Category Archives: Diet/Eating

Articles related to general diet

Hypoglycemia and The Whole 30

I’ve suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) my entire life.  I was 6 when I had my first hypoglycemic episode that I can actually remember.  I was at the mall with my mother when all of a sudden, I didn’t have the energy to walk any more.  My mother knew what was happening and we immediately went to a restaurant for a burger.

I have had many episodes throughout my life.  When it happens, I start feeling anxious, then weak and dizzy, then I break out in a sweat and I develop tunnel vision.  When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes.  I was closely monitored by my doctors and had to check my blood sugar level 4 times a day.  I was to eat nothing that had more than 3 g of sugar per serving.  The hardest part was I only wanted to eat French toast with strawberries and whipped cream.  Bad and wrong.  Bean tostadas became my staple while I was pregnant as corn tortillas didn’t raise my blood sugar.

During the first few days of The Whole 30, I haven’t had any blood sugar issues.  I’ve paid particularly close attention to how I’ve been feeling so that I don’t get too hungry and run into a crisis, because once your blood sugar drops to 70, all bets are off and out comes the sugar.

If you suffer from hypoglycemia and try this program, do eat at regular intervals and don’t let yourself get too hungry.  The book suggests eating only 3 times a day (albeit more if you’re really hungry).  I have to eat a minimum of 4 times per day, smaller portions, and sometimes I’ll only have a hard-boiled egg just to keep my levels up.  However, with all the protein, goodness, and absence of sugar with this program, I haven’t seen nor felt any potential insulin problems. Score one for the diet!

However, with all that being said, I did have an issue in the middle of my long run on Sunday. After 4 miles, I had to make a detour home because there came a point where I couldn’t even hold my shoulders back as I felt so weak.  After James and I analyzed my food intake, we came to the conclusion that I didn’t fuel properly to sustain a long run.  Spaghetti squash, 2 ounces of chicken, and some olives the night before do not make for a good pre-load dinner, nor did the potato and banana I had for breakfast.  I need to eat way more protein with more complex carbs the night before, and truth be told, I need to eat at least some protein before my long run to power me through.

It’s all “trial and error” and “live and learn.”  I now have raisins to fuel me in the middle of my long runs (yuck), and I will try again next Sunday for better results.  In the meantime, I have an 8-mile run to make up this week during the evening sometime.  The important thing is I didn’t reach for the jelly beans and break my program.

Day-by-Day Whole 30 Playback

Day 1:  Cravings were really strong.  I wanted my tea, my desserts, my oatmeal.  By about 2 p.m., I had a minor stomachache.  I stretched myself out, and after awhile the pain was gone.  Ran 3 miles.  Energy level was good.

Day 2:  Feeling okay.  Cravings are still strong and I’m really missing my oatmeal and peanut butter.  Fought hard against that after-lunch bite of chocolate that I was in the habit of having. The craving eventually subsided.

Day 3:  Friday and usually the day we have happy hour.  Cravings are still there, but are starting to diminish somewhat.  Now I’m just missing chocolate and my peanut butter… so much so the craving has switched to the powdered peanut butter I have in the cupboard.  Here’s the kicker… I’m allergic to peanuts and peanut butter… I’ve just been able to build my immunity up to where I don’t have a reaction anymore (although I have developed a significant reaction to pistachios, so they’re completely off the list).  For happy hour, I went for a run instead and stuck to my water, then finished off the night playing a video game.  If you want things to change, then you have to adjust the routine.  Energy levels are increasing.

Day 4:  OMG, my Saturday morning tea time.  Another hard routine to break.  I didn’t break the morning routine so much as I just made do with iced tea instead of hot tea.  I still spent the entire morning on my computer catching up with everyone.  Made a huge pan of roast veggies for lunch which filled me up nicely.  Haven’t craved chocolate today, but peanut butter craving is still there. Energy level is good… maybe because sometimes I spike my water with a little iced tea.  It’s a scheduled rest day, so only house cleaning on the to-do list.

Day 5:  Long-run Sunday.  I had issues with weakness, really wanted the sugariest sugar I could find to get through, but settled on a banana.  Once I had some scrambled eggs and a nap, I was back to normal.  No cravings other than the sugar I wanted on my long run.  Was a little bit hungrier than normal to which I’ll attribute to a glucose drop.

25 more days to go!

A Smidge of an Update

Downtown River Run in Reno

I’m not going to write a big recap about this race.  Just know it was hard.  Probably the hardest 10K I’ve ever completed.  Because of Reno’s higher elevation, I couldn’t catch my breath after the first mile (this happened in SLC as well, after mile 6).  James also spent most of his race in the Red Zone because of the lack of oxygen.  But that’s not important.  We went, ran a hard race, and had a fabulous time.

The Whole 30

A couple of weeks ago, I had looked into The Whole 30 food program.  Have you heard of it? Basically for 30 days, you eat nothing but whole foods, nothing processed and nothing with sugar.  I get that it’s a variant of the low-carb craze, but really not so much.  Potatoes are whole foods, pulled right out of the ground, so they work (but they don’t work in the low-carb diets).

The premise is to detox your body from all the food processing that goes on, and then slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet to see how your body reacts.  If a certain food doesn’t make you feel so good, then guess what!  You don’t eat that food no mo’!  I needed something to get me off all of the sweets, desserts, and chips I’d been getting in the habit of eating recently, so enter The Whole 30 program.

I had the start date written on the calendar and was 100% mentally prepared.  The mental part is important.  Your brain can talk you out of anything if you let it.  I started May 2nd, so I’ve been on it a whole 2 days now.  The cravings of chocolate and chips are strong, but I shut those thoughts down by asking myself, “Am I hungry enough to eat a plate of spinach?”  If the answer is no, I drink water.  If the answer is yes, then I eat something I’ve prepared in advance so I do not fail and give in.  Again, it’s only been 2 days, but I’m hoping that I will remain strong for the entire 30 days.  Okay, not hoping, I WILL remain strong for the entire 30 days.

The foods I’ll miss and crave most are oatmeal and peanut butter, every single form of chocolate, cookie and cake, chocolate milk (I already said chocolate, didn’t I), cheese, nuts, and chips/crisps.  For my pre-run carb load, it will be a baked potato with clarified butter, although I haven’t figured out how I’m going to fuel in the middle of my long runs yet.  Maybe I can make some banana mash, place it in a baggie, and I’ll have my own GU minus all the added sugar.  I don’t know.  (For those who don’t know, GU is a nasty gel a lot of runners are forced to consume in the midst of a long run to keep their energy levels up.)

Mmmm, tastes just like bacon!!

I’ve also had to give up my morning, mid-day, and afternoon cups of tea as I use sweetener.  I now start my day with a nice cold glass of iced tea.  Super glad it’s warming up or I’d be missing my cup of hot chocolate too!  (Seeeee!  Wayyy too much chocolate!!  It’s a good thing I don’t drink soda or I’d be hurtin’ for certain!)

My other goal during this time is to do something 6 days a week, not just on scheduled run days. Yesterday I ran.  Today I was supposed to go for a bike ride, but the heavens opened up and gave us a storm from hell, so I did nothing.  A minor set-back… I’ll start again tomorrow as I’m scheduled for another 3 miles.  (And for those who are anal about their numbers… yes, I should’ve ran around until my watch said 3.1.)

And finally…

The child is having a great time in Hawaii without his parents.  Am I the only one who thinks this is completely unfair?!!

I’ll leave you now with a song for MMM… this came on during my race in Reno.  Oh the irony.  “Sucker for Pain.”  Yes indeedy.

Have a happy weekend!!

Easy Wheatberries

It had been awhile since I made wheatberries and completely forgot how to do it, because, you know, I’m such a whiz when it comes to cooking… not.  So I turned to the internet for advice.  A simple recipe… that’s all I wanted.  Water-to-wheatberry ratio!  Length of boiling time!  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.

20170117_173841.jpg

After searching and sorting through tons of worthless articles about how to boil wheatberries and getting incredibly frustrated in the process, I decided an easy recipe needed to be posted. No rubbish about how wonderful they are for you… just a simple wheatberry recipe.  Here ya go:

3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheatberries.  Boil water, add wheatberries and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.  Eat them however your little heart desires.

Just so happens we eat them on our salad, which is what our dinner was tonight.  You know… New Year, running, upcoming races… no time like the present to get back to healthy. The holidays are over after all and it’s time to re-focus.  However, when I was preparing said salad, and because I’m such a rockstar in the kitchen, I forgot to peel the cucumber before I cut it up. The skin was too bitter to eat, so I took each piece of cucumber out of the salad and peeled them individually.  It’s been a banner night.

20170117_185023.jpg

That being said, at least we’re warming up now.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been under a sheet of ice and sometimes snow, getting down to 15 degrees F (-9C).  Today was actually the first day I’ve felt warm in a long time.  The house wouldn’t even heat properly during our cold spell.  I was making those pre-made, drop-dough cookies just so I could turn the oven on for extra warmth!

35700.jpeg

Our turkey vulture at work had to have 2 heat lamps hanging for her.

img_2491.jpg

The trail… yeah, not happening…

But I know one person that the snow didn’t stop!  Such dedication!

img_2490.jpg

As for the first race of the year… it will be April 9th, The Seahawks 12K Run.  Cannot wait to have that hot little bling in my hands!!  After that, it’s Reno baby!  The Downtown River Run on April 30th!  Half marathon for me and the full for James!

And, so… the adventure continues…

img_20161229_205301.jpg

Happy Trails!

I Cooked! (kinda)

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a whiz in the kitchen. However, every now and again… okay, maybe once a month… I like to try something new to see if I can’t improve my skills.  This time it was really no big deal and no major cooking here, but I did try something new and I was successful!  Kale chips!

Kale is one of those powerhouse super foods, but to be honest, it’s not that yummy in salads, in my opinion. I think it’s bitter, chewy, and has a texture similar to a bay leaf… again, in my opinion.  So, enter the kale chips.  Okay, it’s a bit fussy having to cut the leaves off the stalk and then drying them, but really, kind of worth it.  Better than potato chips or popcorn!  Voila!

20160807_202245.jpg

Perhaps not so pleasing to the eye, but believe me, they were tasty.  I think James described them as “something that looked like washed up on a beach.”  (which is okay too… I’ve been wanting to add seaweed to our diet just recently, another super food, :D)

20160803_190524.jpg

In other news… you may know I went for a bike ride last week.  When it came time to get on the bike again, it was raining, so I had to venture downstairs to the stationary bike.  It was actually a great setup as I decided to watch a program while doing it.  Now, I know this is not a new concept to the rest of the world… but it’s the first time I’ve ever actually done it, and it was quite pleasant… until about 20 minutes in… then I couldn’t feel my bum anymore and decided that that definitely couldn’t be a good thing, so I stopped.  But at least I’m a couple of rides closer to getting my sit bones used to a 50-mile ride.  My next feat with the bike, before the 50 miles, is a painful uphill climb that goes on for 3 or 4 miles which I have always avoided like the plague.  I’ll let you know later how that one goes.

20160731_085231.jpg

And, oh yeah, the running thing… I’ve been doing that, too.  I’ve stuck mostly to the treadmill so I can focus on my pace.  I know it’s weird and so unlike me to want to run on the treadmill, but hey, we do what we gotta do to reach our goals, don’t we.

20160731_092413.jpg

I’ve not stayed completely inside though!  The pictures you’re seeing are from a recent run around town.

20160731_102654.jpg

Wishing you a beautiful Tuesday!!

Saturday Scone

20160805_214928.jpg

I’m carb loading for next weekend’s 6-hour (20-24 miles?) endurance run.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

FYI:  Next weekend for the endurance run, I will absolutely stop before and/or if I hit the marathon distance because this is not where I want to do my first full-out marathon… I would prefer that to be like… ohh, say, London maybe… or Tucson… or even Portland… but definitely not Bellingham (not that I don’t love Bellingham, I do, but that’s not my dream first marathon). Just saying.

Enjoy today!!

Turkey Sandwich Anyone?

A couple of you already know that I don’t fare well in the kitchen… even after advanced study with 1 year of a home economics class and 1 year of a foods class.  (Have I ever told you about the time I was making cheese toast and I set the toaster oven on fire?!  True story… and I was 36 at the time.)  Anyway, every once in a long while I leave my comfort zone of the normal mac and cheese and attempt something new.  I did that today and achieved total success!  So, of course, I have to share it with you!  (Okay, so it was only a sandwich, but hey, it was a success.)

2016-06-26-14.36.36.jpg.jpg

James was perusing this cookbook when he stumbled upon something he wanted for lunch… a Hot Turkey and Strawberry Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries and homemade Mint Limeade. Easy peasy.  I highly recommend it for a nice light lunch or dinner!

For the sandwich, spread cream cheese on the bread and put turkey slices on top.  Then broil it for about 4 minutes.  I had never used the broiler on my oven before so I was relieved that I actually figured out how to turn it on.

2016-06-26-14.38.12.jpg.jpg

When it comes out of the oven, add a layer of sliced strawberries.  Who would have thought that sliced strawberries on a turkey and cream cheese sandwich could be so yummilicious?!  It truly was… don’t knock it ’til you try it.

2016-06-26-14.37.37.jpg.jpg

For the Mint Limeade, I used our handy-dandy Nutribullet.  Puree 2 cups of water, 1/3-cup sugar, 1/4-cup mint leaves, and 1 lime, rind and all.  After it’s pureed, drain the mixture through a sieve and add 2 more cups of water.  Very refreshing on a hot day!

2016-06-26-14.39.00.jpg.jpg

The sandwich, depending on the bread that’s used, has about 263 calories, 20g of protein, and 23g of carbs.  The sweet potato fries are a runner’s friend, full to the brim of vitamin A, and one of those super foods a runner just shouldn’t go without.  The mint limeade drink is only 71 calories, 18g of carbs, with more vitamin C than you can shake a stick at!

And there you have it… my success in the kitchen for this month!

go-on-im-listening-sloth.jpg

I Cooked!

I did something totally out of character for me last night… for Meatless Monday, I actually cooked!  And something other than spaghetti squash!

I’ve been following some fabulous recipe blogs, and boy, am I ever inspired!  So many of you are just fabulous with ingredients, and seasonings, and cooking, and baking, and… well… just wow! I thought it would be kind of fun to see if I could come up with a new and tasty dinner for James and I to try from your recipes even though the kitchen and I just don’t get along.

I was planning on making Lynz Real Cooking’s Traditional Falafal recipe.  However… it kind of worried me that I didn’t have a meat grinder.  I’ve never had falafal before, and I think I’d like to taste it first before I go and botch it all up as it looks like something I really, really, really want to like!

So I searched her recipe archives and found Zucchini Pie!  Perfect!  I knew what all the ingredients were (sometimes this is a serious challenge for me) and I knew what you were supposed to do in each step, so I gave it a whirl! Voila!

20160208_193504.jpg

The only thing I did different was I added mushrooms, and I did keep the mozzarella cheese in it as well (she gives you the option to leave it out).  I did have to use a ready-made frozen pie crust because the only thing I can roll out is Play-Dough, but the entire dish was fabulous!  This is definitely a keeper!  Great recipe, Lynn!  Thank you so much for your inspiration!

20160208_194823.jpg

But I didn’t stop there!!  Months ago when I first saw this brownie recipe I wanted to make it for my son as he loves brownies so much.  Again, I suck in the kitchen, so I put it off for a long, long time.  Until now.  Say hello to Lynz Real Cooking’s Mint Cookie Brownies!

20160207_183737.jpg

Before I baked the brownies, I added chocolate chips to the top because, well… the more chocolate the better, amiright?!

20160207_183108.jpg

Smashing those cookies was great for the soul!! I had actually gotten some Mint Oreo’s, but the boys ate them before I got to use them, so I used some other chocolate mint cookies instead. They were still fun to smash!

20160208_201920.jpg

And there you have it!  Wonderful Mint Cookie Brownies via Lynz Real Cooking!  My husband and I loved the Zucchini Pie (sorry, Lynn, can’t convince the child to even try it, haha), and all three of us adored the brownies!  And if I can make these recipes, then anyone can do it!  Again, a big thank you to Lynn for both of these recipes!!

Go ahead!  Try it… you’ll like it!!