The three things I believe we all need to do to optimise our nutrition (and therefore our health) are:
- Balance blood glucose
- Optimise micronutrients by eating a nutrient-dense diet
- Lower inflammation by avoiding allergenic and inflammatory foods
I have written about optimising micronutrients and avoiding allergenic foods in previous posts. I also wrote about Dr Bredesen’s Ketoflex 12/3 diet which is designed to balance your blood sugar and optimise micronutrients.
If you want to delve deeper and be certain that your blood sugar is well controlled, there are two tools you can use: a standard finger-prick blood glucose monitor or a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).
Standard Blood Glucose Monitor
I like the BETACHECK c50 for monitoring blood glucose because it’s an all-in-one device and you don’t need separate test strips. This makes it easy to use.
Pros: It’s quite cheap and very easy to get set up to start monitoring your blood glucose levels. If you use the Data-Driven Fasting approach outlined below you can gain a lot of insight into your blood sugar, which foods work for you and start to connect with your true hunger signals.
Cons: You have to remember to take readings regularly. You cannot easily find out your blood glucose peaks, you can’t find out what is happening with your blood glucose through the night (unless you want to wake up to take readings) and you can’t find out your average blood glucose over a 24 hour period.
Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
For Continuous Glucose Monitoring the Freestyle Libre is available in the UK without a prescription.
Pros: You get valuable insights into your blood sugar over the full course of the day, including while you are asleep. You can find out your average glucose, glucose variability, and glucose peaks. Optimising these numbers will likely lead to big improvements in your health, especially if your numbers are high to start with.
Cons: It’s a more expensive option than a standard blood glucose monitor, and you have to wear the device on your skin continuously. The initial cost of the unit is about £115 at the time of writing, but then the sensors cost around £60 and last just 14 days, making this an expensive option in the long run.
Data-Driven Fasting / Fueling
Marty Kendall of Optimising Nutrition, who I have written about before, has developed a fascinating approach using blood glucose readings called Data-Driven Fasting.
What is Data-Driven Fasting?
Data-Driven Fasting (DDF) is a personalized approach to intermittent fasting that uses data to guide your daily fasting routine. With DDF you take your blood glucose readings BEFORE eating rather than after eating (although you can track both values). You combine your blood glucose readings with how hungry you feel to determine when is the right time to have a meal.
As well as helping you to balance your blood sugar, they teach you a quantified approach to determine whether you are experiencing true hunger or emotional hunger. This approach helps you to get in touch with your true hunger signals. Over time you will become more intuitive as to when you should eat, and be more mindful of when, what and how you are eating.
Coupled with Marty’s Nutrient Optimiser app, which helps you to maximise the nutrient density of your diet, this method is a brilliant way to optimise your health and nutrition.
Let me know if you give any of these options a try!
Hello, I’m Chloe. I’m a nutrition and health coach and I’m on a mission to inspire & support women so they can go from feeling fatigued to feeling fabulous!
I help women who are FED up of being overweight, addicted to sugar and feeling tired ALL THE TIME to lose weight and optimise their health by fixing hormonal, digestive, autoimmune and energy issues.
My step-by-step programme, Revitalise, will help you lose weight, get back your energy, restore vitality and create lifelong health using the power of beautiful & delicious REAL FOOD.
I’m here to make it easy for you to eat healthy, delicious food without counting calories or feeling deprived. You’ll reset your relationship with food, shift your mindset and build new habits for a complete health transformation!
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