Congrats on making it through week 1 of the NutriSense program! The focus of the first week was getting used to wearing the CGM, using the NutriSense app, and exploring your normal routines.
We hope you have learned the following:
- The importance of scanning your CGM a minimum of every 8 hours to capture all your data. Make sure to scan right before bed and upon waking to capture most of the night.
- How to log your meals and activities. The more information you include for your meals, such as a picture and detailed descriptions, the better we can help. Log various activities such as exercise, stress, sleep, or anything else you want us to monitor. Utilize the notes feature for any other factors you may want to track, such as menstrual cycle or subjective feelings (hunger, energy levels, etc).
- A basic understanding of the following glucose values and trends:
•Fasting levels - Your glucose when you wake up and/or without food for at least 8 hours. Fasting levels will never be static, but we want the average fasting level to be below 90 most of the time.
•Post-prandial (after eating) values or “spikes”. Try to stay within the green zone by limiting glucose above 140 mg/dL. Start to observe which meals lead to normal spikes and which lead to abnormal spikes.
•Glycemic variability - AKA the "swings" in your glucose. Aim for steady and gradual slopes and quick returns to normal if you do spike. Monitor your glucose standard deviation to understand your variability.
App tip: Checking your stats!
Make sure to monitor your stats in addition to your glucose curve by selecting the "analytics" tab on the main dashboard. You can check your stats for the day, or select a date range.
If you feel you do not fully understand these items or have questions interpreting your graph or stats - just message us!
What to focus on for next week: n=1 testing.
A one time spike from a meal does not mean to ditch that food forever; instead, it is a signal to do some experimenting.
For example, let's say you observed a glucose response of 160 mg/dL after consuming a bowl of quinoa. You realize this is an above-normal response, so you want to do some digging before getting rid of your favorite food forever. Below are some further tests to explore:
- Try the meal at different times of the day - we have varying responses to the same food depending on when it is consumed, and we often have better responses during daylight hours.
- Try the meal as your first versus second meal - consuming food on a completely empty stomach versus partially empty will lead to a different response.
- Try testing the quinoa with varying levels of processing and ingredients - try different varieties such as partially pre-cooked, instant, frozen, and whole dried quinoa.
- Add in a protein to your quinoa, such as seared shrimp or sautéed tofu. Even just consuming some of the protein before the quinoa can make a big difference!
- Add some fat to your quinoa, such as slivered almonds or extra virgin olive oil.
- Try the meal before a workout - we are much more insulin sensitive after we workout.
- Alter the overall portion size - decrease the quinoa from 1 cup to 1/2 cup and increase the portion of non-starchy vegetables or protein instead.
If you have completed many different tests and still have an elevated glucose response, then this can more confidently confirm that quinoa may not be a great food for you. Or, maybe you learned quinoa can sometimes cause you trouble but when consumed in a smaller portion with more vegetables and after physical activity, your glucose looks great. Now you know you can still work quinoa into your lifestyle but under certain circumstances.
A few additional tips - make sure to isolate your ingredient and control for external factors such as physical activity, sleep, and stress as best as possible to avoid confounding variables.
Just like all great science experiments, it usually generates new questions. You may now be curious how the effect will change with a HIIT workout versus weight lifting or how pea protein differs from whey. The testing options are endless, get curious!
As always, we will be right there to help you through it all! :)