Thursday 31 May 2012

Diabetes, blogging, new opportunities, and a May mini-vacay

I still can't believe the month of May is over already. It really seems like April was just yesterday. There was so much going on in May that the days literally flew by for me.

Why so busy? On May 1st I decided to undertake a new project and start promoting the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge. It's something I had been considering since first trying, and falling in love with, their signature shakes in March, but a lack of time had held me back until now.

Now that the month is over, the only thing I regret is not starting sooner. Not only do I love the program, the company, and the people, I have had incredible personal success with the products. To date I have lost 8 pounds, taken 14 minutes off my half marathon race time, and feel better than I have in years! I am sleeping better, have way more energy, and feel an increased overall sense of well being. Add to that the fact that I now have a pretty decent supplementary source of income for me and my family, and it's easy to see why I am so excited to share this opportunity with others!

Oh, and the final bonus? After only a month with the company, my husband and I qualified for their BMW program, which means that ViSalus will now pay me to drive a black, silver, or green BMW. I can pick any model, new or used, buy or lease, and the company will contribute $600 per month towards the car payment.

I am so thankful for this incredible opportunity and am looking forward to growing with this cutting edge corporation!

Monday 28 May 2012

Junior Cup Diabetes

Do you know a child with type 1 diabetes who plays soccer and is 8-12 years old?

Medtronic is proud to bring the Junior Cup Diabetes International Football Tournament to Lausanne, Switzerland this summer. Children with type 1 diabetes, between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, will have the opportunity to represent their country by competing in the soccer tournament from August 22-27, 2012. 

In collaboration with various other international corporations in the diabetes industry, such as Lilly Diabetes and Bayer HealthCare, Medtronic is proud to bring the 6th annual Junior Cup Diabetes to Switzerland this summer. Teams from 12 countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary, France, Italy, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom) will be competing in the tournament and all participants will have the chance to meet soccer World Champion (1998) Christian Karembeu, who is the ambassador for the event, and other sport legends like Bas Van De Goor (Olympic Gold Medal Dutch Volleyball Team 1996), who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2003.

For complete tournament registration criteria and information, visit the tournament website at:, or to apply for the Canadian team, visit

Saturday 26 May 2012

Saturday Shake-Up ~ May 26th

Pina Colada Shake
8oz coconut water
6 lg pieces diced pineapple
2 scoops ViSalus shake mix
4 ice cubes

Combine everything in the blender, blend and enjoy!

Nutritional Info: 175 Calories, 29g carbs, 6g fiber, 1g fat, 14g protein

To find out more info about the 90 Day Challenge, check out my challenge website!

Friday 25 May 2012

What is the Challenge?

The Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge is a challenge to make your health a priority for 90 days. You decide what your personal challenge will entail. For example, you might want to lose weight; you might want to increase muscle mass; you might want to improve athletic performance; or you might simply want to get more balanced nutrition. Whatever your personal goal, the Body by Vi Challenge will help you stay on track, be accountable, and, most importantly, reach your goal, by providing the tools you need to be successful.

How do they do this? By providing you with amazing products that are easy and fun to use, inexpensive, and effective. And if that's not enough, they are offering $25,000,000 a year in free product, prizes, and vacations. With 3000 people joining the challenge every day, the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge is the number 1 weight loss and fitness challenge in North America. 

I started my 90 day challenge just over 2 months ago, using the Core Kit. My goal was to improve my running speed and ensure balanced nutrition. So far I have lost 8 pounds and 3.5 inches and taken 14 minutes off my half-marathon race time. I sleep better, have more energy, and feel absolutely incredible. Those who know me, know I take my health very seriously. I would never recommend a program and product unless I was absolutely positive it would help you. And this one will change your life.

For more info, watch the short video below, then check out my website, or contact me at

Wednesday 23 May 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Diabetes Camp Time

It's almost that time of year already: diabetes camp!! This will be Dylan's third year at Camp Kakhamela, a beautiful camp located on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

For anyone interested in attending Camp Kakhamela, I believe there are still a few spaces available for the first session, running in early July. Visit the Canadian Diabetes Association website for more info.

Sunday 20 May 2012

My Hero ~ D Blog Week, Day 7

Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”.  It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3.  It might be a fabulous endo or CDE.  It could be a d-celebrity or role-model.  It could be another DOC member.  It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??

If you read my blog regularly, you know this one is a no-brainer. My hero is my son, Dylan. He is the ultimate trooper, the ultimate tough guy, the ultimate warrior. Like the thousands of other children with type 1 diabetes, he has the "invisible disease"; the "everything looks okay on the outside, but inside it's a roller coaster" disease. Type 1 kids are tough. Period. And my son is no exception. Between the constant finger pokes, infusion set changes, syringe injections, carb counts, adjustments, and doctors visits, type 1 kids endure a lot. And they're forced to be grown-ups way earlier than they should be. Why? Because they have to. Do they complain? No, they deal with it.

A couple of years after Dylan was diagnosed, I remember asking myself if maybe he was meant to fill this role. And in no way do I mean that he was meant to live a life of finger pokes, injections and carb counting; god forbid, no one should ever have to endure what a type 1 diabetic endures every day. But there is something about the spirit of a type 1 child that shows everyone he/she can handle it.  It's a strength, independence, and will that is almost incomparable with other kids. It's almost indescribable.

Do I know a hero? Yeah. I see one every day. And I'm proud to call him my son.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Saturday Shake-Up ~ May 19th

Another week of amazing shakes; it's hard to pick one favorite, but I think this is it:

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie
6 oz nonfat milk
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp graham cracker crumbs
2 oz fat free cream cheese
2 scoops ViSalus shake mix
4 ice cubes

Combine everything into the blender, blend, and enjoy!

Nutritional Info: 269 Calories, 33g carbs, 6.4g fiber, 6g fat, 20g protein

To find out more info about the 90 Day Challenge, check out my challenge website!

Friday 18 May 2012

What They Should Know ~ D Blog Week, Day 5

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?” Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

1) Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is NOT caused from eating too much sugar, too little activity, or poor lifestyle choices. It is NOT hereditary (though there may be a genetic factor involved), nor it is contagious. There is nothing anyone could have done to prevent it, and there is nothing that will make it easier, better, or dormant. It is random, incurable, and deadly if not managed well.

2) It is all encompassing. It takes a colossal amount of time, energy, money, and sanity, to effectively manage diabetes. So if it seems like I talk about diabetes a lot, it is because we have lived with it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for 6 and a half years. 

3) It can wreak havoc on my child's body. Lows cause my son weakness, sweats, shakes, dizziness, headaches, and, if untreated, can lead to seizure, coma, or death. Highs in Dylan cause swelling, extreme thirst, nausea, fatigue, and headache. Possible long term side effects include kidney failure, blindness, leg amputation, heart problems, and gum disease. So even though he looks amazingly healthy right now, only he knows what is going on inside his body at any given time.

4) My kid is tough. Really really really tough. He has poked his finger to check his blood sugar level over 14,000 times, received over 2,200 insulin injections via syringe, and had more than 500 infusion set changes. That is a LOT of needles. But where Dylan is really tough is in spirit. He believes in himself, he knows he can do anything he wants, and he does not let diabetes stand in his way. So yes, he has a serious medical condition, but don't you dare count my son out of anything, or ever assume for a minute that he can't do something because of diabetes. He CAN and he WILL prove you wrong, time and time again.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device ~ D Blog Week, Day 4

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

If we're talking all out fantasy, the my dream is a no-brainer. I want a cure. Plain and simple, no fancy bells and whistles, just a straight up cure. Technology is great, and I love Dylan's pump, but a cure would be so much nicer.

If we're talking technological device that will help Dylan to have better diabetes management then a closed loop system is what I want. Medtronic, one of the world's leading diabetes management companies, is currently in the process of designing a closed loop system. What is a closed loop system, you might ask? In a nutshell, it is a diabetes management tool that operates without requiring active input from the user. It is a insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system that, based on a series of preset algorithms and user specific data, delivers and adjusts insulin automatically. Essentially, it is a machine that does what the pancreas is supposed to do, but doesn't, in a type 1 diabetic.

Are we close to this kind of technology? Not really, but we're on our way. The Medtronic VEO, available in Canada and the United Kingdom, is an insulin pump and CGM system with a built-in low glucose suspension feature. This means that if the user's blood glucose level falls below a pre-set threshold, the pump will automatically suspend insulin delivery for 2 hours, possibly preventing hypoglycemia. The 2 hour suspension can be overridden by the user too, restoring the pump to regular delivery with the press of a button. To read more about the Medtronic VEO, click here. And to find out more about when a similar system may be available in the United States, click here.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Poke Poke ~ D Blog Week, Day 3

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

I opened yesterday's post with a small of things I felt I could do better, in terms of diabetes care. Today I'm picking one to share in more detail: Testing. 

For the most part, we are pretty good when it comes to testing blood glucose. But we're far from perfect. 
  • Testing before meals and snacks: (almost) always. 
  • Testing when feeling low: most of the time (sometimes we treat symptoms first) 
  • Testing before sports/exercise: most of the time
  • Testing during sports/exercise: sometimes
  • Testing after sports/exercise: sometimes
  • Testing when feeling ok and not about to eat: rarely

When I hear about people with diabetes who test their blood 12+ times per day, I think wow, that's commitment. Should we be doing that? Probably. Is what we're doing working for us though? For the most part. Is there room for improvement? Always.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Teach a Man to Fish ~ D Blog Week, Day 2

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well! 

One perfect thing. Hmm. To be honest, when I first read this topic I thought of all the things I don't do perfectly; all the things I could do BETTER. I'm human, I make mistakes. Even when it comes to diabetes care for my son. 

Sometimes I forget to take a tester when we leave the house. We test a lot but could always test more. I'm not bang-on every time when guessing carbs (though I am pretty darn close most of the time, thank you very much). I let the infusion set go an extra day if it looks good and is still working properly. I tend to over-treat lows. I'm scared to bolus a high bg in the middle of the night out of fear that Dyl will get too low. I hold my breath when I enter his room to check a nighttime bg and I don't release it until I know he's still breathing.

Could I do better? Definitely. But there is one thing I have done very well; the one thing I really pride myself on when it's comes to diabetes. And that's teach. I've taught Dylan how to take care of the majority of his own diabetes care because I can't be there every minute. I oversee everything, of course, but for the most part, he's got it. He does his own tests. He counts his own carbs (sometimes better than I do). He is the master of his pump and knows its ins and outs as if it's a part of his own body. He can change his own infusion sets, though he prefers not to. He treats his own highs and lows. And he knows when to ask for help. 

The most powerful tool I've given him, however, is the belief and understanding that diabetes does not define him. It is a part of him, but not all of him. He can do anything he wants, eat anything he wants, be anything he wants. Diabetes has not, does not, and will not, EVER, stand in his way.

Monday 14 May 2012

Friendship Matters ~ D Blog Week, Day 1

It's Diabetes Blog Week again, and it couldn't have come at a more needed time for me. Thanks to a very busy schedule lately, and after April's HAWMC, I needed a little more time in the 3D world. Diabetes Blog Week is the perfect way for me to jump back in!

Today's topic: It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today! 

The act of blogging itself opened up a whole new world for me. So many others out there who, like me, have something to share about their life with diabetes. Together we form this incredible, understanding, and supporting network referred to as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community). And while we share a few common goals, we are comprised of many voices. In fact, I read and follow so many great blogs, it's hard to pick just one favorite, but I will.

Fellow Canadian and BC resident Sherry is mom to two girls, one of whom has type 1 diabetes, and blogs over at Jenna's Pet Monkey. I love reading her posts and you will too. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting Sherry in real life last month, when we happily discovered, after reading each other's Facebook status updates, that our kids were going to be at their quarterly DEC clinic appointment at the same time. And while we didn't get nearly enough to time to chat, it was awesome to finally meet this witty writer face to face!

For a full list of all the D-Blogs I follow, check out my blog roll to the left.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Saturday Shake-Up ~ May 12th

Beginning today, I have decided to run a little weekly feature on my blog entitled "Saturday Shake-up." Each Saturday, I will post my favorite 90 Day Challenge shake recipe of the week. For info on the 90 Day Challenge itself, check out the "90 Day Challenge" tab on this blog, or visit my challenge website.

So without further ado, here is the first shake-up recipe!

Banana Avocado Smoothie
1 fresh banana
1/2 fresh avocado
8 oz nonfat milk
2 scoops ViSalus shake mix
4 ice cubes

Toss everything into the blender, blend away and enjoy!

Nutritional Info: 232 Calories, 38g carbs, 11.9g dietary fiber, 6g fat, 22g protein.

Friday 11 May 2012

Diabetes Advocates

So I opened my inbox this morning to find an email from Diabetes Advocates stating, "Your application has recently been approved by the membership committee." Yippee!!

What is Diabetes Advocates? They are a "collective of individuals and organizations that offer expertise, resources, and support to those touched by diabetes. We believe that connecting with others living with and caring for diabetes, and providing emotional and anecdotal support, goes hand-in-hand with the support of a healthcare provider."

What do they do? "[They] help people who have diabetes and their loved ones realize that they are not alone. [They] help the diabetes community by sharing [their] personal experiences, spreading the word about diabetes news and treatment options, and helping to inspire a dialog between a diabetes patient and their medical team. [They] accomplish this through diabetes blogs, diabetes social communities, videos, radio shows, books, newsletters, and live events."

In 2011, the Diabetes Advocates collective reached more than 6,000,000 people touched by diabetes. 

Applications are accepted each spring. For more information, check out their website.

Now I get to sport this stylin' badge on my blog too!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Diabetes Superfood

The last week has seen some insanely busy activity around here and I am so excited to share some incredible news with my readers! What I started as a small health change for myself has become a huge benefit for Dylan.

About a month a half ago I signed up to begin the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge. I received my shake mix and faithfully made my yummy shakes every morning. Within a few days I noticed how much better I was feeling. I had more energy, was sleeping more soundly, and had a significantly more positive outlook on life. Soon after I noticed I was running further and faster, and had lost the few stubborn pounds I had been trying to shed for months. And most importantly, I hadn't had a single hypoglycemic episode since starting the challenge. That's pretty amazing considering I usually have 4 or 5 per week.

I sat down and thoroughly read the nutritional information about the product. I did some research on the company history and management, and read numerous articles and blogs written by others that has experience with this product. Everything was positive. This stuff really works.

And then the light bulb went on. If this product was making me feel so fabulous, what if I gave it to Dylan? It says "diabetes friendly" on the bag, but what does that really mean? So I made Dylan a shake one morning (with the suggested child serving size) and we monitored his blood sugar afterwards. We tested prior to the shake, and his pump delivered insulin based on his current blood sugar, iob, and the carbs he was about to ingest. We tested every 10 minutes for 2 hours after drinking the shake and the results spoke for themselves. No big spike, not even a medium spike. This product resulted in almost no change in his blood sugar at all.

So what is it? The nutritional shake mix is a powder substance that is added to a minimum of water or milk. But the best way to take it is in a smoothie, which is how Dylan loves it. His first shake consisted of 1 scoop of shake mix, 8 ounces of skim milk, 1/2 a large banana, and 1/2 dozen medium fresh strawberries. Total carbs without the shake mix would have been 33 grams, including 3.2 grams of dietary fiber, leaving 29.8 grams net carbs. It also would have had 1 gram of fat and 167 calories.

The shake mix, per child sized serving, adds the following benefits: 6 grams of easily digestible protein, 2.8 of fiber, probiotics, and 30% of your recommended daily needs of many vitamins and minerals. Plus, it has only 45 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and only 1 carb!

What does that mean for a type 1 or type 2 diabetic? It means someone like Dylan can actually enjoy a fruit smoothie without having to deal with the super spike in blood sugar that would usually follow, because the high protein slows down the release of glucose (from the fruit) into the bloodstream. This means that the glucose is released steadily over about a 2 hour period, instead of all at once 15 minutes after ingesting. Not to mention the fiber makes him full for a while and the vitamins and minerals and helping his body stay at its optimal condition. Finally, the product is gluten free, lactose free, contains a soy based protein (no animal products), is low sodium, and costs only 75 cents per child size serving. This is something that we will continue to use in our household for a long time to come.

Questions? Leave me a comment or send me a message and I'd be happy to answer! Or check out this website for more info: Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Diabetes Blog Week is back!

Quick announcement: Diabetes Blog Week is back for its third year! Bloggers from throughout the diabetes community will share their thoughts and ideas on preset topics during the week of May 14-20.

For full info and to sign-up, visit Karen Graffeo's blog, Bitter~Sweet