MOTIVATION MONDAY: Megan Burgess

Megan Burgess

A five-year Navy veteran, Megan was having a significant problem about a year ago: She was passing out while eating. After a glucose tolerance test that revealed she had diabetes, she still had no explanation for her symptom, plus she was developing others — IBS, acid reflux and skin changes — at her knee and ankle joints, the skin was turning black. Whatever was happening was extremely pervasive, and a disabled veteran like Megan could ill afford to keep running up hospital bills.

Ultimately, Megan was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, a disease with many of the same antibodies as celiac disease.

“I did the elimination diet, and a month and a half ago at an eye appointment at the Veterans Affairs office, I was hungry and wanted to eat something before I left,” she said. “At the hospital, they had tuna at the cafeteria, but only three bites in I found it had noodles. Not 45 minutes later, my eyes were rolling in my head and I felt myself almost passing out again. Just sheer will got me home, and once I was, I was on the ground for three hours.”

A fast diet correction was in order, and Megan came in to NUTRISHOP looking for help. She got a meal plan, some NATURE’S FUEL and FORZA ONE protein, and then started going to the gym every other day, beginning in June.

Before fall hit, she ended up losing 50 pounds by removing any and all grain sources, all MSG and all processed foods. Megan eats plenty of meat and 5-6 small meals a day — on dessert plates, even — and all the negative symptoms she had have all but reversed themselves.

The diabetes, skin changes, acid reflux and IBS — gone. The migraines Megan used to get, too, have been reduced by, she estimates, 80 percent or so.

“It feels great that everything is back to normal,” she said. “The help I got at NUTRISHOP has been absolutely essential. They’ve been very encouraging to me, with all my personal trials, and I go in to hang out with them half the time. Every time I discover something new, and they help me out with facts and planning. I can describe a symptom or issue, they can tell me what’s useful. It’s essential for me.”

Stories like Megan’s are the inspirational ones that make this line of work amazing, and we at NUTRISHOP are more than happy to help.

“I had a really complicated situation and they helped me feel a lot less overwhelmed,” Megan says. “They really helped me figure out what I could afford, just do a little at a time and I managed it.”

Diabetes Awareness and Prevention at NUTRISHOP

Both living with and preventing diabetes is an important part of the human diet today. The common associations with high blood sugar, increased body fat and/or obesity and hypertension make diabetes a real, dangerous and prevalent disease, especially in Western cultures, where the “standard” diet guidelines have gone by the wayside.

To battle this, it’s recommended highly that everyone — not only athletes, dieters or fitness models — control their dietary sugar intake. This one step alone is a major victory in preventing and addressing diabetes.

So, while we love the aesthetic benefits of lowering dietary sugar — namely, reduced body fat and a leaner frame — there are big-time health benefits to it as well. The purpose of this week’s blog is to show how dietary changes can make a big difference in your everyday life.

To begin with, we want to explain why protein is needed with each meal to balance blood sugar. The digestion process normally works this way: The body absorbs the sugars from food and converts them to glycogen (blood sugar); then, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin to help carry glycogen as fuel to the muscles and other cells for function. Diabetics’ bodies either don’t respond to the insulin enough, or the pancreas doesn’t make enough (or both).

Over time, too many high-glycemic foods (sugars) blunt the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and that sugar gets stored in the blood and as fat cells. This, fortunately, can be countered with some wise eating habits.

Glycemic weight can be lowered in meals by a higher protein content. Because glucose helps to shuttle protein to the muscles, it is less likely to be stored as fat, and over time, this adds up. The body will not be so used to sugar spikes that it is desensitized to insulin — the very culprit behind diabetes. This is why our advice is to eat some protein with every meal. Keeping your sugar intake low, while balancing it with protein, is a great way to manage blood sugar and body fat.

That is why our meal plans (always FREE with purchase) that help you lose fat are designed to balance blood sugar as well — because that is the best way to burn body fat. We customize these for everyone, and we can tailor your plan to include the healthiest possible plan for you.

Stay tuned throughout the week for the top NUTRISHOP products that are either diabetic-friendly, or that will be safe, low-sugar options.

PROTEIN

One of the best steps you can take in fighting high blood sugar is to make sure you get enough quality protein without adding tons of sugars. For example, most “side dishes” tend to add lots of simple carbohydrates — people eat steak, but they need mashed potatoes; they have chicken, but they need white rice; they have lean ham, but need a sweet roll with it. Being diligent about making sure your clean protein sources don’t get bogged down with high-glycemic foods is important.

But what if you have a sweet tooth? This is where a tasty protein shake can work wonders. NUTRISHOP carries several brands of whey protein powder blends that taste great and have just one gram of sugar, including FORZA PRO and PRO7EIN SYNTHESIS. And remember, a high protein intake often leads to a faster metabolism, which in turn helps to process the occasional simple sugars that much more efficiently. This is how blood sugar and pressure is kept low — regulating the body’s insulin production by controlling simple sugar consumption and encouraging a faster metabolism.

REPLACING SUGAR

One of the top ways you can avoid or deal with blood sugar problems is to cut out simple sugars from your diet, or at the very least limit them. But for those of us with a sweet tooth, the options when it comes to facing a bland diet or just caving in and eating sugar aren’t all that appealing.

Even natural sweeteners — honey, nectar, etc. — don’t help us. They still contain sugars that have the same insulin-spiking glycemic effect and they still carry big calorie totals. That’s not our goal.

That’s where artificial sweeteners come in, but over the years, they’ve taken somewhat of a hit in their reputation and developed a bad rap. NUTRISHOP is all for all-natural products when they promote health, but there are some things in nature that just don’t help our bodies look good or function well. Natural sugar is just one of those things, and when science can step up and provide a healthy alternative, it’s worth listening.

A recent investigation from the Mayo Clinic broke down the different types of artificial sweeteners and found that the reputation they’ve earned are hardly justified, while some “natural” products don’t deserve the hype they get. Below is a look at the most common artificial sweetener, sucralose.

  • Sucralose: Definitely the safest and most common artificial sweetener, you might see it most of the time when you’re fixing up your coffee at Starbucks or in a restaurant. The classic pink-yellow-blue sweetener packets are all actually different types of sweeteners (the yellow one, Splenda, is sucralose). Many of the exclusive NUTRISHOP products contain this favored sweetener, approved by the FDA in the ‘70s as a completely safe alternative to sugar. Sucralose is actually derived from sugar itself, its 600 times sweeter than sugar and is virtually calorie-free.

Food Focus: Grapes

Everyone likes finding out that one of their favorite foods is healthy. Grapes, those delicious, candy-like fruits you probably don’t eat enough of, are just another example!

GrapesOne of the amazing things about grapes is that, despite their relatively high sugar content (it’s a fruit, after all), they actually help burn fat — provided you don’t skin them. Grape skin is loaded with nutrients, including resveratrol, a nutrient that not only can help ease cellular inflammation and reduce the fat-storing capability of existing cells, but that can also improve the dilation of blood vessels and even decrease risk of heart attack.

Plus, the edible seeds in grape are chock full of antioxidants, eliminating free radicals that might cause cellular harm, and in many instances grapeseed extract is used as treatment for those with, or those hoping to prevent, vascular problems. And, to top it off, grapes are a top source of vitamin K.

Next time you’re browsing the produce section, grab a bag of red grapes. They’re great any time (and when frozen, they’re an amazing, guilt-free dessert)!

Eating to Balance Blood Sugar, for Diabetics and General Health

One of the most feared and affecting diseases associated with Americans is diabetes. The “Western diet” has introduced myriad health problems, one of the largest of which is unnatural insensitivity to insulin, which forces high blood sugar. Diabetes has gone hand-in-hand with hypertension, metabolic syndrome and morbid obesity, and many lives have been ruined or even claimed by this debilitating disease.

So, while we love the aesthetic benefits of lowering dietary sugar — namely, reduced body fat and a leaner frame — there are big-time health benefits to it as well. And that’s why we want to make this our Diabetes Nutrition Week: To show how dietary changes can make a big difference in your everyday life.
To begin with, we want to explain why protein is needed with each meal to balance blood sugar. The digestion process normally works this way: The body absorbs the sugars from food and converts them to glycogen (blood sugar); then, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin to help carry glycogen as fuel to the muscles and other cells for function. Diabetics’ bodies either don’t respond to the insulin enough, or the pancreas doesn’t make enough (or both).

Over time, too many high-glycemic foods (sugars) blunt the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and that sugar gets stored in the blood and as fat cells. This, fortunately, can be countered with some wise eating habits.

Glycemic weight can be lowered in meals by a higher protein content. Because glucose helps to shuttle protein to the muscles, it is less likely to be stored as fat, and over time, this adds up. The body will not be so used to sugar spikes that it is desensitized to insulin — the very culprit behind diabetes. This is why our advice is to eat some protein with every meal. Keeping your sugar intake low, while balancing it with protein, is a great way to manage blood sugar and body fat.

That is why our meal plans (always FREE with purchase) that help you lose fat are designed to balance blood sugar as well — because that is the best way to burn body fat. We customize these for everyone, and we can tailor your plan to include the healthiest possible plan for you.