5 Things I Learned About Blood Sugar From Wearing A Continuous Glucose Monitor

Blood sugar is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. Balanced blood sugar means you will feel less fatigued, moody, hangry and spacey throughout the day. Plus, balancing blood sugar will help to balance your hormones as well.

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I focus on blood sugar balance 95% of the time by incorporating lots of protein, healthy fats and fiber into my meals (we can’t be perfect all the time), and have always used my general sense of well being as an indicator of my blood sugar levels.

I was super excited though when Veri reached out about partnering with me so that I could get some blood sugar data IRL. They sent over a continuous glucose monitor, which you wear in your arm for 14 days and it tracks your blood sugar levels in real time. Veri even has a super handy app that gives you meal scores and daily scores to see how you’re doing, and it lets you track things like movement, stress and sleep since these can impact blood sugar as well!

Throughout 2 weeks of just eating my normal meals, it was interesting to see how my blood sugar was impacted by my daily habits. As with all self experiments, there are no definitive results since there are so many different variables, but I do think I gained some really beneficial insight. It also got me thinking about ways to make my meals even more blood sugar friendly. 

I think it’s also important to note that everyone’s blood sugar responses are unique, and just because something did or didn’t raise my blood sugar does not mean that will be the case for everyone. 

Here are 5 things I learned about my blood sugar from wearing a continuous glucose monitor:

protein and veggies will prevent blood sugar spikes and balance blood sugar shown through CGM monitoring with Veri

1. Protein and produce are my friends

My blood sugar was always super steady when I ate meals primarily based around protein and produce (like fruits and veggies). This wasn’t super surprising to me since I know that these whole foods are so beneficial for us, yet it was still interesting to see. My go-to canned fish seaweed wrap lunch, for example, scored a 9 out of 10, which means I will happily continue to enjoy this meal.

homemade ice cream led to balanced blood sugar shown through CGM monitoring with Veri

2. Homemade ice cream is not a bad snack…

I know what you’re thinking - ice cream isn't healthy! But hear me out, what if you make your own with just a few simple ingredients like raw milk, pasture raised egg yolks, organic cream and a touch of raw honey. This superfood (yes I consider it a superfood) is loaded with healthy fats and minimal amounts of sweetener that did not spike my blood sugar - it ranked a 9/10 when I ate it as a snack. Now this doesn’t mean you should start downing pints from the grocery store, but it does go to show that it’s not just about what we eat but about the quality and preparation of what we eat. 

exercise can increase blood sugar levels by increasing cortisol levels shown through CGM monitoring with Veri

3. Exercise can increase your blood sugar

People tend to talk about the foods that spike blood sugar and less notice is given to the other habits that can spike it as well including exercise. Typically, moving your body will lower blood sugar such as in the case of going for a post-dinner walk, however there are times when exercise can actually raise it. When I went to hot yoga while wearing my continuous glucose monitor, I noticed an increase in blood sugar almost every time even though I was doing it fully fasted. 

This is likely because my body saw it as a stressor (excessive heat and a bike ride to and from the studio) which increased my cortisol levels. When cortisol increases, blood sugar levels raise so that our muscles can access more fuel for the fight-or-flight response. I wouldn’t worry about these increases though since the benefits of exercise are profound, but it is interesting to pay attention to, especially if you are someone who does chronic cardio or HIIT every morning and are looking to lower your stress levels. 

adding protein powder, milk and collagen to coffee can prevent a blood sugar spike shown through CGM monitoring with Veri

4. Coffee doesn’t always spike blood sugar

Just like exercise can be a stressor on your body, so can coffee on an empty stomach. The excessive caffeine can raise cortisol levels in the same manner that I explained previously. When I drank coffee with just a splash of milk on an empty stomach, my blood sugar noticeably rose, and I could definitely feel the anxiety and jitters. When I started my morning with a “protein coffee” though, there was no blood sugar spike and it scored a 9 out of 10 on the Veri app. My protein coffee had protein powder, coffee, milk, collagen and colostrum, which all helped to minimize the impact of caffeine and 

fiber helps to slow glucose absorption and reduce blood sugar spikes shown through CGM monitoring with Veri

5. Fiber is so important for balanced blood sugar

I’ve been making the same blueberry, kefir protein shake multiple times a week for the past few months thinking it’s a super healthy midday meal, but it turned out that it was spiking my blood sugar more than I would’ve expected. I wanted to experiment, so the next time I made it, I added a scoop of chia seeds for extra fiber. 

Sure enough, the smoothie had a much smaller impact on my blood sugar and ranked an 8/10 compared to a 6/10. This difference could have been due to other factors such as my stress levels and what else I had eaten that day, but it is very likely that the added fiber helped to slow the absorption of the sugars from my digestion, resulting in more balanced blood sugar levels. 

If you’re interested in learning more about your blood sugar, you can get your very own continuous glucose monitor through Veri with a discount for my audience!

And if you have questions, let me know!