Hi Meredith. How did you find Nutrisense, and what led you to the CGM Program?
I guess you could say my health journey started during the very beginning of the pandemic, maybe in early 2020, when my office (I’m a dentist) shut down for three months. I was around the house a lot more, and I started listening to health podcasts. Everyone was always talking about blood glucose, and it’s something I’d never really given any thought to.
I bought a little finger prick to test my levels with a blood glucose monitor, and the results were surprising—none of those numbers looked optimal. But I couldn't keep pricking my finger, so I decided to look into the benefits of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which led me to Nutrisense.
I had the CGM on for a couple of months post-Christmas, then stopped using it for a bit before returning.
What made you come back?
When I thought about it, I realized it was worth the money to get my glucose under control and keep track of what was happening in my body.
I recently turned 40, and it was probably the first time in my life that I ever tested my blood lipids, A1C, and liver function… and it all came back okay. But I’d never even thought to do that before.
Now I know several factors can cause those blood glucose fluctuations, and there are many repercussions to letting those levels get out of control. Also, you don't realize how many health conditions you can prevent just by tracking blood glucose even if you're healthy.
And even more than just because of what I saw with the data, I knew I wanted to keep using the CGM because when I didn’t have it, I missed it!
It's totally worth it—to me, the 12 months is like a yearly gym membership. It made more sense, cost-wise, to sign up for the 12-month commitment.
That’s great! So, just going back to when you put the CGM on for the first time, what was it like seeing all data in the app?
It was easy to see, read, and understand everything in the Nutrisense app from the get-go. I was confused initially about what a few things meant, like area under the curve (AUC) and Delta, for example.
But I worked with a dietitian (Victoria E.), who explained everything so well, that it all started to make more sense. Now I can go into the analytics section and look at the past seven days or two weeks to see how I’m progressing with my goals.
Speaking of goals—apart from using it as a preventive tool, did you have any other health goals when you started using the CGM?
I mainly wanted to ensure I wasn't unknowingly eating any glucose-spiking foods. But part of me also wanted to lose the five to ten pounds I think I gained during the pandemic.
And I also wondered if there was anything more sugary than I thought that was adding to that weight gain.
After a while, I stopped paying that much attention to weight loss. I started focusing more on ensuring I wasn't eating the things causing huge spikes or changing how I ate them.
And how did that go?
Well, for a while, I got a little too into cheese and dark chocolate because they didn’t spike my glucose! I don’t do that anymore, of course.
After Christmas, I was already attempting to do more of a semi-ketogenic diet. I’ve been doing it on and off for a long time. But I was still eating whatever kind of candy was at the office or binging on cookies...
So being aware of how that affects me has been a good change. It terrifies me to think back to everything I’ve been eating without realizing how my body responded.
But with the knowledge, it’s easier. I don’t have to avoid everything. I can eat chocolate, but I avoid overeating it. I also avoid mindless snacking.
I don’t deny myself anything; I’ll still eat my typical lunch and chocolate or candy if I feel like it. But I’m eating less of the foods I thought wouldn’t spike my glucose, and then surprisingly, did.
What sort of foods did you find delivered those surprising spikes?
Well, Smart Sweets, for example. They have just around a few grams of sugar. Maybe it's the synthetic carbohydrates in them, but whatever it was, they led to pretty significant spikes. It was terrifying initially because I used to snack on them a lot. I’ve eaten so many bags, thinking they were a healthier snack option for me.
And then there are types of cheese too. I usually eat fresh parmesan cheese, which doesn’t spike me. But when I had a chunk of regular cheddar cheese, I noticed a more significant spike.
Another weird thing that caused a significant spike was oat milk. I knew it had sugar, but I thought it was healthy for me. I tried almond milk next, which was much better for me.
Was there anything else that was surprising about those initial numbers? Has it changed?
When I started the journey, I think I was most surprised about my glucose numbers in the morning. My fasting glucose was very high (it was usually over 100).
It was surprising because while I didn’t think my glucose control would be optimal, I didn’t expect the fasting glucose to be in the hundreds initially.
And then, over time, the more I avoided certain things like eating excessive sugar, the more I think it has gradually decreased. Now it's frequently in the seventies or eighties. It’s definitely helped with my eating habits.
That’s great! Has it helped with other lifestyle factors, apart from your diet?
I’ve also seen it go up and down at work, especially when I haven’t eaten anything to cause the spike. So now I’ll look back at the graph and see a bump somewhere and think, ‘Oh, I guess I was stressed.’
And I’ve always had some anxiety on and off. That has also gotten a lot better since I began using the CGM. It’s noticing my stress points that help, but also because I’m not eating trigger foods anymore that might cause it to spike, thanks to the CGM.
What do you want to try next with the CGM?
I’m going on vacation soon and want to see how eating out daily affects my body. I'm excited to see what I can do to pick reliable, healthy foods while I travel.
You’re still on your health journey with the CGM, but what would you say your key takeaways have been so far?
I like keeping tabs on what’s happening. So, I love the monitoring aspect, but there’s also the accountability aspect. I think it’s helpful because it can prevent you from going crazy eating too many sugary foods.
Since I got the CGM, I’ve become interested in looking into other things too. I want to see what’s going on with everything—my hair, skin, and health. And until recently, I didn’t even know technology like this was available.
It’s such an excellent preventive tool because you can see how all your decisions affect your body in real-time. You also have a better chance of working towards normal blood glucose levels.
It’s almost like someone is secretly spying on your blood sugar and helping you make the right decisions on your health journey.
I feel like everybody should have one!