How Toxic is Your Fragrance?

May 29, 2016 by


Perfumes and fragrances may smell good but a 2010 study suggests popular brands reek of long-term health problems for all of us.

Did you know that many popular perfumes don’t list harmful fragrance chemicals linked to sperm damage, hormone disruption (which is linked to some cancers, thyroid disease, obesity, diabetes, and other serious health problems), reproductive toxicity, and allergy problems?

Become your own healthcare advocate and learn what’s in your cosmetics so you can protect your health by reducing toxic exposure.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website when you’re shopping for fragrance you should avoid products listing fragrance, natural fragrance, or synthetic fragrance as an ingredient because chemicals of concern commonly found in fragrance – like those listed above – won’t appear on the label.

Chemicals of Concern:
Diethyl phthalateDibutyl phthalateEthylene OxideNitrosaminesBenzophenoneParabensButylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)GalaxolideMusk xyleneMusk ketoneOctinoxateTonalideStyrene

close up of woman hands spraying perfume

close up of woman hands spraying perfume

Popular fragrances tested in the 2010 study that contained chemicals not disclosed on the labels included: American Eagle Seventy Seven, Chanel Coco, Britney Spears Curious, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio (for men), Old Spice After Hours Body Spray (for men), Quicksilver (for men), Calvin Klein Eternity for Men, Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom, Calvin Klein Eternity for Women, Halle by Halle Berry, Hannah Montana Secret Celebrity, Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Wish, Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow, AXE Body Spray for Men, Clinique Happy Perfume Spray, and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue.

If you want a scented product, make sure it is scented with pure essential oils that were extracted through a cold-press process, not by using solvents. You can also visit Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database to find safer fragrances and other personal-care products.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a project of the Breast Cancer Fund, works to protect the health of consumers, workers and the environment through public education and engagement, corporate accountability and sustainability campaigns and legislative advocacy designed to eliminate dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health impacts from cosmetics and personal care products.


SAFE & SEXY SHOE REVIEWS on Diabetes Late Nite with music from Tamar Braxton

Divabetic Games: Guess the Green!

May 27, 2016 by

gamethur.001Learning about healthy living and diabetes self-care doesn’t have to be a BIG bore. Let the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic inspire you to making living well with diabetes fun, and fabulous!

Leafy green veggies have more nutrition per calorie than any other food but they’re also the most ignored and avoided foods as well.  Can you guess what the name of this gorgeous green veggie?


ANSWER: Bok choy. Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family but bears little resemblance to the round cabbages found in American supermarkets. Bok choy could be described as a non-heading cabbage according to the Defeat Diabetes website.

Today there are more than 20 varieties of bok chou exist.

Why You Need It: Bok choy is one of the best sources of potassium, which helps build muscle and keep blood pressure low. It’s also packed with vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system by increasing white-blood-cell activity and the body’s response to toxins.

Select bok choy with firm stalks and dark green tender leaves. Avoid plants with wilted leaves or stalks that don’t “stand up”.

If you store your bok choy in the refrigerator it will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Bok choy can be used in all kinds of recipes, including: soup, salads, stir fry or for filling spring rolls, pot stickers, steamed buns and dumplings.

Here are some of the preparation tips:

  • Crispy, sweet bok choy stalks can be eaten raw, added to salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
  • Its stalks can be used with cabbage in coleslaw.
  • Baby bok choy can be a very attractive addition to salads and stir-fries.
  • It mixes well with cabbage, chilies, onion, ginger, garlic, rice, tofu, meat and poultry.

QUICK FIX: Chop up and braise the lower, white portion of the stems in chicken or vegetable broth and sesame oil. Add leaves after two minutes, and cook another one to two minutes.

Beef & Bok Choy Recipe from Diabetes Living Online 

  • teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  •  ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of fat and very thinly sliced*
  •  1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper paste
  •  cups sliced bok choy
  •  clove garlic, minced
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  •  teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1.  In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and chili paste in hot oil about 3 minutes or until beef is desired doneness. Remove skillet from heat. Reduce heat to medium. Remove beef from skillet with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid in skillet; keep beef warm.
  2.  Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to skillet. Add bok choy and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until bok choy is crisp-tender. Transfer to serving dish. Top with warm beef mixture. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 2 (1 1/4-cup) servings.


  • *Test Kitchen Tip: Partially freeze beef for easier slicing.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 2
PER SERVING: 179 cal., 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 52 mg chol., 271 mg sodium, 4 g carb. (1 g fiber), 20 g pro. 

Diabetic Exchanges

Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 2.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1

Elle MAY.001
LISTEN NOW: Mr. Divabetic hosts the popular  Diabetes Late Nite podcast featuring music by Elle King. We’re talking about “Body Image & Diabetes” with guests Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. Lori Shemek PhD, Diabetes advocate, Asha Brown, Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP, Ginger Vieira and Mama Rose Marie.

Rihanna Teams Up with Dior for New Sunglass Collection

May 26, 2016 by

Rihanna-Dior-Sunglasses-2016-Photos03 Rihanna-Dior-Sunglasses-2016-Photos04People with diabetes are at risk for vision loss but thanks to Rihanna and Dior you can now protect your vision in style!

Rihanna has created a range of futuristic sunglasses in collaboration with Dior as part of her brand ambassadorship. The name of the collection is simply “Rihanna.”

Rihanna named La Forge from “Star Trek” as her inspiration for the frames. “I’ve always been obsessed with his eyewear, and when I got to Dior and saw all the materials I could play with, it all just came together,” she said.

vav.001Dior’s eyewear designer Mathieu Jamin noted that this was the first time he and his team had worked with a celebrity in a design capacity, but he was impressed with Rihanna’s level of involvement. “She chose all the materials,” Jamin said. “We had a lot of different samples with different effect of metals. She chose all the lenses and took time to match all the colors together to see if it was right on her face. It was really important to her.”

Jamin said the resulting frames are “really strong and something we don’t have in the collection, so it’s unique.”

The sunglasses will be sold exclusively at Dior stores beginning in early June, though Rihanna has been teasing the shades on her Instagram account. There is one frame available in six variations — the silver, pink, blue, green and red styles will retail for $840, while a deluxe 24-karat gold-plated version will sell for $1,950.

Diabetes puts people at risk for cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss. But in the majority of cases, vision can be preserved if the disease is caught early and treated.

The experts at Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute offer these quick reminders to help keep your eyes in great shape not only in the summer but also all through the year:

  • Diabetic eye disease can have no pain or other symptoms until it reaches very advanced stages, and the earlier you can catch it, the more likely you can preserve your sight.
  • You can have perfect vision and still have diabetic eye disease.
  • An annual dilated eye exam can identify early eye complications and is important even if you don’t have diabetic eye disease.
  • If your doctor finds signs of diabetic eye disease, a number of treatments may be recommended, including laser eye surgery, contact lenses, glasses and medications.
  • Keeping your A1C (average monthly blood glucose levels) on target, controlling blood pressure and quitting smoking also can help preserve vision and prevent vision loss.

Elle MAY.001

LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite podcast featuring music by Elle King. We’re talking about “Body Image & Diabetes” with guests Poet Lorraine Brooks, Dr. Lori Shemek PhD, Diabetes advocate, Asha Brown, Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP, Ginger Vieira and Mama Rose Marie.

Reducing Sugar in Soft Drinks Could Prevent Diabetes

May 24, 2016 by


Cutting sugar in soft drinks by 40% over five years could prevent 300,000 cases of diabetes and 1.5m cases of obesity in the United Kingdom, according to a  new study published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. Could it work in America?!!!

The study used data from both the government’s national diet and nutrition survey and the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) to calculate the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and how much they contribute to UK-wide sugar and energy intakes.

The authors, Prof Graham MacGregor, then estimated how much a person’s energy intake would fall through the hypothetical drop in sugar content, and the resultant reduction in body weight.

The report calculated that the 40% drop in sugar over five years would, by the end of the final year, see an average drop in adult body weight of 1.2kg, meaning about 500,000 adults would no longer be overweight and a million would not be obese.

This in turn would prevent between 274,000 and 309,000 cases of obesity-related type 2 diabetes over the next 20 years, the report concluded.

The authors believe that a gradual change in sugar content would be unlikely to change people’s buying habits while other research showed the calories lost would be unlikely to be replaced from elsewhere.

“Our proposed strategy provides an innovative and practical way to gradually reduce energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and its combination with other strategies, including a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, would produce a more powerful effect.”

“Sugary drinks are the biggest source of sugar in young people’s diets,” said Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England.  “We believe a program to reduce the sugar from the sweetest drinks – alongside other measures like controls on advertising and marketing – would lead to a significant drop in the amount of calories consumed.”


LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite podcast inspired by Elle King

The Flood Girls is An Amazing Book!

May 22, 2016 by

the-flood-girls-9781476797380_hrI strongly recommend the novel, The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield.  Yesterday I picked it up off the ‘New Releases’ shelf at my NY Library and  I couldn’t put it down – it was so enjoyable.

If you’re like me – always struggling to find that elusive ‘good’ book to read then run, don’t walk to get yourself a copy.

Simon & Schuster calls the novel “a snappy, sassy redemption story set in small-town Montana is “a wild and crazy debut novel by a talented young writer” (Jackie Collins), filled with an uproarious and unforgettable cast of characters you won’t want to leave behind.”

I wholeheartedly agree.
The publisher’s website claims The Flood Girls is in the same spirit of Empire Falls and A League of Their Own, with the caustic wit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette  (I want to read this book next!) thrown in for good measure, Richard Fifield’s hilarious and heartwarming debut will have you laughing through tears.

At first I was enamored with the 80’s pop culture references from Jackie Collins'”Lady Boss” and  Erica Kane to Madonna’s “Justify My Love” and the Rocky Horror Picture Show but then my interest quickly morphed into a full on adulation for the writing thanks in part to the character, Jake. He’s my hero! Below is one of my favorite colorful exchanges between the characters, Jake and his Aunt Buley that perfectly captures his wit and humor:

Buley smiled at Jake wryly,”The people of Quinn do love a parade,” she said.

“These people elf Quinn love ranch dressing,” added Jake. “That doesn’t make it right.”

Jake reminded me of my younger brother as well as so many brilliant, beautiful and stylish men I knew in Santa Cruz and San Francisco who died of AIDS. They were all smart, funny and oozing creativity from every single pore in their body just like Jake. If I didn’t grow up living with someone as gifted as Jake then I’d probably find it hard to believe that someone like Jake actually existed in real life. However, I did! And feel extremely  fortunate that I got to experience first hand how someone could turn a can of paint and some yarn into an incredible work of art.

At a very young age my brother had incredible ‘flair’ and artistic talent that defied our suburban  Upstate New York surroundings. He wore cable sweaters while the rest of us ran around in corduroys. His decorations at Halloween were legendary in our neighborhood. He  won every art prize in school. After college he had one dream: to work at Disney. He packed his car and headed to Orlando, FL.  This year he celebrated 25 years of working Art Director at the company.

I’m so grateful that the author, Richard Fifield, was able to captured the essence of these  peacocks in all their rainbow glory along with the strong women who love them.

The end of the book broke my heart and I’m not afraid to admit that I was sobbing as I turned the pages of the final chapters. I was left feeling emotionally drained but also inspired.

I want to encourage this new generation’s army of “Jakes” to bloom! Bravo!

Diabetes Game: Kidney Trivia

May 20, 2016 by

kidGa.003Test your Diabetes IQ  with Mr. Divabetic’s Kidney Trivia Game. Do you know the size of each of your kidneys?

Most people are born with two kidneys, but some people are born with just one kidney. You can survive with one healthy kidney.

Your kidneys filter waste and extra water (fluid) out of your blood to make urine (pee). Every day, your kidneys filter about 30 gallons of blood to remove about two quarts (half a gallon) of extra water and waste products. The waste products in your blood come from the food you eat and the use of your muscles. This waste and extra water make up your urine. Your urine travels to your bladder through your ureters. Your bladder stores the urine until you are ready to urinate (pee). When you urinate, your urine exits your body through your urethra. Your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra make up your urinary tract.

Your kidneys also do many other jobs that keep your body working the way it should. Some of your kidneys’ other jobs include:

  • Controlling chemicals and fluid in your body
  • Helping to control your blood pressure
  • Helping to keep your bones healthy
  • Helping you make red blood cells


ANSWER: Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long — about the size of a fist. The kidneys’ function are to filter the blood. They are located near the middle of your back, one on either side of your spine, just below your rib cage. Each kidney is connected to your bladder by a thin tube called a ureter.

When your kidneys don’t work the way they should, they allow waste and water to flow back into your blood stream instead of sending them out through your urine. This causes waste and water to build up in your body, which can cause problems with your heart, lungs, blood and bones. LEARN MORE 

TUNE IN: Diabetes Late Nite podcast with music by Elle King. Hosted by Mr. Divabetic


How Low (end) Will Kate Middleton Go?

May 17, 2016 by

kate-middleton-white-goat-blouse-banana-republic-skirt-gettyFor an appearance in London, Kate Middleton paired a long-sleeve white blouse with a full, below-the-knee skirt from Banana Republic, and the item sold out in seconds. Now retailers and fashionistas are wondering how low end she will go? Does the duchess dare to wear discount??? Kmart? Walmart? Target?

Kate’s outfit — also consisting of a Goat Fashion blouse, navy Rupert Sanderson pumps, a Cartier watch, suede L.K. Bennett clutch, and her go-to sapphire stones — was functional too.

Although her Banana Republic skirt sold out, but there are plenty of similarly bold versions up for grabs now. If you’re hesitant to bring a strong print into your office environment, go for the same shape, but in a solid hue. Let it be your biggest statement piece by keeping your shoes basic. Kate’s pumps are the same Rupert Sanderson pairs she wore to greet Michelle Obama last month.

Shopping for shoes can be a dilemma for any diva especially if she’s living with diabetes. Shoes that look good don’t always feel good for your feet. People with these diabetes complications may not be aware of whether or not their shoes fit correctly, so their feet must be properly measured and fitted before purchasing shoes.

Divabetic Image & Style Advisor Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP and Earth Brand shoes want to help our Diabetes Late Nite listeners navigate the shoe aisles for comfortable shoes that won’t compromise your style. Tune in to Diabetes Late Nite podcasts to enjoy free style advice and healthy feet information during our ‘Which Shoe Do You Do?’ segment.

Diabetes Late Nite is a fast-paced, full-filled hour of diabetes education and wellness advice that encourages listeners to “laugh a little, learn a lot.”

LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite inspired by Rachel Platten

Diabetes Games: 10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease

May 13, 2016 by


How much do you know about kidney disease?

Test your ‘Diabetes IQ’ with our Family Feud-inspired game puzzle (pictured above) about Kidney Disease.

As important as your kidneys are to your health (including your bone health), symptoms of their malfunction can be quite subtle. Yet early detection is crucial for preventing permanent kidney damage, so it’s vital to recognize the signs that something is not right with these detoxification organs.

Kidney function tends to decline in the later adult years (more on this later). In fact, and especially as it relates to your bone health, kidney function becomes even more crucial as we advance in years, because they are key players in the acid/alkaline balance in the body.

The most common symptom of Kidney Disease is: Changes in your urine according to Save  Institute:

It makes sense to pay attention to urinary output, color and frequency when you’re taking note of your kidney function. After all, producing urine is one of the main things the kidneys do, so if you see any of the following changes, it might signal a kidney problem:

  • Urination is difficult.
  • You see blood in your urine.
  • Urination occurs less frequently, and when you do go, it appears very dark.
  • On the other hand, an increase in urine output and a lighter color can also indicate a problem (if it can’t be attributed to something obvious, such as drinking a lot of water).
  • Urine appears foamy or bubbly.
  • You wake during the night (sometimes more than once) with the urgent need to go.


LEARN MORE: Join us for Divabetic’s Family Affair diabetes outreach program on Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11- 3 PM. at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.  Special guests include Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP, Daniele Hargenrader,  Kymmi Tea and Arieti Strings.  Register Now: 1-800-JEFF-NOW

LISTEN NOW: May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast hosted by Mr. Divabetic featuring music by Elle King.

‘No Body’s Business’ by Poet Lorraine Brooks

May 11, 2016 by


We’re talking about ‘Body Image & Diabetes’ on n May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast. Whether you’re a plus size, straight size, living with type 1 and/or type 2 diabetes the way you feel about yourself impacts your health. Mr. Divabetic infuses current pop culture headlines from Kendra Willkinson’s recent Mother’s Day selfie to Ashley Graham’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine into the conversation with his guests including  the Charlie’s Angels of Outreach, Ginger Vieira, Asha Brown, Dr. Lori Shemek, Mama Rose Marie, and StyleBoomer founder, Catherine Schuller and Poet Lorraine Brooks.

Lorraine Brooks shares her insights on ‘Body Image & Diabetes’ in her newest poem, ‘No Body’s Business’ written specifically for May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast.

Elle MAY.005

 No Body’s Business by Lorraine Brooks 

I’m always ambivalent

I’m up and I’m down

My body’s not stick thin

it’s soft and it’s round.

I have diabetes,

But it’s not got me,

I’d rather be happy

Than be a size 3.

My life’s filled with needles,

And lancets and stuff,

And what the scale says

Is frustrating enough.

I test my blood sugar

So I dont have to guess

And I make weekly trips

Down to my CVS.

I keep track of numbers

That others dont know

And when I’m not happy

I try not to show.

I cherish my body,

It’s all I possess.

And maybe I dont look like you

In that dress.

Or maybe you secretly

Want all my curves

And wish you could say it,

But haven’t the nerve.

I’m fine in my skin

And I dont have to fake it

But when I’m not happy

I still know I can make it.

No body is perfect

No body can be

No body can operate

All perfectly.

So be happy and cheerful

And try not to fret.

Because this is the only body

You’re going to get.

Over or under

Short or tall

Big or little

embrace them all.

So,be proud of your body

No matter your lot.

Its no body’s business

Which body you’ve got!

Do you ever feel like you and your body are on opposite teams? Or like your scale has more authority than a therapist or a doctor?
No one should live as a slave to their scale, dress or pant size. That’s why changing your body image isn’t about changing your body-it’s about changing your mindset.  Maybe it’s time to discover, challenge and reset the beliefs that are holding you back from being unapologetically you in today’s perfection-obsessed society?
Elle MAY.001
May’s Diabetes Late Nite  musical inspiration, Elle King says she doesn’t believe you can love another person or be in love unless you love yourself. Let our podcast and Elle’s music  inspire you to love yourself just the way you are!

LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite with Poet Lorraine Brooks

Tune in to Tonight’s Diabetes Late Nite Podcast

May 10, 2016 by

Elle MAY.001We’re talking about ‘BODY IMAGE & DIABETES’ with musical inspiration from Elle King on tonight’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast from 6 -7:30 PM, EST.

The raspy-voiced 26-year-old singer-songwriter, ­who made it to the top of the charts with her song, “Ex’s and Oh’s” is inspiring us to love ourselves, our health and our bodies.

Do you ever feel like you and your body are on opposite teams? Or like your scale has more authority than a therapist or a doctor?

No one should live as a slave to their scale, dress or pant size. That’s why changing your body image isn’t about changing your body-it’s about changing your mindset.  Maybe it’s time to discover, challenge and reset the beliefs that are holding you back from being unapologetically you in today’s perfection-obsessed society?

Our musical inspiration, Elle King says she doesn’t believe you can love another person or be in love unless you love yourself. We wholeheartedly agree and hope her music  inspires you to love yourself just the way you are!

Plus, don’t miss our ‘Which Shoe Do You Do?’ style quiz segment with Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP and Earth Brand shoes to help listeners navigate the shoe aisles for comfortable shoes that won’t compromise your style.

Elle MAY.008

Shopping for shoes can be a dilemma for any diva especially if she’s living with diabetes. Shoes that look good don’t always feel good for your feet. People with these diabetes complications may not be aware of whether or not their shoes fit correctly, so their feet must be properly measured and fitted before purchasing shoes.

Throughout May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast we are playing selected cuts from Elle King’s “LOVE STUFF” courtesy of SONY MUSIC. Guests include Dr. Lori Shemek PhD, We Are Diabetes founder, Asha Brown, Author Ginger Vieria, Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE, Poet Lorraine Brooks, Divabetic Image & Style Advisor Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP and Mama Rose Marie. Hosted by Mr. Divabetic.

CLICK TO LISTEN: May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast starting at 6 PM, EST


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,531 other followers

%d bloggers like this: