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Posts Tagged ‘Blood Sugar’

 

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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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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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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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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Stress impacts your body. At least, that’s what all of the research tells us. It also impacts your blood sugar, which makes it a very important topic for those of us with hypoglycemia. And, oftentimes, especially as hypoglycemics, we’re so involved in making the correct diet and fitness decisions, that our mental health, our personal well-being goes by the wayside. In this series, we’ll discuss a variety of ways to manage your stress and, in the process, manage your blood sugar.

Most of the time, I’m one of the most intense and cerebral people you’ll meet, oftentimes to a fault. So, I can see how it would seem odd, to my friends, family and coworkers, that, in the most intense situations, I’ll wander up them and make a big deal over savoring a cookie (a tiny, tiny piece for me), or a piece of chocolate, or a pretty flower or sunset.

Why do I do that in those moments? Because it creates a break in the tension, a moment of peace, and a reminder of something good.

I’m reminded of the scene in The Hobbit right after Thorin Oakenshield is killed; Bilbo is trying to process through his emotions when Gandalf sits next to him, and picks at his pipe. It’s somewhat comical to watch, but effective. Gandalf is by no means a simple person, but he uses the pipe to remind him, and others, to not always be so intense, to enjoy the small, good things in life.

In Zen Buddhism, there’s the story (the flower sermon) of the Buddha holding up a flower and only one of his disciples smiles.  The most common interpretation of this is that knowledge can be transferred without words or letters, but when I read this story, I can also see how this exemplifies the idea that, something so simple can bring a moment of clarity and peace.

In Christianity, I’ve heard several sermons talk about stressful situations draining your “bucket” and how you need to make sure you keep your bucket full (with love, things that bring you peace and joy, etc.), or at least not let it empty. With this interpretation, a moment of simple joy could be a way to refill the bucket, even if it is partially.

Whatever philosophy above works for you, I encourage you to give it a try. You may just find that that moment of simplicity may be what you need to get through a rough situation.

 

 

 

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