Do You Have a Glucose Meter?

I recommend everyone purchase their own glucose meter as part of their “wellness tracking”.

Digital health and personalized wellness is so popular now and more people are  interested in managing their own health by changing lifestyles and healthier living.

This is your “Fitbit for blood sugar”.

Since the research is showing how blood sugar levels between 105 and 120 can have inflammatory effects on the body, I recommend you know your numbers! Test your blood sugar fasting as well as directly after a meal and 2 hours after. Experiment with different foods.

I checked at Costco today about the price. The actual glucometer is about $12 and the lancets and test strips are the expensive part. I have attached a photo of mine here.

Test strips are far and away the most expensive aspect of using a blood glucose meter. Prices on test strips can range anywhere from $8 to $50 or more per box of 50. Some manufacturers with more expensive strips offer co-pay assistance programs to help drive the cost of test strips down into this range.

If your glucometer is simple to use, you’re more likely to test as often as you should. For most users that means a bright, easy to read screen, buttons that are easy to handle, forgiving test strips and a reasonably small blood sample.

We now know that even in healthy people, high blood sugar after meals can, over time, damage the body, even if it never causes diabetes. In short, it’s no longer just certain people who need to worry about their blood sugar; it’s pretty much everyone. It should concern you even if you’re thin and healthy, and especially if you don’t get much exercise

CLICK HERE to learn about my Sugar Buster Program.

Top Ten Reasons Why Stress is Fattening

Effects of Stress

Let’s define stress first. Most people only think of psychological stress when they hear the term “stress”. Things like family or job issues, or traffic or money worries. Yes, these can certainly be stressful. There are also less obvious stressors and what I call “hidden” stressors that have the same physiological effect on the body.

Here are my TOP TEN HIDDEN STRESSORS that can affect our weight

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Nutrient depletion
  4. Chronic pain
  5. Environmental Toxins
  6. Dieting
  7. Over-exercise
  8. Hormonal imbalance
  9. Chronic infection

Chronic stress affects disrupts the daily cortisol rhythm. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is responsible for a wide range of processes within the body including immune responses, the regulation of metabolism, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also plays an important role in the way in which the body responds to stress.

Cortisol levels are generally high in the morning as we wake from a prolonged period of sleep, with an increase of up to fifty percent in the twenty to thirty minutes after waking. This is known as the ‘cortisol awakening response’. Then, as the day progresses, our cortisol levels naturally begin to drop in a fairly constant and regular fashion that is termed a diurnal rhythm, ending up as low in the late evening. This allows the body to keep a regular sleeping pattern, with the cortisol level dropping for periods of sleep, then replenishing during the following morning.

When cortisol is out of balance, the body thinks it is being attacked and will conserve energy as much as possible. So stress has the following effects on the body which all contribute to weight gain.

  1. increased blood sugar
  2. increased storage of fat
  3. increased hunger
  4. increased belly fat to store as energy
  5. increased fatty acids and triglycerides in your blood
  6. increased cravings for quick energy foods (sugar)
  7. decreased immune function
  8. decreased fat burning (to conserve energy)
  9. decreased cell sensitivity to insulin so sugar stays in your blood stream
  10. decreased digestive function

So now you know why stress is fattening!

Want to Know How to Snack Smart?

Snacking between meals can keep you from getting too hungry and help you maintain a more consistent energy level throughout the day. The secret is eating the right kind of snacks, ones that will give your body the nutrients that it needs.

Nutrient Intake
It can be difficult to get all of your daily recommended nutrients from breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone. Eating small, healthy snacks between your regular meals can add to that nutrient intake.

Snacking on a combination of fruits and a few nuts can be a great and easy way to introduce more vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats into your body. Grain crackers and vegetables can give you a fiber-rich boost, and low-fat dairies can provide an increase in calcium.

Feel Fuller, Longer     
If you’re concerned about snacking because you’re trying to manage your weight, smart snacking with fiber- rich foods is one way to actually help you out.

Take almonds, for example. A one-ounce serving of almonds (approximately 23) contains about six grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and is only around 160 calories.

A healthy snack fills you up with the right nutrients and can actually allow you to stick to a moderate amount of food when you do eat your next meal. High-fiber snacks take longer to digest than other snacks, causing you to actually eat less.

Have a Plan
One of the best ways to avoid reaching for unhealthy junk foods is to create weekly meal plans that account for cravings between meals. Put tasty, convenient pairings—like apples or celery with peanut butter—and healthy snacks such as cherry tomatoes, olives, and pickles on your shopping list.

Just make sure to mix up your snacks. While it’s important to incorporate whole, low-glycemic foods into your diet, it’s easy to fall into a snacking rut and just go for the same old, same old. And boredom can lead to the sugary, empty-caloric dark side.

Plan your snacks and save yourself any post-eating guilt.

Consider These Snack Options:
These delicious and quick snacks are under 300 calories:

4 Tbsp. hummus + 1 large carrot = 170 calories
1 medium apple + 2 oz. cheese = 235 calories
1 oz. almonds (approximately 23) + ¼ c. dried cranberries = 255 calories
1 slice whole-grain bread + ½ an avocado = 260 calories
1 cup Greek yogurt + ½ c. granola = 290 calories
2 Tbsp. peanut butter + 1 banana = 295 calories