"What I enjoy most about summer are the longer days of sunlight and spending more time outside. I do my power walk in the morning and go out again in the evening for a leisurely stroll. I also love seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables."

Being out and about

My schedule definitely changes over the summer—we are always out and about. There’s so much to do. We do day and weekend road trips; we explore new areas, go to the beaches for swimming or hike in the hills around the Chicago area where I live. We enjoy long walks through our local botanical gardens, or go to the many neighborhood festivals and taste all the different foods. Since we’re out of the house so much, I find that I eat more during the summer months without the structure of my routine. Here are some things that help me stay on track when I’m away from home:

I drink a lot of water. I’ll even set an alarm in the morning to remind myself to drink more. This trick really works for me with my busy schedule

I stay cool. I use those neck bandanas with the cold gel (when you get them wet) to help

I keep healthy snacks on hand. Protein bars are perfect for me- I know exactly how many grams of sugar and carbs are in each one. I’ll also bring some nuts and cheese with me

Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise or treatment plans.

Cookout season

BBQs are a great part of summer. I’ve learned a few things over the years that make them easier for me.

  • I stay away from bottled BBQ sauce. Instead, I’ll use a dry rub or a basil or red pesto, still tastes great but less sugar. When I’m really in the mood for BBQ sauce, I’ll go for the vinegar-based sauce instead of one made with ketchup.
  • I keep track of my carbs. I love fresh fruits and vegetables, so if I want to eat a small ear of corn, I skip the potatoes.
  • I serve chicken or fish if I am hosting. But if we’re guests, I’ll watch what I’m eating. I’ll have just a little bit of potato salad (especially if they’re serving sweet corn, too!). And, if the coleslaw tastes too sweet, I’ll have a small taste only.

Hitting the road

When we’re away for a weekend, or even a day trip, I make sure that I plan ahead so I’m prepared. Here are a few things that my doctor and I have decided work best for me—they have really helped me keep to my healthy habits when I’m away from home.

I pack a pouch that holds my insulin, supplies and any other medications I take, and bring it everywhere I go. This way, wherever I am, I can take my medicine. To help me stay on schedule, I set my phone alarm to remind me

I carry a letter from my doctor stating that I’m carrying diabetes supplies

I always keep my ICE (In Case of Emergency) card updated and in my wallet. It tells who I am, my diagnosis, the insulin/medicines I’m taking (and the dose for each) and my emergency contacts

Summer’s one of the best times of year. By planning ahead, I get to really enjoy it. You can, too.