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Archive for the ‘Hypoglycemic Diet’ Category

 

1 large pancake, about 6 inches diameter, along with all of the ingredients used to make it: Justin's Peanut Butter, Kodiak Power Cakes pancake mix, organic cinnamon, Mariani sliced almonds, Cary's sugar-free syrup

Pancake batter: 1/2 cup Kodiak Power Cakes, 1/2 cup water, 1 Tbsp almonds, dash of cinnamon. On top: 1 tsp peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar free syrup

I have a weakness for anything breakfast, and especially anything in the french toast or doughy pancake realm. So I was intrigued to find Kodiak Power Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack & Waffle Mix at Costco and decided to give it a try.

I’ve tried other protein pancake mixes, such as MET-Rx High Protein Pancake Mix and haven’t been impressed. But I lived in hope.

And thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. These pancakes are great!

And while they don’t keep me as full as my usual breakfast of fruit, oatmeal, and almonds, they are a great not-so-unhealthy “treat” once in a while for breakfast.

Hints:

  • I like really doughy pancakes, so I use a small omelet pan and make one big pancake (see photo) vs. small ones. I also found just using water vs. the other suggestions of eggs or milk makes the pancake center more like dough.
  • Adding cinnamon to the mix gives a great flavor punch without adding calories or carbohydrates.

Pancake batter

1/2 cup Kodiak Power Cakes

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp almonds

dash of cinnamon

On top

1 tsp peanut butter

1/4 cup sugar free syrup

 

 

Enjoy!

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Bins of organic chocolate bars, cookies, and mini bottles of wine at Whole Foods

Those chocolate bars? They are 420 calories. And those cookies? They are 460 calories.

 

Shopping at Whole Foods is a good lesson in correlation vs. causation. It’s easy to walk around Whole Foods and see all of the skinny people and think, “If I shop here, I’ll lose weight!”

The reality is, you can shop at Whole Foods and gain weight, lose weight, or stay the same; it’s all based on WHAT you buy at Whole Foods. Take the cookies and chocolate in the above example. Since they are offered at Whole Foods and contain organic ingredients, they have a health halo effect, meaning you think they are healthier and won’t impact your weight as much. But in terms of calories, sugar, etc. these foods aren’t any healthier for you and will set you back on your weight goals (unless you’re trying to gain weight).

The benefit of upscale grocery chains such as Whole Foods is that they have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and unprocessed foods. If you stick to those while shopping at Whole Foods, you have a much better chance of reaching your weight goals.

 

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Water bottle, purse, towel, cooler filled with a turkey wrap and apple

I decided to try a new exercise class today (note to self: in the future when it’s 94 degrees out, make sure the gym has air conditioning). The class went from 11 am – 12 pm and then I knew it would take me a while to get home.

This could have been hypoglycemic disaster or a convenient excuse to eat crap, but nope, I was good and packed my lunch, a turkey wrap (flaxseed wrap, hummus, 1 slice cheese, 3 slices deli turkey) and an apple.

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A beer, a large pretzel, two white sausages, and sweet mustard on a picnic table

“Weisswurst lunch at Viktualienmarkt” by Thomas Kriese, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Last year, my now-fiance and I took a vacation touring various parts of Germany.  The entire trip, I showed little restraint on food, as I absolutely LOVE German food. So, I happily ate sausages, pretzels and beer.

And to my shock, I not only didn’t have any issues with my blood sugar and hypoglycemia, but I also lost weight!

Ever since then, I’ve been curious as to why that is, and during a recent call with my dietitian, I asked. Here was the highlights of her response:

  • While I wasn’t working out like I usually do, and the walking all day probably didn’t burn extra calories, walking all day is a slow carb burn vs. a big, fast carb burn with an intense workout. She advises her clients, if they do gorge on carbohydrates, to go for a 10-15 minute walk after to start the burn process. So, while I was walking, I was slowly burning the carbs off vs. the high/low calorie/carb burn of my usual day.
  • The fat and protein in the sausages probably kept me full, allowing me to eat less often and eat less calories.
  • There’s a difference between American and European wheat, which could impact how it impacts my hypoglycemia. I’ve actually noticed this myself, when I drink American beer, I end up feeling ridiculously hungry and not well. If I drink German beer, however, I don’t feel this way. I think it has a lot to do with the additives and such we put in our beer.
  • Portion sizes are smaller over there.  Maybe so, maybe not, I’ve eaten some pretty giant pretzels and drank some giant beers, but overall, probably so.

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We just came back from a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands (I know, poor us).  While we made both our breakfasts and lunches on the trips, we splurged on dinners and I splurged on calorie-dense tropical drinks (I choose the lowest-sugar ones I could).

We got home late, thanks to both of our planes being delayed, but thankfully I’d taken the next day off, which allowed me to do the most important part of coming back from a vacation and getting back on track with healthy eating: Go to the grocery store ASAP.

When we got home, the fridge was practically empty, and the next morning was a scrounge to find food, but right after breakfast, I headed-out to all of the stores.

Why is this so important?

It’s too easy, after a trip like this, to continue to eat out because it’s what you’ve been doing the last week or so and there’s no food in the house. This, I believe, adds to the weight gain of vacations. The quickest way to break this is to get healthy food stocked back up in your house ASAP. It took me 3 hours, but the photo shows our fridge now, well-stocked with healthy food options. And, we’re back on track.

So the next time you plan your vacation, also plan a half day to hit the stores and stock back up. Your weight and your blood sugar will thank you.

 

Our fridge stocked with lots of fruit and vegetables, lean dairy, and good protein options, including eggs, deli turkey, and tofu. In the giant green bowl is my chopped veggies for snacking.

Our fridge stocked with lots of fruit and vegetables, lean dairy, and good protein options, including eggs, deli turkey, and tofu. In the giant green bowl is my chopped veggies for snacking.

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I’m a heavy magazine reader (mostly nerdy stuff). This week, I polished-off a Women’s Health and a National Geographic:

  • The Women’s Health* May issue (page 112) has an article titled “Can you build a better sugar?” which basically concludes that sugar substitutes have their issues (they may actually cause blood sugar spikes) and that it might be best to just stick to the more natural sugar.
  • National Geographic included an excerpt of the book, Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong and highlighted how margarine and Crisco basically introduced trans fats to the American diet and cause up to 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. We’d be better off sticking with the more natural butter.

So, both concluded that we’d be better off sticking to a food closer to it’s original form than one created through a highly lab-intensive process. SHOCKED, shocked I tell you! (sarcasm)

I’m definitely guilty of some processed foods, but whenever possible, we should try to avoid them, especially as hypoglycemics, as there can be serious blood sugar consequences.

Am I saying go to town and eat as much sugar and butter as you want? Nope. Moderation is the key, a combination of portion control and cutting-back on how much sugar, butter, salt, etc. we add to things. For example, our sweets in the U.S. are ridiculously sweet compared to sweets in other countries and they are HUGE. We could easily fix both.

 

 

*I’m in no way advocating that Women’s Health is a good source of actual health advice. Some of their articles are great and well-researched, but many are not, and contradict each other. Read with caution.

 

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Wedding cake

As a bride-to-be, I’m in the process of cake shopping for our wedding. Those of you who know me can imagine that this is particularly entertaining for me, as I’m a marketer by trade, and used to help my grandmother make wedding cakes.

So I was a little taken back when one bakery refused to make me a sugar free cake, saying “We only make ORIGINAL recipes here.”

I mean, I get it, no one wants to walk into their store, expecting one thing and getting another. At the same time, we’ve learned a few things since 1965 (when this particular bakery originated), like that margarine is worse than butter, that high amounts of sugar and fat can harm you, that certain color dyes can cause harm or death.  And, of course, we know people various diseases and disorders, like hypoglycemia and diabetes, shouldn’t eat certain things.

And I’m also sure that ORIGINAL recipe went through many renditions, somewhere along the line, prior to becoming the recipe it is today. So, it’s not the original recipe; at some point, you all just decided it was great and quit innovating.

The reality is, there is a place for novelty and nostalgia, but to refuse to change is to refuse progress and discount all of the things we’ve learned. We have to be open to changing our food and recipes, as hypoglycemics or just regular people, as we learn more about the impact of those foods on our bodies.

As one of my favorite teachers once said, “The only way to coast is downhill.”

 

 

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