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Posts Tagged ‘protein bar’

 ThinkThin Chocolate Raspberry bar on a halloween placemat 
Happy Halloween everyone! 
As you already know from previous posts, my current protein bar of choice is ThinkThin. They taste great, have ZERO sugar in them, and they are a hell of a lot cheaper than Quest Bars ($1.25 for ThinkThin, $2.50 for Quest, if you eat one a day, that’s about a $40 difference per month!).

So when I saw a new flavor at the grocery store, ThinkThin Chocolate Raspberry, I got excited and bought a bunch of them. 

Sadly, just like the caramel one, something is seriously off with the taste. It tastes like…chemicals. 

Damn, I was really looking forward to a new flavor. I guess I’ll stick with my usuals (Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Brownie, and Chocolate Espresso).

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Ok, so sometimes I have to get a little creative to maintain my diet, weight and blood sugar. It’s ok to laugh at these, I make fun of myself about them all the time. But you know what? They work:

  • Went to Valentine’s Day dinner with my boyfriend. They told us ahead of time that they were catering in fajitas. So, I took my own corn tortillas. Laugh all you want, but the two flour tortillas they were giving everyone equaled 300 calories and 50 g of carbohydrates. My three corn ones? 150 calories and 30 g of carbs. Plus, they taste better and I got more meat than everyone else. I didn’t need to eat from 7 pm that night until the next morning!
  • If I do allow myself a treat, such as a plain cake donut (one of my favorites!) I get one, immediately walk to the trash, and drop 1/2 of it in the trash. I know me too well, if it’s sitting there, I’ll eat it. But I won’t dig it out of the trash. Full plain cake donut, 210 calories, 22g of carbs. 1/2 of donut, 105 calories, 11 g of carbs.
  • If my friends are having a night of unhealthy food that I can’t have (ice cream night), I’ll still go, but I’ll take my own treat that I love and is somewhat equivalent (such as Cookies and Cream protein powder or a ThinkThin Cookies and Creme protein bar).
  • If sandwiches/wraps are provided for a meeting, I’ll take extra (no shame), dissect them, remove a lot of carbs and load all of the protein into one bun or wrap, and eat that.
  • Drive our admin assistant nuts by insisting that all of our work food comes with all the condiments on the side (see Stop pre-loading my food with condiments!).

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Four Think Thin protein bars

Cookies and Cream, Brownie Crunch, and Chocolate Fudge are my three favorites. I didn’t care for the Caramel Fudge.

With a new reduced carbohydrate and high protein diet to control my hypoglycemia, I needed a new protein bar. I tried the Quest bars on the recommendation of a friend but HOLY SALT were they high in sodium (and this is coming from a salt addict). So on a recommendation from another friend, I tried the thinkThin bars.

The good:
– No sugars added is a huge plus.
– They taste really great.
– The chocolate curbs my chocolate cravings for the rest of the day.
– At 230 ish calories, they are a good size for a large snack or two small ones.
– 20 grams of protein per bar.
– They are easily portable. I eat one thinkThin bar, 14 almonds, and espresso with one cup of milk as my post-workout breakfast.

The not-so-good:
– Some people have stomach issues with maltitol (see Sugar Free Chocolate and the Laxative Effect).
– They are more expensive than the Clif Bars I was eating. The least expensive way I’ve found to buy them is individually at my grocery store for $1.25 each and at Target in boxes of 5 for a little over $1 each (but only a few flavors are stocked at my Target). Amazon is much higher!

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If you’re hypoglycemic, each snack should include a carbohydrate and a protein. Health Magazine just published “17 High Protein Snacks You Can Eat on the Go.” While I don’t agree with some of these choices (too much processing, sodium, etc.) it is a helpful reminder of options. Check it out!

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Another reader question, from Megan (thanks Megan!), requested a hypoglycemic-oriented grocery list.

Here are the items I try to keep in stock at all times. On top of reviewing this list, I try to make one special meal each week, so I’ll make sure to add any addition ingredients needed for that recipe to my list.

Freezer section:

  • Chicken
  • Edamame
  • Frozen veggies (some starchy ones and some not)

Refrigerated section:

  • Milk (be careful if you pick something other than regular milk, check carbs/protein levels)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Goat cheese (I keep 2, 4 oz packs on hand)

General:

  • Couscous
  • Almond meal
  • Rolled oats
  • Coconut flakes
  • Individual boxes of raisins
  • Oyster crackers
  • Popcorn (not microwave)
  • Individual boxes of dried cranberries
  • Individual packs of nuts
  • Almonds
  • Clif bars
  • Protein powder
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Marinara sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Salsa

Spices:

  • Italian blend
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • AllSpice
  • Chili powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Multiple types of vinegar

Produce:

  • Bananas (I cut them in 1/2 and freeze them for use in smoothies)
  • Bananas (if I’m making the breakfast cookies)
  • Spinach (2 bags)
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 7 apples (one per day til I go back to the store)
  • Carrots
  • Some other fruit on sale, enough for at least one serving per day for an entire week

 

If you keep these items in stock, you’ll have all you need for the following recipes (plus ones  you make up on your own):

No sugar oat drop cookies (breakfast cookies)

Spinach, cranberry, goat cheese salad

Apple pie smoothie

Add beef or turkey to your grocery list and you’ll have everything, except the cheese, for this 30-minute chili mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Megan wrote me and wanted to know what protein sources there are out there other than nuts. I thought I had my hypo email forwarded, but apparently not. Sorry it took so long Megan! I’ll tackle your other question soon too!

If you are a reader and have something in particular you want tackled, please comment on a post and let me know! I’m always looking for post ideas and I want to make sure I’m writing on the hypoglycemic topics that are most relevant to you.

Anyway….

Sources of Protein Other than Nuts for Hypoglycemics (check your portion sizes)

  • Lean meat
  • Protein shakes (some have carbs too)
  • Edamame (soy beans, dried, steamed, etc.)
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Whole wheat pasta (also carbs)
  • Protein bars (also  carbs)
  • Beans (also carbs)
  • Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous

I’m guessing her question primarily stemmed from Megan wanting protein sources that were portable. So here’s that list:

  • Protein powder (I put 1/2 a scoop in a Gladware Mini Round and go! When I’m ready for it, I add water, shake vigorously and drink. They don’t leak so it works great!)
  • Cheese (can be unchilled for up to 2 hours and still safe to consume, I also often carry a mini cooler with me if possible)
  • Organic Milk. I recently learned that this doesn’t have to be kept cold. Starbucks sells individual portions.
  • Protein bars (I recommend Clif bars)
  • Seeds
  • Dried Edamame

Any other thoughts for Megan folks?

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A group of people eating a snack

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons: Mai Le

One of the most difficult social situations, in my opinion, for a hypoglycemic, is to have to eat while out at a bar or club with friends. It is ESSENTIAL, especially if consuming alcohol, that a hypoglycemic still eat when they are supposed to, but it can be tough while out with friends.

I’ve already covered how to carry food with you at a bar/club, so today I’ll focus on how to eat in a way that is the least intrusive and socially acceptable. Note: These are only my opinions, you may think otherwise or have other ideas. If so, please comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re at a place that doesn’t serve food, it’s usually acceptable to eat inside. Most of my friends know I’m hypoglycemic and are used to me eating in front of them, so they think nothing of it. I choose snacks that are easily portable and discrete (usually a protein bar or individual portions of dried fruit and nuts). I’ll keep them as out-of-sight as possible, break-off individual bites and pop them in my mouth. The point here is to not hide it, but be discrete.

If the place does serve food and/or you are with someone you don’t feel comfortable eating in front of, I recommend taking what a former waitressing colleague of mine called a “non-smoking smoke break” (she got mad that smokers got breaks while we worked and we didn’t, so she came up with this).  I’ll usually excuse myself and go outside (where the smokers tend to be), quickly eat my snack, and then go back in.

Why, if the place offers food, should I not get their food?

  • It’s not healthy.
  • It doesn’t have the right combination of carbohydrates and protein you need.
  • For me personally: I’m on a limited budget and food costs money. I’d rather spend that money on better food/other types of fun.

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