Say Good Morning to Diabetes

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND – When you wake up with diabetes, you start your day with a few extra things on your to-do list: medications, finger sticks, balancing exercise and meal timing, and perhaps hypoglycemia prevention and so much more. But each morning is an opportunity to set the day right. Try these strategies to say good morning diabetes and to affirm that you’re ready to rock this day.

Wake up gently. Let your first awareness of the day be a pleasant one. Toss out the screaming alarm clock and shut off the loud radio announcer. Choose a morning alarm with soothing sounds of nature or pleasant music. Buying a sunrise alarm clock a few years ago was a gamechanger for me. Now I hate to be without the 30-minute simulated sunrise that gradually fills my bedroom with light.

Center yourself. After a gentle rising, be sure to spend some time in a morning ritual – even if it’s only a few minutes. A ritual is different from a routine in that it has a deeper meaning than simply fulfilling a task. You may have a set routine in the morning that helps you get from bed to work or chores. With a routine, you run on autopilot. But a ritual is something you do with greater awareness, and it has a side benefit such as feeling centered or energized or filling you with a sense of purpose. My morning ritual includes quiet time with a cup of coffee. While sipping, I think about my day, my goals, and potential obstacles to those goals. I continue the same thoughts during my morning jog. And I start everyday reminding myself that something good will happen today and that I need to take notice of it. It’s this ritual that helps me feel ready to manage my day. A carefully chosen morning ritual will help you manage your diabetes in an indirect way. By feeling ready to start your day and reminding yourself of your values and goals, you’ll be better able to practice self-care.

Eat a health-boosting breakfast. Sit down to a breakfast made to nourish and fuel your body. You have an infinite number of choices, but do include wholesome foods packed with both protein and fiber. Some options include savory oats topped with an egg or Greek yogurt with fruit and muesli. Whether it’s to sweeten the yogurt or some coffee, be mindful of extra carbohydrates. Skip the sugar and jazz up your breakfast with a non-calorie or low-calorie sweetener.

Gather your supplies for the day. Before walking out the door or getting started on at-home projects, be sure you have everything you need for the day. Do you have these?

  • Blood glucose monitoring supplies
  • Medications
  • Packed lunch or snacks (or simply planned if you’ll be eating at home)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Packets of low-calorie or non-calorie sweetener for coffee or tea
  • Treatment for hypoglycemia, if you’re at risk. Some good choices are glucose tablets, glucose gel, and small boxes of 100% fruit juice.

Build some muscle or take a walk after breakfast. Better yet, if time allows, do both. Any exercise you do boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Aim to strength train at least a couple times each week to maintain or build muscle. Why? More muscle is more storage space for blood sugar to go after a meal. Can you walk to work, walk your dog, or walk your kids to school? Taking a 20-minute walk after a meal is a great way to lower post meal blood sugar levels and to boost your insulin sensitivity for hours!

These strategies should help you prepare to tackle anything your day or your diabetes throws at you.

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND, has worked as both a nutrition counselor and a diabetes educator in the hospital and research settings, and now in private practice in Newport News, VA. Jill is the author of Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and two upcoming books, The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition and 21 Things You Need to Know about Diabetes and Your Heart. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association. Jill is a paid contributor to Sucralose.org. Follow Jill on Twitter @NutritionJill and find more at www.JillWeisenberger.com

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