Everyone has at least one thing that is their favorite “thing”.
In fact, I’d bet that most people have a favorite item that they use for different parts of life. When I think of all my favorite items, most of them have relevance to how much easier or better they make my life. As diabetes is a part of day-to-day life, I realize a lot of the things I like are also there because they work well with my personal diabetes strategy.
I’ve found the following things over several years and the ones on this list are here because in the long haul they continue to have relevance to my needs or to the needs of all the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with for navigating diabetes management.
Here are a few of my favorite things!
Athletic pants/leggings with pockets on the legs. No particular brand, although some are sturdier than others. I love these because it means I don’t have to have pockets or a jacket or a bag. I can put my phone and even a snack in these pockets and head out the door.
While I have not tried many of the T1D-style clothing options noted on this site, it is a good list of adaptive designers for clothes and accessories for those with diabetes. T1D designers.
I wouldn’t run or exercise without one of the following items in use when leggings are just too warm to wear. These wonderful bands clip around your waist or upper hips and are meant to carry a bunch of stuff without the issue of being bulky or moving while you are running/walking/biking/playing. I also never remove my medical alert ID bracelet and encourage everyone to wear some type of ID.
Allbirds -I walk A LOT during my day and I spend a good portion of my day on my feet at my standing desk with a treadmill underneath. These are comfortable, and breathable and have never caused a blister when worn without socks
Balega Hidden Comfort No-show OR Blister Resist Running Socks – cushioned bottoms, breathable top, and no blisters make these my favorite running sock of all time. I always get a new pair to have on race day too!
Low Carb Bun Recipe – when you want to have some bread, but don’t want to deal with the potential rise in glucose, this bun recipe really hits the mark. Gluten-free, easy to make, tasty, and very nice for BG control. You can add seasonings to make this savory as well as a bit sweet (like cinnamon)!
Oatly Ice cream, Cado ice cream – dairy free and yummy – these make a great option outside of real ice cream. I have found they also have a lower impact on my BG, especially the Cado brand which comes in a great Chocolate flavor.
Lily Chocolate chips – such a great way to enjoy chocolate in a treat without the sugar hit!
Waterloo or Spindrift sparkling water – great flavor without any added color or carb.
Chai Rooibos tea – best for a good “treat” at night without any hit to glucose and no caffeine
Measuring tool that is my favorite for foods that don’t have a label – A kitchen scale is a must for me. I love this one from Eat Smart Products that allows you to use carb factors to get a more precise carb count for the portion of food you want to eat.
Gluconfidence – Many ways to treat a low, but when you want it to work fast, this is one of the best options I’ve found recently. A great liquid glucose without artificial colors or flavors in a recloseable bottle worth 15g of fast-acting glucose. Started by a man with type 1 who realized the options available were not working well and introduced too many artificial ingredients into his body. I just started using these recently and can say they work faster than most other items I’ve tried with the bonus of not being “artificial” and a light flavor too!
Products that provide less intrusive management
Glowcose – For a quick way to know that all is in target with glucose, but no alarms, beeps or numbers to look at, this product is a great visual without the intrusion of looking at a device. It provides a color that corresponds with a glucose value and as glucose moves the color of the globe changes. My family loves it and enjoys the visual without a value – especially nice for my kids who know what the colors mean without so much info to pay attention to.
Smart Watch – Fitbit Versa 2 is what I use. I love that I can view my data from CGM and the IOB from Loop all on one app in a trendline. Easy to see on my wrist vs having to open up my phone to look at an app. I love to be able to set alert ranges for the watch to vibrate based on high or low values. The vibrate function wakes me up at night better than the alerts from Dexcom!
Social Connections –
We Are Diabetes (WAD) – The best option for the diverse group of people with diabetes who are also trying to navigate depression or an eating disorder.
Podcasts – There are so many ways to stay connected to the thoughts and innovative ideas in the diabetes community. I love to listen to these when I’m walking my dog or doing the dishes. It is a nice way to stay connected to the people who are living with diabetes as well as score a good idea for a different way to navigate. I have my favorite, but there is a nice list of offerings here to choose from with different perspectives in each.
The Diabetes Link – formerly known as College Diabetes Network. Great support for teens into the early 20-something age groups. Supporting all types of diabetes in young adults provides a place to be heard, connect without judgment, and find encouragement. I wish I had this as a teen and young adult in college!
Mental health – Meditation
Meditation/Mindfulness practice – DiabetesSangha We have so many things to navigate in life. Whether diabetes is part of it or not, it is still important to carve out some time for mental health. Please read more in our Guest Post in this newsletter as well as future posts to learn how to join the community of people with Diabetes focused on mindfulness.
Daily movement – while some people may not consider movement as a piece of mental health, I find that it is a big player in my mood and overall well-being. A favorite gift this past Christmas was my desk treadmill – being able to get steps during the day while I work makes me happy and keeps my glucose in a great place!
Hope this list helps you find some useful and favorite items to navigate your life with diabetes!
Integrated Diabetes Services, Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Registered (and Licensed) Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems.