Singer Nikki Lang on Diabetes

Nikki Lang shares her simple strategies for stopping stress and other blood sugar spikers. 

Linda Childers
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Blood sugar spiker: A totally unpredictable schedule
Blood sugar tamer: Tech smarts
Nikki knows it’s important to track her carb counts, but she admits this can be challenging when she’s on the road. “I’ve found several smart phone carb-counter and tracker applications that can determine the carb counts of foods I eat,” she says. “They have been especially helpful when I’m abroad and eating foreign foods.” If you have a smart phone, like Nikki, consider downloading Glucose Buddy (, a free app that helps you log your blood sugar, meds, food, exercise and more. It also syncs up with your computer. 

Blood sugar spiker: Anxiety
Blood sugar tamer: Boxing it out
“I love boxing—it’s a fun way to reduce stress and offers a good workout,” says Nikki. Don’t have the time or inclination to join a gym? Don’t worry, you can de-stress like Nikki does without leaving your home! Researchers at Brigham Young University recently found that playing an active video game such as Wii Boxing for 20 minutes is the equivalent of walking a mile at a brisk pace.

Blood sugar spiker: Sitting around—after a meal
Blood sugar tamer: Doing a chore
“I’ve noticed that when I’m active, it’s easier to control my blood sugar levels,” says Nikki, who enjoys running 3-4 miles several days a week. Not a runner? Turns out, just walking the dog or even loading the dishwasher after a meal—in short, doing just about anything besides hitting the couch—may help keep blood sugar levels in check, according to research presented at the June 2011 annual meeting of the ADA. 

Blood sugar spiker: Pasta dinners
Blood sugar tamer: High-fiber fare
“I take care of my diabetes because I value my life,” Nikki says. “I stay away from heavy carbs such as pasta and pizza, which can cause my blood glucose levels to rise, and instead eat foods that are high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat, refined carbs and sugar.” Habitually feasting on oatmeal, bran, beans, berries, nuts, greens, barley and other whole grains is a good strategy. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, people with type 2 diabetes who eat about 50 grams a day of fiber enjoy far better blood sugar control than folks who skimp on it.

April 2013