Alissa's Fitness Blog

Alissa's Diabetes and Fitness Blog


Discussion of Diet and Fitness as a tool to manage Diabetes

(image courtesy

Chelcie:  My name's Chelcie Rice. I'm a stand-up comic, based out of Atlanta, and I am a type one diabetic. I've been wearing a CGM now for three or four months and I'm on an insulin pump.

Alissa:  And what kind of insulin pump and CGM are you using currently?

Chelcie:  I'm using the Dexcom CGM.  I've been on a Medtronic insulin pump] since 2005.

Alissa:  How old were you when you were first diagnosed, and what were some of the challenges?

Chelcie:  I was diagnosed at 25.  My symptoms were the usual – frequent urination and constant thirst. At the time, I was a musician in a local church along with my roommate.  It was my roommate who noticed the symptoms first – noting that I was going to the restroom multiple times during service. Upon his suggestion, I went to see a urologist who diagnosed the diabetes. I spent five days in the hospital re-hydrating and learning about diabetes as I confess that I didn’t know much. I knew my grandmother was diabetic but that was about as it.

Alissa:  And then after you were diagnosed, did you face any emotional challenges?

Chelcie:  The biggest challenge for me was the carb counting.  I’m not good with math. Growing up in the 1980’s, diabetes wasn’t discussed much. Therefore, I was dependent upon the doctor to teach me as much as possible.

Alissa:  And was your family really supportive, how were they involved in your care?

Chelcie:  My grandmother, a Type 2 Diabetic, was very supportive. My mother didn't want to accept the diagnosis until my T1D was confirmed. 

Alissa:  When did you decide to go into comedy and what made you decide to take this as your career?

Chelcie:  In 2003, I started to get work performing in shows.

Alissa:  How do you relate your comedy to diabetes? I read about your sugar free comedy and so I'd love for you to share all of that and what inspired you to do all of this.

Chelcie:  I was performing in a comedy room that was next to a restaurant in Atlanta. The owners used to pitch to nonprofit organizations to hold their fundraisers at the club. We headlined shows to raise money for animal shelters and multiple sclerosis, among others. And then it hit me – why can’t I do this for diabetes?  I contacted the local American Diabetes Association (ADA), who loved the idea.  

I started to integrate stories about my own journey with diabetes. My mentor, at the time, was comedian Robert Schimmel. Diagnosed with lymphoma, Robert would often use his act as a springboard to talk about what it was really like to live with cancer. He would somehow manage to turn the ordinary – like going to the doctor and his family’s acceptance – into hilarious jokes. I began to emulate his style …

Sure enough, the more I talked about diabetes the greater response I got from the audience. Many times, guests would come up to talk after the show and show me their pump. And from there, “The Sugar Free Comedy” launched to raise funds wither for the ADA or any other diabetes organization. My goal is to start an annual Sugar Free Comedy Festival to increase diabetes awareness and raise vital funds for research.  

Alissa:  Have you ever had any close calls when you've been performing on stage with low blood sugar? If so, how do you treat yourself?

Chelcie:  I usually try to avoid any risk. I don’t ever want to be on stage sweating, shaking or forgetting my material because of symptoms. Thankfully, I have never really encountered any issues while on stage. I know that I could grab a glass of orange juice from the bartender if my blood sugar was dropping quickly.

Alissa:  Can you give me an idea of a funny comedy joke that you would use for people living with diabetes or educating others in the community?

Chelcie:  A doctor re-posted a memo of a pair of toe shoes that had the toes missing, and the memo was "the only reason anyone should wear these toe shoes is if" ... basically it was a diabetic joke. And, in my opinion – a tasteless diabetes joke. That is why my humor is based on my diabetes, not trivializing people with complications. Other people’s amputations are just not funny.

So, my job as a comedian is take my life experiences and make it relatable. For me, my main complication is that I’ve lost vision in my right eye. Although I’ve had vitrectomies in both eyes – I regained 98% vision in my left. Unfortunately, Diabetic Retinopathy has stricken the right eye. The retina detached. Seven years ago, my physician inserted a silicone gel to hold the retina in place. While the complication is serious, and some would even say “not funny” – I did incorporate it into my act. For example … I set up the scene for the audience – asking them, “Why is it that I have to strip down to my underwear to lay on an ice-cold slab of steel to have EYE SURGERY?”

Alissa:  That is funny. But all jokes aside – what has inspired you and who is your role model?

Chelcie:  Robert Schimmel is obviously my role model. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but meeting him inspired me. I want to help others who might be battling something tough, like an illness. I admit that losing my vision, and struggling for a time without health insurance in fear of how I would pay for my medication and supplies – sent me into a spiraling depression. I hope that my comedy is the hand that leads others out of despair, as it did for me.

Alissa:  How long have you lived with this depression and do you still struggle with it?

Chelcie:  I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that every single day is a struggle. It isn’t easy. I tell anyone who shares in depression that it is ‘human’ to be sad, but we don’t have to get stuck and stay there. You can't just lie in the sadness, you’ve got to keep moving. If you find something to laugh about, you have found something new.

Alissa:  What do you do for physical activity, and do you have any dietary restrictions?

Chelcie:  I'm getting better as far as being well regulated. Dexcom CGM has helped me immensely because it lets me know where I'm at all the time.  I'm not really a big eater, but I do like to cook. I'm trying to keep up with my green smoothies, trying to work on breakfast a little better, incorporating Vega One protein powder.

Alissa:  I would like to know a little bit about your Sugar Free Comedy

Chelcie:  Right now, I'm still working on the Sugar Free Comedy Festival. I've been doing some shows at the music venue on Wednesdays.  I'm all over Instagram hosting, and I produce videos on YouTube. You can find me on Instagram by searching for Type 1 Comedian, t-y-p-e and the number 1 Comedian. Facebook Chelcie Rice, Twitter I'm a Diabetic Comic basically at Chelcie Rice. My personal website is or you can look up .


I had the opportunity to cohost the Boomer Life with Bonnie Sher on Thursday

We discussed some of my tips for advocating for yourself with insurance companies, researching insurance companies, staying in touch with your doctor, and much more!

Advocate Advocate Advocate!

Click the image to watch the video

1.       Reduce Medical Bills: Know your insurance

I made the mistake of misjudging the advanced cost of my medical expenses. As a result, I selected a higher deductible thinking I would meet the deductible right away. 

2.       High Deductible: A financial trap

Recently, I selected Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas as my health insurance plan with a $3,750 deductible and $548 monthly premium. After the deductible is met, everything is covered in full without co-pays.  Being I’m on a Dexcom CGM device, I figured I would meet my deductible just from using Dexcom in addition to the expensive cost of insulin.  I made the mistake of NOT checking to see how much the out of pocket cost Dexcom and medical supplies cost before I selected the plan.  I am not going to be even close to meeting my deductible this year, and it has cost me significantly having to pay everything out of pocket.

3.       Errors Happen: Record phone conversations

Ask if the phone conversation is “recorded for quality training purposes” and do not assume insurance companies are “recording phone conversations for training purposes” or accurate notes are being updated in the computer. I’ve encountered several issues with various medical supply companies – from erroneously being told that I didn’t have a deductible (when I knew that I did) to assurances that my supplies would be shipped that week. Thankfully, I had recorded my phone conversations and was able to backup all claims.  However, please check your state laws before recording any conversation. Some states require the other party to consent to being recorded.

4.       Bills: Do not always add up

Although I paid my invoice in full, I was continually billed for the same balance. Thankfully, I had recorded two phone conversations that confirmed my balance was paid. It was only after I presented the tape to the billing department was the error rectified.

5.       Medicine: Not equal

Although my doctor wrote “urgent medical necessity” on my prescriptions and disputed denied claims, BCBS would not approve my medication. The insulin pen that has half-units was not covered. It was incumbent upon me to change to an alternative insulin and revert to “old-fashioned” testing of blood sugar.

6.       Make sure you have enough medical supplies before running out to address any issues you might have getting medical supplies.

Although I’ve never run out of medical supplies before, I have made the mistake of running low on medical supplies and procrastinated before ordering more supplies.  I thought even last minute, I wouldn’t have any issues, but this is not the case.  I advise having enough medication and making sure you order in advance. 

7.       Back Up: Never Run Out

Life sometimes gets in the way, preventing proactive assurance that prescriptions are filled timely and medication is in stock. Cultivate a relationship with the staff in your physician’s office who handles prior authorizations, and will advocate on your behalf to expedite any stalled process. There has been a time or two when my doctor’s assistant provided me with an emergency supply as a back-up.

8.       Speak Up: Advocating Is key

Know exactly what it is you are asking the insurance company and a desired outcome.  Although I spent countless hours on the phone with the insurance company, you have no way of knowing an outcome if you don’t ask. 

9.       Insurance Pharmacist: Is your friend

Ask to speak with a pharmacist though the insurance company.  The pharmacist will provide helpful assistance and discuss alternative options that may be available. 

10.   Shop: A good consumer is an informed consumer
There are stores that cover the cost of medical supplies at a reduced rate such as Walmart or Costco.  You can also order medication through the insurance company and save.  Some insurance companies give you the option of ordering a three-month supply with one month free.  Rebates are available as well. 

Rappelling for a Cure

I had the opportunity to watch some rappelling for Over the Edge in partnership with Make A Wish Central and South Texas Rappel for a Cure . 

Listen to Kristie Gonzales , General Manager of KVUE, moments after she rappelled down the 38 story W hotel.  Click on the 2 images below to watch 2 different videos.

Please visit


Click on the images to watch the videos

Miss New Hampshire 2016 and T1D, Caroline Carter

You can keep up with Caroline by visiting her official Facebook page, Miss New Hampshire Caroline Carter

Alissa:   When were you diagnosed with diabetes?

Caroline:  I was diagnosed on November 17th, 2008. I was just about 10 years old. Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had been dealing with Mononucleosis.  Then something changed. I lost 13 pounds in one week despite the fact that I was eating a lot. I was urinating frequently, and losing muscle alarmingly fast. Ironically, the day I finally went to the doctor I had eaten a bag of nacho chips and a pint of ice cream to keep my weight up. My blood sugar was 545.

Alissa:   Does diabetes run in your family?

Caroline:  No, an environmental factor eventually led to my diagnosis of diabetes. No one else in my family has diabetes before me, or after.

Alissa:   Being diagnosed as a child must have been challenging. How did you learn to cope with your new norm?

Caroline:  When I was diagnosed my mom told me that “Everyone has something.” She explained that this was my something and I had to learn to deal with it. I continued to live my life as a happy-go-lucky 10-year-old girl. I was the only student at my school diagnosed with diabetes. I became the teacher to my teachers, explaining diabetes and the ways to assure that I was safe. I was also incredibly lucky because my basketball coach was a diabetic educator at the hospital near me. In fact, my entire team was very supportive – it was like having 15 sisters. They made a game out of testing my blood sugar during practice. Everyone had to try to guess what my sugar level was and whoever was closest was excused from running during the next drill.

Alissa:   You have recently been newly crowned Miss New Hampshire. Can you share with me your journey? 

Caroline:  My sister was the first to compete in pageants. I wasn’t really interested as my time was divided between basketball and the drama club.  However, when I learned the Miss America Organization held components based off of talent, community service, and awarded scholarship dollars, how could I refuse? At the age of 14 I opted to try the pageant circuit, and I have never regretted that decision. I have had such a great time through my years. I've sang the national anthems more than 350 times, and I have networked and created relationships with so many people. The Miss America Organization  lead me into my involvement with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I’ve integrated my diabetes into every part of competition. Many people are concerned with their weight, always working out and watching what they eat. I have learned a very important lesson: While the number on the scale is important, the number on my blood sugar monitor matters more in regards to my health. This past year, I took part in the swim suit competition. I chose to wear a one piece, and was the only one at Miss America to do so. The suit I wore was blue in support of the diabetes community.

Alissa:   How can others get involved in competing within their state?

Caroline:  Go to their state website! For myself, it was  In other states the website will start with Miss followed by the state Anyone can sign up to compete in a local pageant. All you need is a resume, which is pretty easy to write up, and a Personal Platform. The Miss American Organization promotes these ‘platforms’; community service projects you advocate for. Mine is called “1, 2, We: Diabetes Advocacy.”

In the teen competition, participants have to participate in a fitness number, which involves all the girls going on stage to do jumping jacks or pushups. There is also a talent portion. Participants can sing, dance, play a musical instrument, or perform a monologue.  I have seen a wide variety of talents even outside of these. The Miss contestants will participate in a 10-minute interview with the judges where they will be questioned on politics, their platforms, and their resumes. The Teen contestants have an 8 minute interview, where they are asked about their platforms and resumes.

Alissa:   Why do you think the judges selected you to be Miss New Hampshire?

Caroline:  I believe I was chosen because of my confidence.  Any judge wants to see that you believe in yourself. From the judges’ feedback, I know they valued how passionate I am about the diabetic community and I am committed to making a difference.

Alissa:   What did it feel like when they announced you as Miss New Hampshire?

Caroline:  It was amazing! Something that made it extra special was that my first runner-up was one of my best friends. She was Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen before I was, and she has given me so much support throughout my years. The competition could have gone either way. In that moment, it was just surreal. We both knew that one of our lives was about to change, and I'm very happy I was able to share it with a friend.

Alissa:   How do you manage your blood sugars during the Miss America competition?

Caroline:  I learned a lot about myself during those two weeks. I rely on my glucose monitor which is on my phone to check my blood sugar. During the competition for security reasons I wasn’t allowed to have a phone on me.  I knew I would have to return to checking my blood sugar on a meter 8 times a day, and that was what I did.  I was also given Elovate packets, a sugar packet for diabetics. It is only 62 calories and has 15.5 grams of carbs – this will bring your blood sugar up from a low within 15 minutes. This was a lifesaver, especially during the swim suit competition. The packets helped keep my sugar in check, especially at night.

Alissa:   What did it feel like when you weren’t called to join the top 15 in the Miss America Pageant? Do you thing it had anything to do with you being diabetic?

Caroline:  It just wasn’t my year. When one door closes, another one opens, and I'm very grateful for my experience in Miss America.  I admit it was a little hard not hearing my name called; I spent a lot of time working for this title. In the end, it was a great experience and I made a lot of great friends. I know there is this perception that pageants bring out the cattiness between competitors, but people need to realize this isn't Toddlers in Tiaras. We are smart and driven young women who want to make a difference, and we were all there for the same reason. I strongly believe that the right women made it to the top 15.  I have made my impact with diabetes, and I have helped people, particularly younger children, accept their diagnosis and wear their equipment with pride. Everyone saw my Dexcom CGM and my Medtronic pump, and in turn I have received so much positive feedback as well as stories from those like me.

Alissa:   Did they tell you where you placed or is it just top 15?

Caroline:  I won a non-finalist talent award, but after top 15 they do not place you.

Alissa:   Tell me a little bit about your talent. How did you get into singing?

Caroline:  It all began in 7th grade drama club. I remember the director mentioning a musical that was similar to Disney’s Little Mermaid. This was the beginning of my singing addiction. My first singing instructor was the leader of the Gospel Divas of Soul, Bebe. She really helped me find my voice. It was exciting for me to incorporate my love of singing into the pageant. My first talent song was “I Defining Gravity” about 5 years ago, and I ended with “I Dreamed a Dream” at the Miss America pageant. 

Alissa:   What is the biggest challenge a pageant competitor with diabetes faces?

Caroline:  Initially, I thought it was obvious; the swim suit competition. In reality, it was preparing myself for the possible reality that I could be crowned Miss America, which would require a great deal of travel that would be out of my control. The Miss America winner is a national spokesperson, not only for the organization but for the platform she represents. I would have been traveling 320 days out of this year. I know that I would not be able to control the meals I would eat nor would I always have the right foods on hand when meal planning. It would have been interesting trying to manage my diabetes, but one of my role models, Nicole Johnson, had done it.  At least I know I would have had someone who had gone through the same circumstance to rely on.

Road trips are not so simple for a diabetic. We must proactively prepare: How much insulin do I use in a day? How much insulin do I need to bring with me? What about test strips? What would I do if I run out?  It would have been a life lesson on always being prepared.

Alissa:   Do you think the Miss America pageant perpetuates obsessive behavior in regards to fitness or eating disorder traps?

Caroline:  I don't believe in dieting. A person must be active in ‘healthy living’ in all components- physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have always been a size 4/6. I was one of the “biggest” girls competing at the Miss America pageant, and that was okay!  You can't hate your body, because it's one of the only constant things about you in your life.  A happy mind equals a happy body.

Alissa:   So do you think that pageants can lead to eating disorders?

Caroline:  Yes it can, but only if you let it. When it comes down to it, it's your choice whether you are happy with your body or not. Unfortunately, there are some who will always think that they are not as skinny as others, and they will then go to unreasonable lengths to get their ‘dream’ body. Have I seen it happen to people? Absolutely. Has it happened to me? Absolutely not. During Miss America I was eating a special diet of six meals a day, and of that, I was eating 125 grams of protein a day with cardio and strength training. We need to emphasize that what we do to look on stage is not alright for typical everyday life. It is short time people who compete call “Peak Week”. It is important to know how to transition from competition eating habits to a regular diet.

Alissa:   How do you maintain your diet when you are not competing?

Caroline:  Before and during Miss America, I ate more proteins did a lot of cardio. Now, I do more strength training, and I don’t necessarily eat six meals per day.  Honestly, when you come back from a competition the first thing you are going to do is indulge in something unhealthy like fried ice cream, i.e. me. Then you get back into a routine of eating around five meals per day. During competition, I would have the equivalent of five eggs for breakfast in egg whites and some toast with a healthy fat, like coconut oil in my coffee. Typically, I will now have oatmeal and two eggs.

Alissa:   What you are doing now to advocate for National Diabetes Awareness month? 

Caroline:  I wear my Dexcom CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) and my Medtronic pump in the visible range. I get the most positive response when people can see the equipment, and that includes testing my blood sugar in public or dialing some insulin with my pump. 

I've also travel to various schools so I can educate the kids about diabetes. I teach them not only about diabetes, but the importance of diet and exercise.  Obesity in America is skyrocketing, and so is Type 2 Diabetes! I have also received requests regarding travels to speak at JDRF galas around the country. 

Alissa:   What are you college plans and career goals?

Caroline:  Thanks to the amazing scholarships I received through Miss America Organization, I will attend the University of New Hampshire this coming fall. I am one of the 24 students accepted into the Kinesiology Department, majoring in exercise sciences with a minor in biology. I have also earned a full scholarship for graduate school, studying for my doctorate in chiropractic.

Alissa:   Are you going to continue in the pageant world?

Caroline:  For now, I am all done.  I have so many doors opening for me; I don't think I could fit any more onto my schedule.  I am excited to let someone else enjoy the spotlight and job as I have. 

Alissa:  Who is your role model?

Caroline:  I look up to both my mother and my sister. They are the strongest female figures in my life.  My mother raised my sister and I to be strong, independent adults.  She has always encouraged us to aim for our full potential and has never let anything hold us back.

My sister taught me to be fearless. She traveled to India for yoga school, she's lived on a tropical island, opening up Hospice centers, and now she's in Seattle working as a palliative care nurse, engaged to be married!  We are both extremely happy and grateful to be where we are today.


 Brad Slaight
(photo from

Diabetes is not funny. Yet, through the frustrations we find humor – which empowers us to be the victor and not the victim. The old adage is true: Laughter is the best medicine! 

Social media has revolutionized our ability to share, joke, discuss and live through our diagnosis … together. On Facebook, I often use the diabetes hero squad as an outlet. As I said, diabetes is not funny. However, you can’t help but chuckle at Meter Boy. I revel in his motto, “Be your own personal diabetes hero.” He emphasizes the uplifting power in our ability to take charge, control of our own lives. 


Alissa:  Take me back to your early diagnosis. How old were you? Tell me about the challenging, dark moments. How did you channel your energy towards turning a negative into a positive?

Brad:  When I was 5-years-old, I became housebound after breaking my arm. While other kids were playing, I was stuck inside … which resulted in me eating and subsequently putting on a lot of weight. My parents took me to doctors and had me try different diets. But, I just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was the fat kid in school – albeit I was never unpopular or bullied. I developed a sense of humor to compensate, which later paid off for me.

Teachers would say, "Quit clowning around. You're smart, but you're never going to do anything if you keep being funny." They were wrong!

By the time I was in college, I weighed 320 pounds. I did try to lose weight, but like most dieters – I’d lose 50 and then gain 60 back. After college, I moved to California. One day, I was complaining to my neighbor that I didn’t’ feel well. Admittedly, I confessed that it might have to do with the dozen donuts I ate every day. My neighbor ate a vegetarian-strict, grain based diet. He invited me to eat with him for a few days to see if would improve my health.

This lifestyle change resulted in losing weight. I was thin for about three years. I quit smoking. I started exercising everyday. And, next thing I knew – I was shooting a TV pilot in Colorado. It was during the shoot that symptoms began to pop up. I remember that I couldn’t drink enough water to quench my thirst.

I was initially surprised when the doctor advised that I have diabetes. I hadn’t eaten sugar for more than three years. It was then that I discovered several of my family members had diabetes, including a cousin who was diagnosed at the age of five.

Alissa: How did you get into the comedy?

Brad: Before I moved to California, I taught high school for two years in Michigan, but realized that the classroom was not for me. I was pretty young, only three years older than my students – and, honestly, probably less mature than some of them.

It was time for a life change. My brother and I moved to Los Angeles where I started to work at comedy clubs. It changed my life.

Alissa: How did you get your foot into the door to become a successful comedian?

Brad: I think everybody needs to have a certain amount of talent to get into comedy. I had already dabbled into comedy while at college. I knew that when I moved to Los Angeles, there would be stiff competition. California is a hub of talent attracting the cream of the crop from every city around the country. So while talent is extremely important, tenacity is what will sell you. In show business, you are one phone call away from something really big happening or vice versa -- one phone call away from disappointment.

Alissa: What is your greatest accomplishment?

Brad: Longevity, I've been in show business and I've made my living. I'm a renaissance man. I write, I act, and I do comedy.

Alissa: Have you ever experienced hypoglycemia during a comedy show?

Brad: I always test my sugar before I go on stage or begin to shoot a television show/movie. I admit that I get irritated when I hear a person who doesn’t have diabetes say, “I need a candy bar. I have low blood sugar.” The reality is that person doesn’t even know what low blood sugar feels like.

Knowing that there are times when I do suffer from hypoglycemia, I’ll have juice onstage with me. I make a joke out of it – telling the audience that it is just a cocktail. One time, I didn’t have juice on stage with me and my sugar began to drop. I made it part of my routine. I went into the audience and asked a person, “What he was drinking?” If it was a margarita or some other alcoholic drink, I wouldn’t chug it. But if it was juice, down it would go and then I would joke that that the person was a lightweight and clearly we know who was the designated driver for the night.

Alissa: What is a typical eating day for you now that you have lost all this weight?

Brad: I credit the vegan, macrobiotics, green-base, whole, brown rice diet that I started on all those years ago to being the impetus to change me. But the diet is restrictive because you have to cook a lot. And the nature of my job and the ‘real world’ doesn’t allot the time to be in the kitchen all of the time. So, I've adapted. I'm pescatarian – I eat fish. I used to crave a dozen donuts, now I'll have a bran muffin.

Alissa: How are you able to count carbohydrates in a restaurant?

Brad: I have studied all of the exchanges, and I am a creature of habit. But, if I am ever in an out of the ordinary situation like a dinner party or buffet – I eyeball the food selections. I do have a meter with me, but I don’t usually whip it out to test everywhere. If I am really unsure, I will discreetly test under the table. I also know that if I do try something new, I check my sugar an hour later and make adjustments to my insulin.

Alissa: Are you on a pump, or do you use syringes?

Brad: I choose to stay on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections), for my own personal reasons.

Alissa: You recently said that people have a false impression about what a diabetic can or cannot eat. Tell me about that.

Brad: When someone asks if "I can eat that?” I advise yes – but then state, “that maybe neither of us should.” Just because you can eat garbage doesn't mean you have to eat garbage. The truth is, diabetics can eat the same thing as anyone else. I choose to eat a little better quality food. There are times I drink beer. Once in a while, I'll eat something a little crazy. I can order a huge bucket of popcorn at the movies, if I wanted to. I choose to eat what I want to eat and when I want to eat it.

Alissa: Tell me about your cartoon

Brad: About 15 years ago, a friend of mine reached out to me after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He suggested that we do something for the diabetes community. Relying on our talents, we created two characters named Captain Glucose and Meter Boy – the Diabetes Duo, modeled after Batman and Robin. We had costumes made and shot a live-action video. It even had a cameo appearance by Alan Thicke as the Commissioner of Diabetes.

Over time, we decided to animate the show in an effort to empower kids and adults. We discovered that the word “superhero” is protected by a trademark. We had to completely revamp the Diabetes Duo to be less like Batman and Robin.

Thus, the Diabetes Hero Squad was born. We added D Girl, who's a type 1 with a pump, and the Amazing Endo, as well as a hypo dog and a hyper aware dog named D-Doggie.

The cartoon is professionally done. We hired artists, wrote the scripts and shot videos. Our vision was to have DVDs on the market and employ corporations/organizations to promote the Diabetes Hero Squad. Unfortunately, many were hesitant to try something different. If you look at the commercials that air – most are informational for type 2 with depressed people who complain that they can’t eat the food they want. We believe that the Hero Squad should be positive, empowering.

Alissa:  What are your upcoming career plans?

Brad:  I will do what I always do –write plays for world audiences, work on television projects as either a writer or performer. I also have a web series called, The One Minute News Hour, which is on Funny or Die. I am a news anchor, broadcasting current news stories with a comedic twist. I plan to just continue being me. It's like swimming to an island. It's too late to swim back to the boat, and do something else.

(From  Brad recently has been starring in the critically acclaimed web series  “The 1 Minute News Hour” and you can see all of the episodes on “Funny or Die”.  Brad is an actor, writer/producer, and comedian.  You can read Brad’s complete bio and keep up with him at his website

The Bonnie Sher Show, Boomer Life is a live 50‐minute Internet radio program dedicated to a generation of Americans who continue to be a major force for social change and poster children for independence and self‐expression. Host Bonnie Sher is the child of stage and screen industry veterans and a protégé of the late Sammy Davis, Jr. She is an actress, musician and entrepreneur with an indelible presence in the entertainment industry, including coveted spot on the “DList,” celebrities living with diabetes. Bonnie shares her journey and invites others on the ride for a celebrity baby boomer’s fierce, fearless and unfiltered take on life, laughter, a little bit of this, a lot of that and a lot you don’t want to miss.

FitAlissa co-hosted Bonnie's show on Nov 3, 2016.  Alissa’s segment starts at minute 24.


Click on the photo to watch the video

I was featured in today's Austin American Statesman article "Figure competitor says fitness helps manage her Type 1 diabetes", by Pamela LeBlanc.

I'm hoping to continue to educate, advocate and spread awareness regarding diabetes and proper management living a healthy lifestyle

Here is the link to the online article "Figure competitor says fitness helps manage her Type 1 diabetes", by Pamela LeBlanc.


Here is the link to the online article "Figure competitor says fitness helps manage her Type 1 diabetes", by Pamela LeBlanc.


I met with celebrity chef Charles Mattocks to make a 3rd video for you.  I think you'll agree that it has an inspiring message.  Hear what this award winning directory and filmmaker of the documentary "Trial By Fire" has to say about managing your diabetes.  

"You have to educate yourself, you have to be your own advocate, take this seriously, put yourself first and do what you need to do to live the best life...."  

That will give you a taste, so click on the image below to watch the video!

I’m very excited to share the second part of a meet and greet with Charles Mattocks, celebrity chef and diabetes advocate and award-winning film maker, currently living in Florida.  Since part 1 was published, Charles has won Best Director for a documentary at the Hollywood Florida Film Festival for his film Trial By Fire.  Congratulations Charles!

Trial By Fire is premiering at the River Oaks Theatre at 7 pm 

Please consider contributing to Charles' gofundme effort for his TrialByFire movie.  Your contribution will go towards helping Charles to get the word out about CRPS.

Scroll down to start watching the video.

Charles has been involved in many interesting projects – He made a name for himself as the  “The Poor Chef”, where he created meals that were tasty, nutritious and affordable, and led to appearances on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, The Talk, Martha Stewart, CNN and Dr Oz.  In addition to being the nephew of reggae musician Bob Marley, Charles is an actor, having performed in the title role of the Emmy nominated “The Summer of Ben Tyler”.  He has written two cookbooks promoting budget friendly and healthy recipes and a children's book.  He has been a featured speaker at the TEDx conference in San Francisco and has directed a reality show called “Reversed”, which follows the life of individuals affected by diabetes, and their struggle to change their diet, exercise, mentality and control to reverse their diabetes.   

His latest project is a documentary about CRPS/RSD called “Trial by Fire”  , which premiered at Hollywood Film Festival on Feb 11, 2016 ( ). 

Charles’ mother, who is also the sister of the late Reggae legend Bob Marley, was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD years ago and he has seen the pain and the mismanagement of the condition first hand. Charles, who also lost his father in November, 2014, was moved to try and get his mother the needed help and also bring awareness to the condition that has brought pain to the lives of almost two million people around the world. RSD/CRPS is a condition that needs much attention and he saw a need and wanted to contribute to getting that need filled. Charles has talked and heard scores of stories and researched the condition and his heart was moved to get involved and become an advocate for the condition through the love of his mother

Charles is also wrapping up his diabetes documentary entitled “The Diabetic You”.  

Chef Mattocks work in defacing diabetes is being noticed everywhere including the Victory over Diabetes gala which was hosted in Atlanta, and on the homepage of AOL. His heart truly lies in seeing this world and those affected by diabetes at their best, in spite of diabetes. He is committed to seeing that change. Find out more about Chef Mattocks at his web site. (

Please consider contributing to Charles' gofundme effort for his TrialByFire movie.  Your contribution will go towards helping Charles to get the word out about CRPS

This is the second of a 2 part meet and greet with Charles Mattocks

  • 00:40     Jamaican TV show – Conversations in the Kitchen
  • 01:10     Trial by Fire Movie – CRPS, suicide disease
  • 04:00     Discusses Charles’ mother
  • 05:00     Charles Cookbook Budget Friendly, Children’s book Diabetes and Health Eating
  • 06:30     Charles’  favorite recipe, Curry Chicken
  • 08:20     Charles kitchen, Alissa’s kitchen
  • 09:30     Alissa’s scale and travel scale
  • 10:30     Alissa puts cinnamon to flavor everything
  • 11:00     Egg Whites and Blueberries every day!
  • 11:30     Quaker Ots
  • 13:00     8 oz apple , 30 carbs
  • 13:30     Competition Diet vs other diets
  • 14:00     3 oz almonds each day
  • 14:30     Rice cakes
  • 15:00     Cod prepared for the week 4-6 oz/meal recommended
  • 15:45     Brown rice ½ cup/Recommended 40-60 carbs/meal
  • 16:30     Carbs scaled by age
  • 17:00     Must do activities, if not exercise, goes hand in hand with diet
  • 18:00     Exercise 2 times per week , 30 minutes each time
  • 18:30     1 cup strawberries(11 carbs) for afternoon snack
  • 19:00     Chobani yogurt and cinnamon
  • 19:30     Most hungry for the dinner meal, prefers organic romaine
  • 20:00     Red Wine Vinegar fills you up, or a light dressing 1 or 2 tablespoon
  • 20:40     Sweet potato , 4 oz
  • 23:00     Alissa uses a Dexcom CGM
  • 25:30     Charles has been to India, Australia, many countries, trying to reach people to live a better life with diabetes
  • 26:00     Charles has dedicated himself to diabetes education
  • 27:30     Alissa plans to compete in June
  • 29:00     How to follow Charles,
  • 29:45     Hollywood Florida on Feb 11, look on for showings near you