Can’t Afford To Live…

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a terrible way to die. It’s what happens when you don’t have enough insulin. Your blood sugar gets so high that your blood becomes highly acidic, your cells dehydrate, and your body stops functioning.

The price of insulin in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2012. That has put the life-saving hormone out of reach for some people with diabetes, and has left others scrambling for solutions to afford the one thing they need to live. I’m one of those scrambling.

Most people’s bodies create insulin, which regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. In the U.S., the roughly 1.25 million of us with Type 1 diabetes have to buy insulin at a pharmacy because our pancreases stopped producing it.

Rationing insulin is a dangerous solution. Still, 1 in 4 people with diabetes admits to having done it. I’ve done it. My first vial of insulin cost $24.56 in 2010, after insurance. Eight years later, I pay more than $100.

the list price for a single vial of insulin is more than $250, without insurance. Most patients use two to four vials per month (I personally use two). Without insurance or other forms of medical assistance, those prices can get out of hand quickly.

Something should and needs to be done about it before even more people die simply because they can’t afford this life saving and needed medication.

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When You Believe…

sem·i·co·lon

ˈsemēˌkōlən,ˈsemīˌkōlən/

noun

a punctuation mark (;) indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma.

Every tattoo on my body has some personal meaning to it. This is a marking that, unless I have it covered, I will bear for the rest of my life as a message to the world as to what I am about or was going through at the time. This is my newest addition.

As an mental health advocate and survivor of suicidal thoughts and depression I chose the word believe with a semicolon replacing the letter ‘i’.

This tattoo encourages me to bel;eve that things will be better and that this is not the end of my journey.

It’s one thing to just say aloud or to myself that even though times are hard that they will be better and things will be okay. It’s a total difference when you actually bel;eve that things will be better or different.

The bel;ef in a better way is what makes it happen. When you truly bel;eve that you will be okay, you will be. You have to bel;eve.

What The Health Are Y’all Doing? 

Okay so I’m sure by now you’ve seen or heard about the documentary on Netflix called What The Health. This is another health documentary in the same vein as others like Supersize me and Food Inc. Similar information as well. Nothing new under the sun.

Anyway this documentary has sparked a new craze of people going vegan. Cool. Whatever. I’ve been a vegetarian/pescatarian for about a solid 3 years and I love it. I could possibly go vegan but I love honey. Yeah, honey. See honey is a byproduct of bees and a bee is considered an animal. In order to be vegan you can’t eat any meat or any meat byproducts. When my friend told me about the honey I knew right then and there that I was not down with that vegan life. Nope. Not for me.

Getting back to the film. I didn’t really like it. Take that back, I really didn’t like the documentarian. Documenter? Documentarian? Anyway, the guy that was doing the documentary. He seemed to be kind of douchè-ish. Plus his name was Kip. I mean he spent the first half, pretty much, of this thing calling the different associations like American diabetes, cancer and Susan G komen and asking all these high level questions to low level employees. Why would you call and ask the first customer service rep you get on the line questions like why they have certain things on their website and/or are promoting things that you feel are opposite of what they should stand for? You should be asking marketing not the lowest rung on the totem pole. I’ve worked customer service before and gotten calls from douchè-ish people like this and I tend to either transfer them to the corporate headquarters help line or just hang up. They have no clue as to why you think beef causes diabetes but there are beef recipes on the website, Kip! Did I mention his name is Kip?

So if you haven’t seen it yet when you do watch it fast forward about an hour. The real gem in this, if you can make it past Kip’s douchè-ish (yes, I am trying to make that a word) attitude, is when they talk about the health benefits of a plant based diet. They break down many of the myths around food in general as well as show a few ‘real’ cases of people that had miraculous turn arounds with their health by switching to a plant based diet. I put real in quotations because we don’t know if these people really had problems before and changed or if it was just an act. Not saying Kip is a liar but you can only trust someone named Kip only so much.

Now, switching from a mainly meat to plant based diet should not be an overnight thing like some people are trying or claiming to do.  As with any transition, it is most effective when done over a period of time. While some people have said they have been able to quit things cold turkey with no looking back this is not the case for the majority. Slowly cutting things out of your diet is a better and healthier approach than to just stop altogether. That’s just my opinion so take it as you may.

I just want you to be happy and healthy. I also want you to do your research before you just dive into being vegan or any change in your diet. There are several things said in this film that aren’t necessarily true. I mean it seemed like he made some pretty outlandish claims in an attempt to scare you into being vegan. Do your Googles! Research for yourself and don’t go by another person’s opinion of what’s good or bad for you. When it comes to health what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Again and I can’t say this enough, do your research and consult with a doctor or nutritionist or a dietician. Someone that can not only advise you but also help you transition your lifestyle.

Yes, I said lifestyle. This is a lifestyle change not just a diet. If you haven’t noticed there aren’t too many, if any vegan or vegetarian fast food spots. That means meal prepping and/or knowing what and when you plan to eat ahead of time. No more ‘oh I’ll just run out and grab a bite to eat’ life for you. It sucks but this is the life you chose or rather the one Kip chose for you…

I’m one of those people that eats to live instead of living to eat. While I love food and experiencing different stuff I also don’t eat food or things just because it’s there. I use food as fuel and not as some sort of guilty pleasure. I used to do that but over time I had to evolve past that. Thanks, Type 1 diabetes and Ciliac disease…

I say all of that to say this. If you see this film and it makes you want to eat healthier or even become vegan then good for you but always always always do your research beforehand to make sure it’s the right decision for you. That’s with anything really though. If you see this and decide to keep living the way you are then that’s cool too. Like I said earlier what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Weigh your options and as always do what is best for you.

Instacart Review

So I decided to try instacart. Not because I wanted to do it for a review. Not because I am super busy and thought it would make my life a bit easier. Nope. I did it because frankly I was too lazy to go to the grocery store myself and, well there’s an app for that. I actually heard about instacart via a podcast that I love called how I built this. 

I really do love this podcast from the good folks over at NPR. It’s hosted by a guy named Guy Raz and he interviews people who have started their own companies that are essentially household names. He talks to them about how and why they started the company and what drives them and so on. Great show. Check it out.

Anyway, back to instacart and my experience. Going into it I did see and hear some mixed reviews. Some people loved it, some hated it but they loved and hated it for different reasons.  One day I decided to go on and try it out. I have to say that the idea of someone else doing the shopping for me sounded quite appealing. I mean, I have others doing most of the things for me nowadays. I use Lyft so I don’t have to drive, I use a meal prep company that preps and makes the majority of my meals and I use a laundry service to launder the majority of my clothes. Can I do these things myself? Yes. Do I pay someone else to do them so I don’t have to? Yes. Honestly it’s not even about the time factor. I just don’t want to do it and they are willing to do it for me. Instacart is just another service that I can add to the list.

I have tried them twice now and I am pleased with the results. The first time I used them I was really happy with the service. I had a shipper named Carrie and she was really helpful. She would send me a message if an item that I wanted was on sale with another brand to see if I wanted to swap them out and just all around helpful. If something on my list was no longer available or on sale she contacted me to see if I wanted a replacement or refund. If I wanted a replacement she even gave me suggestions and recommendationson the replacements.  The process was a pretty smooth one for the first time.

The second time I used it I still had a good experience. He wasn’t as friendly as Carrie was during the shopping process. If something was out of stock he just got the most equivalent product to it. If it wasn’t on sale anymore,oh well. I ran into this issue because I would put something in my instacart shopping cart from Publix, they are big for their buy 1 get 1 free sales, but by the time they actually go to purchase the item the sale may be over. While Carrie would text me to see if I still wanted to buy 2 even though the sale was over, the second guy just bought two of them at full price. But that’s not really a big deal as I will now check the prices before I checkout with the app. 

All in all I think that the experience that I had with instacart is positive. I will definitely use them again as it saved me time and the headache of grocery shopping. It also saved me some money. If you buy $35 or more there is a $5.99 delivery charge. Anything below $35 is $9.99 delivery charge. You can also sign up for instacart express for $14.99 per month or $99 per year and that includes free delivery. For now I’m sticking with the $5.99 option.  This saves me money because Everytime I go to the store I can’t stick to my list because I end up meandering around the store and I will inevitably pick up some things that are not on my list. This way by setting the list and checking out via the app/site, I won’t see a bag of chips or something else that I would waste money getting. I am able to stick to what I need and that’s it. I recommend giving it a try. Instacart.com

New Product Alert: Organic Whipped Shea Body Butter

If you’re anything like me then you have this ongoing battle with dry skin. It is a daily fight to keep my skin moisturized and healthy. One of the ways that I am able to keep my melanin Poppin’ is with this homemade Organic Whipped Shea Butter Body Cream. Yep, homemade as in I made it myself.

 

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The key ingredients are Organic Shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E. You can pick yours up here. The Shea butter is filled with vitamins and natural minerals to soften and treat your skin. The Vitamin E attacks the dryness while the coconut oil helps to keep and lock in that natural moisture that your body produces. This will definitely leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturized. The great thing is that only a small dab is needed. You don’t have to lather yourself up in it in order for it to work. Do yourself and your skin a favor and purchase some of this Organic Whipped Shea Butter Body Cream. You’re welcome, because you’ll thank me later.

Keys to Healthy Skin (video)

In this video I share my daily regimen and what I do to keep my melanin poppin’! It’s very important to take care of your skin and make sure you’re just all around healthy. Be mindful of not only what you eat but also what you put on your body as well.

The keys to healthy skin, in my opinion, are:

1.Exfoliate – remove that dead skin and dirt from your body.

2. Moisturize – Once you’ve removed that dead skin and dirt, you need to replenish your skin’s natural oils and minerals.

3. Hydrate – Water is your best friend. Water can not only help clear out the toxins in your body but gives your skin a nice glow as well.

So here’s just a quick video about how I keep my melanin poppin’ and a little snippet into my healthcare regimen.  If you like it subscribe!!!

Get Checked Out

 

Have you ever had that little twang, tweak or itch that just won’t go away?  You know it’s there and it’s not supposed to be but you keep putting it off because you don’t think it’s causing any real damage and it will go away or maybe it was just over exerted yourself the day before. Why wonder? Just go to the doctor and get it checked out.

Would you rather pay $35-50 now or $10-100,000 later? We are in the age of modern medicine with all kinds of technological advances. In other words, if there is something wrong, and it’s caught early enough, there is more than likely a cure for it. You just have to actually go to the doctor to get checked out.

I know that this is something that men don’t like to do. I am included in that bunch. I hate going to the doctor but I still go. I am a type 1 diabetic and I get a check-up every 6 months to ensure that everything is working and doing what it is supposed to be doing.  You take your car in for routine maintenance work right?  You are careful about what type of gas you put into it right?  Your body shouldn’t be any different. You should be mindful and careful of what you eat and also go to the doctor to proper maintenance.

I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking how can I go to the doctor if I don’t have any insurance? I really can’t afford it.  You can’t afford to be sick either. There’s a little thing called the Healthcare exchange program that provides insurance for people in just such a case. Check it out and get some insurance. If you have insurance and are paying a premium on it every month, use it.  That’s all I have to say, sorry for the rant but preventative medicine can save money and lives.