Sophie Lunnon, or @t1dsophie as she is known to her 6600 Instagram followers, is a LivLife fan, using our bread as part of her low carb lifestyle to manage her type 1 diabetes.
Sophie has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2013, and in the first few years struggled with fluctuations in her blood sugars. After four years, Sophie discovered the low carb way of eating and through this lifestyle has been able to achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Here Sophie shares her story on managing her diabetes the low carb way.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2013 at the age of 15. It came as a huge shock to me and my family. At the time we didn’t know anyone else with diabetes or the best way to manage it. The general advice was to carry on eating whatever I wanted, as long as I took insulin for it, and to have a large amount of carbohydrates with every meal. The recommendation was a high carb, low fat diet. Unfortunately, carb-counting is not as simple as it seems and managing type 1 diabetes is no easy feat. Even though I tried my hardest with my blood sugars, every day was like a rollercoaster, and I would spike and drop out of range. It was a high effort, low reward scenario.
In the beginning, I tried to stick to healthier high carb options such as porridge, bananas, jacket potatoes and whole grains, but even these foods would spike my blood sugars high. It was so disheartening – I was doing everything ‘right’, and it still didn’t result in steady blood sugars. My hair was thin, my skin was dry, and I had dark bags under my eyes. My sugar cravings were strong, I was exhausted all the time and I was worried about what the high blood sugars were doing to my body. My diabetes really restricted my life, and I began to wonder if eating “normally” was worth the short term and long-term side effects.
Discovering Low Carb Eating
Four years later, I had finally had enough. I thought to myself, ‘there must be a better way to manage this condition.’ I came across a post online from someone with type 1 diabetes, who had shared their 24-hour blood glucose graph. I had never seen such steady blood sugars. They had tagged ‘#lowcarb’ and that was how I first discovered the low carb way of eating for diabetes. I found lots of articles and studies about people with type 1 diabetes who were having great success eating this way and were achieving normal blood sugars, greatly reducing their complication risk and improving their quality of life.
My lightbulb moment was reading The Law of Small Numbers:
Small amounts of carbs = require small amounts of insulin = resulting in smaller chances of error/fluctuation.
Effects of a Low Carb Lifestyle
I put a low carb lifestyle into practice and adapted my meals and snacks to lower carb versions. Within the first week, my blood sugars were the steadiest they’ve ever been. I couldn’t believe they were mine! My friends and family could see a difference in me as well and said, “you look so much happier.” My hair started to grow thicker and stronger, my energy levels increased, I no longer had intense cravings for sugar, and I wasn’t spiking anymore after eating. I was now able to go hiking across Dartmoor, skiing, or surfing in the sea, without having to worry about what my blood sugars will do, as I knew they would stay steady.
Something I was anxious of in the beginning was feeling restricted by a low carb lifestyle. Thankfully, I soon realised that there are so many delicious low carb alternatives and recipes for foods such as chocolate cake, biscuits, and bread, so luckily, I never have to feel like I’m ‘missing out’ on anything. I was absolutely over the moon when I discovered LivLife bread – I didn’t think it was possible for a bread to be low in carbohydrates but taste just as good as regular higher carb bread! Now I can enjoy toast in the mornings or a sandwich for lunch. It’s surprising how many different low carb meals you can make with LivLife bread too.
Meals I’ve been loving lately using LivLife:
-French toast or Eggy bread
-Boiled eggs and soldiers
-Sage and onion stuffing (bread grated into breadcrumbs)
-Homemade chicken nuggets (breaded coating)
-Garlic bread (a clove of garlic roasted in the oven until soft, then smushed onto the bread!)
It’s amazing to now be able to eat bread again and not have to worry, as you know that you will stay steady afterwards (something I took for granted before my diagnosis). It’s truly the closest thing to feeling like a non-diabetic.
My Latest Results
My last HbA1c result was 27 mmol/l or 4.6% (well within the non-diabetic range), and this is all down to swapping high carbohydrate foods for lower carbohydrate foods. My doctors are blown away at my results, and one of my doctors told me he had never seen a person with type 1 diabetes with such steady blood sugars. After years of struggling, I am so grateful that I have finally found a way to manage my type 1 diabetes that is enjoyable, healthy, and sustainable.