So, it’s August 1st and today marks the start of The Blood Sugar Control Challenge. I will be introducing Phase 1 of the challenge. Don’t worry, we aren’t gonna jump straight into the deep end of the pool here folks. The goal of this challenge is to clean up your eating habits to focus on supporting your blood sugar and avoiding excess insulin. In so doing, you will find you have more energy, greater mental clarity and emotional stability, better sleep, potential weight loss, hormones balancing out, and much more. So let’s get started!
First, find out how the blood sugar works here, then find the core of the challenge here. Now that you are on board, let’s talk about how to phase into this gameplan shall we?!! I want to set you all up to succeed and get the best results possible! (photo credit)
Phase 1 Guidelines (70- 100 grams of carbs per day)
Protein – This will be the same across the board – 3-5 ounces of protein at every meal, 1-2 ounces at snack time. Good sources are; grassfed beef, lamb, bison, buffalo, venison, elk, pastured pork, pastured poultry, duck, goose, chicken, pheasant etc…, wild seafood, canned seafood such as sardines, herring, oysters, clams etc… If you are not used to eating this much protein, please read my post on hydrochloric acid.
Fats – Good quality fats (as outlined in this post) with every meal and snack, none of the bad fats (mentioned here) such as artificial spreads or hydrogenated fats, or refined vegetable oils for cooking are allowed. Be VERY strict about this. Fats are very satiating and the optimal source of fuel for your body, do not skip or skimp on the fats. Ultimately, you want to become a fat burner/fat adapted, not a sugar burner (read more on what it means to be fat adapted). If you are not used to eating this much fat, read my post on ‘Are You Adequately Digesting Fat‘. This can also include, egg yolks, avocado, nut butters, and for phase one only -full fat dairy such as cream, sour cream, cream cheese or even kefir cream in small portions (we’ll get into this more in the dairy section).
Grains – No grains allowed. (corn is a grain) We are gonna cut grains out from the get go – grains are higher in carbohydrate, not to mention can be very problematic with digestion. Even properly prepared grains are out – we want to train ourselves not to depend on them and use them as cheap filler foods.
Legumes- 1 serving daily (1/2 cup) of properly prepared soaked legumes is allowed as an option. Keep in mind legumes are very high in carbohydrate. Peanut butter is good lower carbohydrate option. A small serving of hummus, 1/4 cup would be an okay option. You are going to have to pay attention to how many carbs are in the specific types of properly prepared legumes that you choose. Green beans are acceptable, as are bean sprouts. AVOID soy! Gluten free fermented tamari, miso and natto are okay in small amounts. (but not for those with hypo-thyroid issues)
Vegetables – Organic, in season, low glycemic veggies are unlimited. Eat as much as you want. Carrots, beets, and root vegetables, winter squash – use in smaller portions and make sure to balance well with other lower glycemic veggies. Limit Sweet potatoes/potatoes to 1 small serving – serving them in the later part of the day preferably with dinner. 1 medium -1/4 lb. sweet potato has about 20 grams of carbs. (See this chart with carb counts for some of the starchier vegetables)
*Properly fermented vegetables are allowed and highly recommended.
Nuts/Seeds – Properly prepared nuts/seeds or raw nuts/seeds are acceptable in small portions, a handful is adequate. Nut and seed butters are okay too – just make sure they do not have any added sugars. Don’t overdo it on the nuts.Be sure to look up the carb content of whatever nuts you choose – they do vary, for example, 1/4 cup pistachios have 9 grams of carbs.
*Note* – Nuts can be problematic for some, causing digestive issues/complaints or even allergies/sensitivities. If this is the case for you, leave them out for 2 weeks to a month. Reintroduce one at at time to see what works and doesn’t work for you.
Fruit – Limit fruits to 2 servings of lower glycemic fruits. Avoid fruit at breakfast for the most part, once you get your blood sugar managed you may be able to tolerate fruit in the mornings here and there. Limit bananas, mangos, papayas, grapes and dried fruits as they are higher in natural sugars – keep the portion size very small and look up the carb counts -remember the goal is 100 grams or less of carbs per day. No fruit or vegetable juices at this time, even fresh pressed at home. Fruit is best as a mid-meal snack paired with some fat. (ex: I like to make coconut milk smoothies, popsicles or even drizzle some coconut oil over sliced peaches)
Dairy- Most people will need to avoid dairy – it can have an insulin effect. However, as we are phasing in there are a few dairy options that are allowed. Ghee, butter & cream, cream cheese (preferably homemade), are all great sources of added fat, the lactose and casein are very minimal. Goat dairy has more fat and is often more tolerable to most – if you can get goat’s milk cheese or yogurt go ahead and enjoy those. Just avoid entire meals of dairy and having dairy at every meal. Use it as a filler and for snacks. Hard cheeses, full fat homemade yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and kefir. If you are not sure dairy poses a problem for you – go ahead and exclude it starting now. Be sure to get the best quality you can, using only raw milk products from grassfed cows – do not consume any commercial dairy with added hormones.
Sweeteners –The goal is to have no added sweeteners of any kind. Zip, zilch, zero. (Stevia is okay in green leaf form on occasion if need be, but not for those with severe sugar imbalances). For Phase 1 – limit your added sugars to no more than one tablespoon of honey or natural sweetener. Keep in mind that 1 Tbsp. of honey = 17 grams. Your goal is to hover between 70-100 grams of carbs per day. The idea is to work on pairing your way down to no added sugars at all – so for all you morning coffee/tea drinkers please really focus on this goal. It’s an allowance only to work towards complete removal, not to fuel cravings.
Coffee/Tea – 1 cup per day is allowed in this phase, with the goal of eliminating caffeine altogether. You may want to work towards weaning off the caffeine and towards half caf coffee to then decaf. Same goes with tea, look for lower caffeine content teas, make weak tea and then switch to herbal teas with no caffeine. Please choose organic coffees and teas. Consider trying Dandy Blend, I have heard great reviews on it, though I have not personally tried it. Caffeine disrupts the blood sugar balance, it’s also a known neurotoxin – so let’s work towards eliminating it altogether in these first 7-10 days.
Fermented Drinks – Kombucha, water kefir, beet kvass are all allowed. One 16 ounce bottle of GT’s has about 7 grams of carbs. One 12 ounce bottle of Zukay beet kvass has about 8 grams of carbs. I am not sure about water kefir, but I suspect it’s a bit higher than kombucha. Keep this in mind when you are drinking your fermented beverages – I can easily drink 2 bottles of ‘booch’ per day and a bottle of beet kvass per day – that’s 22 grams of carbs right there, 1/5 of my daily carb intake for this phase.
Exercise – Daily exercise is ideal. 15-30 minutes daily. (I will be posting more on exercise throughout the month). Blood sugar control is affected very positively by regular exercise – be sure to carve out time for it daily. Start with 10 minutes per day, if you are not currently exercising at all or not exercising every day. My favorite type of exercise is burst training.
That about sums up Phase 1! This is less stringent than the actual Blood Sugar Control diet and is intended to help people to more gently phase into it without compromising the goal of getting the blood sugar under control. I will post every day with further information, tips, advice, articles all surrounding managing your blood sugar. Subscribe to my feed to stay informed. Are you ready to get started?! Let’s do this!!
I am available for one on one coaching this month to help those of you who feel you need additional support! If you are pregnant, nursing, have deep rooted endocrine issues, thyroid/adrenal or are diabetic/insulin resistant, it would be wise to do this challenge with guidance to further support you and avoid complications. Please contact me to sign up!
Lydia Joy Shatney is certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is a co-chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.
Lydia offers specialized one-on-one counseling for those that are looking to transform their health through dietary advice (both food and supplements), learning cooking techniques, shopping guidance, as well as fitness inspiration and self-empowerment. These personal consultations are tailored to suit your specific needs and can be done over the phone, Skype or in person. Lydia will work with you in person locally or long distance across the globe. Lydia currently offer 3 & 6 month packages. In these packages you will receive phone consultations, email support, food journal evaluations, a thorough nutritional assessment, lots of handouts, supplement recommendations for your specific needs, information, recipes, tips, cooking ‘how to’s’ and more. Contact Lydia to sign up for your free initial consult call today!