Today we continue on to Part 3 of our ‘Month of Motivation’ with a really important topic: Balancing Blood Sugar and Preventing Inflammation.
You may wonder why I chose to pair Balancing Blood Sugar with Inflammation. This is why: rapid rises and falls of blood sugar cause inflammation, inflammation causes disease…almost all disease in fact!
What Are The Benefits of Stabilizing Blood Sugar?
Prevents Inflammation thereby preventing disease
Stabilizes mood (no crazy mood swings ladies)
Weight loss/ breaks down body fat
Helps you control sugar cravings
Keeps hormones in check (see ‘mood swings’ above)
Increased energy and mental alertness
Increased lean muscle mass which increases metabolism
How Do I Stabilize My Blood Sugar?
It’s actually rather simple. Blood sugar rises too high too quickly when you consume sugar and processed foods, in other words, foods that are high on the ‘glycemic index’. Blood sugar rises slowly and stays level when you eat foods low on the glycemic index. It will not surprise you to find out cake, breads, candy (sugar in all it’s tempting forms) pastas, french fries, alcoholic beverages and soda are high on the glycemic index. It should also not surprise you that beef, chicken, fish, legumes (beans and lentils) vegetables, nuts, and many fruits are low on the glycemic index.
Why is it important to Control Inflammation?
We can chat till we are blue in the face about how good you will look and feel if you eat well, thereby stabilizing blood sugar but the most important aspect of controlling blood sugar levels is controlling inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response. We injure ourselves, the area floods with water (swelling/inflammation) the injury heals and we are on our merry way. Thank you inflammation! The problem is many of us are living in a state of chronic inflammation because of a high sugar diet, exposure to toxins, and stress. Chronic inflammation leads to chronic disease. Sometimes we can’t control all the toxins we are exposed to and to a certain extent all the stress, BUT we always have the power to control what we put in our mouths! This knowledge is very empowering! The power to heal ourselves and prevent disease is in our hands!
So How Do I Balance My Blood Sugar?
1. Eat low glycemic foods every 3-4 hours
2. Eat a small portions of quality protein, healthy fats and and unrefined carbohydrates
(vegetables, sometimes fruit) at every meal, lead with protein. Protein stabilizes blood sugar. Healthy fats provide you with energy and slow digestion making you feel full longer, unrefined carbs (usually vegetables, sometimes fruits) provide nutrients and fiber.
3. Fill at least 2/3 of your plate with plant based foods at dinner.
4. Carry low glycemic snacks with you…all the time! Be a boy scout, be prepared. (Raw almonds and an apple, berries and good quality yogurt, hummus and veggies, olives and a slice of turkey etc…)
5. Add spices to your diet, many herbs and spices help stabilize blood sugar and decrease inflammation! I add cinnamon, ginger or turmeric to my green smoothies for flavor and their anti-inflammatory properties!
Worried About What to Eat?
…or this amazing salmon! Eating well never looked so good! My website is chock full of recipes for you to eat that are both low glycemic and fit the ‘protein, healthy fat and unrefined carbohydrate’ bill!
Of course I can’t leave you without links to articles with more fabulous information than I can cram into one post. Read these, I swear they are worth the time!
My favorite article “5 Tips to Reduce Inflammation” from Kris Carr
“Stabilizing Your Blood Sugar” from Peace, Love and Fitness
“A Sample Anti Inflammatory Meal Menu” from Dr. Perricone
Benefits from Understanding The Glycemic Index from Body Building.com
And from little ol’ me “How to Plan a Healthy Meal Your Family will Actually Want to Eat”
I certainly hope you are feeling motivated and not overwhelmed! All this information can seem like a lot at first, but just like algebra once you get the fundamentals it all makes sense! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my last few posts with lots of healthy juicing and green breakfast ideas!
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