Tracking my blood sugar | blog 4 : simple tweaks to what I eat and how I move
If you read the previous blog you'll know I'm prepping for / yearning to try the Dr Gottfried Protocol for hormone balance, but I've been somewhat busy with a house guest and work, so I haven't jumped in head first.
However, I have been making tweaks to my diet that are stemming from keeping track of my blood glucose levels, reading Women, Food and Hormones as well as a food sensitivity test (KBMO Fit-132) and 24-hour saliva hormone test (Genova Diagnostics) I took earlier this year.
I did a food sensitivity test about ten years ago and at the time eggs and cow dairy presented as triggers. I took heed and removed egg from my diet and noticed a pretty instant change with abdominal pain, bloating and constipation. Turns out, egg sensitivity is more common that thought, as I have endured many years of people scoffing as I pass up the breakfast menu. Dairy didn't seem to be such a bother, but I regularly chose goat dairy over cow dairy.
Now at current day, I thought it was time for an update. The first result was the One-Day Hormone Check through Genova Diagnostics. This showed some elevated cortisol which I found interesting since cortisol production can have an effect on glucose in the blood stream.
The food sensitivity test I did was through KBMO Diagnostics which tested 132 foods and additives for sensitivity as well as tested for markers of leaky gut and candida. This test still confirmed the egg (white) sensitivity (I haven't tested if eating the yolks is ok because I feel noticeably uncomfortable after ingesting egg and don't want to risk it) as well as dairy. Except this time goat dairy was off the charts in terms of sensitivity. So I have removed all dairy from my diet at this point.
The food sensitivity test also showed a slightly elevated marker for candida, which is a fun challenge for me to take on for myself and I'll document that journey as well as my blood glucose journey.
Taking all of the new information and making a plan:
I have removed all dairy from my diet. I will continue to steer clear of eggs (sigh...I do love an egg over easy with toast). I've also decided to remove yeasted breads as much as possible and processed sugars. I am still eating Ezekial bread for the time being.
I am curious about the cortisol and blood glucose connnection and look forward to seeing how addressing one will effect the other and vice versa. I have been trying to turn off electronics and reduce unnatural lighting in the house in the evening. Since my cortisol tended to spike in the evening (possibly over thinking about the next day's to-do list) I have been collecting ideas to mitigate this by reducing stimulation and artificial light. I also like to write down the to-do list if it starts knocking around in my head louder than I'd like in order to get it written down on paper rather.
Most mornings I check my fasting blood glucose upon rising. Typically it has been more elevated than I'd like (hence this blog series).
As a result I've incorporated two new things into my morning routine.
1. A cup of warm lemon water to hydrate and warm up my digestion
2. A quick walk to get my blood moving. This invigorates the blood to move the blood and process any lingering blood sugar. I don't usually check my blood sugar for another hour or so after a walk (or morning exercise) because this can elevate the reading. Especially if exercising while fasting the body will dump stored glucose into the blood stream to make sure there's enough energy to accomplish the task.
I have also been much more aware of added sugars or sweeteners consumed in my day. I have put much more effort into packing a salad with baby greens and nuts and seeds on longer days at the office. I have also been making my own hummus at home to reduce additives while having higher protein snacks available.
How I move:
I have been making it a point to walk more. Specifically shooting for those 10,000 steps a day. Thankfully the longer days make it easier to take a walk after work and I've enjoyed the consequences of walking more. You know...stress reduction, fresh air, a little serotonin dose from exercise.
I know people are recommending more vigorous exercise when trying to address insulin, but for now I'm walking. For no real specific reason other than I like walking. I have a lovely walking trail near my home and I just want to walk it. Sometimes I'll throw in a little "prancing" which is basically a silly dance walk, but this isn't mandatory...it's just joyful. I'm focusing on joyful movement at this stage (of the experiment and of my life).
I'm not walking everyday, but I'm walking most. And I like it. It's becoming a habit and I notice I am beginning to crave it. That's a lot of fun.
And I have to say...it's all working to some degree. By that I mean, since watching my carb intake and walking more my fasting blood glucose has dipped to ~99 most mornings this week. When I first started this experiment mid-May my numbers were ~115.
I haven't weighed myself, I don't take my heart rate. My odometer is the free app on my iPhone which may not be the most accurate, but I'm gaging my blood glucose levels and increasing joyful movement. My science experiment may have holes in it, but I'm looking for lifestyle changes with staying power.
Til next time! Thanks for reading.
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