Happy Spring! Time to Spring Clean Your Eats

It’s Official: It’s the First Day of Spring 🌷

Winter is on his way out. Spring is making her long-awaited 2018 debut. With it, time for some spring cleaning! The first day of spring is the perfect time to change up your routine. Not only that, but it also happens to be the International Day of Happiness! What better way to celebrate longer, warmer, happier days than with a bit of spring cleaning? Spring clean your exercise routine, your diabetes supply closet, and your produce staples.

Time to Restock Your Pantry 🍍🥦

We’re here to help with that last one. Spring is all about ushering in fibrous, colorful eats and taking full advantage of their super fresh, nutritional value. Here’s what’s in season right now (and what you need to pick up on your next grocery run!):

Butter Lettuce
Collard Greens
Fava Beans

And, for a visual guide when you go to the grocery store, check out our spring produce guide below:

first day of spring - spring cleaning

Fill up on these nutrient-dense foods while you can! Most of the produce above is in its prime March-June.

Happy First Day of Spring! 🌱

Luck of the Irish? More like Luck of the PWD. 🍀


Kiss Me, I’m a PWD!

Luck of the Irish? Sure, it’s a thing. But so is the Luck of the PWD (person with diabetes). Lucky stars, lucky strikes, or lucky charms, we’ve all been there: a panic-inducing diabetes moment, quelled by none other than our magical PWD-being.

This St. Patrick’s Day, raise a glass (or a vial) to the Luck of the PWD. 🍻

1. When you overcorrect that high…

… but somehow (pure magic✨) stick the perfect BG landing.

2. When you’re low in the middle of nowhere…

… but happen upon an unopened packet of honey in your pocket. 🤷‍♂️ And then you’re like wow, I love old me, always prepped and ready with sugar stashes for future me. #brushyourshouldersoff

3. When you are actually low…

… (not like, fake low, to get out of a speeding ticket) and race home to get your fix. You arrive in your driveway, safe & sound, still in one piece, no cop sightings to be had.

4. When you’ve run out of all your pump sites…

None in your supply closet, none in your backup backpack stash. But then! You find two miraculously hiding in your suitcase from your vacation 6 months ago!

5. When you get to school first thing in the AM…

… only to realize you’ve left your entire insulin pen stash at home (current pen, backup pen, pen needles, the whole shebang). And then you remember – you gave your school nurse that apocalypse kit, way back when.

6. When your test strip vial falls onto the street, pops open, and lands in a puddle…

You can kiss all those 50 test strips goodbye. And then you’re like, I’ve got all the test strips I could ever need with my One Drop | Premium subscription! #IDGAFaboutmyteststripusagebecauseihavealltheteststripsintheworld 🙌


7. When you are totally out of pen needles…

Your last one just broke on your skin from being so dull. And then you remember that syringe hack you learned. AND you just so happen to have one (☝!) syringe on-hand!

8. When you wash everything on your body after spilling juice on yourself during your low…

Everything, including your pump, that was in your jean pocket. You pull it out of the wash. It still works. They weren’t kidding when they said it was “waterproof.”

9. When your pump reservoir runs out at the concert…

You think you have to go home. But then. You find. An old vial of insulin and syringe in your fanny pack! Safe to stay.

10. When you can’t remember taking your long-acting dose and didn’t record it in your One Drop app…

Everything looks normal; everything feels normal. 8 hours later and still no spikes – silly rabbit, you def took that dose. 😉

11. When you’re out on St. Patrick’s Day, go low….

… have to climb over the jungle of people to get to the bar, and know you’re gonna have to explain your “just OJ, no alcohol” situation. Luckily, this bartender “gets you” and this one’s on him. #noexplanationneeded

12. When you eat pizza …

… knowing full well that you will experience (and mentally preparing for) a blood sugar rollercoaster for the next 12 hours. And just like that, it’s 12 hours later, and you nailed that fast-acting insulin-to-pizza ratio.

Happy St. Pancreas — erm — St. Patrick’s Day! 🎩

American College of Physicians publishes new A1c guidelines. We strongly disagree.


ACP A1c Guidelines

This week, the American College of Physicians published new guidance on the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Like many in the diabetes community, I was left shaking my head about the recommendations, which include a target A1c for people with type 2 diabetes between 7-8%. This is in contrast to the longstanding ADA recommendation of 7% for all people with diabetes.


Whoa. That’s Confusing.

Even more confusing is the recommendation that doctors ‘de-intensify’ treatment for people with type 2 diabetes who are meeting their A1c target. That’s like telling a teenager ‘Just drive faster and don’t worry too much about the speed limit.’


This new guidance is baffling from a medical point of view, because it’s known that having an A1c over 7% significantly increases your risk for complications, including severe visual impairment (blindness), extensive nerve damage, and kidney disease, just to name a few.

Let’s Talk Management. Real Management.

But what shocks me most is the message of disempowerment that the ACP is sending to people with diabetes. Managing isn’t always easy, but I am a firm believer that it’s doable. And we have plenty of evidence that it is! When I read these recommendations, it tells me that that the American College of Physicians doesn’t believe that people with diabetes can manage it well. I get the impression that they believe that people aren’t capable of keeping their blood sugars in their target range; those that can don’t have the ability to deal with low blood sugars.

So Then – What is an Ideal A1c for Type 2 Diabetes?

This sends the message that many doctors would rather change the rules to give their patients (and themselves) the impression they are providing good care, rather than actually providing it. But no matter what the rules are, they do not change the fact that having an A1C above 7% is not good for you. The research clearly shows that most people’s ideal A1c should be below 7% (and some say 6.5%) to reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.


We Deserve Better

People with type 2 diabetes deserve better from the American College of Physicians. They deserve better medical care, but just as importantly they deserve to have health care teams (and systems) who believe in them and who will empower them to play the key role in their self-care. So many people with diabetes want to manage better, but they’re not confident that they can. With this guidance, the American College of Physicians isn’t doing much to help.

At One Drop, we’re confident that people can live well with diabetes. We know from experience that by giving people education, tools, and support, they will gain the confidence they need to get there. When people meet their ideal A1c, we celebrate with them, and we work with them to stay on track to maintain their gains. Just take a look at all of our clinical trials.

We see evidence that people can live great lives while managing diabetes well every day.

We believe that people with diabetes should be empowered to take care of themselves, and we’re committed to standing by their side every step of the way.

One Drop users lower A1C by 1.6% in just 3 months

In case you missed it, the 11th annual Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) conference happened last month. One Drop presented some major findings.

Hold up. What’s ATTD?

The ATTD meeting showcases the latest developments in diabetes tech, as well as the evidence to support it. Think: new insulin analogs and delivery systems, insulin pumps, glucose sensors, closed-loop systems, devices for diabetes prevention, artificial pancreas, and many other up-and-coming digital tools to help people with diabetes.

One Drop Findings

At the ATTD 2018 meeting, we presented significant blood glucose improvements among people using One Drop. Major win! 🤩

We sifted through our One Drop database, looking specifically for people who:

-had a One Drop | Premium or Plus subscription
-used their One Drop | Mobile app with their Apple Watch
-used One Drop | Experts coaching for 12 weeks or more
-had a starting estimated A1c (eA1c) of ≥7.5%

Our Results

Thirty-four people met our inclusion criteria. They were mostly male (77%), and had type 2 diabetes (62%). The remainder (38%) had type 1 diabetes. In week 1 with One Drop, the sample’s average blood glucose was 227 mg/dL. By week 12, the average blood glucose was 179 mg/dL. That’s a 1.6% eA1c reduction in just three months. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!


As we know firsthand from having diabetes, A1c is not always the best measure of blood glucose management. For example, a series of high blood sugars can be offset by a series of low blood sugars. That average, then, will represent a number that’s an average of highs and lows. And while that A1c number may be good, the real highs and lows are not. What’s better? Consistently in-range blood glucose levels.

ATTD 2018 - in range blood glucose

In-Range Blood Glucose

In just 12 weeks, One Drop subscribers with Apple devices reduced the number of high blood glucose readings and improved the number of in-range readings. Double win whammy. In week 1, 66% of blood glucose readings were high. That dropped by 26% in week 12, to only 40% of blood glucose readings that were high in a given week. A comparable improvement was seen for in-range blood glucose readings. In week 1, only 32% of readings were in-range. That improved by 25% in week 12, with 57% of that week’s readings in-range.

ATTD 2018 - average blood glucose

What Does It All Mean?

Average blood glucose readings? Down. ⬇ Average high blood glucose readings? Down. ⬇ Average in-range blood glucose levels? Up. ⬆ These winning outcomes thanks to a One Drop | Premium or Plus subscription (on-demand test strip delivery, Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, and anytime access to a personalized Certified Diabetes Educator), along with the One Drop | Mobile app on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Check out the full story and poster here!

One Drop Now Available on Fitbit Ionic!

The News

If you have Fitbit Ionicthe ultimate health and fitness smartwatch from Fitbit that works across Android, iOS and Windows, has onboard GPS and music, payments and more with up to 5 days battery life—then this one’s for you:

One Drop is now available on your wrist! The new app designed for Fitbit Ionic is everything that you know and love about One Drop on your smartphone, now located on your Ionic device. Our dedicated team has been hard at work on this one, and we are thrilled to introduce the One Drop app for your Fitbit Ionic!

ICYMI:  We recently launched Fitbit integration with the One Drop | Mobile app. So, if you wear a Fitbit of any kind and want your activity data synced with One Drop, follow the instructions here.

The Fitbit Ionic App

If you have a Fitbit Ionic and the One Drop app on your smartphone, then you’re ready to rock. Now, with the One Drop Fitbit Ionic app, you can instantly see blood sugars, food intake, activity levels, and medication anytime, anywhere. It’s one more way we’re making this diabetes thing a little easier: instant updates on your health data right on your wrist!

Installing Your Fitbit Ionic App: Instructions

You can install the watch face in two ways. Choose either via the direct link (must be opened on a mobile device with the Fitbit app installed) or via the Fitbit App Gallery. If installed from the direct link, skip down to the section on installing the watch face (Step 3).

Step 1

From the Fitbit app, click the watch icon in the top left corner and select your Ionic. On the Ionic screen, select “Clock Faces” and find the “One Drop Watch” (you can narrow the watch faces by looking in the “Stats Heavy” or “Digital” categories).fitbit-ionic-app-diabetes

Step 2

Next, navigate to the One Drop Watch. Click the “Select” button. When prompted, allow the One Drop Watch permission to “Run in Background” and “Internet.” Click “Install.”

These permissions are required for the One Drop Watch to function.


Step 3

After installing the watch face, login to your One Drop account. Click the “Settings” link from the One Drop Watch screen. Then, click “Link One Drop Account.”

Next, a browser will open. Login to your One Drop Account. Select the appropriate login method (Facebook, Google, or Email), and click “Submit.”


Step 4

Click “OK” to grant the Fitbit Ionic permissions to access your One Drop information. Finally, if prompted to “Open this page in Fitbit,” click “Open.” Then, you will be redirected back to the Fitbit App.


That’s it! Now, you can look down at your wrist at any time to keep tabs on your One Drop data.

Fitbit and the Fitbit logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fitbit, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Additional Fitbit trademarks can be found at www.fitbit.com/legal/trademark-list.

International Women’s Day 2018


This Thursday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a day to recognize the countless accomplishments brought about by women, all over the world. Not to mention, the entire month of March is dedicated to women: it’s Women’s History Month. Not only is the future female, but the past has been full of amazing, miracle-working women.

Women With Diabetes: WWD

While we’re on the topic of world-dominating women, we’re highlighting some of the most diabadass women this IWD. Not only are they top-notch in their profession, they also maintain an entirely separate, full-time job of managing their diabetes. In celebration of women everywhere, and those specifically who are kicking diabetes butt, here are need-to-know women with diabetes.

Aretha Franklin

Soul songstress Aretha Franklin has been wowing crowds around the world for the past 60 years, and piling up the Grammy wins. But all that performing and entertaining caused Franklin to put her health on the backburner: “It happens after an energetic concert. You’re hungry, you eat, you don’t sit up and let it digest. I was not disciplined about my eating habits. I was used to eating very fattening foods all day, whenever I wanted to.” That lifestyle eventually led to type 2 diabetes. Aretha knew something had to change. After losing 85lbs, Aretha is back to eating healthy and managing her diabetes like a pro. That is major cause for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Salma Hayek

You may have recently seen Salma on the red carpet at this year’s Oscars. Beyond the red carpet, though, Salma rallies on the front lines for women in Hollywood. In addition, she’s already directed, produced, and acted both on- and off-screen. On top of all of that, Salma dominated diabetes during pregnancy. When she became pregnant at age 41, Salma developed gestational diabetes. She admits it was a difficult pregnancy. But post-pregnancy, Salma kicked diabetes butt. She rid herself of gestational diabetes like a true fighter.

Este Haim

Rock n’ Roll maven Este Haim is perhaps the greatest bassist you’ll ever see (or hear). Just take look at this! She embodies everything awesome about being a bassist. She and sisters Danielle and Alana make up all-female rock band HAIM, which is pop-rock perfection. It’s been lauded as the 21st-century remake of Fleetwood Mac. Este, on top of her killer bass skills, also has type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed at age 14, she rocks out hardcore with her sisters while constantly managing her diabetes. She even sat down with fellow #T1Diabadass Jen Grieves to talk all things diabetes!

Sonia Sotomayor

After graduating from Princeton undergraduate and Yale Law School, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor went on to serve as an assistant district attorney in New York and became the first Hispanic federal judge in New York State. Today, she, along with only two other women, sits on the highest court in the United States. As if those accomplishments weren’t enough, Justice Sotomayor also has type 1 diabetes. She’s very open about her diabetes, saying that it has taught her both discipline and how to pay attention to her body. Her go-to low blood sugar treatment? All the sugar tabs. 🙌 In fact, she says, “Tropical Blast is my absolute favorite.”

Chaka Khan

When Chaka Khan decided she wanted to do her own thing outside of Rufus, people questioned the idea. And then she came out with “I’m Every Woman.” The stellar, disco dance-hit that established Chaka as her own pop sensation. Alongside a five-decade spanning career and 10 Grammys, Chaka also masters diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2011. Upon diagnosis, Chaka decided to reclaim her health. It snapped her out of a mean depression she was battling, and into better eating and exercising habits. This diva’s words of exercise wisdom? “Walking through airports is great exercise!”

From all of us at One Drop to all of you lovely ladies out there: Happy International Women’s Day!

You. Rock. ⚡

Battling Food & Weight: Telling My Story for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week


It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This year’s theme?

Let’s Get Real. So here’s my story. 

On a trip to Hawaii, 16 years ago, I had the word ‘Afatasi’ tattooed on my back. It means halfe-caste in Samoan because I’m half Samoan. It’s the most “tropical” thing I did. I was too busy obsessing over food and carbs to enjoy paradise; 10 macadamia nuts = 4 carbs.

Once, we were warriors

The Samoan islands are in the South Pacific. American Samoa is a U.S. territory. Not too long ago, Samoans lived off the land and sea, spearheading fish, tending to village-sized gardens, and canoeing between islands. We were fit, lean, and strong. Some of us still are.

Samoans are known for their athleticism. We have one of the world’s most mesomorphic (muscular) body types. Muscle bulk, especially in the lower body, makes us successful at football and rugby. It’s been said a Samoan male is 56 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan male.

Now, we’re obese with health problems

Samoans also store more fat than non-Samoans. Ancestral evolution in cold climates led Polynesians to develop large bodies and retain weight. That extra weight isn’t needed today, but our ‘fat predisposition’ remains. Drop one McDonalds and one KFC on American Samoa, increased sedentary time, and – BAM – Samoans have one of the highest obesity rates in the world.

The timeline

The obesity problem in Samoa starts at birth. Babies gain weight 20 percent faster than babies in the U.S. mainland. By 15 months, nearly 4 in 10 toddlers are overweight or obese.

This continues into adulthood. Six in 10 Samoan adults are obese. Obesity underlies 1 in 3 having type 2 diabetesSamoan women are also at high risk of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.

Becoming a statistic 

At 20 years old, I was diagnosed with PCOS. My Polynesian dancer physique gained 30 lbs. My long hair fell out. I grew facial hair, and couldn’t find an effective deodorant to save my life. I battled excessive sweating, acne, fatigue, and moodiness.

My three prescriptions didn’t kick in fast enough, so I turned to Yahoo search. Forums said eat less carbs, exercise, lower your stress, and lose weight. Driven by fear, I went balls out.

I took my meds. Cut out carbs. Exercised daily. In two months, I lost 20 lbs. Symptoms continued, so I lost 10 more.

Weight loss: a blessing and a curse

I got down to a “normal weight.” My blood work was normal too. My PCOS symptoms disappeared. But, I lost 10 more lbs. Then, 10 more lbs. And even then, 10 more.

In 6 months, my 5’8” frame went from 160 to 105 lbs, and a size 10 to a size 0. I obsessed over food. Feared it. Counted every carb, restricted food portions, and weighed in every day. I exerted control over my body to cope with the unknown physical and psychological harm it would bring me.

A second diagnosis: Anorexia

One year into my Ph.D. program, a psychiatrist recommended inpatient eating disorder treatment. I’d have to quit school.

Not an option.

I bootstrapped a band-aid solution that didn’t work. I tried more band-aids. They didn’t work either.

My obsession with food and weight continued. At 26 years old, I was a post-doc by day, degree-seeking student by night, and a part-time employee with an active social life. My eating disorder made sure I could barely function. I wasn’t living. I was barely surviving.

It came to a head when low blood sugar landed me in the ER. The ER doctor, who was a trusted friend and colleague, handed me orange juice, but I was too afraid to drink it.

I hit rock bottom. I needed help.

eatingdisorder-diabetesTurn the focus away from food and onto life

I found The Awakening Center, and spent two years in outpatient treatment. Tons of therapy – art, individual, group, family – taught me how to quiet the eating disorder and listen to life again.

Time, patience and a lot of hard work shifted my attention to people, relationships, and work, quieting my preoccupation with food and restricting what I ate. I achieved a healthy weight and stopped taking medication for PCOS. Aside from two pregnancies, I’ve weighed the same for 10 years.

Today, I fight with you

It’s been 17 years since my PCOS diagnosis and 16 years with the word ‘Afatasi’ tattooed on my back. Both my tattoo and health issues have faded.

I sometimes forget I have a tattoo or that I’ve been to hell and back with my health. Then, I catch a glimpse of my tattoo in the mirror. Or, write this blog post, and realize I’ve worn the same size clothes for 10 years and haven’t taken Metformin in 6 years. Instantly, I’m proud of my Samoan heritage, and my health. I am reminded of the privilege it is to help others with PCOS, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

Many of us have co-occuring issues with food, our weight, or diagnosed eating disorders. I’ve come out the other end. With One Drop, I want to help you get there.

We’re in this, together.

What is sugar? 🍯 (And do we need it?!)

The short answer: No. 🙅‍♂️

But there’s more to this sugar saga.

We love talking about carbs here at One Drop. It is, after all, carbs. But did you know that carbs and sugars are one in the same? They are deeply intertwined, right down to their chemical makeup. Sugars, in fact, are carbohydrates; every carbohydrate we eat eventually breaks down into sugar. So in the spirit of staying on topic, let’s talk sugar.

The Science of Sugar ⚗

There are about 60 different types of sugars. 😱 The first type of sugar that comes to mind for most is the white, crystalized version added to cakes, pastries, lollipops, key lime pies, and every other sweet treat. This is what’s commonly known as table sugar. And it’s become very good at hiding itself everywhere. (Tap this image for a full list!)

The Glucose Cycle 🐮

If you have diabetes, like me, you know that glucose is necessary to live. We check for amounts of it in our bloodstream every day. And it’s not just us humans who are dependent on glucose — all forms of life, right down to algae, need it to survive. But did you know that you can get glucose from kale? That it can be obtained through just about any vegetable? Even protein and fat sources? Here’s how.

Eat food – any food – and it will turn into glucose. This is true even for green veggies! For example: Cows eat grass. The grass, which creates its own glucose through photosynthesis, enters the cow’s body as cellulose; the cow’s stomach breaks down the cellulose into glucose. This gives the cow the energy it needs to survive and provide for others. Some of that glucose trickles into the milk, produced by the cow, that we drink. It’s the circle of life. Or, rather, glucose. A similar process happens with just about everything we eat.

(Now, that’s 👆 a rather limited scientific explanation, but I’m hoping to spare you the trouble of a much lengthier article.)

Glucose, the most natural of all sugars, is absolutely vital to life. We, people with diabetes, know this to a tee; if our blood glucose (the glucose levels in our blood) go too low, we die. In that regard, we do need sugar. Glucose, to be exact.

We do not, however, need other forms of sugar. And we don’t need to eat sugar to get glucose at all.

We do NOT need to eat sugar. Ever.

So why do doctors, nutritionists, and just about everyone keep telling us otherwise? Why are we told that sugars are an essential part of our diet? Because they’re easy. Sugars (carbohydrates) are the first energy source the body goes to: they are much faster to break down into energy than their protein and fat counterparts. And, at the end of the day, we eat for energy. We need energy. Therefore, we need to eat. And it’s sugars (carbs!) that are the preferred fuel source for cells in our body. Why? Because they are so quick to break down into that energy our cells so desperately crave.

Sugar Fix? Indeed.

To a degree, we do need that sugar, that glucose. But, as we saw with our cow, people can get their sugar fix from just about… anything. What we have been taught over the last 70 years, however, is that we need to be getting our sugar fix from a different kind of sugar: fructose.

Fructose: Need To Know Basics

Fructose, a simple sugar like glucose, is naturally found in fruits. Unlike glucose, though, fructose is not the body’s preferred energy source. It is exclusively metabolized by the liver. Meaning that unlike glucose, which can be broken down and used for energy by every cell in the body, fructose is limited – it can only be used by the liver. It’s fructose that is at the core of every processed food, refined starch, and added sugar. This — fructose, added sugar, refined sugar, refined starch, processed — is what I mean by “sugar.” And we do not need it. At all. Ever.

Man cannot and should not live on bread alone.

Sugar, in the way that most of the world understands it today, is not necessary for survival. Because much of the world understands sugars — breads, pastas, wraps, grains — as carbohydrates. And carbohydrates, we’re told, are a necessary source of nutrition. But it’s just not true. Anything man-made is not necessary for our diets. Take it from Dr. Mark Hyman: “Bread is a treat.”

Instead, we should look to vegetables, fats, and proteins for our “sugar” intake.

At the end of the day, the need for sugar (glucose, in this sense) arises from the need for energy. And we can easily get energy from vegetables. Meats. Dairy products. Seeds. Bottom line: if it isn’t nature-made, we don’t need it. It really is that simple.

The Footnote

Those of us living and breathing diabetes have a bit of an asterisk to all of this. That asterisk points to our low blood sugars. And when we go low, we need sugar. Fast. In which case, fructose and other sugars like it are life-saving. As mentioned above, these sugars break down uber fast! And hit our bloodstream hard with the glucose we need. But, beyond our lows, and in the broader scope of mankind, sugar, in its westernized, processed, table version we have come to know it, is completely and utterly unnecessary for our survival.