Diabetes Management Doesn’t Take a Vacation

Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for DummiesToby Smithson

I work in diabetes management nearly everyday, but only from a professional perspective. My friend and colleague Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, CDE knows that diabetes never rests. Not only is she a certified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian nutritionist, Toby is a person with type 1 diabetes. She recently answered a few questions as part of my interview series for National Diabetes Month.

Jill: You have a deep understanding of diabetes from both personal and professional viewpoints. Is this how you came to create Diabetes EveryDay?

Toby: I launched Diabetes EveryDay so I could combine my professional expertise and my personal experience successfully managing diabetes. It’s a single resource to share credible information about diabetes management from an insider’s perspective (or living with diabetes every day). I also wanted to share much of the information through online video clips as a way to engage people in a different way than the pamphlets medical offices often provide.

Jill: What are a couple of the biggest myths you see that people with diabetes hold?

Toby: I have found that many people think they will automatically develop diabetes complications, especially if they’ve watched a loved one or family member suffer complications. They don’t understand how effective self-management can be.

A second myth is that people with type 2 diabetes don’t realize that it is a progressive disease. Some people think that if you are placed on insulin, you have done a “bad job.” This isn’t necessarily true. Insulin is the most effective medication to achieve blood glucose control, and it’s often necessary simply because of the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes.

Jill: The theme for National Diabetes Month this year is Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It. What does this mean to you?

Toby: Diabetes management is required every second of the day since there are many factors that affect blood glucose control. There is no “vacation,” and that makes it inconvenient. Additionally, there are many distractors in today’s society (restaurant dining, celebrations) that make it difficult to follow a healthy lifestyle. But managing diabetes is worth it for both overall good health and for feeling well every day as an outcome. The key is to be mindful and to try to make the healthiest choices as possible. Practicing a healthy lifestyle as part of your normal daily routine does make it easier for healthy habits to be effortless. My motto is to live life to its fullest despite having diabetes.

Live life to the fullest, despite having diabetes -Toby Smithson @diabetesevrydayClick To Tweet

Jill: What are a few of your healthy dietary habits that you attribute to your successful management of diabetes?

Toby: I attribute my success in managing diabetes by following a routine every day and including all the diabetes self-management recommendations.

I consume three meals per day. I don’t skip any meals. I monitor carbohydrate intake, exercise after dinner every night, check blood glucose levels in pairs, and get enough sleep.

Diabetes doesn't take a vacation, but healthy lifestyle habits make it less stressfulClick To Tweet

Jill: Can you share the secret to managing diabetes effectively in three words or less?

Toby: Prioritize Your Health

Toby Smithson is founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com and co-author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies. Follow her on Twitter.


Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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