Sex, religion, politics and diet

What are four things that you don’t discuss in polite company?

Over the last several weeks I have continued to experiment with my own diet, in a public way. My goal in all of this has not been to sell a product or a dietary approach, but rather to see how I can use the food I eat to improve my athletic performance and energy–without compromising my blood sugar control. Such are the challenges of being a Type1 diabetic athlete–there are often seemingly disparate goals that must be organized in order of priority–which is easier said than done! I discussed in a recent blog how I had to overcome some guilt and feelings of failure when I decided to put aside my “plant-based” low-fat diet and go back to a high-fat ketogenic approach, and I will follow up on that in a blog next week, but I wanted to take a moment to frame the discussion of diet in type 1 diabetes. It’s a loaded discussion, especially for parents.

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Eating meat, feeling guilt and moving on

Do you remember the whole “fruits roots and leaves” experiment I did? Well it’s been a couple months and I wanted to follow up and discuss how adopting a plant-based-low-fat-high-carb diet stood up to international travel. My initial results were not without benefit and I intended to proceed with it, but I travel a lot and rushing through airports, jostling around on planes and sitting in cars is a big part of my life. “Drop-testing” a diet is important for me–because it’s one thing for it to work well for me in a relative bubble of sitting at a computer, but for it to truly win me over it has to make my life simpler when it matters.

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Go Beyond Diabetes 08.10.15

This weeks GoBeyond post is a little bit different from normal. Usually I get photographs with a very short snippet of text–sometimes just a name, age and date of diagnosis. Being somewhat of a storyteller, there is part of me that is always left wanting just a little bit more. I acknowledge that’s just me being a bit selfish though–because these stories and photos are just little windows that we are given into the lives and ambitions of our fellow T1Ds. Even the smallest glimpse is a privilege.

This week, however, I received a couple of photos that opened that “window” a little wider and so I wanted to share that view with you in hopes that it inspires you (as it did me) to not be compliant with the “mold” into which we are constantly told to fit. You are not your diabetes:

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Go Beyond Diabetes 08.03.15

I am excited to be back and finally able to continue sharing the photos and inspiration from the active Type1 community. Since my email didn’t crash along with my computer, all the photos you sent in over the previous months were safe and sound! It may sound strange but it’s still a little disorienting posting photos on a new computer.

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Saying happy birthday, the hard way

It’s kind of funny that my first post back on LivingVertical after recovering a working computer setup is about the one person who has had the biggest role to play in this website and the activist spirit that gave birth to it. Really, it’s not a stretch to say that my wife Stefanie has shaped my life in more ways than I am consciously aware of on a daily basis, so today I want to slow down and reflect on that–and express gratitude.

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LivingVertical returns! Ish...

The last several weeks were both good and challenging. “Good” because I had the opportunity to spend time with my family on the first vacation I have ever taken. Literally. I’ve always used travel as a vehicle to climb but this time I wanted to reset my mind, not only because of the impact of the last few weeks but also because I’m preparing for some significant changes moving forward. Being excellent at any one thing is the refinement of self expression and I want to be clear and balanced as I make decisions. To be inspired rather than distracted; to act decisively rather than react.

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Go beyond diabetes 07.06.15

I am so grateful to all of you for making this monument to achievement in the face of struggle and stigma–because as we (the diabetes community) have been dealing with a lot of emotions of late about how we are seen in the public eye–as a result of our condition. It’s hard to be positive with diabetes. It’s hard even if you’re surrounded by people who love you and are cheering even the smallest accomplishments. It’s that much harder when you feel judged unfairly.

This week we have a lot of young folks leading the charge to challenge stereotypes, pushing themselves and accomplishing great things. We also have world-class hiking in Hawaii, a T1D on the Appalachian Trail (that’s a 2100 mile hike!), powerlifting, skydiving, and T1D on a glacier in Alaska and of course…more.

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Eating high carb by the numbers

I wanted to add some images from my Dexcom CGM to help illustrate the process I have been going through as I have been shifting my diet to one that is a high-percentage carbohydrate (not necessarily in the total quantity consumed). To recap, I have been eating about 30-50 grams of carb per meal, with an emphasis on drastically minimizing fats and animal products of any kind–as well as processed foods of any kind. Fruits, roots and leaves have been my focus–when I say “carbs” understand that I am referring to whole foods and not cupcakes and Fritos– and although my adherence has not been 100 percent, it has overall been pretty good with minimal cheating! You can read about my first impressions here.

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Go Beyond Diabetes 6.29.15

What is the active diabetes community getting into this week? Our goal is to motivate and support through this initiative. Keep the awesome photos and stories coming–I look forward to seeing these photos from our community as they go beyond diabetes every single week.

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High carb diet: first impressions

Today I went running. On purpose.

The end.

Ok, just kidding–about that being the end. However for my use, the fact that my implementation of a new high carb diet that minimizes fat and all but eliminates processed foods and animal products has given me energy to the point that I can type the preceding intro (without lying!) is pretty massive! Don’t let that fool you though–this first exploration of how my shiny new dietary guidelines are working out is far from a “Swiss Watch”.Read more