Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is “the single biggest global health epidemic of our time” (Hyman, 2012, p. 7). It contributes to many other health problems including retinopathy, kidney disease, gastroparesis, neuropathy, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. Managing blood sugar is a key to avoiding diabetes and the health problems that accompany it.

Glycemic Index 

The glycemic index (GI) is a way of measuring how quickly foods raise blood sugar (Cohen, 2010). Foods that are more slowly digested raise the blood sugar slowly, while foods that are quickly digested raise the blood sugar more quickly. The higher the number on the GI, the more that blood sugar will be increased. For those with Diabetes, managing blood sugar is key to managing Diabetes.

Glycemic Load

Glycemic load takes the glycemic index of the food and couples that information with the amount of that food, giving a more accurate prediction of how the blood sugar will respond. Glycemic load is considered to be a better tool when deciding what foods one should eat to manage blood sugar.

Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index

Food Serving Glycemic Load Glycemic Index
White bread 1 slice 10 70
Corn flakes 1 cup 21 81
Spelt Bread 1 slice 12 63
Rye Bread 1 slice 5 41
White rice 1 cup 23 64
Brown rice 1 cup 18 55
Baked Potato 1 medium 18 60
Sweet Potato 1 medium 11 25
Shredded Wheat 1 cup 17 83
Skim Milk 8 oz. 4 32
Oatmeal 1 cup 15 55
Banana 1 medium 11 42
Carrots, raw 3 oz. 1 16
Cashews 1 oz. 2 22
Lentils 1 cup 5 29
Pearl Barley 1 cup 11 25
Spaghetti 1 cup 23 48
Apple 1 medium 6 38
Orange 1 medium 5 42
Sucrose 2 tsp. 7 68

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.Bauman, E. (4/10/15). Personal Communication
Cohen, S. (2010). Diabetes without Drugs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, Inc.Hyman, M. (2012). The Blood Sugar Solution. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

To snack or not to snack?

I get a lot of questions from folks wondering what they can eat for snacks when they switch their diet from a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) to a whole foods/ real food/ paleo type diet. Before I give a green light on what to snack on,  let’s rethink the idea of snacking altogether.

The idea of six small meals or three bigger meals with a morning and an afternoon snack is really a new idea. This is certainly not how we evolved. Let’s take a moment and think about blood sugar. In general, when you eat, your blood sugar rises. In order to deal with the rise in blood sugar, the pancreas secretes insulin which allows the glucose (blood sugar) into the cells where they are put to work. When you are always eating (as with six small meals or chronic snacking) your body is always 1) working to produce enough insulin (which prioritizes the production of the hormone insulin over other hormones), 2) dealing with elevated blood sugar, and 3) digesting food, which does not allow for your digestive system to have breaks throughout the day.

Here is the other “issue” I have with snacking. When we are taught to eat small meals, we are essentially setting ourselves up for snacking. You’re simply NOT going to be satisfied with the small meals and you’re going to have to snack. Simple as that. What I propose instead are three larger meals. Crazy, right? Three larger meals, with breakfast being your largest and dinner being your smallest. I’m also going to suggest that you increase your fat intake and possibly your starchy carbohydrate intake. Fat provides the most calories per gram (9, as compared to 4 from both protein and carbohydrates) making it more satiating. Fat keeps you fuller longer. And let’s remember that fat doesn’t make you fat. That is false.

With all that said, sometimes I do snack. So I do have some healthier recommendations for snacking.

    1. Beef Jerky or Turkey Jerky. We found Clean-n-Jerky during our trip to Colorado last spring and we love it. Small business, check. Woman owned and operated, check. Simple, real, and easy to pronounce ingredients, check. Well-sourced ingredients, check. Bonus: it’s also 21DSD compliant.
    2. Dip and veggies. I’m mainly referring to homemade dips because it is amazing what they manage to add to store-bought dips! I always think, I don’t put that into my dip when I make it at home, what could it possibly be used for? Anyways…guacamole and veggies, hummus and veggies, avocado-hummus and veggies, tzatziki and veggies, etc. Make some dip and cut up some veggies and enjoy! While veggies are not the same as chips in terms of flavor and texture, when your dip is delicious, the chips are really just a vehicle for the dip, so why not swap them out for a healthier vehicle or even just a spoon!
    3. Avocados make great snacks. I like to slice up half an avocado (or sometimes the whole thing!) and add a bit of sea salt and lemon and I’m all set! My husband loves avocado with hot sauce, which is also pretty great too.
    4. Fruit is also a great snack. Obviously I’m going to suggest eating whichever fruits are in season.
    5. Nuts or Nut Butters. A handful of nuts is a great option and so is a spoonful of nut butter. Sometimes I like nut butter on a apple or banana too.
    6. Deli meats and cheese. Avoid those conventional crackers because they are crap. No really, they are total crap. Also choose your cheese and deli meat wisely. I look for organic at a bare minimum, but ideally they are from pasture raised animals. Here are a few brands that I like.

      Hopefully some of these suggestions will be helpful to guide your snacking options. You’ll probably notice that most of my suggestions have some fat or some protein – this is intentional. If you just eat a simple carbohydrate, your blood sugar will quickly spike and then quickly fall, which is something to be avoided as much as possible.

      I leave you with two tips: 1) The less processed the better. When you are left with a challenging choice to make, go for as little processing as possible. 2) No naked carbs. In nutrition school, this was one of the first tips we learned – be sure to include some fat or some protein with your carbohydrates for healthy blood sugar management.

Hugs and Health,

Katie

 

 

Oct. 2016 Book of the Month – Practical Paleo 2nd Edition

This month’s Clean Eating Book of the Month is a little different than usual. Typically I read and review informational health books, not usually cookbooks. BUT Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition is actually both. It’s chock full of recipes, but it’s also a huge resource for health information. It’s almost like a BOGO. 🙂

For me, the great thing about all of Diane’s work is that we both went to the same nutrition school – Bauman College, so I know that we are coming from the same background.

First, let me say that this book is HUGE. And by huge I mean filled to the brim with tasty recipes. You will not feel deprived when cooking recipes from Practical Paleo. And the photography is beautiful, as always! I can’t tell you how much I hate a cookbook without pictures! The great thing about her recipe section is that each recipe has easy-to-understand icons indicating if foods have eggs, nightshades, are slow cooker friendly, 21 DSD compliant, or can easily be frozen. Her recipe icon list includes many more options. Diane’s recipes are also straightforward, easy to follow, and delicious.

In addition to the amazing recipes, there are about 90 pages of meal plans that can support many different health conditions. She details 14 different health conditions/targeted meal plans, and includes information about the health condition, things to add, things to avoid, some possible supplements to consider, and a 30 day meal plan. Wow! And the second addition has three new meal plans.

The other major section of the book is about food and your body. In typical Diane fashion, she breaks down the nutritional biochemistry of how food works in your body. She spends time explaining paleo and helps folks transition into a paleo lifestyle. There are several handy one-page guides that explain about healthy fats, sweeteners, carbs, paleo foods, and more. She uses the latest scientific information to debunk myths. There is a section that details how digestion works and how to repair it when it’s not working. Diane details autoimmune conditions and balancing blood sugar. And let’s not forget the Poop Pageant!

5:5 StrawberriesThis book has been dubbed the Paleo bible for a good reason. It really has everything you need to understand about a whole-food based diet. Naturally, this book gets…. 5 Strawberries! I highly recommend going out and getting yourself a copy.

 

Here is a picture of me with Diane and my new book at the book tour in San Francisco.

 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Sweet Potatoes

Food of the Week: Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes, but I haven’t alway loved them. I remember the first sweet potato French fry that I had back in 2003 in Monterey. I hated them. Now, I could each them nearly every day. One of my favorite recipes for sweet potatoes is for savory sweet potato cakes from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. This is a great recipe. We usually just bake them and add plenty of Kerrygold butter (grass-fed). Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends mashed sweet potatoes or crispy sweet potato fries. Yum!

Food Facts:

NCI5_POTATO

  • Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family and are not at all related to potatoes (nightshade family).
  • They are native to Central America/northern South America. Colobus brought sweet potatoes back to Spain with him, but those original sweet potatoes were similar to carrots, not like our modern sweet potatoes.
  • Their glycemic index is 45 (sugar is 100). The glycemic index of potatoes by comparison is 75-100. The glycemic index is a measurement of how much a food raises the blood sugar.
  • They are rich source of antioxidants, especially the carotenes.
  • In the supermarket, most yams are simply marked as yams, but are truly just another variety of sweet potatoes. True yams are hardly ever sold in the United States.
  • If you’re looking to grow a very nutrient dense variety of sweet potato, opt for the Carolina Ruby.
  • Do not store uncooked sweet potatoes in the fridge.
  • Boiling sweet potatoes reduces their antioxidant value, while steaming, roasting, or baking does not.
  • The skin is more nutritious than the flesh.
  • Good source of vitamins C, B2, B6, and manganese, copper, biotin, and pantothenic acid.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • In animal studies, they have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

From: The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.

Ready to Detox? The 21 DSD Q&A

Are you on a Blood Sug1-21DSDCoach-Im-Certified-Graphicar Roller Coaster? Need coffee, sugar, or other pick me ups just to get through the day? Are you feeling like you need a reset?

Then you are in the right place! I am a Certified 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach. Please read through the Q & A before we can get started. 🙂

21 Day Sugar Detox Question and Answer:

Do I need a 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach?
Why should I get a coach for The 21 Day Sugar Detox?
  • Accountability Partner – I’ll act as a partner in helping to keep you motivated and committed to The 21DSD.
  • It’ll provide a sense of community with our group members.
  • I will provide personalized help for your specific needs.
  • It’s easier than going it alone, especially if you haven’t made drastic changes to your diet before.
  • I can provide you with suggestions for local resource options.
What experiences do you have working as a Coach?
  • Worked with about 50 different clients of varying ages, health needs, and diets.
  • Specializing in blood sugar regulation, candida infections, cancer & recovery, digestion problems, pregnancy, diverticulitis, and skin problems.
  • I’m also an elementary school teacher, which is essentially an academic coach for children. 😉
How will your coaching help me personally?
  • Daily three-minute educational videos, check-ins, and support
  • Exclusive access to our 21 DSD Facebook group for resources
  • Participant workbook with The 21 DSD detox curriculum
  • Daily motivation
  • Local suggestions for eating out
  • Local suggestions for grocery shopping and shopping lists
  • Results!
Do I need to be “paleo”? Can vegetarians participate? Pregnant or Nursing Mothers? Athletes?
  • You do not have to be paleo to participate.
  • Pescetarians (vegetarians that eat fish) can participate in the 21DSD.
  • If you are pregnant or are nursing, there are modifications that you can make in order to complete the 21DSD.
  • There are also modifications for athletes as well.
How much does it cost?
  • August group Online price: $149 per person (guidebook included!)
  • Local August in-person group: $199 per person (guidebook included!)
When does the 21DSD start?
  • Our detoxes generally start on the first Monday of the month, with coaching and prepping for the detox starting the week before. You can actually start whenever you’d like, if our start date doesn’t work for you.
  • September detox begins on 9/10 and coaching begins on 9/3
  • October detox begins on 10/1 and coaching begins on 9/24
Ready to join?

I’m ready to join, Coach!

  • Online 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaching with Katie

 

 

  • In-Person 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaching with Katie

 

 

Not ready to join?
  • I’ll be running another group starting when you’re ready! Email me!
  • I also offer one-on-one holistic nutritional counseling in which I provide menu planning, supplement suggestions, recipes, educational handouts, and more!

Refund Policy:

Participants may postpone their detox start date within three months of payment. Once materials have been distributed, no refunds will be issued.

2-21DSDCoach-AffiliateGraphic

Ten Food Swaps

As I read more, listen to my lectures, and talk to friends and clients, I have come to the belief that there are about 10 recommendations that I often suggest to people. These same 10 suggestions apply for most people and for most health concerns. If you were trying to make healthier choices in your diet, this is a basic list that can be your jumping off point. Here are my recommendations for 10 things to add to or replace in your diet. But not until Friday. 😉 After all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and life is for living and enjoying. You have to live your life and holiday foods most definitely qualify.

 

Eat This 🙂 Instead of That 🙁
Grass-fed Butter

Butter is great to cook with because unlike most vegetable oils, it does not oxidize at low temperatures. It reduces inflammation and is rich in conjugated-linoleic acid and vitamins A, D & K2.

Margarine

Margarine is made of crop oils that are partially hydrogenated, turning them from liquid into a solid. This turns the fats into trans fats, substances that our bodies have trouble recognizing and processing.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain triglycerides, which are antiviral and antibacterial. These medium chain fatty acids are easily absorbed by the body and protect against heart disease and promote weight loss. It is a great high heat cooking oil, as it doesn’t oxidize at low temperatures.

All other Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils oxidize at lower temperatures, meaning they become damaged and inflammatory when used in cooking. They are also highly processed using high heat, so they are likely damaged even before used in cooking. When exposed to light (through the clear bottles the are packaged in) further oxidation occurs.

Honey, Maple Syrup, Date Sugar, or Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener. Both coconut sugar and date sugar are not as heavily processed as other sugars. Raw honey and maple syrup are not processed either. These all make great sugar alternatives when used in moderation.

Sugar, Agave, Artificial Sweeteners

High blood sugar is a problem with many health concerns. Artificial sweeteners are linked to declines in kidney function, brain tumors, autoimmune conditions, and are potential neurotoxins. Agave, while a low-glycemic sweetener, is heavily processed, making it similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Raw Nuts and Seeds

Seeds contain all the nutrients for that the plant needs to start life, making them nutrient dense. They are often rich in omega-3s, great sources of protein, fats, and vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds have a “season” like all other produce, and can go bad like all other produce, so they should be eaten raw.

Roasted Nuts and Seeds

Similarly to crop oils, nuts and seeds oxidize when exposed to high heats, therefore roasted nuts and seeds are likely to cause oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. Nuts and seeds are also often roasted to preserve them, but also to hide the rancidity of the nuts or seeds.

Sparkling Water

For a treat, sparkling water is a nice alternative to regular filtered water. Adding fruit, a squeeze of lime juice, or some grapefruit essential oil to the sparkling water can also help to break up the repetition.

Soda

Sugary drinks actually cause the taste buds to crave more sugar. To process sugars, vitamins and minerals must be taken from the tissues, therefore repeated exposure can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Sea Salt

The best salt choices are not white – either grey, pink, or other colors. These salts contain trace minerals that we need and can be hard to find.

Iodized Salt

Iodized salt often has added sugar and aluminum. It is also processed to remove all other trace minerals.

Spaghetti Squash, Zoodles, or Kelp Noodles

These are nutrient dense substitutions for pasta and are low in calories. Zoodles are zucchini that have been spiralized into spaghetti-like noodles.

Pasta

Pasta is a refined food that is rich in calories, but low in nutrients. While it may be tasty, it’s a modern convenience food that isn’t needed.

Tea

Herbals teas are a great alternative to coffee. Teas do not create the stress response that coffee does and are often filled with nutritional benefits.

Coffee

Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol and adrenaline, keeping the adrenals on overload. It also raises blood sugar and depletes vitamins and minerals.

Full-fat Dairy

Dairy is a good source of protein, healthy fats, calcium and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2.

Nonfat Dairy

When you remove the fat from dairy, you are left with a lot of dairy sugar, lactose. Nature would not package something “bad” with something good just for us to wait thousands of years for scientists to learn how to separate the fat out of dairy.

Pasture-raised Eggs

Eggs do contain cholesterol and fat, and the reality is that we need both. Both are in every cell of the human body. Cholesterol supports brain function, serotonin production, and it acts as an antioxidant. Your heart gets 60% of its energy from fat and you brain is mostly fat.

Egg Whites/ Egg Substitutes/ Non-Pasture-raised Eggs

Nature did not package something good for us with something bad for us just to wait thousands of years for humans to invent egg-beaters. You are what you eat, so if you’re eating poorly raised eggs, you are not getting the nutrients that you need.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

References:

Axe, J. (2015). Step away from the diet coke. Retrieved from http://draxe.com/step-away-from-the-diet-coke/

Bauman, E. (2014) Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman Press.

Bowden, J. & Sinatra, S. (2012). The Great Cholesterol Myth. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Knoff, L (2014) Personal Communication.

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Wolfe, L. (2013). Eat the Yolks. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing.

Ditch the Diet (And Other Sodas too)!

Why You Should Ditch the Diet Sodadiet soda

  • Diet sodas usually contain aspartame, which is a potential neurotoxin (Bauman, 2014) meaning it can change the chemicals in the brain
  • Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar
  • It can be addictive
  • Can contribute to the decline in kidney function
  • Can contribute to weight gain – the body is unable to recognize the difference between real and artificial sweeteners
  • Excess body aches and pains have been tied to aspartame in the diet
  • Monsanto (large pesticide and GMO conglomerate) owns aspartame
  • Aspartame was discovered when Monsanto was investigating new pesticides (NutraSweet)
  • Can possibly turn into methanol in the digestive tract
  • Aspartame is linked to brain tumors, headaches/migraines, seizures/epilepsy, autoimmune conditions, and depression
  • Diet Pepsi also contains Acesulfame Potassium which is 200 times sweeter than sugar

Soda’s Hidden Dangers

  • Hi-Fructose Corn Syrup is damaging to the liver and causes huge spikes in the blood sugar
  • Sugars are more addictive than cocaine
  • To process sugars, vitamins and minerals must be taken from the tissues, therefore repeated exposure can lead to nutrient deficiencies
  • Can contribute to candida (yeast) overgrowth
  • High blood sugar, as a result of sugar ingestion, is linked to an increased risk of cancer
  • Soda leaves an acidic residue in the body – an acidic environment is a contributing factor in many health problems
  • Splenda isn’t any better – a chlorine molecule is added when they make this low calorie sweetener
  • Sugary drinks actually change the taste buds to crave more sugar (Axe, 2015)

    Soda Alternatives

    • Teas – iced or hot, herbal, green, black, or white, sweetened with a little honey (if needed)
    • Coconut water – look for raw coconut water (processed without heat)
    • Water – sparkling or still – try adding fresh fruit, lemon juice, or cucumber and mint to water or try Stevia Drops to add a little flavor and sweetness
    • Fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices
    • Chia seed drinks
    • Nut milks (almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)

Health & Hugs <3

Katie

References:

Axe, J. (2015). Step away from the diet coke. Retrieved from http://draxe.com/step-away-from-the-diet-coke/

Bauman, E. (2014) Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman Press.