About Rick:

  Rick Mystrom was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1964 while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. Soon after the diagnosis, he committed himself to living a healthy, bold and active life with Diabetes and promised himself he would never complain about having Diabetes. He has kept these commitments.
  Now at 70 years of age, and a diabetic for over 50 years, Rick is a paragon of good health. A recent stress test he took categorized him as equivalent to an “active 42 year old”.
  He credits his good health to exercise, an active life and an understanding of the impact of almost every commonly available food on his body. For nearly 30 years, he has tested his blood six to ten times a days and has a unique understanding about which foods contribute to good health and which detract from good health.
  His activities over the years include football, basketball, softball, tennis, golf, water skiing, wake surfing, scuba diving, snow skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. He has also coached over 20 youth sports teams.
  In 1972 Rick and his young family moved to Alaska where he started and operated two successful businesses. In 1981 at 37 years old, he was named Alaska’s Small Business Person of the Year and one of America’s top 3 Small Businessmen. He served two terms on the Anchorage Assembly and two terms as Mayor of Anchorage. He was also elected as Chairman of the Alaska Conference of Mayors and was selected twice as Alaska’s Elected Official of the Year.
  He founded the Anchorage Olympic Organizing and served as Chairman of America’s Bid for the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
  He founded Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Alaska and Bridge Builders of Anchorage, an organization whose mission is to bring together people of all races and cultures in Anchorage to build a “Community of Friends” and is a founding director of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
  He’s been involved with and led many other organizations including Rotary, United Way, The University of Alaska Foundation, The Rasmuson Foundation, The American Diabetes Association, Alaska Chapter and the Boys and Girls Club of Alaska.
  Among his many honors are Boys and Girls club “Golden Man” Award; Anchorage Convention and Visitors Association, Member of the Year Award; Alaskan of the Year Denali Award; National MS Society Hope Award, Alaska’s Most Outstanding Speaker Award and was recently inducted into the Alaska Business Hall of Fame.


And now... He's an author!
Rick's goal is to help the world by sharing his unique first had diabetes knowlegde. Check out his books to learn more.
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Books
                    What Should I Eat?
Mountain View

 If you or a loved one is a Type 1 Diabetic, a Type 2 Diabetic, a parent of a Juvenile Diabetic or if your Doctor has told you that you have a predisposition to diabetes this book is for you.
 I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic for 51 years and very early I promised myself that I would never let having Diabetes slow me down or keep me from living a productive, active and bold life. To keep that promise, I knew that I would have to dedicate myself to learning everything I could about diabetes.
 I’d have to learn which foods would have the most and least impact on my blood sugars and therefore on weight gain or loss. I’d have to learn when and how much to exercise and which activities could best lower my blood sugar and not only minimize weight gain but result in loss of weight and inches when I wanted that.
 I knew the best way to learn about the impact of Diabetes and the impact of food and exercise was through constant testing of my blood starting when self testing first became accessible 35 years ago. I tested every morning when I woke up, I tested before lunch, before exercising, after exercising, before sports competition, during competition, after competition, before snacks, before dinner, before I went to bed and very often I’d wake up in the middle of the night to test. Six, eight, ten times a day or more I tested. I accepted testing as a way of life for me and I was committed to it.
 Because I tested so much you won’t have to. You’ll still have to test some. It’s important to your health and it’s a great learning tool. After a year or less, you’ll intuitively know the impact of most foods you’ll eat on your blood sugar and just as important, on your weight.

Other topics:

  • - Over 60,000 Blood Test Reults from Many Foods
  • - How You as a Diabetic Can Live a Healthy Life
  • - Type 2 Diabetes
  • - Blood Sugar and Weight Control
  • - Exercise and Weight Control for Diabetics

This book is your start to a healthier, better, longer life.

 

My Wonderful Life with Diabetes          
Mountain View
I Never Expected To Be Here…
 When I was diagnosed as a Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetic in 1964, the prognosis was pretty grim. Some basic forms of insulin were available, but no insulin pumps, no self-testing of blood sugar, and no real understanding of why diabetics frequently lost their limbs, lost their eyesight, experienced kidney failure, and died at a much earlier age than non-diabetics. I remember one doctor telling me that by the time I was 40 years old, I could expect to have at least one of those major problems and maybe all three.
In the summer of 2011, I was wakeboarding with two of my closest friends, Dave Young and Rick Pollock. Rick was driving my Mastercraft ski boat, which was bouncing through wakes caused by other boats when the front of my wakeboard suddenly caught a wake and dove. I hit the water face and chest first with my feet solidly strapped into the bindings of the board. When I surfaced, I couldn’t take a full breath. Each partial breath I sucked in felt like an arrow piercing my chest. Dave and Rick helped me back on the boat and back to the dock.
 Though every movement hurt, I had always told my boys to “shake it off and work through it” when they got hurt. So I did just that. But two days later the pain was so great that I decided to go to the emergency room at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. I walked in, told the receptionist what had happened, and filled out a simple admittance form. She read the form and called back to an emergency room doctor. ”Doctor, I’ve got a well-dressed, sixty-seven-year-old gentleman here who thinks he broke his ribs—wakeboarding.” She paused for a moment, listening to his response, then said, “Yes, sixty-seven.” “Yes, wakeboarding.” Another pause . . . “His last name is Mystrom.” Pause again . . . “Okay I’ll ask him.” “Are you related to the former mayor?” “Sort of,” I replied. “I am the former mayor.”  When I left the emergency room with the confirmation that I had at least one broken rib, the doctor smiled and said, “Don’t take this wrong, Mr. Mayor, but you’ve made my day.”
 Two years prior to that incident I had taken a stress test at the suggestion of my doctor. My results equated to “an active 42-year-old”—about 23 years younger than my chronological age at the time. With all the grim predictions and lack of technology at the time of my original diagnosis, how did I get here? How was I able to live such an active, bold, productive, and fun life with diabetes? Why am I so healthy after nearly 50 years with diabetes? And why do I now believe I can live actively and well for many more years?
 This is my story. I truly hope and believe it will help you or your loved ones live happier, healthier, and longer.

Why should you buy?

It is the patient, not the doctor who manages diabetes. Rick Mystrom is the gold medal winner for controlling his diabetes. He has become so skilled that he can adjust his insulin level when he sees the meal he is going to eat. His results: no complications from his long history of disease. He is the expert, I am the learner.

- Thomas S. Nighswander MD MPH Assistant Regional Clinical Dean, Alaska WWAMI Program Anchorage, Alaska -

You are about to meet a man who never let diabetes prevent him from accomplishing everything he wanted in life: good health, success in business, community service, family, and politics. Rick Mystrom knew that education about his disease and applying new and bold medical advances were crucial to his health. He has become one of the most knowledgeable persons living with diabetes in my extensive practice and frequently serves as a role model and authoritative resource for others.

- Jeanne R. Bonar MD, FACP, FACE Endocrinology, Internal Medicine Anchorage, Alaska -

I’ve been reading books on diabetes since 1974. What Should I Eat by Rick Mystrom is the best- written book on diabetes I have ever found. After I finished it I went to the bookstore and bought four more; three to loan out to members of our church and one to send to my hometown library.

- Richard L. Clinch RN BSN FCN CHC Wasilla, AK -

Your book, What Should I Eat, has by far, the best explanation ever of the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

- Kim Erickson Willow, AK -

You are to be commended for taking the time to document all your personal food reactions to show the downside of hi-carb foods. Your book should be a best seller!

- Pat DeVoe RN, BSN Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation Bethesda, MD -

DYour Book has sprouted wings and is flying off the shelves.

- Sally McCollor Providence Hospital Gift Shop Anchorage, AK -

Your book, What Should I Eat, is so well-written and understandable. So many other books are written in “doctorese”. Your book is the best book I’ve ever read on diabetes. As soon as I finished I went out and bought another book for a friend. Now I keep going back to your book and I’m doing great now.

- Carol Childs Type 2 diabetic Anchorage, AK -

I have been a Type 2 Diabetic for almost 16 years and insulin dependent for about half that time. The graphs [in Rick Mystrom’s book, What Should I Eat] are the first of their kind I have ever seen and bring an “ah ha” moment in understanding the effect of (starchy) carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. I highly recommend this book.

- John Eckheard Pomona, CA -

As parents of a recently diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes son, Rick Mystrom’s book has not only profoundly impacted his diet but has changed the rest of our family’s approach to food. Rick has given us a major contribution that will improve the American diet, leading to a higher quality of life for all. Thank you Rick!

- Bill and Jean Bredar Anchorage, AK -

Having my Dr. tell me that I might have Diabetes really woke me up. I knew I needed help. Rick Mystrom’s book, What Should I Eat from the start was clear, to the point and extremely informative. Who would have thought a book about a disease would be so engaging! I never skipped a page.

- ~Robert Herndon Roseville, CA -

our book is well written, concise, and to the point, especially the graphs and illustrations to promote a healthy lifestyle. I take pride that an Alaskan has made such a contribution. I am recommending your book to my family and friends. Thank you for your contribution to my ongoing battle not to become a diabetic and to control my weight.

- William M. (Bill) Bankston Anchorage, AK -

lost 34 pounds in 9 months after I had just one conversation about eating with Mr. Mystrom. My A1C* went from 10 to 7 in that same time. The funny thing was everybody remarked about how fast I had lost weight. It wasn’t fast; it was steady and easy to keep off. He gave me clear, common-sense advice about changing my eating lifestyle. I’m off all my diabetes medications and feel so much better now thanks to Mr. Mystrom.
*A1C is a measure of one’s blood sugar for the previous 60-90 days. It’s a reflection of how well one is managing diabetes. A lower number is better.

- Rabbi Yosef Greenberg Anchorage, Alaska -

If every diabetic, regardless of type, could adopt Rick's two premises: having a positive attitude about living with diabetes and taking personal responsibility for modifying food intake, their improvement in the quality of life would be outstanding. ~Sue Sampson RN, BSN Anchorage, Alaska

- Sue Sampson -

I want you to know, Rick, that your advice and your public discussion of diabetes saved my father’s life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

- ~Denise Trutanic Anchorage, Alaska -

Bravo! …A powerful message that will help so many people—now and forever. Well done!

- Malcom Roberts Author, Alaskan Leader Anchorage, Alaska -

Contact Us

Please contact us with questions or if you'd like to arrange a speaking engagement with Rick.