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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

81 Comments

  1. Can you give some examples of different breakfasts that have 40 grams of protein? I’m having a hard time thinking of things to eat that would get you to that number, but not be a LOT of food.

  2. Thanks for sharing, I have always had problems with my weight and my blood sugar has been chronically low for a long time. I think I’ll give the butter mints a try, they look delicious and I’ve been looking for a way to curb my sugar cravings. I also want to look more into the T-Tapp thing, however I disagree with your statement that cardio exercises “spike stress hormones and create damaging free radicals” (I won’t debate the elevated heart rate thing, that’s a given during exercise) because I walk, run, and do other cardio frequently and it makes me feel absolutely great, and my blood sugar levels tend to actually stabilize when I’m more active. I may be undiagnosed bipolar, so getting through the day in a good mood, calm and relaxed, without any blood sugar-, digestive-, or hormone-related issues, and feeling good about the way I look, is huge for me. I think because everyone is different, it’s more a question of what works for you. Enjoyed your post! 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment and I hope you enjoy the buttermints! I agree that we should each tailor our exercise to our own needs. In my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that chronic cardio are not helpful for relieving inflammation and hormone imbalances. If your exercise routine works for you, that’s the most important thing 🙂

  3. Lauren,
    great post as usual. This question is off topic. We live in a city where our water is fluoridated and would like to get a device that would remove it . Have you come across a reliable method or device that removes fluoride without altering drinking water significantly?

  4. Lauren,
    I’ve been tested and found to have an intolerance to milk and eggs…this makes it very hard to go paleo. I’ve tried to ignore this but my face reeks havoc with acne when consumed. I’ve been doing the himalayen sea salt/lemon/warm water first thing in the AM for a month now thinking my adrenal glands were suffering. The only sweet I do is a small amount of honey. I’ve eliminated my egg and milk intake but still my face suffers…any advice or help?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • I would go to your OB/GYN or a naturopath to get your hormones tested. It is a simple blood test. There are lots of reasons that you could have acne. After seeing a naturopath, my skin looks better than ever because so many of my levels were off (adrenals, vitamins, yeast and more).

      I can’t have milk or eggs either and I usually have Whole30 foods for breakfast. Sausage with soup, bacon with brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes stuffed with spinach and cranberries, etc. You will have to change the idea of what a normal American breakfast is.

    • I have struggled with hormonal acne ever since stopping my birth control. i recently introduced estroblock into my diet as well as vitex berry, and my hormone levels seem to be balancing out. No more acne, or oily skin or scalp. I have also been eating more veggies and have cut out all processed foods, veg oils, and trying to limit breads to only sourdough fermented. It’s working well… I would def try it. You can read more about it from the love vitamins blog!

    • I’m a little surprised you’ve having acne probs since you’re drinking lemon juice. I went to an acupuncturist many years ago for my adult acne and, in addition to acupuncture treatment, he told me to consume as many “yin” fruits and vegetables as possible. Those include carrots, spinach, lettuce, radish, tomatoes & “bitter melon” — which I’ve never been brave enough to eat. Lemon juice is a huge help ( a “few drops, several times a day”). When I put it in water, I get acid stomach; yet, in cranberry juice I have no probs. Sweating (via exercise or sauna) is a big help too. It releases trapped heat, he told me. Good luck.

    • Hi My name is Lenore and found out i am allergic to eggs and dairy. I need to lose weight and find it impossible with eliminating these foods. I don’t know what to eat for breakfast!!!! Oatmeal is to many carbs for breakfast for me. I am hungry and hour later, What are you eating for breakfast?

      • I feel your pain. Taking out dairy can seem challenging. I have found a good vegan, cold processed protein powder (no dairy, soy or gluten) that has 20 grams of protein. I make smoothie, I add chia seeds, almond butter, kale, fruits, spinach (what ever I feel like that day) and either almond milk or coconut milk. I have a shake every morning and love it.

  5. Nice article, Lauren.
    However, I would like to point out that this paragraph is inaccurate:
    “Insulin resistance – When we consume a large amount of refined carbs with very little fat and protein, our blood sugar spikes very high and the pancreas frantically overcompensates with insulin release. This overcompensation of insulin eventually causes insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes if poor dietary practices are continued. The good news, however, is that it can an be reversed through a healthy diet that balances your blood sugar.”

    You are describing diabetes type 2, not just diabetes. There are at least two sorts of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
    Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disease and it’s not exclusively (or mainly) linked to insulin resistance. There are different causes and it cannot be fixed by diet alone, although a good diet will lead to a more stable blood sugar and reduce/eliminate the risk of having diabetes related complications.
    I would also like to point out that there is a link between diabetes type 1 and celiac disease (they are both autoimmune diseases) so if you have one of those it’s a good idea to be tested for the other.

  6. I am new to your blog and am learning so much! That surprises me since I discovered and adapted Atkins way back in the 80s and have always loved reading about health and nutrition. This one article is jam-packed with so much information! In particular I was surprised to hear my cardioid exercise routine might not be the best approach. I am happy to rethink that and appreciate all the research you put into your blog. Love the recipe too!

  7. Just a few comments after your interesting article. #1 – while I am not questioning or validating any of your comments, I would appreciate references to all you cite. This is something we learned in our college English courses, but seems to have been abandoned in the blogging world. With such an easy to confuse subject matter, having acurate, scientific back-up woud set you appart in the muddy waters of blogger opinion vs fact. #2 There are a few incomplete sentences that leave me confused as I read through an already confusing topic, such as” It is healthful for the body store of glycogen, but stress…….” Thank you.

  8. I love all your articles. I am excited to try the oils you mentioned in your last post. I am a vegetarian and usually don’t eat breakfast. I seem to be starving all day on the days I have breakfast. I usually have some type of egg while dis no baked goods and a veggie sausage. Any suggestions.?
    Thanks Lisa

  9. I am not hungry for breakfast if I wake up too early. For instance, waking up at 5 in the morning doesn’t work for me. Forcing myself to eat that early stimulates my gag reflex, but drinking a smoothie or protein shake doesn’t cause a problem. If I wake up at 7, I can eat right away. Is this also caused by low stomach acid or could it be from something else?

  10. It seems to me via your posts that it is beneficial to eat protein and fats and carbs together in the same meal so as to stabilize blood sugar. So what about food combining?- Where you don’t mix starches and protein in the same meal, etc. due to different mediums being used to digest the different substances. Is food combining a real thing or unfounded?

  11. Lauren,

    I would like to know your thoughts on dairy. You may already have a post that I’ve missed. If that’s so, please direct me to it. But I not only have a problem with Candida (2 years now) but also acne as of the past few months. I decided to stop my birth control after 12 years because I knew it was only hurting my health. I didn’t know if dairy was contributing to my acne so I tried to cut it out along with the gluten and white sugar. I’ve also had issues with IBS which I thought could be dairy related but am realizing that could be Candida related as well. I have to mention I took Depo for all of those years which I only realized about 6 months ago is as dangerous as it is. I know, I know. But I’m still learning. I now spend most of my free time researching all of the above. Needless to say, it wreaked havoc on my hormones. I believe I’m on the right track but can’t seem to completely kick this issue. Could you please share your thoughts on what I mentioned and possibly help steer me in the right direction with the dairy dilemma? Thanks in advance!

  12. Thank you so much for this informative article. I have to deal with reactive hypoglycemia, and work a very physically exerting job in the evenings (UPS – Warehouse Work) I started dealing with anxiety also in the past month, so now more than ever I have to make sure my blood sugar is stabilized . Been eating a serving of organic oatmeal 3 times a day (if that helps) One egg with it in the morning. Some type of beef or chicken before i go in to work, along with B-Complex Vitamin, Fish Oil, and Magnesium Citrate supplement. I get home at midnight and have to eat my meal before bed. Just ordered the jar of of viva labs organic coconut oil a few days ago from amazon.

    I’m just trying to keep my blood sugar stabilized and prevent any plunges. Any other tips would be appreciated.
    Thank You 🙂

  13. Hey Lauren,

    Thanks for such a great article!! I have just discovered about my PMS (cyclic headaches, bloating, acne, exhaustion, allergies) being caused by low blood sugar, why has no one ever told me – it would also explain or for me be linked to my adrenal fatigue (I also have very large fibroids). You wrote: “With that said, I believe that eating every 2-3 hours is often necessary to keep blood sugar balanced when dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, inflammation, and/or compromised digestion.” The book I read recommends eating starchy carbs (small meals) every 3 hours. I was wondering if you knew of a specific diet or had a diet plan I could follow. At the moment I’m “winging it” and would feel more confident if I knew I was getting it right . Thanks heaps, Jo 🙂

  14. Hey Lauren,

    Thank you for an awesome article (this one and candida one too).
    I wanted to ask about grains: I totally understand about ones you wrote about, but I wanted to ask if buckwheat and/or brown rice are allowed? They seem fine and healthy?

    Thank you!

  15. Nice article and very wise.

    I tend to think that with candida and all other diseases we often make an error of judgment. We should not fight against or try to beat something, we sould act for, in favor of (health for example).

    I’m not an expert in candida, neither in nutrition etc…but it seems to me very clear that the cause of candida is an unbalanced state. A nutritional, emotional , lifestyle disorder may have created the rise of something (fungus in this case) to balance with this disorder.
    So, if people are unbalanced, they should take gradual nutritional and emotional actions to recover health. In Ayurveda they say most of the disease come from a digestion problem (accumulation of toxicity) and when they try to cure a patient they cure the patient (body and mind) not the disease.
    People who are very strict with their diet may have results, but i’m afraid that they get results on the symptoms not the cause.

  16. Great article. I found it when searching about fats slowing absorption of carbs. I am a big proponent of healthy fats, so your article fits with my own research and beliefs. In regards to the cardio, I only have a limited time for fitness. So I power walk, interval style…with warm up, then about 20 minutes of alternating a minute or two of strenuous pace with two minutes of recovery…Then a cool down. Dr. Mark Hyman advises interval over steady paced exercise. Do you think that the frequent recovery might mitigate the cortisol response?

  17. Thank you for the tips. I will try implementing most of them. What do you think about ancient grains such as einkorn and emmer? Soaking and sprouting? Eating grains is Biblical, so I believe they do have a place in the diet, barring gut issues such as yours.

  18. I don’t have a comment I wanted to know if you have ever heard of h pylori rare bacteria A? I was with this for 6 years or more before I finally changed doctors and with a simple blood test it came back positive! Within 2months I was giving 62 thousand mg of antibiotic plus acid reducer ect… My body has suffered a great deal of pain and my stomach will never be the same!!!my body is so out of whack its not funny if I could we wish for one thing to be somewhat normal it would be that my body temperature would be back to normal I sweat all the time I live in a four season state I don’t wear a coat in Jan just layer so I can take off when I need to find any kind of relief!I hope that you can shed some light I am walking on a tight rope.may god bless.

  19. I’m quite frustrated by your article. Considering its title, it implies types of foods to go for as well. Instead, you offer no advice here except the obvious. Going by the comments, a lot of people want to know which types of food to go look for, which you’ve failed to supply.

  20. You disseminate a lot of important points that are key when trying to stabilize metabolism, but you also make a lot of unscientific statements. For instance, your note on 3: “Always eat breakfast.” lest it break down muscle (“not fat!!”). Where do you get this? Having woken up, your system is still flush with HGH which specifically protects muscle cells from undergoing neoglucogenesis. Your body will continue to burn fat until you throw it some sugar in the morning, at which point it will, from then on, induce neoglucogenesis, using protein of muscle cells, to break down and make sugar. The small meal thing perpetuates this. In fact, the only real way to target burn fat over muscle and other “useful” tissue is to avoid frequent eating. Even if you’re diabetic, you simply have to eat Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs, in coconut oil) and switch your fuel from catabolic carbohydrates towards more stable fats.

    Another thing you warn of is “denatured” fatty acids. Just so you know, the first thing our body does upon ingestion is deliberately denature the fatty acids so that they can be broken down into their simple components. We do not absorb protein whole-sale, otherwise things like prion infections, or even viral, would be much more frequent.

    Also, gluten is not inherently bad. It’s just a protein, it’s not some mystical substance. Some people have an immune response to it, others don’t. Whole grains CAN be a good part of people’s diets, containing a lot of vitamins and minerals that meats do not. But I absolutely agree that simple carbs are going to wreck havoc on glucose balance.

    Those “essential oils” which “resonate with the frequency of the plant they’re harvested from” are ridiculous hogwash. We only have 3 fatty acids we need from diet, and can interconvert without an issue to the others we need for various cellular process. That crap is snake-oil. If our bodies needed some specific plant for some specific problem, our ancestors would have been screwed when we didn’t have the internet we could conveniently order lilac nectar for “Gallbladder Flow^tm.”

  21. Hi Lauren,

    I read many articles from nutritionists and doctors, they all said not to combine carbohydrate foods with protein foods or protein foods with fats, because this will cause the foods to be undigested. So, if you say we should add a little protein and a little good fat to carbohydrate foods to control blood sugar then what is the ratio of carbohydrate: : protein : fat for maintaining good digestion and for controlling blood sugar at the same time?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks.

  22. I am having episodes of sugar level varying from 61-78 fasting and 2 hours after meals.
    My doctor said not to worry unless you have symptoms. She sent me to endocrinologist. He said this is normal? Did my work up all labs in range. Thyroid, different hormones. Even high level of insulin came normal.
    What should I do? I do not feel comfortable with these low sugars.
    Thank you
    Stephanie

  23. I was on a long course of antibiiotics which wrecked my digestion.The nausea was horrific,I lost 20 pounds in a mnth…mostly muscle as I was not eating much protein.I was diagnosed with protein deficiency,had to force mysellf to eat.I was slowly getting better when I developed gastritis.I had low blood sugar and insomnia.Finally was helped by a gastro and integrative doctor.I was given a high power probiotic,liquid b and d (with k)vitamins and a special protein drink to sip through the day.You need b vitamins to help digestion and to help balance blood sugar.I am now sleeping and can go three hours before i have to eat.Complex carbs were very important as I had depleted my glucagon stores.I know many of you are anti gluten ,but I felt the worst when I was advised to go gluten free.Everyone is different,but we all need the basic vitamins and minerals.

    • My story is identical to yours. Can you send me more info so I could share with my practitioner? What supplements did they give you and what test determined the cause. I took augmentin and in the same baot for last 5 months.

  24. I had very low blood sugar when I was young and now as an adult I eat very healthy , I tend to need a snack before bed . What would u suggest is a good filing snack ? I workout 1.5 a day weights and. Cardio . I am not over weight just want to loose a little fat on my butt and thighs . I keep hitting a wall . Could it be my blood sugar hormones keeping me from this goal or maybe my workouts are too intense ?

  25. i am not over weight and i have just been told that my A1 C is 6..2 . wondering if 40 mg of lipitor is contributing to my rise in A1C. they gave me a montior to keep a log on the drug and then taking half of a dose. so far its been 99 in the morning. I consume about 100 grams of carbs a day and swim and walk. Any advice?

  26. Hi Lauren,

    I read your article and I was aware of a lot of this information. I am struggling on how to form a meal and snack that will raise my blood sugar but not spike it. I started increasing my physical activity this past spring and have been struggling with blood sugar lows and highs. I saw a nutritionist who told me to keep doing what I was doing but to up my protein. I am at about 30g per meal and almost double that for the carbs, I then struggle with blood sugar spikes. Any specific meal and snack examples that you can give?

  27. Hi Lauren! I’m wondering if you can direct me to your source for this claim:
    “Whenever we eat a source of carbohydrate, it should be accompanied by a quality source of fat. Fat slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and prevents sugar highs and sugar crashes.”

    Thanks! 🙂
    Hannah

  28. Actually I’m afraid you are perpetuating a meme by saying that adding fat to carbs decreases blood sugar raising effect. The opposite is actually true. Evidence shows that due to mechanisms tied up in the Randall cycle adding fat, especially saturated, to carbs increases the amount of insulin needed to maintain homeostatic blood sugar levels. Think about this from an evolutionary standpoint: hunter gatherers rarely consumed fat and carbs at the same time. They would get a kill infrequently and gorge on fat. In the meantime they would feast on roots, shoots, leaves, fruit and some nuts/seeds when available.

  29. What are your thoughts on beans? Just as bad as grains? Giving up grains is easy for me, but beans are hard. I have done the AIP diet and noticed no difference other than gluten, dairy and eggs being as issue.. Grains and beans did not bother me. I think the reason I didn’t feel better was that I had candida which I am now treating.. Should I try the diet again? My oxalates are high which make it hard to eat enough carbs without beans or grains since I can’t do sweet potatoes or beets.. I do not do well with very low carb as I am hypo and have adrenal issues.

  30. My son is diabetes 1 and we’ll we trying to give him natural foods and cutting out all shop processed foods etc. I took him to the doc and she said that he needs to eat more carbs or he won’t grow.. is this true.? also what is the best carbs to give him that won’t spike his sugar.? he is on very little insulin about 1 unit of long acting insulin a day and we’ll I’m scared that if I give him more “human made carbs it will throw his system off guard” so what carbs can I give him that won’t spike his sugar and what foods promote growth . What foods are best to give him at night to wake up with a normal blood suger of lower than 8

  31. Hello Lauren,
    Great article! My blood sugar is generally good throughout the day and I try to eat food that will not cause a sugar spike, However, I have experienced something puzzling that I can’t find the answer to. Before i go to bed, my reading is usually around 5.2 or so – but when I measure myself first thing in the morning it is sometimes around 6.1. Why would this be?? What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks very much!

  32. Is it cool to follow this regimen if trying to resolve candida-related issues? I’ve read (on this site as well as others) that it is best to stay grain AND starch free, if trying to resolve the root of any supposed candida symptoms. I’m taking probiotics and digestive enzymes as prescribed by my family’s naturopathic doctor. In this context is it okay to have some natural carbs (such as those in root vegetables) balanced with healthy fats as you say, and still heal the gut?

    Any insight would be appreciated, bless.

  33. Hi Lauren – great article – my dear departed farmer father used to say “eat the bacon – one day it will be good for you” and your article is the first I have read that confirms that! A lot of the “food fads” are just that, and as our knowledge builds, things change!
    I hope that you might spend a few minutes to reply to this enquiry. I now live in a poor rural village in Bali. My driver Gusti, used to work in one of the big tourist hotels in the city, but after being diagnosed with diabetes (and he doesn’t know which type) and being on expensive medications, he and his wife decided to move back to the village, and try to manage this problem like you, with nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead. However, the knowledge is low, access to the internet non-existent, and the diet here is mainly rice – white, polished, hybrid and grown with chemicals. He lives in a family complex with 38 others, and so the options are not many, and the culture is very much about shared foods, and nobody gets special treatment. See my blog https://saktigoddess.blogspot.co.id/2016/10/bali-everyday-food.html I am trying to make a simple list of foods that will help him and his family to understand why he must take more of the protein foods and less of the rice. As the food knowledge here is about 30 years behind, this list/cartoon needs to be almost child-like in it’s simplicity 🙂 Hope you can help. Kind Regards Rhonda

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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