely awakened by my morkie Molly. Molly may be MollyMonster during the day but she is typically a good sleeper at night. Her bark was very alerting and I thought that something was very wrong with her. The moment I got up I knew there wasn’t something wrong with her, but something very wrong with me. The first thing I did was to check my blood sugar, and I don’t remember what it was but it was shockingly low, maybe in the 40s or even 30s.  I dipped into my stash of low-food and recovered. In the middle of all that I did check on Molly and found she was calm and back asleep once I started to recover. I made note of it as being odd and just brushed it off as probably making weird noises or movements because I was low.

Molly cueing a low before work and waiting patiently while I corrected.
Molly cueing a low before work and waiting patiently while I corrected.

Well, the above scenario continued to happen randomly, and most of the time it was because I was going low. Every once and awhile she would jump into my lap and just incessantly lick my face even with a lot of scolding. She was persistent. I started listening. She was cuing me when my sugars were waaaaay off, before I even noticed.

I spoke with my friends, who are also dog trainers (Good Dog! Dog Training) , and are the people who take care of Molly (and her brother Judd) during the day while I am at work. We started talking and concluded Molly had the tenacity and personality to be a great service animal, my own diabetes alert dog. She is definitely unconventional and definitely been a challenge in changing her from just pet to working dog.

I became very diligent in getting her to cue more accurately and sooner and she is doing it more often and more accurately all the time. She accurately cued me at work (she is a therapy dog too!) the other day when I went very high during a continuing ed class.

Well why the post, right? Well Molly is officially taking over the blog on Mondays, the world of a DaD from her perspective. Cheesy, but certainly fun. I want to show you how we are training together and how she is doing out in the world. And anyways, who doesn’t love her feather trademark?  Keep your eyes peeled for her posts on Mondays!

❤ My Sweet Regards,

Suny

Molly and I (and my trademark crazy curly hair)
Molly and I (and my trademark crazy curly hair)

PS – She is traveling with me as a service animal for the first time this week. Watch us on Facebook when she takes over the page for the weekend!

My Struggles Lately

My Struggles Lately

We all have moments where we question ourselves. We second guess every decision in every aspect of our lives, even as simple as did I get the right brand of butter? Recently, the burden I have chosen to carry (purely by blind masochistic choice apparently) is that I find myself struggling to share my life with #ThriveNation. I don’t feel worthy or useful to anyone. Truly, my purpose is to encourage anyone walking this journey with me, and right now…. I don’t think I do nor am I worthy of wrapping an arm around someone’s shoulder and walking their journey with them.

When I write that, I read it, and I know my brain thinks its silly, but my heart struggles to accept the truth. I am a believer of the Word of God (ie. Bible). I believe its God breathed and applicable to my daily life. As a result, I really focused my quiet time with God in my *identity* in him. How does GOD view me? Because there is no other importance in this world but his perception of ME. Here is what I found.

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isiah

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My identity, and worth is beyond my own perception. God SEES me as righteous through his Son Christ. I have been meditating on the previous scriptures and particularly 1 Peter 3:3-4.

No matter how hard I try, my hair is a curly mess by the end of the day, my pancreas is dysfunctional and I can’t seem to get food to NOT fall on my clothing at some point throughout the day. I am not full of physical grace, and stumble and trip all the time. But God sees glory and purpose in it all. Who am I to question it?

So, folks, I’m no beauty model, nor a person that will most likely have perfect hair and make up, but I am your sister, and a person who wants to hold you up when you need it. I am a resource, and it would be a blessing to just be there. If it annoys you that I share my life, well, I can’t help it. If I can be an encouragement to ONE person, then my purpose is complete.

We all struggle, and I am not excluded. I thought this may make you chuckle or commiserate, disheveled hair and dysfunctional pancreas and all.

Until next time…

My Sweet Regards,

❤ Suny

Happy Anniversary to my……… pump!

Happy Anniversary to my……… pump!

My  anniversary with my insulin pump was this past week. I used this time to reflect on my diagnosis and the progress I’ve made in thriving with diabetes. My insulin pump is a big a part of this journey and so I’d like to talk about how and why it is so important to me.

anniversary(Photo from ShutterStock)

My pump removed my leash to my needles and constant ties to eating on a 2 hour block.

My pump gave me the freedom to live a relatively normal life. I can eat within reasonable times.

It granted me freedom from constant needle pokes each time I put something in my mouth.

My insulin pump gave me the confidence to learn the needs of my body and allow me to customize my insulin needs to my current state, which could be impacted by oral surgery, illness, stress, hormone cycles and travel.

My insulin pump gave me the confidence that I had some means of control over this diabetes monster. It may drive me mad most days but I had a tool that fit my needs.

Do I hate diabetes? Yes. Do I wish it away? Yes. But there are bigger burdens and crosses to bear.

So, as long as I need insulin, I am grateful for my insulin pump.

My Top 3 Chia Pudding Recipes

My Top 3 Chia Pudding Recipes

Chia seeds are growing in popularity and rightfully so. They are jam packed with omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. They provide a blood sugar managing punch to any regimen.

You our can eat it as a breakfast or a side/snack. There are a gazillion ways to prepare and enjoy chia seed pudding.

There is a little magic that happens when you make chia seed pudding. You need the right combination of liquid to chia seed to form that perfect texture. Experiment and enjoy.

You our can eat it as a breakfast or a side/snack. There are a gazillion ways to prepare and enjoy chia seed pudding.

3. Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings, about ¾ cup each

Ingredients:
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp. raw honey
⅓ cup chia seeds
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)

Preparation:
1. Combine almond milk, honey, chia seeds, and extract in a medium bowl; mix well.
2. Cover bowl; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, mixing after 2 hours.
3. Divide evenly into 2 servings.

(Source: Beachbody Blog)

2. Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding

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(Source: Beachbody Blog)
Prep time
10 mins
Serves: 4 servings (⅔ cup each)

Ingredients
2 cups unsweetened almond milk beverage
2 tsp. raw honey
½ cup chia seeds
2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries (reserve 8 for garnish)
Fresh mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Instructions
1. Combine almond milk, honey, chia seeds, and raspberries in a medium bowl; mix well.
2.Cover bowl; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, mixing after 2 hours.
3. Place chia seed mixture in small serving glasses or bowls; garnish with raspberries and mint leaves if desired.

 

1. Strawberry Cheesecake Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/4 cup cottage cheese
1 tbs greek yogurt
1 cup chopped strawberries, divided
1/2 cup almond milk
1/8 tsp vanilla
2 tsp raw sugar or other natural sweetener of your choice
2 tbs chia seeds

Instructions

1. In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, greek yogurt, 1/2 cup strawberries, almond milk, vanilla and raw sugar and blend, blend, blend until the mixture is completely smooth and adorably pink. You may have to scrape down with a spatula once in between.
2.Pour into a lidded container and add the chia seeds, stirring well. Let sit overnight (at least 24 hours, the longer it sets, the thicker it gets!) in the refrigerator.
3. The next day when you are ready to eat it, stir it again to distribute the seeds evenly and serve with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped strawberries. Yum!

(Source: The Foodie and The Fix)

 

Have you ever made chia seed pudding? Share your recipes in the comments:

 

My *Sweet* Regards,

❤ Suny

5 Things I Learned by Ending The Ultimate Reset Early

5 Things I Learned by Ending The Ultimate Reset Early

The 5 things are ahead, I promise, but I think its important to give you background. The Ultimate Reset is not your typical “cleanse”. You aren’t starving, you’re eating whole healthy foods and supported by very specific supplements. The only “extreme” part of this regimen may be the fact you have to eliminate caffeine, fast food, meat for two weeks. This may be extreme for some, but it really wasn’t too much for me, at least I didn’t think.

Week 1 and Week 2 were pretty smooth. After the first 3-4 days of withdrawing from caffeine, I enjoyed the food, the supplements and the regiment The Ultimate Reset offered.

Going into Week 3, which is purely vegan, and very little protein. The basis is that proteins are harder to digest and part of revitalizing your system is to decrease your protein and focus on the dense nutrition found in the vegetable based meals. (I will be using them throughout my meals now!) Three years ago, this worked beautifully. I was mildly hungry but nothing crazy and very tolerable. It was a beautiful thing.

Now, as a diabetic on insulin, I already knew this would serve as a challenge. My body not only doesn’t make insulin sufficiently, but its very resistant to the insulin I make and give myself. The high fiber vegetables are super healthy but without protein and complex carbohydrates I have to manage to carbohydrate ratio more effectively. I attempted to decrease my basal and increase my ratio (less insulin overall) and I found I was rebounding highs after meals, with no logical sense.

I returned my ratios back to where they were and I had severe lows, forcing me to correct with 30 grams of pure sugar via glucose tablets. This is a medical condition that I couldn’t ignore, I HAD to correct. Unfortunately the 3-4 days in Week 3 served as very stressful. This was NOT fitting into the framework of what The Ultimate Reset was meant to be.  The Ultimate Reset was to “rest” your system and my system was certainly NOT resting. So I ended it early, and I am TOTALLY ok with this decision. I claim success in this program because here are the 5 Things I learned from ending the Ultimate Reset early.

1. Water = Energy

The Ultimate Reset required me to drink a gallon of water a day. I drank distilled water mixed with Himalayan salt. This replaces the minerals lost in the distilled process. Over the last three years, I lost the habit of drinking sufficient water, and mixed it with a coffee and diet soda habit to maximize my energy and turned into an energy zapped black hole.  Come 10:30 AM and 3 PM I was reaching for a snack or a cup of coffee.

Once I adapted to drinking this much water, I realized I can now tell I was THIRSTY! There is a difference between thirst and hunger. As I guzzled my water, I realized, by 3 PM I was still full of energy. I really do think much of this increase in energy is being sufficiently hydrated.

How I will continue: I will drink at minimum 3L of water a day.

2. Caffeine Addiction is REAL

Those first 4 days were awful. The headache was unbearable. I managed to push through and I am SO thankful I did. I feel free of the chains of caffeine. I am not dependent on caffeine as a stimulant. I am already energized (See #1 and high nutrient foods).  If you are addicted, I suggest decrease your caffeine gradually over a week or two to avoid the misery I experienced. Caffeine has a purpose in your health but the dependency should be avoided.

How I will continue: Limit my caffeine to my pre-workout on days I workout and 1 caffeinated drink a week. The rest will be decaf.  The withdrawl was so real that I refuse to get addicted again. Chemical dependency prevents thriving.

3. Nutrient Density vs. Portion Size

Once I got through most of week one, and my body was absorbing high densities of nutrients through my meals, my portion sizes naturally decreased. It was amazing. It was as if my body knew that it had received sufficient amounts of food and would make me feel full.  Again, it was after “cleansing” and breaking the cycle of mis-interpreted signals my body was sending, it finally figured it all out. It was a beautiful thing. Eating high nutrient density foods (ie. colorful vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and proteins) helps you read your body more accurately.

How I will continue: Maintain my high nutrient density foods for 80-90% of my meals during the week. I also will combine the different types of foods to maximize processing and managing my blood sugar effectively.

4. Sugar = Water retention

So I weighed myself on Sunday (end of Week 2) and I was down 7 pounds in two weeks. That was a HUGE success. Over the next 3-4 days of major corrections in my sugar and swinging highs and lows, I retained over 3.5 pounds of water. I know calorically I did not eat enough to gain that much weight. It was EYE opening to realize how much sugar (I had to correct with a lot throughout) impacts my weight.

How I will continue: Avoid processed sugars and pure sugar unless I am low.

5. It is okay to modify

In all the fitness programs I help Coach and those I participate in myself, I am the hugest advocate for modification until you can master the move. I HAD to make specific modifications such as drinking a full serving of Shakeology in Week 3 to make it to noon without a severe low. I added to dinner to avoid lows at night. I live alone, it scares me to go low at night. What I should have also done is added some protein, either via soy, or lean grass fed meats. I think this would’ve made my full 21 days more successful. Making it to Day 17 was success for me. I broke my bad habits, and opened up my eyes on managing my sugar more effectively. Wouldn’t you call that success?

How will I continue: Modify everything I may feel to be too extreme in for my blood sugar. It is ok to serve the needs of your body. That is thriving. That is one of the CORE basis of thriving, to honor one’s temple that God has given us. My pancreas may be broken but I can feed my body effectively to manage it.

 

The Ultimate Reset is truly Ultimate. I loved it, and hopefully can redo it with better planning for Week 3 in 6 months to a year.

 

My *Sweet* Regards & Thrive On,

❤ Suny

 

Diabetes: A “Cleanse” with The Ultimate Reset

Diabetes: A “Cleanse” with The Ultimate Reset

Really? A cleanse? Suny, have you lost your mind?

No, of course not. The Ultimate Reset is one of Beachbody’s premium programs I tried prior to my diabetes diagnosis and loved. It broke my addiction to caffeine, the drive thru and convenient food. I slept the deepest, and felt the most vitalized. I even lost 9.4 pounds too. It was by far not an easy program if you struggle like I do, but it was certainly worth it.

Fast forward 2 years….

I have been struggling managing my addiction to caffeine, and sugar again, but now I am on insulin. I didn’t want to commit 21 days to pure elimination of all the above, but one day of blood sugars over 300 forced me to face the truth. I needed to break the above and complete a”Reset” before I cause permanent damage.

I made the commitment. 21 Days, the Ultimate Reset and I, me and my meter.

The supplements and foods are based on whole foods. This is the cleanest food regimen one can get. The only problem is, because it is a total reset of my system, many protein sources are eliminated and no caffeine, no coffee, and definitely no pure sugar. As a result, I needed to be glued to my meter to make sure my insulin needs are met.

Whew. This has been an interesting 16 days. Week 1 was very difficult. Not only did I see a major drop in my insulin use (woohoo!), I was withdrawing from caffeine and sugar. To say things were complicated is to say the least. Was it worth it? YES! Look at my numbers on Days 1-7 below:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Fasting 97 99 94 103 96 98 101
Post-Bk 114 122 117 121 110 111 123
Pre-Lunch 101 110 98 82 72* 95 102
Post-Lunch 133 126 118 129 105 130 122
Pre-Dinner 85 99 102 80 98 82 78
Post-Dinner 122 134 121 156 118 144 111
Bedtime 118 122 105 133 112 134 105

* Symptomatic for low

Those are beautiful numbers aren’t they?? (My goal is to have tight control of 70-140. Your goals may be slightly different.)

Well the magic is in The Ultimate Reset. Good vegetable based food. Good supportive supplements and massive lifestyle change. I am determined to make this permanent.

I have 5 more days, and I look forward to sharing my results.

I have had a significant decrease in insulin use and so far have lost 7 pounds. I feel fantastic and super pumped for the last few days.

If you can’t wait for my results to look at the Ultimate Reset, click here.

Do you HAVE to do the Ultimate Reset to get the above results? No, but it sure helps. Keep your eyes peeled on Thrive with Diabetes to learn how to incorporate clean foods daily to manage your blood sugar. It doesn’t have to be the Ultimate Reset, but you do have to commit to changing your habits. It IS worth it, I promise.

My *SWEET* Regards & Thrive On,

❤ Suny

 

We are EXPLODING, so I recruited help…

We are EXPLODING, so I recruited help…

Wow. I am so humbled. Humbled isn’t even the word that fits what I am feeling. As of 11:17 AM on June 4, 2016, we have 911 likes on our page. This goes beyond what I even imagined. My heart and soul when creating this page was to create a growing community for diabetics, and those who love them to come together, share ideas and have some fun. I wanted to show what THRIVING with diabetes is like. I wanted to share life with people who understand the good, the bad and the ugly with this disease. NOW I, get to do this with almost 1,000 of you. What can I say?

THANK YOU! Thank you for supporting the mission-that-hasn’t-quite-been-concrete-yet-but-about-to-be-posted of this page and blog.  Thank you for being a part of MY Thrive life.

As a result of the sudden growth (yay!), I needed help. Between my full time job as an occupational therapist, a wellness business owner through Beachbody and an ordinary person with friends and hobbies, I needed help! I did not want to disappoint any of you. That is when I turned to my dear friend Emily.

This is Emily (below), she is as demure, sweet and amazing as she looks. A true friend.

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She has been part of my Thrive journey within the first month of my diagnosis. Emily has a heart of gold and a heart for THRIVE. She has her own personal story and I will be proud to have her share it here soon.

Emily will be helping me gather, organize and bring you new content each week. She is the anchor to my insane idea-creating brain. Any post you see on TwD may be from me or her, and you should be excited, because I sure am.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy her heart as much as I do. Welcome to Emily, the Social Media Coordinator! ❤ ❤

As for what is coming ahead of us, look for polls, fun prizes/giveaways and challenges so we can manage this disease and THRIVE!

Thrive On,

❤ Suny

Disney World: Blood Sugar Management At Amusment Parks With My Insulin Pump

Disney World: Blood Sugar Management At Amusment Parks With My Insulin Pump

Disney World is one of my most favorite places to go. It is truly a magical place. It can also be one of the trickiest places to manage one’s blood sugars. Whether you are Type 1 or Type 2, managing how your blood sugar rides can be tricky during periods of different activity, such as amusement parks.

First, lets talk about the stress. Try organizing your family, get to the amusement park, find parking, find transportation/walk to the park gate, fight the crowds, buy your ticket, stand in another security line and then maze through the crowds to just enter the park. Is your blood sugar high yet? Wait, maybe its low because of all that walking/activity.

Recently, I brought my parents to Disney World (see first sentence) for their first time. It was a fantastic experience. I have been to Disney World quite a few times and I actually have a nice routine down after having experience a few blips.

Activity = increased sensitivty to my insulin, which in turn means faster lows if I do not manage them. Well, one of the strategies I employ in managing my blood sugar at Disney World is set a temporary basal. I determine the % my basal rate is by certain factors: how long I will be there, how much walking I will do, how hot it is and how readily accessible I will be to food. This time, I totally forgot to do it, in the hustle and bustle of getting to the park I forgot to set a temporary basal rate.

This was the result:

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Well, 8 glucose tablets later (my favorite kind of tablets) my sugar was safe and we were on our way to eat lunch. I set my basal rate to 25% for 9 hours to account for the rest of the day. I bolused like usual and enjoyed a burger for lunch, cotton candy, a dole whip and beef nachos and bolused accordingly. My blood sugar remained 150-170 all day. Perfect for me. Some may say thats a little high, but for me, it creates a cushion of not crashing. As always, consult your doctor!

Basal rates are so important to me. I use them heartily. I use them for 3 hours during workouts, during inactive periods, when I am sick, and for Disney. I adjust basal rates for more or less depending on what I need. It is fantastic!

For my fellow insulin users but use pens, I suggest tucking away snacks such as peanut butter crackers, or other snacks with carbs with protein/fat. They will hold you steady. Always make sure you have your glucose tablets or correction tools as needed. It is definitely trickier with injections, but it sure is possible. That is for the NEXT Disney post…

How do you manage your blood sugar in places like Disney World? What about my T2ers on meds, or managing with lifestyle?

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB