Tips & Tricks & a Pancake Sandwich

It’s Diabetes Blog Week Day 5. (I skipped day 4.) Thank you, Karen, for inviting us all to another one of your great parties.

Today’s: let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. 


don’t mind if I do.

My only tips and tricks are things that are very specific to me, unlikely to have value to anyone else. For example, use 1/3rd cup of Birch Benders gluten free pancake mix, 1 cup of almond flour, two eggs, 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and enough unsweetened almond milk to make a thin pancake batter. Then make two pancakes and use them as bread for a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Store the remaining batter in the fridge for future sandwiches.


And, now that I read Laddie’s Fitbit hacks, I’m adding this FBH of my own: put a better bracelet on over a Fitbit band. I got this snap-on bead-fringed piece of fabric at Kreatelier. I bet a lot of crafty people could make this in their own homes, and easily. Look at that.

(See what I’m saying?)

Need more than a bracelet and a low carb, gluten free pancake sandwich? The richest source of useful tips and tricks is the Friends For Life conference. FFL is not just for fellowship, cocktails, and feeling the feelings! Just as much as those parts, I love the nitty-gritty little things I can hear once, try immediately, and watch work. For this, there is no better FFL speaker than Gary Scheiner.

These are my favorite Gary Scheiner tips and tricks from FFLs 2012, 13, 14, and 15. (Please note, these are from my notes on things he said, not verified, and could be wrong or inaccurate.)

On dosing insulin:

  • Bolus a “down payment” 15-45 minutes before your child eats a meal if BG > 80mg/dL. If under 80, bolus when the food is right in front of them. Once you know more specifically the amount they’ll eat you can “pay the balance.” (More insulin.)
  • Split the meal—eat half, then eat the rest 60-120 minutes later, even though you bolus for the whole thing at the beginning.
  • Vinegar slows the carbs down.
  • Sports or vacuuming or lawn chores or walking dog after eating = steadier BG. Activity delays digestion, uses some glucose, makes insulin work faster.
  • Warm up the infusion site with activity or a heating pad, or take a shower right after taking insulin to get it working faster.
  • When correcting a high, for each up arrow on a Dexcom, add enough insulin to offset an additional 25 mg/dL. (That means for double-up arrows, add enough insulin to offset an additional 50 mg/dL.)
  • Fatty foods make us temporarily insulin resistant (“like having Type 2 on top of Type 1”), ergo pizza highs. To overcome insulin resistance after a high fat meal, try adding 40 – 60% to basal for 4 hours in anticipation.
  • Glycemic index measures how much of the food becomes BG within 2 hours of eating. Spaghetti’s GI = 37. That means 37% of its carbs will be BG within 2 hours; the other 63% will kick in later.
  • Eat the lowest glycemic index part of a meal first; that will slow the rest of the carbs down (eg eat salad first).
  • Grape juice is faster than other juices; breakfast cereal is faster than jelly beans; bread is the pits.
  • Fast candies (the best ones for treating lows): Spree, Smarties, SweeTarts, Airheads, Nerds, Runts.
  • Although fatty, french fries raise BG fast: “It’s hard to slow down a potato”

You will find buckets of original tips and tricks here.



  1. Laddie · May 20, 2016

    Thanks for the comprehensive list of Gary Scheiner’s suggestions. Some of them I have heard before, but it’s nice to have them in one place.

    Good idea on the wrist bracelet trick.

    I have stayed with the Fitbit One because I don’t like to wear bracelets (except my Medical ID). I also think that you get a more reliable step count with it not on your wrist. My golfing buddies who wear a wrist FB and push a golf cart don’t get nearly as many steps as I do because their arm is not moving. On the minus side, my One doesn’t have as many features as the wrist models and wasn’t much cheaper.


  2. Kelley · May 20, 2016

    I LOVE your list of Gary’s suggestions…so much good info to remember. I especially love the fry tip because I do eat them from time to time!


  3. Rick Phillips · May 20, 2016

    Gary is the best authority I know.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.


  4. Polina · May 20, 2016

    OK, next time I’m trying 50% basal for 4 hrs for pizza/ice cream/greasy burgers, etc. Because extending bolus does not work well enough and I am SO over the BG spike that happens 3 hrs post-meal.


  5. Frank · May 21, 2016

    I love those tips for dosing insulin. Very nifty.


  6. skchrisman · May 23, 2016

    We’ve been using the increase basal 60%, 4 hours ever since we heard that tip. Saves us on low activity, high complex carb meals! Sometimes we even do 6 hours! Because teen and pizza. Works like a charm every time! Loved seeing tips you’ve written down in your notepad every year!


  7. mollyjade · May 24, 2016

    I’ve had diabetes 30 years, and some of these are new to me. The GI thing and warming the site. Gary Scheiner is the best.


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