River spent three years eating the Standard American Diet. We were told at diagnosis that he could eat anything he wanted, and that we should just count the carbohydrate content in his food and dose insulin accordingly. I blogged about our experience and posted MANY photos of River devouring a cupcake or an ice-cream cone because he was allowed to eat ANYTHING . . . and someone DARE NOT make an ignorant comment and tell me that my kid can’t eat that. That’s how it works. Upon diagnosis, in the midst of utter chaos, parents cling to ANY piece of life that still feels normal. Because: Poking your kid in the middle of the night isn’t normal. Holding your kid down to place a pump site isn’t normal. Force feeding a child because you dosed insulin isn’t normal. So when we hear, “Feed them anything they want” – THAT feels normal. We take that as a badge of “don’t-F-with-this-area-of-my-life” and we run with it. We defend it. We post photos of ‘it’ as a big giant EFF YOU to diabetes. We feel as though showing our kids eating giant sugary treats will help to refute all of those uneducated claims that type 1 diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
But in the end, we are only hurting ourselves and our precious kiddos with type 1. This was the vicious cycle of my life. And then one day someone commented on my post in a general type 1 group and told me about a low carb diet and diabetes. Instead of telling them that they were competing with me, I listened. I researched. I tried it. And it worked. It made my life easier and it made my son’s life healthier. I sincerely want that for you TOO.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see Dr. Bernstein’s video on how to dose for protein in our resource section. We use R insulin, as Dr. Bernstein suggests, to cover the slow breakdown of protein into glucose. The action profile of R works perfectly to keep blood sugars stable after a high protein meal.
Basically, immediately. I always ask people to start with breakfast. Try low carb pancakes JUST ONCE and you’ll see how much better your blood sugars are THAT very day. It takes a few weeks to a few months to master dosing for protein and adjusting basal rates down, as most people need to do once they go low carb. It takes time to observe how different meals affect your blood sugars. I would highly suggest buying a blood sugar journal so you can document your outcomes and recognize patterns.
We changed River’s diet on July 6th, 2016. This was after having hit rock bottom on the evening of July 5th. My husband and I left River home with a nanny for the first time ever to go see Adele in concert. River had his scariest night of blood sugars ever, and I wasn’t there to protect him. I reached out to the big diabetes groups on Facebook and asked people how they were achieving normal blood sugars. Repeatedly I was told to go buy Dr. Bernstein’s book. So I did, and we’ve NEVER looked back.
I used to work as a bariatric consultant setting up gastric bypass practices across the Midwest. This was my first exposure to patients with type 2 diabetes. I come from a medical family. My father, brother, cousin, husband, son, 2 brothers-in-law and sister-in-law are all physicians. You can imagine our conversations at Thanksgiving! I tell you this because I love and trust doctors, and that’s why I did exactly as we were told when River was first diagnosed with diabetes. I didn’t question what we were taught – until I hit rock bottom.
I started Let Me Be 83 because, in my heart, I believe that every family should be given a choice at diagnosis as to how they want to manage this disease. They can either follow the ADA guidelines and count carbohydrates and dose insulin, OR they can learn about using low carb nutrition and different insulins to achieve normal blood sugars. Had I been presented with both options when River was first diagnosed, I would’ve chosen right then and there to do a complete overhaul of our diet and manage his diabetes the way we do now. My mission through the foundation is to provide educational materials for newly diagnosed families so that they hear about low carb nutrition right away.
The short answer is NO. Growth is complicated but is primarily driven by dietary protein and functional demand. Kids need protein foods, micronutrients, sufficient calories and normal blood sugars. High blood sugars inhibit growth hormone, so a high carbohydrate diet may actually stunt the growth of a child with type 1 diabetes. Learn more here.
Big inputs make big mistakes; small inputs make small mistakes. By keeping carbohydrate consumption and insulin doses smaller, there is a smaller chance of error that may cause a hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic event. Learn more here.
83 is the ideal blood sugar for EVERYONE. A healthy adult without type 1 diabetes who is at an ideal body weight will likely have average blood sugars of 83. Healthy children have average blood sugars that are even lower. We believe that everyone has the right to normal blood sugars.
Please see the links I have to our favorites on Amazon. We are a busy family and we travel often for sports. Ready-made snacks are a necessity, and we have found many that are friendly on River’s blood sugars.
We would love any help we can get! Please send me an email at email@example.com. Based on where you live, we can visit about needs in your area. Please also direct any newly diagnosed families to our website. If you have an endocrinologist who would like additional resources, we are happy to mail them informational booklets and kits. And, we are always fundraising so that we can provide these materials to families who need them.
The purposes for which this corporation is organized are exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or any corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Within the restrictions of the above-described Internal Revenue Code Sections, Rivere Foundation is designed to provide education related to Type 1 Diabetes, to provide information and resources to combat the diet and lifestyle deterioration that people with this condition may face, to support science and research efforts to reduce the effects and eliminate Type 1 Diabetes, and to promote the overall health and wellbeing of people impacted by Type 1 Diabetes.
The information on this site is for general informational purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Rivere Foundation is not responsible nor liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or products that you obtain through this website.