Singer Amanda Lamb's Balancing Act
The rising music star shares her struggle with diabetes—and her strategies for feeling her best on and off stage.
Diabetes certainly hasn't affected Amanda's success. She was named Best Youth Artist at the Orange County Music Awards in 2011, and made it onto Indie-Music.com's top 25 list last year. Here, her strategies for feeling her best:
Focus on healthy foods. Although experts recommend cutting back on high-calorie snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies and cakes, you don't need to restrict your diet. Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables—especially non-starchy veggies, like spinach, carrots and green beans, advises the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Choose whole-grain foods over processed ones; eat plenty of dried beans, like lentils; and serve lean meats. "For breakfast, I'll have yogurt with granola or flaxseed mixed in," says Amanda. "For lunch, I might have a salad or cup of soup. For snacks, granola bars are my favorite."
Get moving. Regular exercise has many benefits for people with diabetes. It can help keep your blood sugar and weight in check and may even allow you to cut back on insulin or diabetes pills. Amanda enjoys yoga. "I know I'm working on my body and my emotional state, so it makes me happy," she says. "At the end of each class, we do deep breathing exercises. By the time I leave, I feel so much more relaxed." She also walks her dog regularly. "He's very high-energy, so he keeps me going," she says.
Drink plenty of fluids. Diabetes boosts your risk of dehydration because the disease causes your body to excrete more water, according to the ADA. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you exercise or spend time outdoors in warm weather.
Treat low blood sugar on the go. "Instead of carrying around a juice box, I carry glucose tabs," says Amanda. "They're more convenient, and they come in a variety of yummy flavors, like orange, raspberry and pineapple."
Use technology to your advantage. Consider using an insulin pump, a small device that delivers rapid-acting insulin continuously. "I love the pump," says Amanda. "It's allowed me more control over what and when I eat."
Be organized. Put your medications and test equipment in one place so you don't forget anything. Amanda keeps her meter, test strips and glucose tabs in a stylish pack in her purse. "If I'm running late, I don't have to look for my kit," she says. "I just grab my bag."