Jessie Inchauspé wants you to know that her recent book, The Glucose Goddess, isn’t about dieting. Nor is it about losing weight. “It’s about your mental health,” she says at the beginning of our call. I’m not convinced.
For the unfamiliar, Inchauspé is known to her millions of followers as the Glucose Goddess. On Instagram, the trained biochemist breaks down how glucose—a.k.a. our blood sugar—ebbs and flows and what that does to us, both mentally and physically.
“Glucose isn’t just about cravings,” she shares. “I found studies saying these spikes can lead to chronic fatigue, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and wrinkles…once I started reading it all, I was like, holy fucking shit!” Since then, she’s worked to regain control of her own blood sugar, eventually synthesizing it into four “hacks,” as she calls them.
“We don’t really demonize food in French culture,” Inchauspé says. “So the freedom and power is important, and I think it’s why people love the guidelines so much. You retain all your freedom to eat what you want.”
Rule 1: Start Savory
“Build your breakfast around a protein,” Inchauspé says. “If you have cravings after two hours, it’s not enough protein and something is not working.” Her book is filled with both meat-centered and vegetable-focused options for those who need some inspiration. “It’s protein first, then second, which is also very important: nothing sweet, except whole fruit.”
Rule 2: Add in Acid
“Scientists have found that one tablespoon of vinegar before a meal reduces the spike of the meal by 30 percent,” Inchauspé says. “You don’t have to add anything else to it, and there are two reasons: First, vinegar has been used for centuries as a health drink in many different countries. But now, scientists have found that there’s a molecule called acetic acid that acts as the power molecule in your vinegar and both slows down how quickly food gets turned into glucose molecules when you digest it and tells your muscles to uptake more glucose as it arrives in your bloodstream.”
Rule 3: Add in Vegetables, Too
Starting each meal with veggies helps stabilize your blood sugar. They can be raw or cooked—my personal approach is to combine rules two and three into a salad with apple cider vinegar dressing. Busy girls gotta multitask!
Rule 4: Move Around
Easy for a New Yorker, not so much for the rest of the country. Moving your body for at least 10 minutes after just one of your meals helps control blood sugar spikes. “This one is really up to you to figure out how you want to complete it,” Inchauspé says, citing walks, calf raises at your desk, or even just cleaning your apartment as viable options.
I’m already gluten-free (which has changed my life), so I didn’t expect much from the Glucose Goddess’ hacks. Step one? Done. Step two? Easily the worst part of this experience has been the vinegar. My hack of adding it into a salad dressing with the veggies made it slightly more tolerable, but I think it’s just something I don’t like the taste of. Fine. Veggies and walking? Check and check.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve started to crave breakfast vegetables. And if you’re at all interested in intuitive eating (or just listening to your body), that at least means Inchauspé is on to something.