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St. Johns Boosters Wellness

Get off the rollercoaster ride: keys to balancing blood sugar

Allison Kirley in her office
Allison Kirley, owner of Delicious Life Wellness

Hello St. Johns!

This month I wanted to talk this important topic because it is such a huge factor in good health. We are living in a time where America is in a health crisis and diabetes is an epidemic.  If you are wondering what exactly blood sugar balance means, read on. Have you ever experienced “hanger”? In other words, mood swings, shakiness, or a headache when you haven’t eaten for a couple hours? Or maybe you have felt sluggish and fatigued after a meal? It does not have to be this way, my friends. All of these symptoms can be caused by an imbalance of blood sugar levels and can be controlled simply through what you eat.

Our amazing bodies continually monitor the glucose levels in our blood stream. It is a delicate balance. Too much or too little glucose triggers the pancreas to release the hormones insulin and glucagon whose function is to return levels to normal. When levels are higher than normal range from a diet high in carbohydrates, a vicious cycle begins. Insulin demand is so high, that it will do it’s job too fast and shuttle the sugars out of your blood for storage in the body (liver, muscles, and fat). Your blood sugar then drops too low, causing you to reach for your next quick snack, which more than likely is going to start the whole cycle again.

The stress of imbalanced blood sugar levels and consistent nutrient depletion can cause decreased energy, brain fog, weight gain, mood swings, inflammation and suppressed immune function. The pancreas, adrenals and liver take a big hit and can eventually wear out leading to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Here are some tips to get off the highs and lows of the blood sugar rollercoaster ride!

  • Eat a balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in each meal. Use the 40/30/30 Rule: 40% Carbs/30% Protein/30% Fat
  • Plan your meal around protein, add healthy fat followed by nutrient-dense, and whole food carbohydrates. Adding your healthy fats will slow down the absorption and result in less spike of blood sugar levels. Example: 2 poached eggs, small sweet potato with butter or grilled chicken on salad with avocado oil and vinegar
  • Eat breakfast. You may have to change your idea of “breakfast” foods. This meal can make or break your whole day!
  • Avoid foods that raise blood sugar levels and are void of nutrients: refined foods, sugars, excessive grains, starchy vegetables, alcohol, hidden sugars in food
  • If you have strong cravings for grains, sweets, and alcohol try doing a four week sugar detox like my Delicious Life Reboot in October!

 

By Allison Kirley

Allison Kirley is a licensed massage therapist, nutritional therapy practitioner, yoga instructor and self-taught kitchenista.  She is the founder of Delicious Life Wellness in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, offering nutrition services, bodywork and yoga classes.

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