Wednesday 29 February 2012

Virtual 5km

It's back! Organized by Tara, over at Mommy's A Runner, the Virtual 5km is a fundraising and awareness initiative for JDRF. And it's super simple. Just register by clicking here, choose your distance, and run it anytime during the weekend of April 28th/29th. Registration fees are $15 for your first 5km, and $5 for each additional 5km. All money raised goes to JDRF in support of their mission to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. And if that's not motivation enough for you, there are some pretty awesome raffle prizes available to all who complete their 5km too.

Are you in? I know I am!

Tuesday 28 February 2012

The Big "D"

Let's be honest: diabetes sucks. None of us asked for it to permeate virtually every aspect of our waking (and sleeping) lives, yet it does. We test, adjust, analyze, treat, bolus, inject, prime, and SWAG countless times a day; so many, in fact, that some days we feel robotic, simply going through the motions in our sleep-deprived state of mind. And then we worry; oh do we ever worry... about lows, highs, carb ratios, basal rates, A1cs, and, most importantly, about the future, both immediate and long term.

Throw in crappy winter weather and it's easy to see why diabetes and depression commonly go hand in hand. (Heck, I could live in balmy sunshine 365 days a year and diabetes would still depressing enough on its own). The seemingly never-ending gray of winter adds a whole new dimension to life with D. Seriously, how many days like this can one take?

Vancouver gets an average of 166 rainy days per year and it's not
uncommon for us too see 20 (or more) consecutive days of rain in winter.

We're talking approximately 27 inches of rain between November and March!

Yeah, you're probably thinking, "Holy crap, why would anyone live there?" We tolerate the rain because occasionally winter gives us a reprieve, we get a day of sun, and can hit the snow on our local mountains...

And we all patiently wait, knowing that summer will bring this....

FYI - this view is a 10 minute walk from where FFL Canada 2012 is being held in August...hint, hint, hint :)

By February, it can seem like winter will never end. I assure you, it will, but in the meantime, here are a few tips for surviving the winter blues:
  • Take care of yourself - gets enough sleep; eat a balanced diet, rich in nutrients, and limit processed food; exercise, even if it's only a few minutes a day, the endorphins released during exercise are the best combatant to depression.
  • Reduce stress - yeah, right... well, we can try anyway. Again exercise is super helpful here; read a book, watch a funny movie (laughter is a great treatment for depression), take a bath.
  • Lean on your support network -your friends and family can be the single most helpful tool you have. Vent, talk, release your worries, knowing that they will still love you. And if that's not an option, the DOC is the best support I know. We know how you feel and we have your back.
  • Get outta' dodge - when all else fails, a little vacation can work wonders...
This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Sunday 26 February 2012

Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Cheese

Broccoli Cheese soup has always been one of my absolute favorite cold weather treats, and while I have many versions over the years, I had to yet one that would serve as my "go to" recipe. Until now.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons all purpose flour 
2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp low fat cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream. Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional Information
Calories 369, Fat 27.1g, Cholesterol 82.7mg, Sodium 967.4mg, Carbohydrates 16.3g, Protein 18.6g

*This recipe is adapted from one which appeared in Bon Appetit magazine in February 2001

Saturday 25 February 2012

Peanut Butter n' Banana Muffins

Peanut butter and banana is a classic combo. Just one bite takes us back into childhood; into days of PB n' B sandwiches with the crusts cut off; of carefree days nights; and picnics on sunny afternoons. But in a muffin? I had to check it out! The result was pleasantly delicious and these were gobbled up in no time.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 muffin cups with butter or margarine. Stir first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat bananas, honey, peanut butter, eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Beat in flour mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutritional Information (per muffin) 
Calories 281, Fat 12.6g, Cholesterol 308mg, Sodium 266.6mg, Carbohydrates 40g, Protein 6.2g

*This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine in July 1998.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

It's All Part of the Process

Learning anything new takes time and practice. Be it diabetes care, or learning to play a musical instrument, it is an ongoing learning experience. Tonight, Dylan had a "senior band" (senior meaning the kids are 2nd year and not brand new to their instruments) concert at our local high school. With 4 different elementary schools, and an abundance of proud parents, it was a pretty big deal. I was nervous for him, and even more so after he had a 3.1 mmol/l (55.8mg/dl) blood sugar reading minutes before the concert began. Some fast-acting sugar later, I sat in the bleachers and watched my son play his heart out to "Funkytown" on the sax, while we played our secret game of "thumbs up/thumbs down" (thumbs up = sugar level feels good, thumbs down = feeling low) across the gymnasium. Two thumbs up during the performance and I was one proud mommy!

Dylan is right of center, with the blond bangs

Like diabetes care, we are far from mastery of the saxophone, but we are well on our way!

Monday 20 February 2012

Take that Diabetes!

The search for a cause of Dylan's headaches has now brought us full circle. We have gone from blaming diabetes, to questioning his eye sight, and back to diabetes as a cause again. When I first thought diabetes was the culprit, I assumed it was high blood sugars that were giving Dylan headaches, but when we tracked the headaches, there was absolutely no correlation with elevated blood sugar so we eliminated D as a cause.

Then this past Friday, Dylan had his quarterly checkup at the Diabetes Education Center of our local hospital. After speaking with his endocrinologist about the headaches, she thinks that they may, in fact, be a result of D. Her belief is that they are an after effect of low blood sugar. When I heard this, it sounded vaguely familiar. I remember reading some comments from type 1 adults that compared the feeling of over-treating a low to a hangover. Does treating, or perhaps over-treating, a low result in a headache? And if so, is there any way to avoid this?

On a separate note, Dylan did a victory dance for his endo at the appointment Friday. His last A1c was in early December of last year and we were both very upset to see a result of 8.7. It was the highest he had even been and I felt like a complete failure as a d-mom to let his A1c get that high. The 8.7 was the direct result of Dylan being very nonchalant about his testing. He was great testing at home, but was neglecting to test at school, resulting in too many highs. His endo wanted to see a reduction of a full point, bringing his A1c into the upper 7's by the next appointment. A tough task indeed. We both vowed then and there to be more vigilant about testing, determined to bring that 8.7 down to a healthier level.

So were we successful? Not only did Dyl get his A1c into the 7's, he got it down to 7.1!! Personally, I would still like to see it lower, but we are celebrating this victory nonetheless. Take that diabetes!

Sunday 19 February 2012

Recent BSC Renovations

We're overdue for a little renovation here at the Blood, Sweat & Carbs blog and I've been wanting to add a couple more elements to the site for a while now. Finally, over the past couple of days I found some time to start on 2 new pages that will become permanent features.

The first is a "Recipes" tab. From time to time I post healthy recipes, so I have created a separate page where all the recipes can be found, sorted by type. As I post more, I will add them to this list, making it way easier to find them! Alternately, you can use the search feature to find what you're looking for. Check it out!

The second addition is a "Diabetes Resources" tab. Here you will find basic diabetes info and links to diabetes organizations. Again, this page is a work in progress, and I will add to it on an ongoing basis. 

Any suggestions to improve the site, please let me know!

Thursday 16 February 2012

"See"king Answers

Headaches can be quite a nuisance, and trying to identify their cause can be equally annoying. As I posted yesterday in Blame Diabetes, Dylan has been getting frequent headaches for the past few months and we have been unable to figure out why.

Originally I assumed they were blood sugar related, but after some simple tracking I quickly ruled out diabetes as a source. My next thought was that they were an allergic reaction to something. We saw our family doctor and he gave us some suggestions on how to check for a food allergy, but so far we've come up empty-handed. Dylan is currently on a waiting list to see a pediatric allergist, but the wait is almost a year, so it will likely be autumn before we get in.

Then Dylan came home from school a few weeks ago complaining that he was having difficulty seeing the overhead projector screen from his desk, leading me to think he was straining his eyes and needed glasses. He was due for his annual eye exam anyway, so we went in yesterday to see the optometrist. Another strike-out. Dylan's eyes are close to perfect, and while he has a -.25 in each eye, it is not enough to warrant glasses or to cause headaches. The optometrist was not at all concerned, and informed us that vision can fluctuate a little bit during growth spurts, and with diabetes. He expects it will stay the same or return to normal by next year's appointment.

I'm happy for Dylan that he doesn't need glasses (he really didn't want them), but I'm frustrated that we still have no idea what is causing his headaches. He has his quarterly DEC appointment (A1c test and visit with the diabetes team) tomorrow morning, so maybe his endo will have some answers.

And for the record, the results of his pupil dilation test (to check to any signs of diabetic retinopathy) were perfect. His eyes show no signs of any problems whatsoever.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Blame Diabetes

Suffice it to say I do this far too often. Diabetes is on my mind for such a large proportion of each and every day that I tend to hold it accountable for any problem in Dylan's life. Sure, a lot of the time it's warranted because diabetes is the culprit, but from time to time there are other factors at play. After all, he is an 11 year old boy. He CAN and WILL get sick, scraped, scratched, bruised, banged up, and heartbroken as he grows up, and many of those times it will have nothing to do with diabetes.

On and off for the past few months, Dylan has been battling headaches. Some are minor, some more intense, and some even causing nausea they are so powerful. At first, I wrote them off as normal, stress related aches and pains, but their persistence has me concerned.

My immediate reaction was that they were blood sugar related; that he was getting headaches when his blood glucose level was high. In fact, I was positive this was the cause (always quick to blame diabetes). So we started tracking patterns. Every time he had a headache we'd test his blood sugar, but we quickly learned that there was absolutely no correlation between his sugar levels and headaches.

Back to the drawing board we went, unable to figure out the cause of his discomfort. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when Dylan came home from school and told me he had been having trouble seeing the overhead projector screen from his desk in his classroom. As the metaphorical lightbulb flashed in my brain, I wondered, "Could it be that simple? Does he need glasses?"

He is due for his annual eye exam (the one with the pupil dilation) anyway, so I called the optometrist and made an appointment for Dylan to have a full eye exam. We see the doctor this afternoon, so hopefully I'll have some answers soon.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

As a mushy romantic at heart, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. But as the parent of a child with diabetes, Valentine's Day ranks third on my list of worst carb days of the year (after Halloween and Easter). The colossal amount of candy passed between classmates is enough to send me into carb counting overload, so I've researched the carb counts of some of the most common Valentine's treats to make today more about love and friendship, and less about diabetes.

Candy hearts ~ 12 pieces = 15 carbs
Candy corn ~ 11 pieces = 15 carbs
Cinnamon hearts ~ 30 pieces = 15 carbs
Hershey's kisses ~ 9 hearts = 25 carbs
And when all else fails, moderation is key. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday 13 February 2012

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

For those of us who have children with diabetes, we are all too familiar with the extreme symptoms of hyperglycemia, as they were the triggers that led our child to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. But hyperglycemia can occur daily, even with mild symptoms, so it is important to know the signs and treat it accordingly. Last week I posted about hypoglycemia symptoms and included a little picture that helps kids identify the signs. Here is its hyperglycemia equivalent:

Hyperglycemia can be defined as a level of sugar in the blood that exceeds the target range. Ideal blood sugar range can vary by individual, but as the level increases, symptoms of hyperglycemia appear.

The most common symptoms include:
  • dry mouth
  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • drowsiness
  • frequent bed wetting (in children)
  • blurry vision
  • increased appetite

If untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to:
  • rapid weight loss
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing
  • unconsciousness or coma
  • ketoacidosis

Over the long term, extended or frequent periods of hyperglycemia can lead to diabetes side effects such as blindness, kidney failure, foot or leg amputation., and even brain damage. 

So what causes hyperglycemia? A number of factors can be responsible, but the more common contributors include:
  • too much carbohydrate
  • less activity than normal
  • emotional stress
  • illness
  • growth spurts
  • forgetting insulin
  • faulty insulin/old infusion sets/equipment failure, etc

Thursday 9 February 2012

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Dylan describes his lows as getting "weak knees," meaning that his legs feel like they're going to give out. He also gets shaky, and very pale, with pronounced dark circles under his eyes. Very different from how I feel. (See Exercise Induced Hypoglycemia from earlier this week) In fact, the symptoms of hypoglycemia can vary considerably from one person to the next, so it's critically important to be aware of all of the various possibilities.

When Dyl was first diagnosed, his endo gave us this awesome sheet with pictures of what hypoglycemia can look like, and a similar picture is on the wall in Dylan's classroom, so that his classmates are familiar with how he may appear with low blood sugar.

Any or all of these symptoms are possible, as are others not on this sheet. In fact, symptoms of hypoglycemia can be mild, moderate, or severe, and may include any or all of the following:

Mild Symptoms...
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • hunger
  • pallor
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • mood changes
Moderate Symptoms...
  • irritability
  • blurred/double vision
  • confusion
  • poor coordination
  • headache
  • fatigue/sleepiness
  • nightmares (if sleeping)
Severe Symptoms...
  • unconsciousness
  • convulsions/seizures
  • coma
  • (and if not treated quickly, death)

Know the signs.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Strength

An innate quality that abounds when needed and takes on many forms.



External pancreas.



Listening ear.

Support system.

Tear-moistened shoulder. 

Holding hand.

Reassuring smile.

Loving embrace.

Guiding light.

Ray of hope.

Will to survive.

(Not quite wordless, more like Wordless Wednesday)

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Exercise Induced Hypoglycemia

One of my biggest fears is exercise induced low blood sugar. Dylan is so active, playing hockey 3-4 times per week, playing with friends, trampolining, walking, skiing, and wrestling with his stepdad, that I often worry about the effects on his blood sugar. Fortunately, he is on an insulin pump, so it's easy to program varying basal rates for different times of day and run temporary basal rates during exercise.

But what if we do all that and he still runs low? It's happened, that's for sure. Our first treatment is always fast acting sugar, either juice or dextrose tablets, and when in doubt we usually disconnect or suspend the pump to prevent any more insulin delivery while he's low. Then we retest every 10-15 minutes until his blood sugar is back in range.

This is perhaps the only aspect of Dylan's diabetes that I can truly relate to because I get exercise induced hypoglycemia myself. A LOT. In fact, it has become so common that I am now hesitant to venture far from home during exercise, unless I have a decent supply of fast acting sugar with me. The onset is sudden, and often unforeseen; literally one minute I'll feel fine, and the next I'll be struggling to stay upright. The feeling is odd, but very specific. And it's always the same, just to varying degrees of intensity, depending on how low I get. Shakiness comes first, followed by an acute awareness of my surroundings, but an inability to respond to them. Everything becomes more pronounced; sounds get louder, colors brighter, and I feel lighter, almost weightless. Yet every movement requires concentrated and deliberate effort. And the longer I go without sugar, the weaker I feel.

I don't have diabetes, so I don't usually carry a blood glucose tester on me during exercise (unless Dylan is with me, or I have my purse, which has an extra kit for him at all times). This means I don't usually know how low I am. If at home, I use Dyl's meter to check (and for the record the lowest I've even been is 1.8mmol/l, which is equivalent to 32mg/dl for my friends south of the border). I I usually start to feel anything under 4.0mmol/l, or 72mg/dl), but since I don't have to worry about over-treating the low, I usually just continue to treat until I feel better.

I know that if I eat slow-release complex carbs, combined with a little protein, about 20 minutes before exercise, that I'm much less likely to get low, but, as with diabetes, there are no guarantees. Some of the most effective pre-workout foods for me are a bowl of homemade oatmeal topped with flax seeds and fresh berries, or a whole grain bagel with peanut butter and banana, or a fruit smoothie with 1/4 cup of protein powder. I also know that if haven't slept well the night before, or have had ANY alcohol in the previous 24hrs, I am way more likely to get low half an hour into my workout.

Overall, it's not a huge deal, except that I started my half-marathon training this week, and as I was headed out the door for a run this morning, I suddenly became paralyzed with fear because I knew I hadn't had any protein with breakfast. I wasn't planning on running far enough to need a fuel or water belt, so I had 3 choices: chance it and see what happens (; stay close to home by literally just running around my neighborhood (too boring); or get on the mill. I chose the latter and spent 40 minutes running on the treadmill in my bedroom, while watching a bit of "Eat, Pray, Love." Good thing too, because about 10 minutes in I needed sugar. A big handful of Sharkies and a glass of juice later, and I was good to continue.

Live and learn, right?

Monday 6 February 2012

Sweatbetes ~ The Year at Glance

I have big plans this year when it comes to exercise. BIG PLANS. Racing is calling my name, and it's long overdue that I started listening.

Winter has been far too idle for me. I have spent countless hours sitting, and sitting, and sitting, and now I need to just get out there and start moving. This week marks the beginning of my half marathon training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May, which will kick off the series of road events I have planned for the summer. Here they are in a nutshell...

BMO Vancouver Marathon (half-marathon), Sunday May 6th. It's will be my 3rd time doing this race, though the course is totally new this year. Yay, no more super-long hill out of Stanley Park!
North Shore Spring Triathlon (sprint tri), Monday, May 21st. First time for this one. It's a 740m pool swim (20 lengths), 17.6km bike time trial, 5km trail & road run.

Tough Mudder, Saturday & Sunday, June 23rd & 24th, Whistler. Next to the Cyclebetes National Relay, this will be the highlight of my summer. I am SO excited about this one! A 10-12 mile course designed by British Special Forces, that combines running with military-style obstacles in icy cold water, mud, and hilly terrain. The same race runs both days, I haven't decided yet which day I'll do.

Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx, July 8th, Penticton. 160km road race through the stunning Okanagan Valley.
RBC Kelowna Granfondo, July 14th, Kelowna. 115km road race from Kelowna to Vernon and back. This one is a maybe.

nothing planned at this time, perhaps another triathlon.

Cyclebetes National Relay, Sept 6th-9th (possibly 6th-13th), Vancouver to Calgary. My 3rd year in row riding with the BC Provincial Team. This year we ride 1005km over 4 days. I may ride the 2nd leg too, from Calgary to Winnipeg, a distance of 1345km. This event is the highlight of my year; the one I look forward to all summer, because it combines two things I am ultimately passionate about: diabetes awareness and cycling.
Surrey International World Music Marathon, Sept 30th. My very first full marathon!

Saturday 4 February 2012

1st Live Performance

Last month I posted about Dylan's new singing pursuits, in A D-Mom is Superwoman. He joined a performance company last September, after watching the students perform at a benefit concert last year. The concert he saw at the time was entitled, "Pumped for the Cure," and it was a fundraiser for our TEAM DYLAN, with all of the proceeds going to JDRF. He was so impressed with the quality of the performers, that he couldn't wait to join himself.

Dylan had his first live performance just before Christmas and I had mentioned that I would post clips soon after. Oops - I totally forgot, so here they are now! Both of these are group performances. In the first he's singing only, and in the second he's playing the saxophone.

Dylan (left) singing "Twist & Shout". Can you see the pump bulge under his shirt? I can.

Dylan (left) playing sax for "Crabbuckit"

His next performance is Sunday, Feb. 12, when he will perform, solo, Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me." Just one more thing for which we DON'T let diabetes get in the way. EVER.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Diabetes on Television ~ January 2012

January was abuzz with talk about diabetes in the media, particularly on television. From poor tasting jokes on NBC's new sitcom, "Are You There, Chelsea?" to MTV's semi-accurate depiction of 3 individuals with diabetes on their hit documentary "True Life," and finally to the announcement of celebrity chef Paula Deen's type 2 diabetes diagnosis, there was certainly lots to talk about this month.

1. "Are You There, Chelsea?"
NBC launched their new sitcom "Are You There, Chelsea?" starring Laura Prepon (That 70's Show), in early January and featured an offensive diabetes-related joke in the series pilot. The joke was not only tasteless, but encouraged the spread of false information, thus further promoting ignorance and erroneously stereotypical perceptions of diabetes. The joke basically made fun of a woman who had supposedly got diabetes from eating too many cupcakes. And as if that is not offensive and inaccurate enough in itself, the character went on to joke that the woman had a good doctor, who caught it early, and therefore she still has both her feet.

Seriously NBC? Do you not screen any of your scripts before they air? No focus groups or staff feedback even? This joke goes far beyond stupidity; it is a gross misrepresentation, not to mention an insult to the diabetes community. Needless to say, diabetes (of any kind) is NOT caused from cupcakes, not does having diabetes necessarily lead to foot amputation. A little fact checking would have gone a long way here, NBC.

This joke caused an uproar throughout the DOC, to say the least. After Nicole, author of The We CARA Lot Blog, first brought the issue to light, in her post "You Win Some You Lose Some...But I'm Really Getting Sick Of Diabetes Jokes on T.V.", a Facebook page was created for people to show their support for diabetes awareness and their unhappiness about NBC's tasteless joke. Whether NBC responds to the outcry or not is yet to be seen.

2. MTV's "True Life"
The hit documentary aired an episode earlier this month entitled, "I Have Diabetes," in which they provided a glimpse into the lives of 3 individuals with diabetes. The show introduced us to Kristin, a troubled 20-something type 1 diabetic with colossal credit card debt and an stressed-out relationship with her mother. Through Kristin's disease, mother and daughter find a way to work together, and the audience is left feeling hopeful for Kristin's future.

We are then introduced to Matt, a college student who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an early teen, and is focussed more on the college party scene than on diabetes management. After three diabetes seizures, likely induced by vast alcohol consumption, we learn that Matt's friends are more concerned for his health than he is and we are left hoping that he can turn it around and start taking care of himself.

Finally, we meet Jen, a young pregnant woman, who has been falsely diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After a brutal pregnancy and severe battles with hyperglycemia, Jen is finally diagnosed correctly with type 1 diabetes. Sadly for Jen, the misdiagnosis and lack of available information was the fault of the healthcare system, and not herself. I feel awful for her and her experience, and only hope that she now finds the information she needs in order to maximize her health.

While some of the information was inaccurate, overall MTV did a pretty good job, and I found myself enjoying the show, rather than wanting to crawl through the television screen and throttle a producer (read: Are You There, Chelsea?). The episode can be watched in its entirety, within the US, here .

3. Paula Deen announces she has type 2 diabetes
Paula Deen, celebrity chef and host of the Food Network's "Paula's Best Dishes," announced on the Today Show in mid-January that she has type 2 diabetes and has lived with the disease for 3 years. At the same time, she also announced a partnership with diabetes drug giant Novo Nordisk.

Immediate backlash resulted from angry diabetics who feel Paula is a hyprocrite by promoting fatty, sugary foods while hiding her disease. Some feel that she is wrong to promote unhealthy food choices vital to the management of her disease, while others feel that she is capitalizing on the disease by partnering with a drug company.

Others suggest that Deen change her focus and host a whole new show about entertaining as a diabetic, and believe that this is a rare opportunity in which a household celebrity can use their appeal and recognition to eduction and advocate for diabetes, while demonstrating that type 2 diabetes is manageable. Their counterparts argue that Deen, being considerably overweight and cooking extensively with sugars and fats, is perhaps not the best spokesperson for type 2 diabetes.

My opinion? I think as long as she's presenting accurate information that is helpful to the public, and helps curb the spread of ignorance and stereotypes, then I really don't care what she looks like or what she eats. Education is always a good thing.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Blue Heel Society

If you haven't checked out this amazing diabetes advocacy organization yet, what are you waiting for?