From Henry’s mom:
While Sam and Henry started to get to know each other over FaceTime (and Henry sending about 1,000 emojis of warthogs to Sam via text message), Sam’s mom and I started to text with each other about our boys and the stuff they have to deal with. It’s hard to have type 1 diabetes. It’s hard to have a child with type 1 diabetes, it’s hard to grow up with type 1 diabetes, but it makes it easier when you have friends, no matter the age difference, to help you navigate the waters. Henry has some issues with freaking out sometimes. Sam’s mom let me know that Sam also freaks out from time to time. Sometimes its all just a little too much for them. Sometimes they blow their tops. Henry kicks a wall, they both holler out loud and Sam’s mom and I decided that they needed to figure out a way to get it under control. Since this conversation Henry has been implementing the “Don’t Blow Your Top” and “Whatevs” systems pretty steadily. Let us know how it works out for you.
FaceTime starts and Sam is seated with a big black dog.
Sam: Wanna meet my sister? (Sam points to the black dog)
Henry: How can a dog be your sister?
Sam: It’s weird, she has way more hair than I do.
Sam: Hey Henry, what kind of shoes are those? Kanye West or something? Those are dope.
Sam holds up his foot with a knee high inside out blue sweat sock.
Henry: EWWWW. Your mom told me that you need some advice.
Sam: Me, need advice? Huh? Whaaaaa?
Henry: I’m gonna show you what to do when you are going to blow your top. You take your hand like this and put it on your head before you blow your top.
Sam: Oh, that’s a good idea. Like this? Well, I might add an extra hand and cover my mouth. Sometimes, when I REALLY blow my top, I yell so if you are really going to blow your top your sister Rosie can cover your mouth.
Henry: Yeah. But there is also this thing you can do when things aren’t going your way.
Henry holds his fingers in a W shape.
Sam: Did you just throw a gang sign?
Henry: No, it’s like “Whatevs.”
Henry: You do that when something little happens that you don’t like. You go like, “Whatevs!” Or you can do a double “Whatevs!” if things are really going wrong.
Henry: I want to talk about making a better granola.
Sam: Oh, I’ve been cooking with a little girl named Ella, she was just diagnosed a little while ago and I want you to meet her. We have been making a lot of granola.
Henry: What do you put in it?
Sam: The only sweetener is coconut syrup.
Henry: WE DO THAT TOO!
Sam: Well then dude what are we doing on Skype?
Henry: We are on FaceTime.
Sam: Oh yeah, good call.
Henry: What do you put in granola? We usually do oats, chia seeds, goji berries, almonds, walnuts, pecans, coconut…
Sam: Yeah. That sounds good dude. What I would add into there is pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts for protein, and red quinoa. With the dry quinoa, treat it the same as everything else. I would take all of those things and add them to what I’m telling you.
Sam: You wanna use the coconut syrup but you can also juice some blood oranges or if they like Meyer lemon or pear and apple, do a few tablespoons of that with the nectar.
Henry: We could use blood orange.
Sam: Do you have a blood orange? It would match your fannypack and hair.
Henry: My hair is copper!
Sam: No, it’s blood orange red! Tell people that’s your hair color.
Henry: They will probably be like, “Wait a second… are you a bloody orange?”
Sam: Then throw them the Whatevs sign. Don’t put the goji in until you take the granola out.
Henry: So, I’m sick of juice for my lows.
Sam: Oh, so my new thing is, like, going to a natural food store.
Sam leaves the screen
Henry: Where is he? Did he go to the store?
Sam: I’m finding a fruit leather! I’m back! I found a golden skull!
Sam holds up a golden skull.
Henry: Is that the first human?
Rosie (Henry’s sister): Is that your brother?
Sam: Brother? I only have a dog sister. This is a happy good vibes place. No dead people in my house.
Sam holds up a fruit strip.
Sam: I like to use these. The ingredients are organic apples, organic fruit juice from strawberry andlemon, and that’s it. It’s dried juice and they put it into a strip. The carbs are 14g, which is perfect.
Henry: Thats what I use to correct! 15G! Does that hit you fast like juice? Like, if you are super low how fast would it hit your blood sugar?
Sam: Well if you are really low and your BG is in the 40 range you should take a sip of juice. I hate to tell you this but you have to drink juice sometimes. It’s a really good remedy. If you are outside in the wilderness like hunting or foraging you can take a little bit of it then eat a leather. This takes about 15 minutes to get you up to normal. Or you could eat this and have some fruit with it? You are rolling.
Henry: So if I go outside and maybe find a duck, I can try to hunt it, because I really like duck meat.
Sam: Wait, why are we talking about hunting?
Henry: You said that if I was outside in the wilderness and hunting and foraging. So, anyway, if we get a duck I can take a stick and one of my arrowheads out of my collection….
Sam: Why wouldn’t you… right? All 7 year olds like to hunt and eat duck! (laughs)
Henry: I would tie that onto the stick and I would throw that at the duck.
Sam: Dude. Let’s talk about snacks.
Henry: I don’t like cheese. I only eat Parmesan. I hate string cheese.
Sam: Remember that package you sent me, Henry? Those dried blueberries that you got at the co-op? Mix that granola with the dried fruit, eat a handful, and that’s a great snack.
Henry: Do you extend your bolus when you eat dried fruit?
Sam: Yeah. That’s a good idea.
Henry: You should meet my Popito. He’s a surfer and he’s vegan. We are going to go surf at York beach.
Sam: Yeah Henry. This summer. You ready to go surfing?
Sam: Let’s talk next week ok?
Henry: Ok! Bye Sam! Don’t blow your top.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups pepitas
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1 cup whole oats
2 cups chopped raw cashews
2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup goji berries or dried blueberries
8 TB of coconut nectar (Henry used 4 TB)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 TB sea salt (Henry used pink Himalayan salt)
1/2 cup fresh fruit juice (Henry used navel oranges, he was out of blood oranges)
1 TB ground ginger
1 TB cinnamon
Preheat the oven at 350.
Chop the nuts, put in bowl and add all of the seeds, oats and quinoa. Then add in the coconut nectar, fresh juice, olive oil and salt.
Lay out thin layers of granola on a silpat on a baking sheet or parchment paper, toast each batch for about 15 minutes but keep at eye on it, when it just starts to brown remove it. Add in the dried berries and store in jars. Henry likes to eat his with unsweetened almond milk, his sister likes yogurt.
Goji berries are super high in Vitamin C and they also raise your blood sugar slowly so you don’t crash hard later (no one likes that). A quarter cup of pepitas gives you almost half the amount of the daily recommended dose of magnesium. The hipster grain quinoa is not only high in fiber, but it’s a great gluten free alternative for people who suffer from Celiac’s and gluten intolerances it also packs a protein punch. Cashews have the lowest fat content of most nuts, a handful of pecans a day can help lower your cholesterol. Cinnamon can help diabetics stabilize their blood sugar, and ginger is used to treat dozens of ailments. I mean, seriously, this granola? Amazing. If you don’t believe me, listen to Henry.
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…
ST: ARE YOU FALLING ASLEEP RIGHT NOW??!?!?!?! DUDE! HENRY!
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!
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!
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: 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!
Check out this special Valentine’s Day dinner for two that Sam has created with AOL! Scallops with Toasted Pasta, Meyer Lemon and Pomegranate. See the full recipe here.
The universe calls on us and it’s how we respond that makes the story come full circle. This past summer, the universe put this kid Henry in front of me. After a few exchanges with him via instagram, it just happened that his family was staying close by in Brooklyn for the week. We made a plan to meet up. Henry is one of the raddest 7 year olds I have ever met! He rocks an insulin pump, and even wears a 24 hour glucose monitor just like me. Henry refers to his pump and cgm as robots and he and I are robot bros for sure. The best part about Henry? He takes great care of his body by eating his vegetables, drinks lots of water, hates soda (yuck!) and avoids things like processed foods and sugar. He wears crazy awesome glasses and two of his heroes are Batman and me! I mean, Batman wears his underwear on the outside of his pants — so you decide who is cooler. READ MORE