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So how do you make money?

Something you all probably don’t know about me is that I’m a closet personal finance nerd. I love geeking out on all things money and one of my favorite personal finance podcasts is Stacking Benjamins (don’t worry, it’s highly entertaining and you won’t learn anything!). When people call in there and ask about questions to ask when interviewing/evaluating potential financial advisors*, one they always recommend is…

“So, how do you get paid?”

In other words, “What’s your motivation?” or “What are you trying to sell me?”. I mean everyone needs to live and therefore earn a living, right? When I originally started this blog, WordPress made it super easy to turn on ad revenue, so I figured why not, all websites and blogs have them, right**? Then I saw this awesome post from Scott, the host of the Juicebox podcast (seriously, check out the Pro Tip series. It’s life changing!). 

It got me thinking about why I started blogging in the first place. When I was diagnosed with T1D, one of my first thoughts was, “I have to get back to running.” It took me a long time to find out that there were good T1 athlete resources out there. Most of what I learned initially was through self-experimentation and trial/error. Let me tell you, there were a lot of errors!

Even now, looking around, there is a lot of really good general information and rules of thumb for how to workout and keep blood sugar normal. However, the way my mind works, I want to see it in practice in real life. I’m not sure if anyone else is doing this but if so, I haven’t found them yet. So I’m offering up myself as that example for you all, because that is what I wanted when I was diagnosed (to see the “how” in practice). I don’t have it all figured out but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes, as I make them, right along with me. If I find good resources that help me, I’ll share them here in the hopes that they might help you too! 

Since that is my “mission” I’ve also realized that my mission is NOT to earn revenue from this blog. Since I have come to that conclusion, I’m removing the ads. They’re bullshit anyway and personally I hate seeing ads when I’m just trying to learn something (or anytime really). 

So all of that being said, you are probably still wondering how I make my money. Well, I work full time in human resources and I also make a little bit from my “side gig” as a licensed sports massage therapist***. In short, I don’t make money from this blog. I just hope that all of the time, effort and money that I spend on it (yes, there are some costs) allow it to become a helpful resource for someone****.

So from here on out, you won’t see ads here and if you see me talking about a product or resource you can know that it is because I’ve found them to be helpful and I’m not being paid to promote them. 

Also, if you know something that I’m missing or have a suggestion, feel free to reach out to me on social media and let me know. Again, I’m not claiming to be an expert but hopefully you’ll find that I’m pretty good at weeding through the bull and finding a few nuggets of useful information worth sharing.

* More on this here if you’re interested. 

**Even my favorite blog, https://www.mrmoneymustache.com has them. (I promise I’m not trying to convert you all into money nerds too).

***This is why I know a little bit about anatomy and kinesiology. Living with a personal trainer helps too!

****And it is quite possible that someone will actually just be me! 😉

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

Featured

Quarterly Diabetes Tracking 3/31/2020-6/20/2020

Disclaimer: I know there is some controversy regarding sharing your medical information/A1c online. In the relatively short time that I’ve been diabetic, I’ve been able to get pretty decent control over my blood sugar and A1c. Since I’m showing you all how I control my BGs during my workouts, I figure it’s only fair to also show you my big picture results for how I’m doing overall when I get my quarterly blood work done. I’m sure that some quarters will be better than others, just like some days are better than others but I believe tracking this information has allowed me to have better control. I hope that by sharing this information and allowing others to follow my data, it may inspire others to track and figure out what works for them as well. 

To be clear, I am NOT saying, do what I do and your problems will be solved*. I AM saying track and experiment and figure out what works for you. I think Chris Ruden (he is a T1 beast!) puts it perfectly in episode #201 of the Juicebox Podcast:

“There is no universal fix for an individual problem.” –Chris Ruden

With all of that said, here is my data for the 3/31/2020-6/20/2020 time frame:

HbA1c = 5.6%

(My first diabetic A1c that is in NORMAL range!!!!)

For reference: Normal (not diabetic) is 4-5.7%, Pre-diabetic is 5.7-6.4% and Diabetic is 6.5% or higher. Most endocrinologists recommend their T1 patients try to stay under 7% and when I was diagnosed, my HbA1c was 11% (Yikes!).

Blood work (personal information is redacted)

Time in Range (TIR) = 93%

Since many now consider time in range to be more important than HbA1c, I wanted to include that as well. You can achieve a “great” HbA1c number by having a lot of hypoglycemic incidents, which is actually quite dangerous. The real goal is to get as close to a normal HbA1c while avoiding hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is why many who have a CGM (like me) focus more on TIR. This quarter, according to my sensor, I was in target range for 93% of the time, and never below 50 or above 250.

I was ecstatic with my numbers this quarter and so was my endo. The first thing she asked when she saw my A1c was if I was having a lot of lows but then when she saw my CGM time in range she was thrilled. She told me to “keep doing what I’m doing.” I’ll take it! It’s a lot of work to maintain but in my opinion, your health is worth it! Keep working at it, keep experimenting, and keep educating yourself diabuddies!

Stay strong!

#BetterThanYesterday

*Although, if you’re curious to see what has worked for me, feel free to check out my Tips & Tricks page.

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

The Medtronic 670G System

When I was first diagnosed in 2017, the Medtronic 670G closed loop system was the only FDA approved closed loop system. It was the latest and greatest diabetes technology. It was so highly recommended that I of course chose this system over other options. After using it for a few years, I can honestly say there are a lot of things I like about it and there are some drawbacks too.

For some background, this system is made up of the Medtronic 670G Insulin Pump and the Guardian Continuous Glucose Monitor. A closed loop system means the CGM “talks to the pump” and the pump will adjust your basal rate to help keep your blood sugar in range.

The Positives

  • I have fewer lows with the closed loop system then I did on MDI or in manual mode on the pump.
  • It keeps me pretty stable if I don’t have time to micromanage my BGs
  • Having a sensor taught me a lot about how things affect my blood sugar. This level of knowledge has been key to my BG management strategy and great A1c levels
How to change your infusion site on the 670G (video)

The Negatives

  • The algorithm doesn’t manage the dawn phenomenon well. 
    • It is not a predictive technology, it only reacts to what your BGs are doing.
    • Since the sensor reads the interstitial fluid, not actual blood, it runs about 15 minutes or so behind your actual blood readings. This means it is 15 minutes “behind” on all reactions.
  • The Guardian sensor isn’t the most accurate on the market (but it isn’t horrible either)
  • You can only see your sensor information on the pump itself and you can’t share it with anyone else.
  • The algorithm targets a BG reading of 120, which is a bit higher than I like mine and I tend to have more highs when it is in automode than if I manage it myself.
  • To reduce basal, you only have the option of setting a temp target to 150 in automode
  • In automode, the only way to bolus is to enter the number of carbs you’re eating. It doesn’t factor in fat or protein. As you probably know, 30 g of carbs in rice, hits differently than 30 g of carbs in pizza or 30 g of carbs in a salad with salmon.
  • I’m not convinced the pump is very durable. I have had 3 insulin pumps in a two year time frame because each of the first two had critical pump errors and they had to be replaced.
    • This also means the algorithm needed to “learn me” all over again with each replacement. Very frustrating!
How to change your Guardian sensor (video)

Even though there are more negatives than positives on my list, the positives still outweigh the negatives in terms of how much weight they hold.  When automode isn’t effective, I take it out of automode and manage blood sugar myself.  It’s similar to having any other pump/CGM (that isn’t looping). Also, for my friends on MDI, I prefer a pump because I can micro-dose and therefore micro-correct (small inputs=small mistakes). I started on MDI and the two times my pump failed and I had to go back to it while waiting for the new pump to come in. I’ll personally never go back to MDI unless I don’t have another option. MDI works for some though, so I’ll never knock something that works for someone. 

Final verdict: Good enough for now. There is a lot to be said for fewer lows and a somewhat hands off approach. If those are things you value, this could be a decent option. Also be on the lookout for the next version of this system (hopefully this year!). Rumor has it that they fixed a lot of the issues with this one in the new model.

Scott (and Jenny) from the Juicebox Podcast also did a whole episode on this system. Check it out here for even more on this!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/8/2020- Run

Easy 5k

Family Run Time

  • 6:08 am, BG: 141, Start run
  • 6:39 am, BG: 106, End run
    • 7:03 am, BG: 80, 1/2g carb
  • 7:09 am, BG: 78, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Marty was going into work a bit later than normal today so we decided to go for a family run this morning. It was foggy, humid and hot but still a lot of fun. With all of the extra stress and chaos from the moving process, we all needed this one*!

I didn’t do anything special to manage my blood sugar before the run since it was another quick one this morning. I carried some jelly belly jelly beans (1g carb each), just in case but didn’t use them on the run. Towards the end of the run and just after, I started to drop pretty quickly but my numbers were still in a good place so I waited a minute to see what it would do. Around 7:03 am, I saw I was still dropping (but more slowly) so I had 1 smartie candy (1/2g carb) to prevent a low and avoid a spike before breakfast. I generally try not to drop below 70 but spiking before even a low carb breakfast could send me sky high really fast. 78, I’m good with though! Time to pre-bolus and eat! Happy hump day all!

*Yes, the move has been stressful for Miles too! Most of his toys are packed, lots of strange people have been in and out of the house and he has an irrational fear of cardboard boxes (which are everywhere right now)!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

7/7/2020- Run

Quick Mile

with Miles

  • 7:09 am, BG: 126, Start run
  • 7:19 am, BG: 135, End run
  • 7:33 am, BG: 143, 2.1 U correction
  • 7:49 am, BG: 151, 30 Minutes Post Workout
  • 8:19 am, BG: 137, 60 Minutes Post Workout

So with my minimal number of daily workout posts recently, I feel like it’s time I mention why I’ve been too busy to post (but not too busy to workout, of course). Marty and I are moving to a new state. The past few weeks have been full of finishing up our responsibilities for our current jobs, selling our house, making arrangements for living in our new town, and packing, of course. This means quick, intense workouts because they are efficient and don’t take a ton of time. Today, that meant taking Miles for a quick one mile run. We’ll also go on walks throughout the day to keep him occupied and burn some energy.

Since it was just a quick run, I didn’t do anything special to manage my blood sugar. The run today wasn’t even enough to knock back the dawn phenomenon. When I continued to spike post-run, I gave myself a nice sized correction and breakfast pre-bolus. The game plan recently has been, “let automode handle it” so I can focus on more pressing priorities. This means I’m running a bit higher than normal, closer to averaging 120. I’ll be interested to see how these few week effect my next A1c! It’s not perfect technology but when it works, it sure can come in handy! There is definitely a benefit to being able to focus my attention on other things and allow my pump to keep me in range. 🙂

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

6/28/2020-HIIT

Lower Body

+ Abs

  • 7:57 am, BG: 100, Start Workout
    • 2 mile run
    • 50 Kettlebell swings
    • 50 Sandbag walking lunges
  • 8:21 am, BG: 120, 0.2 U Correction
    • 25 TRX Pike to knee tucks
    • 1 mile run
  • 8:50 am, BG: 131, 1.0 U Correction
    • 25 Kettlebell swings
    • 25 Sandbag walking lunges
    • 15 TRX Pike to knee tucks
    • 0.5 mile run
    • 15 Kettlebell swings
    • 15 Sandbag walking lunges
    • 10 TRX Pike to knee tucks
    • 0.5 mile run
    • 1 Rep push up challenge, 90 seconds
    • 0.5 mile run
  • 9:13 am, BG: 178, 1.3 U Correction & Pre-bolus
    • 0.3 mile walk
  • 9:23 am, BG: 175, End Workout
  • 9:50 am, BG: 135, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Today I pulled from a few different workouts, picked Marty’s brain and made this one up. I wanted some legs, abs and running incorporated. It was a good one and it was hot outside so the running and lunges were brutal! If you look at the photo above, you may notice that I did some extra running and walking today that I hadn’t originally planned at the beginning of my workout. That was 100% blood sugar related today.

Speaking of blood sugar, if you look at the first pump picture you can see one of the challenging things with automode. Last night we had guests over (masked and socially distanced) and I had three alcoholic beverages (with about 6g carb total) in the evening. Alcohol can lower blood sugar for up to 24 hours so a workout after a night of drinking can be a bit tricky. You can see my nice steady 70-100 overnight line and you can also see that my pump (targeting a BG of 120) didn’t give me any basal insulin for hours. On one hand I didn’t go low but the lack of basal combined with the dawn phenomenon was no match for the cardio included in my workout today.

I didn’t eat anything during my workout but my blood sugar steadily rose throughout today. So much so that I gave myself a few corrections and added in some extra running and walking. I started off pretty conservatively with my corrections because it was early in the workout and I was at a good number although trending up. When I was further into my workout, I noticed my BGs were still rising quickly and I was planning on 10g of carbs for breakfast so I did a more aggressive correction. Then towards the end of my workout when I realized that wasn’t going to be enough, I added in a mile of running and a 0.3 walk with the pup and corrected again and added a bit extra to pre-bolus breakfast. You can see in the last pump picture that it worked pretty well.

I honestly hate how I feel when my BGs are that high but as long as they aren’t elevated for a long period of time, I don’t stress about it. Just adjust, correct and keep it moving!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Low Carb Biscuits

(Or “muffins” if you’re talking to Marty)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c Almond Flour
  • 1 TBSP Baking powder
  • 1 TBSP Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 c Two Good 2g yogurt
  • 4 TBSP Margarine/Butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 c Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the eggs, yogurt and butter. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.
  4. Mix in the cheddar cheese until completely incorporated. The batter will be thick.
  5. Scoop batter into the muffin tin, about 1/4 c of batter in each until all batter is used. If desired, you can top the batter with a little more garlic and cheese. Firmly tap the pan on the counter so the dough settles into the muffin mold.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and tops are golden.
  7. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly before serving or cool completely and store for later. Enjoy!

Notes:

You can also cut them in half horizontally and use them to make sliders. I’ve used them with chicken/pork BBQ and breakfast sandwiches. Feel free to use your imagination! Also, pro-tip when it comes to cheese, always shred it yourself! It is a bit more work but tastes so much better!

Nutrition:

1 biscuit has roughly 140 calories, 3.8g carbs, 12g fat and 6g protein. This is an estimate and based off my entry of the ingredients into My Fitness Pal.

Looking for more recipes? Check out my T1 Recipe page here!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

6/25/2020-Strength

Legs + Back + Abs

  • 6:31 am, BG: 126, Start strength
    • Warm up
      • 0.5 mile run
      • 50 jumping jacks
      • 0.5 mile run
    • Block 1: all exercises 3 x through
      • 1 min Sandbag back squat
      • 1 min Sumo Squat to high raise w/ kettlebell
      • 30 secs Jump lunges
    • Block 2: all exercises 3 x through
      • 1 min Seated row w/ resistance band
      • 1 min TRX T & Y
      • 5 Pull ups
    • Block 3: all exercises 3 x through
      • 1 min Stir the pot
      • 1 min Reverse crunch
      • 1 min Palms to elbows
  • 7:20 am, BG: 118, End strength, Automode exit
  • 7:38 am, BG: 120, 1 U correction
  • 7:50 am, BG: 151, Start walk
  • 8:05 am, BG: 152, End Walk
  • 8:35 am, BG: 122, 30 mins post workout, Start automode

Today Marty made me a strength workout. It was a good one that I’m sure I’ll be feeling tomorrow! The workout itself was pretty uneventful and my BG management seemed to be going well without any food or adjustments. After the workout, I took it out of automode to get my basal going again and since I was still trending down, I didn’t make any corrections. I was planning a low carb/high protein breakfast so I didn’t want to bolus too early for that*.

At 7:38, I saw my BGs starting to trend up so I gave myself a unit to prevent a post workout spike and have a bit more insulin flowing for breakfast. Then, about 30 mins after my workout, BGs started to climb and fast! Since my insulin wouldn’t be kicking in until about 8:08 (30 mins after injection), I decided to take Miles for a quick walk to stop the spike in it’s tracks. Marty, the saint that he is, tagged along too. “When that BG number reads it’s time to put in the work, that means it’s time to work…NO EXCEPTIONS.” By the time we finished our walk, the insulin was kicking in and my numbers started to steadily come back to where I like them and I was ready for breakfast!

*Usually I pre-bolus for carbs but bolus for protein/fat while I eat or just after.

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

6/23/2020- Run + Yoga

Shakeout Run

& Stretch

  • 6:10 am, BG: 118, Start run
  • 6:20 am, BG: 123, End Run, Automode exit & 0.6 U Correction
  • 6:24 am, BG: 123, Start yoga
    • 6:40 am, BG: 113, Automode start
  • 6:44 am, BG: 113, End yoga
  • 7:15 am, BG: 95, 30 Minutes Post Workout

Today I was feeling a bit sore from my workout on Monday* but I knew I needed to do something to get the blood flowing a bit. I landed on a quick shakeout run and yoga. It was great, quick and exactly what my body needed this morning. I really felt the damage I did yesterday while stretching but you have to break the muscles down in order to build them back up. It was definitely what I would consider “good pain” (as opposed to “injury pain”).

Since it was a quick workout, my BG management was pretty simple. No food during the workout at all, it was completely fueled by the dawn phenomenon. I let automode pretty much do it’s thing. I did take it out of automode** and gave myself a correction post run I also left it out of automode for a few minutes to make sure it didn’t stop my basal too soon. I had my quarterly endocrinologist visit and a bunch of meetings scheduled this morning so I put it back in automode pretty quickly since I didn’t want to have to micromanage anything this morning. That is the benefit of automode is it will keep me in pretty decent range even if I go mostly hands off.

*Monday: Bert…see photo below for workout. This was a great body weight workout if you don’t have any equipment. Also the WOD_roulette Instagram account has some fun stuff if you want to check it out!

**Since I was close to 120 (automode’s target BG) and trending down, it would have stopped my basal insulin and caused a rise after my run. It’s all about timing!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

6/20/2020-HIIT

AMRAP

As Many Rounds As Possible

  • 6:46 am, BG: 131, Walk with Miles
  • 8:06 am, BG: 103, Start Workout
    • 10 mins AMRAP
      • 5 TRX T & Y raises
      • 10 Tricep push ups
      • 15 Resistance band low rows
  • 8:25 am, BG: 122, 1.0 U Correction & Pre-bolus
    • 10 mins AMRAP
      • 100 Jumping jacks
      • 20 Jump lunges
      • 100 Toe taps on step
    • 5 mins Abs (slow movements)
      • 1 min Bicycle crunches
      • 1 min Stir the pot
      • 1 min Spiderman planks
      • 1 min Half crunch flutter kicks
      • 1 min Half crunch scissor kicks
    • Farmer Carry Progression (do not drop weights for entire set)
      • Overhead hold to fail
      • Front hold to fail
      • Standard carry to fail
  • 8:55 am, BG: 132, End Workout
  • 9:25 am, BG: 98, 30 Minutes Post Workout

This morning, was a bit unusual. Marty and I didn’t have a specific workout planned ahead of time so we took Miles for a quick walk then sat down for a cup of coffee to plan our workout. We landed on a few blocks of AMRAP and finished it with a progressive farmer’s carry*. I also took a few swings at the punching bag (that we still need a stand for) just for fun**. Quick, tough, to-the point and on with our day. We’ve got some big life changes in the very near future that have been taking up a significant amount of time (hence the fewer daily workout posts). More details on that situation in a future post!

My BG management strategy this morning was “watch and adjust”. The walk with Miles knocked the dawn phenomenon back into place. Then it started to spike as I started my work out. This could have been due to continued effect of the dawn phenomenon, coffee, the slight drop in basal that automode gave me after our walk or this intensity of the work out (or all of the above!). Since it was a short workout and I was planning on eating soon after, I gave myself a pretty significant correction to try to stay close to my ideal 70-120 target range. My timing ended up being a super close call since I hit 70 (lower end of normal) before my breakfast carbs/protein (9g carb, 31g protein) started kicking in. Overall, it was a good morning and I’m off to conquer the day. Happy Saturday Everyone!

*Totally stole this idea from Ben Greenfield for anyone that follows him. He is a bit out there (okay he is really out there) but he has some interesting thoughts on health and fitness for those who like to go down the rabbit hole.

**Punching the bag is my new way of combating a high BG. It gets my heart racing and helps with the anger that sometimes comes over me when my BGs go high. So much fun!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

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