Our Friday #DBlogWeek topic is one I find really fun – Diabetes Life Hacks. Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes, everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel ofProbably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)
As a non-insulin injecting type 2 diabetic, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of tricks to share since my diabetes management is not all that complicated. Whatever few tricks I have, I hope some of you find them useful.
Exercise plays a major role in my diabetes management. Those who have read some of my posts will know that exercise plays a major role not just in my diabetes management but in my life and sanity in general. By running and keeping myself fit, I keep a lid on diabetes. Even then, I need motivation to peel myself off the couch. My tricks in this regard can be found in this post about motivating myself to run.
In addition, I have found the following to be valuable in dealing with diabetes:
1. I wear skinny jeans and fitted clothes. I find this to be very effective in resisting high carb foods which are almost always also high in calories. It’s also effective in keeping me moving.
2. I treat myself to 75% chocolate, usually after dinner. Knowing that I can have a treat that doesn’t raise my BG makes it easier to resist high carb foods.
3. I share dessert with someone, usually my husband. I can have a treat while being kind to my BG and without overeating. Plus, sharing the fun does not halve it, but doubles it.
4. I get smart at all-you-can-eat occasions and parties. I use small plates. I look at all the dishes first, then decide which ones I cannot live without. I do not stack food on my plate so that if I want to eat more, then I have to go back to the buffet table. I eat slowly and talk to my dining companion.
5. I use chopsticks. Regardless of my late grandfather’s claims that he ate faster with chopsticks than with a spoon and a fork, chopsticks slow me down, which gives my brain time to hear my stomach shouting “I’m full, I’m full.”
6. I have hot soup before eating anything else. Hot soups quickly satisfy my grumbling stomach so I don’t have to stuff myself.
7. I move for 10 minutes. When I do not feel like exercising, I get myself to walk or dance for 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes, nothing more. If I’m really tired, then I stop after 10 minutes. But most of the time, 10 minutes is all it takes to get my body moving and the next thing I know an hour has gone by.
8. I keep myself busy. To rehash an old proverb, idle time is diabetes’ playground. The more time I have on my hand, the more time I have to think of diabetes complications, wallow in self-pity, get rid of boredom by eating (of course I’ll still be bored, except with higher BG) and contemplate all sorts of conspiracy theories against diabetics – all in all not very good use of my time. I’m better off keeping my mind off diabetes by doing something productive.
9. I use the alarm in my watch and phone. I sometimes forget to take metformin or to do a post-meal BG test, especially when I’m preoccupied with something. But the beep beep beep of my watch and phone alarm systems remind me of what I need to do.
10. I use VESPA. It’s a sports supplement which has done wonders for my long runs. I give credit to VESPA for enabling me to complete my most recent half-marathon without cramping. It is also kind to my BG because it’s not high carb.
What else? Right now, I can’t think of anything more to add to the list. I can’t believe I even had 10 tips to share. I’m sure the list will expand as I read the tips from other diabetic bloggers.