Featured Interview

My guest is Chrystal from L.A.. She is just one of many positive diabetics making a huge difference in the diabetes community. She is a chemist, and diabetic activist. After Chrystal's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in November 2007, she created SexyDiabetic.com; and donates a good portion of her time connecting and sharing experiences, both inside and outside the online diabetic communities.

Chrystal has shared with us her personal experiences living with diabetes; her role in the diabetic community; some of her current diabetic project she's working on during black history month.

We talked about some of the struggles we we face, getting the African American communities and all other people of color educated on the dangers of diabetes; as well as the fears and discrimination that still exist for diabetics today.

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Richard A. Vaugn

For 2012 I thought it would be wonderful to start the year off with a positive interview!

My guest is Richard A Vaughn. He has written an awesome book called "Beating The Odds - 64 years of Diabetes Health". In this book, he takes us on a journey through his diabetic life.

From the moment he was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 6, all the way up through completing his masters degree, @ a time when people thought diabetics shouldn't go to college (because diabetes was considered a disability then).

Richard also talks about his wonderful family and grand children, in addition to participating in the Joslin Medalist Study, funded by the JDRF & National Institute of health..

Richard is definitely an inspiration to us all. He has showed us insulin dependent people, how to live healthy emotionally & physically by example, with either no, or the least amount of complications possible; coming from a time when life expectancy for a diabetic was no later than 40 years old.


Click here to listen with your default audio player!


You can purchase Richard's book by clicking on the graphic of his book below.

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What's in your headphones? We all know how important exercise is to any diabetic, however, the music you exercise to is also just as important too! Music can make the difference between a 3 minute workout, and a 30 minute workout. Personally, I am an oldies guy, and my musical tastes are pretty eclectic and diverse. The above playlist consist of music I am listening to on my Anddroid when I exercise or power-walk. As my mood changes, so shall the playlist.
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SinceWhat sort of changes have you made since your diagnosis? How long did it take for you to get used to your new regimen? You know, we should know by now there is no such thing as a “diabetic diet”; however, I guess in some ways knowing this can make a newly diagnosed person even more confused, in terms of trying to figure out what to eat once they’ve learned he/she is diabetic.

Right off the bat, without knowing any technicalities about the contents of food & it’s relationship to diabetes, we know that eating less, portion control, in addition to staying active has always been the key. Regardless as to what type of diabetes you have; or what triggered your diabetes. Whether you are Black, White, Jewish, Asian, etc, not one sole on this planet has genetic immunity to diabetes. Which reminds me (before diabetes became an epidemic), I’ve actually met an individual years ago, who actually said to me “We Jewish people don’t get diabetes because we eat kosher”. Well, I just rolled my eyes. LOL. I can assure you, not only do Jewish diabetics exist (both type 1 & 2), but I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a couple of Orthodox Jews who are diabetic. If your not out here socializing in the diabetic communities you’d never see this.

Guys, seriously, I don’t mean to get off track, but, even if your one of those people that still think that only a particular race/ethnicity gets certain illnesses (like blacks only get type 2 diabetes); all I can say to respond is, LOOK AROUND YOU!! I mean seriously look at people around you. Today we have more interracial relationships than we’ve ever had before. Those interracial relationships eventually become interracial parents, who will then eventually have interracial children. You seriously don’t think that at any point in time genetic material will not possibly be passed on? Hello? Is the light on in the neighbor’s house? Hmmm, maybe the biggest change that needs to happen first, is this labeling people love to do when it comes to diabetes?

getty_rf_photo_of_insulin_injectionOnce my diabetes was made official, I wasted no time in learning all there was to learn. Later on realizing I was loosing my sight, it made it even more difficult and scary. Looking back in retrospect, there were so many influences that try to make you  buy exercise equipment (for example) that “works”, equipment that most of us don’t have room for. We’ve so quickly forgotten about all the other healthy exercise we can do without equipment, and free. Like walking! So many under estimate it’s power. I’m not kidding guys, most of you already have smart phones. Learn how to use the GPS feature of your phone. It’s a lot of fun walking to new places. Take a different train route, ride it for a couple of stops, and use your GPS to walk your way home. It’s a lot of fun. This winter really put a damper on my walking exercise. However, as soon as it starts getting warm again, the disco will be pumping in my ear once again, and away I go. LOL.

We all get those nasty sugar cravings every once in a while. It is ok for a diabetic to enjoy a treat once in a while, so long you don’t over do it. People always trying to find that one “magic diet”, sorry but girrrrl there is none! To be perfectly honest, the key is to try NOT to be glutenous. Point blank. If you keep giving yourself several insulin shots 4 hours after your meal, that’s a clue you’ve probably ate to much (or your insulin needs to be adjusted).

What I like to do is, find the smallest package of “naughty treats” possible. For example, if I have a taste for donuts, I try and look for the small tiny pack rather than a box; then you can also share it with your friends, family members, children, etc, so your not tempted to eat more than you should. I also like to eat “naughty treats” with tea. Speaking for myself, if I eat a small amount of a “naughty treat” SLOWLY along with any warm liquid, such as tea, I am much more satisfied and don’t have a need to over indulge on additional portions.

black-family-exercisingAnother major change I’ve made was to cut down on rice and pasta. I had absolutely no idea how those to things effected my blood sugar until I became diabetic. This sometimes can be a pain sometimes, because if you order out, here in NYC they usually pile so much rice on your plate it’s not even funny.

Some of you may cringe when I say this but…. What has helped me also is, learning to throw food away. When I was young, we were taught never to waste food; so as an adult it became difficult changing the way I thought in terms of diabetes. We are always tempted to finish all of our meals even if the portions are too much; largely because we don’t want to waste our money. However, as I diabetic, I found it many times to be  necessary when ordering out. Ok, I’ve written too much already.. LOL What changes have YOU made since your diagnosis?

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