Category Archives: vacation
I am a big fan of vacations. I’m on one now, as a matter of fact. I therefore wanted to focus on articles that are fun or which focus on topics suitable for vacation. Kick back, grab a frosty beverage, and enjoy.
Eleven Ways to be a Jerk at the Gym: A fun and humorous look at various ways to make everyone else at the gym hate you.
Shining Light on the Truth About Sun Exposure: This article reveals the myths that exist about sun exposure and shares the truth.
Healing Truths I Learned on My Motorcycle: Healing and motorcycle riding have more in common than you may think. Read about the similarities here. You may even learn some valuable life skills.
Natural Sunscreen Recipe: Learn how to make your own very effective sunscreen using all-natural ingredients. By making your own, you can avoid the use of toxic ingredients and nano particles.
Break the Bondage of Negativity and Set Yourself Free: An especially pertinent article for anyone who struggles with poor or overly negative self-image issue. Shares simple strategies for viewing yourself without judgment.
How Motorcycle Riding Improves Physical Health: Believe it or not, riding a motorcycle is a form of exercise known to have powerful health benefits. This article shares facts about the benefits of motorcycle riding.
How to Live Abundantly with Diabetes: Although these trips are aimed at people with diabetes, the powerful lessons in this article can be applied to anyone in any situation.
Simple Marinara Recipe: This light, delicious recipe makes a meal to be treasured. The recipe uses ingredients which can be easily found at any farmer market or local grocery.
Perfect Smoothie Formula: Use this formula to make perfect smoothies every time. This guide can be used on vacation to request power blends for any snack or meal.
Top 11 Low-Carb Breakfasts: Use these great suggestions to ensure you eat a nutritious breakfast that is not overly high in carbohydrates.
My husband and I love to travel. There are admittedly times that being away from our home turf makes it challenging to maintain optimum levels of health, fitness and peace. We’ve found a few must-have travel gadgets that keep us in peak condition even when we’re cutting loose on vacation. It is possible to maintain strict standards while traveling, but it requires a bit of discipline and commitment. My encouragement is to make good choices while traveling, but to give yourself permission to stray a bit from your daily norms. Most importantly, recognize that the purpose of a vacation is to have fun, Don’t let guilt become a part of your trip.
Following are my favorite must-have travel gadgets for health nuts. I’ve included links to each one and broken them into three primary categories. These are products I personally recommend. No one asked me to write this post, nor did I receive any of these products for free.
Of all the travel gadgets we’ve tried, water purifiers seem to be the most important. We use a Berkey filtration system at home, so achieving that level of purity in the water we drink on vacation can be a challenge. We’ve tried buying distilled water throughout our trip, but it’s sometimes nice to not have to lug so much weight around. We like the following water purification travel gadgets:
Berkey Travel Filter and Water Bottle: The Go Berkey Travel Kit is a great set for water purification during travel, camping or emergency needs. It’s a bit pricey at $150.o0, but the quality cannot be matched by any other portable purification systems. The kit comes with a small water filter which removes impurities and chemicals without removing healthy minerals, and a travel water bottle that also provides filtration and purifies water. Both can be used with potable or non-potable water (such as that found in lakes and streams), and both provide the highest level of purification I’ve found. If you just want the water bottle, you can find it here: Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier.
SteriPen Water Purifier: The SteriPen is a must-have for anyone traveling internationally. It is a tiny device that uses UV light to sanitize water. They make a version that is powered by 4 AA batteries, but also make the SteriPen Freedom version that can be charged from any USB device. The unit is designed to easily fit into a water bottle. The company claims the unit can sterilize 16 ounces of water in 48 seconds. Not bad! As someone who has met Montezuma in person, I highly recommend purchasing this item if you are going to travel abroad. The company also sells a version, the SteriPen Travel, that contains a pre-filter that can be used to filter out any sediment in the water. The added filter makes the SteriPen ideal for emergency situations and primitive camping.
Travel Gadgets for Fitness
Devoted fitness nuts often wish they had better ways to workout when they travel. My encouragement is to recognize you’re probably walking and moving more than you do at home, so it’s ok to take a break and truly relax! For those who wish to sneak a workout into the vacation frenzy, I recommend the following:
Wicking Headband with Earphones: I confess I love this item. It combines a comfortable, wicking headband with a set of built-in speakers. Brilliant!
The headband is perfect for working out, but is also wonderful for listening to music or binaural recordings while you sleep. The speakers are wide enough to provide good sound, and are removable so the headband can be washed.
Cordless Jump Rope: Yes, you read that right. This is a digital set of jump rope handles with a weight at the end so you can jump rope without tripping over the cord. You could probably achieve the same results by standing in your hotel room and jumping up and down, but this travel gadget makes it much more official! An added benefit is that a digital display in one handle tracks calories burned (based on the user’s height and weight), number of jumps jumped and time spent exercising. The set is tiny enough you could carry it anywhere and start jumping anytime you have time to kill. If you prefer a more structured workout, the Jump Snap set provides a cordless jump rope, four DVD workouts and a set of hand weights.
Banglz Wrist Weights: These weights provide a simple way to “sneak” an arm workout in as you go about daily tasks. The low weight – a half pound – makes it possible to wear them all day without becoming overly fatigued. Why use these? The additional weight will gently build muscles and provide a simple workout without needing to change your schedule to fit in a workout. They are hidden in an attractive, washable cloth covering so they don’t look overly unusual.
Travel Gadgets for General Comfort
Water-Powered Alarm Clock: This travel gadget is not only practical, it’s fun! The alarm clock runs on water, so you never need to worry about
missing a flight due to a power outage. It is tiny enough to fit in any bag, and can quickly be set up once you arrive. Best of all, you never need to buy batteries! Note that the time it takes for the clock to begin working after being filled is dependent upon the mineral content of the water you fill it with. When filled with water with low levels of minerals, it may take up to three hours for the clock to start. Water with average mineral content will start the clock almost immediately. You can add a few drops of trace minerals to the water to speed the start time.
Herban Essentials Towelettes: These towelettes are pre-made with pure essential oils. They come in your choice of lemon, lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus. They provide an easy way to clean up and disinfect without having to make your own product or carry a large container. Perfect!
Acupressure Mat and Pillow: This product is wonderful for relaxing and easing aches and pains after a long day of travel or play. It is very soft to lie on, but has tiny “bumps” that stimulate acupressure points known to encourage the body to heal and relax. It’s tiny enough to easily fit into a suitcase or carry-on. For best results, put it under the covers and sleep on it!
What’s your favorite travel aid? Please share!
I have received many requests to share a natural sunscreen recipe. I developed this recipe several years ago because I wanted to be able to protect myself from sunburn without exposing myself to the harmful chemicals found in most OTC sunscreens. I have found it to be very effective. Please note you may need to apply it more frequently than other sunscreens.
This time of year, it’s not uncommon to hear many frightening warnings about the “dangers of sun exposure.” These warnings make me cringe. The truth is that sun exposure is very beneficial to our health. Severe sunburn is not. Recent research found skin cancer is not caused by simple sun exposure but is caused by severe sunburn. In addition, several studies found the most common ingredients in OTC sunscreens actually CAUSE skin cancer. Even newer research discovered sun exposure (without sunscreen) increases the levels of nitric oxide in our system. Nitric oxide is known to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Please read Shining Light on the Truth About Sun Exposure for more information about the necessity of sun exposure.
What’s the solution? Here are my tips for allowing sun exposure to improve health:
- Get 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day. After you have a good base tan, it’s fine to spend longer periods of time in the sun as long as you do not burn.
- Use a natural sunscreen. See links at the end of this article to a few pre-made versions I really like.
- Keep a close eye on how much sun you’ve gotten. If you think you’re in danger of burning, take time to put on more clothing or to apply a natural sunscreen.
My sunscreen recipe follows. This is easy to make and has ingredients which are easy to find. I included links to make it easier to find the ingredients. Each of the oils used has a natural SPF ranging from 6-30. I added zinc oxide powder to the recipe to provide added protection. This sunscreen is very effective, but may need to be applied more frequently. You can feel free to add a few drops of essential oil to add fragrance if you like.
Good Works Wellness Natural Sunscreen Recipe
o 1/2 cup beeswax pastilles
o 1/2 cup unrefined shea butter
o 1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
o 3/4 cup combination of organic hempseed, macadamia nut or wheat germ oil(s)*
o 5 tablespoons zinc oxide powder
o Optional: 1/2 tablespoon essential oil
*You may use a single oil or a combination of oils to total 3/4 cup. Note you can make the natural sunscreen thinner by adding more liquid oil or thicker by adding less.
Gently melt the beeswax over a double boiler, then whisk in the other oils until all oils and butters are melted. Gradually stir in the zinc oxide powder and blend until well blended. Add essential oils after that if desired. This is best stored in a glass container.
Pre-Made Natural Sunscreens
If you don’t have time to make your own sunscreen, I recommend the following, some of which are water-resistant:
- Badger SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen (This one’s my favorite.)
- TruKids Children’s SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen
- Nature’s Gate SPF 50 Water-Resistant Natural Sunscreen
Photo Courtesy of Rhys Asplundh
Last week I participated in an online diabetes discussion and was accused of not having diabetes. Since I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since 1967, this accusation surprised me. The reason for the accusation? Among other things, this person said it was “obvious” I don’t have diabetes because I don’t mention it in any of my social media profiles and do not talk about it constantly. As a result of this, I began reviewing profiles of people I know have diabetes. Out of over forty profiles, I was the only one who does not mention having diabetes in the first 30 characters of the profile. For people who are diabetes advocates or who work in the diabetes industry, that’s fine. For anyone else, I find it heartbreaking.
Why heartbreaking? Because these people have made diabetes the sole focus of their journey. Instead of viewing diabetes as a challenge that is a secondary part of their life, they view it as the primary matter that defines their existence. I find this heartbreaking! Yes, diabetes is a serious disease; and yes, it requires constant vigilance, but it should never become the factor that defines how a person views him or herself. In fairness, there are many medical conditions which people allow to become their identity instead of being a tiny part of their life. This phenomenon is not limited to diabetes, but seems to be exceptionally common in people with diabetes.
Sadly, this has become very common. Medical professionals often encourage patients to become victims and tell the newly-diagnosed that their disease must become the focus of all their attention. They also often tell patients that diabetes will impair their quality of life and eventually kill them. I consider this the worst form of malpractice. Patients need to be educated about their diagnosis and need to be told about its seriousness, but they should never be convinced they must become invalids who cannot live normal lives. They must be encouraged and trained to control diabetes instead of letting diabetes control them. Diabetes is a fickle condition that doesn’t always obey the rules and rarely does what the textbook says it should. It can be frustrating, but should never become all-consuming. In my case, I have never and will never allow diabetes to prevent me from doing something I wish to. I maintain normal glucose levels by eating a unique diet, exercising and using insulin. (For those who are familiar with diabetes control, my A1Cs run under 6.0. I intend to keep them in the normal level.) I’m not non-compliant and I certainly don’t ignore the fact I have diabetes, but I don’t let it control my life, either. I control it and I’ve learned to deal with unexpected occurrences with humor and acceptance.
It drives me crazy to constantly see diabetes “support” organizations make statements such as, “Having diabetes is hard,” or “Diabetes is a constant stressor.” (Those are direct quotes taken from national diabetes support groups with online channels.) Having diabetes is only hard or stressful if you choose to view it as such. Diabetes is a serious disease, but it should NEVER become such a large focus of someone’s life that they cease to live normally. I talk to many people who tell me they “can’t” do things because of diabetes. My consistent response to that is, “Why the heck not?!” Having diabetes can be challenging, but shouldn’t be limiting. There is absolutely no reason people with diabetes cannot live full, abundant lives. People who control diabetes instead of allowing it to control them feel free to travel, participate in sports, ride motorcycles, stay active, and enjoy every minute of their life. (For more info on having diabetes and riding motorcycles, please see Diabetes and the Art of Motorcycle Riding.)
Here are my top ten ways to live abundantly with diabetes:
- Do what you know you need to. In other words, stay compliant and follow the rules. Ignoring your condition will only lead to problems.
- Learn to laugh about it. Let’s face it, blood sugars are affected by so many different factors they sometimes don’t do what they should. Learn from every unexpected occurrence, but keep a sense of humor about the developments.
- Plan ahead, but be prepared for the unplanned. Always carry a fast-acting source of glucose and your blood sugar meter. If an unusual situation develops, test glucose levels more frequently.
- Get support. By “support,” I don’t mean someone who will let you whine. I mean find people who will listen and provide encouragement, but who are not afraid to hold you accountable if you start holding pity parties. I also give you permission to tell people to stop telling you what to do and to stop asking, “Are you sure you should do/eat that?” Educate those folks, set firm boundaries, and then move on if they continue trying to be the “diabetes police.”
- Let the grieving end. Every person with diabetes goes through a period of grieving. Unfortunately, many folks with diabetes get stuck in the “anger” stage of grieving. As a result, they are constantly angry about everything related to diabetes. Do whatever is needed to release your anger and bitterness so you can start living abundantly and enjoying your life. If needed, seek professional counseling. This is especially true if depression is starting to limit your ability to live a normal life. (And … YES … people with diabetes can live normal lives.)
- Stop talking about it constantly. It isn’t necessary to tell every new acquaintance you have diabetes. Try focusing on other conversation topics. You will probably find your circle of friends widens and you start receiving more social invitations.
- Hold yourself accountable. At the end of every day, take a personal inventory of what your thoughts focused on the most during the day. If diabetes consistently wins the prize, it’s time to start focusing on other things.
- Find a doctor who views you as part of the team and who allows you to control things without constant supervision. Many doctors are horrified if patients change their insulin dose or dietary plan, yet most people with diabetes have to do so to maintain control. Find a doc who recognizes you know more about controlling your glucose levels than s/he does and who welcomes your involvement in making changes.
- Cut yourself some slack. Even those of us who do “everything right” sometimes experience unusual highs or lows in glucose levels. Don’t blame yourself and don’t assume that every unusual occurrence was caused by you. Review what happened prior to the high or low and then think about anything you could have done to change it. Let the unexpected become learning situations. Also recognize that unusual fluctuations may occur which cannot be attached to a specific cause. Accept it, learn from it and move on.
- Stop limiting yourself! Make a list of five things you think you “can’t” do because you have diabetes. Now create a schedule of ways you can gently attempt each of those things. Don’t try to go from zero to sixty overnight. Venture into the new activity in small doses. (Limit the list to legal things, please. In the US, diabetics cannot be astronauts, scuba dive, hold a pilot’s license, be police officers in some states or drive passenger vehicles. Set your sights on legal activities which are similar.) Evaluate things you’ve been told you should “never” do to see if it makes sense to not do it. Were you told you should never get a pedicure? Think about potential risks and then devise a work-around, such as taking your own tools. For the record, I think there are a variety of common activities diabetics are often warned against that make no sense at all. If you want to get a piercing or tattoo, wear open-toed shoes, have a body part waxed, etc., consider the risks and take proper precautions.
How ’bout you? Is diabetes your identity or a tiny part of what defines you?
Note: I know many people will respond negatively to this post. This is purely my opinion. Please keep your comments balanced and kind.
This post is about pampering yourself and improving your health at the same time using a detoxification bath. One of my favorite ways to detoxify is by taking a long, very warm detoxification bath two to three times per week. Why is it important to detoxify? Because toxins are “pollution” in your body and polluted cells don’t work well. As the cells become more and more toxic, the toxicity leads to illness and disease. It’s that simple. I can’t count how many times I’ve helped people dramatically improve their health and eliminate disease simply by eliminating toxic lifestyle habits and doing a systemic detox. This post covers a very simple way to detox several times a week. You’ll not only eliminate harmful toxins but will also feel wonderfully pampered and will probably sleep better! It’s a win-win!
Using baths to detoxify the body is a practice that has been used since ancient times. Hippocrates often used “bath therapy,” also called “balneotherapy,” for healing because he believed detoxification was a primary means of healing the body. The technique involves immersing the body in a detoxification bath containing ingredients that pull toxins out through the skin. The skin is the body’s largest elimination organ. It is a huge bi-directional “sponge” that can be used to absorb nutrients and to expel toxins. (Acne is typically an indicator of toxicity. Read my post The Smart way to Deal with Zits for more info on that topic.)
Note: Detoxification baths are typically not recommended for anyone with circulatory issues, heart problems or high blood pressure. Mainstream medicine says they are also not advised for anyone with diabetes, but this is mainly due to the circulatory problems some people with diabetes have. I strongly disagree that everyone with diabetes should avoid detoxification baths. I’ve had diabetes for almost 50 years and highly value detoxification baths as part of my weekly health regimen. I have never experienced negative effects from them, but I do not have circulatory problems.
The doses in this post are recommended for adults. Although these ingredients are generally safe to add to baths for children in smaller amounts, please consult a trained professional before using detoxification ingredients with children.
Please check with your practitioner if you have any concerns about whether or not detox baths are a good option for you. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT USE DETOX BATHS UNLESS DIRECTED BY A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL AND SHOULD NEVER BATHE IN EXTREMELY HOT WATER.
As always, this information is shared for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health condition.
The act of bathing in warm water is a simple detox even if no additional ingredients are added to the bath water. The process typically induces the body to sweat, and sweat is one of the body’s best forms of detoxification. The simple act of rubbing the body with a wash cloth helps eliminate dead skin cells and open the elimination pathways in the skin. Please be very careful with temperature. Bathing in warm but not overly hot water is recommended. If you notice an increase in heart rate or begin to feel dizzy or light headed while bathing, exit the tub immediately. I recommend drinking purified water before, during and after a bath, as the body can become dehydrated due to the amount of sweat lost during a detoxification bath. Drinking water also helps the body eliminate toxins.
Most ingredients blend better if they are added to the tub while the water is running and the tub contains one to three inches of water. Adding ingredients to a bath can sometimes make the tub very slippery. Please use extreme caution when entering and exiting the tub during a detoxification bath. Please also note that I recommended soaking in a detox bath for no more than 20 minutes.
Here are my favorite detoxifying agents to add to a bath:
Epsom Salts: Epsom salts are a combination of minerals, primary of which is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is essential for multiple body functions (see Why You Need More Magnesium), yet 80% of people in the US are deficient. Bathing in a solution of Epsom salt allows the body to absorb magnesium through the skin. Magnesium sulfate aids detoxification by strengthening the body’s own detoxification methods and opening up primary detoxification pathways. It also helps eliminate heavy metals from the body, increases the body’s ability to eliminate toxins through the digestive tract, and increases the production of digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is wonderfully relaxing, as it helps relax muscles. The nice thing about Epsom salts is that they are very inexpensive and can be found in any drugstore. If you want to try something more exotic, Masada makes a very nice detox blend called Mineral Herb Bath Detox. Dose: I recommend adding one to two cups of Epsom salt per bath. Some people recommend using much higher amounts, but 1-2 cups is a good starting dose. Epsom salts can be blended with any of the detoxification ingredients listed in this post.
Baking Soda (aluminum free): Baking soda is a powerful detoxifier for radiation poisoning. It is occasionally used intravenously during chemotherapy and radiation treatments for that reason. The US Army recommends its use internally to help remove radioactive ions from the kidneys following exposure to radioactive materials. Baking soda is a very alkalizing product, so soaking in a bath containing it can help alkalize an overly acidic body system. It is also helpful for reversing the toxicity of radiation absorbed from cell phones, pad devices, computers, microwaves, televisions, x-rays and other medical scans, etc. On a very timely note, adding aluminum-free baking soda to a detox bath at least once a week may be helpful for protecting against potential damage from any radioactive exposure we’ve had from Fukoshima. (Opinions vary widely about the true amount of exposure we’ve received, but the fact remains we have been exposed. This is a simple addition to a bath with no negative side effects, so why not?) Baking soda also softens the skin. Using it with 1/2 cup of Jojoba oil makes a wonderfully moisturizing bath.
PLEASE make sure the baking soda you are using is aluminum-free. Many people do not realize the flow agents added to Baking Soda often contain high amounts of heavy metals. Soaking in a bath containing high amounts of a heavy metal could be damaging to your auto-immune and neurological systems. You can purchase four pounds of aluminum-free baking soda very reasonably on Amazon: Aluminum-Free Baking Soda. Dose: Start with 2 cups per bath, gradually working up to 1 pound per bath if you fear your exposure to radiation has been high. Bathing in higher doses of baking soda is especially helpful for anyone working in a medical setting who is exposed even indirectly to high amounts of radiation. Baking soda can be mixed with any of the other detoxification ingredients listed in this post, but be aware it will bubble furiously if combined with organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I recommend adding the baking soda at the beginning of running the bath, and adding the Apple Cider Vinegar once the tub is almost filled.
Ascorbic Acid Powder: Ascorbic acid powder is known to neutralize chlorine, so it is a simple solution to use if you do not have a whole-house filtration system installed. One teaspoon is typically enough to neutralize the chlorine in the water. Amazon carries a wide variety of ascorbic acid powders. You can view their selection here.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is high in vitamins and minerals which are absorbed through the skin while bathing. Apple Cider Vinegar baths are known to be highly anti-inflammatory and are known to help the body eliminate excess uric acid. For this reason, baths containing Apple Cider Vinegar are especially nice for anyone dealing with arthritic conditions or gout. Apple Cider Vinegar is also known to help the body eliminate excess mucous. My brother-in-law’s father swears that taking an Apple Cider Vinegar bath will help stop a cold dead in its tracks. The aroma will not linger on your skin, but some people rinse off in the shower after taking a bath containing it. I purchase it by the gallon and try to always have a gallon sitting on the edge of the tub. I actually have a large decorative basket sitting on the edge of my tub that I keep filled with detoxification ingredients, essential oils, moisturizing oils, etc. I use Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. (Click the link to view it and purchase.) Dose: Add one to two cups per bath. Apple Cider Vinegar can be mixed with any of the detoxification ingredients mentioned in this post, but be aware it will bubble vigorously if combined with baking soda.
Bentonite Clay: Bentonite Clay baths are a messy, although very effective, method of detoxification. Bentonite clay is a mineral-rich clay that is white in color and which is very effective at pulling a wide variety of toxins out of the body. It is known to be especially helpful for removing heavy metals and environmental toxins. It is also known to be very helpful for alleviating a wide variety of skin conditions. I use and recommend clays both internally and externally and am a huge believer in their effectiveness. I have seen and heard multiple “miracle stories” of clays being used to eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. The downside of clay baths is that they are very, very messy. The clay left behind in the tub is sometimes very sticky due to having absorbed so many toxins, so cleaning it from the tub can take time. However, a clay bath once a month is a very luxurious way of detoxifying and pampering yourself. I highly recommend it! You can purchase pure Bentonite Clay at a relatively low cost. NOW has a very nice product packaged in one-pound packages: NOW Bentonite Clay. I also like Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.
Amount to add to bath: Anywhere from one cup to one pound may be used. Obviously, using less will create less of a mess to clean up. There is some concern that using excessive amounts of clay may clog pipes, so I don’t recommend using extremely high amounts. Clay can be mixed with any of the products listed in this post.
These ingredients are the tip of the iceberg in terms of ingredients that can be added to baths to aid healing and help the body detoxify. I did not include herbs, essential oils and other detoxifying ingredients because there are too many to list in a single post. If you are interested in learning more about using baths for healing, I highly recommend the book Water Magic: Healing Bath Recipes. It has a multitude of recipes for healing a wide range of physical and emotional issues.
If you have health concerns and would like to address them using natural methods, please contact me. I will work with you to identify the causes of your health challenges, and will then work with you to create a plan to reverse them.
For some reason, the fact I have diabetes and two X chromosomes causes people to respond with shock and amazement when they find out I own and ride a motorcycle. The reasons for this are a mystery to me, but the phenomenon is universal and compelled me to share information about why there’s no reason to be shocked a female with diabetes rides a motorcycle. I’d also like to share some tips that will hopefully help others with diabetes step outside of the box, buy a bike and start living life in the fast lane!
Much of the information in this post is related to information shared in my post: How Motorcycle Riding Improves Physical Health. Please read that if you need to prove to someone that riding a bike makes you healthier!
There is absolutely no reason why a diabetic should not ride a motorcycle. However, folks with diabetes who want to travel on two wheels need to understand they must ride responsibly and exercise caution. This includes ensuring they maintain blood sugars at normal levels throughout their ride.
People with diabetes obviously need to check their sugar before riding. I recommend eating a snack including one or two servings of carbohydrates and at least one serving of protein prior to riding (without taking any additional insulin) to help prevent unexpected low glucose levels during the ride.
A rider with diabetes should always travel with a fast-acting source of glucose such as fruit juice, glucose tablets, a banana, etc. It’s that simple. Diabetics should never be without a source of glucose, anyway, so packing a snack is plain ol’ common sense. It is also wise to carry a form of protein, such as nuts or nut butter, to help maintain sugars at a stable level.
The most important factor to remember is that riding a motorcycle requires greater physical exertion than driving a car. Because of that, diabetics who ride may discover they need far less insulin or medication and/or need to eat more frequently when they ride. I sometimes find I’m able to turn my insulin pump completely off on the days I ride long distances. This is a wonderful additional benefit to riding! The increased physical exertion, which borders on a mild form of exercise, also increases insulin sensitivity for 8-12 hours, further adding to the health benefits of riding a motorcycle.
I’ve learned to eat some carbs and protein before I ride and to turn down the basal rate on my pump (or turn it off entirely) to avoid an unexpected low while I’m on the road. I’ve also learned that if I kill the bike when starting from a stop light, I need to pull over and check my blood sugar immediately. That simple indicator that my reflexes may not be at 100% is worth paying attention to!
The amount of insulin I use on the days I ride long distances is often 1/2-1/4 what I use on a normal day. This means riding a motorcycle boosts my mood, increases life satisfaction, is more fun than words can describe, and improves my health. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Regardless of how many wheels you choose to travel on, be smart, travel safe, and live abundantly!