Dear Dani, Grace and Jude,

Note: This page is advice for Grace, Jude and John. For any other reader, it’s information only. No therapeutic relationship is formed – read this.

You do not need to know a mentor. If their work has heavily influenced you, they are mentor!

For type 1 diabetes management, look into these people.

Gary Scheiner runs Integrated Diabetes Services. Gary is a Certified Diabetes Educator who has type 1 diabetes. I read his book “Think like a pancreas” soon after diagnosis. Gary writes in a way that makes theory easy to implement. He speaks from personal and professional experience. He basically has soul in the game.

I have connected with Gary a few times and recently presented the Mealtime Insulin Guide to his team at Integrated Diabetes Solutions. He is a genuine bloke who wants the best for people with type 1 diabetes. Grab a copy of “Think like a pancreas” or check out Integrated Diabetes Services. You will not be disappointed.

Stephen Ponder, author of Sugar Surfing, Certified Diabetes Educator and Dr. I read Sugar Surfing in 2018 and met Stephen in 2019 when presenting on the same stage in Scotland. After watching my presentation, he encouraged me to codify Dynamic Glucose Management.

In fact, when you read Sugar Surfing there will be a lot of parallels to Dynamic Glucose Management. Both systems emphasise the need for frequent glucose checking and micro-adjustments.

However, Sugar Surfing focuses on micro-dosing insulin corrections between meals, whereas GAME of Dynamic Glucose Management concentrates on short-bursts of exercise. Sugar surfing teaches micro-dosing carbs to prevent hypos, whereas MATCH teaches a formula based method using glucose only.

Sugar Surfing is amazing and opened my eyes to what can be done with CGM. Also, that a well-informed person with type 1 will beat an machine based algorithm. Human beings can predict the further because they make plans, whereas machines rely on past experience.

Sugar Surfing is a must-read. Stephen’s array of hats is something to behold!

Mike Riddell is a font of knowledge in adult exercise management for type 1 diabetes. His main works are research and review papers, although he has written a good book called “Get Pumped”.

I would recommend anything he has written. I often pester Mike by email regarding his research. I was lucky enough to co-author the ISPAD 2022 Exercise Guidelines with him. Mike clearly has soul in the game. View his papers and take your pick!

Peter Adolfsson is Mike’s doppelganger in the paediatric arena for exercise management. A wealth of knowledge who does a great job at simplifying complex concepts. Peter, as lead author, asked me to be a co-author of the ISPAD 2022 Exercise Guidelines. Also, Peter was the one that pushed me to write a narrative review on CGM Accuracy and how CE marking is not a mark of quality.

Peter is a top bloke and he encouraged me to create useable exercise management algorithms that can be found in the Exercise section. Find his papers and take your pick!

Francesca Annan is a paediatric diabetes dietitian I know well. She has contributed to all the major consensus groups, including NICE, ISPAD, PEAK and many more. Over the years I have borrowed loads of her resources and consistently picked her brain.

She is not afraid to call BS when she sees it, especially when I am the one spouting it. This is what I like about her the most! Francesca is hard to find online, she’s too busy walking the walk to be talking the talk. You can find her if you look hard enough on the UCLH page.

Carmel Smart is paediatric diabetes royalty. She heads up a research group in New South Wales, Australia. She is basically the queen of nutrition and type 1 diabetes.

Her research groups work was the inspiration for the Mealtime Insulin Guide. She is lovely, and the only person in Diabetes that answers emails faster than me! She has saved me from making a fool out of myself on a good few occasions. What a legend, her work is here.

Dr Suma Uday is my academic mentor! She is awesome! She is harsh but very fair. As depicted by her response to my first ever draft of a research paper – “John, we have A LOT of work to do!”. We indeed did, but, she supported me all the way! Suma continues to challenge and push to make sure the work we do gets out to the world!

Last, but not least, Dessi Zaharieva! Diabetes and educator, researchers and exercise physiologists. Dessi was so kind during the writing of the ISPAD Exercise Guidance. She continues to steer me in the right direction when my academic radar is off! She is THE BEST PRESENTER, IMO, in the diabetes space. She is precise, practical and has wicked sense of humour! I cannot say enough good things about this legend!

Dear John,

The people listed here are nothing to do with diabetes. They are people who in my opinion, EVERYONE, should check out. They have improved every aspect of my life. I cannot endorse them highly enough.

Peter Attia who hosts the Podcast, “The Drive”. Peter is a longevity Doctor who has the most curious mind when it comes to optimising health. If he does not know it, he knows someone who does.

He is connected to the best research teams in the world. Lots of people parade online like they are the bee’s knees, but this guy is the real deal. His humility is something I value highly.

He has a mantra of “Every fact has a half-life, some are just longer than others”. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I am certain I know the truth!

There is no certain truth, only ideas with higher degrees of probability of being true! The scientific thinker thinks in terms of probabilities, the scientism crowd use absolutes. Peter has made me more of a scientific thinker and less of a person hiding behind scientism. Here are some of the things I have to thank Peter and his team for:

  • The five-part series with Thomas Dayspring on lipidology. After digesting the content I was like a dog with a bone chasing after the investigations that led to my diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. I am now on Rosuvastatin and I estimate this series has given me an extra 5-10 years of life.
  • The master class on Dynamic Neuromuscular Stability. I now create stability by breathing into the abdomen, just like babies do, rather than breathing into my chest (obviously, there is more to it). My left knee and ankle issues disappeared after one month. I broke rowing and running personal bests within two weeks! Finally, I am sure this year, 2021, is going to be a record run-scoring year at cricket, aged 40.
  • Gerald Schumer’s deep dive into insulin resistance. I now understand what causes insulin resistance – the DAG (diacylglycerol) effect. More importantly, how to dose activity and exercise to stop insulin resistance in its tracks.
  • Rick Johnson’s revolutionary insights into sugar and obesity. I now understand why sugar (glucose/fructose), especially in liquid form, turns on a “Fat-Switch” in the liver that leads to overeating and insulin resistance. This is why only glucose hypo treatment is recommended in Prevent lows (MATCH) in Dynamic Glucose Management.
  • The list goes on. Just subscribe to this podcast, you will be blown away!

Nicolas Nassim Taleb, a trader turned philosopher has written a collection of books called the INCERTO. If you think philosophy is not for you, your wrong, read the INCERTO. His writing style is right up my street. He calls BS when he sees it! These books have taught me:

  • The world is very uncertain and filled with chaos, so stop trying to understand everything, go with what works! This line of thinking is the underpinning of The Glucose Never Lies.
  • Major mistakes are made when systems get too big and there is not enough diversity – basically going against mother nature.
  • Real learning comes from trial and error, not theorising in the ivory tower. Hence my second principle – Use trial and error with continual tinkering.
  • It’s easy to learn when you have skin in the game. Even better, you are at your zenith when you have soul in the game. I make numerous references to this throughout the blog. In fact, this blog has been easy to put together because I have soul in the game for Grace and Jude.

Phillip Hayes, CEO of Kloodle. Phill was the best man at my wedding. He is a father of three who has the richest soul in the game. He continues to teach me so many things about being a great father. Not by telling, by showing! He optimises soul in the game.

He is the one who pushed me to write this blog. So if Grace and Jude need to read it one day, Phill is the one to thank.

Mum and dad, Kath and Stuart Pemberton. Always leave the best till last. Grace and Jude, grandma and grandad taught me right from wrong, please and thank you, no means no (inside joke) and always try your best.

Grandma could have written the nutrition part of this blog using common sense and grandad will have some good insights for the partying with type diabetes.

They showed me what matters by example. Always being there with love but making sure I took small risks so I could grow in every way.

The huge love and appreciation I have for them are failed by words. So simply, thank you for loving me and showing me how to love.

Next step? Build your Foundations.

Do you want to know when a new section of blog is added, click here.