Promo code SPRING2022 will be automatically applied at checkout!
nutrisense.io
Back to Success Stories

Rachel Helmer on Developing Better Sleep Habits with Nutrisense

Rachel Helmer on Developing Better Sleep Habits with Nutrisense
"Seeing this real-time data from how your body responds to various factors… the data does not lie. It’s so valuable—it can teach us so much about how we can best support ourselves on our wellness journey."
Rachel Helmer on Developing Better Sleep Habits with Nutrisense

Hi Rachel! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found Nutrisense.

I'm a nutritional therapy practitioner with a certification in nutritional therapy. I work with women mainly on things like hormone health. And, of course, blood sugar balancing is a huge piece of that.

I was in school a year and a half ago, learning about the importance of blood sugar, and a friend was with the Nutrisense program. I’ve heard ‘CGM’ thrown around online, but I had never thought about using a continuous glucose monitor.

But hearing how much he loved his experience, my husband and I decided to get each other CGMs for Christmas. We did the three-month program at the very start of this year, and it was such an incredible experience.

That’s wonderful. So, you had a partner on your wellness journey...

It was fascinating. We eat a lot of the same things, but he eats a lot more protein and fewer carbohydrates, and he does some intermittent fasting, so he only eats twice a day. I eat at least four times a day!

We have these different nuances within our diet, and it was interesting to compare everything from dietary to lifestyle factors.

We also have two children. So, if we had a poor night's sleep because our kid was waking up, we could see what that did to both of us the next day, blood sugar-wise.

Did you have a specific goal when you signed up for the program?

Yes! I was eating a very low-carb ketogenic diet previously. And it honestly took almost a year to significantly reintroduce carbohydrates to my diet.

So, I was just really curious to see what threshold my body could tolerate. What was too much? What was my body ready for? If you’ve been eating very low-carb for a while, it takes a bit for your body to use carbohydrates efficiently again.

It’s the first time I’ve used it, but now I think the CGM is something I will interweave with my lifestyle because I think we’re all constantly evolving our diet and activity levels in whatever season of life we’re in. It’s so beneficial to check in with yourself.

Speaking of the CGM—how was your experience as a first-timer with the sensor and the Nutrisense app?

The sensor was so easy to put on. I think some people look at it and are worried about poking themselves, but you don’t feel it! My husband and I did it for each other the first few times, and then I needed to change mine one day, and I didn’t want to wait! So, I did it myself, and there were no issues.

And the Nutrisense app is so user-friendly. I do kind of wish I had challenged myself a little bit more to test out certain foods that I don't eat in my everyday life to see how my body responded. That’s something to try for next time.

But it was great to look at the app and know what's happening. I have a nutrition background, but even without it, I think it would be easy to navigate—it’s all laid out nicely.

And did you work with a dietitian?

Even though I’m a nutritionist myself, it was so beneficial to have the dietitian support! I worked with Bahar. We had many conversations about my sleep, and she helped me decipher what ranges were optimal and what to look for.

Because you can look at it and see that you’re within range, but with the dietitian support, the value was that she could break it down a little more for me. What were my ideal blood glucose levels? What were the trends to track for optimal wellness?

She also sent me some great resources, meditation apps, and breathing exercises—and I’m still using them. That was all very helpful.

Did you see what you expected to see? Were there any surprises?

For the most part, yes. I would say there were definitely some surprises. For example, I was surprised by the spike in my blood glucose levels after an infrared sauna.

And then, of course, certain foods would sometimes spike higher than I expected, but it was still fantastic to see those numbers, watch the trends and tie it to how I was feeling. I learned to listen to my body.

It was very interesting to see the relationship with exercise and blood glucose too. Slow strength training did not spike me at all. But any type of cardio would spike me.

I learned that while I do pretty well with some fruit in the morning, it works much better for me to have a way more protein and fat-forward type of breakfast. I’ve learned I need to avoid things like oats—no matter what I pair it with, it impacts my blood sugar response.

Did you notice any impact on other lifestyle factors?

Well, on nights we slept badly, it was more challenging to balance my blood sugar the next day. And alcohol! Even one to two glasses of wine would impact my response.

A small amount of alcohol also impacted my sleep and, in turn, my blood sugar levels the next day. It was great to see those numbers and connect them to a lifestyle habit that I could change.

What lifestyle changes have you been able to develop and sustain since using the CGM?

I’ve noticed a significant change in my sleep. I challenge myself to turn off electronics an hour before bed, to focus on a nighttime routine and calming habits. I’m still working on it, but I notice such a change when implementing those lifestyle habits.

Is there anything else that stood out on your journey with Nutrisense?

Something I hear so often from my clients is about how the nutrition world can be so confusing. There are so many messages coming at us all the time—“this diet is better,” “never eat these foods,” and “these are the best foods ever.” But a lot of those things don’t take into account bio-individuality and how truly unique we are in how we react to certain things.

I’d say to anyone that’s getting it: use it to really test out everything! Different foods, combinations of foods… get all that real-time data because something will surprise you one way or the other.

I genuinely believe that every body is so different, and we all tolerate things differently. And this is just such a terrific way to experiment. In such a short amount of time, I’ve learned so much about my specific body and how it reacts to certain things.

Seeing this real-time data from how your body responds to various factors… the data does not lie. It’s so valuable—it can teach us so much about how we can best support ourselves on our wellness journey.

#joinnutrisense

Be the author of
your success story

Roxanne Cardenas Bryant on Reaching her Weight Loss Goals with Nutrisense

Roxanne Cardenas Bryant on Reaching her Weight Loss Goals with Nutrisense

View Story
John Shackleton on Using the CGM to Make Smarter Dietary Choices

John Shackleton on Using the CGM to Make Smarter Dietary Choices

View Story
Amanda Seitz on Using the Nutrisense CGM Program for Optimal Wellness

Amanda Seitz on Using the Nutrisense CGM Program for Optimal Wellness

View Story