Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.


By: Lauren Eveler Glover, RDN, LD

How many people have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise more? A lot. How many people will actually stick to it past January 31st? Not many. The truth is habits are hard to break. If you think about it, however, this is actually a good thing! While it may be hard to break your unhealthy habits at first, once you form those new healthy habits, then those will become hard to break. So, you’re more likely to stick to it. Keep these tips in mind to develop better habits, and you won’t need to set a resolution again. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2016!

N – Never trust fad diets.

They don’t work. While they may deliver short-term results, they usually don’t last forever.  Why? Fad diets are simply unrealistic. They make you exclude entire food groups, include unnecessary supplements, or even worse, starve. If you can’t eat that way for the rest of your life, don’t trust it.

E – Exercise a little every day.

How often do you exercise right now? If your answer is “never,” then you have a great area for opportunity! Even if it’s just a 10 minute walk every evening, or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator, every little bit helps.

W – Watch out for phonies.

There is so much nutrition information out there it’s hard to determine what’s fact and what’s fiction. Who can you trust? Have no fear, Registered Dietitians are here! When it comes to a healthy diet, kidneys can be complicated. It’s best to meet with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to discuss which options are best for you.

Y – You don’t need to focus on weight.

Weight is just a number on a scale that’s affected by many factors. Rather, measure your waistline. Anything greater than 40 inches for men, and 35 inches for women increases your risk for disease.

E – Eat more often.

Instead of eating two or three large meals a day, try eating four or five smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day. This will help keep your appetite under control since you’re eating more frequently.

A – Avoid junk food.

Your body doesn’t need it. Eating too much processed food is proven to have negative consequences on our health. They are high in calories and low in nutrients, which is an awful combination.

R – Rest.

Plain and simple, your body needs sleep to recoup and reset for the next day. Aim for 7 to 9 hours per night. Adequate rest, along with a healthy diet and exercise, are the secrets to good health.

Remember, make it a habit and you’ll stick to it.


Vita Redita (“Life Restored” in Latin) is UM Transplant Center’s annual gala & auction. This black tie optional event features a strolling dinner provided by The Moveable Feast, drinks, and dessert.

Guests have a rare opportunity to tour the Wolverines’ locker room and visit the football field. The brief program will include special speaker Evin Green, who received a double lung transplant last year.

You can bid on fabulous items at our silent and live auctions. Silent auction bidding will all take place online via your cell phone. Please bring your cell phone fully charged to the event!

Stay for the afterglow party with special musical guest legendary guitarist Laith Al-Saadi and his band! This wonderful evening supports the Transplant Center’s patient emergency fund, outreach and educational efforts, and helps send our transplant kids to Camp Michitanki.


An Introduction to Haley Funeral Directors





Here is a good explanation of how the donation and transplantation process works. I hope that if you are not currently signed up on the national registry, you will consider signing up after watching this.


With so many instructions on how to manage your blood sugar, it is easy to forget to take care of your feet. However this is an important area to create a care regimen so that other, more risky diabetes complications don’t occur. Take a look at this video and write down any questions that you may have to take to your doctor.




Donald JonesAn article recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine has many people wondering what role fats, including saturated fat, should play in their daily diet. In a nutshell, researchers did not find any relationship between total saturated fat intake and heart disease risk. This seems to contradict everything we have read for the last 40 years! So is it time to break out the pizza and ice cream?! To get to the bottom of this, let’s take a look at the different types of fats and dietary sources:

  1. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) can be beneficial to your health, when eaten in moderation. They can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Examples include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources are avocados, peanut butter and many nuts and seeds.

  2. Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) can help improve cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Omega-6 and omega-3 (types of PUFAs) are essential fats your body needs but can’t produce, so they must be consumed through foods you eat. Sources of PUFAs include soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, some nuts and seeds, as well as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and trout.

  3. Saturated fats are generally thought to increase your cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels and this can increase your risk of cardiac disease. Saturated fats are found mostly in animal products like fatty meats and full fat dairy. According to the Harvard School of Public Health “pizza and cheese are the biggest food sources of saturated fat in the U.S. diet.”

  4. Trans fats sometimes occur naturally in foods, but are mostly made from oils through a process called partial hydrogenation. Trans fats can increase your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lower your HDL (“healthy”) levels, thus increasing your risk for cardiac disease. Trans fats are often found in commercially baked goods such as cakes and cookies. Other sources are fried foods, shortenings and margarine. You can determine the amount of trans fats in packaged food by looking at the nutrition label.

We’ve read about the heart, but what about diabetes? According to Mayo Clinic consuming MUFAs may “benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control.” They also state PUFAs may “also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

The bottom line is fat is an important and necessary part of your diet but should be limited. At 9 calories per gram, it provides nearly double the amount of calories per gram of protein or carbohydrates. In general, consuming an excessive number of calories from any dietary source will result in weight gain, and excessive weight increases risk for heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease is a risk factor for kidney disease and kidney disease is a risk factor for heart disease because the heart and kidneys are interconnected.

Before you pick up the phone to order pizza for dinner, talk to your health care provider to find out what kind of diet, including what type of fats, will work best for you!


Do you know someone who has diabetes?

Or do you want to learn about diabetes?

Find out more by attending the:


8th Annual U-M Diabetes Health Fair
Saturday, November 8, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel
3200 Boardwalk (I-94 State Street exit 177)
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


  • Free health screenings (while time and supplies permit)

  • Dozens of diabetes and health exhibits

  • NEW! Crafts Corner for kids

  • Three free presentations (first-come, first-served seating)

  • Cooking demo by Food Network Chef Curtis Aikens

  • With emcee Brandon Roux, WDIV-TV meteorologist

  • No pre-registration necessary

FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS (as time and supplies permit):

  • blood sugar and A1c
  • blood pressure
  • cholesterol (HDL, triglycerides, and total, non-fasting)
  • body-mass calculations and waist-to-hip ratios

For people with diabetes only:

  • foot screenings
  • eye exams

For relatives of people with type 1 diabetes:

  • Blood tests to check for antibodies (the TrialNet Study) will be available.

Medication review:

  • The College of Pharmacy will check for drug interactions (bring your medication containters or a list).


FREE PRESENTATIONS (first-come, first-served seating):

9:30 am: “Diabetes Updates from the Pediatric Clinic and Research Lab” by Brigid Gregg, MD, Physician and Clinical Lecturer, Pediatric Endocrinology Division, U-M Mott Children’s Hospital

10:30 am: “Popular Diets: Finding the Right Balance for Diabetes and Heart Health”- Joyce Patterson, MPH, RD, Clinical Dietitian, U-M Health System, Cardiovascular Medicine

12:00 pm: “Cooking Demo with Food Network Chef Curtis Aikens” sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Academy



Show your support for organ donation at the University of Michigan’s Vita Redita, a black tie celebration of Life Restored!

Vita Redita 2014 . . .

   November 8, 2014 at 6pm

      Silent & Live Auction, fabulous food

         at the Jack Roth Suites . . .

             in the Big House . . .

                 SAVING LIVES!



While on dialysis, I wondered whether we would see this day.  But now, after kidney and pancreas transplants, my years have been significantly extended!

Friday, May 23, 2014 Steve and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. We had a fabulous time with friends, members of our wedding party and of course family. We entered the routunda after guests viewed the video below, as the dj played Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”!  Please enjoy our video: