Kickstart Challenge!

Week 1: Diabetes Demystified

Let’s face it – whether you’re newly diagnosed or have had it for years, diabetes is a complex and sometimes overwhelming disease. But you don’t have to navigate it on your own, Brook is here to demystify diabetes and support you on your health journey with our 4-week kickstart challenge: 

  • Log your blood sugar readings at least twice a week in the Brook app
  • Each week you’ll receive a message in the Brook app to unlock the next week of the challenge
  • Chat with our Health Coaches for support and goal setting

Tip: Be sure to enable push notifications in the app to see when the Experts send you a message!

Welcome to Week 1, where we’ll get back to the basics about diabetes and start finding out what works best for you and your day-to-day life. 

Understanding your blood sugar levels is key to keeping those numbers in your target range. So, a foundation of blood sugar management is logging blood sugar in the Brook app. 

To log your blood sugar, you’ll do that from the main Brook channel. You should see an orange + in the lower right. Tap that and you can select blood sugar to log. If you don’t see the orange +, tap “Care Circle” in the top left, and then “Brook” to reach the main Brook channel. If you sync your blood sugar meter directly to Brook, it will automatically log readings for you. 

Log your blood sugar in Brook at least twice a week during the challenge to see how they change

Log two blood sugar readings in the Brook app

Week 1 Goals

Choose a goal for the week and tell a Health Coach:

Sync your blood sugar meter to Brook
Chat with a Health Coach about your target blood sugar
Log current weight in Brook


There’s a lot of myths floating around about diabetes. Let’s debunk a few.

Only higher weight people get diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can affect anyone regardless of weight. There’s almost nothing you can tell about person’s health just by their shape or body size

Having diabetes means you can’t eat carbs

While you may want to limit certain types of carbs, carbs with fiber make up one quarter of the Brook Healthy Plate for balanced blood sugar. Not sure what that is? Don’t worry, we cover it next week!

Eating sugar causes diabetes

High intake of added sugar can increase your risk of diabetes, but diabetes is more complex than one single reason

Once you get diabetes it's too late to make lifestyle changes

Definitely a myth! It’s never too late to make healthy changes whether you are making them to prevent diabetes or to manage blood sugar better if you do have diabetes

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects more than 34 million Americans. It’s estimated that 88 million more people have prediabetes, many without even knowing it. There are multiple types of diabetes, but we’ll be covering the most common one, type 2.

Want a little more background about how diabetes develops? Check out this video:

Complications of DM

Why does insulin resistance happen?

The short answer is: we don’t really know for sure. Research has shown that multiple factors seem to contribute to insulin resistance occurring. These factors can include:

  • High added sugar intake, usually from sugar sweetened beverages
  • Lack of activity
  • Excess belly fat 
  • Elevated fats in the blood
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in processed foods
  • Frequent alcohol intake 
  • Chronic stress
  • Imbalances in gut bacteria 
  • Genetic predisposition


Over the next few weeks we will be going through the actions you can take to become more sensitive to insulin and bring your blood sugar into a safe range. 

Know your numbers!

One of the first steps for diabetes management is monitoring your blood sugar regularly. This typically includes lab tests at healthcare appointments that measure both a fasting blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or HgA1c). The A1c test measures the percent of hemoglobin (part of the red blood cell) that has sugar attached. Red blood cells have a life cycle of around 3 months, so a higher A1c means that blood sugar has been higher during that time. We can lower our A1c with consistently keeping blood sugar in a healthier range. Generally that range is 70 – 180 mg/dL or 3.9 – 10 mmol/L but you and your healthcare provider might customize it.

If directed by a healthcare provider, you may also need to use a home glucose meter to see what your blood sugar is like at various points throughout the day. This may include one reading (usually before breakfast) or multiple readings (typically before and after meals). 

Tracking medications

If you’re also managing your blood sugar using medication, taking prescribed medications consistently is an important part of your care plan. On Brook, you can set up your medication schedule by entering when you take certain medications by time of day and days of the week. Brook will save that information for easy logging. You can even set up reminders so you can easily remember which medications to take and at what times. We can even remind you when to test your blood sugar.

Creating a Doctor's Report

Want to show your doctor your progress? You can get a printable report from Brook on how you’ve been doing for the last 30, 60, or 90 days. The report includes things like blood sugar readings, activity, sleep, and more. To get your Doctor’s Report, open the Brook app and tap “Care Circle” in the upper left, then tap “Create Report.” Choose the time frame and enter the emails you want to receive the PDF report. To generate a doctor’s report you’ll need to make sure that you have the diabetes care plan marked in your profile. 

That’s everything for this week!

Remember to log your blood sugar in Brook at least twice a week during the challenge

Log two blood sugar readings in the Brook app

Week 1 Goals

Choose a goal for the week:

Sync your blood sugar meter to Brook
Chat with a Health Coach about your target blood sugar
Log current weight in Brook
Chat soon!
Reviewed by Heather King, MS, RDN​, CDE

on September 23rd, 2020. Heather is a Certified Diabetes Educator, has been a Registered Dietitian for over 12 years, and is Brook's Health Director.