A Battle With Diabetes Leads To Cookies
My name is Jose - co-founder of ChipMonk Baking, a health nut, and a diagnosed type two diabetic.
Diabetes is scary, and it affects 425 million people world wide. It's a global epidemic. Scarier still, that number doesn't account for the countless others with pre-diabetes. In the US alone, there are over 84 million people with pre-diabetes.
My personal experience with diabetes has been the driving force behind everything we do at ChipMonk. Before my diagnosis in 2016, I suffered from extreme fatigue, relied too heavily on caffeine, was irritable, and struggled to maintain my weight. I knew something was wrong, but I never linked it to diabetes because I had always been in decent shape.
Eventually, I visited my doctor and found out my A1c (an average measurement of blood sugar over 3 months) was 6.9, which is well into the diabetic range. My doctor tried to prescribe me medication meant to control blood sugar, but being a double science major, I wanted to tackle my diagnosis holistically. My goal was to fix the root of the problem of my disease, not slap it with a band-aid.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
In coming up with a game plan, I took to heart the words of the famous ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
The problem was my diet. Eating too many refined carbs and sugars was what caused my blood sugar to get so high, so I cut my carb intake while simultaneously upping the quality of the carbs I did eat. I went on a strict low carb diet consisting of nuts, seeds, above-ground vegetables, berries, lean red meat, fish, poultry, and all the avocado and olive oil you could imagine. You can read more about my low carb high fat diet here.
On this new diet, most of my calories came from a wide array of fats, and I started to feel better almost immediately.
A Stunning Reversal
Two and a half months later, I went back to the doctor to get my blood sugar tested again. I was nervous that my hard work in realigning my dietary habits wouldn’t be enough to stop the onset of diabetes. To my joy and surprise, my A1C came in at about 5.3 which falls below even the pre-diabetes threshold. My doctor was stunned. He couldn’t believe how quickly I lowered my blood sugar. More surprising to him was that I had done it by actively changing my lifestyle to manage my condition.
Unfortunately, this new way of living meant I had to give up a lot of the foods I loved to eat. These were the same delicious, high-carb foods that made me diabetic in the first place: things like bread, pasta, pizza, tortillas, rice, beans, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and beer. It’s been tough, especially since I have a massive sweet tooth.
The Birth Of Chipmonk
Sometime in early 2019, I decided to take an active stance to try and solve this challenge for myself and others. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I researched how to make desserts using alternative ingredients that wouldn’t raise my blood sugar. I came upon ingredients like almond flour and natural sugar alternatives Allulose and Monk Fruit.
Over the course of a weekend, I used these new ingredients to make a wide selection of the foods I previously thought I could no longer have (bread, muffins, cookies, etc.). Honestly, some of it turned out pretty bad, but my saving grace were the chocolate chip cookies which turned out pretty well. I shared them with my roommate, David, and he was blown away that something without any sugar could taste so good. Over the following weeks, we worked together to make more flavors and tweaked the recipe until we had something we both really enjoyed.
We started handing out samples to our friends and family, and soon realized that we had struck a chord. People were desperate to enjoy something sweet without cheating themselves out of good health. The stars were aligned and we knew that we could do this. We could bring back dessert for so many people who were struggling with challenges like diabetes, the keto lifestyle, and celiac disease. We came up with our name ChipMonk Baking, and here we are today, making thousands of delicious low-carb cookies that our Customers can enjoy without risking the negative side effects of eating too many carbs and sugars. We are so happy to have you on this journey with us and can’t wait to see where it all leads!