Anytime someone asks me for suggestions on what books to read or any of our favorite diabetes things, I send them this list of Quick Referrals. Whether they’re newly diagnosed, or know someone who is, this page is a great starting point. I’ll be adding some more brands or items periodically so be sure to check back often and follow us on Instagram @type1diabetic_life and/or Facebook @typeonediabeticlife for new finds. I am not sponsored in any way for any of the following brands nor do I receive any compensation whatsoever, unless specified. Be sure to check out our T1d Supplies list on Amazon too!
Some of our favorite things
SUGAR MEDICAL – Diabetes supply cases, protective gel skins and much more! Keep all your necessities organized daily or while traveling. Use our NEW affiliate code TYPEONEDIABETICLIFE for 10% off a single purchase on sugarmedical.com. We are super excited and grateful to be part of the Sugar Medical affiliate program! We earn a small commission on sales with our unique link here.
VIAL SAFE – Colorful fun silicone “jackets” for your precious insulin vials. We’ve test dropped a vial of Lantus (long-acting insulin) with a Vial Safe protector on and it didn’t crack! Phew! What a relief. Use our code t1dlife for 20% off a single purchase at vialsafe.com.
PIP LANCETS – self-enclosed lancets that are safe and easy to use. Just twist the cap off, press and poke! Learn more at Piplancets.com and see our video post on Instagram. Be sure to use our special code CORAL10 for 10% off your online purchase. They’re just like what our endo’s office uses but slimmer and we’re so excited to share it with you guys because everyone should know about it! We use the 30G lancet (smallest size, blue) for Coral.
REAL GOOD FOODS – Easy low-carb pizza’s, poppers, enchiladas and snacks made with all-natural chicken breast or cauliflower crust. Use our referral link for extra savings at Realgoodfoods.com or click here to view their store locator. Good news – RGF’s yummy creamy low-carb ice cream is now available in WalMart!
Disposable Face Masks
As this REAL pandemic lingers on with more variants emerging due to community spread, the CDC and many epidemiologists are recommending upgrading your face mask to one with 4-5 layers – especially with Omicron (BA.1 and sub-variant BA.2) and Delta variants, if you haven’t already. I get a lot of people on Instagram and Twitter asking me almost weekly, “Where do you get your face masks?” Please click through the links below. I don’t earn a commission or anything, just sharing for your reference. If it’s sold out then do your diligence in searching for similar items on Amazon or Wellbefore.com. Speak with your PCP or pediatrician with any questions asap.
Kaila, my youngest daughter, has been able to wear a mask and keeps it on since she was 18 months old. Coral, my oldest daughter, has Type 1 diabetes (autoimmune disease, insulin dependent) is very picky with masks, fit, comfortability, and it must be blue. Shop toddler size M94k masks here. Just FYI, the exact face masks we bought Kaila and Coral from Amazon months ago sold out already so glad we stocked up!
Shop children’s size M95c or M93c masks here or N95 masks here. You can also purchase max extenders or adjustable straps like these:
Shop adult KN95 masks here or N95 masks here. The major difference aside from 4 to 5 layers of protection between the KN95 and N95 masks is that the N95’s elastic bands go around the back of the head and are much more form-fitting than the KN95s. This is what most healthcare heroes use. We’ve been using KN95s since early 2020 even though we’re tripple vaxxed since late 2020 and Coral’s fully vaccinated since December 2021. Kaila’s still ineligible for the life-saving Pfizer kids vaccine until maybe Summer 2022 (optimistically speaking which is rare for me because I’m a realist). Mask up anywhere including outdoors, but especially indoors and where vaccination rates are low or less than 75% fully vaccinated. Read more asap on my Delta Variant and Covid Vaccines blog posts please. I’m so tired…
THE CEREAL SCHOOL – The first low carb cereal (5g net carbs per bag) with great taste we’ve actually managed to bolus for on point! Pair it with either Premier Protein or Fairlife milk for a LCHPHF quick and easy breakfast or on-the-go snack! See details on our Instagram post @type1diabetic_life. This is a must-have for busy pancreas momagers!
HALO TOP – deliciously creamy ice cream with moderate carbs, but not as low GI as Artic Zero or Enlightened (see Good Glucose Snacks page for more).
PROYO TREATS – the best and only ice cream I can find high in protein and fiber and low fat, sold at Ralphs. Check their site for retailers near you.
OLLY PROTEIN – They have a wide variety of vitamins and proteins, but the kids protein is our go-to since of late and we love it because Coral will drink it with water! We mix 1/2 scoop Olly Protein with 2-3oz water before bed nearly every night to prevent constant lows overnight especially if her BGs trending down from the low 100s.
PREMIER PROTEIN – The best tasting, lowest carb and major high protein “shake” we could find either at Target, Sprouts, or Amazon.com. We usually give Coral 1oz Fairlife milk with 2oz Premier Protein vanilla shake before bed on nights where she refuses to eat her dinner to prevent constant stubborn lows overnight. Click the link to view their nutrition facts, flavors and more info.
QUEST PROTEIN – tasty protein bars, cereal, powder, chips and cookies high in protein and fiber. Also available on Amazon.com
HAPPY FAMILY BRANDS – mindful snacks made by families for families
DEXCOM – continuous glucose monitor or CGM used to monitor BGs in real-time using a sensor that’s inserted in the interstitial fluid under skin and a transmitter that emits a signal to a Bluetooth device (aka her iphone/medical device). Learn of our experiences on my technical review here.
TINI BOY LANCETS – smallest and nearly painless lancet we could find online for when Coral was first diagnosed at 15 months old and used them up until she was 4 1/2.
MY GENTEEL lancing device w/ unique contact tips made for easy pricking of fingers and virtually painless.
FREESTYLE LITE METER and STRIPS – requires only 0.3uL of blood to test and can continuously add to the test strip within 60 seconds
MY IDENTITY DOCTOR – medical alert bracelet on Amazon.com
- You may also like Lauren’s Hope, American Medical ID, Medical Alert Foundation for medical alert accessories
Daily diabetes kit or “D-kit” – Chill Pack on Amazon.com
- You may also like Sugar Medical daily organizers
TEGADERM – adhesive dressing used beneath and over her Dexcom, a method we call the Tegaderm Sandwich, available on Amazon
Cheru Balm – I first noticed this balm on one of the fellow T1d mom Instagram accounts I follow from @T1junebug and finally decided to try it! It’s supposed to help moisturize and heal the skin after site removals. Find it on Amazon (not sponsored) here. However, immediately following sensor or pod removal, we soothe Coral’s skin with witch hazel wipes, apply Neosporin and Doterra Correct-X ointment, and then an ice pack (sensitive skin, easily irritated). See all our T1d Supplies on our Amazon List.
OPSITE FLEXIFIX – strong and flexible adhesive tape sold on a roll to add beneath and/or over sites to keep them on longer and prevent or reduce skin irritation. Also available on Amazon. This is our favorite tape for Coral’s sensitive skin (we’ve tried everything and cannot use any fabric adhesives).
Favorite and Most Useful Books I’ve Actually Read
My top 3 must-haves are listed first:
Pumping Insulin – the most technical yet worthy book when using a CGM and/or insulin pump if you’re serious about self-managing diabetes wisely and effectively in a timely manner. It has tons of charts and graphs for those who are visual learners like myself. It will help you to learn how to read the Dexcom trend arrows and be able to make better BG predictions when timing a correction or pre-bolus for a meal or snack without overcorrecting. This book pairs perfectly with Sugar Surfing by Stephen Ponder (listed below).
Taking Control of Your Diabetes – written by Steven Edelman and friends. Straightforward and empowering. Get this book and you’ll soon learn why and what hormones can affect BGs and so much more to make living with T1d more manageable.
Think Like a Pancreas – written by T1d, MS, and CDE, Gary Scheiner. Get it. You won’t regret it. Practical, educational book. A must-have for any diabetic especially caregivers to T1ds.
Understanding Diabetes: A Guide for People Who are Living with Diabetes – if your diabetes care team let you walk out of the hospital without this book, then find a new care team or request a free copy. It got us through the first couple weeks after Coral was diagnosed. It even goes into explaining school and T1d and was the basis for me writing that blog post. Ask for it ASAP or get it on Amazon.
Sugar Surfing – learn the modern dynamic approach by T1d, MD, CDE Stephen Ponder to managing Type 1 diabetes using a cgm and MDI or pump so you can start riding waves on a graph. If you can understand this simple concept, paired with tips from Pumping Insulin, you will learn how to prevent major spikes and hypos throughout most of your day. Remember, flat lines on a CGM graph are either for dead people, OCD perfectionists on low carb diets and eat on a strict schedule. Flat dotted graphs are not necessarily realistic for young children with T1d, per our endo. Then again, remember, you’re on my blog where I give my honest educated opinions. We ride waves most days. Also, I actually used to surf back home on Oahu a ton before diabetes happened. Sugar Surfing is a super easy concept to learn. We were already doing it shortly after she got her Dexcom G5 and MDI before reading this book. I’m sure some of you are doing it too and wasn’t even aware of this book until someone else mentioned it on social media. If you decide to pass on this book, Dr. Ponder gives educational talks on occasion. Check out his blog here.
Type 1 Diabetes Caregiver Confidence by Samantha Markovitz – quick read for newbies and their families. Not overwhelming at all. Handy glossary in the back of the book which I plan on extending and adding to my blog.
Recommended Books I Haven’t Read Yet
Brightspots & Landmines by DiaTribe columnist Adam Brown – Haven’t read this one yet, but first saw a few others mention it on Instagram. It appears to be an easy read and great addition to any diabetes book collection. It’s definitely on my Amazon list.
Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solutions – Great read for T1d adults or those looking to achieve more stability in managing BGs with a LC diet. I “literally” read the first several pages, put it down, and thought: “This will not work for us because Coral refuses to eat really low carb [less than 30g per day]” and I will not force her into a strict LC diet at only 2 years of age, diagnosed at 15 months old. Believe me, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars and time on low carb meals (ex: zoodles, cauli-rice, etc – nope!) that she refused to eat. I will and have learned how to pre-bolus her, allowing her to eat most foods in moderation so she can continue to thrive as a Type 1 toddler. A1c has been in the low 6s since four months post-diagnosis, healthy weight, doing well in school (TK) and she’s happy! As always, do what works best for you and/or your child so you all can thrive too. Refer to our Good Glucose Snacks page for some of our fav truly great tasting LC snacks and beverages. I, personally, enjoy eating LCHP because I’ve maintained my weight for the past three years give or take 8lbs after having a second child. Diabetic or not, being carb-conscious is beneficial to all of us.
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate for Amazon.com, but any links I’ve listed that redirect you to Amazon will donate a percentage of sales to T1International through their Smile program. Thank you for supporting the diabetes community.
Top T1d Resources
All organizations listed can be found on Instagram, Facebook and may be even Twitter. Please take advantage of all the resources they have on each of their websites. Make the time to learn more about T1d from credible sources as quickly as you can while under the care of your physician and/or endocrinologist. The same applies to my blog – use the search bar in each website to type in keywords to find what you’re looking for.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – One of the best resources out there for those with Type 1 diabetes and their families. Learn more about their NEW T1detect at-home antibody testing kit here. Definitely navigate your way through their website to learn all you can as soon as you can. Read their coronavirus and T1d resources too (also listed as a resource on that blog post of mines too).
T1International – a non-profit organization strongly advocating for affordable insulin that does not accept donations from Big Pharma (Eli Lilly, Nova Nordisk, and Sanofi) as of this writing. I recently became a Digital Advocate volunteer with T1I because I want to better support their efforts in the fight for affordable insulin for Coral and the millions of fellow T1ds around the world who may not have the resources or voice to do so yet. Also, see my Take Action blog post to learn more how you can help advocate too!
Beyond Type 1 – BT1 is another NPO almost marketed towards T1ds under 45 years of age (seriously, check out their Instagram @beyondtype1 @beyondtype1daily). If you or someone you know needs insulin, check out their latest resource branch Getinsulin.org ASAP.
American Diabetes Association (ADA) – Although the ADA has mostly catered towards type 2 diabetes (insulin resistant) over the decades, with constant advocating efforts from the T1d community (insulin dependent), I’ve noticed they’re finally trying to educate the general public of the differences between the two most common types of diabetes. Definitely visit their site to learn more about how Covid affects T1ds and for any disability rights protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act for children with diabetes in school and/or more. Read my T1d and school resources blog post here.
Last updated 5/12/21
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