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Stuart Tutler on Managing A1C and Minimizing Glucose Spikes Using a CGM

July 19, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense
Reviewed by
stuart tutler
 "I think the NutriSense CGM program is a great value for what you're getting. Especially since you can also talk to a dietitian while using the service."—Stuart Tutler

Tell us about yourself and how you found NutriSense. 

I live in Tennessee; I’ve lived here for about 26 years and am currently in real estate. I was having some health challenges, and around the same time, a friend saw an ad for NutriSense and suggested I try it.

I read about it and thought the CGM Program might help me get my A1C down.

So, you’d never used a CGM before you started with NutriSense’s CGM Program? 

Nope. It was my first time using something that would show me the impact of food on my body.

You mention having some health challenges. Did you want to monitor the impact of food on your body to focus on any of these specifically?

Yes. In March 2022, I got results from lab tests that said I was prediabetic. The doctors offered to write me a prescription for medicine, and I asked if there were any other options, and believe it or not, they actually said no. Still, I decided I wanted to try some dietary changes first.

I started immediately, and I was making some changes from the time of my diagnosis. I found NutriSense in June, and it made a much better impact on my eating habits than everything I was doing before that.

What were some things you did to make these changes before you found the CGM Program? 

I have a friend that's a clinical dietitian, so I was asking her questions and, of course, reading up on getting the A1C down.

But using the CGM showed me things that no article or clinical dietitian, or my own research could help me with. It made a massive difference for me in just a month.

Since it was your first-time tracking numbers like this, when you first put the CGM on, was it easy to read and understand your data? 

It took a little bit of education on what some of the numbers meant, but it's all explained so well in the NutriSense app itself.

And, of course, Yvonne, my dietitian, added a layer of understanding to it that I didn't realize before. I also sat in on a webinar NutriSense did, which taught me what I needed to know about using the app with the CGM.

The most significant learning curve was recognizing what my numbers meant for my health. The first few days, I really spiked—my blood glucose numbers were as high as 169. But I was seeing what impact my regular food had on me, which was helpful.

Tell us a bit about the changes you were able to make using the CGM. 

First, it helped me identify foods that I thought were or that anybody would consider healthy foods, but that didn’t do too well for me.

I learned that the impact on my body might be totally different than on someone else's. For example, I was eating oatmeal because it's supposed to be healthy. But there are different types of oatmeal, and each was having a significant effect on my body. 

Yvonne also showed me—or I should say the CGM showed me, and she explained—how with certain foods, it also depends on what time of day I eat them.

So, for example, I had one meal in the morning and the same meal later in the day on a separate day. And it spiked; it was a different reaction. It had something to do with how my body burned carbs in the morning versus how it worked with the carbs in the evening.

That time of day makes such a difference. It’s crazy to be able to see all that in real-time.

I also learned that my fasting window needs to be a fasting window. In the beginning, I’d be grabbing a snack at 11 p.m. but seeing my numbers spike in the middle of the night was an excellent way to start working on breaking the habit.

How did you change that; did you avoid it or change how you were eating it? 

My goal initially was to find out what I could eat that didn’t affect my levels and then eliminate what did affect them.

But working with Yvonne changed my approach. It was exciting because she said I could eliminate those foods, or she could teach me how to eat them! She showed me several things like meal sequencing and eating fatty foods before eating foods that increase glucose levels...

I still tend to lean towards trying not to eat those foods, but I know now that if I want to, I know how to eat them.

So, you don’t have to cut out foods you enjoy…  

Yes, exactly. I mean, in my opinion, I think pizza, peach cobbler, and tequila should all be healthy items to eat for my glucose, but of course, that's not the case!

But I did figure out that Blanco Tequila does not have too bad of an effect. At least the monitor doesn't pick up anything for it.

Good tip! Yes, alcohol and sugar can be tough ones.

Yes. The good thing, though, is that I don't crave things anymore with the diet I’m on now, especially sweets. The CGM helped me a lot with that one too.

Based on what Yvonne taught me, I know I can eat desserts and I know how to eat them so my sugar doesn't spike. But I don't have a craving for them.

That's great. And what about things like exercise, sleep, and stress; any other lifestyle factors you noticed affecting your numbers? 

Yes, exercise was an interesting one for me. And, of course, Yvonne helped me with that as well. She explained activity will shoot insulin in the body, and it helped me understand

Because initially, you just see the spike, which can be alarming. But now I know what it all means and why it’s happening, which helps.

I also saw that my numbers are pretty steady during the week, but the weekend is when my numbers go up. I realized I have more of a stable pattern on weekdays: wake up, work, eat. The weekends are a bit different and can mess up my numbers.   

And did you begin to see those numbers decrease as you tweaked things?

Oh yes. I was also able to see the progression, going from a morning average of blood glucose levels way above 100 to a morning average below 100.

I’m told it takes three months to see whether I’m out of the prediabetic range, but with the CGM, I know how I’m doing every day because I see real-time glucose data. 

And I know my glucose levels are lower than when I first started, which I'm hoping translates into seeing my A1C decrease as well.  

What did you find worked best for you?

The app helps—it keeps a good record of the meals so you can see what’s working, tweak it, and go back and see what responses everything had and when. I’ve been developing my diet from that.

I find that simple meat and vegetable meals work best. cheese works well, too, although I have to watch that a bit because my cholesterol numbers were high too. The best part is I’ve been able to experiment.

Tell us about that. 

I created a recipe (though I’m sure it exists somewhere) based on my results with egg whites, turmeric, onions, and peppers. Sometimes I add some breakfast meat. That meal is a ten on my breakfast scale.

Another thing was blending avocados into my protein shake. I usually hate avocados because of the texture, but by blending them into my shake, that issue doesn’t come up for me, and I can get all the healthy fats from the fruit. 

So just learning that there are better ways to eat my foods and add in things, even if I don’t like them was very helpful.

stuart's breakfast experiment
Stuart worked with his dietitian to adjust the ingredients of his smoothie for a better glucose response. Learn more about how avocado helped lower the peak in this article

Going back to the subscription, what did you think about the price of the program?

For me, it was well worth it. It's helping me help myself. I did so much research—I broke down the items to see how much everything would cost.

And if you add it all together, I think the NutriSense CGM program is a great value for what you're getting. Especially since you can also talk to a dietitian while using the service.

Because I know you can buy just the sensor, but when you add in the support, the app, everything that NutriSense offers… it’s such good value.  

That’s wonderful to hear. Do you have any key takeaways you’d like to share with us? 

I would summarize by saying that NutriSense (no pun intended here) makes sense. It's well worth the value, and Yvonne is amazing; the dietitian support is so necessary. Her helpfulness, friendliness, and ability to guide me in my eating habits were all so valuable.

And again, it's the fact that she didn't just show me what I can eat. She showed me how to eat the things I like to eat, even if they impacted my glucose response.

To me, the whole process of my health journey: from the program down to technology, everything has been perfect.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
Listen to the full podcast:
Stuart Tutler on Managing A1C and Minimizing Glucose Spikes Using a CGM
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The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?

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11
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20 Questions to Ask Your CGM Provider (with Kara Collier)
20 Questions to Ask Your CGM Provider (with Kara Collier)

We sat down with Kara Collier, our co-founder and VP of Health here at NutriSense, to take a closer look at how CGMs work and what you need to know about these devices before using one.

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7
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Are Carbs and Sugar the Same? 
Are Carbs and Sugar the Same? 

Are carbs and sugar the same? In this post, we break down the key differences between the two and share the benefits of complex carbohydrates.

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9
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Best Recovery Breakfasts to Beat Post-Workout DOMS
Best Recovery Breakfasts to Beat Post-Workout DOMS

Read on to learn more about DOMS, how long it can last, and then pick from our list of the best breakfasts to help beat that post-workout soreness, support muscle building, and encourage fat loss.

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13
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7 Plant-Derived Supplements to Help Lower Blood Sugar
7 Plant-Derived Supplements to Help Lower Blood Sugar

When it comes to lowering blood sugar levels, not all supplements are created equal. From ginseng to aloe vera, here are some of the best supplements to help avoid high blood sugar and encourage blood sugar control.

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8
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Is Bloating After Surgery Normal?
Is Bloating After Surgery Normal?

Bloating that results from a surgery can sometimes be an unexpected part of the recovery process. Is there anything you can do to reduce bloating or prevent it from happening? And what causes this bloating anyway? Read on to find the answer to these questions and much more to help you combat your post-surgery swelling. 

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9
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Is Fiber a Carb? 
Is Fiber a Carb? 

Learn why fiber is classified as a carb and how to increase your intake of this health promoting nutrient.

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9
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Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Parkinson’s Disease 
Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Parkinson’s Disease 

Did you know Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease? Read on to learn what it's like living with PD plus discover treatment options.

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10
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An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends
An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends

From rosemary water to dry scooping, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of?

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8
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Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Your Skin?
Does Eating Too Much Sugar Affect Your Skin?

As great as sugar tastes, including too much of it in your diet can lead to certain health problems. Read on to learn more about the role sugar plays in keeping your skin healthy.

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9
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14 Health and Nutrition Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians
14 Health and Nutrition Podcasts Recommended by Dietitians

Read on to see which podcasts our dietitians recommend if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and health.

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7
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Does Nicotine Affect Blood Glucose?
Does Nicotine Affect Blood Glucose?

Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that can affect your health in various ways. Read our article to learn how it impacts blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

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9
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Why Everyone, Including Healthy People Should Use CGMs
Why Everyone, Including Healthy People Should Use CGMs

CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!

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10
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Why Do People Need to Lose Weight Before Bariatric Surgery?
Why Do People Need to Lose Weight Before Bariatric Surgery?

Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.

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8
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Favorite Grilling Recipes
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Favorite Grilling Recipes

Excited to fire up the grill this summer? Read on to learn if grilling is healthy for you plus check out the NutriSense Nutrition Team's favorite grilling recipes for the season.

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9
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How a Healthy Gut Improves Blood Sugar
How a Healthy Gut Improves Blood Sugar

Did you know that your gut health can impact your blood glucose levels? Explore ways to improve your gut health for optimal glucose levels.

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8
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Living With Autoimmune Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living With Autoimmune Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause swelling and joint pain. Learn more about how it develops and how other health conditions affect its onset.

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10
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13 Best Weight Loss Apps to Consider
13 Best Weight Loss Apps to Consider

We’ve hand-picked the best weight loss apps available. Here are the thirteen best weight loss apps.

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8
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What is Red Light Therapy?
What is Red Light Therapy?

An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.

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9
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Diets People are Most Likely to Give Up On [+Tips to Stick with Them]
Diets People are Most Likely to Give Up On [+Tips to Stick with Them]

Struggling to stick with a health-promoting diet? Here’s how to make it enjoyable so you can reap the benefits.

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85
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Kara Collier on Optimal Health Through Blood Sugar Regulation
Kara Collier on Optimal Health Through Blood Sugar Regulation

VP of Health and co-founder of NutriSense Kara Collier discusses reaching optimal health through blood sugar regulation, what a continuous glucose monitor is, and who might benefit from using it.

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16
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How to Turn Your Idea into a 120 Person Team with Dan Zavorotny
How to Turn Your Idea into a 120 Person Team with Dan Zavorotny

In this episode of Zero to CEO, Jason Sherman talks to Dan Zavorotny about how to turn your idea into a 120 person team in 2.5 years.

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7
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A Breakdown of Body Mass Index (BMI)
A Breakdown of Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index is a term you may have seen tossed around quite a bit in the health world. You may know that it’s a way to measure body fat, but with so many new tests for measuring overall fitness and health, is BMI still reliable?

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8
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Glucose-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy This Memorial Day
Glucose-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy This Memorial Day

If you're watching your glucose levels, traditional BBQ staples may not be the best choice. Here are some recipes that will help you enjoy a Memorial Day meal without a blood sugar spike.

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8
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Taking Mental Health Online: Tips & Tools for Self-Care
Taking Mental Health Online: Tips & Tools for Self-Care

Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health; here are tips, tools, and apps to improve your mental wellbeing.

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8
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Can You Check Your Blood Sugar at Home Without a Meter
Can You Check Your Blood Sugar at Home Without a Meter

Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. Learn if you can check your blood sugar at home without a meter.

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10
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Sunscreen for all Skin Types
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Sunscreen for all Skin Types

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself from sunburn and sun damage. But how do you choose the right one for adequate sun protection?

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8
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Japanese Water Therapy & Weight Loss: What’s the Deal? 
Japanese Water Therapy & Weight Loss: What’s the Deal? 

Learn how Japanese water therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and detoxification.