Podcast Episode 171: Tips to Balance Blood Sugar and Optimize Metabolic Health Part 2

Welcome to the second part of our metabolic health episode! Here you’ll learn more strategies to support your insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as take a closer look at how glucose impacts your mood, sleep, cycle, and energy.

You can find all the info and links about this episode at https://holisticwellness.ca/episode171.

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Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • More tips to support your insulin and blood sugar levels and manage your glucose.
  • How exercise and movement impact your glucose
  • Why sleep is critical to glucose regulation and overall metabolic health
  • Stress management techniques 


Key Takeaways:

  • A study has shown that when about one ounce of white vinegar was consumed with a carbohydrate-rich meal, post-meal glucose spikes and insulin levels were significantly lower.
  • Apple cider vinegar is not only great for digestion but also for supporting post-meal glucose.
  • According to one study, a single session of exercise at even a mild intensity has the ability to significantly increase insulin sensitivity the very next day.
  • A large body of research also shows that moderate aerobic exercise 30 minutes, three times a week over an eight-week period improves insulin resistance and glycaemic control, including your fasting glucose levels.
  • Similarly, high-intensity training improves both fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity in as short as two weeks. The more muscle mass that you can build, it’s going to support how your body uptakes glucose.
  • A short stint of sleep deprivation can send the body into a pathological metabolic state. The good news is that this is reversible. All you need to do is improve your sleep duration for two days.
  • Stress raises our glucose levels. Studies have shown a significant correlation between perceived work-related stress and increased levels of circulating glucose.
  • Cinnamon is a delicious and effective way to blunt some of those glucose surges.


Action Steps:

Implement these strategies:

  • Use vinegar to support your glucose. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 10 to 15 minutes before you eat your meal, or mix it with a little bit of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning.
  • Exercise and incorporate movement.
  • Prioritize sleep. You need to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours per night to have healthy and proper glucose regulation.
  • Control your stress. Practice stress management techniques such as deep diaphragmatic breathing for 20 minutes a day and twice-weekly meditation.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on your meals.


Samantha said:

“If you feel like you’re having a bit of this resistance with working out and exercise, that could be one way to reframe it. You’re doing this because you love yourself. You’re doing this because you want to support your body and you want to love your body.”


“No matter how good your diet is, sleep plays a really key role here in your overall metabolic function.”


Thanks for listening!


Important Announcements:

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Links to things I talk about in the show:

  • Save $25 off the NutriSense continuous glucose monitor with the coupon code HEALTHYHORMONES at https://www.nutrisense.io/.
  • Head to eatonhemp.com to save 20% off site-wide with the coupon code HEALTHYHORMONES. I absolutely love the Maple toasted hemp seeds and the full spectrum extra-strength CBD oil, which I use before bed. https://eatonhemp.com
  • My favorite pendant for EMF protection and stress support. Save up to 50% off the HARMONI Pendant by clicking this link here –>  https://www.wendymyersdetox.com/2CN2HP5/BP658/?uid=39
  • Save 15% off any Organifi Products at organifishop.com. Check out the NEW Organifi Harmony Women’s Hormone Balancing Blend and their delicious Green Juice Powder. Also, their GOLD in Pumpkin spice is absolutely delicious for this time of year. I’m sipping on one right now with coconut milk. Use code HEALTHYHORMONES to save! –> https://www.organifishop.com
  • Check out CANPREV products across Canadian Health Food Stores and online at Natures-Source.ca – I personally LOVE their MYCO10 and Collagen powder. I also like adding their amino acids to my pre or post-workout smoothies. My go-to’s are L-glutamine and L-tyrosine. Head to https://canprev.ca for more info on Canprev products. Be sure to check out the NEW Liposomals from Canprev. Currently, I’m using their Vitamin C and Curcumin Liposomal and more products are launching soon! – https://canprev.ca/products/curcumin100-liposomal


Also, CanPrev’s NEW Omega Twists taste amazing. Learn more about them here – https://canprev.ca/products/omega-twist.


Where you can find me:

Samantha’s Instagram

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Samantha’s Website

Samantha’s Twitter

Healthy Hormones for Women Podcast Private Community on Facebook


How you can work with me:



HHFW171_Tips to Balance Blood Sugar and Optimize Metabolic Health-Part 2

[00:00:00] Happy Tuesday, ladies, we are back with the second part of our metabolic health episode and strategies that can really help you to support your insulin and your blood sugar levels, and really help you manage your glucose, which can have such an impact on your moods and your sleep and your energy and your cycle and all of the things. And so it’s really important that we are really conscious of our blood [00:01:00] sugar and eating in a way, exercising in a way, moving in a way, sleeping in a way, doing all the things that’s really optimizing our blood sugar because like I said, it can really have such a impact symptomatically on how we feel.

[00:01:13] And I was sharing in the last episode that I was starting to really notice, you know, just things with like intermittent fasting and maybe fasting a little bit too long or too frequently throughout the week. And I was starting to notice some, quite some energy dips and especially after exercise and then sitting down to eat my meal, I was like literally falling asleep at the table and it just became one of those things were it was time for me to change that up and really be more conscious of fueling my body and fueling it earlier in the day. I talked about time-restricted eating last time. I talked about exploring intermittent fasting, but also I really want you to be conscious of doing it in a way that really aligns with you and make sense for you and where you’re at with your health.

[00:01:56] And so I’ve just been pushing my meals up a little bit earlier [00:02:00] instead of eating, later and instead of, you know, pushing that main meal, that first meal of the day til so late in the day. And, it’s been really benefiting me and it’s really helped with my energy levels overall. And, I’m feeling so much better for it because, you know, there’s nothing worse than going through your day and just like literally feeling like a walking zombie. And I definitely had quite a few days of that and it wasn’t feeling so good. So that was just my body’s way of saying, hey, something’s not working, we need more food, we need more fuel, let’s change this up, do this in a different way and I really tuned into that and, just change things up. 

[00:02:36] So that’s what it’s all about. It’s about being flexible with where you are in what state of health you’re in and what stage of life you’re in and just really recognizing that sometimes, you know, things that we’ve been doing are no longer supportive of where we are now and it’s important to just be flexible to be able to change that and just really honor that for yourself. 

[00:02:57] So today I want to dive into a few more tips that you can [00:03:00] incorporate to really support your glucose levels. And this first tip that I’ve got up to share might sound really strange but it is using vinegar to support your glucose. And I know that sounds really strange so there was actually this study that showed when about one ounce of white vinegar was consumed with a carbohydrate-rich meal, post-meal glucose spikes and insulin levels were significantly lower, which is crazy. I mean, probably nobody wants to have white vinegar but what you can use is apple cider vinegar. So there has also been some research showing how beneficial apple cider vinegar is for really supporting that post-meal glucose and the post-meal glucose variability as well, right, that up and down spike. We don’t want it too high. We don’t want it too low. So, if you want to try taking a tablespoon about 10 to 15 minutes before you eat your meal, especially if you’re wearing a [00:04:00] continuous glucose monitor, then that could be something to really try out. I really wanted to do that for myself and I actually didn’t realize to incorporate that until like right near the end, when I took off the monitor. So next time, when I wear it, I will definitely do that and report back and see the changes that I had on me. So I think that’s a really simple thing that we can incorporate. I mean even having a little bit of apple cider vinegar in your salad dressing, you know, so to speak, that could be a really great way to incorporate that vinegar as well if you just don’t want to drink it. It’s actually really great for digestion. It’s really great for like stimulating your digestive juices so that you can digest your food better and assimilate and absorb your nutrients better. So maybe what you could do, this is what I used to do back in the day, is I would mix it with just a little bit of warm water and I would just drink that, actually first thing in the morning, Sometimes I would do lemon water or sometimes I would do the apple cider vinegar and warm water and just kind of play it out and feel it out and what makes sense for me on that particular day.

[00:04:58] So that could be something that you might want to play [00:05:00] around with. But yes, one ounce of white vinegar or try one ounce of apple cider vinegar pre-meal and see if that has an impact. So basically taking it along with a carb-rich meal is where it really appears to generate a lower post-meal glucose spike based on the study.

[00:05:16] Okay, next tip, (tip#2)  exercise and movement. This is really important. Exercise, it pretty much in any form is going to improve our metabolic health and our glucose overall. And there was a study that showed that a single session of exercise at even a mild intensity, had the ability to significantly increase insulin sensitivity the very next day. So this is why you have to incorporate movement and it has to be regular and consistent and in a way that feels right for you, right. So I mentioned in the last episode that I’ve been really conscious of slowing down my workouts. I have been [00:06:00] doing my workouts in a way that are,I mean, they’re short, they’re like 30 to 40 minutes and also just really conscious of like joint mobility and not doing things that hurt. Like there are some exercises where, you know, it’s just uncomfortable and because I’m at a desk and I’m at a computer, like I’m conscious of trying to stand up a lot, I do have a stand-up desk,still like I’m hunched over my computer and I get a lot of tension and knots in my neck and in and around like my shoulder blades and it gets really uncomfortable. Then I’m adding inback exercises and shoulder exercises and all of that and it’s just like making it all worse and I’m getting more attention in that area. So I’ve just been really conscious of working out in a way that’s really going to support my joints and my muscles and so that I’m just not in pain, that I’m not uncomfortable, right. So, just been like researching, like, okay, doing this specific exercise, doesn’t feel so good, but what’s the alternative way where, you [00:07:00] know, I could, for example, still work my triceps, but do it in a different way. You know, looking at things like that.

[00:07:05] And of course I live with the amazing expert, Gaetan, when it comes to all things exercise physiology and doing it in a way that isn’t going to overload the body. So having his feedback is so amazing and he really does help me with that. So it’s just things like that. You know, it’s just being really conscious and like slowing things down. I’m not here to like rush through anything. I’m here to tune into my body and move my body because I love my body and I want to support my body in the best way possible. And if you feel like maybe you’re having a bit of this resistance with working out an exercise, that could really be one way to kind of reframe it. It’s just like, you’re doing this because you love yourself. You’re doing this because you want to support your body and you want to love your body. And it’s one of the ways we can give love to our body. And so, I haven’t been lifting too heavy. I mean, again, it kind of depends. I also think about where I am in my cycle [00:08:00] and my energy level. Some days and especially during my follicular phase, I feel like I can lift a lot heavier. And whereas in my luteal I might slow it down a bit and bring that intensity down a bit. All right. So again, another little rant I often go off on, but you know, exercise and movement is so important and there really is a large body of research that shows that just even moderate aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week, over an eight-week period improves insulin resistance and glycaemic control, including your fasting glucose levels. So obviously you fast overnight when you’re sleeping, what is that number when you first wake up in the morning, we don’t want that number to be too high, your fasting glucose. That’s really important. And similarly, even high intensity training improves both fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity in as little as two weeks. And so whether it’s aerobic, high-intensity, and of course, even weight training and weightlifting is going to have a benefit as well because the more muscle mass that you can build, it’s actually [00:09:00] going to support how your body uptakes glucose, so that’s going to be really important too. 

[00:09:04] And, you know, outside of glucose and blood sugar and all of that, exercise and just weightlifting, I’ve said about it so many times, weightlifting specifically, is so key because it really does help to support your bone density and we lose that bone density as we age. And especially as our estrogen starts to decline when we age,estrogen has such a protective mechanism with our bones and so we’re losing that estrogen, we’re losing more of that bone density, we’re really starting to become a lot more frail. And so we want to really be conscious of maintaining that strength. And this is why I’m such a big proponent for weight training and weightlifting. 

[00:09:41] Ad Spot

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[00:10:56] It really is so delicious and even their [00:11:00] protein powder, same thing, monk fruit sweetener, they have their chocolate gold, their chocolate harmony, which I’m a really big fan of, so many great products that isn’t going to impact your blood sugar and they absolutely taste amazing. So you can save 15% off site-wide at https://www.organifishop.com. Use the coupon code HEALTHYHORMONES at checkout to save your 15% off. 

[00:11:22] And then also something else that I’ve been talking about in this episode is making sure you’re getting enough protein, fat and fiber. And fiber can be a little bit challenging to get in. If you are eating the organic, toasted superseeds from Eaton Hemp, you actually get 4 grams of fiber in 2 tablespoons. So it could actually be pretty easy to get four tablespoons a day and get 8 grams of fiber right there. I love to sprinkle these on my salads. I also will top them on my smoothies. And when I drink on my smoothies, I have a little bit of crunch. You can add them into like a smoothie bowl or an oatmeal bowl, and you’re going to get some [00:12:00] really great fiber. You’re also going to give some really great fat. There’s about 4.5 grams of fat for just 2 tablespoons. And that’s going to also be very satiating and supportive for you as well. And then of course, hemp seeds, right? Just regular hemp hearts. Those are delicious, loaded with protein, loaded with a lot of polyunsaturated fats, you’re going to get higher fat in there, closer to 14 grams and using that as well in smoothies and salads and oatmeal bowls and things like that throughout the day, it’s going to be a great way to get in some healthy fats. And I actually liked to put a little bit of butter on my sweet potato after I’ve roasted it. I put a little bit of butter and then I add on some of the hemp hearts on top of mysweet potato. And I will also add a little bit of the Everything Bagel Seasoning to my sweet potato and that is just like my go-to. I love it so much. So that could be a really great way to up the ante on fiber, fat, and protein in your meals to balance your blood [00:13:00] sugar. You can save 20% off at Eaton Hemp. Head to their website, https://eatonhemp.com. Use the coupon code, HEALTHYHORMONES, and save 20% off. All right, let’s get back to our episode.

[00:13:10] Resume Main Segment

[00:13:10] So exercise and movement that is tip number two. Tip number one is to use vinegar, try out some apple cider vinegar. Tip number three is to prioritize sleep. This is a really big one, something that I’ve prioritized over the last few years, especially with my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, because my sleep was just terrible in the beginning. In fact, it was not sleeping and like constantly waking that was giving me insight into, something’s not right here. And that’s when I started to discover, okay, Hashimoto’s, and I went and did testing and the whole thing. So sleep is so important, it’s absolutely critical to glucose regulation and just metabolic health overall. Restricting sleep to four hours per night for just five days [00:14:00] has been shown to significantly decrease glycaemic control and metabolic health. And in one study, this amount of sleep deprivation led to a higher glucose response to specific foods and a 40% lower rate of glucose clearance from the blood during a glucose tolerance test, compared with participants who got 12 hours of sleep per night.

[00:14:23] So you might be thinking, oh my God, I can’t get 12 hours of sleep, that’s crazy. And especially if you’re a new mom out there,I definitely can understand, that’s not going to be the case for you. But really trying to prioritize your sleep is going to be so key. And, just in partial sleep deprivation generates metabolic responses and otherwise healthy individuals that appear to be similar to people with clinically impaired glucose tolerance. So just like a short stint of sleep deprivation can send the body into some like real pathological, metabolic [00:15:00] states. So really being conscious of that and the good news though is that it’s reversible in as little as two days by improving your sleep duration. So you need at least a good seven to nine hours per night for most adults to have healthy and proper glucose regulation.

[00:15:16] So no matter how good your diet is, sleep plays a really key role here in your overall metabolic function. So really keep that in mind. If you are like, I’m eating all the right things, I’m doing everything right, I’m getting all my protein, my fat, like all of it, and you’re still finding that your numbers, especially if you’re tracking with a glucose monitor are just not where they should be, maybe sleep is something that you really need to look at and start prioritizing. Okay, I think that was tip number three. Tip number four, stress. Control your stress. Stress is going to raise our glucose levels. And if we really want optimal metabolic health, we really need to take of managing the stress in our lives and studies have shown a significant correlation [00:16:00] between perceived work-related stress and increased levels of circulating glucose.

[00:16:06] Now there’s lots of stress management techniques, fortunately, which is so great, that can be really effective at reducing glucose levels. And there was,in a study of insulin resistant individuals, so patients with type two diabetes, those who engaged in a program of 20 minutes of daily diaphragmatic breathing exercises, they showed a reduced fasting blood glucose and post-meal glucose levels in and around the eighth and ninth week, compared to those who did not do any breathing intervention. So that is really huge. Sitting for 20 minutes every day and doing that really deep diaphragmatic breathing where you are, I think so many of us like breathe with our chest and we breathe with our shoulders, I literally think of my mother right now because when I tell her to like, mom, can you just calm down and breathe, and I see her breathe and like her shoulders go right up to her ears and I’m like, [00:17:00] you’re not breathing properly. It comes from like deep within your belly. So when you are inhaling, I want you to expandthat belly button out, like really feel your belly, push that out. And then when you inhale, pull out that belly button into the spine and really empty that all out and just slow and controlled. That is deep diaphragmatic breathing and doing that for 20 minutes a day is going to have a huge impact on your metabolic health and additionally, six months of twice weekly meditation practice in individuals with heart disease has been shown to result in significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, post-meal blood sugar, and also their hemoglobin A1C. So bottom line, stress is going to impact us negatively, basically from head to toe and it’s really going to negatively impact our glucose levels. And so this is why meditation, deep breathing, self-care, sleep, these are all things that [00:18:00] are really going to help manage our stress, and in turn our glucose levels. 

[00:18:04] Okay, next up on the list is to sprinkle some cinnamon. This is my last tip of the day is to sprinkle some cinnamon on your meals. I love cinnamon. I use it literally in every baking recipe and there are compounds in cinnamon that have been found to improve insulin signaling and glycemic control. And it’s just so delicious. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to use it, right? There was actually a study of 41 healthy adults and they were assessed whether glucose levels were improved with taking one gram, three grams or six grams of cinnamon per day for 40 days. And so the participants were instructed to mix their daily dose of cinnamon powder with apple and milk and consume it. And at the end of the 40 day, study those taking doses of cinnamon, the one, three or six grams, all had a statistically [00:19:00] significant drop in the post-meal glucose levels after a standardized meal. So this effect was largest for the group taking six grams of cinnamon and their post-meal glucose levels dropped pretty significantly, like almost 10 points, which is a lot. And additionally, those individuals taking six grams of cinnamon had reduced pre-meal glucose levels. And that’s huge because that was indicating that their baseline glucose during the day was even lower, which is really great. So, based on research, cinnamon can be really helpful in conjunction with obviously everything else. It’s not just going to be like the be-all and end-all and manage everything with your glucose. But it really is a delicious way and an effective way to blunt some of those glucose surges. 

[00:19:48] So you can actually get cinnamon in supplement form and in capsule form. Otherwise, you can be sprinkling it and, you know, smoothies and bowls and all kinds of things that you’re making. But you would probably want to [00:20:00] be more conscious of maybe weighing the cinnamon powder so you can see if you’re getting close to six grams or to see what at least six grams looks like, because that is a lot. So, if that’s too challenging and that’s too hard to manage it and measure it like that every day, then maybe you just want to consider taking a cinnamon supplement.

[00:20:18] So those are my other tips for supporting metabolic health and really optimizing your glucose levels. If you are thinking of getting a continuous glucose monitor, the one that I used is from NutriSense. You can head on over to their website, https://www.nutrisense.io/ and you can save $25 off by using the coupon code, HEALTHYHORMONES. And so basically when you go to their website, they take you through, like, step-by-step, you’re basically going to choose the program that you want, like based on different health conditions or anything like that, you’re going to fill out a questionnaire. You’re going to pay for your glucose monitor. They will ship that out to you. And then you just put that on your arm and you get [00:21:00] started, and then you want to make sure you connect to their app, the NutriSense app. That is what I use during the 14 days and it’s fantastic. I was saying last week that I was able to upload pictures of my meals. It tracks your data all day. The data is still in there, so I can go back and like really,monitor and look at things, if there’s some stuff that I want to look at, you know, after the fact. And so it keeps it all in there for you, it stores it all. And then there’s a dietitian you can connect with on the app and it’s not an additional fee, I don’t believe. They just connect with you on the app and every few days they will come on and send you a message just saying like, you know, here’s what I’m noticing and you know, here’s where maybe your glucose went too high, or maybe try this, like they will give you some pointers. It was really fascinating and very insightful, you know. So they were picking up on things that maybe I may have missed and were just giving me some great feedback. So that was really helpful too. So definitely check it out, https://www.nutrisense.io/, save $25 off your [00:22:00] CGM and you can use the coupon code, HEALTHYHORMONES.

[00:22:03] All right. So that’s it for our episode today. I’d love to hear from you over on Instagram at @holisticwellnessfoodie. If you are implementing any of these strategies, let me know. You can share with me over there. And of course it is so appreciated if you can share our episode. Share it with the women in your life who maybe need some extra tender love and care and support for their health and their hormones. And the more we can share our podcast, the more we can support women globally and that’s really what we’re here to do. So thanks everybody again for tuning in. I will chat with you all next week. Have an awesome day.

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