What I’m Reading: The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan

May 1, 2016 by


kill.002.jpgWould you agree to spend two hours a week with a stranger—just talking—to collect half a million dollars at the end of a year?

That’s the basic premise of the new book, “The Decent Proposal” that I grabbed off the crammed New Releases shelf at the Kips Bay library in my neighborhood. I quickly decided it was a ‘must read’ after reading the recommendation by two authors, Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza featured on the back cover. I so thoroughly enjoyed devouring the wit, humor and storyline featured in their book, “The Knockoff” (a stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age) that I felt I couldn’t go wrong if I picked up their choice. I was right to take their advice.  I ran through the pages of “The Decent Proposal” in one day. It’s a quick  read that’s impossible to put down. The romantic comedy’s core premise had me daydreaming about my own life and wondering about my loves aloud as I turned the pages. This book is a fun ride. The clever plot is filled with surprising twists that kept me entertained and in suspense until the very end.There’s no doubt in my mind that any sentimental hopeless romantic will be rooting for the main characters to ride into the sunset just like I did. I also deeply connected with Hugo Santiago’s storyline and the message it conveyed.  This book is be a perfect choice for a summer vacation novel. It is light hearted escapism.

I’m looking forward to discussing the merit of the book’s enchanting concept that any two strangers will fall in love given enough time and requisite motivation over Sunday brunch with my friends. Who knows we might even be inspired to start a book/movie club!!

I’m also hoping that I’ll get to interview the author Kemper Donovan for my upcoming podcast, ‘Don’t Let Diabetes Kill Romance’ featuring fiction writers, health educators and people living with diabetes in a thoughtful discussion about diabetes sexual health-related issues —and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life.

Approximately 35 percent of women with diabetes may experience some form of sexual dysfunction related to their disease.  People who experience sexual difficulties can lead more enjoyable, fulfilling sexual lives by learning about common causes and symptoms of sexual difficulties, treatment options, and how to talk it over with a doctor or mate.  Learn more at: divabetic.org

The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic interviews the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, Kristan Higgins as part of the ‘Don’t Let Diabetes Kill Romance’ health campaign raising awareness for sexual wellness issues among people with diabetes. LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/divatalkradio1/2013/10/22/mr-divabetic-show-with-author-kristan-higgins

Support New Pregnancy & Type 1 Diabetes Guide

April 27, 2016 by

preg.001I’m thrilled to support this new guide to help women manage their type 1 diabetes during pregnancy by two sensational diabetes advocates, Ginger Vieira and Jennifer Smith

Ginger Vieira, CHC, CPT is the author of three helpful books, ’Dealing with Diabetes Burnout’, ‘Your Diabetes Science Experiment’ and ‘Emotional Eating with Diabetes.’ Personally, I love the way Ginger sheds light on issues related to managing your diabetes that often are overlooked. Many people, who I have referred her books to, have said that the information and inspiration provide has been extremely helpful.

Did you know that Ginger Vieira has lived with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease since 1999, and fibromyalgia since 2014? She is also the Editorial Director and primary writer at DiabetesDaily.com—a thriving community with 3-million+ visitors per year, 100K Facebook fans and over 70K newsletter recipients.

Her co-author, Jennifer Smith, CDE, RD has lived with type 1 diabetes for 26 years, since she was 13 years old. Known well in the diabetes community for her coaching on blood sugar management and nutrition during exercise, she is an avid triathlete and marathoner in addition to being a mother and wife with type 1 diabetes. She is an active member of the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators. She is also a contributing author to the Diabetes Sisters website as one of their primary sources of credible medical content.

“This book is going to help thousands of T1D women and their families! Please support it!,” says We Are Diabetes founder, Asha Brown.

Now is your chance to help fund their self-publishing Guide to Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes (A Month-to-Month Guide)  with a small or large donation!

SUPPORT NOW: Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes Kickstarter Campaign

Save Your Vision, Divas!

April 25, 2016 by

vav.001Join us for  Divabetic’s “Family Affair” free diabetes outreach scheduled for Saturday, may 14, 11 AM – 3 PM at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

We will be presenting our first-ever, “Va Va Va Vision!” Eyewear fashion show  hosted by Divabetic Image & Style Advisor, Catherine Schuller to raise awareness for diabetes eye disease.

Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision lossand blindness

Most of us take our vision for granted. Seeing is one of the easiest things to do in the world- you just have to open your eyes. Apart from that, so much of our lives are based on visual stimulation. From work to fashion and entertainment, our eyes form a large part of our everyday ‘divabetic’ lives. Unfortunately, most of us don’t think about actual eye care until something goes wrong.

Regular eye exams can tell you a lot about your general state of health. For example, diabetes is very often diagnosed via an eye exam. Other diseases like glaucoma can be quickly detected and treated by going for regular eye tests.

There are a number of ways to maintain good eye care and health while you work. First of all, regular eye exams are a must and it’s important to tell your doctor how much computer work you do each day. When using your computer, make sure that you stop for breaks at regular intervals. It’s a good idea to just get up and walk to a window and just have a look outside. Allowing the eyes to look away from the screen, particularly at something soothing can be very resting for the eyes.

Family Affair on Saturday, May 14, 11 AM – 3 PM

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Bluemle Life Sciences Building

233 S. 10th St. Philadelphia , PA 19107

Free Admission   Register Now: 1-800-JEFF-NOW
The free diabetes outreach program is hosted by the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic. The program is supported by the American Diabetes Association (Philadelphia, PA Chapter), Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Divabetic.

LISTEN NOW: Our popular Diabetes Late Nite podcast hosted by Mr. Divabetic with musical inspiration from Etta James

Free ‘Dining With Diabetes’ Classes

April 19, 2016 by

dining.001If you live in the USA, your local County Extension Service can help you find nutrition information specifically for people with diabetes and in many cases will have cooking and education classes that are free such as “Dining with Diabetes.”

Learning that you have diabetes can be overwhelming at first. There are many new things to learn and it can be difficult to know where to start especially in the kitchen!
“Dining With Diabetes” programs which are presented by Registered Dietitians (RD) or Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) are designed to help people with type 2 diabetes identify and understand important information about managing and preventing this disease.
Learn strategies to manage their diabetes through menu planning, carbohydrate counting, portion control, label reading and taste testing healthy recipes.
For additional information contact your County Extension Office. When you call just ask to speak to the Family Consumer Science agent. You may have to wait for them to return your call, but it’s well worth the wait.

LISTEN NOW: The Golden Rules of Diabetes Diet podcast with Jessica Issler RD, CDE

Sunscreen Can Weaken Sperm!

April 18, 2016 by


CNN reports that fertility rates have fallen worldwide over the last 50 years and chemicals found in everyday products are thought to be playing a role — including those in your sunscreen.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that filters commonly used in sunscreens to absorb ultraviolet light could affect male fertility by stopping sperm from functioning properly.
Almost half of the UV filters approved for use in the United States and Europe tested were found to stop sperm from functioning properly.
“These results are of concern and might explain in part why unexplained infertility is so prevalent,” Skakkebaek, who is an endocrinologist at the university’s Rigshospitalet,” said in a statement.
“When you put sunscreen on the skin, some of the UV filters can penetrate the skin and go into the bloodstream,” said Skakkebaek.
Listen to more health hot topics on Diabetes Late Nite podcasts hosted by Mr. Divabetic TUNE IN 

Legalizing Assisted Suicide in Canada

April 16, 2016 by


Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide for Canadians with a “serious and incurable illness,” which has brought them “enduring physical or psychological suffering.”

The proposed law limits physician-assisted suicides to citizens and residents who are eligible to participate in the national health care system, an effort to prevent a surge in medical tourism among the dying from other countries.

Why are people protesting?

“For some, medical assistance in dying will be troubling,” Jody Wilson-Raybould, the justice minister, said at a news conference on Thursday. “For others, this legislation will not go far enough.”

This law actually pits me against medical ethics,” said Dr. Brett Belchetz, a physician with Dying With Dignity Canada, an advocacy group. “There are a number of shortfalls and I do think the legislation requires an urgent rethink.”

Critics of the legislation, including some religious groups, have long opposed any form of assisted death.

“It changes our approach to human life, it changes our approach to human society,” Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, said in an interview Thursday after the new bill was introduced. He added that he was “deeply troubled” by the pressure the legislation might put on health care workers who object to assisted suicide.

The bill would allow consenting adults “capable of making decisions with respect to their health” to choose to end their own lives or seek assistance in doing so from their doctors. A physician must decide that “natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances.”

Officials said that a patient does not have to have a terminal condition, citing the example of someone with an immune system deficiency which leaves them vulnerable to lethal infections.

Two independent physicians must agree and the patient must wait 15 days before moving to end his or her life, though the bill would allow for that waiting period to be shortened under certain circumstances.

Doctors will not be required to help people die, but they must refer patients to another physician if they have an objection to participating.

“I’ve seen people die well and I’ve seen people die in misery,” Dr. Jane Philpott, the health minister who is also a family physician, told reporters on Thursday after the bill was introduced. “I want Canadians to have access to the best care possible.”

If the bill passes, Canada will join a group of countries that permit some form of assisted suicide, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Assisted suicide is legal in only a few American states, including Oregon and Vermont.

Tune in to Diabetes Late to  Get the hottest hot topics in diabetes heath with Mr. Divabetic  LISTEN NOW 

How Body Labels Affect Your Body Image

April 15, 2016 by

body.001Do body labels that you find on your clothes and the names of the models and actresses in you find in magazines  and movies have a positive or negative effect on your body image?

Recently, Actress and Comedienne Amy Schumer spoke out against being labeled ‘plus size’ by Glamour magazine.

I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women,” Schumer wrote on Instagram. “Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8.” She also believes when we categorize average body types as being abnormally large it sends a horrible message to women. “Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size,” she wrote on Instagram.

Glamour magazine featured Amy Schumer in its plus-size issue, calling her one of the magazine’s “Women Who Inspire Us” alongside Melissa McCarthy, Adele, and Ashley Graham.

We will be exploring this topic on May’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 6-7 PM, EST. Our musical inspiration will be Elle King. Guests include Dr. Lori Shemek PhD, Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE, Divabetic Image & Style Advisor Catherine Schuller, Poet Lorraine Brooks and Mama Rose Marie.

TUNE IN: To the most popular diabetes podcast featuring music, poetry and spicy conversation on the topics that matter most to your life.

Kidney Disease & Diabetes Spark Outreach

April 14, 2016 by
OUTRE.003Radio personality, Doug Banks and Rapper Phife Dawg’s sudden deaths from kidney disease related to diabetes will be the central theme at Divabetic’s upcoming ‘Family Affair Luncheon’ outreach event scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. 
Keynote Speaker, Maria Paula Martinez Cantarin MD, the Assistant Professor of Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will discuss the risk factors, treatments and prevention for kidney disease for individuals  as well as families. The event will also feature a Panel Discussion with Representatives from Gift of Life and Marion Luckers Foundation, our first-ever Va Va Vision! Eyewear Fashion Show presented by Catherine Schuller AICI, CIP and  live entertainment. The event will be hosted by Mr. Divabetic.
 If you have diabetes, it is important to tightly manage your blood sugar levels with diet, exercise, and medicines. A persistently high blood sugar level can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. Here are some tips to help prevent serious complications:
• Get your blood and urine checked for kidney disease
• For type 2 diabetes, get tested every year
• For type 1 diabetes, get tested every year starting five years after you were diagnosed with diabetes
• Keep your blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg
• Aim for your blood glucose targets as often as you can.
• When you wake up and before meals: 70 to 130
• Two hours after starting to eat a meal: Under 180
• Keep your cholesterol levels in the target range
• Take your medicines as prescribed
• Eat healthy and cut back on salt
• Be physically active
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11 AM – 3 PM
Blumele Life Science Building
10th Street and Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
Register Now: 1-800-JEFF NOW (800) 533-3669

Nationally-Syndicated Radio Doug Banks Dies at 57

April 12, 2016 by

dbshoDoug Banks who hosted the nationally syndicated show, The Doug Banks Morning Show,  died at age 57 due to diabetes health-related complications.

TV One news host Roland Martin tweeted the news of Banks’ death early Monday afternoon. “I heard he was not doing well and had failing kidneys. This is just so hard,” Martin said.

His show was  one of the top-rated syndicated urban programs in America. Each week, millions of listeners tuned in to hear some of the most creative and innovative programming on the airwaves.

Over the years, Doug has received numerous radio awards, including being honored at the 12th Annual Living Legends Foundation Gala in New York City for his outstanding achievements and contributions as a trailblazer in the radio entertainment community. With his strong track record of assisting various grassroots organizations, Doug has also been successful in reaching out to and mobilizing the Urban community.

LISTEN NOW: Tribute to Luther Vandross podcast  featuring friends, fans, family and former band members.

Don’t Miss Diabetes Late Nite inspired by Etta James

April 8, 2016 by

EttaImage.003Join us Tuesday, April 12th for our Diabetes Late Nite podcast focusing on different weight loss options with musical inspiration from Blues, soul, jazz, R&B, and rock vocalist Etta James.

Born to a 14-year-old mother and raised by surrogate parents, blues and R&B star Etta James started singing gospel in church at five, was discovered at 14 and had a rapid rise to fame. Nevertheless, her story is a disturbing saga of drug addiction, obesity, jail sentences for writing bad checks and stealing prescription drugs, involvements with the wrong men and anger at a disruptive and unstable mother who has refused to reveal who her daughter’s father is.

She struggled with her weight, and often performed from a wheelchair as she got older and heavier. By the late 1990’s Etta James weighed 400 pounds and was unable to stand on stage so in 2001 she elected to have gastric bypass surgery at the urging of Roseanne Barr, who also had gastric bypass surgery. She ultimately lost over 235 pounds and managed to keep the weight off for the rest of her life.

Her health went into decline, however, and by 2011, she was being cared for at home by a personal doctor. She suffered from dementia, kidney problems and leukemia and in December 2011, her personal physician announced that her leukemia was terminal.

Did you know that in the last decade, the use of bariatric surgery – techniques that either shrink the stomach, or bypass parts of the digestive tract – has increased seven-fold?

Etta James admitted that she trouble adjusting to a smaller stomach after her surgery. She had trouble keeping food down and started to develop an eating disorder similar to anorexia and bulimia. While bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) has shown to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing their sensitivity to insulin, it is by no means a cure. Are the rewards of this surgery worth the risks?

April’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast features an amazing line-up of guests including Divabetic Image & Style Advisor, Catherine Schuller AICI, Susan Weiner RD, CDE, Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle DPM, Poet Lorraine Brooks, a bevy of divas living with diabetes including Catherine  and Cindy Lou, and Mama Rose Marie. Enjoy selected songs from The Essential Etta James and ‘All The Way’ albums courtesy of SONY Music. LISTEN NOW


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