Blood sugar & insulin imbalances are at the root of almost all major chronic illnesses.
Yes, its true! Being insulin resistant puts a woman at a much greater risk for many conditions, such as:
Since insulin is a hormone, and all hormones communicate with each other, increased insulin levels disrupt every other hormone system in your body. When insulin isn’t doing its job, it’s nearly impossible to reduce the associated symptoms including; weight gain, difficulty losing weight, low energy levels, brain fog, food cravings, sleep issues, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Lifestyle changes to lower insulin levels and correct insulin resistance can go a long way in keeping inflammation in the body low and helping restore hormone imbalance.
What is insulin, anyway?
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas, and it plays an important role in metabolism. After you eat, your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat – mainly carbohydrates – into glucose, or sugar, which is then released into your bloodstream. With the help of the hormone insulin, glucose can absorb into the cells of your body to be used for energy or storage.
Insulin is also important because it stops sugar from accumulating in your bloodstream. The more you eat, the more insulin your body releases to regulate your blood sugar and keep it within a healthy range.
And then, what is Insulin Resistance?
If our bodies are constantly over producing insulin to combat the effects of excess sugars, carbohydrates and stress, our cells stop responding, or become resistant to insulin. When this happens, too much sugar stays in the blood and builds up, instead of being used by our cells, which can lead to major health problems. If you have insulin resistance, your cells will have trouble absorbing this glucose, and your body will require more insulin to function properly
How can I tell if I’m insulin resistant?
Body composition changes are usually the first tip off — a woman who was once more pear shaped develops more fat around her midsection and turns into more of an apple shape. Other symptoms are:
Can I reverse insulin resistance?
Yes! The most common solution is to stop eating refined carbohydrates. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if a grain was ground into flour to make a product like bread, pasta, or cereal, it is no longer a whole grain, no matter what the package says! Get your carbs from veggies like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. If you can tolerate beans and grains, stick to high protein grains like quinoa. By replacing carbohydrates with protein and fat, it helps the body become more responsive to insulin and balance blood sugar.
Exercise is a terrific insulin sensitizer. HIIT training can work wonders here.
Timed eating. Stop eating 3 hours before bed and have a 12-14 hour fast between dinner and breakfast. If you have dinner at 6 and are done eating at 6:30 PM then wait until 8:30 AM to eat again.
Remember, it’s not sugar itself that’s the problem – it’s the amount and type of sugar consumed. Consuming too much sugar can overwhelm the body over time, to the point where it can no longer handle even small amounts of sugar efficiently.
Sometimes in the health food world, root vegetables get a bad reputation because they are dense with carbohydrates. News flash, all carbohydrates are not bad and not created equally. Let’s put this thought process to rest and think about the foods as a whole.
Root vegetables are REAL WHOLE FOODs and do not have any added ingredients and they are rich in nutrients to boot.
Root vegetables are packed with fiber and antioxidants, and low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. Root vegetables are also excellent sources of carotenoids. These are naturally occurring pigments that may decrease the risk of certain cancers and help protect your eyes. Root vegetables balance hormones by balancing blood sugar through fiber.
Root vegetables evolved to store nutrients for the plants themselves, so they offer us a true powerhouse of energy, minerals, vitamins and more.
The root vegetable family includes:
beets, burdock, carrots, celeriac, daikon, jicama, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, taro, turnips, yams, yucca and more. Pretty much any vegetable you find underground as the edible root of a plant can be considered in the family.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Root Vegetables Should Be Eaten Everyday
But what about the carbs?
Limiting your carb intake because of concerns about weight gain or insulin resistance? You may be trying to avoid “starchy” root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips.
But “low carb” doesn’t mean no carb. If you’re “not eating carbs” it is better to focus on cutting out simple sugars like sucrose and fructose. Both are readily absorbed in the gut, unlike the resistant starch present in many of the root veggies we’re talking about.
Some great ways to get them into your diet daily, is by:
However you choose to add root vegetables to your daily diet, you’ll begin to reap the hormonal benefits in no time.
So...I LOVED our trip to Northern-most California and the Central Oregon. We explored the Bend area, as well as Shasta and Redding, California. Fell in love with the area...and I can tell you that this will NOT be our last trip there!!
Because it is fire season, we did little-to-no-planning for the trip ( hadn't even decided where we would go until 1-2 weeks prior) to ensure there were no fires or smoke in the area.
We decided upon Bend because we had never been. We had heard that the weather in October could range form 80's to 40's...and that was about right!! The beginning of our trip started with high 70's and 80's and by the end fo the trip there were snow in the forecast! Loved having the range of seasons, although made it challenging to pack.
It was an 8 hour drive from the bay area, so we decided to break up the driving and stopped/played at the half way point, Redding. Initially we just expected to stop for sleep, but then we quickly realized there were things to explore there.
Here are the the HIGHLIGHTS from REDDING/SHASTA:
In Bend we stayed at 2 different places - First we spent 4 days in Sunriver (20 miles south of Bend) and stayed at the @riverpines house - couldn’t have been more perfect! It was a log cabin that had tons of activities and amenities, including a fuse ball table, a ping pong table, a basketball hoop, kayak’s, fat tire bikes & cruiser bikes, a Pac Man video game, and a Hottub. All of this nestled in the woods. We had loads of fun here.
Then we also stayed at @riverhousebend, which was a great hotel right on the Deschutes River.
Some of the ACTIVITIES we explored in the the BEND area was:
PLACES TO EAT:
I highly recommend visiting Bend...and especially in October. I would bet visiting during summer and/or winter has it's own specialness, but I can tell you that during Fall there so much to do, the weather was perfect and the contrast of the changing of the leaves added so much beauty!
Vacations are so important for mental health...and after a hiatus from traveling, I couldn't have been more happy with this trip as well as rejuvenated.
What is your next trip???