Glucose Goddess – with Jessie Inchauspé

Photography:
Victoria Stevens
Words:
Lauren Cunningham

The term ‘healthy eating’ may fill you with dread, conjuring up images of Special K diets, weight loss smoothies or some other thinly veiled form of diet culture. Yet one biochemist-turned-author-turned-social-media-star is offering true healthier alternatives in the form of Instagram posts, recipe cards and an online course focusing on the effects of glucose in the body. A far step away from traditional diet culture, Jessie Inchauspé, aka Glucose Goddess, educates over four million people on how to regulate glucose, “your body’s favourite source of energy,” through simple lifestyle tweaks. Eating Greek yoghurt with chocolate cake, broccoli before pasta and taking a short walk after meals, are just a handful of examples. And, when these tweaks can’t be actioned, she’s now developed anti-spike capsules to help curb energy crashes. Scroll through our chat below as we discuss Jessie Inchauspé’s core goals, glucose lessons and tips for leading a healthier lifestyle.

Margiela cardigan, stylist’s own briefs & Balenciaga tights

Lauren Cunninghan: You’re a bestselling author, supplement business owner, online teacher and content creator with over 4 million followers (to name only a handful of achievements), how do you find the time and energy to do everything and is there one thing you love doing the most?
Jessie Inchauspé: Oh, thank you… Listen at the beginning it was just me, but now I’ve assembled an amazing team of talented people who are the reason we can do all this. And I am ruthless with how i spend my time. It’s my most important resource. I wouldn’t spend money on something I don’t really need or really want, so I apply the same thought process to time. A simple example is that I will never go to a dinner party or an event that I don’t really want to go to. Sounds obvious but it frees up so many hours to do work and manage the team. Energy is very related to health: it’s all the boring stuff but those things 100% work: I eat well, exercise, don’t drink alcohol, and get as much sleep as I can. Oh, and coffee! The thing I love doing the most is without a doubt the visual aspects of all projects. I’m super obsessive about it. I design lots of things myself: my websites, supplement labels, product packaging, instagram posts… I get right in there. Just me and my design software. That’s when I’m at my happiest.
LC: Your content is very much not typical ‘diet content’. It’s not about eating less or managing calories but making small, manageable changes such as eating chocolate cake with Greek yoghurt to lower insulin spikes. Is it important for you to maintain this differentiation and why?
JP: Absolutely. Well first of all, I hate diet culture – I grew up with magazines bombarding me with messages like “how to lose 10 pounds in 3 days”, and the obsession with weight loss was all around me in France. It took me time to become free from it, and there is no going back. What I’m interested in is helping people understand how their bodies work, to bring agency and power back to them – which is basically the opposite of diet culture which sells snake oil and health-damaging practices in the name of thinness. Now what is interesting is that by applying my glucose hacks and helping your body become healthier, fat loss is a common consequence. But in this case the fat loss comes second, as a side effect of us becoming healthier. Something else that is important to me is to make sure all foods are welcomed. I teach people what molecules are in the foods so they can make informed choices, and understand which foods are for health, and which are for pleasure. 

Balenciaga dress

LC: In a world where unhealthy diet habits can thrive, how do you personally stay away from hyper fixating on ingredients and sugar levels?
JI: I zoom out. As long as I have core habits in place, like, savoury breakfast being the most important one, clothes on carbs, never eating sugar on an empty stomach. I’m relaxed about the rest. Counting sugar grams in a packet of cookies is not where health happens. I eat the cookie if I want it, because I know that I’m helping my body with life long healthy habits the rest of the time.
LC: And what exactly are glucose levels and why is it something we need to pay attention to? Plus, how will you know if you’re having a glucose spike?
JI: Glucose is your body’s favorite source of energy. Every cell in your body uses glucose to perform its function: think, pump blood, move… And we give this important glucose to our body by eating two types of foods: starches (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes…) and sugars (anything sweet, from fruit to cake). Now, some glucose is totally fine. But too much glucose causes issues. Too much of a good thing. I like to take the example of a plant: it needs some water to live, but too much water and it drowns. The human body is the same: too much glucose causes problems, from cravings and fatigue to long-term disease. If you want to feel better today, and help your long-term health too, managing your glucose levels is key! With unsteady glucose levels, your body and mind won’t not be able to thrive. Specifically if you give too much glucose to your body during a meal, you experience what is called a glucose spike: a rapid increase in glucose concentration in your body. These spikes can lead to consequences: inflammation, brain fog.. and then once the spike drops down, this generates cravings for sugar, hunger, fatigue. So if you can relate to any of these symptoms, like most of us, improving your glucose spikes could help you.

Balenciaga dress

Margiela cardigan, stylist’s own briefs & Balenciaga tights

LC: What is a great glucose balanced diet and how would it look as one day of meals? JL: So you might think that to regulate glucose levels you need to cut out all starches and sugars… well here is the kicker: you can eat the starches and sugars you love and also help your glucose levels if you apply key principles. My top 4 tips are: start your day with a savoury breakfast built around protein (eggs, yogurt, nuts, or even leftovers from dinner are great). This is so important because if you have starches or sugars at breakfast, that means a big glucose spike, and then you’ve kicked off a glucose rollercoaster for the rest of the day which is really difficult to get off of. Then at lunch you can apply my second tip: start your meal with vegetables. Just a plate of veggies – cooked, raw, in a salad, anything you want. The fiber in the veggies will coat your intestine and reduce the glucose spike of the rest of the meal, and you can eat whatever you usually eat for lunch after, with less glucose impact. Then in the afternoon I usually like having a chocolate snack (I’m a chocolate addict) – and I use another tip to help my glucose levels: one tablespoon of vinegar in a big glass of water before the sweet food. It sounds weird but the vinegar reduces the spike of the food by up to 30%! Any vinegar works – apple cider vinegar is usually the tastiest one to use. And finally at dinner, I also use the “veggies first” tip, plus I’ll go for a walk after eating. Moving after eating helps your body use up some of the glucose from the meal you just had, lowering the spike. And in case I can’t do the hacks, or want extra help to steady my glucose levels, I take 2 of my Anti-Spike capsules before the meal or snack of the day highest in carbs or sugars. It’s 100% plants and naturally reduces the glucose spike by up to 40%. It’s my new baby!
LC: Stress also plays a role in glucose levels, how? And what can we do to reduce this?
JI: Yes! It’s so interesting – food is the most powerful lever to use to help our glucose levels but other things also have an impact. High levels of stress can increase your glucose levels. I find stress difficult to regulate sometimes, but exercise is the most powerful antidote in my experience.
LC: So, what are your three best tips that anyone can do to live a healthier life?
JI: Start your day with a savoury breakfast, eat your veggies first during a meal, use vinegar when you eat sugar or starches, move after eating, and eat sugar after a meal, never on an empty stomach.

Balenciaga dress & stylist’s own shoes & socks

Stylist’s own robe & sunglasses

LC: For people who have a harder time with sugar and glucose levels (diabetes, PCOS, etc) are your tips the same or is there anything else to be aware of?
JI: Yes, they apply to everyone – but if your glucose levels are of higher concern, you may want to be more diligent about the tips, instead of just doing them once in a while.
LC:  You’ve also recently been on the cover of Elle France, did you ever think this would happen as a biochemist and what’s your next dream achievement?
JI: That was amazing. It still doesn’t feel real. It’s very important to me because of the message it sends: you can be a scientist and also be in magazines just like an actress, model, singer… I’m really passionate about sending that message to the next generation of women. Being in science is powerful, relevant, and to be celebrated. Next dream achievement… oh I have lots of thoughts but I don’t want to jinx them!! Think of something that seems completely impossible for me to do, and that’s probably what I’m thinking about too. Hehe.
LC: With the rise of unconventional weight loss medications, such as Ozempic, how do you feel about people using it over the counter? Can you share what the after-effects or side-effects maybe?
JI: It makes me sad that so many people who do not need these medications from a medical standpoint feel drawn to use them to achieve ultra-thinness. These are serious drugs that aren’t to be taken lightly. They trick your brain into thinking that you are full and satiated, when you are actually starving yourself. There are still many unknown side effects but one of the most documented ones is the fact that a lot of the weight that is lost on these drugs is muscle, not just fat. And losing muscle is terrible for our health. So, you lose all this muscle and fat, but then if you stop the drug and put weight back on, you’re only going to put fat back on. So you will be in a worse place than before. 
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