I am the overly-emotional type. I really am and I am not afraid to admit it. Though it sometimes feels like a weakness, I have come to view it primarily as a strength. I am in touch with my emotions and I feel things deeply. So let me first admit that I am teary as I write this. Not from sadness so much as a deep feeling of connection and community with other people. And a desire to help that community out in some small way.
Donating my book sales
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and if you know anything about me, you know that I am extremely passionate about low carb and keto diets as the key to diabetes management. I feel strongly that for both insulin-dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetes, a low carb diet should be the first course of action. For Type 2 diabetics, going low carb can actually put the disease into remission. For Type 1, it often gives them so much more control over their glucose levels and allows them to reduce the amount of insulin they require.
As I feel moved to do something for my low carb diabetes community during Diabetes Awareness Month, I am donating $2 for every copy of The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen from now until the end of November. Admittedly, this is actually most of what I make on each book, but it just feels right to me. Both the Type 1 and the Type 2 Diabetes communities have embraced and supported me, and helped me make this cookbook a huge success. I want to give back.
So if you haven’t bought the book but were thinking about it, or if you wanted to purchase a copy for a friend or loved one, or if you happen to know that someone else might be buying it for you for a gift…let me encourage you to BUY IT NOW. Because $2 of your money will go to diabetes research and advocacy. (If you’ve already bought my book, thank you. I hope you will consider donating to these worthy causes anyway).
Where will the money go?
When I thought about doing this, I knew I did not want my money to go to the ADA or even to JDRF. Because they don’t really support or promote the low carb lifestyle and because if I donate to them, I have no knowledge of what actually happens after that. I do not want this money going to researching more medications that encourage people to continue eating excess carbohydrates. I do not want this money promoting and supporting the erroneous advice given by most doctors, nutritionists, dieticians and diabetes educators. I want this money TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE.
That’s why I chose The Nightscout Foundation. What the heck is that, you ask? Read on, my friends, as this is pretty cool.
Another VERY worthy cause that I want to mention is T1D Mod Squad, a not-for-profit organization that supports families of children with Type 1 Diabetes. I hope to do this again sometime for this or future books and will happily donate to them! READ MORE ABOUT T1D MOD SQUAD HERE
Check out the Nightscout Foundation page for a true explanation of what they do. They can say it much better than I can! But here is why I chose them…
I didn’t really know that much about Nightscout but I’d heard some parents of Type 1 kids talking about it. It didn’t really apply to me, as a non-insulin dependent diabetic with really good glucose control (due, of course, to that low carb diet thing I keep mentioning!). But then a friend, a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes, send me a CGM to try out. What’s a CGM? It’s short for a Continuous Glucose Monitor. It inserts like a patch on your arm, your back, your tummy, or even your butt, and yes, it pokes right into you so that it can read your blood sugar constantly. It has a little transmitter that sends your glucose back to a receiver every 5 minutes. So you can always tell if your glucose is on its way up or on its way down…or staying steady. And it alerts you (loudly!) if your sugar is getting too high or too low at any given moment.
For someone such as myself who has pretty tight glucose control and doesn’t have to worry about dangerous blood sugar lows from insulin, one of these things is pretty neat and informative but not exactly necessary. I have had some surprises with it, such as the day that a bowl of stew with eggplant spiked me (but I was also a little stressed at the time so it could have been the stress, the eggplant, or a combination of both). Or how a single glass of wine can make the receiver go on high alert because my blood sugar dips below 70. Which has me yelling back at it, saying “Chill out, dude! I am not on insulin, I am okay!”.
But wearing it made me realize just how vital these CGM systems are for people with Type 1 Diabetes. More to the point, how vital they are for CHILDREN with Type 1 and for their parents, who need to be vigilant about blood sugar ALL THE TIME! Because adult diabetics can make decisions for themselves, but small children have no real concept about how to take care of themselves properly. And even older children, tweens and teens, struggle with the decision-making process.
And of course as with all technology, these Continuous Glucose Monitors are expensive! The original kit is over $1200, and the receivers, the little bits that poke right into you, only last a week or two and are a constant source of expense. Sadly, not all insurance plans will cover them, despite the fact that they are essentially saving lives.
Nightscout is devoted to advancing the technology of the continuous glucose monitoring system, making it easier and more accessible. They are the ones who actually managed to find a way to connect the CGM receiver (which has to be carried by the CGM wearer) to “the cloud”, making it possible for parents and caregivers to view the data at a distance. While the child is at school or at a friend’s house, parents can see their child’s blood sugar graphs on their smartphone, so they know instantly if the child is in danger. I can’t not even tell you how life-altering this is for parents of Type 1 children. Nighscout is also working on a way to link CGM systems with insulin pumps, allowing these two systems to work together, and hopefully one day have it working as an artificial pancreas.
Oh, did I mention that this work is all done by volunteers??? A pretty worthy cause, wouldn’t you say??