After all the posts and talks I've done on the effects of high blood sugar and how to minimize sugar in your diet, how could I have been pre-diabetic? I eat well, avoid all refined sugar, exercise daily, and I'm thin. Nevertheless, a blood test revealed an A1C of 5.7, a fairly advanced stage of insulin resistance. Fortunately, insulin resistance – a progressive rise in insulin with a resistance to its ability to escort blood sugar into cells where it can be used for energy – is both preventable and reversible. With a few simple steps, insulin sensitivity is restored preventing a progression into full-blown metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes. Remarkably, even with a diagnosis of diabetes, these actions can be highly effective.
Do you know your A1C? In functional medicine, an A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 is considered pre-diabetic. Why care about insulin resistance? This condition is a root cause behind almost all chronic diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Some symptoms of insulin resistance include:
- feeling hungry
- feeling weak and tired
- an increase in body fat
I'm happy to report that after making some changes for three months, my A1C is now down to 5.3. In a nutshell, here are the changes I made:
- drank apple cider vinegar in water before each meal
- ate protein + fiber + healthy fat at each meal to stabilize blood sugar; no urge to snack between meals
- eliminated grains, flour and white potatoes
- satisfied my sweet cravings with berries, sweet potatoes and grapefruit
- ate until I was about 80% full at each meal
- focused my exercise on the big muscles of the thighs and butt a few times per week
- added in a couple of key supplements that enhance insulin sensitivity
- was accountable to a friend going through the same thing!!
If you or a loved one has a known elevation in your A1C, reach out to me. I would love to help you make a few changes to reboot your blood sugar, restore your energy and burn fat! Prevention is key and easy. If you've never been tested or it's been a while, ask your doctor for an A1C blood test and empower yourself to make a change.
Here's an easy, gut-friendly summer salad that satisfies with protein, fiber and healthy fat and just a touch of sweetness:
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD WITH PROBIOTIC VINAIGRETTE
After pickles and sauerkraut are finished, I keep the brine and make the dressing right in the jar. Note: probiotic sauerkraut and pickles are always in the refrigerator section of your market and made with salt and water, not with vinegar.
2 breasts organic chicken, each cut in half widthwise
1 t salt
1/4 onion, sliced
3 T mayonnaise – I love Primal avocado mayo
3 T curry powder or to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 T dried currants
your favorite greens – Here, I used arugula, friseé and cucumbers.
For the curried chicken:
Fill a large saucepan or 4-5 gallon pot 3/4 full of water. Add the salt and onion slices. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the raw chicken, and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Poach chicken for 20 minutes. When done, discard onion, drain chicken, cool and cut into 1/2" cubes.
Place chicken pieces in a mixing bowl. Add the mayo, curry, pinch salt and lemon juice and mix until well combined. Add the celery and currants and mix again. Add greens to a bowl or plate. Add dressing, recipe below, to taste and toss. Add a scoop of chicken salad. Enjoy!
For the probiotic vinaigrette:
About 1/2 - 1 cup pickle brine and/or sauerkraut brine
juice of 1 lemon
About 1/2 - 1 cup olive oil to match the amount of brine
1/2 - 1 t Dijon mustard
1/2 - 1 t salt
Combine all ingredients. Shake well to combine and emulsify.