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Posts Tagged ‘Hypoglycemia’

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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If you just take one thing away from reading my blog, please let it be this, please don’t try “natural remedies” that have been promoted by celebrities (cough…Gwyneth Paltrow or Dr. Oz) or in general.

Natural remedies could kill you

Any medicine has it’s risks (as the joke goes, that’s why they call it “practicing medicine.” But going with something untested has very high risk, where doing something that’s been throughly tested and vetted has very low risk.

So, while a special diet may not seem harmful, or even a recipe, you need to think twice before doing something that’s unproven. It may just save your life.

Medical blogs I recommend:

 

 

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

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Two salads and two sides of tofu, ready to be reheated/have some oil added for easy food preparation. The masking tape has the reheating and final prep instructions right on them.

Here’s my low-carb, good fat, protein snack collection for easy snacking while I recover from surgery. This is a collection of Kind STRONG bars, ThinkThin bars, Zing bars, and dried-salted chick peas.

6 servings (1 cup each) of Kraft 30-minute chili mac, in individual containers for easy re-heating (note: I don’t reheat in plastic, so those are thawed and heated in bowls).

I recently had PRK eye surgery, which meant that I was going to not feel great and not really be able to see (due to light sensitivity) for a few days.  This posed a challenge for me as a hypoglycemic, since I still needed to maintain my diet. And, since I wouldn’t be able to work-out for a whole week, I needed to really make sure I ate healthy to maintain my weight.

My boyfriend (now fiance!, who was amazing during this, thank you so much!) was in charge of taking care of me during my healing process, including my meals. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on him because I definitely know how frustrating it can be do figure out all of the correct portions, measurements, etc.

So, the night before the surgery, I prepared some of easy-to-finish/easy to reheat meals that he could give me when I was hungry. This included (see photos above):

The salads and chili mac had final preparation instructions on masking-tape for him.

This worked really well, so I will definitely do it again if I’m having surgery again.

 

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