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Hankering for a Hand Roll

Last week, Henry’s mom Sara called to tell me that he was giving himself a really hard time over some of his high blood sugar levels. While long term blood sugar can be really dangerous, it is part of having Type 1 diabetes and there are a lot of different ways to tackle it. I decided to call Henry and talk to him about how he was feeling and give him some tips on how to lower his blood sugar in combination with also taking insulin to treat it.


S: Hey Henry! What??? (laughs)

H: Hi. (Henry has drawn on a beard and moustache and is wearing sunglasses inside to surprise Sam)

ST: You look like Diamond Dallas Page! Or Dog the Bounty Hunter! Do you know who Dog is?

SJ: Henry does not know who Dog the Bounty Hunter is!

H: (Making faces)

ST: If I looked like you right now I’d be making lots of faces too. Henry, what’s up man? I heard you had some high blood sugar the other day?

H: Sometimes I worry about high blood sugar. Today at school I was 355. Not for too long. But I’m worried.

ST: What did you do for that?

H: I bolused for a snack.

ST: What emotion did you have? What did it make you feel like? Inside?

H: I felt like I wanted to go home.

ST: And what would you do if you went home? What was going to happen?

H: So I could exercise and dance fast. They make me sit down at school.

ST: If your blood glucose (BG) is like that, can you dance for 15 minutes?

H: I dance to Prince when I’m high. I was 420. And I danced and drank a lot of water.

ST: That’s the best thing and exactly what you should do. I don’t think that you should get as nervous or beat yourself up or get too worried about that. If you are 350, or 420, or 450, those are high numbers and I know that it can get scary. You know what I do? I do the same thing. I look down at my meter and say “OK, my number is high,” and sometimes I text my own mom or call her like you do and tell her my BG.

ST: There’s no reason to get worked up, you are a pro! You’re going to take some insulin if you need to and take some deep breaths. And if you are at school maybe you can ask to get up and dance! Getting worked up, sometimes stress can make you sugar levels go higher. You have some control Henry and you can try and do these things and push the sugar back down. I realize that there is nothing I can do about it sometimes and that’s OK. The only thing we can do it work on it to make it go lower…



H: (Laughing, closing his eyes) YEAH! Just a lot of blinks! And I’m falling asleep.

ST: DUDE, are you falling asleep right now, while I am talking?

H: YEAH! You are talking a lot!

(Both laugh)

ST: Oh gosh. This is crazy. I have Dog the Bounty Hunter falling asleep on me.

H: I woke up.

ST: Dude you are a pro- you go high, just come back down. You are a pro. You got this. Hey! Henry I know a good trick – jumping jacks!

H: Yeah!

ST: Do like 20 jumping jacks when you are high and it will bring you down!

H: Ok! Hey Sam, we have sushi night on the 8th of each month. How can I make hand rolls without rice?

ST: Well when I make sushi with rice, I use brown rice and soy paper with seaweed paper. You can also make daikon rice! It’s white and looks a lot like the color of white rice! And you can pickle it with a bit of coconut sugar and rice vinegar. Do you want me to tell you how to make it and you can make the daikon rice with your mom?

H: Yes! Why do you use soy paper?

ST: I like the taste of soy paper and seasoned nori together. I always have nori and soy paper at my house. 

H: I eat a lot of nori! I love nori! I haven’t had soy paper. What do you put in your roll?

ST: I fill it with avocado, cucumber, some other stuff and I’ll bolus and my BG is like 120 around that time and I’ll take 4 units of insulin.

SJ: That’s not a lot of insulin! We know some kids that take 20 units at dinner! Henry takes a pretty low level.


ST: That’s because their parents are feeding them lots of yucky food. Processed stuff. Not like what your parents feed you. That’s a lot of insulin. Maybe you can make these hand rolls for your friends and share the recipe?

HJ: Yes. What is the recipe?

ST: Okay, Henry, check it. Here is how you make awesome daikon rice. I want you to get 2 daikon radishes, peel them and have your mom help you if you need it, dice the daikon super fine so it looks a little like rice. Okay? Then I want you to take some organic cucumber and wash them but don’t peel them, take the seeds out then dice that super fine too.

H: English cucumber or regular?

ST: Whatever you want. Just try to make sure it’s organic. I also want you to chop up some shiso leaf or basil really fine and add that in with the daikon and cucumber. Then take a little ginger root, remove the skin and some garlic and I want you to actually use a peeler or a microplane if you have it and put a bit of that in there for some kick. Then I want you put all of that into a nonreactive bowl. Now you are going to pickle it! Get a little water, add about a tablespoon of soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos.

H: I love coconut aminos.

ST: Coconut really is magical. So then you add about ½ a cup of coconut vinegar or rice vinegar, or you can also do a split. I want you to let that sit for about 2 hours in or out of the fridge. You can use this instead of rice sometimes.


H: Can I cut yellowfin with my new chef knife? And put it in there? I like fish.

ST: Absolutely. Where can you get nice fish?

H: The grocery store here is right on the harbor where we get fish, they usually get it from the fishermen at the docks.

ST: That’s cool. What else are you going to add to the rolls?


H: I like avocado, skinny carrots, alfalfa sprouts, red pepper, cucumber….I like all the vegetables. Do you?

ST: YES! Did you see the Super Sprowtz I was on?

H: Yes!

ST: Awesome.

H: Sometimes when I make hand rolls, I just put everything in it and it’s like BOOOM. It’s so much! It falls everywhere!

ST: Dude! I do that too Henry! I get too excited when I am making hand rolls and all of my food drops all over my shirt. Out the bottom it goes. It’s the worst thing to eat on a date.

H: Ew. I dont like girls.

ST: OK, dude.

H: Oh. Wait. I’m also going to get a shot of apple cider vinegar. The last time I did it I was like BOOM. It was so strong.

ST: No way! Really?

(Henry chugs a tiny teacup of apple cider vinegar)


ST: I can’t believe you drank that! You are the coolest 7 year old! I know 29 year olds that cant do that.

H: It went in my loose tooth hole. Why do people drink apple cider vinegar?

ST: I like to drink it because sometimes it helps lower glucose levels, which means it can help bring your blood sugar down.  Hey Henry, what do you think about my hat?

H: I want one!

ST: Are you really going to wear it? It’s all about Beyond Type 1! Your mom and I made the logo. I’ll send to you.


ST: Henry, let me know how the hand roll works out. Send me pictures!

H: Ok. Bye Sam!

ST: Bye Henry!


These hand rolls are not only really low in carbs but they are good for you too. I love using daikon radishes because they are great for the skin, digestion and keep your liver healthy. Nori can cover about 70% of your daily recommended levels of iodine, plus it tastes good and is seriously low in calories. Yellowfin Tuna is rich in selenium which aids in protection of antioxidants. Vegetables, you seriously cant go wrong or eat enough of those!

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