Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lettuce Talk Diabetes: Interview with Chelsea Moffett


In this post, I interview Chelsea Moffett, future RDN (Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist) and all-around great person. Chelsea and I went to school together at the University of North Florida and both graduated with our Bachelor's in Nutrition & Dietetics last year. Chelsea and I immediately connected upon learning we were both living with diabetes and studying nutrition. She was one of the main people that encouraged me to try the Omnipod, which led to many classes in college where one of us starting beeping and it took us a few seconds and looks to each other across the room to figure out who it was.
It probably goes without saying that Chelsea and I are both passionate about helping others heal and live better through food and lifestyle. Chelsea is an incredibly driven, smart and down-to-earth person. She is currently in the middle of completing her dietetic internship at our alma mater, and if you know anything about dietetic internships, you know that this is a huge accomplishment. I am so grateful to Chelsea for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer all my questions. Read our interview to learn why I think Chelsea is going to be an amazing force for people dealing with type 1 diabetes in the future!

1 | How long have you been living with diabetes?

A little bit over three years now.

2 | Does type one diabetes run in your family?

No one in my family has type one, current or past.

3 | What is your weapon of choice (pump, pens, cgms, etc.)?

OmniPod and Dexcom.




4 | Have you experienced “diabetes burnout” yet? If so, how did you overcome this?

I would say that I experience "diabetes burnout" quite often! It's totally natural for that to happen when you're dealing with headaches from insurance companies, a bad day of blood sugars, pump complications, and just wanting to not worry about diabetes for a day! Honestly, what gets me through these burnouts and helps me overcome it is knowing that there isn't anything that I can do.

My pancreas doesn't work and I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and not have diabetes; I just learn from these burnouts and take the good with the bad.

5 | Where do you find support?

My fiancé is the best support that I have hands down! Outside of his support, the JDRF local chapter has been like a second family to me.

6 | What foods do you find your blood sugar likes the most?

A balanced diet! When my plate is filled with veggies, protein, and fiber, my blood sugar doesn't have as big of a spike as a plate that is all refined carbohydrates and little nutrients.

7 | What tricks/methods have you found to be helpful in keeping your blood sugar stable while exercising?

I always suspend my OmniPod, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and bring Gatorade just in case I go low. However, I am a server on the weekends and when I put in 20,000 steps in one day, my blood sugars can plummet. I have found with consistent walking and lifting trays, setting a reduced basal rate really helps keep my blood sugars in target without going low.

8 | What kinds of exercise does your blood sugar like the most?

I usually only participate in strength training and my blood sugars are pretty stable while I work out since I'm not participating in any cardio.

9 | What is the biggest misconception/ misunderstanding between type 1 diabetics and non-diabetics that you wish you could address/clear-up?


The biggest misconception, is the whole understanding of type 1 diabetes. 

Everyone is so familiar with type 2 diabetes that I get a lot of comments. "You don't look like you have diabetes", "You're too thin to have diabetes", "You can't eat that", "Artificial sugars are bad for you", "Someone in my family has diabetes". Honestly, I wish that I could just clear up what type one diabetes is and how serious of a disease it is. Diabetes shouldn't just be a butt-end of someone's joke; it should be understood as a serious life complication.



10 | Is there any wisdom/ tricks/ words of advice you wish someone were to give you when you were first diagnosed?

You know, I don't think that any words of advice would have helped me when I was first diagnosed. I think every person who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes comes about it in a different way. The initial diagnosis is so overwhelming, I don't think I would have listened to the advice. As a person with type 1 diabetes, you find your own coping methods, daily routines, and management. That's the thing about diabetes, it's so personal that you are your best motivator.

11 | What is your weapon of choice in bringing up low blood sugars?

Trader Joe's has these awesome all-natural fruit sticks at the cash register for 50 cents and 12 carbs! Easy to put in my purse or a pocket and they taste awesome!

12 | Do you follow any specific dietary guidelines/ special diets to help control your blood sugar?

Personally, I don't believe in any special diets or specific guidelines to control my blood sugars; I believe in a lifestyle. Diets aren't beneficial, you just want what you can't have more often than normal. Once I  found my groove, I started including more vegetables, fresh fruits, less red meats and less desserts. A balanced diet is my key to my diet lifestyle. If I want some ice cream or pizza one day, I'll eat it!

13 | Favorite food right now?


Edamame!

14 | Who inspires you to stay healthy?

I inspire myself to stay healthy.

Like I said previously, I'm my biggest motivator. When I eat healthy, I feel energized and happy. Days I eat bad and don't exercise. I feel sluggish and horrible. Every day I want to wake up and be ready for the day, and that requires me to stay healthy.


15 | As a future RDN currently working through an intense internship, what are your tips for staying in range when super busy and stressed?

Snacks, breaks, and remembering to breathe! When I'm in rotations 30 hours a week, a full-time graduate student, work 20 hours on the side, and am planning a wedding, it gets hard to remember to take care of myself sometimes! Making sure I wake up early to get a good breakfast in, and pack an awesome lunch with snacks is the key to my day running as smoothly as possible, and my blood sugars. Taking breaks to collect my thoughts and remembering to breathe is how I manage my stress and those pesky stress highs.

16 | What do you plan to do with your RDN credentials?

That's a tough question! My first goal is to graduate in December this year, pass my exam to earn my credentials as an RDN, and land any job possible. My interests include parenteral/enteral nutrition support, community, and pediatrics. I honestly want to do everything and anything! My main goal is to eventually earn my specialty credentials and CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) and work in pediatric diabetes. I want to be able to inspire families impacted by the struggles of type 1 diabetes. Inspiring others through healthy living is my plan!

17 | What do you want to say to the #T1D community?

Don't get discouraged, positive vibes, we're all in this together!

18 | Where can we keep up with you and your journey?

Instagram @chelseamoffett, eventually I plan on starting my own blog, but graduate school is taking over my life currently, I'll keep you all posted.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Chelsea's perspective and that this interview helps those living with type 1 diabetes feel more supported and less alone. Thanks again to Chelsea for sharing. 

Look out for my next interview of the Lettuce Talk Diabetes series with Brooke Blasser, pictured below with myself and Chelsea!


2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this..it really helps in knowing we are not alone in fighting this monster called D, and how each of us are trying to figure it all out to do the best we can to achieve our goals.Looking forward to your next interview

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    Replies
    1. Hi Luv2stamp, thanks so much for reading! It means so much to know that my goal of helping others with type 1 feel less alone and more supported is being achieved, even if just in one person. Glad to have you as a reader!

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