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.

5 Ways to Keep Your Workout Regimen While Traveling!

As our One Drop In-House Fitness Guru, Ben Tzeel is serving up tons of fitness knowledge. You can find him repping One Drop as a One Drop Ambassador in the Community feed, and spilling more knowledge over on Diabetes Strong


“This year is going to be the year I figure it out! I’m going to get my exercise on point, eat better, [fill in more pump-up phrases here], etc!”

You sign up for a gym. ✅ You start to go. ✅ You get more conscientious about food choices. ✅ You start building momentum. 


Then, two weeks in, work sends you away for a week. Or, you decide to take a quick, spontaneous 5-day cruise (please take me with you). Or, your family goes away for a weekend…. 

BOOM! Your efforts have been totally blindsided. You aren’t sure what to do on the road, away from home, away from your routine, habits, etc.


This can go one of two ways:

  1. Succumb to the lack of routine, accept defeat, and revert to old habits
  2. Continue building momentum or, at the very least, keep him/herself in a state of maintenance until he/she returns!

If I had a dollar for every time someone chose option #1, I’d have a lot of dollar bills. 💸 #dolladollabillsyall 

But let’s not make that the case for us. Instead, choose number two! ✌ Let’s keep on keepin’ on. Without further ado, here are FIVE ways to survive traveling and keep your workout and diet game on point!

1. Prioritize, Prioritize, PRIORITIZE

Believe me, it is SO easy to let working out fall by the wayside on vacation or on the road.   You’re away from home. You may have had some action-packed days, whether in the office or on the beach. But if you weren’t physically active, you’re going to want to fit in some sort of workout at SOME point during the day.

Just like I said in the Barriers post, you can likely find 30 minutes to spare, even in a packed schedule.  Squeeze that time in for yourself. It is self-care.

2. Hotel gyms exist for a reason. So does Google.

This sounds like a no-brainer, yet people forget it constantly. Look up or call up the hotel to find out what equipment they have. More than likely, they have some cardio equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, etc) and some very basic weights, which should be ample for you to keep on your routine. Best part? It’s included with your stay! 

Not enough for what you need?  Maybe you prefer AirBnB? Here lies the magic of Google. You can search fitness centers in the area to use while you are away.  Some may give a free 3 day trial, some may charge a day or weekly rate, but there ARE options. You can even search for at-home workouts online! 🙉

💡Pro-Tip: if you belong to a chain gym in your hometown, you (typically) can use any location of that gym nationally. For example, if you belong to LA Fitness in Tampa, you may be able to go to one in Charlotte. 

3. Take a Hike! 🏔

The weather outside may be frightful, but if you’re visiting somewhere warm or there’s a heat wave, take full advantage.  Go for a run, interval train with sprints, or perform some body weight exercises. Just get outside! It’s new terrain with new scenery. There is so much to explore. 

4. The Excuse Buster AKA Hotel Room Workouts

I can picture it now:

You tell me you’re marooned in a hotel without a fitness center.  No car.  Ubers are too expensive. Maybe the gyms around you are closed and you’re in the middle of Nowheresville, USA.

What do you do? A hotel room workout of course!

How do you do one? Simple.

💪Warm-up and get your blood flowing. Jumping jacks, lunges, running in place, and others can get your body primed and ready.

💪Pick 4 exercises that involve your bodyweight (intermediate/advanced readers can also utilize a resistance band packed in luggage)

💪Perform them sequentially with minimal rest between

💪Take 1-2 minutes off between sets

💪Repeat for 15-20 minutes (set a timer)

Exercise examples can include squats, pushups, rows (with suitcase), lunges, burpees, planks, reverse crunches (and most abs movements), and much, much more. Possibilities? Endless. 

5. Consider modifying your workout schedule

This is NOT a free pass to skip your workouts. If this is a short vacation or trip, consider modifying your typical workout schedule to be more conducive to the traveling.

For example, if you are working out on four days during the week and you have a weeklong business trip, consider taking your three rest days as a part of the trip. This way, you workout two days during the week and can catch up on the other two once you return to normal life.

💡Pro tip: since cardio equipment is more easily accessible, consider saving cardio workouts for the road and resistance training when you are home.


Next time you are on the road, you have the keys (insert key emoji here) for success to staying in top shape!

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 Real Reason for Better Sleep

Sleepless nights

Tossing and turning in bed; pulling an all-nighter to crank out a thesis; staying up to comfort a newborn. We’ve all been there. Usually, most of us can snap out of our insomnia and gladly jump into a great night’s slumber the following day. We all know sleep is important. And we all want it. But why is getting a good, full and true night’s sleep so important to those of us with diabetes?

Viscious cycle

If blood glucose levels are already running high (maybe you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, or maybe prediabetes is on the horizon), you’re going to be emptying those higher levels of glucose by going to the bathroom. During the day, this is a nuisance. At night, that means waking up multiple times to go to the bathroom, and ultimately not getting our 7-hours-worth.

Queue the sleep deprivation feels the following day. If you’ve just spent a night waking up every hour to rid yourself of those sugars, you’re averaging a less-than stellar night of sleep. Or, maybe you’re BGs were fine, but you had to keep yourself up to finish that case. Whatever the situation may be, if you’ve gotten less than 7 hours of real, good REM rest, chances are you’re going to see it the next day in your blood sugars.

Diabetes and sleep

Lack of sufficient nighttime rest messes with our entire endocrine system, PWD and non included. After one all-nighter (or any kind of sleep deprivation in general), your body secretes much higher than normal levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Likewise, levels of leptin (the hunger-regulator hormone) decrease. Cortisol levels (the stress hormone) are also piqued, and Are you seeing the trend here? All roads lead to: increased, albeit fake, hunger, calorie consumption, and possibly obesity risk. 😱

Insulin sensitivity and sleep

Perhaps most important for our diabetes purposes, though, is the increase of insulin resistance. Study after study concludes that lack of sleep directly correlates to increased insulin resistance. OK, but what does that mean, exactly? Sleep deprivation literally translates to the body’s need for more insulin; without that additional insulin intake, blood sugars spike. It all has to do with groggy fat cells. When fat cells don’t get their rest, they let you know it by upping their insulin resistance. Meaning, higher BGs for you, and more insulin needed for your body.

Clearly, there’s a direct correlation here. But what to do about those sleepless nights that are affecting your BGs? Unlike other, more difficult problems we face, sleep habits are fairly easy to fix. Check out our guide, and get back on track with your new sleeping regimen! 🛌

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!

12 Days of Our Diabadass Family! 🎉

Happy 12 Days of Awesomeness!

We’ve just enjoyed 12 Days of YOU, our One Drop family, being an absolute diabadass. We are so thankful for the many people we have in our badass diabetes family. All of us are warriors, all of us are fighting this battle daily. And we are crushing it! 💪

Not only that, but we’re doing it together. It truly is remarkable and wonderful for all of us to be sharing our experiences, our highs, our lows, our unicorns, our workarounds, our secret fixes. Whatever it may be, good or bad, we know that we are doing this diabetes thing together. Which makes it totally badass. Totally DiaBadAss.

A #12DaysOfDiabadass Recap

The best part of our 12 days of Diabadass? Being able to feature some of the amazing people that make up our One Drop family:


But those are just a few! There are so many of you out there that are kicking diabetes butt. And you should know, we’re doing it right there with you. We’ve got you’re back. And we’re so pumped to have you in our diabadass family, doing it together!

Who won?!

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for — our #12DaysOfDiabadass winners! Drumroll, please. 🥁

The winners of unlimited test strips for 2018 (plus unlimited coaching, and a Chrome meter) are 🏆

  1. Dianna
  2. Justin
  3. Randy
  4. Jen
  5. Stew

Thank you to everyone who played, and be on the lookout for more contests, discounts, giveaways and the like in our email blasts. Happy New Year, One Drop family! Welcome to 2018.


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11th Day of Diabadass: Meet Manny Cota

Manny Cota - 12 Days of Diabadass

On the 11th Day of Diabadass

Say hello to Manny Cota! Manny joined One Drop in February 2017, and has been going strong ever since 💪

Everything you need to know about Manny Cota

Here’s your need-to-know background info: Born and raised in California & Arizona, Manny loves baseball. L.A. Dodgers is his team. For life. 🤘 All other sports and teams are merely secondary. His favorite, in-a-perfect world delicacy? Pastries! (Can’t say we disagree) And during his weekly cheat-meal, you’ll more often than not find him eating a couple of slices of pizza.

So, what’s Manny’s deal with diabetes?

Manny’s been doing the type 2 diabetes dance since 2013(ish). He was terrified upon diagnosis. But, after attending a few classes over a 7-week period, Manny felt more informed and encouraged about the future of his diabetes management. For a while, he was crushing the BG-checking game.

One Drop Store


But, admittedly, he stepped away from it after a while. It wasn’t until Manny started physically feeling the aches & pains from neglecting his diabetes that he decided to make drastic changes. Since changing up his dietary strategy, picking up a gym habit, and joining One Drop, Manny’s been able to get his A1c back on track. In fact, he went all the way from a 10.8 to a 6.1! In his own words:

“I’ve been a Member since March 5th 2017. I feel grateful to be part of a community where you have support 24/7. Plus it’s easy to use on tracking your meals and activities. I did make the right choice to join the One Drop community. With their application and with the support from my personal diabetes specialist I have been able to bring my A1C to a 6.1.”

What’s his secret?

Beyond his One Drop | Expert, Manny attributes his diabadass success to the gym. Without fail, Manny goes to the gym every morning at 4am, for two hours worth of exercise. Not only that, but Manny also makes time for the important things: his family and his DJ side-job. This guy is constantly on-the-go, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves, being with who he loves, and taking time every day to manage his diabetes. Manny Cota is truly a diabadass. For all the Manny inspo, check out his video below! 👇

10th Day of Diabadass: Meet Emily Davis

Hey, Emily! 👋 What’s your story?

Emily has been doing the type 1 diabetes thing for almost 20 years. On top of that, at the age of 18, she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She’d been successfully managing her diabetes for a while, but it was her RA diagnosis that was life-altering. Emily was handed a prescription for weekly chemotherapy and told to take Vicodin as needed. After a month of this treatment plan, Emily quickly realized she was not truly living anymore, and her illnesses had completely taken over her life.

One Drop Store

Months of her own research resulted in a complete lifestyle overhaul, which lead to a life free of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Emily life’s mission is to help others like her realize that a diagnosis is not a death sentence, but a chance to become your happiest and healthiest self.

How is she doing that?

Emily founded Chronically Healthy: an online community of people with invisible illnesses (like diabetes, celiac disease, PCOS, chronic pain). Not only is it a support system, but also a place where Emily offers counseling and guidance through personal programs & training. Not only that, but Emily also offers tons of insight & information on her blog. This post is a particular fave of ours. She also has great recipes & features of other diabadass ladies on the blog, so be sure to explore it all!

Emily also offers support, advice, and awesome nuggets of knowledge on Instagram & YouTube. Her light & positivity are super empowering & inspirational. This female entrepreneur is a total top-notch diabadass!

9th Day of Diabadass: Meet Bryan Rodriguez

The Bryan Rodriguez Story

Bryan was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August of 2017, just 3 days before his 39th birthday. He was admitted to the ICU with an A1C of 13, a diabetic foot ulcer, DKA, Sepsis, and osteomyelitis on his left big toe (which had to be partially amputated due to the severe infection that was in the bone already). None of this stopped Bryan. Instead, he decided to go full-throttle.

One Drop Store

When he was released from the hospital seven days later, he did his own internet scouring & sleuthing, and found One Drop. The unlimited test strips option was exactly what he was looking for. Since then, Bryan has been crushing his #bgnow game, and sharing his journey with the OneDrop community as a One Drop Ambassador.

Bryan, Beyond Diabadass

Beyond his diabadass status in the One Drop community, Bryan photographs weddings in his hometown Miami, FL. He’s been crashing weddings with his wife, Nat, since 2008, when they first started NB (Nat&Bryan) Weddings! Hundreds of couples have invited them to document their special day over the course of the last 10 years. Bryan and Nat also welcomed their son, Ethan, in 2010, turning the photography duo into the Three Muskateers. Dad, husband, and world-class photographer, Bryan does it all while reaching diabadass beast mode.