Guest Blog: Living With Diabetes--It's all about Portion Control

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993

As part of our month-long partnership with DiabetesSisters during National Diabetes Month, Livliga will be posting guest blogs from members of the DiabetesSisters' community. As you can see from this first blog, portion control is a key aspect of managing and living with diabetes. Livliga is all about portion control. That is why we want to share these important stories. Here is Anna's:

I’ve lived with diabetes for over 22 years, diagnosed at a time and place where my education was limited. Most of what I learned in the early years of managing diabetes came from books and magazine articles. It was until 2000, when I went on an insulin pump, when I learned to count carbohydrates as part of my diabetes treatment plan. 

Part of counting carbohydrates includes managing portions to know exactly how much I am consuming so I can appropriately dose my medication. Over the years, I have learned many way to facilitate this, including all the hand trick – a fist is roughly one cup, the palm of my hand is a serving size of protein, my fingertip is a teaspoon, my thumb is a tablespoon. I’ve also discovered 100-calorie packs of my favorite snacks foods, and most recently purchased mixed nuts that come this way, allowing me to consume them without eating too many (I love almonds, cashews, and walnuts – but the fat content is exorbitant!). I also purchase individual portions of rice and chocolate puddings (my favorite snacks), apple slices and carrots, and cut up other fruits, such as grapes, to equal a serving size for easy access in the refrigerator.

Finally, when I treat hypoglycemia, which happens a few times a month, I employ my portion control skills to consume roughly 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. I keep snack-sized baggies in a basket in the pantry, filled with crackers, jellybeans, granola bars, cereal, and other candies.

Like all aspects of living with diabetes, portion sizes have become second nature to me. I keep an assortment of measuring cups and spoons within easy access in my kitchen, I use visual cues to help me when dining out, and I try to stay on top of what the food industry is marketing to help me along.

About the Guest Blogger

Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993. Recently appointed CEO of DiabetesSisters, she is dedicated to improving the lives of women living with diabetes through peer support and education. Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Education at Florida International University. She has worked for large university systems and metropolitan health care systems since 1999, with a focus on major gift fundraising, annual gifts, event planning and community relations. She currently resides in the Chicago-area with her family.

About DiabetesSisters

DiabetesSisters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and quality of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. Founded in 2008, the organization offers a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online ( and in-person programs such as forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, Leadership Institutes, and monthly peer support group meetings throughout the United States.

Download our FREE Managing Your  Diabetes Through Portion Control eBook!

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