Recipes

3 Delicious Summer Dips!

Here are 3 delicious dips that are perfect for summer! The red pepper hummus, beetroot guacamole and salsa verde are all super easy to make, and will impress your summer party and BBQ guests!

The macros for all dips are listed below, the red pepper hummus, beetroot guacamole and salsa verde provide different colours and different essential nutrients to keep your diet varied!

Estimated macros per portions:

Red pepper hummus:

Calories: 75
Carbohydrates:
5g
of which sugars:
1g
Fibre:
1.5g
Fat:
5.5g
Protein:
2g

Beetroot guacamole:

Calories: 63
Carbohydrates:
7g
of which sugars:
3g
Fibre:
3g
Fat:
4g
Protein:
2g

Salsa Verde:

Calories: 63
Carbohydrates:
0g
of which sugars: 0g
Fibre: 0g
Fat: 7g
Protein: 0g

Ingredients:

Red pepper hummus:

  • 1 can cooked chickpeas
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers (either jarred or pre-roast them yourself)
  • 60ml tahini
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp either extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper
3 summer dips ingredients

Beetroot guacamole:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 80g marinated beetroot
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 spring onion
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • Olive oil if needed
  • Salt and pepper

Salsa Verde:

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 lunch fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil

Methods:

Red pepper hummus:

1.Add the tahini and lemon juice to the blender and blitz until it whips.

2. Next, add the oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper to the tahini mix. Blend for another 30 seconds.

3. Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas then add half to the blender. Blend for around 1 minute, then add the remaining chickpeas along with the roasted red peppers.

chickpeas - 3 summer dips

4. Blend for another minute or so, add olive oil to loosen the mixture if necessary.

5. Next, enjoy!

red pepper hummus

Beetroot guacamole:

1.Scoop the avocado and place in the blender with the coriander, lime juice, tomatoes, spring onion, beetroot, salt and pepper.

2. Blend until smooth, if it is lumpy add some olive oil to add more liquid.

3. Next, enjoy!

Beetroot guacamole

Salsa Verde:

1.Put the capers in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let this sit for 1 minute to remove some excess salt.

2. Next, put the mint, parsley, capers, mustard, olive oil, garlic and apple cider vinegar in a blender. Blitz until roughly chopped and combined.

salsa verde

Thank you for reading my 3 Delicious Summer Dips! Give them all a go, they are delicious! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post be sure to check out my My tasty 5 minute salad and Peri-Peri chicken recipe

3 summer dips
woman wearing teal dress sitting on chair talking to man
Education on Diabetes

Never say these 5 things to a diabetic

Here are 5 things to never say to a diabetic, and how to avoid being that patronising person.

1. ‘You need to stop eating sugar/carbs’

never say these things - carbs

Don’t try and be the carb police, carbohydrates are vital for everyone including those living with diabetes.

People seem to get confused between types of diabetes, and how they are managed. Decreasing the amount of carbs and changing the type of carbs is more important. However, cutting out this food group will be detrimental and will likely not change sugar management.

Positive changes can be swapping to brown and wholegrain carb sources, and ensuring the plate is balanced with carbs, fats, protein and veggies.

So, please don’t be that person, this is not how diabetes works and cutting out carbs will not reverse it.

2.Did you used to be fat

Being overweight is associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes, however it is not the only cause. Age, ethnicity, diet quality and activity are also major factors.

Furthermore, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, it is not caused by being overweight. Perfectly healthy individuals can get type 1 due to immune dysfunction.

We need to move away from associating the word ‘fat’ with diabetes. There is a link with some types of diabetes, but it creates a negative stigma around the disease. This is unhelpful for people living with type 1, as well as people trying to manage and reverse pre-diabetes and type 2.

3. ‘All you have to do is inject some insulin right?’

Injecting insulin - never say these things

Some people like to believe managing diabetes is that simple. Taking insulin can be difficult in the first place, from people having to move past fears of needles, painful injection sights and pumps going wrong (to name a few).

But what really makes this statement ridiculous is the amount of factors that impact how much insulin you need. There are quite literally hundreds of factors that impact blood glucose, and how much insulin is needed. Everything impacts your sugars, and every diabetic taking insulin has to consider each and every thing when deciding on a dose.

Sometimes the dose we calculate can be completely wrong when most days it would be perfect. That is because we cannot know everything that is going on in the body all the time, for example minor infections or hormonal fluctuations.

This statement is more than an oversimplification, it is an insult. Feel free to ask about insulin/ diabetes management, but never insinuate it is an easy task.

4. ‘Are you supposed to be eating that’

Simply, never question what anyone is eating. People who barely know me (or anything about living with diabetes) say this, and it can be an incredibly damaging statement.

It is none of your business and it is patronising. We can eat pretty much anything we want with the right prep.

So please, never say this, you are only making yourself look stupid. Perhaps a better way to approach this is to ask how we might adjust our insulin etc. But if you barely know the person, I wouldn’t say anything at all.

5. ‘That’s the disease where you lose your legs and eye sight right?’

eye check - never say this

Some reading this will be shocked at this statement, but people say this all the time… Of course it is insensitive, everyone living with diabetes is aware of the potential complications. We don’t need to be reminded of such possibilities.

We also need to take this back to diabetes education. Having a diagnosis does not mean that it will lead to severe complications. Many people living with diabetes (regardless of the type) may get some degree of complication, for example background retinopathy is extremely common even if you have very well controlled diabetes. Living with diabetes is not a sentence to an unhealthy life.

This is also not a great way to start a conversation around diabetes, people living with diabetes can have a lot of anxiety around complications (which is normal). It is vital to know about the potential life changing consequences, but it should never be the only focus.

We can absolutely do anything with the correct support and resources. The focus should always be how to support each person individually, and maximising time in range.

One other point I’d like to make is that people living with diabetes do not want to constantly answer questions about it. Many of us are open and will talk about it, but if you are constantly bringing it up it can get annoying. Always ask appropriate questions so you can learn, but know when to stop and move on There is so much more to people than the disease they are may be living with.

thank you text

Thank you for reading Never say these 5 things to diabetics, I hope you found this useful! be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Dealing with annoying questions about diabetes and Confused about ‘types’ of diabetes? Here is your diabetes 101

man in white shirt suffering from a stomach pain
Diet, Education on Diabetes

Leaky Gut Syndrome 101

Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical condition with symptoms being extremely common. Leaky gut can often cause a myriad of symptoms in the gut and across the body.

What is it?

bacteria - leaky gut syndrome

The intestines have a barrier made up of cells which separates the lining of the gut and the bloodstream. Normally this layer of cells are tightly packed together, so we only absorb nutrients and not harmful substances.

Leaky gut syndrome is when the tight junctions between cells become loose, increasing absorption of harmful substances. This can result in toxins and bacteria leaking into the bloodstream, creating inflammation and symptoms across the body.

Symptoms can include:

  • Diarrhoea/constipation
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Skin conditions e.g. acne and eczema

Due to such a variety of symptoms, people often do not know they have leaky gut.

Consequences of leaky gut syndrome

Inflammation created by leaky gut can be associated with:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)
  • Coeliac disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune conditions (e.g. Type 1 diabetes, Grave’s disease etc)

Preventing leaky gut syndrome

antibiotics - leaky gut syndrome

The following can be associated with leaky gut:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Certain medications (PPI’s)
  • Chronic stress
  • Alcohol
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Gluten consumption
  • Dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut)
  • Nutrient deficiencies

The following steps can help to decrease the risk of getting leaky gut:

1.Remove foods that can trigger inflammation. This can include going gluten-free, decreasing alcohol and caffeine consumption.

fermented foods - preventing leaky gut syndrome

2. Replace essential nutrients needed to support digestive health. This can be achieved by increasing fibre and prebiotic foods (garlic, onion, leek, asparagus, banana) to support digestion, absorption and elimination. 

3. Reinoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria. Consuming fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut and/or taking a prebiotic supplement can help to reinoculate the gut. 

4. Repair the gut by consuming vital nutrients needed for the intestinal barrier. Increasing fresh fruit and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals can help to increase nutrients for the intestinal barrier. 

5. Rebalance and decrease stress load. Chronic stress can decrease blood flow to the gut, linking to leaky gut. Use breathing techniques and relaxation methods to aid stress relief.

Thank you for reading Leaky Gut Syndrome 101! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Oxidative Stress 101 and Metabolic syndrome 101!

woman sleeping
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

The Morning Phenomenon

Some people living with diabetes struggle with the morning phenomenon (AKA – high blood sugars in the morning). This can be confusing as we don’t expect our sugars to rise when we are sleeping and not eating.

There are a couple of different causes of the morning phenomenon, so here is everything you need to know, as well as how you can help to prevent it!

Hormones

morning phenomenon

In the morning the body secretes cortisol and growth hormone. Both hormones cause blood sugar levels to rise to give us enough energy to wake up. Of course people living with diabetes either cannot make insulin, or have insulin resistance. Therefore too much sugar remains in the blood.

Morning spikes can cause fatigue as it interrupts energy delivery, so it is something we really want to prevent.

The best way to combat this is to look at your basal insulin. Take a look at your dose with your doctor and they can help to recommend a different dose, or perhaps a better time to take your basal insulin.

Waning insulin

Another cause of the morning phenomenon is not having enough insulin in your blood to last the whole night. Of course this will result with higher sugar levels.

Again, taking a look at your basal insulin is the best place to start. If you take your basal in the morning it may not last until the following morning. You and your team may decide to increase your basal dose, or even consider basal splitting. This is when you take the basal in divided doses so you have enough background insulin 24/7.

The Somogyi effect

hypo snack - morning phenomenon

The Somogyi effect is when a low blood sugar in the night causes a rebound high blood sugar. The body is overcompensating for the low blood sugar, and releases too much sugar into the blood.

The best way to prevent the Somogyi effect is to prevent the hypo in the first place. So make sure you eat enough carbs with your evening meal and try to limit exercise late at night. Always check your sugars before going to sleep, and I advise having a snack if you are below 5.0mmol/L.

My final tip is to have a portioned hypo snack by your bedside. This will prevent you over-treating a hypo during the night.

Thank you for reading the Morning Phenomenon, I hope this was useful! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Exam stress and sugar levels and Summer travelling tips


Recipes

Healthy Cheesecake Recipe!

Here is my healthy cheesecake recipe which is the perfect summer dessert! Be sure to give this super easy recipe a go!

Serves 14

Macros:

Calories: 296
Carbohydrates: 21g
of which sugars: 8.5g
Fibre: 1.3g
Protein: 3.5g
Fat: 19g

Ingredients:

cheesecake ingredients
  • 250g GF Nairn’s chocolate chip biscuits
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 400g mascarpone cream cheese
  • 200g greek yogurt
  • 250g Oatly whippable creamy oat
  • 5 tablespoons organic honey
  • Strawberries for the top

Method:

1.Use coconut oil to grease the bottom of you1r loose-bottom tin. Next, place the Nairn’s biscuits and pulse until they resemble crumbs.

2. Pour the crumbs into a bowl with the melted coconut oil and stir until combined. Tip this mixture into the tin and use a spoon to press it down to form a firm base layer.

cheesecake base

3. Next, place the cream cheese, yogurt, vanilla and honey into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the whippable creamy oat and continue beating the mixture until it is combined and smooth.

4. Pour the mixture on top of the base and smooth over with a spoon.

5. Chop up the strawberries and decorate the top of the cheesecake.

6. Leave the cheesecake to set for at least 6 hours (overnight is ideal!)

7. Next, enjoy! 🙂

cheesecake

Thank you for reading my Healthy cheesecake recipe! Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out my Strawberry jam cake recipe and my Apple and Blackberry Crumble

modern medical equipment for safety taking of blood
Education on Diabetes

HbA1c vs time in range

Every person living with diabetes knows what it feels like to wait for your HbA1c result. New research still supports the importance of HbA1c, however it is now advised to also look at time in range to analyse diabetes management.

What is HbA1c?

3 months - HbA1c

Haemoglobin A1c is a blood test that measures the amount of glucose attached to red blood cells.

Red blood cells have a lifespan of around 3 months. This means HbA1c readings show the average blood glucose over the past 3 months.

  • Normal – below 42mmol/mol
  • Pre-diabetes – 42-47mmol/mol
  • Diabetes – 48mmol/mol or above

Time in range

Time in range vs HbA1c

This is the percentage of time that your blood sugar is in target. The target range is decided by you and your healthcare team and differs across individuals.

Usually, the target range will be set from around 3.9mmol/mol to around 10mmol/mol.

FGM and CGM devices give people access to 24 hour blood sugar readings from your phone. All types of sensors show your levels on a graph, and record the time spent in range (the picture on the right is what the FreeStyle Libre looks like).

Using both together

The amount of time spend in range directly impacts how you feel on a daily basis.

Spending more time in range also helps to prevent complications seen with hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia.

It is important to realise that time in range is not replacing HbA1c. Using both is helping people living with diabetes to reach better control, decreased complication risk and increased life quality.

Thank you for reading the importance of HbA1c! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabetes technology 101! and 10 facts about Type 1 diabetes!

parked boat
Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

Summer travelling tips

There is lots to think about when getting ready to go travelling with diabetes.

This post will cover what might happen to your sugar levels, general tips about travelling and how to keep your insulin safe in the heat.

Sugar levels

time zones, summer travelling

The heat can cause low blood sugar levels for some people. When temperatures rise, the body dilates blood vessels to help us cool down. Dilated blood vessels can cause insulin to absorb more rapidly, resulting in a hypo. Bear this in mind and carry multiple hypo snacks.

The heat can also cause high blood sugar for some people. As I will explain below, hot temperatures can damage insulin meaning it doesn’t work properly. My best advice is to check your sugars more frequently so you catch hypo’s and hyper’s early.

If you are changing time zones, I strongly advice talking to your consultant or doctor first. You can make a plan together to safely adjust your insulin throughout your trip.

Insulin

If insulin is left in direct sunlight or heat for a prolonged period of time, it will cause the insulin to ‘denature’.

keep insulin in the shade

This means the insulin is damaged and it will not work properly when injected into the body. This of course can cause high sugar levels because the insulin is not doing its job.

Therefore, it is vital to keep your insulin in the shade, and/or in a cool pack to prevent this from happening.

I recommend checking amazon out for insulin cool packs. This will allow you to enjoy your time at the beach (or whatever you are doing) without worrying about your insulin.

Also make sure you take spare insulin cartridges to replace damaged insulin. Sometimes it does happen and there isn’t much we can do about it. Keep yourself covered so this doesn’t stop you from having fun!

CGM’s and pumps

When travelling with a pump you will need to adjust the time zone on the pump to make sure you are receiving the correct amount of basal insulin.

Furthermore, heat can cause sensors to stop working sometimes, so it is important to take breaks and get your sensor out of the sun.

Always take spares – this covers any faulty sensors, or if your holiday gets extended due to flight cancellations or changing plans.

* Pumps and CGM’s should not go through airport scanners. This is because the x-rays can damage them. Make sure you get a doctors note explaining this and always carry a copy with you when travelling.

Also take a finger stick monitor and insulin pens with you to cover yourself. The last thing you want when travelling is to be panicking and trying to access medication.

Summary check list

diabetic supplies, summer travelling
  • Spare pumps
  • Spare CGM’s or FGM’s
  • Insulin pens (both basal and bolus)
  • Spare insulin cartridges for pen/pump
  • Needles
  • Testing monitor
  • Finger stick needles
  • Finger stick testing strips
  • Ketone strips and monitor
  • Cool pack for insulin
  • Hypo snacks for the journey/duration of the holiday
  • Plenty of water
  • Hand wipes
  • Medical tape (I always pack this incase my sensor becomes loose in the water/heat)
  • Doctors note to go through security with diabetic supplies

*Ensure you take enough supplies for the duration of your trip + a few days extra. Keep yourself covered for any damaged or lost medication/equipment, or if you stay longer than originally planned.

Thank you for reading Summer travelling tips! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Chicken Recipe and 5 foods packed with hidden sugars!

strong shirtless sportsman jogging on bright day
Education on Diabetes, Fitness

Cardio and sugar levels

Cardio based workouts can be really difficult when living with type 1 diabetes, particularly when you are new to this type of exercise.

Here is some useful information and my tips on how to exercise safely.

What to expect

cycling cardio

Aerobic exercise tends to be less intense with a longer duration. Examples include walking, running, cycling and swimming.

Due to the nature of cardio, it can result in sudden sugar level drops and hypo’s. Therefore, we need to use different tactics when managing glucose levels.

*If you are vigorously exercising a muscle group that you have recently injected in, this can cause rapid insulin absorption and very rapid hypo’s. This is a useful tip to consider when preparing to exercise.

Preventing and dealing with drops

1. Check sugar levels before this allows you to predict and correct hypo’s before they happen. Use your own judgement as to whether you need a snack – remember you know your diabetes best! If you are under 4.5mmol/L I would suggest waiting until your levels come up a bit before starting.

2. Check during your workout – For most people 25-30 minutes of moderate exercise can cause blood sugar to lower. Therefore I would recommend checking every 15-20 minutes, or more frequently if you are exercising at a higher intensity.

juice shots - cardio

3. Carry a snack at all times – Being prepared is vital to prevent hypo’s during your workout. I like to carry juice shots or oat bars when I am walking or running. This means I can quickly correct my sugars before they get too low, and it means I can continue with my workout.

4. Keep an eye out for delayed hypo’s – blood sugar levels can drop for up to 48 hours after a cardio based workout. Therefore it is essential you eat enough carbs and think about adjusting subsequent insulin doses to prevent this. Again, always keep a snack with you and beside the bed in case you need it during the night.

This pretty much sums up the importance of continuous glucose monitoring, especially when working with cardio workouts.

It will get better with experience

The more you repeat cardio based activity, the more experience you gain. Trial and error allows us to see sugar level trends which makes sugar level prediction easier in the future.

Don’t give up, it is worth finding what insulin ratios, exercise types and snacks work best for you!

Thank you for reading Cardio and type 1 diabetes! I hope this helps, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Bulking with type 1 diabetes and Tips on losing weight with diabetes

Recipes

Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Chicken Recipe

Here is Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Chicken recipe, it is delicious and perfect for the summer season. If you like fresh, spicy and zingy dishes, this is perfect for you.

Serves 4

Macros: (approx)

Calories: 673
Carbohydrates: 86g
of which sugars: 16g
Fibre: 6g
Protein: 53g
Fat: 13g

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • tablespoon runny honey
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Rice and beans

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250g long-grain rice
  • 600ml organic chicken stock
  • 400g carton of black beans

Jerk sauce

  • 4 spring onions
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 6 tablespoons golden rum
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Yogurt

  • 250g pot of natural yoghurt
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 1 lime

Method:

1. TO START – Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large griddle pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

2. CHICKEN – Put the chicken breasts on a plastic board and halve each one, leaving them joined at the top of the breast. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then rub all over both sides of the chicken. Put into the hot griddle pan, skin side down, and leave to cook. Clear away the board and wash the knife and your hands.

3. CORN – Put the corn into the saucepan with a good pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Put the lid on.

4. JERK SAUCE – Trim and roughly chop the onions and put into the blender with the leaves from most of the bunch of thyme, 3 bay leaves (stalks removed), ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice, 6 tablespoons each of rum and vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of salt. Remove the stalks and seeds from the chilli and add the chilli to the blender, then quickly crush in 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic and blitz with the lid on until you have a really smooth paste. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to loosen, if needed.

5. CHICKEN – The undersides should be golden now, so turn the chicken over. Pour the jerk sauce into a snug-fitting baking dish and use tongs to lay the chicken on top, skin side up. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of runny honey and scatter over a few sprigs of rosemary and the remaining thyme sprigs. Put on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully pour away the oil from the griddle pan and wipe clean with kitchen paper, then put back on a high heat.

6. RICE & BEANS – Put a large wide saucepan with a lid on a medium heat. Trim and finely slice the spring onions and put in the saucepan with the cinnamon stick, a good lug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt & pepper. Stir and let soften for a minute or so, then add the rice and chicken stock. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pan. Stir gently. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Pop the lid on and leave for 12 minutes.

rice and beans with jerk chicken

7. YOGHURT – Tip the yoghurt into a small serving bowl. Finely chop a few sprigs of coriander and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Finely grate over the zest of 1/2 the lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir in, then take to the table with the other lime half for squeezing over.

8. CORN – Use tongs to move the corn to the hot griddle pan and drizzle over a little olive oil. Cook and turn frequently until charred. Once ready, put on a platter and take to the table.

corn with jerk chicken

9. RICE & BEANS – Take the lid off the rice after 12 minutes and give it a stir. All the liquid should have been absorbed. Taste and correct the seasoning if need be, then take to the table.

10. TO SERVE – Take the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle over some coriander leaves and take straight to the table. When serving, spoon over the jerk sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

jerk chicken

Thank you for reading Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Chicken Recipe! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Peri-Peri chicken recipe and Turkey Burger recipe

adult blur books close up
Education on Diabetes, Psychological, Top Tips

Exam stress and sugar levels

Everyone living with diabetes knows how much stress can impact glucose control. Exam season can be incredibly stressful and keeping sugar levels stable plays an integral role in exam success.

Keep reading for my top tips on handling exam stress to keep sugar levels in check.

1. Eat regular meals

balanced meals - exam stress

It is really easy to get into the routine of consistently eating more or less when we are stressed.

So make sure you are eating 3 balanced meals a day and have snacks in between if needed. Keeping your eating routine the same will also help to keep your sugars in check.

When I am taking exams I like to meal prep so my meals are ready to go. Try and set aside an hour or two to get your food organised, this will really help!

My favourite revision/exam snacks include dark chocolate, rice crackers, nuts or an apple with peanut butter.

2. Exercise outdoors

outdoors - exam stress

Prepping for exams means sitting down and being sedentary for a long time. So getting outdoors to get fresh air, sun and exercise is vital.

Walking outdoors is calming, which makes it productive. Listen to music or a funny podcast or Youtube video. This allows your brain some rest time.

Remember to rehydrate afterwards!

3. Epsom salt baths

At the end of a busy day, take a bath with Epsom salts. This helps to replenish magnesium, is a vital mineral for relaxation.

Magnesium can become depleted during periods of chronic stress, so it is important to replace the magnesium lost.

Ty and eat magnesium rich foods everyday too, such as dark leafy greens, raw cacao powder, lentils, peanuts and cashews.

4. Regular sleep pattern

Having a consistent sleep routine boosts both mood and memory. Getting enough sleep decreases adrenaline spikes which is important in maintaining balanced sugar levels.

Feeling well rested is vital for being productive and disciplined, so make this a priority in your life.

Encourage sleep by getting blackout blinds, removing blue light 1-2 hours before bedtime and keep your bedroom at a cool temperature.

5. Get organised

organised - exam stress

Make yourself a schedule that allows time for everything!

‘Winging it‘ during exam season will contribute towards stress, so we want to avoid this.

At the beginning of every week write yourself a schedule that includes study time, exercise, lunch and coffee breaks and time for an activity you enjoy to de-stress.

Most importantly, make sure you actually stick to it. Remember it takes around 30 days to form a new habit, so stay as consistent as you can.

Also remember exam season is not forever and plan something exciting afterwards to look forward to.

celebrate - exam stress

Thank you for reading Exam stress and sugar levels! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Is stress making your glucose levels impossible to control? and Peanut Butter Bites!