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Getting "macho" with your blood sugar

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2015-04-10


(called “macho bananas” in the south!)

Welcome New Replenish Tribe Members!

It’s been a thrill to have more like-minded people join our community in these past few weeks. You know who you are. . .

You’re keen on tapping into your body’s wisdom and uncovering your best self.

You’re not ready to put your health completely into anyone else’s hands, as you’ve not found that approach to be very successful in the past.

You’re ready for the insights that will guide you in your everyday self-care, from your personal-best breakfast choice to your “baddest” beauty rest.

Let’s face it, you’re a bit macho in your know-how about your body!

And you deserve to be! Nobody can drive your ship as well as you.

You probably know that blood sugar imbalance plays a role in diabetes. Do you know that it’s also a major trigger in heart disease, cancer, candida, adrenal fatigue, and autoimmunity?

Personally, I’m pretty macho about my own blood sugar balance.

It’s one thing in my health routine that I tend to like a hawk to keep me fueled for my busy life and to help me to manage my autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s).

Blood sugar balance is a key step to sustainable health for every one of us!

Still, you may be wondering why the focus on blood sugar.

Well, blood sugar affects your mood, your weight, your mechanisms of hunger, your hormone balance and your immune system.

Blood sugar affects every single chronic condition you’re looking for help with, from migraines to irritable bowel troubles to brain fog.

When blood sugar is out of whack for too long it can lead to disease states like hypertension, Candida and persistent internal inflammation (all underlying factors for the things that ail us).

Managing blood sugar is a BIG DEAL!

It’s one of the core basics for good health.
But just what is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is basically the sugar ~ or glucose ~ in the blood. And glucose is the elemental factor of every single carbohydrate you eat.

Once the carbohydrate has worked its way through your digestive system, been reduced to a simple sugar such as glucose, and reached the bloodstream through the process of absorption, it’s taken to the liver where it’s either distributed to the cells for energy, or stored for later use.

Because of the liver’s limited storage capacity, any excess carbohydrates are converted to and stored as fat. (Yeah, no thank you!)

It’s your sweet liver that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

The more complex the carbohydrate, the slower the food moves into the bloodstream, allowing the liver to take up its sugar-load without becoming overwhelmed.

And this is what brings me to the Glycemic Quotient that you may have heard about.

The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load are something I’ll be talking more about next week, so stay tuned!
Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with plantains!

If you’re tapped into the Paleo craze, then plantains are not new to you.
Blend ’em. Chip ’em. Bake ’em. Stew ’em.

The plantain may be a starchy item, but it won’t spike your blood sugar as long as you eat the green ones, and let whatever you make cool a bit before eating.

Pair your plantains with some other fat and fiber, as we’re doing in our Macho Bread and you’ve swapped the high-sugar carb-laden bread for a nutrient-dense delicacy.

Here’s a secret that I want to share about myself:

I love toast!

But since I do not eat grains and I do get macho about my blood sugar, I prefer low glycemic breads like the Macho Bread that has become a favorite among many on the Replenish team and our extended community (which certainly includes you)!

Join me on April 22 for Even Keel and let’s find out why blood sugar balance (and balance in general), can sometimes seem so elusive. And why it’s time to get macho.



P.S. Your simple To-Do list this week includes:

  1. hunting for green plantains

  2. trying the Macho Bread cooking guide below

  3. signing up for the free Even Keel seminar!


I do confess. I like my “bread”, even though I haven’t eaten any real bread in years and don’t even eat grains. So what’s a girl who wants a morning piece of toast to do? (Especially on an egg-free, sometimes nut-free protocol?)

Get macho in the kitchen, that’s what!

  • 1 (15oz) chilled can of full-fat coconut milk

  • 2 green plantains (“macho” bananas)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour

  • tablespoon physllium husks (ground)

  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

  • optional: coconut sugar & cinnamon for topping


  • food processor

  • parchment paper

  • baking sheet


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop out the coconut cream from the top of the canned coconut milk after it has been chilled (the clear liquid can be saved for smoothies). You should have about 3/4 of a cup of coconut cream but no need to measure!

Chop up the peeled plantains and place in the food processor. (Note: You may need to slice the green skin off with a knife instead of pealing back the layer, like you might a banana.)

Give the processor a whirl.

Add the other ingredients. Process until a smooth batter forms.

Scoop the batter from the processor onto the parchment lined baking sheet and spread to about 1/4 inch thickness. It’s easy to form as the psyllium will make the dough quite springy.

(If using the cinnamon sugar, sprinkle this on to your liking before baking.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool before slicing. The cooled bread has more resistant starch to feed your good bacteria!

This one also makes a good grain-free pizza crust. Just omit the cinnamon (and coconut sugar, of course).

Let’s Get Macho!

Baked plantain chips with coconut yogurt dipping sauce
Plantains look like a larger, more angular version of a banana and are, indeed, a member of the banana family. They’re also known as “cooking bananas” because they’re used more often in savory dishes than their super-sweet cousins.

Plantains are starchier and are lower in sugar than regular bananas. They’re typically consumed cooked, due to their high starch content, and are ripe when they are still green.

As a plantain matures, the sugar content will increase (and starch content decrease) and the color will change to yellow, start to gather dark spots, and then turn black. They can be eaten raw at these later stages of ripeness, but are not as tasty as regular bananas, and their sugar content will increase at this later stage (ie. not in our blood sugar balancing favor).

Plantains are native to India and grow best in tropical climates. They’re used widely in West African and Caribbean cuisine, where they’re treated more like a vegetable than a fruit.

For the purposes of maintaining even blood sugar, plantains should be used while still green. This is when their sugar content is low. Green plantains can be a little tricky to peel. Use a sharp knife to cut off both ends and then cut a slit down the length of the peel. You can then remove the peel in sections.

Nutrition & Health Benefits of Plantains:

  • good source of vitamins A and C as well as potassium

  • good source of dietary fiber and resistant starch

  • they soothe the intestines and are easy to digest

Wait, wait. . . Don’t Forget: Mark Your Calendar & Register!

Even Keel: The Three Keys to Sustainable Blood Sugar Balance

Wednesday, April 22 @ 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET

Click here to register!

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


Get Program Information

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