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a Battle with diabetes leads to cookies

Diabetes is a global epidemic. It’s scary, and my personal experience with it is the “why” behind everything we do at ChipMonk.


Back in 2016, I was blindsided when I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. I had been experiencing common symptoms like extreme fatigue and energy levels that fluctuated with my meals, but I had always been in decent shape so never even considered that I may be diabetic. One night, I had the terrifying experience of falling asleep while driving my car home. I knew my body was telling me that something was wrong, and I had to take action.

I visited my doctor and found out my A1c (a measurement of one’s average blood level) was 6.9, which is well into the diabetes range. My doctor tried to prescribe me metformin (a drug meant to help control blood sugar), but I had a degree in biology and knew that I wanted to tackle my diagnosis without medications. I wanted to fix the root problem, not slap a band-aid on top of it.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

 
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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”. I knew that what I consumed was the core driver of my overall health, so 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 our blog.

Eating too many carbs 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 still ate. 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. 

 
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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 harm my health. I learned about the benefits of almond flour and natural sugar alternatives like monk fruit and allulose. Over the course of a weekend, I used these new ingredients to make a wide spread of the foods I previously thought I couldn’t have in my diet (bread, muffins, cookies, etc.).  Honestly, some of it turned out pretty bad (I had no baking experience), but I did make some chocolate chip cookies which tasted pretty darn good. 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.

Check out some of our earliest creations baked in our home kitchen below:

 
 

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!


ChipMonk Co-Founder,

Jose Hernandez