Last 90 Days of Being Unapologetically Healthy – 2019

Is there anything better than personal growth? What if you used these last 90 days to ramp up to the best year of your life? Commit to these last 90 days, starting in October, to being UNAPOLOGETIC about making the best choices for your health, energy, happiness, and growth. If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.

I am excited to see what magic can happen, when I shift my focus on small daily actions, to evolve and grow into the best version of myself springboarding myself into 2020!

Why Join?

  • PS, join at any point. You don’t have to begin on October 1. Come in and join at any time and honor, mentally, where you are. Now, why should you join?
  • How you ever felt refreshed by the end of the holiday season?
  • Have you ever been upset by holiday weight gain?
  • Have you ever wished you saved more money by New Year’s?
  • Have you ever been proud of how much or how little alcohol you consumed through the holidays?
  • Have you ever felt your strongest by the end of the year?
  • Have you ever felt you best by New Year’s?
  • Make this year different by having small, realistic, weekly goals, to change how you’d answer the questions above.
  • When Do We Start? Starting with September 29th’s Sunday with Kelly Newsletter, you will get the materials you need to begin this journey. Make note, be ready to commit, and know it’s worth doing.

What’s Involved?

90 Day Details

  • Each week Kelly will provide support and tools in her Sunday morning email. This may often include a weekly challenge (it’ll be fun!)
  • Each month has a theme…
  • October focuses on Self-Care & Self-Discipline
  • November focuses on Detox & Declutter
  • December focuses on Nourishment & Movement
  • Join in even if it’s the middle of the month or of the program
  • If you blow off the commitment level/goal you set for yourself, decide on a daily donation you are willing to pay to support Kelly towards finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes in her lifetime (JDRF research)
  • Be part of the community and share the love on social media using #KSW90Days
  • If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.
  • Questions? Email me [email protected]

Enroll now!

Back-To-School Breakfast Ideas

Summer is nearly gone at the advent of school starting next week. I keep thinking of this phrase as I will be sending my oldest off to kindergarten (tear) on Thursday.

“I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”

Funny, right? But silly stupid true. Where did summer go?

Speaking of time, this week I’m highlighting ways to save time in the kitchen in the morning.

  1. Make waffles from Birch Blenders mixes in bulk and store them in a Ziplock freezer bag until they are ready to be toasted/eaten. Bonus tip, add a few scoops of collagen peptides to the batter (+ a tbsp of avocado oil) to increase the protein content, satiety and brain-boosting amino acids for learning.
  2. Banana Pancakes: mash 1 small banana with 2 eggs and make a pancake or 2 in a skillet like you would traditional batter.
  3. Chia Seed Pudding: mixing 1 part chia seeds with 4 parts liquid. Example: 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup of coconut milk. Add spices and sweetener to your liking. Make multiple of these ahead in mini mason jars.

Quick & Wholesome Dinner Ideas

  1. Meatballs & Veggies using kale or shaved Brussel sprouts as a base. I often opt for legume noodles for my kids. How do I make this quick + easy? I throw a bag of Beetnik grass-fed meatballs in a slow cooker w/ a jar of sugar-free marinara sauce. I allow this to cook for 6-8 hours.
  2. Chicken Tacos. While the slow-cooker is out, make some tacos the following night. Add frozen (or fresh) chicken breast or tenderloins to a slow-cooker on high, allow to cook for 6-8 hours with a jar of salsa. My go-to? Salsa verde. We love our chicken tacos w/ a purple cabbage leaf for the “taco shell,” black beans and some sour cream or guac.
  3. Salmon Burgers + Roasted Veg. If my hubs is home, I’ll have him fire up the grill to make the wild salmon Kirkland burgers (look for any salmon burgers that are made with wild, not farmed, salmon), but if he isn’t, to save time, I bake 4-6 burgers in my toaster oven. Leftovers are a blessing. I also make multiple trays of veg on the weekend, like the pic above, which happens to be 100% from my garden. I use ample amounts of avocado oil, cook at 350F for 30 minutes and douse the vegetables in the Unami spice from Trader Joe’s.

7 Risks of Prolonged Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance refers to a condition in which cells in the body no longer respond properly to insulin. This has a huge impact on health because of the role that this anabolic hormone plays in glucose metabolism. With insulin resistance, cells, including those in the liver and body fat, begin to ‘resist’ signals sent by insulin. This means that they stop absorbing glucose from the blood to use it as the main fuel source. As a result, blood sugar levels start to rise, causing a variety of health risks, the best known of which is diabetes. However, failing to manage the condition effectively can do more damage than you realize. Here are some of the major risks of prolonged insulin resistance.

  1. Type 2 Diabetes

The pancreas which produces insulin, respond to resistance by increasing production of the hormone. With prolonged insulin resistance, the amount of insulin needed to regulate blood sugar levels keeps rising. In time, the pancreas suffers from fatigue and cannot meet the demands for insulin. This leads to the onset of prediabetes and diabetes. Insulin resistance is regarded as a major predictor of type-2 diabetes, with most patients going on to develop the condition within the next 10-20 years.

  1. High Cholesterol

In many cases, prolonged insulin resistance makes you more likely to develop high cholesterol levels. More specifically, it alters systemic lipid metabolism, resulting in higher than normal levels of plasma triglycerides, while levels of high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) start to fall. The increase in blood cholesterol levels that is commonly observed with insulin resistance may be caused by increased synthesis of very-low-density lipoprotein in the liver.

  1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Although the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can have various causes, such as a high-fat diet and obesity, insulin resistance is regarded as an important contributor. The condition can increase fat accumulation in the liver by increasing the delivery of free fatty acid and through hyperinsulinemia – increased insulin production. In fact, insulin resistance is observed in almost all cases of fatty liver disease. In some cases, this can even lead to the development of steatohepatitis.

  1. You develop dark skin patches

Prolonged insulin resistance leads to an increase in insulin production over time and this can cause an accumulation of insulin within skin cells themselves. This manifests in visible skin changes, with darkened patches of skin towards the back of the neck, elbows, knees, groins, knuckles, and armpits. This skin condition is described as acanthosis nigricans. There is no known cure for the condition, but the management of insulin resistance can help to prevent it or reduce the severity of discoloration and darkening.

  1. Heart Attack & Stroke

When not managed in a timely manner, insulin resistance can significantly raise the risk of heart failure and strokes. Aside from the fact that reduced insulin sensitivity and increased blood sugar damages cells, including blood vessels, insulin resistance also adversely affects lipid levels. All of this encourages the buildup of arterial plaque, restricting or even obstructing blood flow. In time, this damages the heart itself. Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is associated with a 50% higher risk of heart failure and strokes.

  1. Cancerous Tumors

Cancer is not something that most of us associated with insulin resistance, but research suggests that there may be a connection. Prolonged insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome may increase the risk of various types of cancer, including breast, bladder, colon, pancreatic, and uterine cancers. It is believed that high insulin levels facilitate tumor growth and also impair the body’s natural defense against malignant cells.

  1. Early Onset Dementia

Although the connection between prolonged insulin resistance and dementia is not clearly understood, studies do suggest that insulin resistance raises the risk. One mechanism is vascular dementia, in which blood vessel damage from insulin resistance leads to reduced blood flow to the brain. Researchers are still investigating the role of insulin resistance in memory function decline and the increased risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

How to Cope with Insulin Resistance

In addition to the risks highlighted above, insulin resistance is also connected to a higher risk of kidney disease, high uric acid levels or gout, and PCOS. Fortunately, effective and early management of insulin resistance can counter these risks. Dietary and lifestyle changes to lose weight and get better sleep can help improve insulin sensitivity significantly. In fact, a study that appeared in the International Journal of Obesity, found that 10% of weight loss through diet and exercise could improve insulin sensitivity by 80%. Similarly, sleep deprivation has also been shown to raise insulin resistance. Findings like these highlight the importance of comprehensive lifestyle changes to tackle insulin resistance.

Alex Shares His Feedback As a Type 1 Client

I’ve been working with Alex for the better half of the last 3 years. Alex has come a long way and I believe his story can inspire others and therefore I’m highlighting his experience with you.

Alex, introduce yourself:
Alex: I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. I was diagnosed wit type 1 diabetes in 1992, at 14. Shortly after the diagnosis, my family and I immigrated to Chicago. After decades of unsuccessful health management, I am finally happy where I am and manage my type 1 with multiple daily injections.

What lead you to work with Kelly? 

Alex: After unsuccessful endocrinologist appointments, I was very unhappy with the level of service I was receiving. My wife did some research and found Kelly, whose approach was holistic and realistic and seemed to align very closely to our way of life.

Stacie: When Alex and I were first married, we ate pizza and pasta and didn’t think twice about it. With time his A1c was 8% or close to, and so I took to the internet to find a health coach who could help him (and us) through an early generation of new diabetes tech, including CGMs. I didn’t know that coaching over FaceTime would be a thing but it worked and works really well.

Kelly has been keeping Alex in the 6’s% for his A1C, but focusing on overall blood sugar control and not just a lab. Kelly is the perfect recipe of holistic/modern/realistic while being as understanding as she is data-aware and willing to share the latest news. I think health coaching is THE WAY to maintain optimal health, especially with the roller coaster of diabetes.

Alex, what was your health status when you first began working together?

Alex: My A1c prior to working with Kelly has always been around 8%.  Working with Kelly, I was able to get my A1c down to 6.5.  I am able to enjoy foods I really love, such as apples, and still maintain good blood glucose average.

What are your biggest senses of accomplishment with type 1?

Alex: My A1c is by far the biggest accomplishment, as it is the lowest it has ever been.  I am a lot more connected to my body’s reaction to elevated or low blood sugar.  I am able to explain the number on my blood glucose monitor and understand the reasons for what it is. High and low blood sugar, as I now know, involves much more than what we eat. Kelly has taught me 40+ variables to keep in mind as I manage my diabetes day-to-day.

Stacie: I am proud that I have used all of our available resources to optimize my husband’s health, and that desire to grow has carried over into my own health goals (I will share more next week!). I’m proud Alex and I are working together for each others health, and for our girls’ health. Working in tandem toward achieving our health goals sets a solid example for our daughters which gives me the ultimate parental joy. 

Alex, what are some of the biggest health challenges you face, and what solutions have been strategized to overcome them? 

Alex: My biggest challenge is controlling urges to eat things I am not supposed to, i.e. granola bars, etc without taking insulin far enough in advance (pre-bolus), and thinking that I’ll be able to recover from the carb intake. One solution, which has been very successful, is to be prepared: I have approved foods on hand that can replace foods that have not approved or have not worked well for my blood sugar (everyone is different). I am in the process of getting a CGM which will help in controlling the spikes and learning my type 1 diabetes more intimately.

Stacie: As a wife of a t1d, my biggest challenge is owning meals that we ALL can love—my husband, baby, 3-year-old and 5 years old, and I.

What are a few of the top tips you’ve learned from your work with Kelly?

Alex: Every meal should consist of combo of carbs (varying from the time of the day), fats, and protein. A good alcoholic beverage to consume is tequila and I am more resistant to insulin at night.

Be aware of your hormones, give yourself grace and, “Be bold with insulin” says Kelly and I repeat.

What is next for you in your health?

Alex: Getting Dexcom 6, going through another 10-Day Cleanse with Kelly, and finding ways to be more connected to my body. Kelly has been a life-changer for me. More than just a dietitian, she has become a true life coach. Her help has been tremendous and she’s amazing to work with. Anytime I hear that someone is struggling with controlling their blood sugar or their diet, I always refer them to Kelly.

Stacie: Aww. I love that my husband said he wanted to be connected to his body. Alex is an inspiration for me to get MOVING!

Same. Kelly is THE BEST. THE. BEST. And Kelly would know best— diabetes is a cross-country trek without a break. You hit rainstorms and drizzle and golf ball-sized hail and spring rain after trying to control a bobsled down the dry side of a mountain. I am overwhelmed just thinking about it— but my husband manages a soft pad landing for his fickle blood sugar every day while working a full-time job, parenting, husbanding, cycling, soccering and so on. With Kelly on our team, I feel like we have a fighting chance of the wheels not coming off during this wild ride called life. 

Egg-Free, Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas

Hot Seed “Porridge”

  • 1/4 cup chia, 
  • 1/4 cup flax meal, 
  • 2T cinnamon,
  • Sea salt to taste
  • (Optional) something crunchy like cocoa nibs
  • 3/4 c boiling water 

Mix ingredients together vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Top with berries and nuts if you desire.

Cauliflower (Cauli) “Porridge”

Add 2 cups of cauli rice in a saucepan, add in 1 tbsp of coconut oil, a touch of water to help the cauli cook down + spices (cinnamon, sea salt), stir consistently. Add in stevia drops (a few more than a smoothie as it will cut the bitterness out of the cauli) + stir in collagen or protein powder. Stir the above consistently for 4 minutes. Add in an egg and stir for a final 4 minutes. Expect to cook for 8 minutes in total.

Keto Smoothies

Vegan Pancakes

Flax Waffles – (vegan option)

Grain-Less Granola – this is great solo or you can mix in some coconut-based yogurt

 

 

 

For More Inspiration: review this post as well, Breakfast Ideas Beyond Eggs

Insulin Resistance

Breaking the insulin resistance cycle involves a number of things, including reducing simple carbohydrate-rich foods, like grains, juices, processed foods, etc, in our diet. Below are 5 guidelines that will help slash insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control overall. This is useful advice with people who have diabetes, PCOS, metabolic syndrome and for those who just need assistance to lose weight. 

  • No naked carbs. What? Since carb-rich foods (legumes, fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and sugar) give us quick energy and have the greatest effect on raising blood sugar levels, it is ideal to have a source of protein or fat with this food to buffer the absorption of sugar going into the bloodstream. For example, an apple (carb) with peanut butter is far more favorable than eating an apple alone.
  • Reduce snacking and eliminate grazing. Be sure to eat enough at each meal (review plate visual) by cueing into your satiety and hunger levels, so you do not need to eat more than three-four times a day. When we have smaller, more frequent meals, we cause our body to produce more insulin, creating higher circulating levels of insulin. High insulin levels cause insulin resistance. Transition to 3 meals and an optional snack each day.
  • Hydrate. Drink 20 ounces of water first thing in morning. I play a game by making myself drink my water before I am allowed to enjoy my coffee. Do what motivates you. Overall, aim to drink half of your weight in ounces every day. For example, if I weigh 200 pounds, I need 100 ounces of water or herbal tea per day. Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to improve your hormone (including insulin) functionality, hunger, and fat-loss.
  • Forecast meals. No need to make a formal meal plan, but spend five minutes a week reviewing which meals you will be eating out or at home. Sketch out at least 3 meals (doubling some of the recipes can save you time) and reflect these meals onto a grocery list. This can help you get in front of your health by making healthy food the obvious choice. It can also help reduce food waste. Win-win.
  • Eat with the sun. Eating during daylight hours supports our natural body clock, and therefore our hormone functioning. The more in sync we are with our circadian rhythm by eating with the sun, we support hormone balance, improving insulin resistance. Doing this also improves sleep and high-quality sleep is the “secret sauce” for health. Additional motives to eat earlier? Data suggests when we eat past 7 PM we increase our insulin secretion by 50 to 70%. High insulin leads to insulin resistance. If you find yourself eating late, make it a smaller, lighter meal.

Nut Milk Does a Body Good

Not too long ago, there were limited milk alternative options for people looking to remove dairy from their diet or just try out something new. Soy milk was one of the first milk alternative options available, but those with sensitive digestive systems often found that the soy can be too harsh to ingest and perhaps unfavorable for thyroid health (and more). But because of the rise in eco-friendly diets in recent years, a hub of new plant-based milk alternatives have come onto the scene, offering people new ways to enjoy their favorite baked goods, cereals, and other traditionally dairy-filled recipes.
Those suffering from diabetes, in particular, know the struggle of being able to find food that both tastes good and keeps their body functioning at an optimal level. The team at Snap Kitchen is on a mission to help those with diabetes find delicious milk varieties, so they put together this infographic that breaks down the 8 most popular plant-based milk options on the market today. They provide expert tips on how to implement these alternatives into your daily snacks and recipes as well as a taste and texture comparison chart to help you find the milk that best suits your preferences.
Did you know that cashew milk only has 1-2 grams of carbs and is ideal for those who monitor their blood sugar levels on a daily basis? Or that rice milk, because of its high carbohydrate levels (33g per serving!), is best avoided by diabetes patients as it can cause a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash. Learn more about these popular options and see which one is right for you in the infographic below.

 

Milk Alternatives

My Forever Love for Juice Boxes

I write to you today with a frog in my throat, feeling humble, scared and grateful.

Last week, immediately after my Endo appointment, we headed to FL to have a reunion with 2 other families. I felt like a badass driving down because my A1c returned to a territory I want to stay in, reading at 5.6 (a non-diabetic range). Yet, just when I think I have a routine, a plan, momentum, I realize I am at a loss.

Days into the trip I woke up with a blood sugar of 383 mg/dL. “Wtf?!” I haven’t seen a high like this in years.

Is it bc we ate a late dinner? I always have a high fasting when I eat late; but not this high. Was it the Prosecco I drank last night?? Maybe the alcohol made me low, I didn’t wake up, and glucagon shunted into my bloodstream??

Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping enough? I was often the first to go to bed because I know less than 6 hours of sleep makes blood sugar control hard, but I’ve had 2 newborn babies and my blood sugar never behaved this bad.

Was it because I was less active than being at home? I was still running and swimming. Was I dehydrated severely? No.

What’s going on? Is the insulin bad? It worked fine yesterday and the day before and since then I haven’t stored it differently. I had it on the bathroom counter; maybe the room got too hot when we had our showers?

I take action – I’m aggressive with my basal/Tresiba for the day, upping my dose from 8 units to 12, then layer on another 2 units, making it 14. I take an intramuscular injection to correct the high.

Is it the heat? I always go really high with high humidity and temps above 80F. But I’ve lived in Australia with 100-degree temps and no a/c and it never got this bad.

Two hours later I’m only at 220 mg/dL, arrow across. Blood sugar goes up 2 points. I take more insulin.

Trying my best to keep my fears and frustrations to myself, I head to the beach with everyone.

I see diagonal down on my CGM. “Yay, the insulin is working.”

I have some dried mango in my beach bag in case the insulin begins working too well.

I’m in the water and run back to our things, aka my phone to read my blood sugar via my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and grab my daughter her floaty.

Double arrow down reading 45 mg/dL. Where is the mango??? I eat it.

Five/ten minutes pass and my friend comes back to get her son a snack.

I actually start feeling really scared. I started praying. The mango isn’t doing a thing, still 2 arrows down (this means my blood sugar is dropping 4 points per minute).

My friend pulls out a cooler with juice boxes for the kids. Amen! Juice will help.

I chug the juice.

I’m so low my CGM can’t read my blood sugar. CGM reads, “LOW” double arrow down.

My friend has no idea I’m scared for my life at the moment. Am I going to go into a seizure?

I ask my friend to get my husband. I start crying. Am I going to die because of this damn high blood sugar, now firing back?

Thirty minutes in, I level out, head back to our house and over-analyze everything for the next 2 days with 1 more similar low blood sugar scenario. The second time I used maple syrup to bring my sugar up, followed by a juice. I asked my husband to hold me until the carbs kick in. 

I threw out my current pen of Fiasp for fresh insulin starting day 2, but I robotically took the same Tresiba day 2, and I was hesitant to take another full dose of a new bottle. So now day 3, it’s confirmed on what the problem was…

Spoiled Tresiba/basal insulin.

Sometimes I think I’ve got this disease, but it can be mean, scary, horrific. Diabetes teaches me day in and day out to make my time count and I’m so grateful for my insulin, my CGM, my juice box, my life.

I had a great trip overall, diabetes won’t taint it, and I’m happy to be home to ground myself and make a difference in this world. 

This scary event was a gentle reminder of what it may feel like to be newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or going through a confusing time of diabetes management. There is always something to learn, and I should have been more bold with changing out my insulin sooner.

Variables that Play Into Blood Sugar Control

When I help my clients with diabetes understand how to best manage their blood sugars, of course, I mention nutrition and insulin, but there is a large emphasis on a number of other variables, including, but not limited to the following…

  • Hydration – being well hydrated can help your insulin work most efficiently
  • Allergies – seasonal, food, medication
  • Food sensitivities – if the gut is inflamed, the body is, hence poorer insulin sensitivity
  • Stress – good and bad stress can impact blood sugars.
  • Movement – move every 30min and exercise every other day
  • Hormones – male hormones fluctuate as do females
  • Puberty 
  • Pregnancy
  • Excitement
  • Public speaking (a form of stress)
  • Mood
  • Outdoor temps – heat makes some type 1s high (me!), but others it runs blood sugars down.
  • Breakdown of the meal fat, protein and carbs
  • Activity, bad insulin (this happens), 
  • sleep duration and quality, 
  • Altitude and this includes flights. I will go high shortly after takeoff and my blood sugar drops ~30-40 pts after landing.
  • the timing of meal the night before (if it was later than the norm, that can throw blood sugars the next day), 
  • lack of exercise, over-exercising, 
  • supplements,  
  • gut health, 
  • time change, jet lag, 
  • alcohol, esp if alcohol was drunken the day before
  • period, ovulation, 
  • insulin resistance, 
  • overeating, 
  • overdoing carbs, etc.