Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution (Book)


I recently read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution.  Most of the book can be found here. For a bit of background, I am a type 2 diabetic (diagnosed around 2005), using insulin, and I’ve been following a ketogenic diet since June 2018.  I am constantly seeking more information on the mechanics of diabetes, particularly type 2, although because of my insulin use, I wonder into type 1 territory occasionally, as well.

Dr. Bernstein is an 82 year old type 1 diabetic.  That fact alone is near miraculous.  He’s also largely to credit for the widespread use of the home blood glucose monitor.  You see, folks, back in the 1970’s, the nice folks in charge of our health didn’t think something like a home blood glucose monitor was important.  Dr. Bernstein changed that.

I would say that this book is an absolute must-read for a few groups of people:

  1. Any newly diagnosed diabetic or the caregiver of any newly diagnosed diabetic, regardless of type.
  2. All type 1 diabetics.  Yes, all of you.  I don’t care how long you’ve been living with it or dealing with it or how well you think you know it.  You do NOT want to become an insulin resistant type 1 diabetic.  And did I mention that this man is 83 years old??
  3. Any type 2 diabetic who is currently taking insulin and who is not already following a low-carb, moderate protein plan.
  4. Anyone who is interested in more of the mechanics and science of diabetes.  You can just hop to here and read the sections under Chapter 1.  No need to purchase book.

Bernstein isn’t perfect, though.  If you look at his YouTube channel, you’ll notice that he bases his understanding of a ketogenic diet on what is popular on Pinterest or Instagram and so he doesn’t make an effort to educate people about it.  (A ketogenic diet is, quite simply, a diet that results in a state of nutritional ketosis, and Dr. Bernstein’s diet is precisely that.)  He does address the issue of ketosis vs. ketoacidosis.

So all in all, if you are already following a ketogenic diet as diabetic, there is probably little reason to invest in this book.  Even if you’re not, Dr. Bernstein has put so much of the information online, the only reason I see to purchase it is that the book is a more cohesive, more easily navigated product.

Is the Keto Community Exclusionary?

christie 56When I was a kid, 10 year olds didn’t get type 2 diabetes, so I wasn’t tested. I weighed nearly 200 lbs, I had yeast infections (I didn’t know that at the time, I just knew I itched), and I kept getting yelled at for not washing my neck (acanthosis nigricans). In junior high school, I developed a spot under my ponytail (another yeast infection)that eventually left me with a bald spot that is still there to this day, although the spot is long gone.

At one point in my single digits, I was put on a diet by Dr. Werthammer (not his fault, he was awesome. And still practicing!). That diet was AMAZING, at least to a sugar – addicted kid. It had a list of “free” foods. Lots of low-fat, high sugar options like angel food cake, pretzels, animal crackers, even gummy bears. I was in heaven. But I didn’t lose any weight. And I wasn’t diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until I was 25, and my years of sugar had already done irreparable damage to my eyesight.

A few years ago. a show came out called, “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”. It was filmed across the river from my hometown, in Huntington, WV. Huntington was chosen because it had just been named the unhealthiest city in America. They are poor, they are unhealthy, and they are obese. I’d guess that if you looked at the health stats for the city of Huntington, you’d find that a shocking percent have diabetes, hypertension, and a number of other metabolic disorders. I haven’t lived in the Huntington area for more than 20 years, but I carry the lingering effects of my childhood.

My ex-husband was from the poor part of Baltimore, MD. He grew up eating cold ravioli from the can because they often didn’t have electricity. He ate whatevers he could get from the corner store – often snack cakes and Mountain Dew and chips. He continued that into adulthood. I often saw him put away and entire package of Oreo cookies in one sitting. He once told me, when he was in the hospital, that the sandwich and fruit and veggie they gave him for lunch wasn’t a full meal. He had sleep apnea. When we divorced, he weighed more than 350lbs.

Keto could be a miracle to the unhealthy and underprivileged. Unfortunately, most of the resources available come from a place of blind privilege. Keto personalities preach expensive supplements, grassfed this and organic that. And if you can’t spend $10 or $15 dollars a pound on grass fed ground beef and $4 a dozen for organic eggs, you’re dirty keto. You’re below, you’re sub keto, you’re not as good at keto. You’re not part of the club, and that’s if you even look into it enough to learn that it’s possible without investing in your local Whole Foods. That’s all great if you can afford it, but we’re excluding a very vulnerable part of the population. They need accessible tools and we – as a community – have a responsibility to make keto available to everyone. Stop preaching health from a place of privilege. Stop called it dirty keto – it’s ALL keto and it ALL counts.

It’s ok to keto however it works for you.

The Real Skinny on Fat – Quick Check-in

I’m just checking in really quick.  I said that I would do an episode-by-episode blog serious on The Real Skinny on Fat.  And ya’ll – I can’t.  When it has completed the run, I’ll give a final analysis.  Hint : I’m not impressed.  I do have pages and pages of notes, but in the end, it will all boil down to the same thing: Show me the science (as 2 Keto Dudes are wont to say).

Just… if you’re interested in adopting a ketogenic lifestyle, or intermittent fasting, or anything discussed in this, there are much better resources.

The Real Skinny on Fat : First Impressions

Anyone who has watched What the Health probably understands what it felt like back in the days of snake oil salesman. They talk a good game and they’re very convincing, but it all just seems a little too aggressive and a little lacking in…well, science. Kinda like your local ITWorks or DoTerra salesperson. That tactic works. It works REALLY well. The problem is, it also compromises the trustworthiness of legitimate scientific concepts. Enter: The Real Skinny on Fat.

I’m already leery because of that Dr. Oz seal. Does anyone really still believe that man cares about the medical or scientific soundness of ANYTHING? The landing page for this webseries (which has already aired at least once, back in March 2018) screams scam.  Before I signed up to view it – yes, you have to sign up to get the links, even though it’s free until it has completely aired – before I signed up, I scoured it for the “Buy now” button.  This thing presents as seriously sketchy.

skinny on fat

This is a problem because the information they present is – so far – at least mostly solid.  They’re speaking to a lot of true experts in the field – folks with credentials like Team Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers (that’s his least impressive stat, btw).  But they don’t have any footnotes.  No end notes.  No little asterisk leading you to the studies that they’re citing.  Often, they don’t even cite a specific study, they just present this information as though it’s as obvious as gravity. The science is important to me, I don’t care how impressive the speaker is.  Luckily, I know how to find the science, and it will be my goal to – when possible – provide those studies that back up the information.

I’ll also let you know when I can’t.

My following posts will be episode specific. If you can, I do recommend watching it and then doing your own research to confirm the concepts presented.

To watch: Episode 1 – The Real Skinny on Fat

    Episode 2 – The Real Skinny on Fat

Who IS Christie – the short and simple

So you probably want to know who I am and why I’m doing this.  The bullet points are easy:

  • My name is Christie.
  • I’m 40 years old.
  • I am a Type 2 Diabetic, diagnosed when I was 25.  I was diabetic long before that.
  • I have 2 degrees:
    • Paralegal Studies (AAS)
    • Research and Intelligence Analysis (BA)
  • I am incredibly introverted (INFP).
  • I own a business with my (life) partner, Paul, that has nothing to do with this.
    • We have a dog, Talaitha (aka Tallie Dog), an Australian Shepherd.
    • We have a cat, Callie Cat the Calico Alley Cat.
  • I really, really, really want to help you get healthy.

I’m still a work in progress and I’m at the beginning.  I have a lot of damage to heal.  I am 5’3″, and I weigh 170 lbs.  I wear a women’s size 12/L.  My fasting blood glucose is still way too high (around 180 usually).  I had been able to stop insulin when I first started keto on June 27, 2018 and then I had to restart when I screwed myself up in October.  I still haven’t been able to repair that damage enough to stop insulin again.  But I will.

I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t hope to make ANY money from this blog.  I’d at least like to pay for it’s yearly cost of existing.  But I will never recommend a product that I haven’t tried and that I don’t believe in, and at most, I might eventually get a small kickback from Amazon if I decide to set that up.

I will always be transparent with you.  I will always research the studies that I reference (how they’re conducted, who funded them, etc), because research is my Thing. And its important.  The SCIENCE is far more important than what your 68 year-old family doctor in Small Town, America tells you.  That said, I also have a paralegal degree and firmly believe in CYA – So, I’m not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice.  Consult a local keto-friendly doctor before starting keto (or otherwise messing around with your diet.) Here’s a good place to start your search, but it is not all the docs out there.

Keto police will not be tolerated.  Not here, not on my Insta, and not on Facebook. Keto should be accessible to everyone and I want you to feel comfortable doing what works for you – whether that’s artificial sweeteners and Quest bars or only grass-fed, organic, whole foods – that is 100% up to you and you are safe here.

My goal for this blog is two-fold: Personal accountability.  I will check in from time to time about where I am personally.  I’m also in a unique place with my education that allows me to research complicated ideas (my BA degree) and make them accessible (my paralegal degree) and that’s what I hope to do here.  I want to cut through the BS and bring you those studies and articles and research that is truly based on solid evidence.  I want to bring you the science.


New Beginnings

Today is the first day of 2019, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably considering a few firsts, yourself.

My name is Christie and I am a type 2 diabetic.  I first discovered the Keto lifestyle just 6 short months ago.  It started with a Tedx Talk at Purdue University by Dr Sarah Hallberg.  I’ll link it below.  Dr. Hallberg is board certified in both obesity medicine and internal medicine and is the Medical Director of the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at IU Health Arnett – a program she created.  She knows her stuff.  She probably knows more than your local GP.  And that is why I listened to her.

Science and education is important, ya’ll.

So I watched her Tedx Talk and I told my life penguin, Paul, that I wanted to try this low carb, high fat thing for just 2 weeks and I explained why.  He came on board and we committed to 2 weeks of no carbs starting June 26, 2018.

Everyone tells you to clean out your kitchen before you start.  We didn’t.  We sort of needed that security blanket, at first, knowing that if it didn’t pan out, we could easily transition back to our old ways.  You know, the ones that weren’t working.  It felt safer this way.

I was immediately able to stop taking insulin.  After the 2 week trial, we DID clean out our kitchen.  Paul lost somewhere around 50 pounds over the next 4 months. I lost around 16 (being metabolically deranged takes some time to correct).

In October, we decided to take a trip back to our hometown.  We also decided that it would be ok to go off keto for the trip, to eat some of the delicious food that we grew up with (the only thing to do in Huntington, WV is eat.)  That was a giant mistake of epic proportions.  We struggled to get back on track, but only the carbohydrate flood gates open, we couldn’t shove them closed again.  We also have a small business, mostly making Christmas ornaments, so October started the busiest time of the year for us.

Epic fail.

I decided that after Christmas, I would firmly recommit the way I committed back in June.  I also decided that I would start a blog and a Facebook group and page to help keep me on track, while hopefully helping others.

I may occasionally recommend items that work for me, but I will NEVER try to sell you something.  If you want to support my attempts to share information, click one of the ads that you see on this blog.  It costs nothing, but it’ll send a penny or two my way.

My next post will be a lot of background on me, because it’s important to know who you’re trusting.  After that, I’ll start with the most basic of basics: reading a nutrition label and what – exactly – are those macro things.

This was a lot words and no pictures.  I’ll do better next time.  🙂

Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s Tedx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da1vvigy5tQ