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Abbie Honaker on Learning More About How Different Foods Impact Blood Glucose

Abbie Honaker on Learning More About How Different Foods Impact Blood Glucose
“I entered the program feeling pretty good about what I knew about glucose levels, and yet I was surprised by what I learned about my personal body and my reaction to certain foods and activities.”
Abbie Honaker on Learning More About How Different Foods Impact Blood Glucose

Hi Abbie! Tell us about yourself and what led you to Nutrisense.

Hi! I’m a functional health and wellness coach. I founded Take Charge, a modern holistic health space where I help busy professionals live healthier lifestyles. So I’m already really interested in the wellness space and love learning more about it.

That said, I’ve also listened to many podcasts where everyone raves about using continuous glucose monitors to learn more about wellness, particularly Nutrisense. So, I did some investigating with a few friends and asked what brand they preferred.

And because of its easy app, the dietitian support, Nutrisense was the much-preferred option over all the competition. So, I signed up for the three-month plan.

What would you say your main goal was when you signed up?

I signed up as a learning experience—I wanted to learn more about my blood glucose levels and how my diet affected my body.

I was curious, especially because I typically eat the same rotation of foods. I’ll occasionally have ice cream, but that’s usually a one-off thing. I tend to have a smoothie in the morning, some fruits and nuts, a salad at lunchtime, and some sides at dinner.

I eat mainly grilled foods during the summer; I switch to soups and stews during the winter. So I wanted to see whether I was on the right track. 

And had you ever looked at your blood glucose levels or any data like this before?

I’m a total nerd, so I usually put all my bloodwork into a spreadsheet! I also have a glucometer at home, so I played around with it to understand more about my blood glucose levels.

But this was the first time I ever used a continuous glucose monitor, and I found it easy to use and learned a lot. So, I’ve been excited about that.

What were the initial few weeks with the program like for you?

You know, it's a little intimidating to put the continuous glucose monitor on for the first time and look at the data because you’re wondering if you’re doing it right. But having the dietitian there for the first 30 days to confirm that you are, showing you the ropes, and walking you through the process is fantastic.

It’s also great that they recommend not changing anything in those first few weeks. You have to take the time to learn about what your body is doing on your everyday habits and then see how best to adapt them for optimal wellness.

Did this make it easier to read and understand the data too?

Absolutely. And there were so many other great tools and resources to use. If I had questions about, for example, AUC (area under the curve): what did it mean? What was that representative of? My dietitian sent me lots of resources. 

And many of the articles from the Journal, too, were really helpful. There was a lot there that I could read to learn and understand more.

Was there anything surprising that you learned about your daily habits in the first few weeks?

Absolutely. And I would have loved to do this a few years ago! In fact, I was vegan for a year and a half, and I’d love to have found this sooner to understand what my blood sugar looked like then. I was leaning on sweet potatoes like crazy at the time.

And during those first few weeks, I learned sweet potatoes dramatically spike my blood sugar! They're a ‘healthy food,’ so I used to eat them often for dinner, and I’ve learned to pull back a bit. Even a white potato doesn't cause the same blood sugar spike that a sweet potato does for me.

Grapes were another food that spiked my blood sugar levels to a surprising degree.

A blonde lady in a black sweater and blue jeans sitting on the steps in front of a brown door

Did you learn any other ways to incorporate these foods into your diet?

Yes! Incorporating them earlier during the day, and going for a walk after dinner were among several tips and tricks my dietitian, Emily, really helped me to understand.

And another thing that I had read but couldn't see until I had the CGM was the understanding of naked carbs versus a carb paired with a fat or a protein. What a dramatic difference that made to my blood sugar!

I now understand how my body reacts to foods even if I can’t feel the direct impact.

The best part is that I’ve learned what to pay attention to, how to fuel, and how high and low blood sugar impacts my body in three months. Low blood sugar, especially, was something I learned a lot about with the Nutrisense program.

I felt like the 90-day journey I had was an appropriate amount of time for me to understand and learn more about my body and my lifestyle habits.

That’s great! And what would you still like to learn?

Well, I found that fasting for too many hours dips my blood sugar. And if I exercise while fasting in the morning, my blood sugar goes low and then spike high after I ate—so I also learned more about variability and fluctuations.

But I didn’t change too much in my exercise routine, and I’d be interested in pursuing that a bit more. I saw the timing of exercise related to blood sugar, and my dietitian and I were starting to play around a bit with exercising on an empty stomach, exercising with protein, exercising, and then having a snack afterward… I’d love to learn more.

But even so, I have changed when I exercise. I exercise during the day and go for a walk at night because I’ve learned it dramatically impacts my blood sugar levels!

Anything else you’d like to tell us about the program and your experience with it?

I entered the program feeling pretty good about what I knew about glucose levels, and yet I was surprised by what I learned about my personal body and my reaction to certain foods and activities.

Even though I was already knowledgeable about wellness, my journey with the Nutrisense program taught me much more than I would have learned without it.

#joinnutrisense

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