written by Maryday Manale
Blood sugar levels are very susceptible to allergies and intolerances. When the body is exposed to foods or chemicals that are allergens, blood sugar levels will plummet almost instantly! Which may explain one of the reasons for why we have sugar cravings directly after eating. Here are few tips for maintaining blood sugar levels and to help deal with cravings during the day.
1. Focus on Including Protein At Breakfast
Make sure to eat some protein at breakfast every morning. If you’re in a rush, then a low-glycemic shake with protein (or even a high-protein nutrition bar) is a good start. When you get protein first thing in the morning, it sets you up for “normal” blood sugar for the rest of the day.
Some ideas for a protein breakfast include: eggs (poached, scrambled, fried or in an omelette), a nut milk smoothie with berries and hemp seeds, sprouted bread with nut butter.
2: Don't Skip Meals, Eat regularly.
Eating breakfast helps insulin to lower blood-glucose levels. Eating regularly spaced meals throughout the day also helps insulin work better; so don’t skip a meal. Your blood sugar drops like a rock when you’re starving which contributes to headaches, shakiness and moodiness. Then when you do eat after this state of low blood sugar, you flood your system with glucose rapidly (especially by eating something sugary or carby to give yourself that instant boost), forcing your pancreas to release more insulin. This creates a dangerous cycle. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is linked to the pancreas which becomes overactive and overwhelmed when the diet is too high in sugars (and simple carbohydrates) and cannot regulated insulin adequately.
3.Try to Spice it up!
Sprinkle cinnamon over your coffee, yogurt, cereal and tea. Cinnamon is one of the most anti-oxidant rich herbs on the planet. It has been shown to have remarkable medicinal qualities that enhance blood sugar signaling, reduce inflammation, and stimulate immunity. Cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar by stimulating insulin receptors, giving them a stronger affinity for the blood-sugar lowering hormone. In response, the body needs to produce less insulin in order to create the desired effect. This creates less pancreatic stress, improved metabolic rate, and decreased inflammation.
4. Go nuts
Sprinkle a few walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds over your salad. Nuts are also good sources of protein. In particular, walnuts are great sources of monounsaturated fat, which won’t raise your blood sugar as many other foods do. And some researchers suspect that this fat even makes cells more sensitive to insulin, helping to combat high blood sugar.
5. Avoid Refined, Processed Foods; Go for Whole Grains
Buy bread products with more fibre and protein per serving. Complex carbohydrates of this type slow down absorption of glucose and decrease possible insulin rises. Plus, the hearty dose of fibre and protein will keep your stomach feeling satisfied for longer. Avoid the intake of refined and concentrated sugars of all kinds especially found in processed white breads. Keep it whole with grains that will give your body time to break down sugars. The more time the body takes to process these sugars the more evenly the body can spread out the delivery of these sugars to cells, maintaining balance.
Try to eliminate or eat in moderation cakes, ice cream, candy etc. Instead, have more whole grains, baked yams, squash, apples, and dates. You can also substitute frozen bananas (for ice cream), desserts sweetened with barley malt, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup.
Here are some quick recipe tips:
Apple Slices with cinnamon
- Cut up 1 apple
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top
One Ingredient Ice cream
- Cut up a banana into pieces
- Put on a plate and place in freezer
- Once bananas are frozen solid, place in a food processor or blender and blend
- Scoop and Serve
Baked Yam Fries
2 tbsp high heat cooking oil (coconut oil, ghee/clarified butter)
2-3 large yams or sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into strips
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Any of your favourite spices
Coarse sea salt
1: Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, drizzle oil over yams and toss to coat evenly. Add spices and toss to combine.
2: On a greased baking sheet, place fries in a single layer leaving space between them so they get cripsy on all sides.
3: Bake for 10 minutes, then flip fries over with a spatula. Bake for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve warm.
Maryday Manale, CNP, Certified Yoga Instructor
Maryday is a soon to be graduate of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, with a certificate as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She is also a certified yoga instructor in the styles of both Moksha Hot Yoga and Restorative/Relaxing Yoga. Maryday’s humour & her great positive outlook in life and the passion for health can be seen and felt by everyone around her. She is a teacher who speaks intuitively to the body, mind and spirit, and communicates about the most subtle parts of your body with grace and earthy charm. Students can expect a practice from Maryday that has a perfect balance between spirit and sweat.
Maryday is committed in providing individuals with a balanced lifestyle through the combination of yoga and nutrition believing that there is a mind, body connection when it comes to your health. It is no wonder why both of her passions of yoga and nutrition are beautifully harmonized. Maryday has always enjoyed helping people make changes in their lives and believes your health is something you can control the most.
Maryday loves to eat and she believes that food should and will always taste delicious; Her focus is to nourish people through whole foods, simply knowing how to compliment whole foods in your overall healthy lifestyle. At home she likes to be creative with what she eats and always trying new things with new ingredients, new ways to cook.
Maryday’s inquisitive side helps her continue to grow as a student and as a teacher, striving to learn more so that she can continue to inspire other people. You can connect with her through Facebook & Instragram.