I finally broke down. My curiosity got the better of me. Whenever I eat, I always want to know what effect that food has on my body. I decided to get a FreeStyle Libre 2 unit.
On top of being able to check my glucose at any time, these little devices add in the ability to see how long you’re actually in a healthy blood sugar target range. It’s quite impressive and eye opening. Not only do I get to have this information at my fingertips but also, I get to keep feeling in my fingertips. It means fewer finger sticks for me.
You wear a small, round, flat sensor on the back of your arm. Each sensor is good for 14 days. You download an app on your phone. The app reads the sensor and gives you your blood sugar reading, along with charts and graphs to break down blood sugar trends over time.
There are a few drawbacks. I’ve managed to knock a couple of the sensors off my arm. Once while I was changing clothes. Another time, I was putting clothes into my laundry hamper and managed to scrape it off. Basically, the only remedy for this is to slow down.
On the positive side, I called customer service to let them know what was going on. They sent me one replacement which works out. I knocked off one sensor when there were 6 more days left on the sensor and the other with 8 days remaining. So, one 14-day replacement sensor is perfect.
The second version of the FreeStyle Libre has alarms. It alerts you when your blood sugar is above or below the target range. I get immediate feedback on how my food choices are affecting my health. If I take a reading and my blood sugar reading shows a straight up arrow or a 45° arrow, I know that my blood sugar is rising. If I get the same effect going the opposite way, depending upon the number, I may need to eat something to prevent a hypoglycemic event.
I do get a bit frustrated at times. In the early morning, the dawn effect occurs. This means every human’s body releases blood sugar to assist us in getting up and starting our day. I do believe this is naturally a slow gradual process. The FreeStyle Libre 2 has other ideas. The alarm goes off as designed. Unfortunately for me, this tends to happen before I’m ready to get up and start my day. I end up losing out on some of my healing sleep.
I called the company and gave some feedback. When my blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, it’s nice to be awoken by an alarm. The alternative is for me to wake up naturally when my blood sugar is much lower. It’s an even more dangerous situation which includes confusion, dizziness, & headaches. I like having the alarm for low blood sugar on at all times.
I don’t like getting woken up when my blood sugar is high. I believe a quick notification when it goes out of range is good. Another notification, when it goes up by 50 more points out of range, would be good. What I would like to see is an ability to adjust the alarms on or off as well as set do not disturb times.
When you first apply it, it takes a bit of time for the sensor to set up and start working accurately. Once the sensor is ready, it directs you to take your first reading. You must double check the sensor’s accuracy with a finger stick blood sugar test for the first few readings.
One of my concerns is that the reading may be way off from a fingerstick blood sugar test, as much as 18 points lower than the sensor. I called the company again. They explain to me that the sensor on my arm is reading differently from fingerstick. I need to wait 10 minutes and check the sensor reading again. When an old-fashioned fingerstick test says your blood sugar is 72, you may be a little bit more concerned with correcting that hypo event.
Yes, I have taken the company’s survey. It asked me all about the improvements that I saw from this sensor. While I was underwhelmed with the customer satisfaction survey, I am extremely impressed with this device. It does not completely remove the need for finger sticks. It has reduced them so much that now I have a feeling coming back in my fingertips.
Now I can start feeling the stickiness from this week's recipe. The Pumpkin Spice Acorn Squash recipe this week can be a spooky side dish or a sweet treat for dessert. One cup of one of these gourds alone has 15 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and 0 grams of sugar.
- 2 medium sized acorn squash
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil butter, divided into 4 parts
- 4 teaspoons sugar free maple syrup, divided into 4 parts
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, divided into 4 parts
Pumpkin Spice Mixture:
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
- 2 teaspoons ginger, ground
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Trim the ends of the squash off and carefully cut in half.
Scrape out the seeds and strings inside the gourd. I like to use an ice cream scoop.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Coat each half completely and place them face down on the paper.
Cook for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, flip the halves over, and add the divided butter onto the 4 squash halves.
Allow the squash to cool for 5 minutes.
Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shell and add a quarter of the pumpkin spice over the top and drizzle with sugar free maple syrup.
Please let me know if this week's recipe makes it into your recipe book. Our diet can play a significant role in undermining or boosting our hard work. I'll keep working on the recipes to prevent this. If you have a favorite dish, please tell me. I'll create a diabetic friendly version, just let me know by leaving a note below. I've learned how to swap blood sugar spiking ingredients for others with a lower glycemic index. It may take a week or two, but I love the challenge. I'll also work on introducing more recipes to help lower the ceramides in the body. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up-to-date lab work.