The Feature Five Flourish Compilation is a selection of articles, podcasts, books, and all things wellness I found insightful and inspiring in the past month. By sharing these resources, my hope is the part of you who desires to be well and serve well move toward the stages of change.
From “I can’t flourish” to “I am flourishing.”
Here’s a look at this May’s compilation:
BeingBrigid Blood Sugar Reset Challenge
It was a blessing to come across Brigid’s blood sugar reset challenge. What drew me to it was learning from an expert Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian about including food diversity in my meals. Surely she was a wealth of knowledge, and I’m grateful to be a part of her free 10-day challenge. One thing I learned to add to my smoothies which I would have never considered doing in the first place, is to ADD CAULIFLOWER RICE! Cauliflower is full of nutrients and rich in fiber (about 3 g in one cup). Try it if you’d like to add more fiber to your smoothies. So my favorite smoothie recipe from the challenge was the Thin Mint Smoothie – easy to make and tastes just like a thin mint. I made a couple of changes to the recipe with stuff I had at home and sharing it with you:
Thin Mint Smoothie ingredients: 2 tbsp nut milk (I used hazelnut milk), 1 cup water or more as needed, 1 serving vanilla protein with 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1.5 cups frozen cauliflower rice, 2 tbsp almond butter, and 1/4 tsp peppermint extract.
Check out Brigid’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/beingbrigid/ – to keep an eye out for her next challenge and also for more recipe ideas to balance your blood sugar and eat more diverse foods.
2. Checking my A1C at home
Last year as I was listening to a health podcast, I found out about an at-home A1C test and wanted to try it. It’s called A1C Now, which includes 4 test strips to measure your A1C every 3 months. For those who aren’t familiar with A1C – it’s a test to measure your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months and what’s commonly used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. Here’s a stoplight graphic showing normal, prediabetes, and diabetes A1C levels.
I tested in late October with a result of 5.1 and intended to do it again in February but forgot about it until this past month. I’m grateful to report it went down to 5.0. While it’s not 100% accurate, I’ve read reports that it’s 99% on average. I still have yet to check it against regular lab testing when the time comes around for my next check-up.
If you’re curious about your A1C and haven’t done one in a while, you can find it on Amazon and Walmart.
3. Celebrating WINS
Along the same line of blood sugar and A1C, I’d like to share a story with you about one individual whose efforts in the past 6 months have normalized her A1C level from prediabetes. She has been a part of the PreventT2 diabetes prevention program I’ve been facilitating as a Lifestyle Coach. This program is a year-long, and we have made it to the halfway point, where we reflect on how far the participants have come since day one.
I always find it incredible how our health can be transformed with positive lifestyle behaviors. In addition to a normal A1C level, she lost over 60 pounds. She talked about how this was the most weight she had lost compared to what she’s done previously. To her, it’s about a lifestyle change and becoming a transformed person who values her health because she wants to be around her children. She has experienced firsthand the toll of diabetes within her family. I’m grateful and humbled to celebrate this WIN with her.
If you’d like to learn more about the PreventT2 program I’m hosting two info sessions in June. You can find out more on this link: bit.ly/esdpp
4. Huberman Lab podcast about Fat Loss
I recently discovered the Huberman Lab podcast and love the research divulged in every episode to optimize our health. This one I found fascinating because it talked about how we can use our nervous system to increase fat burning. A lot of science talk but worthwhile to listen to!
5. Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
This 2021 published book by Dr. Anna Lembke is a gem find at our local library. I started it in May and hope to finish it in June. Unfortunately, my book reading skills have slowed down, but I’m halfway through this book. It’s about keeping our dopamine in check in a world with easy access to things that can lead to overconsumption, whether food, social media, drugs, or alcohol. The list is staggering when it comes to satisfying our needs for pleasure. What’s interesting is the interconnection of pleasure and pain. Because continuously seeking a dopamine hit can lead to addiction which results in pain in the long run.