• Fresh Views

    Barcelona Bound: Look ahead to EASD 2019

    Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

    A Fresh POV for You is excited to head out to Barcelona, Spain, one of our most favorite cities in the world! We are honored to be presenting an oral podium presentation at the 55th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)

    Tami was last in Barcelona at this same conference six years ago, and not only learned a lot about diabetes prevention and management, but fell in love with the one-of-a-kind work of genius Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi throughout the city! You see one of the Gaudi houses above that Tami snapped. And below is his main work, the towering Basílica de la Sagrada Família, still under construction more than 135 years after the laying of the cornerstone. This  picture was from six years ago. This trip, Deb will be taking a walking tour of La Sagrada Familia with Take Walks,  a great way to get some physical activity in while doing some sightseeing. Looking forward to seeing the progress as construction continues. It is expected to be completed in 2026. 

    This annual Meeting of EASD is held in a different European city each year. It draws more than 15,000 delegates from over 130 countries and includes around 1,200 talks and presentations on the latest results in diabetes research by leading experts in the field. This meeting is highly scientific, and a majority of the oral sessions and posters focus on new diabetes treatments, understanding diabetes complications, and the physiology of diabetes care and prevention.

    A Fresh POV for You presents

    This year 2,003 abstracts were submitted – ours was one of the 1195 accepted for inclusion. Of all those sessions, there is only one oral symposium addressing the psychological side of living with and managing diabetes. That happens to be our session! Friday, 11:00-12:00 PM, in Ochoa Hall,  Integrating psychology into diabetes care. There are four research sessions in this symposium.If you plan to attend this conference, we invite you to join our presentation.

    We will be sharing findings from our research on “Perceptions of life with diabetes revealed through a solution-focused brief therapy exercise via Twitter”. Many of our readers participated in this Twitter Chat and provided important and insightful perspectives that led to the fascinating findings we will present. 

    Five sessions of interest

    A new diabetes questionnaire to add patients’ perspectives to diabetes care: a nationwide cross-sectional study among adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes M. Svedbo Engström, J. Leksell, U.-B. Johansson, S. Borg, B. Palaszewski, S. Franzén, S. Gudbjörnsdottir, K. Eeg-Olofsson, Sweden 

    This presentation will discuss the research completed to validate a new self-rated diabetes questionnaire (NDR-PROM).  Their data confirms that these questions add patients’ perspectives of living with diabetes and support experienced from diabetes care.

    Association of personality traits with continuous glucose measurement parameters in type 1 diabetes adults treated with personal insulin pumps T. Klupa, B. Matejko, M. Flakus, S. Mrozińska, Ł. Tota, M. Morawska, B. Kieć-Wilk, M. Malecki, Poland 

    This session sounds very interesting. The authors looked at the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and treatment outcomes in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Ultimately, these traits can help tailor diabetes management to individuals.  At A Fresh POV for you we are all about tailoring treatment and focusing on the unique strengths of the individual.

    Perceptions of life with diabetes revealed through a solution focused brief therapy exercise via Twitter D.A. Greenwood, T. Ross, E. Reifsnider, USA 

    During our session we will share the findings from our Twitter study.  We implemented the Miracle Question (MQ) approach, one tool in the Solution Focused Therapy tool-kit, to enhance resilience and confidence to manage diabetes.  We will expand upon the five themes that emerged from the data in response to the MQ and the desired future state including: more of living life; laughter and humor; self-compassion; resilience; and support. 

    Ketoacidosis hospitalisations among people with type 1 diabetes are associated with increased risks of rehospitalisation for suicide attempt J. Petit, K. Goueslard, J.-C. Chauvet-Gelinier, B. Bouillet, B. Vergès, C. Quantin, France  

    This presentation will share results from a study that identified that people with a past history of being hospitalized for ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic coma have a higher risk of being re-hospitalized for suicide attempt within 7 years. The risk increases with more hospitalizations. This is new information for us, and seems incredibly important to share.

    The EASD/ADA Symposium: Digital apps for diabetes treatment and prevention: opportunities and challenges  If you follow us, you know that we are very interested in the use of technology to improve diabetes care. We look forward to attending this session on Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm and hope it will address using a strengths-based, empowering approach to reviewing diabetes data. 

    A poster session of interest 

    D-PS 064 Psychological aspects of diabetes With posters that range from addressing anxiety and depression in diabetes, to eating disorders and fear of hypoglycemia, 

    Our goal

    Our goal, as we present at conferences this coming year, is to bring attention to the concepts of solution-focused brief therapy and coaching. To focus on “exceptions” (those times the problem could have happened but some how did not) or situations that are going well, instead of always focusing on the problems that need to be fixed. If we spend our time using a strengths based approach we can envision possibilities and opportunities to help people move forward towards their unique vision of their future. 

    After the conference we’ll be sharing more learnings with you!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, we invite you to subscribe to our blog, and we will send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

  • Fresh Views

    AADE’s Project Vision: Positive Change is Coming!

    Every positive change in your life begins with a clear, unequivocal decision that you are either going to do something or stop doing something. – Anonymous

    Are you familiar with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and their Project Vision? Whether you are a diabetes care and education specialist or someone living with diabetes, AADE’s Project Vision may positively impact you! 

    Who is AADE?

    If you’re not familiar with AADE, it is an interdisciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving prediabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic care through innovative education, management, and support. AADE has a vast network of more than 14,000 practitioners working with people who have, are affected by, or are at risk for diabetes. AADE is a key influencer and resource in the diabetes space.

    AADE’s Project Vision: What you need to know

    AADE has recently launched a multi-year, transformational initiative known as PROJECT VISION. The goal is to position diabetes educators for success within a dynamically changing environment, elevating their role as integrators for clinical management, education, prevention and support.

    6 key strategies of Project Vision

    Project Vision encompasses 6 key strategies with a framework to guide the diabetes care and education specialty to evolve by enhancing the skills and education, and re-directng resources:

    1. Drive Integration. This strategy focuses on integrating the clinical and self-management aspects of care so that care is holistic and seamless.
    2. Include Related Conditions: Strategy 2 acknowledges that diabetes isn’t an isolated health condition. Diabetes educators will demonstrate expertise in the full range of cardiometabolic conditions including diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiac disorders.
    3. Focus on Behavioral Health: Foundational focus is on supporting the emotional well-being of the whole person with diabetes.(The AADE Project Vision web page has a great blog post by Dr. Nicole Bereolos about behavioral health that is well worth the read!)
    4. Leverage Technology: Diabetes educators will be technology experts and data interpreters, trainers, and consultants driving care. 
    5. Promote Person-Centered Care: AADE will continue to advocate that every individual with diabetes and cardiometabolic conditions has access to a diabetes educator.
    6. Achieve Quadruple Aim: The quadruple aim in healthcare focuses on better outcomes, improved patient experience, lower costs, and improved clinician experience. 

    Positive change is coming!

    What this means is that positive change is coming! This excites us here at A Fresh POV for You! Our work aligns with several of these strategies:

    • Promote Person-Centered Care. Read about how we use co-design here.
    • Leverage Technology. Read about our review of sessions at #AADE19 here
    • Focus on Behavioral Health. Our guess is that you already realize this is a big focus for us. Our #AADE19 presentation was in the behavioral health track titled The Miracle Question Applied to Diabetes. Of note, our session was standing room only, which we think indicates an interest, need, and willingness of diabetes clinicians to learn more behavioral techniques and approaches to add to their tool box.

    Diabetes Care and Education Specialists

    At the AADE business meeting at #AADE19 in Houston last month, AADE President Karen Kemmis unveiled the new name for the specialty, evolving from Diabetes Educator to Diabetes Care and Education Specialist! Through a recent AADE survey, most current educators respond that their work involves much more than education, including clinical management components.  The survey data overwhelmingly demonstrated that diabetes educators felt a name change would not only more accurately reflect the work being done but also would raise the level of respect for the specialty. Ideally, resulting in more referrals, increased access to services and more opportunities for all. 

    Our hope

    Our hope is that as Project Vision continues to reframe and reshape the practice and the specialty, that more diabetes care and education specialists will embrace a solution-focused approach to care, and incorporate the techniques such as those we share via our blog and through presentations and papers (be on the lookout for an article in AADE in Practice journal next spring!).

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, we invite you to subscribe to our blog, and we will send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou


  • Fresh Views

    5 Solution-focused Strategies for Labor Day Gatherings

    Marblehead Harbor, Marblehead, MA

    Labor Day is just a few days away! This first Monday in September celebration often is heralded in with gatherings amongst family and friends. Sometimes it can be challenging to maintain healthy lifestyle habits around holiday gatherings, especially if everyone is not on the same page. It’s helpful to have strategies that work at the ready. Today we want to share with you 5 solution-focused strategies for navigating Labor Day gatherings so you feel satisfied and won’t feel that you missed out on a thing.

    5 Solution-focused Strategies for Labor Day Gatherings

    #1 – Bring something to share that incorporates seasonal produce. Many of the food traditions associated with Labor Day are filled with the best summer has to offer. Not only is flavor at its peak, seasonal produce is packed with nutrients (and lower in cost). Below you see a variety of beautiful tomatoes. 

    An easy, colorful, flavorful salad with Tami’s crew is simply chilled diced tomatoes and cucumbers tossed with light Italian dressing. The flavor intensifies if the salad is chilled 30-60 minutes before serving. (Stir it up and pop in the cooler. It will be good to go by the time you arrive at the gathering).

    Seasonal tomatoes and fresh berries

    Another well-loved side dish is roasted carrots. They’re low in carbohydrate, high in flavor, and won’t keep you hanging out in the kitchen. Toss sliced or diced carrots with some olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Roast at 425 degrees in an even layer on a sheet pan until fork tender (about 20-25 minutes). 

    Roasted carrots

    #2 – Make a swap or two. Consider the foods that are often at Labor Day gatherings and determine where you can make a swap or two for health. One of our favorites is swapping lean turkey burgers in place of hamburgers. Maybe everyone doesn’t want a turkey burger, but having a few on the grill is a tasty option for those trying to be health conscious.

    Turkey burgers and zucchini

    Another delicious swap is spiralized zucchini salad in place of traditional macaroni or pasta salad. Raw fresh zucchini is crisp and delicious with little carbohydrate. A spiralizer  is a handy, inexpensive kitchen tool.  Here’s a simple way to make a zucchini salad with a Mediterranean flair (you can find more Mediterranean swaps and ideas in our July 17, 2019 blog here.) 

    #3 – Portion your plate by the healthy plate for diabetes. As we shared in our July 3, 2019 post, when you are ready to sample the celebration spread, if there’s a choice on plate size, go with a smaller plate (maybe the ones that are out for salads or desserts). Then fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables (such as veggie salads, green beans, or sliced tomatoes), one fourth of the plate with lean protein foods (such as a grilled turkey burger or grilled chicken), and one fourth with carbohydrate foods (this is where potato salad, corn on the cob, or a sweet treat may fit). Partitioned paper plates can do the portioning for you. Not sure partitioned paper plates still exist? Here you go, just a click away.  When asked how high one can “pile the plate”…try to keep it no higher than a deck of cards is thick. This simple strategy has brought success for many when navigating picnics and celebrations. 

    Lobster salad with a light dressing, vegetables, healthy fat and 1/4 portion of potatoes

    #4- Go on a walk early in the day. We are believers in making a commitment to move even more when we know there is a weekend or vacation ahead filled with a few indulgences. Taking a walk early in the day (as you’ll see us doing with our husbands on a holiday escape to Chicago), makes sure that movement doesn’t get pushed out by other holiday activities. And if you find blood glucose out of range 1-2 hours after you eat, take another walk to help lower blood glucose.

    Mike, Tami, Deb & Mark, Walking along Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

    #5 – Focus on fellowship and laughter. We believe that laughter is the best medicine, and we try very hard to practice what we preach. Scientists have shown that laughter is a great stress reliever and causes mental relaxation. Laughter can even improve blood pressure, pain, and immunity. Most importantly it strengthens human connections when we laugh together. There is now actually “laughter therapy” defined by the National Cancer Institute as therapy that uses humor to help people cope with medical conditions by relieving pain, stress and improving well-being. 

    Tami and Deb enjoying some “laughter therapy”

    You’ll find 4 more of our tried and true solution-focused strategies for picnics and celebrations in our July 3, 2019 post. 

    As you prepare for Labor Day gatherings, we challenge you to consider the following:

    • What strategies have worked well for you in the past to navigate picnics and gatherings? 
    • Which of the strategies that we’ve shared might help you? 
    • Choose at least one of those to put into practice on Monday

    We’d love to hear from you on strategies that worked for you! Happy Labor Day!

    Tami and Deb, Highland Beach, FL

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou.

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

  • Fresh Views

    The Miracle Question Applied to Diabetes at #AADE19

    You had the power all along, my dear – Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz

    River pool at the Marriott shaped like the state of Texas!

    #AADE19 is a wrap! And what an exciting (and scorching) week we had in Houston, TX! The over 100 degree temperatures kept us from venturing outside much, but we enjoyed the view of the Texas shaped lazy river just outside our hotel window.

    Change is here!

    It’s difficult to describe the thrill of being immersed in learning through cutting edge, high quality sessions with more than 3000 other people passionate about supporting individuals affected by diabetes to live long and happy lives. And to learn that our specialty (formerly Diabetes Educator) has a new name: Diabetes Care and Education Specialist! This repositioning and new title fully acknowledges us as trusted experts of the integrated care team that provide collaborative, comprehensive, and person-centered care and education to people with and at risk for diabetes. Woohoo! More to come!

    Taking a solution-focused approach to managing diabetes

    A description of our presentation “Applying the Miracle Question in Diabetes” at #AADE19 can be found in the online conference planner. We were honored to be one of the over 130 sessions attendees could choose from. Can you see the joy in our faces below at the crowd filling the room (late on a Friday afternoon nonetheless) to learn about taking a solution focused approach to managing diabetes rather than a “traditional problem-focused” approach? 

    Tami and Deb getting ready to present at #AADE19

    In quick illustration, here’s a comparison from one of our slides showing how a solution-focused approach differs from a traditional counseling approach. The traditional counseling approach tends to focus on what’s “wrong” and identifying how to “fix” it, whereas a solution focused approach focuses on those times when things are going well, and leveraging those past successes to do more of what’s going well. 

    What is the Miracle Question?

    The Miracle Question applied to diabetes is one tool or technique, if you will, that can be implemented as part of a solution-focused approach to help clients envision a future that is more problem-free. You can learn more about the Miracle Question applied to diabetes in a previous blog post here. The Miracle Question has powerful impact. It is creative, bold, healing, a bit mysterious sounding (and has a cool name!). It allows a person to step out of their current problem story to a time when the problem occurs less. It helps people identify “exceptions” or times when the problem doesn’t occur, but could have.  We think of exceptions as similar to “Bright Spots” (From Adam Brown’s Bright Spots and Landmines) or times and choices that work well for people. The Miracle Question challenges a person to look past their obstacles and feelings of hopelessness to focus on possibilities, opportunities and a vision for the future. (Hmmm sounds like the Mission of @AFreshPOVforYou!). The goal is to help one identify what they’ve actually known all along, and that they have the power to make choices and changes that can move them forward. 

    We value the voice of those that live with diabetes every day and listen intently to inform our work. We have some intriguing findings from a study we conducted that will be presented in September at an international diabetes conference, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, in Barcelona, Spain. And other insightful learnings to guide our work from focus groups, surveys, and interviews we’ve conducted. Many have asked if we’ll share that information. Stay tuned!  We will soon reveal more through three peer-reviewed publications – one of those being an international publication.  

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, we invite you to subscribe to our blog, and we will send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

  • Fresh Views

    #AADE19 Sessions (Part 2)

    More Behavioral Health, Language, Peer Support, Tech & Social Media 

    The long awaited #AADE19 Annual Meeting in Houston August 9-12 is here! Tomorrow we’ll be on a plane headed to Houston to join more than 3700 diabetes educators and other healthcare professionals at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Conference. It is the premier educational and networking event for diabetes educators. Can you tell we’re excited??

    Tami and Deb at AADE a couple years back, with now AADE President Karen Kemmis

    Last week we shared the sessions that peaked our interest to catch on Friday. And today we’re sharing a look at the sessions we’ve highlighted in our online planner for Saturday-Monday.  As you will see, many overlap. So much great content, so little time to catch it all!. So, if you’re joining us in Houston and haven’t had a chance to look at sessions yet, here’s a glance at the top twelve we’re excited about and which again focus on behavioral health, how to impact behavior change, and the use of peer support. To keep it simple, we pulled out the session descriptions for you and reviewed uploaded slides when available. You can find all of this information in the Online Planner.  

    Saturday August 10, 2019

    S03 – 9:15-10:15 am AADE’s Practical Approach to Mental Health for the Diabetes Specialist by Shannon Eaves, Jasmine Gonzalvo, Jay Hamm, & Cynthia E. Muñoz

    Description:

    The AADE practice paper A Practical Approach to Mental Health for the Diabetes Educator describes common psychosocial considerations in people with diabetes (e.g. depression, anxiety, diabetes distress, disordered eating, etc.), the pharmacological impact of relevant medications, appropriate assessment and referral strategies, and effective communication practices. During this presentation, the authors of the paper will review the content of the paper and expand on specific aspects, including clinical scenarios to highlight real world implementation of the assessment and referral recommendations.

    Our take away:

    The dynamic duo of Jasmine Gonzalvo and Jay Hamm are two of the speakers on this panel who will review the practice paper findings and discuss medication therapy. We predict this session will be well attended. 

    S16A – 1:00pm-1:30pm Online and In-Person Peer Support for Underserved Populations by Michelle Litchman, Cherise Shockley and Heather Walker

    Description:

    Support for individuals with diabetes is recommended per the 2017 DSMES National Standards; however, it is not always easy to identify support resources, especially for underserved populations. In this session, online and in-person support specific to those with different ethnic, language, abilities and diabetes type will be discussed. This session will provide diabetes specialists with tools for identifying, creating, and referring to support resources.

    Our take away:

    This team is well known in the diabetes support space and we look forward to learning from them.

    S16B – 1:30-2:00 pm Create Lasting Behavioral Change in African Americans with Diabetes by Sharon Evette

    Description:

    African Americans have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the US. Diabetes specialists play a significant role in addressing cultural barriers which enable diabetes self-care. The Change Model addresses the person’s level of growth by helping them identify goals and develop strategies for long term self-care behavior change.

    Our take away:

    We’re interested in learning about their process. In the 7-step process of change they describe, step 2 is establishing a “vision” which is in alignment with what we are trying to do here @AFreshPOVforYou , and aligns with the Miracle Question exercise we’ll present on Friday.  If you’d like to read more about the Miracle Question, we are fans of this book

    S21A – 3:15-3:45 pm Making Space for Lurkers in Peer Support: A Community-Supported Approach to Engagement by Anna Norton and Heather Walker

    Description:

    Peer support in diabetes has been shown to positively impact the health of those who actively participate; however, only one recent study points to the power of a lurker. In this session, the role of the lurker will be introduced and highlighted in the context of diverse populations. The session will conclude with strategies to include underserved and low-income adults generally not reached through traditional peer support programs.

    Our take away:

    These powerhouse women are strong advocates of peer support and are fantastic speakers. We love the concept of lurkers as being truly a part of the community, learning and engaging in a way that works for them. Not everyone has the same needs, desires and abilities. We support all.

    S28-4:30-5:30 Beyond Coping: Raise Your Spirits, Not Your Blood Sugar, by Maggie Hunts

    Description:

    This interactive and musical presentation incorporates key methodologies to improving diabetes care for the specialists and the person with diabetes. Be uplifted by musical parodies about living with diabetes, as you learn key ways to reach individuals.

    Our take away:

    While this presentation seems like it will be a lot of fun, we were attracted to the solution focused approach described in the slide deck. She emphasizes starting with “wins” to build on what’s working and to teach seeing “victories” no matter how small. Love this! Tami will catch this one since Deb will be presenting another session at the same time.

    S25 – 4:30-5:30 pm Use of Social Media and Peer Support in Diabetes Care: A Panel from AADE Project Leaders by Deborah Greenwood, Ashley Ng, Michelle Litchman and Hope Warshaw

    Description:

    This panel presentation will share findings, tools, tips and practice pearls from publications in a special edition of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology focusing on social media and peer support in diabetes. Three projects, which will be highlighted, had support from AADE. These include the online peer support community scoping review, the peer support communities initiative and iDOCr council. Join us to learn how to incorporate a variety of peer support and social media components to improve outcomes.

    Our take away:

    Deb was a special section editor for these journal issues and will share with other authors on the panel some learnings about the benefits of social media in diabetes care and education.

    Sunday August 11, 2019

    D01 – 9:15-10:15 am Tic-Tac-Tech: An Expert Panel on the Game of Integrating Technology into Practice by Crystal Broj, Kelly Close, Jasmine Gonzalvo and Deborah Greenwood

    Description:

    The panel discussion will focus on technology and its evolution in diabetes care. Real world case studies will demonstrate how educators can integrate new technologies into practice and work flow to ultimately produce improved outcomes.

    Our take away:

    Deb will be speaking on a panel with other tech savvy individuals in the diabetes space. The team hopes to generate a lot of discussion and conversation with the audience. So please join us if you would like to talk tech!

    D11 – 10:30-11:30 am No One Understands Me!; Helping People Live Well with Diabetes by Ann Constance and Cecelia Sauter

    Description:

    Only 32% of people with diabetes reported recently being asked about their emotional well-being by a member of their health care team.This interactive session will discuss new evidence about the negative effects of diabetes-related distress. It will explore effective and practical strategies diabetes specialists can incorporate into care delivery models to address emotional well being.

    Our take away:

    The Empowerment model will be employed in this presentation, helping people use their “own innate ability to gain mastery over their chronic disease.” Their slides describe very solution focused approaches to practice including focusing on goals and NOT solving problems for the individual, but listening to them and supporting them in their efforts.

    Next is a description of a two-session series on diabetes distress in the afternoon.

    D15A – 1:30-2pm Interventions to Help Overcome the Impact of Diabetes Distress by Eliot LeBow

    Description:

    Diabetes distress can impact a person’s life and diabetes self-management.This presentation orients educators to the underlying causes of diabetes distress, the symptoms, and the impact on peoples’ lives. Validated resources will be provided to help attendees understand and decipher the differences between diabetes distress and clinical depression. Interventions to help overcome the impact of diabetes distress will be reviewed.

    Our take away:

    We’re interested in the concept of “micro-trauma” as a factor in diabetes distress and look forward to learning more.

    D15B – 2:00-2:30 pm Diabetes Distress and Burnout: Helping Youth and Families Live Well with Diabetes by Rebecca Butler, Katherine Gallagher and Amber Smith

    Description:

    Most people with diabetes will experience diabetes distress at some points during their life. The emotional side of diabetes is often the area where providers spend the least amount of time, but it is one of the most important things to address to help people succeed. The goal of this presentation is to help diabetes specialists learn to recognize when people may be exhibiting diabetes distress and to provide tools to empower them to provide emotional support.

    Our take away:

    There are some great solution focused approaches to practice in this slide deck, including providing 3 behavior praises for every one correction and for parents and providers to notice what the kids did WELL!  Also, there’s great inclusion of using empowering language.

    D22 – 2:45-3:45 pm Mind, Body, History: Listening, Eliciting, Responding to the Whole Story of the Person with Diabetes by Marina Tsaplina

    Description:

    Behind the complexities of diabetes management, is a human being with a lived history that shapes their diabetes story. Narrative medicine understands that illness unfolds in stories and that a competent diabetes specialist must be trained in the physiology of the body and appropriate treatments, but also in narrative competence, humility and mind-body practice to serve people with diabetes across cultural, racial, and economic inequities. We invite you to participate in a workshop that incorporates theater, narrative medicine, and mindfulness to strengthen your practice of delivering compassionate, whole-person diabetes care.

    Our take away:

    While there were no slides to review, this interactive session by Marina Tsaplina will discuss building a therapeutic relationship with clients, an important concept to us, and in any solution focused approach.  

    Monday August 12, 2019

    M12 – 10:45-11:45 AM Not the Word Police: What the Language Movement is Really About by Jane K. Dickinson

    Description:

    The 2019 Diabetes Educator of the Year will present a deeper dive into the language movement in diabetes. Why are we trying to change the language around diabetes, why does it matter, and how can we do it effectively? We will discuss what the language movement is not, and have some hands on practice with replacing unhelpful messages.

    Our take away:

    Dr. Jane K. Dickinson will work through some examples of how to change practice and use person first, empowering language that does not stigmatize, shame and blame. Hooray! 

    So many fabulous speakers, topics, panels and presentations are ahead of us! Not to mention all of the great posters that will be presented as well. Join us in tweeting using the #AADE19 hashtag – share what you are learning along with others in your network. While we love the learning, we are also excited to connect with dear friends and colleagues, laugh a little (or maybe a lot), enjoy an adult beverage (or two) and dance at Sunday night’s classic celebration!  

    Please find us and say hello at the meeting! We love meeting our “online friends” when we are at in-person at conferences! We plan to share our highlights in a future blog, so stay tuned!  Hope to see you in Houston! 

    2019 AADE President, Karen Kemmis and Past President Donna Ryan at last year’s AADE Celebration!

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

  • Fresh Views

    Highlights of #AADE19: Behavioral Health, Language, Peer Support and Social Media

    We’re getting excited for the #AADE19 Annual Meeting in Houston August 9-12!  For us, a little  advance planning and mapping out a schedule with the online planner helps us to successfully navigate the packed meeting, get to the sessions that peak our interest, and catch-up with friends! 

    Deb, Karen, Joan and Tami at #AADE18 President’s Reception

    As always, this meeting offers a multitude of cutting edge topics and excellent presenters. So, if you’ll be joining us in (hot) Houston at #AADE19 but haven’t had a chance to check out the sessions, here is the scoop on the 8 we’re excited about on Friday which focus on behavioral health, how to impact behavior change, and the use of peer support. To keep it simple, we pulled out the session descriptions for you and reviewed uploaded slides when available. You can find all of this information in the Online Planner.  

    F06-Friday 9:45-10:45 AM Shame and Diabetes: Practicing Resilience in a Culture of Weight Stigma, Disordered Eating, and Healthism by Nikki Estep 

    Description:

    Nearly 3/4 of people with type 2 diabetes report feeling shame about having diabetes, and shame-based self-talk and behaviors have been correlated with all types of diabetes. Presenters will define shame and how it is exacerbated in a culture of weight stigma and healthism, which can lead to disordered eating and other barriers to diabetes management.

    Our take away:

    Their slides are intriguing, sharing the work of Dr. Brene Brown on shame and vulnerability (love her books). From their slides: “Healthism is a belief system that sees health as the property and responsibility of an individual and ranks the personal pursuit of health above everything else, like world peace or being kind. It ignores the impact of poverty, oppression, war, violence, luck, historical atrocities, abuse and then environment from traffic, pollution to clean water and nuclear contamination and so on. It protects the status quo, leads to victim blaming and privilege, increases health inequalities and fosters internalized oppression.” – Lucy Aphramor

    The concept of “healthism” is new to us and yet the impact on stigma is so clear.  We also love the concept of Weight-Neutral Diabetes Care (WNDC) that “Focuses on establishing self-care behaviors. It DOES NOT promote restriction, endorse unsustainable exercise, or encourage disordered eating as a way to ‘get healthy’.”Looking forward to this one. 

    F07- Friday 11:00-12:00 Bright Spots & Landmines: A Diabetes Toolkit for Meaningful Behavior Change by Adam Brown

    Description:

    Why is changing behavior so difficult in diabetes? Why aren’t more people motivated? Why is there so much negativity in diabetes? Can we do better? Adam Brown will discuss the concepts of Bright Spots & Landmines as a toolkit for diabetes specialists to assist individuals to change behaviors, including specific food, mindset, exercise and sleep strategies. Attendees will learn how to apply “Bright Spots” and “Landmines” thinking to different individuals and scenarios, including easy-to-implement question guides.

    Our take away:

    While there were no slides to review, we are big fans of Bright Spots & Landmines and interviewed Adam Brown in our blog post on April 3, 2019.  Adam’s “Bright Spots” are very similar to “Exceptions” in a solution-focused approach (where one evaluates what’s going well and what they can “do more of” instead of focusing on the problems). Of course, there are obstacles that people face every day, and those are the “landmines” where things are not working as well.  You won’t want to miss his PDF handout of the 42 Factors that Affect Blood Glucose.

    F12-11:00 am-12:00 pm Reducing Stigma to Improve Outcomes: How to Reduce Stigma Effects by Laurie Klipfel , Eileen Rivera and Ann Williams

    Description:

    Health care professionals work with people who experience stigma, such as stigmatized racial/ethnic identities and other stigmatizing conditions. Recently stigma itself has been recognized as a fundamental cause of health disparities, that is, persistently associated with health inequalities across different times, diseases, risk factors, and health interventions. In other words, stigma affects outcomes. This panel presentation will explore what stigma is, how it produces health disparities, and what diabetes specialists can do to decrease its effects. It will include discussion by people from three stigmatized groups: People who are legally blind, transgender individuals, and those experiencing weight stigma.

    Our take away:

    The slide deck revels a presentation on how stigma affects health and how we can decrease the effects of stigma.  Looks like some powerful personal stories will be shared. Unfortunately, this session is the same time as Adam’s Brown’s. So many decisions!

    F23 Friday 3:15-4:15 pm Peer Support Communities for Self-Management Support: Research Trends by Perry Gee

    Description:

    The “S” on the end of DSMES is for support. Peer support is a resource being used by millions of people with diabetes. In this session, you’ll learn the latest research on the impact of social media and peer support communities on the promotion of self-management of diabetes.

    Our take away:

    The slides for this presentation show a historical look at past AADE presentations as well as published research supporting the #DOC or Diabetes Online Communities.Happy to see iDOCr research council mentioned in the presentation. This is at the same time as the Language  presentation below.

    F24A -3:15 pm-3:45 pm How Language Affects Person and Provider Communication by Jana Wardian

    Description:

    Communication between people with diabetes and providers plays an important role in engagement, conceptualization of diabetes management, treatment outcomes and behavior. Healthcare teams can be more effective through respectful, strengths-based communication. Empowering language can enhance motivation and well-being for people with diabetes. While this skill may take time, it is well worth the effort.

    Our take away:

    The slides are available for this presentation. Jana states she has lived with diabetes for 26 years and wears a pump and CGM. It’s always good to hear the language perspective from a person living with diabetes. If you follow us you know we often speak about person centered, strengths based language, so we’re happy to see several sessions on language at this conference. There was one slide that we would challenge however around the use of “bad vs. unhealthy blood sugar”. We don’t see “unhealthy” as a positive word choice or a biological factor. We’d go with “in range” or “out of range”. 

    F26A-4:30-5:00 pm Applying the Miracle Question in Diabetes Care by Tami Ross and Deborah Greenwood

    Description:

    Managing diabetes is complex and the constant focus on problems can erode confidence. Presenters will introduce “The Miracle Question,” a step-by-step solution-focused approach to work with people with diabetes. Participants will learn to use “exceptions,” the times when life works better or when problems are less likely to take over, to guide them toward attaining a personal action plan and goals. By focusing on abilities and possibilities, there are ready-to-use solutions. This approach assists diabetes specialists to help people strengthen their resilience and confidence.

    Our take away:

    Of course we are really looking forward to our presentation and hope you will join us! We will share one solution-focused tool called “The Miracle Question” as an exercise to move people forward in their thinking and actions when living with diabetes – to create a sense of hope and acknowledge possibilities. You can read our past blog post about the Miracle Question to learn more. If you’d like to further explore the Miracle Question, check out this book we’re fans of! 

    F29-4:30-5:00 F29 – Impact of Diabetes Self-management Education and Support on Psychological Distress among African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos with Diabetes by Ninfa Pena-Purcell

    While it conflicts with our session, this is another interesting topic.

    Description:

    Attention to the emotional side of diabetes is necessary in the delivery of DSMES. This has been found to be particularly critical for diverse racial and ethnic groups that have unique lived experiences. Two culturally appropriate community-based DSMES programs responded to this need, one aimed at African Americans and the other at Hispanic/Latinos with type 2 diabetes. Findings suggest that for both groups psychological distress was reduced and diabetes-related outcomes improved. Participate in this interactive session to dive deep into an exploration of the complexities of culturally appropriate diabetes interventions.

    Our take away:

    The slides for this presentation address the ADA guidelines for psychosocial care, how and when to assess people for diabetes distress, and describes a culturally tailored program to address these issues.

    F26B-5:00-5:30 Peer Support Communities: Data, Resources, Tips and Tricks, Ashley Ng 

    Description:

    People with diabetes and caregivers are increasingly turning towards online peer support communities to share and exchange information and experiences that impacts health behavior outcomes and emotional health. While the popularity of online communities continues to grow, it is crucial that diabetes specialists start to integrate evidence based online peer support networks as part of mainstream diabetes care. This presentation will discuss current challenges that surround people with diabetes and healthcare providers with the widespread sharing of personal data.

    Our take away:

    Ashley a dietitian, researcher, person living with diabetes, and colleague will discuss the privacy, security, and safety concerns of sharing personal data online, along with the role of the healthcare provider in helping people stay safe while online. 

    Wow, Friday is going to be a jam packed day! We’re thinking it may be Saturday before we make it to the Exhibit Hall this year!

    Deb, Tami and our good friend Lorena as we explored the exhibit hall at #AADE18

    We can’t wait to get to Houston to learn and re-energize! We are thrilled to see so many presentations addressing the behavioral side of living with diabetes and the essential component of peer support. Join us in tweeting using the #AADE19 hashtag – share what you are learning along with others in your network. Drop back by next week when we’ll share other  sessions of interest throughout the rest of the conference.

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou.

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

  • Fresh Views

    Reducing Carbohydrate: Tips and Swaps That Work

    View over the Mediterranean Sea where we enjoyed some delicious low carb meals on recent travels

    Is managing carbohydrate something you think about? Carbohydrate gets a lot of attention when it comes to managing diabetes because it is most directly responsible for the rise in blood glucose after eating. (It’s also the body’s preferred fuel. The other two sources are protein and fat). 

    Having diabetes does NOT mean totally avoiding carbohydrate foods, though many find blood glucose easier to manage and keep in range when eating less carbohydrate. In fact, in our July 10 blog post you’ll find the highlights from the new consensus report on nutrition therapy for adults with diabetes or prediabetes. The report confirms that reducing carbohydrate through a low or very low carbohydrate eating pattern has demonstrated glucose lowering power, and can reduce the need for glucose lowering medication! Low and very low carbohydrate eating are among the most studied eating patterns for type 2 diabetes.

    What exactly is a low carbohydrate or very low carbohydrate eating pattern?

    Well, there doesn’t seem to be a consistent definition. Generally, “low carbohydrate” means 26-45% of calories come from carbohydrate. And “very low carbohydrate” is less than 26% of calories coming from carbohydrate, or around 20-50 grams of non-fiber carbohydrate over the day. Don’t get caught up in the math. Just know that for many, this generally translates into eating less carbohydrate.
    Here is a low-carb meal we enjoyed on our recent trip to France. Crisp fresh salad greens, juicy yellow tomatoes (nope they’re not peaches), topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Easy and delicious!

    Fresh Tomato Salad

    Low- and very low-carbohydrate eating means focusing on the following: 

    • Non-starchy vegetables that are low in carbohydrate (think broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and salad greens). 
    • Foods higher in protein (like meat, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, nuts, and seeds)
    • Healthy fats (like olive oil and avocado)

    Fruit and higher-carbohydrate vegetables can be worked in; however, added sugar-containing foods and grain products are often very limited or altogether avoided.

    How do you portion your plate?

    So if you think about how you might actually fill your plate to embrace lower-carbohydrate eating, aim for at least half of the plate filled with the vegetables that are not starchy. About one-fourth of your plate would be lean meat or other proteins. And the remaining one-fourth of the plate portioned with carbohydrate foods…dairy, fruit, or maybe a small portion of a starchy vegetable or beans. For very low carb eating, actually the majority of the plate may be filled with non-starchy vegetables and lean protein.

    Deb’s low carb portioned plate (that’s riced cauliflower) with a peach from her peach tree to balance it out

    Individualization is important

    The consensus report acknowledges that there’s no one size fits all carbohydrate goals for those with diabetes. Figuring out how much carbohydrate and which carbohydrate foods to eat are important every day decisions. 

    Monitoring what and how much carbohydrate is eaten (or drunk) and noting the blood glucose response are key to keep blood glucose in range after eating. While we are fans of using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a blood glucose meter can do the work as well. Check blood glucose 1 ½ -2 hours after eating. If blood glucose is above target, reducing carbohydrate at the next meal may help bring blood glucose into range. We encourage trying it and noting the impact. Taking a solution focused approach – if it works, do more of that. 

    If you are managing carbohydrate choices and blood glucose is still out of range after eating, a diabetes medication may need to be added, or a dose or timing tweak made with guidance from your healthcare team.

    Small swaps can reduce carbohydrate in a big way

    We’re all about being practical and keeping it real. If you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you may remember the swap Deb shared in our blog Making New Years Solutions which helped her swap a tall Starbucks Latte instead of a grande Mocha, a habit she still follows.

    So if you are trying to make some swaps to reduce carbohydrate, here are 7 small swaps to get you started. Make them all, and you’ve reduced your carbohydrate by over 100 grams!

    7 swaps to reduce carbohydrate

    1. Swap in unsweetened almond milk instead of dairy milk. Save 10-11 grams carbohydrate per cup.
    2. Swap in plain Greek yogurt for plain traditional yogurt. Save 6 grams carbohydrate per 6 oz container.
    3. Swap in cooked spaghetti squash or zucchini spirals for spaghetti noodles. Save 35 grams of carbohydrate per cup.
    4. Swap in quinoa for rice. Save 7 grams carbohydrate for each cooked ½ cup serving.
    5. Swap in tomato or vegetable juice for fruit juice at breakfast. Save 8 grams for every 4 ounces. 
    6. Swap in nuts for pretzels. Save 17 grams carbohydrate for each ounce.
    7. Swap in water or tea sweetened with a low calorie sweetener for a 16-ounce sweet tea. Save 20 grams carbohydrate.

    Making it a low carbohydrate day

    We’ve found that seeing how all of this could come together in the form of an actual meal is helpful. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking on what might work for you:

    Begin with breakfast. Veggie omelet or scramble with low fat cheese and  topped with diced avocado; fresh blackberries and raspberries with a dollop of Greek yogurt

    Leverage veggies at lunch. Green salad w/ tuna or salmon (foil pack for ease), sliced almonds, vinaigrette dressing

    Swap spiralized veggies for spaghetti at supper. Turkey meatballs and marinara over zucchini spirals or sauteed kale sprinkled with parmesan cheese; chopped romaine with light Caesar salad dressing;

    Seeks some satisfying snacks. string cheese; peanuts; cucumber slices with salsa for dipping

    What low carbohydrate foods are you already eating? How can you swap those in more often? What is do-able for you?

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou.

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

  • Fresh Views

    Move to Mediterranean-style Eating: Tips, Swaps, and How-to’s that work

    View of the Mediterranean Sea from Eze Village, France

    In the quest to eat healthy (with or without diabetes), embracing a Mediterranean eating style can be a helpful approach. In fact, in our last blog post you’ll find the highlights from the new consensus report on nutrition therapy for adults with diabetes or prediabetes which confirms that the Mediterrannean eating pattern, along with a variety of others, can help people with or at risk for diabetes to eat healthier and be healthier.

    We are personal fans of the Mediterranean approach. We enjoy the flavors, variety and health benefits (of course)! So, we want to share a few practical tips that have worked for us, as well as clients we have coached over the years. But first… 

    What exactly is Mediterranean style eating? 

    Traditional Mediterranean meals feature foods grown all around the Mediterranean Sea, and emphasize foods that are minimally processed, seasonally fresh, and locally grown. Focus is on including the following:

    • Plant-based foods, including vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, fruit, and whole grains. 
    • Fish and other seafood (small amounts and limited frequency of red meat)
    • Olive oil as the main dietary fat
    • Dairy products (mainly yogurt and cheese) in low to moderate amounts
    • Fewer than 4 eggs per week
    • Fresh herbs and spices for flavor
    • Wine in low to moderate amounts
    • Water as the go-to beverage
    • Infrequent use of concentrated sugars or honey

    Does this peak your interest? If so, are there some of these foods that you already like and eat, that you could swap in more often to begin eating “more” Mediterranean?

    There is no one “right way” to eat Mediterranean style. If you are interested in eating “more” Mediterranean, here are 6 small steps to get you started.

    6 steps to start eating more Mediterranean

    1. Eat fish at least twice each week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are good choices.
    2. Fill at least half of your plate with Mediterranean style non-starchy vegetables which include the following: artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, celeriac, chicory, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, greens, leeks, mushrooms, nettles, okra, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, scallions, shallots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnip, and zucchini.  Vegetables are a staple of the Mediterranean eating pattern. 
    3. Replace butter and margarine with healthful oils such as olive or canola oil. Use these oils for cooking, dip bread in flavored olive oil, or lightly spread olive oil on whole-grain breads.
    4. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals, as well as whole-grain pasta and rice products.
    5. Season meals with herbs and spices rather than salt.
    6. Snack on small servings of nuts or seeds instead of snack foods. Deb likes pistachios so has small zip-top bags of them on her desk at work, in her travel bag, and in her car for quick snacks! Perfect for plane travel too!

    The Mediterranean eating style is not low fat, but rather rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fat from plant sources such as olives and nuts. Here are some of our favorite swaps to make the switch to high quality Mediterranean fats…

    4 simple swaps to healthy Mediterranean-style fats

    • Top whole grain toast with almond butter or peanut butter rather than butter. Natural nut butter is preferred (rather than the kind with added fat). If you have trouble with the nut butter separating, screw the lid on tightly and store the jar upside down. That way when you turn it right side up to open it, the oil will be in the bottom rather than on the top.
    • Mash and spread avocado on a sandwich rather than mayonnaise.
    • Lightly dip crusty bread in olive oil rather than slathering with butter.
    • Try almond milk on your morning cereal rather than dairy.

    We’ve found that seeing how all of this could come together in the form of an actual meal is helpful too. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking on what might work for you:

    Like yogurt for breakfast? Try plain Greek yogurt topped with chopped figs, unsalted pistachios and a light drizzle of honey

    Savor a sandwich at lunch? What about  a whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus, salad greens, and tuna, dressed with olive oil and fresh lemon juice; and a date stuffed with almond butter for a sweet bite

    Trying to fit in more fish at dinner? Go for grilled trout; tomato, cucumber and arugula salad with lemon olive oil vinaigrette; steamed broccoli; couscous; watermelon; and a glass of red wine (if you choose to drink wine)

    Searching for a snack? Grab a nectarine or peach; or walnuts or almonds for a no carb option.

    The Mediterranean eating style is easily adaptable to today’s busy lifestyle. We hope you enjoy one of our favorite Mediterranean style recipes which follows. It’s super easy, colorful, and packed with flavor!  And only has 2 ingredients! (We confess that just talking about this for the blog made us hungry for it, and required a run to the market for dinner!)

    You can print our recipe card below for Two Ingredient Sun-Dried Tomato and Shrimp. (Deb likes the Bella Sun Luci brand of sun dried tomatoes that she buys at Costco or Amazon)

    Yield: One serving

    TWO INGREDIENT SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND SHRIMP

    TWO INGREDIENT SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND SHRIMP

    Quick and easy yet tasty 2 ingredient shrimp recipe

    Prep Time 2 minutes
    Cook Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 7 minutes

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and Italian herbs
    • 3 ounces (6-7 large) cooked shrimp (we buy the fully-cooked frozen version and thaw under cool running water or purchased pre-cooked shrimp in the deli area)

    Instructions

    1. Rinse shrimp (thaw if frozen).
    2. Heat 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil in a sauce pan or skillet until warm.
    3. Add shrimp and stir until shrimp are warm.
    4. Serve and enjoy, that's it!

    Notes

    If you prefer, and have time, you can make your own sun dried tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and herbs.

    Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases.

    A favorite variation: With summer produce arriving, another favorite variation is to mix diced fresh tomatoes, diced sun dried tomatoes, and fresh garlic in a skillet with hot olive oil and toss until tender. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor, and coarse ground salt and black pepper to taste. If you have fresh parsley or basil, chop and stir in before serving.

    Fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs

    Rounding out this Mediterranean-style meal: Enjoy the shrimp and tomatoes alone, over steamed spiralized zucchini, or with a side of green vegetables as a light low carb meal. Salad greens topped with Kalamata olives, a sprinkle of Feta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar rounds out a quick meal. You can also serve the tomatoes and shrimp over quinoa, a whole grain pasta, or small cheese tortellini if you want a more hearty meal and carbs aren’t a concern for you.

    Shrimp and sun dried tomatoes served over tortellini

    The summer months are perfect timing to begin embracing a more Mediterranean eating approach with the bounty of fresh produce from summer gardens. What Mediterranean style foods are you already eating? How can you fit those in more often? 

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou.

    Disclaimer: A Fresh POV for You is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

  • Fresh Views

    Making a list (and checking it twice): A way to calm and conquer

    With the holidays in full swing at the time of this post, and carols in the air, the lyrics to a popular holiday song about “making a list and checking it twice” struck a chord with us. Not only does making a list and checking it twice help jolly Old Saint Nicholas keep up with who is “naughty or nice”, evidence shows that making lists lends a number of benefits.

    While we @AFreshPOVforYou are personally super fans of lists (especially “to do” lists!), many clients have shared the value they personally find in making lists as well. One client took two days off work to make lists, organize her home, and run errands, noting that it helped her feel calmer. She’s noticed she’s physically and mentally healthier when doing this.

    There are many kinds of lists. And whether they’re compiled on a post it note, piece of paper, in an app, in the Notes on your phone, in an electronic document, on a whiteboard, by asking Alexa or Google, or whatever method works for you…the goal is to get information and clutter out of your head and placed somewhere else to refer back to.  Making lists can help bring a fresh perspective and point of view on life situations, including life with diabetes.

    Here are 7 other benefits of making lists:

    1. Reduces mental clutter. If a thought is written down or documented where you can easily refer back to it, then you no longer have to waste mental energy and capacity thinking about it. And that directly leads to benefit #2.
    2. Reduces stress.  With lists you can see what needs to happen without having to try to remember or fear you will forget.
    3. Allows you to prioritize and allocate time most efficiently. You can separate minutia from what matters.
    4. Helps maintain focus to get things done and combat avoidance, which is particularly helpful when feeling overloaded.
    5. Serves as a valuable communication tool. Whether lists of questions for your health care team at the next visit. Lists of carbohydrate content of favorite holiday foods. Lists of home repair tasks you need a family member to help with. You get the idea.
    6. Brings a sense of purpose and accomplishment when marking things off the list.
    7. Promotes inner calm (not only during the holidays, but beyond).  And undoubtedly that can translate into positive health impacts on blood pressure and  blood glucose.

    List making does offer an opportunity for creativity as well. While some prefer a plain “get it done” checklist, others may prefer a splash of creativity making lists “pretty” via formatting, spacing, color, and font choice. That can enhance calming for some.

    While there are many types of lists, here are 10 types of lists that we’ve found valuable in our clients’ every day lives, and in our personal lives, to help calm and conquer (in no particular order):

    1. To do or task lists. A simple running list of things to accomplish. Seeing allows planning and executing them better.
    2. Accomplishments. Include even the little things – they add to feeling accomplished.
    3. Worries. Putting thoughts and feelings into words by writing them down has a calming effect on the brain.
    4. Gratitude lists. It’s easy to fixate on the things not going well. Rather by turning focus to the good things going on in life, one may become more optimistic and less anxious. When it comes to managing diabetes, for those that may use continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for instance – rather than focusing on blood glucose out of range, noting gratitude for time in range. What was going on at that time? How can you do that more often?
    5. Hopes/Life lists/Bucket lists. These are things that you’d like to do, see, or experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day routine and forget about the bigger picture.
    6. Questions for your health care team. Going to a visit with a list of questions in hand can help insure you get the information you need.
    7. Shopping lists. One client made an electronic list of all the groceries he bought routinely and arranged it in the order he’d find the items at the store. He’d leave room for additions. Each week, he’d print it off, cross off anything not needed, and add anything not on the list, then go shopping. He found the shopping list template stress-reducing by not having to “re-create” a shopping list each week. And heading into the store armed with an organized shopping list helped him get in and out of the store faster.
    8. Self-care lists. These are things you can do just for you. So whenever you have even just a few minutes, you have inspiration and ideas at hand. The goal is to help remind you to make the time for self-care. And, you can’t look after anyone else without looking after yourself first.
    9. Menu lists. A list of tried and true dinner meals that work for you saves so much brain power! No wondering what the carb count is or what to buy at the store. You have ideas in front of you. You may decide to add breakfast, lunch and snacks to the list too.
    10. Health logs. Considering that a log is basically a list of events tied to specific dates and times, keeping a list of exercise achievements, blood glucose readings, food consumption, or medication doses for instance, can help measure  progress and identify opportunities for change.

    Keep lists handy and refer to them often. Which lists could help you calm, conquer, and realize a fresh perspective on life?

  • Fresh Views

    Finding solutions when they’re not obvious

    The holiday season is in full swing! December travels included a stop in New York City. What’s a trip to New York in December without a visit to the Rockefeller Center tree? Always a magical sight to get you in the holiday spirit!

    New York City Rockefeller Center Tree

    We are big fans of musicals, so seeing one on any trip to New York City is high on the list. A few friends recommended a somewhat unlikely musical that received rave reviews (and a Tony Award!). A musical which really requires one to think differently about the interpretation of life’s events. The show is “Come From Away”  Maybe you’ve heard of it? At the core, it is a story about the power of kindness and generosity of strangers during a horrific time in the world, the first 5 days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States.

    Come From Away

    To briefly recap, the setting is Gander, Newfoundland – a remote island with a “retired” military post from WWII and an old refueling station for transatlantic flights (before planes were large enough to carry all needed fuel). When the U.S. airspace was closed to inbound flights following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 38 jumbo jets were diverted to Gander. This town of 9,000 nearly doubled in population as an additional 6,759 passengers became refugees so to speak  – unable to leave or to even get their luggage off the planes for 5 days. Along with them were 9 cats, 11 dogs, and 2 rare apes (one who was pregnant). The town affectionately called these individuals the “Plane People”, and put aside their worries and issues to care for these tired and terrified fellow humans. Local residents cooked food all night long. Stores donated medicine, supplies, diapers and toilet paper, while others donated clothing. School buses provided transportation to shelters and even private homes. During this horrific time, while deep sadness was everywhere (one woman lost her son, a New York City Firefighter), friendships were formed. One couple would even later marry and return to Gander for their honeymoon. When the time came to leave, the “Plane People” asked how much money they owed the people of Gander, and were told, “Nothing. You’d do the same for us!”

    This tragic event in U.S. history was translated into a certainly unlikely – and yet successful – Broadway musical.  How did the creator, Michael Rubinoff, think this would work? According to Mr. Rubinoff, “Well, not many people shared that vision to turn this into a musical. It’s not obvious.” Building on that, when times are challenging and solutions are not obvious, it’s easy to feel down. One of those challenging (and stressful) times can be the holiday season. Add onto that the impact of managing diabetes and life can be downright overwhelming. (Be sure to check out our next blog where we’ll share one tried and true strategy to reduce stress). Yet during this often stressful holiday “season of giving”, there is some encouraging news. Did you know that giving to others may actually be good for your health?   Giving is linked with reduced stress, less depression, lower blood pressure, and feeling happy. Giving back can be a helpful strategy or solution to manage holiday stress. A solution that may not seem obvious. We believe giving can help build resilience.  

    We witness giving in the diabetes community all of the time. So many people living with diabetes are advocates and educate others. They create fundraising campaigns like Life for a Child  to provide insulin for children across the world without access.  And we’ve seen posts on social media where someone runs out of diabetes supplies and within minutes, a stranger in a far off state connects with that person to share and provide support. When you have a couple of minutes, take a look at this special video from Diabetes What to Know about “paying it forward” and sharing the gift of education as well as the benefits of learning from others living with diabetes. 

    So during this holiday giving season, will you join us in reflecting on the impact of the people of Gander and channel that in some small way by giving back? Whether giving back to the diabetes community, or others you cross paths with that are facing life challenges.  How can we all support, help, or encourage, as did the residents of Gander? There are many opportunities. It can be as simple as calling a friend and meeting them for coffee, even when you are feeling short on time. Or donating to a worthy organization that means something to you. Or as Ellen Degeneres says, simply “Be kind to one another.” We’ll all feel better in the end!

%d bloggers like this: