This isn’t your typical case study because I’m doing it on my husband (yes, he gave me permission haha!). Despite the fact it’s a personal case study, I think the story and results are worth sharing because I found them so remarkable. By the way, if you’re on the fence about joining the Balance Your Blood Sugar Program, we only have a few spots left, and I think you’ll find Adam’s experience and results doing this super interesting!
A few years back when I was first exploring continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), I shared with him the impact it had on me (click here to read that story). Now normally Adam actually ignores a lot of my nutrition advice (I think he hears it too much haha), but for some reason the CGM piqued his interest. He ordered two and wore them for 4 weeks.
I want to preface this by saying that when Adam started doing CGM he was not overweight, did not have any major health concerns or diagnoses, and ate very little refined sugar. He’s a creature of habit and often eats dinner-style, savoury meals 3x a day. One thing he did struggle with was his stress levels, and it was affecting his sleep. He would often wake up in the 3-4am time frame and have a hard time getting back to sleep as his mind would start on the hamster wheel. This definitely affected his energy levels and was something he wanted to resolve.
When I asked him recently why he did the CGM, he said because he was intrigued by how it helped me with energy and sleep and because he has a family history of diabetes and wants to see how what he’s eating is affecting his blood sugar and body.
His initial findings were super interesting, especially for a nutrition nerd like me. He was having very extreme spikes in his blood sugar after both breakfast and lunch. This surprised me at first because he was eating a savoury breakfast, which is generally better for glucose levels. When we looked a little closer though, a huge majority of his breakfast was actually rice. Yes, there was protein and vegetables (fibre), but the quantity of rice was high. Then, on certain days we found the spikes would actually stay high for quite a while after the meal, vs. come back down into the normal range as it should.
The first modification we made was lowering the rice quantity and replacing it with butternut squash, a lower glycemic vegetable, That immediately improved the huge spike in the morning and after lunch, and made it a more moderate rise.
The second modification was to add in ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb that helps with the stress response. We had made the connection that some of the times his sugar levels were going really high were actually stress from work meetings, which was SO interesting. Of course, we know stress can be beneficial, but to see the blood sugar numbers going to high made us want to help him moderate that.
The final modification was to get out for a 10-15 minute walk after one of his meals. It wasn’t super realistic that he could do this multiple times during the workday, but he was able to after breakfast often, which also helped reduce his spikes.
The long-term results were fascinating. First of all, he found it so much easier to feel calm during the workday. When his blood sugar was on more of a rollercoaster, he found it harder to manage his stress. With more balanced blood sugar from food, in turn, he wasn’t getting as stressed. This is shown in science because we know that high blood sugar increases cortisol, a stress hormone, and high cortisol in turn elevates blood sugar. It’s really a vicious cycle! It was playing out in real like for Adam.
Adam also immediately lost a few pounds. This was not actually necessary, but an interesting reminder of the connection between weight and blood sugar if you do have weight to lose. He also noticed that as his stress levels improved in the day, his sleep also improved drastically and he was less likely to wake up earlier than he wanted in the morning.
What’s also interesting is that he now often knows what it feels like (without a CGM on) when he gets really high blood sugar. After doing CGM myself, I also do. It’s not something I had made the connection with before, but now also know the icky feeling associated with high blood sugar, and the subsequent crash afterward.
The final observation is that Adam found his blood sugar was more stable in the evening. He could have the same meal at night, and it would not provide as high a spike in blood sugar as it would earlier in the day. This is just another reason why CGM is so useful for showing how YOUR individual blood sugar levels are impacted, as everyone is a little different.
The results of this case study are exactly why we are running the Balance Your Blood Sugar Program again. We only have a few spots left! It is a proven way to use real-time data from a glucose monitor to understand how your body is metabolizing food and how it’s impacting your energy, sleep, risk of diabetes and more!
1. Get real-time feedback on how your body's metabolism works.
Upon registering, you’ll be sent a link to get your glucose monitor mailed sent to you. This only takes 2-3 business days for most people. You will also receive a welcome package with our CGM basics – how to insert it pain-free, a link to our weekly Zoom calls, and what levels to aim for in your monitoring. This allows you to start getting real-time feedback on how your body’s metabolism works.
2. Understand how food and lifestyle affect your blood sugar.
Each week we’ll meet live on Zoom for our coaching session (these sessions will be recorded if you can’t join live.) During this hour, I’ll share simple-to-follow guidance on a different aspect of blood sugar monitoring and ways to reduce your spikes (and therefore improve your weight, energy, cravings, hormones, and diabetes/heart disease risk), along with recipes and practical suggestions.
3. Optimize your bio-individual blood sugar for long-term blood sugar balance.
You’ll also be able to share your own blood glucose reports with me to receive guidance and suggestions and ask any questions you may have. As part of the program, you’ll receive custom weekly meal plans and recipes that lead to balanced blood sugar (and in turn, lower diabetes risk, more energy, better sleep, less cravings, and the list goes on!) By the end of the 4 weeks together you’ll feel in control of your body and food choices so that your results can easily be maintained long-term.