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Managing your BLOOD SUGAR

Shannon Lepa rsk i helps get your glucose levels under control

Managing blood sugar is the most important hurdle when starting the Happy Hormone Method. If you don’t get this action step right, your endocrine system won’t have the chance to function at an optimal level.

Blood sugar (blood glucose) comes from the foods you consume. Your brain relies on glucose for fuel, and cells need it for energy. After every meal or drink you consume, your pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin tells your cells it’s okay to use this glucose for energy.

It then stores any extra glucose that your body doesn’t immediately need in your liver and cells, for future use. When blood sugar gets low, such as in between meals or during exercise, the glucose is released, but if the extra glucose never gets used up, then it gets stored as fat.

High blood sugar

Major blood sugar problems arise when you consume inflammatory, processed foods, and refined sugars. While some of these may provide a spike of quick energy, they also cause a quick blood sugar drop, which leaves you feeling fatigued, irritated, and craving more sugar, often leading to weight gain. These high-glycaemic foods include things like donuts, sugary cereals, white or wheat toast, soda with artificial sweeteners, fruit juices that are high in sugar and loaded with empty calories, low-calorie ‘diet’ foods, chips, cookies and sweets. Any of these foods will spike your blood glucose to high levels.

The endocrine system relies on blood sugar stability. Your body interprets mismanaged blood sugar as internal stress and, in turn, signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline. From there, all your body can focus on is stabilising blood sugar levels, and you feel the rollercoaster eff ects for the rest of the day. Consistent, elevated blood glucose levels leads to insulin resistance, which can lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Low blood sugar

On the other hand, when you eat too many carbs, the opposite can happen: low blood sugar (or hypoglycaemia). After you consume an excess of carbs, the pancreas can pump out too much insulin. This extra insulin uses up too much of the glucose, and you are back at square one with low blood sugar and feeling hungry again. I think we’ve all experienced this: eating a big meal, feeling hungry just an hour later and wondering why. In addition to eating too many carbs, low blood sugar can result from skipping meals, restricting certain food groups, and not eating enough calories.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

It's never too early to start planning for Christmas if you want the day to go as smoothly as possible, so this issue we've got a whole range of recipes for main courses, sweet treats and even edible gifts to get you started. Trying to stick to a budget this festive period? We've also got 9 tips for hosting a great Christmas without having to spend lots. Also this issue, we share some delicious 30-minute meals, cook up ideas for a delicious Boxing Day brunch and take a lesson from Italian nonnas in how to cook up the best pasta dishes. Plus we've got the final part in our Women on the Frontline of Animal Advocacy series, explore how environmentally sustainable your vegan diet is and reveal how to deal with difficult situations and conversations with non-vegans this Christmas.