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Posts Tagged ‘Dietician’

Photo of two legs, one with a large post-knee surgery brace on it. The other leg has a colorful sock on it that goes up to the knee

Welcome to life after knee surgery. Luckily, the way we handled my hypoglycemia during the surgery made low blood sugar a non-issue while I was recovering. The sock is a compression sock from a friend, a nice gift and very helpful!

 

Last Friday I had to have knee surgery (I’m doing well), which meant “going under” with general anesthesia.

Obviously, anesthesia and hypoglycemia together present some unique challenges, since you can’t eat for a long period prior to your surgery, which impacts your blood sugar.

Here’s how we managed to make it work:

Pre-surgery

  • My surgeon and I discussed my hypoglycemia and we scheduled my surgery as the first surgery of the day to minimize impact.
  • When I went in for my pre-op appointment with the nurses and and anesthesiologist, I discussed my hypoglycemia at length and problem-solved a plan.
  • I had to stop eating at 9 pm the day before my surgery.  At 8:50 pm, I ate a high-protein meal, consisting of one serving of this chili mac (I’m not sure why, but it really keeps my sugar even), 1 serving of oyster crackers in the chili mac, and 100 calorie bowl of Greek yogurt. So yeah, huge protein intake and low sugar intake.
  • From 9 pm until when we left our house the morning of the surgery (5:00 am ish), I was allowed to drink water and the regular versions of Gatorade/Powerade, which helped boost my blood sugar, especially in the morning.
  • Admittedly, when we got to the hospital, I was hungry and had to distract myself with the TV. I wished I’d eaten more at 8:50 the night before, but I’m not sure I should have, as they recommend you eat light.
  • I told EVERY single nurse, assistant, etc. that I interacted with the day of the surgery that “I’m severely hypoglycemic” so there was no misunderstandings of someone not knowing.
  • My fiance carried a snack bag with him, which included protein powder, Gatorade, and some Kind bars. Admittedly, I didn’t touch these, but I still think it’s always good to have some sort of plan.

During surgery

  • While I haven’t confirmed this, the surgeon had told me prior to the surgery that he was going to put a sugar IV on me to keep my blood sugar from crashing.

Post-surgery

  • Oh man was I nauseous coming out of surgery! This obviously presented a huge problem.
  • I was able to drink 1/2 a can of Coke and eat 2 graham crackers after surgery.
  • On the way home, we stopped for a protein shake, which I figured I could stomach. I picked one I really love, this Protein Velvet Ice from PJ’s Coffee (vanilla in case you ever go on a coffee run for me). Normally I only allow myself a small, but I needed as much calories/protein as possible, so we went for a large. I sucked it all down.  Be careful with protein shakes, dear readers, check the sugar, most aren’t as healthy as they look!
  • Now here’s where I messed up: I should have made myself continually take small bites of food all day (high protein, low fat, low carb foods). But I didn’t, and I paid for it. Instead, I waited til dinner and then tried to eat. I almost threw up. So, I had to eat very, very slowly; it took me about 2 hours to eat 500 calories of food. Not good. Again, learn from my mistake; make yourself eat just a few bites every 15 minutes or so throughout the day.
  • Because I had so much trouble eating, I did continue to sip on Gatorade until I could eat more regularly. Again, I think eating more regularly would have been healthier though.
  • After I was back to eating normally (about a day), I had worked-out a plan with my dietician ahead of time where I cut back each meal 100 calories (unless I was hungry) to help me not gain weight during recovery.

And there you have it! Not a pleasant experience, but a way to go through general anesthesia as a hypoglycemic and survive with minimal blood sugar issues!

 

 

 

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A grocery check out line with my groceries of fruit, vegetables, eggs, and Beanitos chips

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Note the black, matte packaging and “manly” flavors, clearly marketing to men. Three different flavors of the King STRONG bars: Hickory Smoked, Honey Mustard, and Thai Sweet Chili

Three different flavors of the King STRONG bars: Hickory Smoked, Honey Mustard, and Thai Sweet Chili

I’m not sure if you actually get more volume out of the Kind STRONG Honey Mustard bar or if the ingredients are more “smushed” so it looks more filled.

 

Note: I was not compensated for this post nor did KIND know about this post prior to me publishing it. 

One of the questions I took to my dietician was snack ideas that would be good for my hypoglycemia, good for me overall, and were reasonable in cost.  She highly recommends KIND bars. Originally, I was eating the KIND + protein bars, but these didn’t seem to fill me up. She figured-out that my snacks need to be at 230 calories, so she recommended the higher-calorie KIND & Strong bars.

As a marketer, these bars make me laugh. They are clearly marketed to men, with the “savory” flavors and the black matte packaging, so I’ve nicknamed them “Bro Bars.” And, I was really skeptical of the non-sweet flavors because, like everyone else, I’ve been conditioned by the “bar” market to expect energy/protein bars to be sweet.

But they keep me full, keep my blood sugar even, and are actually quite good (once you get over your sweet expectation). These have become a staple in our house and a regular healthy snack when I’m traveling.

I’m also a fan of the price, which is about $1.20 each compared to other protein bars at $2.50 each.

Final note: These are really hard to find at local grocery stores. I contacted KIND and they recommended a few stores, one of which was Target, so that’s where I grab mine.

 

 

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I went to my dietician to find out what snacks I could eat, as a hypoglycemic, that are good for me, will keep my blood sugar even, and keep me full.

She really emphasized balancing carbs, protein, and fat in my snacks, so you’ll see that below. I had asked specifically for very portable snacks since I travel a lot.

Note: She had originally gave me 200 calorie snacks, but I was still hungry two hours later, so these are all around 230 to 240 calories. You may need to adjust up or down depending on your activity level (I burn 1,400 calories just resting each day).

 

 

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Yes, the bottom of the muffin is below all of the deliciousness

 

Ever on the look-out for more natural (NOT a protein bar) meals I can haul with me to the gym and eat after my workout, I came up with this breakfast sandwich that’s oh-so-good and oh-so-good for you.  With a blend of high fiber, fat and protein, it’s hypoglycemic-friendly and tastes great!

I take it out of the fridge right before I leave and put it in my gym locker. When I’m done with my morning workout (so out of the fridge a max of 1.5 hours, still safe), it’s ready to eat!

Ingredients:

 

Nutrition Facts (via SparkPeople Recipe Calculator)
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 300.0
  • Total Fat 10.5 g
  • Saturated Fat 3.0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol 15.0 mg
  • Sodium 490.0 mg
  • Potassium 0.0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 30.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  • Sugars 7.0 g
  • Protein 20.0 g
  • Vitamin A 6.0 %
  • Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  • Vitamin B-6 0.0 %
  • Vitamin C 0.0 %
  • Vitamin D 0.0 %
  • Vitamin E 0.0 %
  • Calcium 26.0 %
  • Copper 0.0 %
  • Folate 4.0 %
  • Iron 8.0 %
  • Magnesium 0.0 %
  • Manganese 0.0 %
  • Niacin 10.0 %
  • Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
  • Phosphorus 0.0 %
  • Riboflavin 4.0 %
  • Selenium 0.0 %
  • Thiamin 10.0 %
  • Zinc 0.0 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Woman holding up a Nutrisystem bag of caramel crunch popcorn

Yeah….I doubt Nutrisystem meets our blood sugar needs either. Photo from Flickr: miss_rogue

Last week in Rotary, a Chiropractor was presenting on overall health including, of course, spinal health. What I thought was interesting was that he spent a great deal of his allotted 20 minutes talking about diet and exercise. I give the doctor kudos for emphasizing this, but his diet/nutrition plan left a lot to be desired, especially if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic.

He recommended eating the majority of your daily intake of carbohydrates in the morning, a minimal amount at lunch, and very few or none in the evening. Side note: I couldn’t help notice that this seems to be the same model as My Fit Foods. Anyway…

That might be all well and great if you have no sugar issues at all (although I’m not entirely convinced of that), but that’s a bad, bad plan if you are diabetic or hypoglycemic. If you have blood sugar issues of any kind you must eat a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein at every meal (see below for a link to a hypoglycemic diet outline).

When I asked him about it (because you know I couldn’t help myself…but I was nice), he said that his nutrition plan was general and that he could spend a whole day if he was trying to address small populations and their dietary needs. Small population???  I bet these American Diabetes Association statistics might change his mind. Considering who is in Rotary. I’d estimate that about 20% of the audience or more has blood sugar issues. So, he gave bad advice for at least 1 in 5 of us.

Moral of the story? Don’t just take one of these cookie-cutter diet plans or nutrition plans and implement it. You could be putting your health or life at risk by doing so. Instead, talk with your doctor and dietitian about your specific needs.

You might also be interested in: 

Outline of a hypoglycemic diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

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I know! Lets call our new coffee “Fitness Coffee” and say that it will help aid in weight loss with a balanced diet and exercise plan and sell it for about twice as much as even organic coffee! Never mind that a balanced diet and exercise plan are the true reasons people lose weight and don’t worry about people catching on to it being so expensive either; we’ll just put it at the same price as the regular coffee bags, make it just as tall, but just fill it with only have as much product. No one looks at the ounces on coffee anyway.

 

Can you tell I’m skeptical and sarcastic today???

 

And, by the way, most dietitians recommend against caffeine if you are hypoglycemic, but if you can manage that, you are stronger than I.

 

A bag of fitness coffee

Found at my local grocery store on 11/3/12

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