In Paleo, we don’t tend to focus much on calorie counting. Instead, you’ll find many prioritize digestive health, lowering systemic inflammation, and regulating blood sugar. It’s common that most of us came to Paleo not necessarily to lose weight but to improve our health.
I know that’s what brought me to Paleo… I was experimenting with ways to manage a new Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis diagnosis after my son was born in 2010. I’ve had a hypothyroid since I was 15 years old, but the strain of having a baby sent my thyroid into autoimmune status. (If you’re not familiar, the short explanation is that because my body was in such a high state of inflammation all the time, my immune system got confused and couldn’t differentiate between the “foreign invaders” it was supposed to attack and my thyroid gland. Soooo my body basically attacks my thyroid from now on. That’s how I understand it.)
I got the hang of Paleo pretty easily. How to improve gut health made sense to me, inflammation was a little trickier to figure out, but I got my head around it. When it came to managing my blood sugar levels, especially so I could support a healthy metabolism? Well, I was pretty much flying blind.
Since I can usually get a sense of how my digestion is doing and if I’m having an inflammatory response (hello, exhaustion!) there really isn’t a need for me to use an app or something to track or monitor it.
Blood sugar is a different animal. Metabolism was a mystery.
With Hashimoto’s, carbs in excess can be real bad news for me. But in an ironic twist, so is being too low carb equally not awesome. In fact, when I became too low carb in 2016 I experienced a huge health crash. Needless to say, you won’t find me doing keto anytime soon — though I know it is a godsend for others.
I’ve learned over the years of trying this and trying that, my body has a sweet spot. I can usually get an overall sense of whether or not I’m in the right balance for my body in general. Unfortunately, knowing how I’m doing at various points throughout that day in terms of metabolic function isn’t as straightforward.
Also — and this is totally not at all professional or serious or anything — I have always been super curious to see just how much I am affected by my favorite food in the world, pasta. Like, I want to know, but then also I don’t want to know. Know what I mean?
I started hearing about metabolism trackers a couple of years ago and have always been curious to try them. I figured that if I could drill down on how I personally responded to the foods I commonly ate, I would be able to improve my sluggish metabolism (*cough… I’m looking at you, hypothyroid.)
So I found Lumen…
Lumen is able to tell me whether I’m using fat or carbs as fuel at any given moment. But it’s not just a “yes” or “no” reading. It shows my status on a spectrum… and I love love love this feature.
This helps me avoid extremes one way or the other, which is important for my personal health.
It’s pretty easy to use too. Easy as breathing, one might say.
You take a big exhale in, hold your breath, and then do a sustained exhale into the device. Lumen works by measuring the carbon dioxide levels in your breath!
Higher CO2 means I’m primarily using carbohydrates as energy, lower CO2 means I’m tapping into fat stores… which I’ll admit, is welcome.
And not to get too detailed, but I also appreciate how I can customize each day’s allocation of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Not every day is the same and I already know that a rigid, inflexible framework isn’t going to work for me.
I really like how I can get a real-time assessment of what my body is using for energy in the moment (carbohydrates vs fat), and that I can also tweak my macros to suit the day’s needs.
It’s 100% control over what I feel is best for me from one day to the next.
Sooooo I’m a fan and am recommending this tool to everyone, especially fellow Hashimoto’s people out there!