When were you diagnosed with T1?
1985, 14 Years old
How long have you been following Dr. Bernstein's recommendations?
Are you on Multiple Daily Injections? Or do you use any devices use to help with diabetes control?
Multiple Daily Injections with a Dexcom CGM
Do you have any other health issues? How does eating low carb affect your overall health and wellbeing?
I do not have any other significant health issues other than Type 1 Diabetes. Eating Low Carb has helped me to get off of the blood glucose/insulin roller coaster and maintain more level and consistent blood glucose level which my moods will mimic and at the same time be consistently more mentally awake and alert. I rarely lack for the energy to physically perform most anything that I need to do (running, long hours at work, yard/house work, enjoy time with kids, walk dogs).
What's been the biggest positive change in your life since starting low carb?
The biggest positive change in my life since starting low carb is that I am able to with relative certainty know that my blood glucose level will remain in the normal range as long as I take the correct amount of insulin at the correct time. The amount of insulin that I take is less per day than I was taking for any meal back in my 30s and I probably take about 1/3-1/2 compared to what I was taking in the few years before low carb. I am rarely hungry and as a result no longer have a tendency to overeat as I used to. Even if I did or do (overeat) the food are such that my blood glucose level is not sent into the stratosphere (2, 3 or 400s!), but into the low-mid 100s as an extreme generally.
How does your energy level and feeling of wellness compare to before low carb?
My energy level and feeling of wellness are substantially improved over how I was previous to low-carb. I am a mechanical engineer and my ability to problem solve and thing critically has improved dramatically since starting low carb.
Do you exercise regularly? If so, tell us about what you do.
I run 5 times a week when in training for my next marathon (which is pretty much always now). I run between 25-40+ miles a week depending on where I am in training. I have completed (3) full marathons since I have converted from a standard diet to a low carb, high fat, moderate protein ketogentic diet in September of 2014 with my 4th one scheduled for the end of this week December 5th! I pulled my calf the first weekend in Novemeber (not running) which affected my training for a couple of weeks (no training). I am back running now, but it has taken me a week just to feel like I can run normal. I think it will limit my speed in this marathon, but will do whatever I must do to complete the marathon even if it is run at a slower pace than I was training at previous to the injury.
What types of foods do you eat in a typical day?
I eat (2) eggs along with bacon or sausage and coffee with heavy whipping cream (HWC) for breakfast on mornings when I train. Most mornings that I do not train it is only coffee and HWC. Lunch it normally leftovers from the evening meal the day before, or tuna or egg salad. My egg/tuna salad contains Duke's Mayo, avocado, salsa and other veggies. Dinners are curries with whatever meat we have around, any meats with sauted veggies like brussel sprouts. I love saurkraut. We roast broccoli or cauliflower. This is just a snapshot really. Love pecans, walnuts, macadamian nuts if I need a little snack. Pork rinds are good for dipping if I need that but do not snack a ton.
I do not generally drain fat when cooking anything or if I do it is to save it to cook with at a later date. I saute veggies in lard, coconut oil, butter, olive oil or the fat rendered off of the meat that I am cooking. Most entrees have rich sauces or are made into soups with rich broth. The food is very filling and extremely tasty. There is plenty of variation available.
I do not go to high end stores for my groceries. Most of my groceries are from Aldis, Walmart, the local Amish butcher or a few discount places we have local. Most non standard low carb specialty foods (like say almond flour) have sensible affordable options. Some of those foods are not even necessary for the diet but nice if you want to make foods that mimic other high carb foods like cakes or breads.
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 have a non diabetic daughter that eats low carb along with me. She has been doing it since August of this year. My wife has agreed (and I offered) that if I menu plan, and I have most anything complex prepared, she would be willing to eat low carb along with the kids. We will be transitioning to that over Christmas break. I will not dictate that they do it 100%, but we try to provide enough treats for the other (2) kids who are not low carb, that I hope they will be okay not eating "regular" food.
Have you ever considered quitting low carb and going back to the way you had been eating? Or another plan? Why?
I have not considered changing my diet since I started eating ketogenic (low carb, high fat, moderate protein). Once I started using Dr B's treatment methods, the diet and the treatment let me to such an easy and less complicated diabetic existence. Much better than the roller coaster I was on previously.
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.
I had a transition to a healthier diet in early 2014 previous to the ketogenic diet which I started following in September 2014. I found a piece of paper with me A1C previous to this transition in December 2013 that listed me "old" A1C as 7.8 and my A1C at this time as 6.6 which they listed as "good". I am 100% certain that the 6.6 which was with a restricted diet not low carb while better, had its share of lows and highs which made the 6.6 an aberration of sorts. I believe that my A1Cs were consistently in the 7.5-6.5 range pretty regularly over the years. When I was starting to follow the Dr Bernstein method, my A1C was 6.5 in July of 2015 and at my next appointment 3 months later my A1C was 5.6. The last two A1Cs are more true numbers without the extreme highs and lows from a much more consistent and controlled blood glucose level. In Dec 2013 I was 250lbs and the transition diet (Dr Oz cleansing diet) got me down to around 185-190 lbs. I am still in this general weight range for the year plus that I have been ketogenic.
What advice would you give other people with diabetes who are considering low carb/Dr. B's program?
I believe that this method of treatment and eating is the easiest to follow and allows the diabetic the most freedom. I never skipped meals before because my understanding of what I was doing and what I could do was not complete. Now I understand what my insulin doses are doing and when as well how to determine how much I need to take to maintain optimal control of my blood glucose level. If I cannot eat for some reason, it is not the end of the world. I can just wait.
Anything else that you wish to add about diabetes, Dr. B, low carb in general:
In late 2013 I started to experience slight tingling and numbness in my toes after years of being relatively unaffected by my diabetes. It scared me seriously. There is no way of knowing how and when you will be affected by complications from diabetes. I was extremely lucky that my body was able to take years of minimal control, huge doses of insulin and eating/drinking as if my diabetes was not affected by it without obvious complications until..... I have known too many diabetics who suffered with the complications common to this disease. It can happen at any age. Complications will happen unless your blood glucose level is controlled by diet and insulin in a way that keeps your highs and lows less extreme and more controllable. The huge swings in blood glucose level makes the capillaries brittle in the organs leading to the complications that diabetics to suffer and ultimately die from. Most diabetics do not see the subtle things that low carb allows you to see. Why it is necessary to give a secondary dose of insulin to cover protein eaten at meals to keep blood glucose levels from rising a few hours following a meal. How different foods affect blood glucose differently. Huge doses of insulin, huge amounts of ingested carbohydrates and elevated blood glucose levels mask all of these things and make treating and living with diabetes difficult and unpredictable. It does not need to be that way.
I had my head in the clouds for much too long with respect to my diabetes and it was only in the face of continued weight gain (after 100+ lb weight loss 10 years previous) and the starting of complications that seriously scared me into getting my diabetic life in order. After awhile I found the ketogenic diet as a way to run and train without needing tons of glucose to keep my blood glucose level from constantly bottoming out when training. It was there that I was introduced to Dr Bernstein and his book, Diabetes Solution. It is the book along with the wonderfully active and supportive Facebook group, Type1Grit, that changed my life for the better and if I have any control over it, lengthened it as well as improved the quality of it significantly.