I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but once upon a time I had trouble with blood sugar (remember my glucose test disaster while I was pregnant with Hailey?). It runs in my family but when I first had troubles with it, I didn’t know how to handle it well besides needing something to eat. Immediately.
I can still remember this one time while David and I were dating. We were on our way to lunch and hit traffic. Well, I went from gosh I’m hungry to unable to handle it. I was shaky, got a pounding headache, felt nauseous. I literally was bent over in the passenger seat almost unable to to talk. I remember not really even being able to explain it and just telling David I need to eat.
All the drama, right? He thought so too.
Luckily since that time, I’ve come to better control my blood sugar levels. Over the past couple of days I noticed I felt a little shakier than normal, so I’ve done a little back-to-the-basics boot camp for myself that includes the following.
1. Eat breakfast. I usually do this anyway, but making sure breakfast is a good balance of carbs (bananas are one of my favorite high glycemic foods to boost blood sugar quickly- love them before work outs!), protein (egg) and fat (butter/oil/avocado). Fats helps slow down the absorption of glucose, which leads to blood sugar rising more slowly.
2. Eliminate/decrease caffeine. This is slightly more of just a personal preference. Though science has shown caffeine can interfere with blood sugar, it’s not hard enough evidence to suggest quitting coffee. For me, though, I am sensitive to caffeine as is. It gives me the shakes but my gosh, I have gotten hooked on sipping it in the morning. I’ve been focusing on breaking away from it and drinking tea instead.
I’ve been opting for this lightly (naturally) caffeinated green tea, but even regular tea averages 50 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces compared to coffee’s 135 mg.
3. Exercise. Even something as simple as walking after a meal helps your body bring down and balance blood sugars. On the other side, I am working on eating more immediately after my boot camp, something I’m not always good about.
4. Avoid sugar, refined carbs and artificial sweeteners. I do this on the regular (lucky me, no sweet tooth, remember?), but even keeping an eye on fruit consumption is a good idea. When I do have fruit or refined carbs, like sandwich bread, I am eating it with other foods that are high in protein and/or fat which helps slow the elevation of blood sugar to equal out a more slow and steady rise and fall.
5. Eat four meals a day. Science appears to be split on whether more mini meals (which helps keep blood sugar levels steady because you are constantly attending to it) or three set meals (which some argue helps you to reset your hunger hormones). I’ve found a good balance that works for me is four meals, then following my hunger cues if I am still hungry.
I split this over-sized smoothie with the girls and balanced the natural sugar high of the frozen mixed berries and banana with whole milk, whole milk yogurt and a little protein powder. I also ate a handful or two of almonds.
6. Protein at every meal. This doesn’t have to be a meat, but by adding in a nut butter, beans or other form of protein, it helps pull sugar into your cells so your body can use it for energy.
7. Adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to your cells having trouble taking in the glucose, which leads to higher blood sugar levels. Sleep is important for so many aspects of overall health, so just add balancing blood sugars to the list.
With these tips and the help of ACV and cinnamon (which can help balance blood sugars too), my hypoglycemic tendencies stay in check!
Do you have to pay attention to your blood sugar?
Have you ever gotten the shakes from it being too low?
What helps you?