Tell us about yourself and how you found Nutrisense?
In December 2021, I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I was overweight, and I had a severe nonalcoholic fatty liver. I saw my hepatologist, and she told me it was possible to address it; I just had to work at it.
I also have a history of breast cancer, which I had five years ago, so I thought, “okay, I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.”
At the time, I had gained 25 pounds with the steroids and the treatment, and I lost it all with Keto, but through the pandemic, I just gained it all back. I needed to find something that worked better to keep it off.
I also had symptoms like inflammation, so my oncologist referred me to a rheumatologist. We decided we needed to figure out whether something else was going on.
Had you ever used a CGM before?
No, never! I’m prediabetic, so I’d used the fingerpicks but never a CGM. I’d seen people use the Dexcom with type 1 diabetes, but when I found Nutrisense, I thought, wow, here’s this new technology that’s going to be really helpful.
I have parents with type 2 diabetes, and I know it runs in the family, so keeping track was important for me. I started with the one month, but I was learning so much that I decided to continue till I had to see my hepatologist again for more tests.
What were you learning?
That I don’t have to cut out things I love to lose weight! Nutrisense taught me the how, the why, and the when to eat.
In the beginning, especially, you’re supposed to eat what you usually would to learn about your habits, and I realized my numbers were pretty high. My fasting numbers were in the hundreds, which is not good. But I’ve seen them come down a lot over these three months.
And I've learned so much about my habits. I’ve done a lot of intermittent fasting in the past, but with the CGM, I learned I need to shift my window and open it up a bit more just so I can get my breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner in without cramming it all in.
It also changed my habits when I travel. Any time I eat and hop right into a car, that’s not good; I need to be walking. I recently was on a trip and treated myself to a donut, but I tweaked a few things. I had some protein for breakfast; I walked to the donut shop, and I walked back. And I didn’t spike!
I learned when to eat before and after exercise, how to tweak the order of food and watch my portions, and that I don’t always have to count every calorie.
Tell us a little more about that.
Well, I still measure my food and weigh it sometimes. But usually, I eyeball an estimate. Instead, I focus on things like not eating naked carbs and having a better eating out strategy.
For example, I would eat just an entrée when I went out to dinner. Now, I split a protein appetizer, get the salad, and then split the entrée with my husband.
Seeing that number in your chart go up can make some people anxious. But to me, it just gives you more power, the power to be able to make better choices for yourself.
And it’s been an excellent way to know I have to change something, but not eliminate the food. That never works anyway; you'll just eat it later! And that’s been the big thing for me, finding a way to eat that works for my body and learning you can eat anything.
So, because of all the data I'm seeing from the CGM, I definitely have changed many habits.
Speaking of the data, did you find more value from it combined with your dietitian support?
Oh, definitely. I work with Lucas, who gave me many stats and explained how things worked.
You can't hide anything from your CGM—when you track with other health apps, you’re tracking on your own, adding things yourself. The CGM will tell you everything that’s happening in your body in real-time.
The dietitian support is vital to complement this because unless you know exactly what you're supposed to be eating or how you wouldn't know what to do with the data. You'd have all this information, and you can't tap into how to change it or improve it.
With all of the resources, I’ve learned so much about foods I thought I couldn’t eat but actually can with a few tweaks.
What sort of foods?
Ice cream! When I was visiting Seattle, I walked all the time. I walked to restaurants to see my son… and I had two scoops of ice cream, and it didn’t spike like it usually would, which was fantastic.
Also, many health sources recommend sweet potatoes, but I found that Japanese sweet potato usually spikes my blood glucose levels.
After some experiments with Lucas’ help, I’ve found how to eat them. I have to jump on my Peloton first to exercise, eat my scrambled eggs, then eat only half a cup of a Japanese sweet potato, and I’m fine!
Also, bananas. I tried just a banana first, and it spiked immediately. Then I tried banana with a tablespoon of almond butter and Ceylon cinnamon. And it worked so well that I can eat bananas now.
I have to incorporate protein first with mangoes, which spike a lot for me.
And I was able to eat pizza! I just have a gigantic kale salad before my vegetable starter, then I have two pieces of pizza, and I do okay.
And that's such a good feeling. You don’t need to give up the food you love. Just figure out how to fit it into your lifestyle and diet, whether you’re trying to stay healthy or lose weight.
Would you say losing weight was one of your primary goals?
Well, when I saw my hepatologist back in December 2021, she said I had six months to lose some weight. So that was one of my goals, but I think the first was lowering my A1C.
It was pretty high, a few points away from being diagnosed with diabetes. The primary goal was to figure out how to lower my blood sugars with diet and lifestyle tweaks. And then the weight.
Blood sugars and weight are connected. As I focused on improving my blood sugar levels, my weight also improved—the pounds kept coming off. And while I don't have my fatty liver numbers because I'm not due for another scan yet, with the weight coming down, that's probably gotten better too.
Next, I want to try switching to a Mediterranean diet or a plant-based diet. I'm still reading about both of them—Dr. Andrew Weil has a lot of information about the Mediterranean diet and I found Dr. Kristi Funk during my breast cancer journey. She has a lot of information about the benefits of being vegan in regards to breast cancer. The CGM data will be so important as I try new ways of eating and experiment with adding new foods to my diet.
You came into this with some health knowledge already, but do you think it improves as you continue to experiment?
Oh, yes, so much better. In just three months, I learned so much about my body and how to keep the weight down. And it shows on the scale—I’m down almost 16 pounds.
Everyone has noticed it working for me—my rheumatologist graduated me out of her care because my inflammation came down, so I don’t have to see her anymore! And before the program, she considered putting me on medication.
But because the inflammation and the weight and all of that came down, I no longer need it. Everything is so connected.
And I don't necessarily check every single calorie anymore, so it relieves me of that pressure too. I just follow the trends on my CGM and make sure I try to stay under 140.
Through my health journey, this program has helped me learn how to keep losing weight and, at the same time, enjoy my food!