One year down, lots to go

I love bringing you guest posts from others who are using adventure to take control of their lives and health. I met Zach Buckmaster through Instagram a few months back and I believe that you will be reading and seeing more from him in the near future. This account is about his adaptation to year one of life with type 1 and I hope that you will find it as inspiring as I have.–Steve–

Diabetes and climbing. Most see no correlation between the two. But for me–and many others, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Read more


Comfort optional

The hitch is on and the car is mostly loaded. It’s packed full of enough climbing gear to assault El Capitan and enough media equipment to make a movie about the effort. Clothing has been pared down to one small tupperware apiece and I even manage to narrow down my library selections to the bleeding necessities because my love for paper books does not make them travel lighter. The Yakima roof box is been patched up with silicone sealant and loaded with outdoor gear. All that’s left are some housewares that are currently in use and my computer. Also my insulin, test strips and remaining sensors will be among the last items to be packed away. I’m ready to go home.

Read more


New tweaks to the keto diet and updates to the vlog

In the last week or so I have been forced to reckon with the fact that my cholesterol is high and the keto diet that has enabled me to dial in my blood sugar–may be the culprit that is creating chaos in a different area of my bloodwork. Since I ultimately may have to choose between the lesser of two evils, I have decided to tweak my ketogenic diet to see if my elevated cholesterol may be due to specific items within this diet rather than the entire way of eating. Here are the steps that I have taken:

Read more


Why I'm climbing harder after 10 months at a desk

It’s been about 10 months since I’ve been roped up to do some climbing and with that kind of hiatus, it’s hard to know what to expect. Stefanie and I decided to take a short trip to the Gunks in upstate New York–which is unmatched for its autumn beauty and its ability to punish the overconfident climber. This is where I grew up and learned how to hike as a toddler and how to climb as an adult. The grades in the Gunks are notoriously sandbagged. Many climbers get their egos checked when they flounder on “moderate” routes and to be honest, that’s always been my experience. I’ve had my good days on sandstone or limestone but the yardstick by which I measure everything is how well I climb when I am back home.

Read more


Why I chose a Ketogenic diet to manage my diabetes

I feel like one thing that has been missing from my discussion of diets in the last few months of experimentation is my personal story with food. In fact, you should subscribe to the AdventureRx Podcast because that is going to be the next story I am going to tell in episode 28! There is a reason that I arrived at a place with my diabetes where I feel comfortable going to “extremes” and it didn’t happen over night or because someone berated me into doing it. It all came from a desire to be able to climb more confidently. I don’t necessarily mean climb “harder” because I am not the best climber out there by a long way. I mean being able to place less focus on my blood sugar and more focus on my climbing.

The vertical world has always been a drop-test for my diabetes and it has taught me much of what I know. Conversely, when people ask ‘how do you treat lows on a climb?’ or ‘don’t you worry about going low?’ my response always goes back to what I have learned about eating. In short, when I need to focus on something beyond my diabetes, food is my first tool to implement that fix.

Read more


Outdoor adventure meetup in 2016--who's in?

It’s no secret that community is a big part of living successfully with type 1 diabetes. Given that fact, it’s kind of surprising that it can often be almost as hard to come by as good health insurance. In this day and age it’s hard to imagine that people don’t think to reach out online and lurk in the forums and groups that exist–but if I had a nickel for every time I met someone with type 1 who said, ‘Wow this is the first time I’ve ever actually hung out with another person with diabetes’ I would be able to pay my web hosting fees without asking you to buy one of my photographs! That’s part of the reason I started LivingVertical and that’s exactly the reason Blake and I created the LivingVertical forum (which you SHOULD join and participate in if you haven’t yet!

Read more


Medicaid: no shame, no gravy train. Just gratitude.

One of the reasons I’ve gotten so into podcasts in the last 9 months (which have largely inspired this post) has a lot to do with my diet. I’m serious. I consistently find myself with a surplus of energy in a suburban environment where the only socially accepted activities are watching TV and quiet conversation in small groups. Also smashing liquor bottles–that is apparently a thing here in Eastern Massachusetts, as the sidewalks are constantly glittering with fresh shards of glass–but I have energy and I need to invest it. So I walk around my neighborhood. Occasionally I run. When I am bored, I’ll walk some more. I feel like a caged animal, pacing in the cage, anxiously awaiting the escape to steep, wild places.

Read more


Type 1 diabetes screening: the aftermath

A lot of things changed in my life when I became a parent. My own diabetes started to look a bit different now because it wasn’t just my well being at risk–and speaking of risk…the looming specter of an unexpected diagnosis for my daughter was another unwelcome visitor that would repeatedly drop in just to eat some food out of my fridge and mooch the “free” wi-fi. I wrestled with the decision of “whether or not to screen” a lot, as you may remember from this previous blog.

Read more


7 comparisons of Ketogenic vs Vegan (low carb vs low fat) with CGM data

If you remember how this dietary experimentation began a few months back, I was searching for better athletic performance without sacrificing blood sugar control. I had been following a low carb diet and it wasn’t really getting the job done for me. I decided to try a low-fat, plant-based approach to see if I had been missing something. It definitely had some benefits and it also had some limitations, further reinforcing the idea that there is no “quick fix” in terms of diet–nevertheless I’d like to re-approach the Ketogenic vs Vegan debate through 7 specific points of comparison and close with a comparison of CGM data.

Read more


Take the survey!

I know that your time is precious. You might think that taking a survey is a waste of time–but I’d like to put a different perspective on this: what if taking 5 minutes now to take this survey could help you get more of what you want out of LivingVertical? Wouldn’t that be a reasonable trade-off if it helps you get out from ‘behind the herd’?

I have several months to transition into living in a trailer with my family and that means lots of new avenues to explore and share. Unfortunately, I can’t prioritize every possibility equally, even though I’d like to. So tell me, what jumps out at YOU when reading through the items below? Take the survey and let me know!

Read more