Friday, January 8, 2010

breakfast and who woke YOU up on the wrong side of the bed?!

i know.
i haven't blogged much this year. please don't hurt me. :)
i was...thinking.
too heavily, but you know...
i'll update more (i promise) and let you know all i've been thinking and learning!
however, for now, i thought i'd reiterate my low glycemic-how-do-we-do-the-things-we-do-with-type 1-kick and start the new year with one of our favorite meals of the day
[insert snicker here]:
ya, i'm calling breakfast a fave.
my fave.
well, before i got diagnosed with the big D (or little d, in my little case) in 2008... i was like, a BRUNCH FREAK. i mean, this gal i know and i seemed to make it our life's purpose to go around all of albuquerque finding the hippest, funnest, yummiest places... for brunch. it's not just about eggs, folks. it's all of the swonderful-smarvelous-simply-splendid things you can do for breakfast.
until i got diagnosed.
ok, i sound like i just went off the deep end. and i did...kinda. because i was an adult when i got diagnosed, the whole "golden year" they talk about in the medical field was like, 100 times worse in me: i wanted to rock this beast of burden. i even swore off bread for a while. ok, like a day. but it felt like, forever!

disclaimer: i promise i don't actually say "like" in my daily vocab. it's just happening here because i'm trying to be like, thoroughly honest about my utter FREAKNESS phase i went through until i started figuring out how to actually cook and eat without missing out or...denying myself...or losing too much weight (i'm already too thin) or also, just saying f*%& it i'm gonna be just like those people who actually believe the statement, "you can eat whatever you long as you cover it with insulin."
um, i'm sorry, but like, no. NONONONONONONONONONO. that does not work. i don't care who you are and what you tell me, i know you're lying. and so will everyone else in the DOC. word on the street: don't lose your cred!
anyway, back to breakfast.
i know it's tough. i wanted to go after somebody with one of my whisks and whip their heads into shape who told me to just double the dose because of the insulin resistance experienced by type 1's in the morning.
can i hear a WTF?!
i actually did this sometimes (more like triple) i confess. laziness, pure laziness.
then this summer (due to over full-time health classes) i promised myself i would find a way to balance my day by way of breakfast. 'cos you all know: you screw up breakfast, it takes all damn day to balance it out. it's even worse when you already woke up with Danny Dawn Phenomenon at your side. (it's like, whoa there! i am NOT into these random one night stands! you just think you can show up when you want to?) god, SUCH commitment-phobia!
so i wanted to offer some advice on what i have found that works SWIMMINGLY SWELL for little birdy's pancreas named peabody---who, by the way, did not feel so misadventurous at the end of the summer: that A1c i thought was gonna be in the mid 6's came back as (get this) 5.8%! you read that right. ok, i'll stop bragging.
note to readers: to comfort you, remember i just got my pump in late october and my initial A1c is gonna be like, 6.7% (i'm projecting) OH.DEAR.GOD. take comfort!
my point is i'm trying to show you that getting your food down, your exercise down (even a little--i promise i'm no gym freak) and not starving or overeating will do you wonders:

1. don't skip breakfast and eat it by 9am.
in Traditional Chinese medicine, the Stomach is active between 6 and 9am. with diabetes, we all know rapid-acting insulin's peak is about an hour after you inject and the duration is about 2-3 hours (unless you eat a high fat food.) my logic here (based solely on my personal experiment) is to then go on to to have a snack about 10am. i'm hoping you'll eat breakfast by 8am...

2. don't make breakfast too high-carb.
the logic is of course, morning insulin-resistance---experienced by all people, not just diabetics! the worst thing you can do is eat things like waffles or 8am! trust me, your pancreas (that isn't actually working anymore...hmmm, we need to have a chat about that someday, immune system!) and stomach will thank you.
they're like, "please don't make me work that hard, i just woke up, too." when you wake up, go easy on your body.
ideas that work great for me:
-a nectarine or black plum with a handful of salted almonds (it's a super-yummy combo that your tongue will thank you for!)
-old fashioned rolled oats (if you can't stand the idea of soaking steel cut and cooking in the morning) with a handful of flaxseeds and a squirt of agave nectar (this stuff is sooo sweet to me, go easy on it.) the oats are fibrous, slow-burning and filling, while the flaxseeds give you some much needed omega 3 essential-fatty acids.
-elana amsterdam's amazing recipes for all kinds of muffins are super healthy, low carb and did i mention tasty? i make her recipes all of the time and my BG does beyond great. in fact, i adjust most of her recommended 1/4 cup of agave nectar for each recipe to half that amount and (due to agave's sweetness) have done even better!
-lowfat plain greek yoghurt with a handful of oats and a squirt of agave nectar. the entire meal is low glycemic and filling.
-homemade miso soup. i know you think i'm crazy, but it really is fast, filling, and diabetic friendly. go easy on the paste (because it is salty) and pleasepleaseplease buy it organic (someday i'll explain the dangers of soy), and preferably low-sodium. miso is a version of soy(fermented) that is good for you, by the way, unlike most soy products in the u.s.

3. go easy on the caffeine.
i know i'm a natural-health nut, but seriously: a cup of decaf coffee or green tea will keep you from getting delayed hyperglycemia---which i was experiencing, i don't care that the study was solely on type 2's---and still give you the slightly-caffeinated boost you're begging for. i'm not lying, you will still get the psychosomatic response you need to 'wake up'. just do the weaning process slowly: when you go to buy coffee, fill the bag 3/4 to 1/4 caf to decaf, then the next time 1/2 and 1/2, and so on until you feel you're down to only decaf. nobody said it's a sin to want some java; just try cutting out the caffeine and you'll still feel rejuvenated without the negative effects. try to make this the only cup of coffee that you have a day, though (your adrenals will thank you.) you know, chai tea is a very nice drink throughout the day...wink, wink.
note: the warm drink also stimulates your Spleen to dump--which it should be doing. this is why we have a bowel movement in the morning. well, you should be, and if you're not, your Spleen is not happy, as this is it's time to shine. this is why it's important to eat/drink warmer foods in the morning; it allows the spleen to dump waste-products---Save Your Spleen! um, my new campaign. ;)

4. don't be afraid to snack.
the goal being that your chosen snack will be healthy and not the size of a small elephant---and i'm not necessarily advocating radishes. i'm simply saying if you go easy on the size of your breakfast, you will find that your blood sugar will go easy on you, and then you can have a worthwhile snack, which in turn will cause you not to gorge yourself on lunch and end up with carb coma at 2pm. ahhhhh, good ole carb-coma-high-blood-sugar-to-crash-cycle.
-another kind of muffin!
-piece of fruit. i don't care what dr. bernstein says, i do not advocate that people not include fruit in their diets as diabetics. while i understand and appreciate much of what he says, fruit has too many vital vitamins and nutrients naturally occurring to be avoided and then just taken by way of supplements your body will only then poop out. i eat fruit everyday (2-3 servings by way of a smoothie with almond milk or just munching away) and feel that the fructose in it is just enough to give me a boost---and because it is a more complex molecule than glucose, it burns a bit slower in the break down. unless you know you're most likely low in something, get your vitamins and minerals by eating healthy, people!
-a bit of cottage cheese with tomatoes or fruit slices---no joke, it's really good if you like cottage cheese, right? i also think oikos greek yogurt makes these fun little organic cups in vanilla and blueberry (my faves) that are quite low carb.
-celery, apples, or bananas with peanut butter. it's important to have protein with carbs---for anyone not just diabetics. but it's especially important if you have blood sugar problems, which type 1 diabetics do...inherently. you could call us "carbohydrate reactive" as one nutritionist told me. and boy, do we react. :)

this is all i have for now. if this post seems odd or incomplete, get serious. it's wacky birdy we're talking about...of course it'll be odd. no really, please let me know if you have further questions. love&peace to you all, we're all in this boatload of learning together!


Elizabeth said...

I'm dying to hear how you eat smoothies! I LOVE smoothies, but have limited myself to one every 5 years because they zoom my blood sugar. How do you make yours and how do you calculate the carbs? I can't WAIT to try it!!

Also, I noticed that all the linked muffin recipes are gluten-free. Does that make a blood sugar difference? (I've never eaten gluten=free before.)

Thanks SO much for all this helpful info! (For example, I never knew what a spleen was for!)


birdy said...

i should definitely start posting my recipes. i've been pathetic that way. it's funny, i actually do it more on facebook than the place it really needs to be: my blog for diabetics!! haha. the smoothies are super easy and the key is that they are not made with milk (which brings down the carb count and allows the fruit to be the highest count of it.) i'll post it, but it's basically frozen fruit---pick something with a lot of fiber like raspberries or mango---unsweetened almond milk (they make chocolate and vanilla!) and a bit of whey protein powder. i never use soy protein powder. you can even add natural nut butters instead of the protein powder and it's super great.
*note to self: i REALLY need to post why i think soy is bad!
these ingredients give it that nice thickness but without all the carb-craziness most of us associate with smoothies and 'shakes....

as for the gluten-free links. the reason i choose to use elana's recipes for muffins and the like is b/c i believe the types of recipes she's adapting for her celiac disease are the very types of recipes most diabetics have a hard time eating also. i try to make 'treat' type recipes gluten free b/c gluten is so carb-heavy, so if i can cut down on that part, it lightens a recipe's load on my body. also, just from research and the like, i'm coming to believe we are glutened-out. i really want to avoid developing gluten-intolerance (common in type 1, which often opens people up to other autoimmune diseases) and my [future] kiddos. so i'm just trying to go easy on things like gluten and dairy anyway, the two most common sensitivities developing in humans.

Laura said...


So happy to find your blog! What fantastic food posts! Hooray! Yummy ingredients and great ideas. Please do keep it up and add more recipes! And thank you for including an up-to-date nutrition perspective and some Chinese medicine background.

I had to laugh at one thing though--it sounds like I eat a lot like you, except no land animals, and I'm grateful for good health courtesy of whole foods cooking, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and my trusty pump. But I actually do say to most new people that ask me, "I can eat whatever I want as long as I cover it with insulin!" Actually, I say it to myself too. What I've tried to teach myself is to want the right stuff, figure out what that is, and ignore the rest.

Best of luck with the new-ish pump, and keep writing!

PS Thanks for sticking up for fruit...

Laura G.

birdy said...

thanks laura! i DO need to post my recipes. *sigh* life, but then: why do i have a blog, right?! haha.
anywho, i think we ALL say the whole "i can have it" statement a lot. and i honestly think it's good to say---especially when educating someone who doesn't understand the disease. but then there's the whole 'real living' issue...and like you said, i think teaching yourself to want the healthier option is the best way to go when it comes to knowing "what can i really have?" what is really the best option? :) a daily effort, for sure. but the least we can do for our bodies is not have a waffle...for breakfast! LOL!

Elizabeth said...

Hey, I ate a waffle for breakfast today! (whole wheat) Some days, with Morning Sickness, it's the only thing I can hope to keep down! It prevented my bg from crashing, and for that I was very grateful. If you only eat one (13g of carb), it's really not so bad. There is a time for everything at some point in one's life!

birdy said...

LOL, elizabeth!! i love it! i think ALL of the 'rules' change when you're pregnant, eh? ya, depending on where i'm at in my cycle, i notice that certain foods that drive me crazy i do better on---albeit, whole grain versions still, but hey, at least you get a break! i'm so happy you're feeling better and doing so well. i was reading this one gal's blog who's pregnant right now and she was like, 'in my first trimester, i had to take so little insulin i had some moments where i thought i was cured', haha....:) and onward!!

~HM~ said...

Hey Em! Hilary finally gave me your blogspot address. Now I can read all about your Peabody Adventures. :)

birdy said...

thanks heather! your blog is too cute! i love the maez sisters with all my little birdy heart. ;)