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Archive for the ‘Hypoglycemic Living’ Category

I totally fell for this click bait, 30 Foods Under 40 Calories, from Health Magazine and guess what? Every one of them, except tea, is a vegetable or fruit. 

I knew this ahead of time, I really did, but I wanted to believe otherwise because, as much as I love eating fruits and vegetables, I love processed food. But alas, time over time, I learn why vegetables and fruits should be the main thing I eat all day long.

Further reading: The concept of Crowding Out to lose weight and be healthy.

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Me: Look, I love you, but I made exactly the amount of cheese and crackers I want to eat right now. Wife: But I only ... Me: EXACTLY the amount

I can relate to this tweet so much, except it’s not my fiance usually saying it, it’s me. Before I put food on my plate, I portion-out exactly what my diet allows; meaning what will keep me healthy and keep my blood sugar even.

Also, my brother used to take food off my plate, so I have a strong reflective action to anyone who takes food off my plate.

So take at your own risk, or better yet, ask before you take. I’m a sharing person, I really am, but you may just hear from me that what’s on my plate is EXACTLY the amount of food I wanted.

 

 

 

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Venison sausage, 1/2 cup red quinoa, and raw green & red peppers and cucumber

Venison sausage, 1/2 cup red quinoa, and raw green & red peppers and cucumber

I think a lot of people, including me, tend to think cooked vegetables at dinner only (unless it’s a salad). I’m well-known for my love of grilled vegetables and roasted vegetables, which my fiance rightfully complains stink up the house, but sometimes I’m in a hurry or just plain don’t want to spend the time cooking vegetables.

There’s still debate on whether raw or cooked vegetables are better for you, but I say, on nights when you just don’t feel like it, go ahead and throw raw veggies on your plate and call it done.

 

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Ah, the new year is upon us, which means the gym is flooded with new year’s resolution people. Most regular gym goers hate this time of year because the gyms are crowded, but know it will be short-lived. I get inspired by more people trying to become healthier.

One of the main reasons I think people quit coming to the gym is that it seems so complicated. But here’s the secret: It isn’t.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me to go with them to the gym and learn how to weight lift. I go, and the main question I get afterward is, “That’s it? That seems to simple.” Yep, it does, and it is.

So why does it seem so complicated?

  • Trainers make it that way. I’ve blogged about this before, trainers are salespeople. Their job performance at most gyms is based on how many of their clients they get to renew their training packages. So think about it, their goal is convince you that you need them, and one of their favorite ways to do this is to make things look so complicated that you couldn’t possibly do it on your own.
  • Gym regulars get bored. So they try new things. Or, they haven’t realized yet that muscle confusion is (mostly) a myth. This is one of the reasons why you see the regulars doing crazy, complicated things. But you don’t need to. After a couple of years, if you get bored, sure, go ahead, try something fancy now and then, but when you are just getting started, you don’t need to make your workouts complicated.
  • Gym regulars have different goals. Yes, professional athletes and bodybuilders do more complicated things. That’s because they have vastly different goals than most people. Unless your goal is to become one of them, you don’t need to do fancy stuff.
  • The fitness industry tries to hook you with “new” things. This isn’t necessarily bad, I like trying new classes and such. But, as someone who has been an athlete since age 4, I can tell you that “new” is actually “repackaged.” For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) looks suspiciously like the old lactate training I did in high school swimming.

Recommendations for the average person and general gym-goer

Unless you are planning to become a professional athlete or fitness competitor, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Focus mostly on diet. This is, by far, more important than the gym. If you want to hire a professional, I recommend a registered dietician vs. a trainer.
  • You don’t need to do more than an hour per day at the gym, 5-6 days per week. I plan to do a whole post about this someday, but seriously, no more than an hour per day, I don’t care what the gym regulars or trainers tell you.
  • You should enjoy your cardio workouts. I personally like to learn a new skill through cardio (such as dancing, karate, etc.). I can’t stand to watch the bored people on the cardio machines at the gym. Unless you genuinely enjoy that, don’t be one of them. Find something you enjoy and…
  • Know your target heart rate and make sure you’re in it during all cardio sessions.
  • Weight training should be straight-forward and simple. There are two books I recommend (pick one, then when you get bored, go to the other) to get started:
    • Body Sculpting Bible (the link is for the women’s version, but there’s one for men too).  I used to carry this book to the gym with me everyday I was on the program. I used it so much over a couple of years that I destroyed the binding! I love that it shows pictures, and comes with a DVD to show you how to do every exercise.
    • Body for Life. Ridiculously simple weight-lifting and cardio program.

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A pink pig made of marzipan sweet almond paste in a plastic bag that reads "Good luck". Net weight 1.41 oz, 40 grams

Marzipan pig to celebrate the new year. (ignore the mess, we’d just moved in to our new house!)

This is my New Years piggy. If you’re not familiar with this tradition, Germans consume a pig on New Years Eve to bring good luck in the New Year. You can do this either by actually eating pork or by eating a marzipan pig  (Marzipanschweine).

Admittedly, it’d be a lot better for me as a hypoglycemic, or pretty much anyone, to eat the pork vs. marzipan, but a little indulgence now and then isn’t a terrible thing. Also, I’m not superstitious in any way, but it’s fun to keep some of these traditions alive.

But that doesn’t mean I have to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

In fact, I ate this little piggy over 4 days, and always immediately after a high protein meal (because that’s when it will impact my blood sugar the least). I also bought the smallest piggy I could find.

And that’s the trick with food traditions. You don’t have to give them up, but it’s not a blank check to stuff your face and trash your blood sugar & diet. Take a bit or two, savor the hell out of it, and walk away. It’s hard, but you’ll feel so much better overall when you do it.

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Christmas, for me, isn’t an excuse to skip out on my health. And since I took yesterday off (usually Sunday is my rest day), I had to squeeze in a workout today.  Most gyms are closed, I didn’t get home til after dark (so no outdoor workout for me), and I needed cardio, so I had to resort to the one full-length cardio video I had, TurboJam.

Trust me, this isn’t an ad for these videos. I find the instructor annoying and her martial arts skills scary bad, but hey, it makes me sweat and works my abs, and I only have to use the video 1-2 times per year, so TurboJam it is.

Yes, I know, diet is more important, but that can be hard when eating away from home so much, so my workouts help keep me semi on track, my blood sugar in  decent check (staying away from the sweets), and my stress level low.

 

 

Photo of Turbo Jam exercise video playing on my TV

Ohhhhh I’m not looking forward to this…

Photo of a BeachBody workout video warning that reads, "You should always warm up for a few minutes before beginning any workout, and you should never exercise beyond the level at which you feel comfortable.

I know what they mean, people can take it too far, but part of the point of exercising is to push your limits, slightly.

 

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Every time I’m in my office or somewhere else and I see other females get “the look,” then reach for their little bag or whatever it is that holds their tampons and go running for the bathroom, I desperately want to chase after them screaming “There’s another way! You don’t have to do this anymore!”

But, alas I don’t, and for the same reason I’ve avoided writing this post for a while, because it’s still a bit of a taboo subject to talk about. Thankfully for me, a friend did tell me about menstrual cups years ago and I’m passing on the favor by telling you all.

Benefits

There’s a lot of articles about benefits and such, but here are why I’m so madly in love with them:

  • On heavy days, I have to empty mine twice per day. On light days, once per day. So WAY less than tampons and way more convenient.
  • No leaky panic moments (see bullet above)
  • Partially because of the first bullet point, I’m sometimes capable of forgetting I’m having my period for hours on end. This could be a downside, however, if I forget to empty it.
  • My Diva Cup was about $30 and they last at least 5 years. How much have you spent on tampons and pads during that time?
  • Environmentally, think of all of the waste from tampons and pads
  • No leakage while working out

Functionality

But Nicole, isn’t it gross? I get this question a lot and if you get easily freaked out by the sight of your own blood, I get it. For me, blood isn’t a big deal, so it’s not so bad. They say to empty them in the toilet. I find that’s a pain and can be messy. So my solution? Take a shower twice a day when I need to empty it and dump it down the drain.

They can be a bit tricky to get out, I’ve pulled on the mine (which has the traditional stem style end) many a time and not had it just snap back like a rubber band on me. Ouch! But that’s because I have a hard time gripping it. Thankfully, Me Luna brand has ring and ball style handles that would work much better.

Feel free to comment below with questions and I’ll add to this. But you can’t say no one told you about them now 🙂

 

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