Working at Home- The Corona Virus & Diabetes

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

I can’t quite believe how much the Corona Virus has blown up over the past number of days. With food aisles left bare and everyone masked and panicked, it’s not far from what the apocalypse movies portray. Except, of course, the weird toilet paper demand. I think they missed that one. I’m not going to give a spiel on what I think the virus means for Type 1 Diabetics. Although I’m not a worrier, with a strong general health and sugar level control, I really don’t feel the need to fret. However, I’m obviously going to take the recommended measures to try and avoid it.

Anyways, thanks to this pandemic, many companies are telling their employees to work from home. As of next week I'll be joining them. It may be comfortable, however, I’m aware that remaining cooped up in my cardboard-box sized apartment isn’t going to be ideal for my sugar levels. So, this is what I’m going to do to help optimise my sugar level control whilst trying my best to avoid getting sick.

Walks after breakfast and lunch

I’m going to aim to get in 10,000 steps a day. I'm tracking this using the Steps app. This app tells you throughout the day how many steps you've taken and how many you have left to complete your goal. From personal experience, if I’m not active at all throughout the day I become much more resistant to insulin. The gyms are closed and I need to do some sort of movement, both for my sanity and sugar levels. If I’m sitting down all day, it’s easier to get a high number and much more of a task to get it back down to what it should be. So, after breakfast and lunch I’ll go on a brisk walk to help kick-start my insulin and get some fresh air. A podcast might calm you down if you’re particularly stressed about the whole ordeal. Some great diabetes focused ones are The JuiceBox Podcast and Diabetics Doing Things.

Start Your Day with a Pint

... of water. Sorry to disappoint. I started filling up a pint glass of water first thing every morning and I aim to have it drank before breakfast. It's actually surprisingly easy! Once I have a few sips in me it unlocks this whole other level of thirst I didn't know existed. I often mistake this thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated prevents me from over-eating in the morning. Plus, it sets me up to continue drinking water for the rest of the day. Hydration is key for good sugar level control, especially if you're stuck in a chair for hours!

Substantial Meals Full of Protein and Fats

I’ve always casually followed a 30g carb rule. This means that my meals usually don’t have more than 30g of carbs. This is what my body can easily digest without any lows or highs later on. While I’m working from home I’m going to particularly stick to this rule. Sitting down for eight hours with high carbohydrate meals would be a disaster for my sugar levels. Therefore, I’m going to fill myself up with meals that are full of protein and healthy fats and a small amount of carbs. You can click here for some filling breakfast ideas that keep me energised until lunch and here, for some lunches that do the same until dinner.

Home Workouts

As I mentioned in the first point, I find it incredibly important to stay active with Type 1. With the gym closed for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be doing a few home workouts after my day of work. I don’t have any equipment, but there’s plenty of home workouts available online that don’t require any sort of weights or machinery! I purchased a 2 week, at home plan from Eoin Costelloe, a Type 1 Diabetic Personal Trainer. For only 25 euro you receive a two week plan, diabetes training management tips, training philosophies and access to the personal training app!

Smelly, Low Carb-snacks

The one pro that I can take from this whole situation is that I can now eat my smelly snacks in peace. The snack cravings are real when sitting at a desk. However, I always steer clear of normal office snacks that don’t carry a scent, such as dried fruit or cereal bars. They usually end up spiking my sugars before lunch, then I need to take correction insulin as well as meal-time insulin, leaving me with either a low or a high blood sugar. On the other hand, snacks that involve tuna, eggs and hummus are usually frowned upon in an office environment, fair enough. Now, in the comfort of my own home, I will be munching on all of my stinky, low-carb snacks without being judged. You can click here for a few of my favourites which include tuna pots, corn cakes and smoked salmon, and veggies with hummus.

Stock up on Beans, Rice and Onions

There are many reasons that I will not be making frequent visits to my local Tesco these days. It’s already crowded and based on what I’ve seen online of other countries' situations, this will only worsen. It’s also just a generally unsettling environment. As much as I love an avocado, they all-too-soon turn to brown mush. Because of this, I am going to stock up on some substantial food I can rely on. For example, beans, rice and onions. I always add a few beans to my meals, whether its kidney, black or pinto beans. They’re high in fiber, protein and vitamins. Brown rice is a healthy, low GI food that's slow energy releasing. Onions are a handy veg option as they seem to last an infinite amount of time. I’m not panic buying, but these are reliable foods to have if you want to limit the amount of trips to the shops.

Those are the small ways that I'll be making sure my sugar levels aren't affected by this virus outbreak. Have any other tips to add to this list? Please let me know in the comments! Hope you enjoyed x

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