Episode 004 - Filtering Through The Noise with T1D Nutritionist: Intuitive Eating & Shutting Out Diet Culture with Amanda Ciprich MS RD
October 31, 2021
You'll find a lot of different opinions online when it comes to the best diet for diabetes. Low carb? Whole food, plant based? Vegan? High carb low fat? A lot of these people will ask "what's best for your blood sugars?" but today we're asking "what's best for you, your relationship with your body and blood sugars?" So welcome to our corner of the internet! Today I'm joined by Amanda Ciprich MS RD who also belives in a restriction-free approach with type one diabetes.
Inside this episode, we're taking you through an intuitive eating approach with type one diabetes and how to break through from the influence of diet culture within the diabetes space.
Here’s what’s inside today’s episode:
How the intial advice we're given in our diagnosis can be damaging long term.
Amanda's journey from restrictive eating patterns to an intuitive approach.
How to navigate intuitive eating with the complexities of blood sugar management.
How to filter through the noise of advice online and finding what is credible.
Trends and fads that may be damaging to our relationship with food.
Thank you to Skin Grip for sponsoring this episode! Check out my absolute favorite patches and save 10% at check out by using the code "LISSIE"!
Hit the play button and let's get started!
Resources inside the episode:
Check out Skin Grip at skingrip.com and use the code “LISSIE” at check out!
⏰ (6:22): Similar diagnosis stories, do you mind sharing a little bit more about yours?
⏰ (9:39): How did being diagnosed with diabetes at such a pivotal age impact you?
⏰ (12:27): Life and the universe will always bring you to your purpose in life.
⏰ (14:23): Initial advice from health care providers.
⏰ (17:26): How did that play into the years following your diagnosis? How did that mindset play a role?
⏰ (20:31): Blood Sugar Rocket 🤯
⏰ (21:37): What did that change for you in how you approached food?
⏰ (20:08): Flaws in the healthcare system and clinical setting
⏰ (27:48): Tell us more about intuitive eating?
⏰ (34:50): How do you talk to your clients about navigating intuitive eating while shifting through the mess of diabetes?
⏰ (41:19): So if you were to list three things that you wish that you knew earlier in your diagnosis that can allow somebody else to filter through that noise or get rid of the clutter that may not be serving them in their management right now, what would you leave that to?
⏰ (44:26): As a dietitian, and as Amanda Ciprich, what do you find is the most like frustrating trend right now? Trend slash diet.
⏰ (48:48): Where can we find you and learn more?
⏰ (49:15): Thank you for joining us!
Elisabeth Poyner 00:00
Welcome to Keeping It 100 Radio. I'm your host Lissie Poyner. Type one diabetic, certified health coach, personal trainer and founder of Needles and Spoons Health and Wellness. Inside this podcast, you'll find the real and raw conversations around diabetes management. Including lessons we don't learn in our endo's office, my best tips and trainings, and conversations from experts that I trust inside the community, so you can create more predictability in your diabetes management and feel empowered while doing so. Let's dive in!
Elisabeth Poyner 00:28
Keeping It 100 Radio is brought to you in collaboration with Skin Grip, the only patch company that I trust with my diabetes devices. I started using Skin Grip about two years ago and before I found them, my Dexcom would last maybe four or five days before falling off, making it really hard to lift weights, hike with my dogs or just wanting to do the everyday things that I love. But now I can confidently travel, work out, and navigate life with diabetes without having to worry about dealing with insurance more than I have to, begging for replacements and resorting to finger pricks. Plus I'm in love with their mission to help us live fearlessly with diabetes. You can check out Skin Grip at SkinGrip.com and save 10% on your order by using the code LISSIE L-I-S-S-I-E at checkout.
Elisabeth Poyner 01:07
Hello everyone! Welcome back to Keeping It 100 Radio! We're so excited for this episode because we are talking with Amanda Ciprich. I actually met Amanda earlier this year. We found out that we were both from New Jersey and instantly had to connect and it's just very like when you think of synchronicities in your journey, that is Amanda. Like we, I feel like we're like diabetes twins in a weird way. But to give you some background on Amanda, Amanda is a registered dietician and was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes almost 10 years ago. During the early stages of her diagnosis, she felt herself going down a path of restriction and obsession which left her feeling weighed down and consumed by her diabetes diagnosis. She craved freedom to enjoy her life without diabetes getting in the way, and knew there had to be a way to find her love for food once again. Amanda ultimately decided to pursue a career as a registered dietitian to teach others living with diabetes, and their families, how to manage their blood sugars without giving up the foods that they love. Amanda's approach gives you tools that incorporate prioritizing yourself mentally, emotionally and physically, so you can navigate any scenario that life with diabetes throws at you. Amanda, welcome to Keeping It 100 Radio! We're so excited to have you!
Thanks so much for having me! I'm so excited to be here.
Elisabeth Poyner 02:24
I know that we just kind of did a an overview of your journey and what you do. But do you mind introducing yourself a little bit and sharing just a little bit about you?
Yeah, so my name is Amanda. I am a registered dietitian in New Jersey, I live literally 20 minutes away from Lissie. So as a dietitian, I work with other type ones and their families. And I'm also an amateur cook, as I like to say I love watching like Food Network and stuff. I am a complete obsession with dogs. I am a total dog mama. Lissie can see my two dogs are right now.
Elisabeth Poyner 03:05
And people actually don't know this about me, but I absolutely love doing like puzzles and card games. I'm a total like, puzzle/card game nerd.
Elisabeth Poyner 03:16
Mike, uh, Mike, my boyfriend thinks I'm a total grandma because I'll be like sitting on my phone playing like Solitaire, or like Sudoku or like some sort of like puzzle on my phone for like fun. And he's less like fun, but
Elisabeth Poyner 03:32
I can totally see that, I love it. Sitting doing puzzles of like [...], I love it. And you also make like bomb mocktails. Like we had our mocktail night with Keeping It 100 that you came in as a guest and those were so good!
Yeah, so I love getting like experience. I like going into the kitchen with like experimenting. So especially now that it's like the fall and it's like soup season. I've been like posting soups that I've been making on Instagram and people have been messaging me asking me like, Oh, do you have the recipe? and I'm like, so usually what I do is just dump everything into a pot and bring it to a boil. But like let me try to like tell you guys what I did. So I'm like this is very, very rough. I'm like, just keep adding things until it tastes good.
Elisabeth Poyner 04:22
You should do a cookbook. That's all I can say. And you recently actually wrote a book, right?
Yes, I did. Um, this is very new and exciting. It was always kind of like a bucket list idea that I had. And I feel like sometimes the universe works in very mysterious ways. And I had the opportunity to write a book about caregivers and supporting those with diabetes. And it was really enlightening to take that perspective because I was diagnosed with type one at 18. So I took on my management from the start, like my parents really just learned how to do injections. When I was in the hospital, they both did like two or three each and like, never did it ever again. So being able to really look into how diabetes truly impacts our relationships, and those that support us and bringing real ways that can make diabetes easier by having a supportive person in your life, I think was incredibly helpful. Both for me living with diabetes, and then I think it's going to be a really helpful resource to bring to the community as well.
Elisabeth Poyner 05:42
Yeah, it's so important because like, yes, you're registered dietician, but you're also a person living with diabetes. So I think addressing that emotional weight that kind of comes with it, and how people around you can, you know, support you and love you in the process. It's just, it's really important, and there's not a lot of resources for those caregivers. So I'm really excited for yeah, I mean, I have my copy. I'm excited to refer other people to the book. But if you haven't gotten it, actually, did you say the title of it? Can you mind?
It's The Caregiver's Guide to Diabetes: Practical Advice for Supporting Your Loved One.
Elisabeth Poyner 06:17
We'll put the link and the title in the show notes too for everybody. But we actually have a very similar diagnosis story. So as you were just kind of saying like you were 18. And your like, you, obviously your parents were pretty hands off because you were a young adult. That's really the same journey as myself as well, especially being in college. Do you mind sharing a little bit more about your journey?
Yeah, so I was a senior in high school, I was about three months before I was graduating and supposed to go off to college. And it was a really big, transitional period in my life. And for anyone at 18, you know, the going from high school to college is a really big transition. And then having this diagnosis come into play, it really changed a lot of things for me. Um, having sit-down conversations with my parents, we decided that going out of state to school was something that wasn't in my best interests at the time, because there was just so many things going going on. So at the time, I never had a plan or desire to go to school in the state of New Jersey. I applied literally, everywhere else, but any school in New Jersey. So when my parents, when, you know, made this big decision, I had actually missed the enrollment period for any in-state schools. So it was either I took a gap year, and you know, waited to go to school, or I got started by going to Community College because they had like a rolling admission. So that's what we did. And when I went to community college, going to my orientation, I was going in with being a bio major I always loved science, always knew that I want to do something with science, but didn't really know exactly what pathway I wanted to take. And when I was like sitting there looking at like all like the sciences majors, they had nutritional science. And I was like, wow, like how cool is that? I can kind of take like my love for like biology and kind of combined it with, you know what I'm learning about with my diagnosis. So that's what I did. And ultimately, it ended up being a huge blessing in disguise because the community college I went to was one of the only ones in the state of New Jersey that even offered a nutritional science, a nutritional science options. So I went from there, got my Bachelor's at Rutgers, from there got my Masters to my dietetic internship and now here we are.
Elisabeth Poyner 09:05
Here we are.
Here we are!
Elisabeth Poyner 09:08
Oh my gosh, and I don't think we actually mentioned it but your brand name. your company name, is
Elisabeth Poyner 09:16
Yeah, so if you don't follow her on Instagram, that's her handle, I'll put that in the show notes as well. But I think it just like obviously ties in perfectly with your, your journey, your diagnosis, but also what you what you do for a living which is so much more than just just being a dietitian and assigning meal plans, which we'll definitely talk about in a little bit of, you know, what you do for your clients and how you support the type one community. But I mean, as far as, you know, in my personal experience, I I think that being a young adult and being diagnosed with you know, a disease like type one diabetes, it really shaped a lot of different areas of my life, and I'm sure that you can probably agree, I would think. Do you mind speaking to like where it created that impact? Especially like, we're still molding as at like 18 and 19. So yeah, just speaking to how it impacted you.
So in the beginning, it was a really tough transition. Because at the time, all of my friends were, like, really excited about this big life transition that they were having. And here I am, like, crying because I don't know how many carbs are in the lunch that they're serving at school. So I just felt very alone early on, because no one really understood what I was going through. And on the outside, I still looked really healthy. So it was really hard for me to accept because you looked at me and people were like, oh, like, you have to stop doing X, Y, and Z. And I'm like, Yeah, like I gave up. I played varsity softball in high school, I gave up I gave up playing varsity softball my senior year, because February was when we started workouts. And March was like the start of the season. And I was just like, I was on vials and syringes. So I was just like, I felt like I really had to take a step back and really figure out what diabetes meant for me. Um, so it was really, really hard for, I would say, I really struggled like the first year, at least. And it's never been like, you know, a straight linear progression, like there's still days even now, like 10 years in where I'm like, Whoa, like, Okay, this is a lot. But I was just talking to one of my dietician friends, who she actually has celiac disease, and she works in the celiac population. And we were talking about the sixth stage of grief of grief, which is finding purpose and meaning. And we were talking about how if we didn't have these diagnosis, that I wouldn't have found this purpose and meaning in my life. So while in the beginning, I have gone through some really tough things, and really tough transitions. I think that sometimes the universe has a bigger plan for us. And without that, I wouldn't really be sitting here having this conversation today.
Elisabeth Poyner 12:27
Yeah, I 100% agree with that. I actually had a similar conversation with my dad the other day. And, like, my perspective is, I feel like no matter what life and the universe kind of, kind of brings you to where you're supposed to be, regardless of what happens. So for us, yes, that was being diagnosed with diabetes. And I think you may have found your, your path or your and I could be totally just, you know, assuming here, but you kind of found your purpose or path a little bit more quickly than say, I did. I fought it for a long time. I was like, I can just live with diabetes and do things the way I was doing and like it doesn't need to, it doesn't need to impact me that way. Until about my junior year of college when I was like, Okay, I don't maybe energy like and engineering isn't the right thing for me, maybe I do want to like support people with diabetes. But you know, at that point, life gets in the way and out of state tuition gets really really pricey, so kept on the engineering path. But eventually it does. I feel like bring you to where you're supposed to be. So yeah, I just 100% agree with that. I think like, there is kind of that sixth step of like finding your purpose in it. And maybe not everybody with diabetes will work in the diabetes field. But I feel like in some way or another it integrates into our life, however, that whatever that looks like, and I don't know, I think it's definitely important to talk about.
Elisabeth Poyner 13:54
So yeah, so when we, when you were diagnosed, I'm sure like, there was a lot of misconceptions. Like I was told, I was told, like diabetes doesn't have to affect your life. But like, here's x, y & z of what to do on a day to day basis. Count your carbs, take your insulin, but do everything the same. But then on the other hand, I was also told, hey, like everything is to change - how you eat, how you work out, how you navigate life, all kind of has to change. Were you kind of given the same direction or like what was what were you told from your providers?
So my experience, especially with nutrition, started out on a very bumpy start, straight from the beginning. When I was admitted to the hospital, it took like 10 hours to get me a bed, and I was admitted after like the cafeteria had closed and I like didn't eat anything all day because no one wanted to give me insulin. They like didn't know what to do with me. So I was just sitting in the ER with like a blood sugar of like, I don't know, 600 and something. And so the nurse was just like well we have like you know, peanut butter crackers or you know your family can go out of the hospital and find something you know to eat and bring it back. So of course the only thing that's open at like 10 o'clock at night is pizza. And so my sister goes buys like a pizza and it's like my sister, my mom, my dad, were like, you know trying to make the best of like a really crappy situation. And so we're all sitting like on this hospital bed and the nurse like walks in to like check my vitals and she just like, I will like never forget like the look that she gave me. But it was just like oh, whoa, like what do you think you're doing? And I like had like the pizza like almost in my mouth and she was just like, I mean it's fine I guess, but like, you start insulin tomorrow, so enjoy it. And I like immediately like lost my appetite because I was like, Well what? Like what does that mean?
Amanda Ciprich 16:04
Does that mean, this is the last time I'm ever going to be able to eat pizza? Or what? And then I just received so much conflicting information. It was the dietician that I saw in the hospital gave me like a meal plan and I had like a average high school person's diet where I was eating like bagels and pizza and like all like you know just stuff like that because that's what all my friends ate. And uh so she tried to like you know incorporate ways to you know, still have those foods so when I was discharged and followed up with my outpatient team, they were like oh no. You can't have that. And they're like oh if you want to bagel, well you have to have whole wheat toast. And if you want pizza then you're gonna have to you know make something like else. Like a healthified pizza and it was like everything was just so incredibly like black and white. And I was just like I didn't know any better, so I was like, Okay I'm going to put my trust into you guys of like if you're telling me never to eat white rice again, then I am never going to eat white rice again. Because I literally don't know any better.
Elisabeth Poyner 16:04
Elisabeth Poyner 17:20
Amanda Ciprich 17:21
So that was really really tough.
Elisabeth Poyner 17:26
How did that like play into the years following your diagnosis? Because obviously I mean for those who don't may not know you yet, like how it where you are now is very different from what I'm hearing you know, that that mindset, so
Amanda Ciprich 17:40
Elisabeth Poyner 17:40
How did that? How did that play a role?
Amanda Ciprich 17:44
So during college, it was really dark. It was only eating chicken and broccoli, because anything else I was literally, I started getting afraid of food. And I also had a very perfectionist mentality like I, I, I thrived on getting good grades in school. So going to my educator's office and ever having her having to take out her red pen to correct like a blood sugar was like, it just gave me pure anxiety. So I was like, well, in order to escape that feeling of pure anxiety, I'm just not going to eat those foods. So my blood sugars never had those numbers. And it started out with like, well intentioned advice. And it ended up just getting worse and worse and worse, where I was then having anxiety around, going out for pizza with my friends for someone's birthday, or I would cancel last minute because my blood sugars were like a hot mess and I was like, Oh, I don't deserve to go out to dinner tonight. So it then started disrupting my life where I was really starting to have social anxiety. And that was incredibly difficult. And then paired with being a nutrition student, I thought that learning a lot about nutrition and undergrad, there's a lot of also black and white education that goes into being a nutrition major. A lot of times we are taught about, you know, processed carbs and simple sugars and we're taught all the like science you know, behind all this stuff, but a lot of it is like black and white. And now I think a lot of things are like changing even with like the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. All that stuff is like really changing to incorporate more balance versus like very black and white approaches to nutrition. But at the time, I was just like, Alright, so I'm going to eat chicken, broccoli, a small apple and like 12 almonds, like every day, and like that was how it was gonna be. And it just, I was really going down that restrictive, obsessive, and dark path. And it ultimately wasn't until I was a dietitian, and I took a continuing education that was from a dietitian who works in mindful and intuitive eating. And I sat down, I didn't even know I registered for this continuing education, but I sat down and it was like, I was just like, this is the best continuing education I've ever taken. Because I wish it was something that people told me when I was diagnosed, it was something called the Blood Sugar Rocket. And it was like thinking about like, all these different foods as like a rocket, of like how like fast and far like certain foods can make your rocket or your blood sugar, travel. And how we can pair foods together to keep our rocket nice and steady. And I was just like, that is so amazing. Like, this is so great. Rather than you know, just don't eat brown rice or pizza or anything for like the rest of your life. It was like, really something that you could take and make your own, no matter what your preferences or values around food are.
Elisabeth Poyner 21:14
Right. And that's a fun way. It's like a fun way to think about it instead of Okay, rice will make your blood sugar go to 300 or like, you know, that kind of like correlation/causation kind of like mentality around. It's like, okay, no, I can still have those foods. It's just a matter of how I balance them, or what I can add in. Like I love the add in mentality.
Amanda Ciprich 21:36
Elisabeth Poyner 21:37
Like so what did that change for you in regards to like, how you approached food then?
Amanda Ciprich 21:43
So that's really like how you said, like, focusing on what I can add to my diet, it literally changed everything for me. I was just like, I really put on like, the curiosity goggles, if you will. And I was just like, so what would happen to my blood sugars if I, you know, added this? Or how would I feel? Like, would I feel hungry in two hours if I didn't eat that food? Would I feel satisfied? Would I, you know, be hungry, like, at nighttime if I didn't eat something with dinner? So it just added, like this whole other layer that was missing, for gosh, 7? 6, 7 years of my diagnosis, and no one had ever talked about, you know, relationship with food, food pairing, anything like that, ever. And I was like, this is incredible! And it was so refreshing that I was just like, this could literally change people's lives.
Elisabeth Poyner 22:44
Yeah, it's like, almost like too good to like, hold to yourself. That's what like, I don't know what it part of me wants to think or, like, maybe this is another huge assumption. But I always feel like we're not taught those things, because it just kind of makes the job of like, the healthcare system easier. Like there's less explanations, there's less like, it's just more black and white, you can just give the meal plan and go. And like it just kind of made everybody's life a little bit easier, which you've worked in, in clinical settings so I could be completely off on that. But
Amanda Ciprich 23:16
You're on the right track, because our healthcare system is incredibly broken. When I was working as a clinical dietitian, I had to see upwards of 20 patients in like an 8 hour a day. 20 people in an 8 hour day, so do I have time to sit there and explain all the nuances of nutrition to a newly diagnosed diabetic? Absolutely not. So I do think that you know, these worksheets sometimes that we're given, they're a really good starting point, right? Because it does make sense that we eat consistently. And you know, it's not like we're eating the pizza and Chinese food, because we really won't be able to assess what that our baseline insulin needs are, you know, like, your doctor needs to know how much long lasting insulin you need, how much like what your insulin to carb ratio is. And if you have really variabilities with your meals, it can make that a little difficult to find. So I get why they asked for more like consistency in the beginning, is so you can have that nice baseline. And then and that's what what I think is missing is like this part - is how now once you get those baselines, how do you now integrate this into your life? And you that is the biggest piece that I think is missing.
Elisabeth Poyner 24:38
Right. And that's where that's where I really think it's so important of where like you come in as a dietitian that's outside the clinical setting, like you offer programs where you can meet people in the middle and truly bridge that gap and say, No, no, no, this isn't forever. There are ways to integrate the foods that you love and like have more of that variability. And it just creates more of that educational piece that's truly missing from that 20-30 minute session that we get, like, one or two times a year, because insurance just likes to say that we don't need it.
Amanda Ciprich 25:09
Yeah. Yeah or even um, I'm like, in the midst of trying to get an appointment with a new endocrinologist and all I have like standing appointments, but it's not until January. So even if you're seeing your dietician, like, you might see them once every two weeks, but there's no hand holding, really big discussions in between. So I really do see that there's a huge need for people like me and you to be able to give the community that accessibility to what's missing. And that way, they're able to have literally all their answers quite their their questions answered, rather than, you know, just having question marks, and then they go into a meeting with someone and they're like, I don't even know what my problem is because that passed.
Elisabeth Poyner 26:00
Right? Yeah, I have this laundry list of questions. And then they get into this appointment, where they're so overwhelmed with numbers and questions, and you know, all the things that come with an endocrinologist appointment. So yeah, I it's just a huge block that I'm really glad that you found that course. And you kind of saw that open, you closed that open loop, and now that you're able to, like bring it to other people, and you know, even on on platforms like this, where even we're just opening up the discussion of Hey, there's more. I think it's so important for people to know, like, there's just, there's so much more.
Amanda Ciprich 26:38
Yeah, most definitely. And I know often times when we're newly diagnosed, we, like usually go to Google or Facebook or social media. And it can, that can also be incredibly overwhelming. So being able to find people who can help debunk, you know, the actual questions that you're having, and not feed into that overwhelm and misinformation, I think is also incredibly important, as well. Is to find the people that are actually qualified and not just random people on the internet.
Elisabeth Poyner 27:13
Right, which, yeah, that's a whole nother issue of like, how do you filter out those people? Like, I think those people are obviously here, like, obviously, we have, you know, professionals like you. And then I'm, I am a coach who has another professional on my team and there are other people who I trust in the community, but it's like, now you have to filter through the noise. And that's the hard part because then you're getting all of these diets and fads and detoxes in kind of like, like clouding your path of how to get to things like nutritional pairing, or like intuitive eating, which is another concept that I want you to kind of talk about, because that's kind of your, your approach to diabetes now, right?
Amanda Ciprich 27:56
Yeah. So usually with diabetes, we think that we need to take a diet, restrictive type of approach. And there are so many different, you know, fads out there that I hear, it's like intermittent fasting, keto, low carb, this, that, and the other thing. And what I joke about with my clients is intuitive eating is essentially eating however you want, when you want. And by that I mean, some mornings, I might wake up and want to eat keto, by lunch, I might want to eat vegan. And maybe for dinner, I want to, you know, eat high carb/high fat, I don't know, just, it's whatever your body wants. Rather than listening to any one else telling you how to eat. It's figuring out what's important to you, what your values, what your preferences are, rather than listening to a worksheet telling you exactly what to eat. And a lot of times, it's intuitive eating isn't just yeah, let me just listen to my body, my body's gonna tell me eat this, not that, and it's gonna be this wonderful, beautiful, rainbows and butterfly type of thing. It's really hard work. Because when we're diagnosed with diabetes, we lose a layer of body trust. Our bodies betrayed us in some capacity. And we have to acknowledge that. Our healthy body went and did something that, it attacked itself. So now that we have this condition, we do have some layer of mistrust. So how do we take that mistrust and lean into knowing what our body needs? So those needs are going to change day to day, meal to meal. And if we are putting ourselves in the box of a diet, it can get really, really stressful. And it's, you know, oh my god, I have to eat 30 more carbs in this meal in order to eat my macros, but I am so incredibly stuffed and my blood sugar is high, but like, Oh my god, what do I do? If you're following some type of like, I don't know low fat diet and you want salad dressing on your salad, and now you're over your fat for the day and now oh my god that's going if I put dressing that's going to have my insulin resistance through the roof, and then it just gets so incredibly messy. But when you're able to have this layer of body trust, um, have a layer of actually understanding nutrition and how your body responds to different foods, different food pairings, you're able to then strengthen your dosing decisions. And it just plays in really well where you're not obsessive around the foods that you're eating and everything just seems to float together. It's really hard work. It's really hard work because diets just give you eat this, not that. And you're like, great. This is awesome. I don't have to really do much. Because if I do exactly what this list is telling me, my blood sugar should be fine. But what happens when they're not fine?
Elisabeth Poyner 31:06
Yeah, exactly. And, and like this is the thing too, like food is so much more than just food. Like it there's so much more to it than just meeting our body's needs or like fueling our body. It's a social thing. Like you know, think about how many times that we eat with friends, we go out to eat, we you know, meet for appetizers where we have friends over for dinner, it's a cultural thing. Like we have holidays, we have traditions that we uphold, like it's not as easy as just like, maybe going to your, this might be a really bad example. But like going to your dentist and your dentist saying use this toothpaste followed by like this mouthwash, and then like having kind of that protocol to keep your teeth clean. It's like there's so much more to food than then simple. Like, okay, my body needs food. So like, I do think it's so important for us to have these options and like to meet our body where it is because there's, our body's constantly changing. Like think about the seasons changing, and how foods like change with the seasons, we have hormonal changes throughout the month. Like our body just constantly needs different things. And it's okay to address that for what it is.
Amanda Ciprich 32:18
Yeah, and we're often told so many times like foods that we can't eat with diabetes, and it's just incredibly empowering to be like, no, you can and let's let's figure this out. Like there's there's no black and white like I get questions all the time, like what's, is this good for my blood sugars? Like is x food good for my blood sugar? And I'm like, well, like no one food is you know, quote unquote bad for your blood sugar. But like let's take a closer look. You know if your blood sugar's 300 are like incredibly high, is eating a big giant hot fudge sundae really the best thing for you? The goal of eating is to always feel good, right? So why add fuel to that fire? But if you know maybe your blood sugar's like on the higher end, but it's your wedding day, or you're at a wedding for a friend or something, and you're getting served wedding cake, I would rather take the high blood sugar, and be a part of that moment, because five years from now, I'm going to remember getting like cake thrown in my face, and not the fact that my blood sugar was X number,
Elisabeth Poyner 33:35
Amanda Ciprich 33:35
So it's being able to dislike No, no decision is technically correct or right or whatever. But it's truly our intention behind it. And sometimes our intention is to feel good. Sometimes our intention is to make memories. Sometimes our like, our intention is always going to change because life changes. Our priorities change. So whatever that looks like, is incredibly personal. You know, like, I hate seafood. If you literally tell me to literally eat a pescatarian diet, I would cry, I would actually cry because fish literally terrify me. I am literally terrified of fish. So I'm like that would literally be the worst, the worst diet for me. Right? But I don't feel restricted not eating fish because I actually hate it. So when you take your preferences into consideration, it's not really coming from a place of restriction. It's a preference, not really a rule.
Elisabeth Poyner 34:41
Right. I like how you leave that out of like, there's preference and there's priority, and that's kind of what it should come down to. Now, my next question is kind of because a concept like intuitive eating can be, I feel, kind of difficult for like people living with diabetes, to confront, or to not gra like to gravitate to because of, you know, we have different roadblocks like our hunger cues shifting depending on our blood sugars, we have to worry about the number of carbs, worry about where our blood sugars are sitting at the current moment, we have to worry about how much insulin we have on board. How do you? How do you confront that? Like, how do you talk to your clients about navigating intuitive eating while shifting through the mess of diabetes?
Amanda Ciprich 35:29
Yeah, so one of the biggest misconceptions about intuitive eating is this aspect that people with diabetes or other chronic conditions, that we can't really do intuitive eating. We have to diet in some capacity. And with intuitive eating, there's 10 principles. One of the principles is called gentle nutrition. And with gentle nutrition, it's leaning into what we know to be true for our internal and external knowledge. So just like how if our blood sugar's 300, you know, is that the best thing to is a hot fudge sundae the best thing for me to eat right now? Or can I wait until my blood sugar comes down into rage? How can we utilize the aspect of nutrition gently, quote, unquote, so we're not actually following a diet that's full of restriction and really treating ourselves with kindness and grace to navigate things rather than just having a eat this, don't eat that, and then you fall into this risk of feeling like a failure, or guilt, or shame, or any of that stuff that falls into restrictive dieting. And it's incredibly hard. I kinda tell my clients it's almost like having like the devil and angel like on your shoulder, like at one on one side, you always have someone telling you like, No, you don't need that much rice, you don't need that much rice and you know, cut back on that, cut back on that. And then you have like this angel on your shoulder that's like you deserve to eat whatever you want. But sometimes we have to take our like internal and external knowledge. And, you know, ask ourselves, how much would be satisfying? Is this what I need right now? Like, can I wait to pre-bolus? Can I? It's like pairing everything that you know to be true with nutrition and blood sugars. And it really helps you just have a better relationship with your body overall, because you're now learning different cues that were silenced for so long.
Elisabeth Poyner 35:29
Yeah, no, I like that a lot. Because usually, you know, we're kind of taught like, okay, like, either I kind of feel like it goes under a few different points of Okay, like eat every four hours or eat at the same time every day, or wait until your blood sugar's under x number to eat. Like we're kind of given those rules. But when we're allowed to just take that integrative approach of like, I know this information about nutrition. I know this information about my body. How can I pull them together to make the best decision that I can make for me in this moment? And yes, there might be some hindsight to that after being like okay, maybe I can change that decision slightly to, maybe change the bowls decision or maybe add something to slow down the spike a little bit. There's always going to be that. But how do you learn those things unless you allow yourself the opportunity to try it and troubleshoot it? And I always I always tell my, like, my clients at least have like, I okay, like I love sushi. If sushi doesn't work for my blood sugars I'm going to keep, I might not eat it every day, but I'm going to keep ordering sushi until I get it right. Because that's something I like I'm not gonna give up my sushi just for the sake of my blood sugars. Will be messy the first few times? Good possibility, but you know, there's a way to make it work. And it can, it can be an empowering experience instead of the Okay, I messed that up.
Amanda Ciprich 39:00
Yeah, yeah, it can get incredibly discouraging when you put so much time and effort into things and then you don't get that desired outcome, you know? Because even, you're not purposely going to dose for sushi and be like, yeah, I am going to dose and go up to 300. Like, that's my goal. Like, no, our goal is to always stay in in range, right? But if, even how we, what we do next, you know, when things don't work out, and what we do next, I think is incredibly, like you mentioned, like that's the empowerment part. Of either you can let, because I let diabetes kind of run everything. If my blood sugars went high after sushi, I was like, it's the sushi. It's the sushi. It is the damn sushi. It's diabetes. I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Instead of taking like an empowered approach and being like, Okay, how can I reassess this? How can I you know, make more empowered or confident decisions around like my dosing? How can I strategize a bit better? And that's where working with someone who actually lives with diabetes can be really helpful. Because we know that not everyone's body is going to digest and absorb food differently. So when you go online and you Google how to do a search for sushi, this because someone does this for sushi one way does not mean that that's how it's gonna work for you. But it's finding your own body patterns, and using them so you can learn how to enjoy all the foods. And it's not easy. Trial and error is not easy. But it's definitely worth it to keep going.
Elisabeth Poyner 40:45
Yeah, it's almost easier to blame the food sometimes, because taking that ownership can be really hard. Like, that's not easy, either. But it's also I think, the most empowering thing of when you do land it and you do nail it, then you get to take ownership for that win. Like it's kind of that double edged sword, but it kind of helps you build, I always say it's like building a muscle. But okay, so I actually didn't write this question in our email, and because it just came up. But like, this whole podcast is kind of about filtering through the noise. It's about having those unconventional conversations. So if you were to list three things that you wish that you knew earlier in your diagnosis that can allow somebody else to filter through that noise or get rid of the clutter that may not be serving them in their management right now, what would you leave that to?
Amanda Ciprich 41:35
You put me on the spot Lissie.
Elisabeth Poyner 41:37
Yeah, I mean, I can give you a minute.
Amanda Ciprich 41:40
Right. So it's things that I wish I knew when I was diagnosed? Is that it?
Elisabeth Poyner 41:46
Yeah, that like maybe people aren't finding on social media right now, that they like, or might need to dig for, that we can bring to the surface.
Amanda Ciprich 41:57
Okay. I got it. Alright, so what I would tell people is to remove that black and white thinking around food. So or just remove the black and white thinking altogether. Because when we're labeling our blood sugars good or bad, or carbs as good or bad, it lets everything have a moral or emotional tie. And when we get rid of that moral or emotional tie, that's when we're able to take more of a curiosity or experimental approach to different things. And I think that is incredibly important, and something that's oftentimes really overlooked. Another thing I would say is, question what you believe is true. So, as you are scrolling the Internet, and you come across someone's page of them, I don't know, telling you how they exercise or showing you what they eat for breakfast, or telling you how much insulin they take. If that has you start questioning your own management, question why you believe that. And if those people are giving you any type of negative response, like you're starting to question how you're managing, you know, maybe I should do that diet, maybe I should do that type of exercise, because seems to work for that person. Unfollow them, just block, unfollow, mute them, do whatever you got to do to protect your space, because I have spent so much time trying to put the puzzle pieces together of what other people were doing, to make what was best for me, instead of really learning what I valued in my own life and management. And I alluded to this earlier, we touched on this a little bit, but focusing on what you could add into your diet versus take away. That shift right there can open up so many doors, so many doors. Of being able to enjoy happy hour with friends, date nights, so many things. Because instead of focusing on just the carbs, you're able to take an abundance approach. And that is just so incredibly empowering when it comes to improving your relationship with food.
Elisabeth Poyner 44:21
Those were good answers for me throwing you on the spot.
Amanda Ciprich 44:24
Elisabeth Poyner 44:26
I love it. Those are so good. Um, okay, and I want to end it on kind of a real note. So as a dietitian, and as Amanda Ciprich, what do you find is the most like frustrating trend right now? Trend slash diet.
Amanda Ciprich 44:48
So... I really hate diet books. Um, so one would be Dr. Bernstein. And two would be Mastering Diabetes. Don't tell me to rank which one I hate more because it's a tie. It's It's a tie. Um, what I don't like about either of them is they're extreme. They're incredibly extreme, they don't take your preferences into consideration. And a lot of them are removing a lot of foods that have a lot of health benefits. And if veganism is something that like you personally prefer, then that's great. But that doesn't mean you need to give up avocados and oils for you know, the, oils are so healthy for our body. They're what protect our vital organs, what gives our body insulation. What protects our brain. Like fats have such an incredibly helpful value and Mastering Diabetes pretty much says no oils whatsoever. And then Dr. Bernstein is I would say carbophobic, if that's like a term, where it really makes people afraid of carbs, and also leans into the conversation that like using insulin is bad. Because if you eat more carbs, you have more variety in your blood sugar, and then you need more insulin. So it just, that's just not really true. I mean, it in essence, it's true, but it's just not that black and white.
Elisabeth Poyner 46:29
Yeah, and then it makes people, yeah, be afraid of taking insulin, which is saving their life. Like, yeah,
Amanda Ciprich 46:35
And if like, we weren't people with diabetes, like we literally, you know, we crank up our pen, our pod, our pump, whatever, however we're getting our insulin, we see those numbers, people without diabetes literally have no idea what their pancreas is doing throughout the day. So why do we think like certain numbers of insulin is, quote unquote, bad? It's just because we're seeing the number, right? Um, and so those are probably my top two. Top two on my list, because and it sucks, because they're so popular. You go on Amazon, and you Google Type One Diabetes book. And Dr. Bernstein comes up as like number five with 2000 four star or five star reviews, and you're like, Oh, this must be super trustworthy. He's a doctor, he has type one diabetes, the, like, reviews are excellent, but it's just such a big black and white approach. And anything that takes an extreme approach to me is not something that I would support. Um unless it's, again, a preference of someone.
Elisabeth Poyner 47:49
Right. Exactly. Like if I would say too to my clients, like if you want to eat low carb because you enjoy it, that's one thing. But if it's because of the if it's not coming from an empowered place, then maybe what's kind of like reconsider a little bit. And yeah, no, I love that. I knew those were gonna be your answers.
Amanda Ciprich 48:09
Yeah, they have been coming up a lot in conversations lately, because they're just so incredibly popular. And it's, it's just really sad to me. But also, a lot of people just don't know any better. So that's why I continue to come out here to be against that stuff. Because when you're diagnosed, and you're getting pounded with information from every direction, it, you really just want someone to hold your hand. And we don't really realize how damaging some of that information can be, oftentimes until it's way too late.
Elisabeth Poyner 48:48
Yeah, absolutely. So if people want to learn more from you, they want to hear more about what you have to say about, you know, your life with diabetes, or just different, you know, tips and tricks around food and all that. Where can they find you? Where should they look?
Amanda Ciprich 49:06
So they can follow me on Instagram @t1d.nutritionist or on my website at t1dnutritionist.com.
Elisabeth Poyner 49:15
Amazing, and I'll put those in the show notes too. But thank you so much for coming on and having this conversation. I think it's really nice to get this perspective. And it's very refreshing for, for especially people like us who who were diagnosed and were introduced to diabetes with all that restrictive mentality. So thank you so much.