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Barbara Sutton on the Habits That Help with Overall Wellness in Her 60s

Barbara Sutton on the Habits That Help with Overall Wellness in Her 60s
"In my quest to have a health span instead of just a life span, I figured this would be a great thing to do to understand more about my body and lifestyle habits."
Barbara Sutton on the Habits That Help with Overall Wellness in Her 60s

Hi Barbara! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to Nutrisense. 

I used to work in finance, but I’ve been retired for around seven or eight years. I like to stay active, and I’m interested in understanding my health and what’s happening inside my body.

I’m 62 going on 63, and I joined Deborah Atkinson's Flipping Fifty virtual gym back in 2020, where I learned about Nutrisense. I have an Oura ring; I had a Fitbit… the CGM just felt like the next logical step!

So, you’re no stranger to tracking health and fitness, but have you tracked anything like this before? 

No, I’d never had any issues with my blood sugar levels, so I’d never thought to do so. I didn’t know that much about it.

In my quest to have a health span instead of just a life span, I figured this would be a great thing to do to understand more about my body and lifestyle habits. And it was very enlightening. 

My husband and I have been married for almost 40 years; I have three cats and love gardening. We bicycle ride. I exercise regularly, do strength training a couple of times a week, and I'm very active overall. I'm not a sedentary person. In fact, my Oura usually tells me I need to take some more time to relax.

Would you say your goal was to see how your food and lifestyle habits impacted metabolic health markers like blood glucose?

Yes. I listen to many wellness podcasts and read a lot online, and it’s so interesting how everything's so intertwined. I just wanted to see how everything I do affects my blood sugar and ensure that I'm not doing things detrimental to living well.  

And since you’d never used a CGM before—was the data in the app easy for you to read? Did you know what everything meant?

I had an idea. I didn't know all the implications, and I think the one thing that Christina [my dietitian] helped with is helping me to understand more about normal blood sugar levels, what I should be concerned about, and what was just a trend not to worry about.

And that just because my sugar spiked doesn’t mean you can never eat that food again. So, it was very helpful to have the dietitian support.

Tell us about your first few weeks with the Nutrisense program. 

The first week I did, I didn't change anything. I know from what Deborah and Nutrisense recommended that the first week had to be about learning what you're doing now and how your lifestyle is impacting your body.

And then the second week, I started making some subtle changes. I wasn't good at making one change at a time, but it was so interesting. 

Even though my blood glucose levels were pretty stable overall, there were days when I’d go out to dinner and eat something like a bison burger with bourbon sauce, and I could see the impact of all that quickly!

In the end, it was good to know I was on the right track with living well. It was nice not to wander blissfully through life, not knowing what was going on in my body.

What were some surprising things you learned?

One of the surprising things was that I should exercise 30 minutes after eating. And that made a big difference. I would have thought exercising before was better. But even just going for a walk after a meal made such a difference.

I also learned that eating in this order: protein first, vegetables, and then carbs, was the best option for me. And we don’t usually eat too late, but once in a while, I would eat early or have a bigger meal at lunchtime and just a salad at dinner, and seeing how that helped was eye-opening.

What lifestyle changes did the program help you make?

I'm eating in a different order, eating my protein first. That was a pretty easy change to put in place, and I think I've also been a bit more vigilant in what I put in my body.

I don’t usually stress about stuff, but it’s still been nice to keep track of everything, from diet to sleep. So, the program gave me peace of mind because I could understand what was going on and how different things impacted my body.

That’s wonderful! Any other takeaways you’d like to share with us? 

I loved how you could choose how often you want to interact with the dietitian when you sign up. I thought that was a brilliant touch. Christina and I went back and forth quite a bit; she was there and responsive, which made that experience perfect.

All the information in the resources and the links she sent me to learn more were wonderful.

The program takes time and effort, but you get out of it what you put into it. And it was great to find what works for me, like protein, which is vital to women my age especially. 

So much changes with age; it would have been so interesting to be able to start my wellness journey with the CGM 20 years ago!

#joinnutrisense

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