Saturday, October 24, 2015

Managing Hypoglycemia

Blood sugar problems are pretty common these days. Most are aware of the growing number of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. There are also other categories of insulin issues such as borderline type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemic. Out of all these categories, type 1 diabetes is a disease, the most difficult to manage, and will never leave you. The others are still an issue but have the potential to be reversed, prevented, and more easily maintained (the ease of this can vary from person to person). 

I am actually hypoglycemic. I grew up with my dad having type 1 diabetes, and my mom is hypoglycemic as well. I'm well-aversed in the area of blood sugar highs and lows. Understanding hypoglycemia hasn't been easy for me until my adult years. When I was young, I had a lot of problems and it wasn't always managed well. When I hit junior high I had the most issues. Going to school and feeling like I entered a fog with sweaty, shaky hands and feeling confused happened on a regular basis. It was scary for me. There's a term my husband made up for me called "hangry" and I've earned it. When my blood sugar drops around dinner time, I get irritable and snappy cause I feel like I need to eat. When I first got married I worked in an office for a chiropractor; after lunch I entered "sleep mode" where I just felt like I couldn't keep my eyes open, I felt so tired it was overwhelming. This usually hit 1 to 2 hours after eating lunch. 

Grilled porkchop, broccoli salad, sweet potato fries 

After becoming an Elite Trainer (Nutritionist is one part of that), I learned how much my food was truly the source of changing these problems. Eating a bowl of cereal at 7 AM and not eating until lunch time will not produce a healthy insulin response and recovery for your body. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chips and grapes at lunch will cause the same havoc as well. These are the foods I was eating. No wonder I could hardly function! 

Eating foods high in carbohydrates (cereals, breads, pastas, added sugars) will most certainly cause your blood glucose levels to rise and fall dramatically, producing unwanted symptoms. These problems don't only affect your mood, they affect your brain, liver, pancreas and really the entire body. This is why type 1 diabetics have a shorter lifespan. It's very difficult for them to control their glucose levels because their body doesn't produce insulin and as a result highs and lows are a norm to most, which causes the body to deteriorate at a fast rate. It is easy for them to have deteriorating eyesight, infections in the body, brain damage and organ failure. The lifespan is less bs someone without diabetes. 

Kale, peppers, onion, sweet potatoes, scrambled egg

When ANYONE constantly eats a diet of high carb, sugar, and processed foods, the pancreas continually gets damaged, as the rest of the body, because the body is constantly fighting the blood sugar spikes and drops by producing insulin and managing levels. This results in borderline diabetes, because it's so stressed (basically) and will stop functioning eventually. 

How do you avoid this? How do I manage my own hypoglycemia? This really lies within your and my nutrition. There is something called the Glycemic Index, which I would assume most people would know of. The higher the number, the more it will spike the glucose/insulin response. It's recommended to eat lower on the index to manage blood sugar levels. Also, food pairings are very important for people with hypoglycemia and diabetes. Pairing protein with fruit will keep the blood sugar levels more stable because the protein goes into the blood stream slower, keeping the insulin response more even. Same with higher fat food.

Crockpot chicken, sweet potato fries, mixed veggies 

As my diet has shifted, my body has responded wonderfully and I barely come across problems. But once I do, I know why, and it's always from the food I'm eating. That is why I typically try to eat a diet of meat, fruit and vegetables. Protein is extremely IMPORTANT for people who battle hypoglycemia. Relying on an apple alone for several hours will still make the blood glucose levels drop too low. Always having protein (healthy fat typically accompanies this such as burger, eggs, cheese, Etc) with your healthy carbohydrate choice (fruits and veggies) is the best plan. Also, I go for carbs that bring good nutrition to my body. My body responds horribly to grains that are processed with other unhealthy ingredients. This is why I typically eat bread that I make. I make my own pizza dough, tortillas, breadsticks, and try to keep it mainly to those items. The quality of ingredients really affects your blood sugar, which is why fruits and veggies have a better response than more empty carbs like bread. 

Homemade Taquitos

Homemade chicken BBQ pizza 

OK, that's a lot of information. So I'm going to stop there for now. Questions? Please ask me. My next post will target what I eat, the importance of your activity following what you eat, and mirroring how I used to eat to how I eat now. Hypoglycemia can be annoying and difficult to understand what to do, but once you get it, it's pretty simple and realistic to manage. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pumpkin pretzels

I'm always venturing to make things homemade...turns out you can typically make something as good and better if you have the right recipe. So my mom and I were walking through the mall and the South Bend Chocolate Factory's booth had these pumpkin pretzel samples. We figured, why not? Oh my word they were amazing. I thought I'd buy a bag....$9 for a little bag is not appealing to me. I said, "Oh let's look at the ingredients and maybe make them ourselves!" Well, that was crap too. Hate looking at a label with unnecessary junk. 

What did we do? We made it ourselves...with REAL and qaulity ingredients. Turns out it's pretty simple. Thought I would share. 

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels

1 ½ cups white chocolate
tsp pumpkin pie spice 
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2-3 cups mini pretzels or till it runs out

Melt chocolate, add spices, mix pretzels. 
Let pretzels set. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

7 Ways to Lose Weight

Hit a plateau? Maybe you don't know where to start but want to lose weight. Or maybe you're just trying to achieve a healthy routine. Here are some simple, easy things you can practice to achieve your goals. 

1. Get that workout in 

Taking time to get an INTENSE workout in, even if only 15 minutes, will speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day. But it must be intense. You have to be breathing hard and your muscles exhausted for this to really produce weight loss and results. A 15 minute walk is good but won't get it done. 

2. Change up your workout

Switching up your workout is seriously important. There might be something that you love to do, and I fully encourage that, but varying it and doing other things will help your body change. Sometimes stepping away from the thing you love for a period of time will help your body recover and see results when you go back to it. 
Recently I did this. I love a weight program, Chalean Extreme, I've seen my body change incredibly from it. But I put it away for a while. I did some Piyo, which really helped my body recover from intense work, then I did some longer, lower impact cardio, then a different weight program. Now I've been increasing cardio intensity and started with Chalean again. My muscles have responded positively to starting this workout again more than if I would've kept repeating it without a significant break. Varying what you do produces results! 

3. Eat slow and take less

Losing weight has so much to do with how much you eat. I personally have a bad habit of eating too fast and then I overeat....anyone else ever there? Getting seconds is easy when you eat fast because your body hasn't had time to tell you it's full. 
Try this. Put ½ or ¾ of the food on your plate to start. Eat slower and sit after you finish the food. Wait 5 minutes before putting more food on your plate and see if you're actually hungry. You may put more food on and start taking a couple bites but then realize you are full and stop. You will start to realize that your stomach doesn't need as much food as you think it does. 

4. Add in those veggies 

When I get off track, it tends to be with vegetables. I turn to tortilla chips, an extra piece of pizza, or go for that dessert. Then I don't think about veggies and they dwindle. But when I plan my meals around my veggies, it changes everything. It's not difficult for me to plan meat or think of breads or pastas to go in a meal, but if my first thought is what vegetable I can dress-up, the rest of the meal falls into place around it. 
For example, breakfast is one of my favorite meals to make. If I think about pancakes first, then my meal is focused on that as the main course. But when I think of veggies, I'm making kale, peppers, onions, a smoothie, etc and putting much better nutrients in my body. Then there isn't room for something low-nutrient, high-calorie, and blood sugar-spiking on my plate. 

5. Say no to sweets

I'm all about moderation, so I'm not saying to NEVER have sweets. I'm just like anybody else and get sucked into the cravings if I allow my sweet-tooth to take command. Saying no with a goal in mind will help you get away from the cravings. 
Recently I didn't have a dessert for a couple weeks and had a specific event I was looking forward to indulging in. It can be hard at first if you've been eating more sweets, but once you get passed a few days it's awesome to not crave. Do this with a friend and keep each other accountable or tell people so your goals are known. 

6. Track your food

Using an app to enter your food can seriously help you gain perspective in how much you're eating. It doesn't mean you have to do this forever but it can give insight as to why you might be plateaued or help you realize you barely eat the proper food groups. It's very helpful when eating out because restaurants give so much food and have high-calorie dishes. If you check while you wait to order it can help you mentally decide to split a meal with someone or cut your plate in half and box the other half right away. This can literally save you 600 plus calories in a meal (I know cause I did this recently!). Once you track your food and understand what you're doing, you can taper off tracking. 

7. Stop eating before 7

This one really helps you lose weight. Most of people's food "mistakes" happen at the end of the day. If you don't eat enough food throughout the day your body will be hungry and you'll reach for whatever you can find. I don't hear of many people steaming broccoli at 10 PM. Maybe you had high-sugar snacks/meals; your blood sugar spikes and dips causes your body to crave and signal for more sweets. We know what eating chips and candy bars in the evening does to the body....definitely does not produce results you want. 
When you have more time between your last meal of the day and your first of the next day (within a certain limit) your body refuels and burns more fat. Plus, your body needs 2-3 hours to burn the meal you previously ate so it isn't turned to fat (unless it is followed with exercise). So eating at 9:30 and falling asleep 30 minutes later means that food will be stored in the body overnight, which is not helpful to weight loss. I try to stop eating before 7 and allow my body to digest and burn the food off before I fall asleep. It's a great practice to make a habit. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Birthday 2015

"She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes."

My girls are turning 5 and 3. The older they get, the more fun we are having! I was so excited to plan this party.

I may be a personal trainer, but my girls like their treats...particularly bubble gum and suckers. 

The decorations are kind of my favorite part to a party. Pinterest scouring, shopping, envisioning, and setting up just make the party pop and feel special.

The cake and cupcakes were done by my mom of course. She is amazing! (

But of course, best of all were the girls we celebrated and the friends/family who made it have all the meaning. Thank you to the girls that came. 

The dress-ups and photo booth were a success as well.

Thank you again for coming to celebrate these girls.