Valentine’s Day With the PWD You Love

Valentine’s Day 2018

💌 Love note. Check
💐 Bouquet of roses. Check
🗺 Planned Weekend getaway. Check.
😱 Sweet Treats. NOPE!

All you need is love. And low-carb.

You have almost everything planned, to a tee. But what to do when the one you love lives with diabetes? Easy 🙂 There are plenty of delicious, delectable sweet treats out there that are super PWD-friendly & approved. What’s even better? These kinds of sweets are so much better (more romantic) than most ❤ Because you’re making them yourself! Or, take it up a notch: prep the Valentine’s Day dessert together! Either way, these mouth-watering goodies are not the best way to say ILU (kiss the cook! 😘), they’re also all low-carb and low-sugar. So you can rest easy that the PWD you love will be in perfect BG range even after multi-cookie consumption.

Check out our favorite Valentine’s / Galentine’s Day themed sweets below. And love the PWD you’re with this Valentine’s Day!

The Bernstein Diet

This post is part of our low-carb diet series and is being published as a service to our users. We do not endorse any particular diet plan. You and your healthcare team should work together to find the meal plan that works best for you.


Who is Dr. Bernstein?

Richard K. Bernstein MD was born in 1934. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1946. Insulin was available at this time, but this was still the stone ages of diabetes history. ⚔️ Think: no meters, only urine samples to determine blood in glucose and using stones (pebbles, rocks) to sharpen one’s needles. But by 1969, he got his hand’s on the first blood sugar meter. And everything changed.

Being the engineer he is, Dr. Bernstein was determined to solve his own diabetes dilemma: high blood sugars. He checked his BGs 5-8x daily (unheard of at the time), an extremely early adaptation of self-monitoring. He quickly saw a common denominator: carbs. And so, Bernstein began his self-proclaimed, self-monitored low-carb lifestyle.

The Bernstein Diet

Fast-forward, and Dr. Bernstein is still holding strong, well and good at age 83. He became his very own endo, still runs his private practice, and has published six books on all his diabetes findings. While many are quite opposed to Dr. Bernstein’s restrictive diet, others swear by it. So what’s it all about?

The Bernstein Diet (or lifestyle) isn’t about weight-loss (although, most people do experience significant weight loss on his plan). Rather, it aims to maintain stable blood sugar levels at all times. Bernstein caps one’s total daily carbs at 30 grams, broken down into 6g of carbs at breakfast, 12g at lunch, and 12g at dinner. This is not your typical LCHF diet. Rather, Bernstein takes the LCHP approach: low-carb, high protein. Fats consumed on the Bernstein diet will come via protein intake. Additionally, this way of eating eliminates all types of high glycemic index food items, including some vegetables. It’s kind of like the 1st phase of the Atkins diet, forever. Or, the ketogenic diet without the high-glycemic vegetables and more proteins than fat.

There are recipes to try (like the ones pictured below), and lots of eat this, not that lists readily available on Dr. Bernstein’s website, as well as a much more detailed synopsis of the science behind the diet.

Foods to Avoid

Here is a concise list of foods to avoid listed in Dr. Bernstein’s book, The Diabetes Solution. It’s pretty easy to remember, once you start using it.

Sweets and Sweeteners
• Powdered sweeteners (other than stevia)
• Candies, especially so-called sugar-free types
• Honey and fructose
• Most “diet” and “sugar-free” foods (except sugar-free Jell-O gelatin when the label doesn’t mention maltodextrin, and diet sodas that do not contain fruit juices or list other carbohydrate on the label)
• Desserts (except Jell-O gelatin without maltodextrin—no more than ½ cup per serving) and pastries: cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, et cetera
• Foods containing, as a significant ingredient, products whose names end in -ol or -ose (dextrose, glucose, lactose, mannitol, mannose, sorbitol, sucrose, xylitol, xylose, et cetera), except cellulose; also, corn syrup, molasses, maltodextrin, et cetera

Sweet or Starchy Vegetables
• Beans: chili beans, chickpeas, lima beans, lentils, sweet peas, et cetera (string beans, snow peas, and bell and chili peppers, which are mostly cellulose, are okay, as are limited amounts of many soybean products)
• Beets
• Carrots
• Corn
• Onions, except in small amounts
• Packaged creamed spinach containing flour
• Parsnips
• Potatoes
• Cooked tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and raw tomatoes except in small amounts
• Winter squash

Fruit and Juices
• All fruits (except avocados)
• All juices (including tomato and vegetable juices— except for some people, in a Bloody Mary)

Certain Dairy Products
• Milk
• Sweetened and low-fat yogurts
• Cottage cheese (except in very small amounts)
• Powdered milk substitutes and coffee lighteners
• Canned milk concentrate

Grains and Grain Products
• Wheat, rye, barley, corn, and lesser-known, “alternative” grains, such as kasha, quinoa, and sorghum
• White, brown, wild rice, or rice cakes
• Pasta
• Breakfast cereal
• Pancakes and waffles
• Bread, crackers, and other flour products

Prepared Foods
• Most commercially prepared soups
• Most packaged “health foods”
• Snack foods (virtually anything that comes wrapped in cellophane, including nuts)
• Balsamic vinegar (compared to wine vinegar, white vinegar, or cider vinegar, balsamic contains considerable sugar)

True Life: Living on the Bernstein Diet

It’s a niche group (given the diet’s extreme nature), but people love it. Dr. Bernstein is a phenomenal example of the diet’s potential, as he has successfully reversed complications of diabetes and is doing very well at 83 years old. Back in 1946, when Dr. Bernstein was diagnosed, the life expectancy for people with diabetes was less than 40 years.

We talked to One Dropper and avid Dr. Bernstein follower Abgr Xenda about how the diet plays a key role in his diabetes management. Diagnosed in 2011 with T1D, Abgr dealt with some extreme diabetes-related hospital visits. But after adopting Dr. Bernstein’s way of life, Abgr is not only a successful businessman, he is also an avid triathlete with consistently perfect blood sugars. Here’s what Abgr has to say about adapting Dr. Bernstein’s lifestyle:

“I found this WOE (way of eating) after my fourth hospital admission. It was the opposite of every doctor’s orders. I read it carefully, understood the science behind it, and it made sense to me immediately. So I applied it the very next day. And starting that next day after getting home from the hospital, this new WOE changed me into a different person entirely. I watched as my complications were reversed. Not only that, it activated the triathlon beast inside me. I was even able to run the ultra-marathon 240 KM in April 2017. I really recommend this WOE to all people, diabetic and non.”

The Keto Diet

This post is part of our low-carb diet series and is being published as a service to our users. We do not endorse any particular diet plan. You and your healthcare team should work together to find what meal plan works best for you.


Fill up on Fat

Lose fat by eating copious amounts of… fat? Makes no sense, right? But that’s exactly what the ketogenic (shortened to keto) diet proposes. Along with all the other low-carb diets we’ve been highlighting, the keto diet promotes a very low-carb lifestyle. But this low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) regimen takes things a few steps further: it encourages a very high-fat diet. Although there are no concrete rules to following keto, a typical diet would consist of a daily intake of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% (or less) carbohydrates, give or take according to the plan being followed.


Keto’s been a thing for a while now — since the 1920s, to be exact. It has lots of ties to epilepsy treatment, and more recently has gained lots of traction among people with diabetes. Why? The benefits of keto mimic those of fasting. Odd, since there’s no fasting involved. Far from it, in fact!

When you’re loading up on bacon and butter, how does that equate to fasting, you might be asking yourself. On the ketogenic diet, fat is fuel. 🚀 The body runs entirely on its fat resources, meaning the need for insulin decreases dramatically and fat burning levels are on fire! This dynamic duo puts your body into the magical state of ketosis (not to be confused with DKA): an energy state created by the body in which fats are broken down to produce energy.

What’s the catch?

Keto, along with the other diets on our low-carb list, cuts carbs. The main difference, though, is that protein intake on this extreme LCHF diet is much lower than other low-carb diets. Cutting back on protein is an obvious challenge. And it definitely makes keto one of the more restrictive low-carb diets out there, if not the most. But as ketogenic enthusiasts will tell you, high levels of protein can turn into glucose, and catapult you out of your ketosis (you want to be in ketosis). While this lower-er protein intake does make the diet more restrictive, there are awesome alternatives out there, like this super cheesy, totally keto pepperoni pizza recipe.


Boost insulin sensitivity, burn fat, and keep blood sugar naturally stable. 🏆 Although the ketogenic diet is very restrictive, its followers rave about drastic weight loss and A1c results. Get more info on going keto from your One Drop | Expert! Then, talk to your doctor to see if keto could help you reach your diabetes management goals.

The Paleo Diet

This post is part of our low-carb diet series and is being published as a service to our users. We do not endorse any particular diet plan. You and your healthcare team should work together to find what meal plan works best for you.

We just took a look at the Atkins Diet. Now, we’re on to Paleo! What is it, what does it call for, what does it do? We tell all below.

Paleo 101

In a nutshell: the hunter-gatherer diet. Yep, this thing has been around since the dawn of time! The Paleolithic diet (shortened to Paleo), is exactly what it sounds like. The Paleo diet, founded by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., adheres to the concept of eating like a caveman: if a caveman didn’t eat it back in the day, neither should you.

What exactly did those cavemen eat?

Way back when, in the paleolithic era to be exact, most of the calories consumed by humans came from eating animals, including insects, amphibians, birds, eggs, fish and shellfish, small mammals and occasionally some larger. Depending on where you lived (closer or further away from the equator), you’d eat more plants and veggies in the warmer climates, or more meat in the colder ones.

What is this, a diet for ants?!

While our paleo ancestors definitely, probably did make apps out of ants, you will not catch us serving those up on any platter 🤮 Although the Paleo diet does take a more primitive approach to eating, it primarily calls on eating plants and animals. Our physical bodies have transformed over time so that anatomically, our modern-day digestive systems can’t quite handle the exact same meal plans of our ancestors. But simply put, the Paleo diet calls for us to eat the foods only available in pre-agricultural days. Meaning? Things like meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, or, only food items that can be hunted or gathered. What does that look like in a recipe? Like this absolute (and 100% paleo-friendly) deliciousness. 🤩 It can also look like the meal-plan guide below, published by The Paleo Diet.

What’s the point?

If we can’t eat just like our ancestors, then why follow a diet (or lifestyle) that’s contingent upon it? According to John Durant, author of The Paleo Manifesto, “it is about mimicking the effect of such a diet on the metabolism with foods available at the supermarket.” By rejecting grains (starches, sugar, processed foods) of all kinds and promoting whole, unprocessed foods, our bodies need less insulin, we have fewer blood sugar spikes, and maintaining weight and diabetes overall becomes much easier.

The Paleo diet is an extreme variation of the low-carb diet, but some people swear by it! While we don’t advocate for going Paleo one way or the other, it is an option. And one we thought you might want to know more about!

The Atkins Diet

This post is part of our diet series and is being published as a service to our users. We do not endorse any particular diet plan. You and your healthcare team should work together to find what meal plan works best for you.

Diet Dr. Atkins

The Atkins Diet is perhaps the most recognized of any low-carb diet. American physician and cardiologist Robert Atkins put his program on the map in the 1970s when he published his best-selling book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. The diet promotes cutting all carbs and focusing primarily on proteins. The theory? The body needs fuel; by limiting the body of carb-fuel, it must turn to alternative fuel-sources like stored fat. The result? Pounds are shed and blood sugars remain intact. Plus, you can revel in meat-tastic recipes like these slow-roasted carnitas.  

The Gist

The Atkins Diet is broken down into 4 different phases:

In Phase 1, the Induction Phase, you’ll eat 20g of carbs or less each day for two weeks. This phase is the key 🔑 to kickstarting your fat burning metabolism. By significantly dropping your carb intake in this phase, your body shifts from burning primarily carbs to burning primarily fat.

✅ Acceptable Foods: veggies, proteins, healthy fats, cheeses, nuts, seeds

In Phase 2, the Balancing Phase, you’ll slowly start adding more foods back into your diet. Phase 2 is all about maintaining your momentum from the Induction phase and continuing the process of finding your personal carb balance. ⚖️

✅ Acceptable Foods: the above + berries, cherries, melon, whole milk, greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, legumes, tomato juice

In Phase 3, the Add-On Phase, you’ll continue adding more carbs to your diet, little by little. This stage is about fine-tuning your diet so you can eventually focus on maintaining your weight loss. This is the final stretch before maintaining lifelong Atkins low-carb #goals.

✅ Acceptable Foods: the above + additional fruits, starchy veggies, grains

In Phase 4, the Lifetime Maintenance Phase, you will reach your ‘goal’ weight, as well as transition to a permanent way of eating. This is not so much a ‘phase’ as it is an actual lifestyle. Adjust, tweak, and experiment as needed, while maintaining in-range blood sugars and goal weights!

✅ Acceptable Foods: all of the above

Get Started

Go for it! Run any questions by your One Drop | Expert or endo; otherwise, get started with your Atkins diet at any time at The crux: remember to avoid carbs above all else, and enjoy protein and fats until full. 😋


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Low-Carb: What is it and how can it help me?

It’s not all fat & games (but fat does play a role!)

You may have heard a thing or two recently about low-carb diets. More and more news articles are popping up online and on TV, both for and against, doing the low-carb thing. With so many different cooks in the kitchen, the low-carb thing can be confusing.

But low-carb diets are exactly what they say they are: diets low in carbohydrate intake. They limit foods with carbohydrates (like pasta, bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, crackers, chips) and, instead, promote foods high in protein and fat (like nuts, fish, eggs, meat, seeds, vegetables). Technically, that does mean more bacon and butter. 🥓 Who’s in?

Why all the carb fuss?

Because: blood sugar. It’s that simple. Carbs, as wonderfully delicious as they are, increase blood sugar when consumed. Carbohydrates, along with sugar, will have the biggest, and possibly most detrimental, affect on blood glucose. All carbs raise blood sugar in some form or fashion; upon consumption, they immediately break down into glucose in your bloodstream. And the more glucose we have in our bloodstream, the higher our blood glucose levels, the worse we feel, and the higher our risk for serious complications.

How does low-carb help with diabetes?

Low-carb can be beneficial to absolutely everyone. But for those of us living with diabetes specifically, a lifestyle low in carbohydrates can truly be a lifesaver. Going (and staying) low-carb keeps blood sugars significantly more in-range; it means less insulin required and eliminates the yo-yo-ing we so often experience when sugars rise after eating carbs and we over-correct (and then over-correct by eating too much to over-correct the initial over-correction!).

Once you really get started on low-carb, you will be amazed at how well you’re able to maintain steady blood glucose levels. Not only that, but you’ll find you’re less hungry (weight loss!), and you might even notice a increased feeling of overall well-being (fewer blood sugar swings = fewer mood swings!). It all goes so hand-in-hand.

And if all of the above is still not enough, check out a few low-carb study findings here, here, herehere, and here to see just how beneficial limiting carbs can be.

📢 PSST! Don’t miss the One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates for a detailed breakdown on carbs. 👇

One Drop Guide to Carbohydrates!

What are my options?

There are tons of different low-carb options out there, so find one that works for YOU! This is not a one-size-fits-all deal. It’s a find-what-works-for-you mentality! In the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you the rundown on:

Atkins Diet

Paleo Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Dr. Bernstein Diet

And, of course, before getting on any low-carb diet plan, be sure you talk to your healthcare team (or One Drop | Expert) to discuss a game plan. Then, let us know which one you decide and how it works for you!

Go Nuts With These Nut Butters!

Spoons at the ready

In case you’ve been missing out on the craze, nut butters are SUPER. They’re a super food, and super delicious. Seed and nut butters naturally contain major health benefits: protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins. Each spread has different, naturally beneficial qualities. But overall, these butters can help with heart health, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, lower bad cholesterol, and even lower the risk of obesity despite the high fat content – nuts, right?!

These days, there are lots of nut butters to choose from. Certain varieties are higher in protein and fiber, while others contain more carbohydrates and sugars. When choosing a nut butter, it’s important to pick one that that takes a minimalist approach. Meaning, the fewer the ingredients, the better 🙂 Here are some of our favorites, with a look at their specific health perks! Also important to keep in mind: all the butters listed below are super low-carb and low-sugar.


Indian Eats: Dining Out Tips + Low-Carb Recipes!


Staple Indian foods like rice, whole-wheat flour, and lentils are delicious, but alarmingly high-carb. A meal of naan, jalebi, and pakora may be mouth watering, but this classic Indian fare can have a major impact on your blood glucose. Don’t worry! You don’t have to part ways with your favorite Indian restaurant. Just keep these tips in mind when scanning the menu — you’ll enjoy the flavors of Indian cuisine without seeing your sugars climb.


Forget Fried Food

Indian appetizers, like samosas, are often fried. Instead, of veggie samosas (pastries), try shahi paneer — a homemade cheese in curried tomato sauce. Hungry for more? Grilled meat, seafood, or vegetable kababs are awesome app choices. Substitute mulligatawny for a bowl of chicken shorba — a lower carb soup of chicken, garlic, ginger & other spices. 

When choosing a main dish, avoid words like “crispy” or “padoka” (tempura battered & fried). Look for “tandoori”. Tandoori-style items are cooked in a tandoor (metal or clay oven). Typically, tandoori chicken is marinated in a combination of healthy spices and baked to perfection. Look out for tandoori fish and vegetable options too! Ask your serve how dishes are prepared if the menu is unclear. 


Skip Starches & Added Sugars

Indian meals often include roti and many traditional dishes are built upon starches. Bounce on the bread. Pass on the potatoes. Refuse the rice. When ordering an entrée, ask to substitute extra veggies for the starch base.

Sauces and curries are delicious but often high carb. Avoid sabotaging an otherwise healthy Indian dish by pairing it with raita, a cucumber yogurt sauce (<4 carbs per serving). Or order a slightly higher fat/sugar sauce on the side. Portion control is key. All you need is a few tablespoons — a little flavor goes a long way!


Get Your Greens

Properly cooked vegetables are low in carbs but high in fiber & nutrients. Start with a traditional Indian salad. Most use fresh ingredients like raw onion, cucumber, coriander, and lemon. Then, look for other veggie-based dishes:

○ Achari Gobhi (Cauliflower in Mustard Sauce)

○ Palak Paneer (Cheese & Spinach)

○ Bhindi Ki Sabzi (Stir-Fried Okra)


Say Yes to Spice

Spices are one of the best ways to add excitement to a dish without increasing calories (or carbs). Indian cooking uses turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, clove, and more! All of which have medicinal properties and tons of flavor. Chilies add heat to a dish but can easily be omitted.


Cook Your Own!

Indian restaurant menus definitely include diabetes-friendly options, but there are still diet landmines in the mix. No need to second-guess your order when you’re the one cooking🍴Check out these low-carb Indian recipes, and get in the kitchen!






Diabetes & Eye Care: Keep Your Vision Sharp

We’ve had huge advancements in eye care.

Thanks to new diabetes medications and devices, it has become easier than ever to improve our diabetes control and reduce the chances of developing severe eye complications.

Additionally, new cutting edge eye tests and treatments have played a major role in the decrease of diabetes retinopathy.

So much so, that the American Diabetes Association has published its first position statement on the subject in 15 years. The position statement recognizes that “diabetic retinopathy diagnostic assessment and treatment options have improved dramatically”. It also emphasizes the importance of controlling glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels to minimize the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and of reducing its progression.

It’s easy to keep an eye on your eyes. Here’s how to make eye care a part of your daily routine.

6 tips to help you keep your eyes healthy and avoid complications related to diabetes.  

1. Schedule regular checkups.

Make an appointment with your eye doctor at least once a year. It is much easier to find and treat problems early with regular monitoring. Regular tests like dilating the pupil will help your doctor view the blood vessels in your eye and check for damage. Also, talk to your doctor about eye care specific to your needs – contacts lenses, eye drops, glasses, etc.

2. Check blood sugars often.

Maintaining your blood glucoses will help prevent damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. An A1c test can help you gauge what your average blood glucose is; aim for 7️⃣% or below.

3. Manage your blood pressure.

High blood pressure alone can cause eye problems. If you have high blood pressure ⬆️↗️ and diabetes, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your blood pressure (medication, diet, exercise). Also be sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly. For most people, it should be 140/80 or lower.

4. Check your cholesterol levels.

Get your cholesterol checked regularly. High levels of “bad” LDL are linked to blood vessel damage. Boost “good” HDL cholesterol by eating heart healthy foods, cutting out trans fats and exercising regularly. Talk to your doctor about ways you can better control your cholesterol levels. ❤️

5. Get moving.

Exercise helps you control your blood glucose, shed pounds and manage your blood pressure. ‍Talk to your doctor about a workout plan that is best for you.

6. Taste the rainbow.

A healthy diet filled with colorful foods will help you maintain or lose weight, reduce blood pressure and provide your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. Try to incorporate dark leafy greens, organic eggs (especially the yolks), fatty fish like salmon, fruits high in vitamin C and almonds into your diet. Avoid excessive carbs, this can result in high insulin levels and can disturb eyeball growth.