Clearly, many of you are not into detailed logging of your diabetes records. Honestly, I'm not that diligent with the logging either. But I do love to have a close look at all the newest tools on the market for managing diabetes. Anything that can help with carb-counting is of particular interest, because I'm so imperfect at that. So I was quite intrigued when I stumbled on HealthSimple, a set of clear and simple products and tools to help diabetics with food choices and logging. Go to the website, and you'll be instantly impressed; even the intro page is a show-stopper.
After corresponding with the company, I received my set of HealthSimple tools in the mail about 10 days ago. The set included:
* FlashCarb cards - 48 big, clear 3x5 cards showing nutritional and carb-choice info on everything from jelly to cheeseburgers (with useful explanations like the difference between hard cheese and soft cheese)
* A "DataWise" logbook - checkbook-sized, and unlike other logs, contains spots for hour-by-hour glucose tracking , type of insulin taken, date & time you started a new insulin vial, etc.
* Carb Count Stickers - little labels you can use for leftovers and other items in your fridge for which you want to remember the portion size and total carbs per serving. In other words, you only have to weigh and measure once.
* CarbWise Cheat Sheets - these are so cool! Little post-it notes where you can log info on each meal, all ready to go with spots for the date, food items, carb grams and calculation hints. A great way to keep track of your diabetic child's food intake. You can take the sticky note along, or stick it up on the wall for easy reference later that day.
* Care Plan Worksheets - 8.5x11 tear-off form sheets for all the basics about any Type 1 diabetic's personal routine, including daily schedule, normal and "emergency" blood sugar ranges, contact info and more. Again, ideal for parents of a Type 1 child. You can prepare one of these for the babysitter, school nurse, teacher, playdate, or relative in charge.
* FlashCarbs magnets - a set of 50 colorful, glossy refrigerator magnets each featuring a favorite food and its carb specs.
Again, my (non-diabetic) kids were fascinated with my samples, and wanted nothing more than to play with the FlashCarb refrigerator magnets. "These are for diabetes?" my little one asked. "Can't I have them?"
What really shows is that the HealthSimple set was developed by real parents of a real Type 1 child. Husband and wife designer team Lisa and Doug Powell developed the ideas when their daughter was diagnosed, "and they discovered that all the materials out there were similar to reading a phone book," marketing director Katie Martin tells me.
The Powells have also aimed to make their tools applicable to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, for example in the Care Plan worksheets, by including options for "those who carb count during meals" and "those who carb count and calculate insulin doses at each meal."
Within a year, their company HealthSimple was acquired by McNeil Nutritionals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. At the moment, the products can only be purchased online, starting at $10 for a set of 100 CarbWise cheat sheets. A full starter kit (with all the stuff mentioned above) goes for $64.
Now if you're like me — non-too-industrious on the precision carb counting and logging — you might also find that a new set of brightly colored aids helps re-energize you. Also, I know I would be a helluva lot more exact on this stuff if I were caring for a child with Type 1; I'd be all over this system. Definitely worth checking out.