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Posts Tagged ‘food’

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

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Nice try, Starbucks. Considering that 2.3g sugar = 1 sugar cube, there are the equivalent of almost 9 sugar cubes in this damn can of coffee. That cancels-out any benefits of the 20 grams of protein in my book.

Definitely not hypoglycemic-friendly or anyone-friendly.

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Turkey Tacos for Thanksgiving

 

Never one for convention, I decided to make a Tex-Mex Thanksgiving dinner for my boyfriend and I.  I got this recipe from a comment on Lifehacker’s What’s Your Go To Date Recipe and made one modification. They taste so good and they are very hypoglycemic-friendly (high protein, low carb).

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Sauzon (not included in the nutrition info, it wasn’t an option on the calculator).
  • 1 lb package of 97% lean turkey
  • 9 corn (not blended, fully corn) tortillas
  • 3/4 cup Mexican-style shredded cheese
  • 1 red onion, chopped (I only use a small portion on each)
  • 1 5.3 oz cup of Fage Greek Yogurt plain (this is a healthy sour cream substitute)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Wing sauce

Directions:

  • Toast the corn tortillas on both sides
  • Cook the turkey, add both packets of Sauzon about half way through, cook until brown
  • Sprinkle some of the cheese on the tortillas
  • Add on the turkey
  • Sprinkle on a bit more cheese
  • From original directions: If you need to keep this warm, place in oven on lowest setting until ready to serve
  • Top with 1 Tbsp of Greek Yogurt, some red onion, and however much cilantro you want on each taco
  • Drizzle hot sauce on top
  • Enjoy the deliciousness

Nutrition information (from SparkPeople Recipe Calculator):

Recipe makes 3 servings
Nutritional information is amount Per Serving
  • Calories 440.9
  • Total Fat 11.2 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol 101.6 mg
  • Sodium 724.2 mg
  • Potassium 85.0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 31.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  • Sugars 3.2 g
  • Protein 53.0 g
*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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