Sunday, December 6, 2009

how to eat a low glycemic diet, part 3 (final)~

so what do I eat?
well, i try to do my best, so don't take me for being perfect and the be-all, end-all raw food fanatic or something! i crave cookies just like everybody. (now i just make my own, haha.) a few months ago i went psycho on the nutella and ate an entire jar in a week. seriously, peabody was not happy with me. i am also known to love icecream and cupcakes and to be a connoisseur of dark chocolate.
but the best thing i did for myself was start to eat now i'm never hungry and i never eat 100 grams of carbs in one sitting. i'm telling you, just try eating that whole "6 small meals a day are best for diabetics" philosophy and it'll change your life. your body can figure out way better what to do with synthetic insulin, and your blood sugar will thank you. or you'll thank your blood sugar. ;)

in the morning, i usually eat a small piece of fruit and some nuts, or even dark greens with a few slices of cheese (i know, i know: [insert laugh here]), or a boiled egg with a piece of spelt toast, or one of the almond flour-based muffins i bake for the week (yum!) or greek yoghurt with berries and sweetened with agave nectar. because morning is the time of greatest insulin resistance, go easy on your insulin intake. i'd say eat your lowest carb content meal of the day in the morning. protein and good fats (nuts, greek yogurt, a couple of slices of cheese) in the morning are way more important to wake you up and get you going than french toast with syrup (or even cereal, for that matter.) talk about a gusher. also, cut the caffeine: i know, i know: i am now pure EVIL! but i did some research a while back and found out that caffeine causes delayed hyperglycemia. it was a bit painful, but i slowly weaned myself to total decaf and now have the psychosomatic response i need from it. by the way, the World Health Organization labeled it a 'true drug', as in addiction. :)

about 9 or 10 a.m, i have some nuts or seeds, a small piece of fruit, a piece of peanut butter or almond butter [wholegrain] toast, greek yoghurt again, or a drink like a homemade almond shake or fruit smoothie. again, these are not huge servings. a bit at a time (especially if you are a buff guy, being hungry is understandable: that's why you eat throughout the day and not all your daily calories in one sitting.) :)

lunchtime i have a salad with tuna, egg, beans, or coldcuts, or dark cooked greens (very filling!) with some cold cuts or cheese, or beans (homeade chili) or soup, hummus in a whole grain wrap, avocado salad, quinoa salad...notice all of these are very real foods that burn a lot slower than a glucose tab (ok, better than pasta or a big hoagie.) try to include dark greens for lunch, they'll seriously fill you up. garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and the spectrum of spices all add wonderful flavors to veggies. i often think this is why people don't eat enough of them: they've just never been prepared with much flavor.

afternoon snacks are the same as midmorning, only lately i've been making it a hot drink, like a big cup of hot chocolate almond milk (or coconut). i also have a lot of wonderful recipes for healthy 'cookies' made from almond flour, coconut flour, spelt, and quinoa. call me a health nut. ;) the key with these is that they are merely nuts ground up; which is not making it 'over-processed' like the poor little pod that wheat once was. you're also getting healthy protein and monounsaturated fats in nut flours, whereas in most other carb-based flours all you're getting is...carbohydrate.

for dinner, i take it easy because i really believe how in chinese medicine, the body is 'slowing down': your stomach's hour is turning off around 6, so you want to try not to eat your carb-heaviest food after that. it doesn't mean you shouldn't eat, it's just best to not make it carb-heavy: hello pasta and pizza! we tend to eat a lot of chicken, pork, fish, kebabs, wild rice, baked veggies, chili, lentil soup, root veggies...and yes, potatoes with their skin.

*on a strange note, i do like larabars. they're 'raw food' snack bars with only a few ingredients in flavors like cherry pie and pb&j and they are stupendous for treating lows or before/after exercise. they never go over about 30 grams of carbs as far as i've seen, either. the only thing i don't like about them is the pretty penny they cost: about $1.29 here in the Q. i wish i could figure out how to make them, i know they're not baked, but how do they get the consistency so.very.right??

does my diet seem...boring? probably to most. but you know, i think getting bored with food is a 'first world' (i hate that phrase) problem. i'm guilty of this idea of boredom just as much as anyone. but we need to rethink our notions of boring, too, and focus on flavor through cooking with herbs and healthy fats like olive oil and nut oils (if you are not allergic), cacao over 70% when baking (for the antioxidants), and using truly unrefined sweeteners like coconut sugar and dark agave nectar---the only two i bake with and sweeten with now. they're lower in carbs per serving and lower in glycemic load, too. as a result of becoming cognizant of how i flavor the basic ingredient of my food, it's become yummier and not so---sugarcoated, if you know what i mean. i can actually taste my food.

on a safety note, i noticed that i often have to take my dose over a bit more extended period of time because of how slow low GI/GL foods can burn. i wouldn't recommend taking your whole dose of insulin at once if you're eating avocado or nuts in the meal. talk about mid-meal hypos! this just goes to show how much slower and steady the rise in BG is, let alone less if the food's got a low glycemic load. and um, yaaay to lower post-meal numbers!

two of my absolute favorite recipe websites:

big shout out to elana and kimi!
this post is dedicated to dear, patient elizabeth. ;)

*this is officially the longest blog post the planet have ever seen; thank god i broke it into three parts. :)


Anonymous said...

Try for a homemade Larabar recipe (fudge babies.) Those are my fav indulgences, and the ingredients (nuts, dates, cocoa) don't trigger me. Over eat a bit yes, but not binge.

birdy said...

wow, sounds just wonderful. i'd been wondering if anyone had found a way to make them; i'm definitely going to try this!!