What I Have Learned with Levels Health…so far.

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A couple of years ago, I wrote a quick post about continuous glucose monitoring with Levels heath and how I was hoping to get in on the action. Since then, I had finally been granted my access and Levels Health looks to largely be open to the public now. I signed up, and received my first pack of three sensors. This was all in late July/early August.

Before I dive in, I want to say that this isn’t going to be a post about how to apply the sensors, or how to set up your own account. It’s going to be about my initial experiences, and my own deductions based on what I noticed, and trends that I picked up on.

The good

Like anyone, especially if they’d watched too many of Ali Spagnola’s videos on CGM, I was initially doing a lot of “let’s eat this food, log it in Levels, and see what score I get”. With some things, I did really well, and got high ratings. A stick of beef jerky got me a 10, sweet potato and a beer gave a 9. Most every flavor of Halo Top ice cream scored me high.

The bad

Some things, probably expected-ly, did me horrible. My beloved Jelly Belly Jelly beans gave me a score of a 1. Then there’s a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, celery with peanut butter (fiber and fats), quest chips (protein), jelly beans, and then 100 body squats afterwards. Guess what…still a score of 1. Despite all that extra food and activity, more on that later, my body still actually hates jelly beans. As some maybe still say, I can’t even. Even scones at my local coffee shops were low scoring.

The goddess

Somewhere along the way with my increased reading on the topic in general, I stumbled upon Jessie Inchauspe and her book “Glucose Revolution“. I managed to pick it up at our local Barnes n Noble, and based on my book tracking information, gobbled it up in full between August 6th and 13th. This is where that second attempt with all the extra food and activity came in to play with the jelly beans.

In the book, Jessie outlined the notion and science-based information that consuming some vinegar before a meal can help blunt glucose spikes. The bigger takeaway is that the order in which you eat your food is also important. Most specifically, veggies and green fibers first, then proteins and fats, then any starches, and sugars last. Lastly, doing any sort of physical activity after the meal, though often mentioned as specifically a 10-20min walk, can also help blunt spikes. I’ve thus far opted most for body squats as I can do that next to my desk.

The reasoning for this is that the veggies and green fibers would slow the intake, while the proteins and fats would make you satiated longer, and just prolong the entire process. This is not a bad thing, and thus why I was trying out celery and peanut butter before the jelly beans. Coat that stomach lining and whatnot. As I mentioned above, it still got me a score of 1, but what I didn’t mention yet is the drastic difference in the actual numbers.

The bad revisited

Jelly beans alone, caused a spike of 105mg/dL. Putting me over 200mg/dL in my blood stream. I’m pretty sure that’s a diabetic level response. Meanwhile, with all that extra stuff around the jelly beans the second time…i only spiked 59mg/dL. This is still a significant spike, but it’s not 105 either. That’s still a lot to do just to enjoy some jelly beans. It’s probably for the best that I avoid except on somehow special occasions, or in much smaller amounts.

The resistant

Throughout all of this, with 30+ days of data available, I started noticing that often my fasted mg/dL amount was often in the 110-130 range. That doesn’t sound like it may be much, but when I see sentences like “The normal blood glucose range is 70-99 mg/dL before meals, and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.“, my ears start to perk up. Initially I was starting to wonder if I was pre-diabetic, but since then, I’ve shifted more towards insulin resistant, which can LEAD to pre-diabetes. I also have not yet managed to reduce my fasted levels back into that healthier range.

This is absolutely without any formal, doctor/physician diagnoses, of which I am definitely starting to believe I should do (once I can get a copy of my health insurance card), but I’m also not doing anything extreme yet. Probably the most extreme part would be wearing a continuous monitor in the first place. Everything else has been trying out different foods, and measuring how my body reacted to them.

I actually consider myself extremely fortunate that even just on my own, I may have stumbled onto detecting an actually pretty common condition that most people never have diagnosed, and are completely oblivious about in their own bodies.

The actions

With everything I’ve read, all the numbers I have about myself, and everything else, I am definitely going to continue work through the topic of my glucose levels. For one, I have no trouble stomaching a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and it’s best to consume diluted with a tall glass of water anyway. So when I know I may not be having the best thing for me, and it’s available, down that goes into my belly.

As Jessie mentions, when convenient and able, go with that order of food intake. Don’t skip a food item you may be craving, just because you can’t have things in a specific order. However when I was with my brother the other night at Texas Roadhouse, I made sure to order a house salad and consumed that first before the steak. I also had green beans as my second side. It wasn’t until after the main course, that I even touched the complimentary bread rolls.

I’m also going to continue to try and make sure I’m getting plenty of water, as really everyone should, but also see if I can supplement a bit on the fiber side. After that, I’m going to be aiming to do a lower carb diet, with more focus on protein and fats instead. Carbs are the closest thing to sugars anyway and the items that are going to convert the quickest, perhaps best to avoid where able. From some research into reversing insulin resistance, a topic that has come up is omega 3 fatty acids. Since I’ve never been much of a seafood fan, I’d rather just take some supplement pills in the morning and be done with it. Of course, while I’m not doing 5 days a week of gym activity, I am still getting usually at least 3 days a week of strength training time, and some occasional cardio.

The summary


  1. Continuing to monitor my glucose levels, via Levels Health and a bi-monthly subscription for 3 sensors
  2. Amending my diet to lean more on proteins and fats, with reduced carbs
  3. Amending when possible in what order I eat my food
  4. Adding in sensible supplements to aid in my new goals.
  5. Aiming to get a physical checkup to verify with professionals what findings I have so far.

Those goals? To reduce my insulin resistance and get myself to a healthier fasting range, all for the sake of a better and healthier relationship with glucose.

Here’s to hoping.

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It’s Michael!

Photo of Michael, with his head tilted to the side.


Weight: 241lbs

Last updated: 2023-12-23


General Information

Gym enrollment date: 2015-09-21

First trainer session: 2015-09-23

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Small group class: HIIT. Personal training: strength and bodybuilding, 4 times/week

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