About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Double Trouble.

It can be quite challenging to have both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Anybody who has type 1 knows the challenges of balancing blood sugar all day, every day. I have to follow two diets while trying to balance blood sugar. Being diagnosed with celiac disease put an end to my ability to be vegetarian, because I need a good protein source, and all vegetarian meat (Gardenburgers, Boca burgers, seitan, etc.) has gluten in it. And while beans, lentils, quinoa and various grains do have protein, they are still a carbohydrate, which increases my blood sugar. I know different things work for different diabetics, but for me, to keep my blood sugar stable, I need to eat a protein, a healthy carb and a healthy fat at every meal, no exceptions. A typical breakfast for me is an avocado and a banana blended up in my Magic Bullet (almost whipped into a pudding texture) and a turkey burger. Another breakfast is a sweet potato with coconut milk on top and a turkey burger. Sometimes I'll do eggs instead of the meat. My blood sugar barely rises above 95 when I eat this combination of food.

But the truth is, I miss the food I used to be able to eat. I miss bread (REAL french bread), Starbucks lattes, and fast food. I miss going out to eat without giving it a second thought or being able to go over to other peoples' houses for dinner without worrying about cross contamination (I usually bring my own food to eat). I miss how I used to eat: 1. see food I like, 2. eat it.

I get sick of being different.

I have become a more conscientious eater, because I really have to THINK about what's going into my mouth. Is it gluten free? What is the carb count per serving? Am I eating one serving, or two? What's the fiber count- is it high enough to subtract it from the carb count?

I'm still learning to overcome the social stigma of having celiac disease. It's hard to tell your friends "I can't try a bite of that, sorry" or "I can't come with you guys to that new, fun restaurant because they don't have a gluten free menu."

If there is anyone out there reading that has both type 1 and celiac, I'd love to hear from you. I could use some survival tips.


  1. I only have the diabetic side of the equation, but here are two bloggers that may be of interest to you.

    Wendy Rose over at Candy Hearts has Celiac and her daughter has both Type 1 and Celiac, here's her URL: http://www.candyheartsblog.com/ She has some good tips from real world experience and links in her blog to resources.

    Scully over at Canadian D-Gal is Type 1 and although she hasn't been formally diagnosed with Celiac, she follows a gluten free diet. Here's her URL: http://canadiandgal.blogspot.com/

    Both ladies are fun to read as well as informative! Welcome to the DOC!

  2. I'm "just" T1, but I am in Minneapolis if you're looking for some local folks who "get it." I know just enough people w/celiac or for other reasons are gluten free to ask for ingredients on your behalf and I wouldn't mind learning more.

    A couple of recommendations of T1+celiac peeps (both also athletes):
    Ginger Viera: http://living-in-progress.com/

    Mari Michelle Ruddy (founder of the Red Riders and Team WILD): http://www.teamwild.org/ @mariruddy on Twitter and she's also on Facebook. Not sure if she has a personal blog. She will be speaking at the VIP dinner before the Twin Cities Tour de Cure June 4.

  3. I don't have celiac -- I'm a Type 2 with metabolic syndrome so I need to cut wayyyy back on sodium. I understand well the social isolation this can bring.

    In addition, I understand that about 10% of the Type 1 diabetes population also has celiac, so when we have diabetes meetups, I need to keep these friends' needs in mind as I plan menus.

    There is a pretty good high-protein, low-carb, gluten-free noodle. The brand is "Explore Asian" and they're available at specialty health-food stores. I've had their black bean, mung bean, and soy noodles. While they are expensive and more Asian in taste than European (they do NOT taste or mouth-feel like "normal" spaghetti), they're a great option for a vegetarian or vegan meal.

  4. Hi! I just found your blog. I'm t1 and celiac too! I'm sorry you were dx with all these things at once, but your attitude about them is refreshingly wonderful. :o) I understand how you feel about missing certain foods and how you used to eat. I've been there before. I look forward to reading more of your blogs! :D

  5. p.s. I posted before I had coffee this morning. For the record, Mari follows a mostly vegan diet, but I don't believe she's gluten-free. Still worth checking out as she's a powerhouse of inspiration for an athletic life with T1 and a 2x breast cancer survivor.

  6. Fiona, Auntly H- I REALLY appreciate the resources you provided. I've written all of them down and will definitely be checking them out!

    C- I am happy to know someone else who has this "awesome" combo! Celiac certainly adds a spin to t1. It's a challenge, and I have to mindfully keep myself in a positive state of mind. I'll be checking out your blog for tips! Pls keep in touch!

    Brenda- I'm stopping by my co-op tomorrow and am going to look for those noodles. High protein + low carb + gluten free = a must have food.

  7. Very late and many dollars short, but check out Cybele Pascal. She's the wife of Adam Pascal of "RENT" fame, and every member of her family has different food allergies/intolerance issues. She blogs at www.cybelepascal.com and has 2 cookbooks out. THE ALLERGEN-FREE BAKER'S HANDBOOK, and THE WHOLE FOODS ALLERGY COOKBOOK.

  8. Hi Nikki! Can I just say you are amazing? My son was diagnosed with T1D in 2008 and we just fount out about Celiac on Wednesday. I thought I was just going to throw in the towel for autoimmune diseases. After reading your story I want to cry about what you've been through all in one year. I'm not even the one dealing with it - I'm the mother and I fell apart with the diagnosis of my son. You are inspiring and I look forward to following your blog and getting to know you!


  9. Adrienne, I certainly understand the journey you're on. Having a child with either one of these diseases, let alone BOTH, becomes a full time job to manage, so I give you a lot of credit! The management of the celiac disease does get easier (maybe not the word I'm looking for) with time and experience. I strongly recommend finding a local celiac support group- the amount of info you will learn, even about your local restaurants and what you can eat at local attractions (ball games, fairs, zoos, etc.) is so incredibly valuable. I'm not sure what I would have done without them... Best of luck to you and your son! --Nikki