The Truth About My Vegan Blood Sugar, Sticky Blood and Fat

I was always told that the secret to a diet like the Atkins diet was that it would balance out my blood sugar. So I wanted to know more about what my blood sugar was and why it needed balanced out.

The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of  glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic system in your body. If you are not a diabetic, then generally speaking your blood sugar doesn't change much at all during the day. It may rise a little after a good carbohydrate packed meal, but your body does what it needs to {which could be part of the problem here} to balance everything back out.

Insulin is the problem for those that are diabetic, all three types, and it's actually a hormone that is made in the pancreas. It plays a big role in metabolism. Your other brain, the digestive tract breaks down these carbohydrates in your body and converts it to glucose, a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. You body uses that for energy. Exercise opens your fats cells from the inside to let sugar out for energy. Our body uses insulin to open our fat cells from the outside to store insulin. If you have too much sugar in your blood, your body will borrow some of the fat from your HDL and attach sugar to it. This is where our triglycerides and LDL come from.

If you are insulin resistant your body produces the insulin, but doesn't use it effectively. Can you guess what that means? Insulin is required for carbohydrate, fat and proteins to be metabolized, and so if you are resistant then muscle, fat and liver cells do not respond they way they should to this hormone. Experts believe that our obesity epidemic, and especially the inability to get rid of that fat around the waist is being caused by this insulin resistance.

So how does this impact fat loss for a mom like me? 

Your body has two forms of energy however. It can pull energy from sugars, or fats. Did you know that? And did you know that your brain runs on glucose only because it's the fastest energy to grab? If there is no sugar available for your body, it will then turn to fat to start producing energy generally. Unless you eat a ton of protein, and it can then turn the protein into the glucose it needs. I prefer my body to use my fat... as often as possible. Don't you love that? I know I always enjoy reducing the fat cells in my body, because a tiny fat cell is a happier fat cell.

How Stuff Works shared: 

The first line of defense in maintaining energy is to break down carbohydrates, or
 glycogen, into simple glucose molecules -- this process is called glycogenolysis. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the process of lipolysis. The fatty acids can then be broken down directly to get energy, or can be used to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, amino acids can also be used to make glucose.

In the fat cell, other types of lipases work to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These lipases are activated by various hormones, such as glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and fatty acids are released into the blood, and travel to the liver through the bloodstream. Once in the liver, the glycerol and fatty acids can be either further broken down or used to make glucose.

So let's break it down...

This means you don't have to go round and round in this cycle if you do not want to. With the right nutrition your body can create the energy it needs, reduce the fat cells, and run like a well oiled machine... and all without making a batch of pasta. How great is that? When you aren't eat a lot of carbs and grains your body can use things like healthy fats to generate the energy your brain needs. Your brain and body can do the same thing with the amino acids and healthy fats. 

What a lot of people don't know is that like Florence Henderson I have had a heart murmur my entire life. This fall I was finally given the test that I needed to verify that my blood cells aren't nice and fluffy, but instead sticky. Can you imagine why I felt better when I went vegan about seven years ago for new year's. However now I am focusing in natural ways to change this ... Lowering cholesterol which happens as a result of sticky blood and from my research I know that all of those saturated fats aren't my thing. Reducing inflammation and leaning into getting not just enough vegetables bit enough healthy fats. That's a hard one for me with an allergy to avocado, nuts and most seeds. What can you do to take in your wellness today.? I want to be there to see my daughter graduate, get married, have babies, grow old with my husband. I hope to be doing the kind of workouts Florence was doing when I am in my 80s. She's been a huge influence on my life, and I think we were all lucky to have had her as our "mom" growing up!!  She will be missed!

So what does that mean for me? Being on the green side of life, and having confirmed my sticky blood platelets, there are many great plant-based complete proteins. However research saying that plant proteins are incomplete and that you had to combine your vegan proteins was debunked decades ago. I don't do well with saturated fats. In fact I struggle to digest coconut oil. So my answer was to go back to nature. Algae and olives... and of course DARK chocolate!! Do we need anything more? 

Now I do fresh juice every morning, and don't worry about the extra sugar. 
The effects of juices on cardiovascular diseases were widely studied. A large number of studies supported the view that consumption of juice could prevent the increase of blood pressure and improve lipids. (1) I add the pulp into my afternoon smoothie. Vegan protein with all of the great fiber. Make your own vegan grain-free protein bars with your healthy fats. One of my favorites I have to share with you. It's my Tigernut No-Bake Bars. Tigernuts have a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil so they're another great source for me for healthy fats with my nut allergies. 

Tigernut No-Bake Bars

1 3/4 cup tigernuts, soaked overnight and rinsed
1/4 cup hemp seed nut butter
6 pitted dates, large
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. Soak your tigernuts overnight, to make it easy use your sprouting jar. Rinse in the morning and pulse in the food processor. 
  2. Combine tigernuts, hemp seed butter and dates. Process until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides and add in your dry ingredients. 
  3. Add in your chia seeds and protein powder until totally combined into your dough. 
  4. Spray your pan  and add parchment paper to the inside (I like to use a loaf pan which is different) and then evenly press the mixture into the pan. 
  5. Freeze your 'loaf' for about 60 - 90 minutes and then remove from pan and slice into your bars. Place the bars into independent bags and place back into the freezer so you can grab and go with them. They will soften up pretty quickly. 



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