I'm Lisa Van Herik, MSW, Diabetes Educator and nutritional consultant. I have worked many years as a psychiatric social worker, having spent two years post Master's doing an internship in advanced clinical practice (therapy) at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. I've worked both as a clinical therapist and an adoption social worker over the years. I am also a Type 1 diabetic. I have organized and run many free support groups over those years as well.
The seeds for this group started somewhere around 14 years ago when I was first diagnosed as a LADA Type 1 diabetic. While I knew very little about diabetes at the time, I did know enough to know that I needed to focus the bulk of my attention on what I ate. Unfortunately, I likely knew way less than most about food, etc. since I'd never learned how to cook and preferred an office setting to a kitchen.
What I learned early on in my career as a diabetic was that the information available at the time on diabetic diets was not only very limited (who wants to live on fish, meat and veggies alone?) but also often very wrong...not to mention confusing. For many years, I felt like I force fed myself an unappetizing diet in a basically futile attempt to control my blood sugars. Never having been much of an eater, the more I tried to force feed myself food I didn't want, the more I wanted my old comfort foods like bread, croissants, potatoes, etc. Sound familiar? I could suddenly launch into and eat half a box of cookies and I ate them FAST as if that would help my blood sugars not spike. Actually, I ate fast because I knew I was hurting myself so I just did that as fast as possible.
I eventually took myself to two different nutritionists only to discover that they knew very little about what a diabetic needs to eat. What they absolutely overlooked was recognition of the fact that diabetics need to feel good about what they eat, they need to feel pleasure and satisfaction with their meals just like everybody else.
Many miles later, on this long, learning adventure of diabetes, I am just now completing my certificate in holistic nutrition and yes, I've taught myself to cook, bake and analyze recipes for the healthiest and most delicious ingredients that I can find. I've spent the past few years hunting for delicious, low carb, healthy consumer products to share with other diabetics. I've also spent that time teaching myself about the many and varied aspects of nutrition...and I want to share all that information with other diabetics.
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