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Confessions Of A Former Child With Diabetes And Unusual Eating Habits

Growing up, we had these large, potted plants in our dining room, within throwing distance from the dining room table.  (Stick with me – this is an important detail.)  The plants were big and had wide, draped leaves and they made the corner of the dining room look like a veritable jungle.

Also, these suckers were really convenient for hiding food.

When I was little, the “diabetic diet” school of thought was based on the exchange program.  This meant that my meals were structured around my calorie needs and the needs of my (then) peaking insulin doses.  An average dinner would include one meat exchange, two starch exchanges, a dairy exchange, a fat exchange, and a fruit exchange.  (Exchange, exchange, exchange.)  When I was on insulins like Regular, NPH, and Lente, I needed to consume these portions in proportion, or I would end up with a very high, or very low, blood sugar.

So my mother (bless her anecdotal-medical-degree’d heart) would carefully measure out these exchanges and that would be my dinner.  EXACTLY one meat exchange, and those two starches, etc.  She worked very hard to make sure my meals were calculated and well-balanced.

And in response, I would hide my vegetables – aka “gross things” – in the dining room plants. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Food And Migraine Headaches: Triggers Are Hard To Predict

Food-migraine

At a Harvard Medical School talk on migraine and food, a nutritionist from Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center delivered a message that people in the audience probably didn’t want to hear: “There are no specific dietary recommendations for migraine sufferers,” said Sandra Allonen. But she did have some advice to offer—and she emphasized that the connection between food and migraine is a very individual one.

Several foods have been associated with triggering migraine. None of them has been scientifically proven to cause migraines, explained Allonen, but many people report a link between eating these foods and getting a migraine. Possible migraine triggers include: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

Coffee Talk And Type 1 Diabetes

It’s been well-documented that my coffee addiction is … substantial.  Briefly on hiatus during my pregnancy, I was reunited with my beloved beverage after the baby was born, and now I’m back in the habit.

Since I work from our home office and I’m also the primary caregiver for BSparl, sleep is a hot commodity.  Actually, I don’t get to sleep much, so the coffee is very much my friend these days.  Work hard, play hard, drink much of the coffee.

The other day, I was out with the baby, running a few errands.  I had to visit the post office, the grocery store, CVS … and Dunkin Donuts.  I try to make my order sound fresh and new (versus something I say almost without thinking), and I leaned out the window to order into the drive through speaker.  (Instead of into the garbage can, which is something I’ve done more times than I’d care to admit.)

“Hi!”  Total joy.  “Can I please have a medium iced coffee with cream and two Splenda?”

“Sure thing.  Please drive up.”

So I drive up.  But when I get to the window, there’s a little bit of confusion.

“Okay, so one coffee with milk and sugar, two doughnuts, and a bagel with cream cheese?”  The boy attending the window had a bag of deliciousness in his hand.  My stomach said “YES!  YES. THOSE BELONG TO ME.”   Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Health And Life Insurance Companies Invested In Fast Food

A new article published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that U.S., Canadian, and European insurance firms hold $1.88 billion of investments in fast food companies like Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s/Arby’s Groups. Both health insurers and life insurers have substantial holdings in these companies.

A person just needs to read “Fast Food Nation” or watch the documentary “Food, Inc.” to understand the negative impact of processed foods on the health of our country.

The evidence is so compelling that the new health reform legislation is requiring fast food and chain restaurants to disclose calorie counts on their menus. Ironically, the new legislation will also add millions of customers to the health insurers. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Colorado’s Solution To Childhood Obesity: The Renegade Lunch Lady

Cecelia and I just finished watching the movie Food Inc. It is a movie worth watching.

I was upset seeing the abuse of our food chain by big food corporations. There is little respect for America’s food safety.

America’s obesity epidemic is caused, in part, by the food industry’s ability to produce cheap food. Fifty years ago, when I was at Columbia College, the solution to America’s impending food shortage was debated. The predication was the nation was going to face a food shortage in the next 50 years. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

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I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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