The rivalution – you can’t “control” blood sugar


I’m getting very vocal these days about the insanity of expecting people with diabetes to  “control” their blood sugar. I feel I’ve got the right. 44 years of daily, hourly experience, scientific and systems theory behind me, and the known and accepted unpredictability of biological systems. That’s us.

Don’t let people – your doctor, educator, spouse, anyone – tell you to control your blood sugar. Ask them what your blood sugar numbers should be, what they mean, what actions typically cause higher and lower numbers – and how to respond to the numbers you get to stay in your target range as much as you can. And if you don’t know what your target range is – ask. It’s your body, your health, your life.

If you missed it, this is WHY you CAN’T CONTROL your BLOOD SUGAR. But there’s a lot you can do to influence your numbers. And those times when they give you the finger for no good reason, with all the “right” things you’ve done, just know that’s diabetes.

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2 Best breakfasts for diabetes

A month ago I was traveling through Europe and my downfall is my love for muesli. But muesli has a million carbs. My very kind sister-in-law, who lives in The Netherlands, found a low carb muesli in the “health food” section of her supermarket, and I feasted. I decided, why not throw together a similar mix once home.

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Above my cereal all prepared. This recipe will look like a lot of work – it’s not. It just takes a few minutes preparation because I throw a lot of stuff in. But there is no cooking, baking, etc. You can also mix up a big batch at the beginning of the week; I happen to like preparing it fresh as a morning ritual. Here’s the mix before the milk is added.

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Here are the ingredients. Know that these ingredients can be changed up according to your tastes, so you can certainly leave some out or change the fruits. Just bear in mind, it’s low carb because what goes into your bowl is mostly seeds and nuts.


Amounts are not exact, but you’ll get the idea:

• spoonful of chia seeds

• spoonful of flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds)

• spoonful of hemp seeds

• spoonful of uncooked rolled oats

• handful of mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and poppy seeds

• handful of nuts

• few berries and one prune cut into little pieces

• enough salt for flavor

• 1 packet stevia

• tsp cinnamon

As for the milk, I will often add a bit of half and half, then Almond milk and then some water just to dilute it. The chia and flax seeds will want to soak up the liquid. I find this cold and crunchy cereal just perfect for a summer day – and so anti-oxidant, omega-3 nutritious.

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Above is my other great low carb breakfast, a flax seed muffin, which I’m sure I’ll revert back to when the temperature drops. Recipe here.



Understanding a life makes for more successful treatment

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I’m sharing a new treatment approach with health professionals for managing diabetes. I call it the “Flourishing Treatment Approach (FTA).” It is a powerful way to help people with diabetes not just cope with diabetes, but flourish.

I have written many articles about flourishing with diabetes, which you can easily google. One of the foundations of the FTA is to discover who your patient is and their life context. Context is so important. How we live: our daily routine, family, neighborhood, supports, what resources are available to us, what challenges we have…You may tell a person with diabetes to “do this, do that,” but if you have no idea how they live chances are you will not be successful.

I read this story below in a book I’m currently reading, Putting Stories to Work: Mastering Business Storytelling by Shawn Callahan. It drives home the point how important context is.

“In 2007, The Washington Post sponsored a little experiment. The Grammy Award–winning violinist Joshua Bell was asked to busk inside a Washington metro station to see what crowd he might draw and what money he might make.

A few days before, Bell had played in front of a sellout crowd at Boston’s Symphony Hall, with many people paying $100 for their seats, so you would imagine that he’d do pretty well in the metro.

Well, at around eight o’clock in the morning—peak commuting time—Bell opened up his violin case to catch coins and then played his heart out for 43 minutes. A total of 1097 people passed him by, and while a few tossed the odd quarter into his case, the rest didn’t even acknowledge the virtuoso performance.

The Bell experiment showed that meaning is malleable and context plays a big role in what version of a story you might hear. Two people might tell entirely different Joshua Bell performance stories, one involving a concert hall and the other a subway station.

For this reason, it helps if you listen out for a number of stories around any issues you are trying to make sense of, so that you can triangulate meaning.”

Successful diabetes management is not just about “the person.” Context has massive impact on behavior. Taking the time to learn the context within which people live and operate will help make you and your patient more successful.

Angels sitting on my shoulder


Rummaging through my top drawer this morning, that sooo needs to be cleaned out, I came across something I’ve had for decades – a pack of Angel cards. Remember those?

Each tiny card in the tiny box has an angel drawn on it and a spiritual quality written – like compassion, integrity, faith, gratitude, humility…The idea is to pick a card a day and meditate on that quality bringing it into your day.

I immediately picked a card and got Expectancy. My first thought was how could Expectancy not be selfish? Yet when I passed the card a few minutes later and saw it again, I felt my whole body lift slightly, feel more buoyant. I smiled as an automatic response. Expectancy was thrumming through me, and making me happy.

I didn’t know what to be expectant about but liked holding the feeling of expecting something good (my choice). Expecting something good makes you feel good. One could say most of our negative thoughts are merely feelings of expecting something bad.

Then I thought why not share with the husband? I brought the cards out from the bedroom, extended them to him face down and had him pick a card. He picked “Freedom.”   And of course now it makes perfect sense.

He should feel free to give me any gift of his choosing and I’ll be awaiting with joyful expectancy 😉