Low Carb Profile Week 1: Susanne

For each of the next 6 weeks, we'll feature an interview with a person with Type 1 Diabetes who follows Dr. Bernstein's plan for low carb eating and diabetes management.  We're asking their diabetic history, their thoughts/feelings about eating low carb, and what changes they've seen in their lives since switching how they eat. 

Today, we are thrilled to present the first of these stories:


When were you diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes? 

October 31, 1996, at the age of 15. 

How long have you been following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations? 

A little more than a year and a half.

What devices use to help with diabetes control? ie: pump, CGM, etc.

I started off on MDI (multiple daily injections) as I started following Dr. B. I think I could have done just as good on MDI as I have on the Pump and CGM. I would give up my pump before the CGM, but I could go without both if I have to because being low carb there is a slim chance of going low.

How does eating low carb affect your overall health and wellbeing? 

Since starting this way of life I have lost weight, my hair is growing in healthier, thicker and stronger. I also sleep better. My overall wellbeing as a type 1 diabetic has become 100% better. I don't have terrible lows (below 65) or highs (above 110) more than 3% now in either direction.

What's been the biggest positive change in your life since starting low carb?

No more roller coaster rides, highs to lows and vice versa

How does your energy level and feeling of wellness compare to before low carb?  

I work out almost daily, whether it is walking, cardio, doing HIIT, or volleyball. I feel like I don't have to think about being a diabetic 24/7 anymore. 

I feel free.
— Susanne

Do you exercise regularly? If so, tell us about what you do: 

I do almost everyday. I like to get out and walk, attend bootcamp classes, I do some CrossFit classes every now and then, fitness classes, tabata, volleyball, cardio and weightlifting. There really is not much that I will not do.

Do you track your food intake online or with an app? Occasionally

What types of foods do you eat in a typical day?  

First and foremost BUTTER and avocados. I also eat eggs, cheese, HWC (Heavy Whipping Cream), freshly grated cheeses, freshly sliced meats, various proteins (grass fed beef, pork, chicken, bison, various fish), a huge assortment of vegetables, a variety of spices and a lot of other things.

My typical day is butter, eggs, sausage or bacon, cheese, and any vegetables I want to toss into the pan. Next is a salad (whatever type of vegetables that I have chopped, could be lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, zuchinni, squash, cabbage, etc. the list goes on) and I have cheese and a protein. I use a dressing that I make (oil and vinegar mostly, sometimes ranch). As for dinner, a protein of some kind and a vegetable. If I want a dessert I will make a mug cake (low carb of course) or a few blocks from a Lily's chocolate bar or some nuts.

If you have others living with you, does your whole family eat low carb? If not, does that create problems for you or them? 

I only buy the foods that I will eat. I have cleared the cupboard of all foods I will not eat or foods that hubs has specifically asked for. If or when the time arrives and I have a child, that child will follow how I eat. NO sugar, grains or processed foods.

Have you ever considered quitting low carb and going back to the way you had been eating? Or another plan? Why? 

Absolutely not. Sure in the beginning it was difficult and a pain in the @$$ (PITA), but the non roller coaster blood sugars and being in the 5% A1C club and then in the 4% club made it possible for me to live again. So no, I would not give up this healthy lifestyle.

If you're comfortable with it, please share your A1c range before and after low carb, your weight, or any other great bloodwork results you've experienced.

Before I made the lifestyle change my A1Cs were all over the place from 7s to high 9s. For the last year I have ranged from 5.1% down to 4.9% and holding steady.

What advice would you give other people with diabetes who are considering low carb/Dr. B's program?  

Just do it. You will not regret staying between the lines and feeling like a person again.

Anything else that you wish to add about diabetes, Dr. Bernstein, or low carb in general: 

Following Dr. B has been a life changer for me. Before I was led to Dr. B, I was in a dark place and wished that I could give up. I have always believed that there is a reason that we are led to the places that we are. This is one of the few decisions that I have not regretted or looked back on and asked myself, "Why did I do that?".

It is liberating to know that being a diabetic does NOT own me any longer, I am just a person who is pancreatically challenged, living life to the fullest.

Dr. B, inadvertently, saved my life.
— Susanne

This and the upcoming interviews of people following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations for low carb eating and diabetes management, are testimonials to the effectiveness of the program as outlined in the book, Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution.

If you haven't already, please read the book and follow the recommendations, as Susanne has, to achieve normal (non-diabetic) blood glucose levels and avoid the many long-term complications of diabetes related to high blood glucose numbers. 

Thank you, Susanne, for your honest and thoughtful answers! We'll be featuring a new profile every Wednesday on the diaVerge blog.  

Is there something we missed? Something you wish we had asked? If so, leave a comment below with your requests for our upcoming interviews!