Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

Want to learn the trick to loosing weight and controlling your cravings??

Check out this link: Cravings, Weight Gain, and the Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

It’s a long seminar, about an hour and a half, but I would highly recommend listening to it if you ever have the time , maybe a Sunday afternoon? I think there is so much truth to this and something I enjoyed teaching at my previous job in Austin. And Heather Pratt is so awesome, I adore her.

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Meal Planning

It seems everyone wants a meal plan. Whether you are looking to loose weight, support your blood sugars, or just feel healthy in general, I have come up with a quick one week plan. Even though I am a dietitian and this should be my natural forte, I get nervous because everyone eats differently and likes different things. So if you are interested in following this little plan, feel free to tweak it. I’ll include recipes too so it’s extra easy for you!

Remember this? This is essentially what each meal is based around. So when the week of my ideas is up, don’t give up, figure it out yourself. Also I would HIGHLY recommend visiting this site. There are awesome resources and tools.

Breakfast

  1. Whole wheat English muffin, with 2 poached eggs (or over easy if that’s too technical), spinach, tomato slice, and optional ham. Skip the hollandaise sauce and season with lecithin granules.
  2. Green smoothie. Check out this green smoothie girl, she knows what’s up. Or just try a cup of spinach, one banana, one orange, 5 strawberries, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp of flax meal, with some ice cubes. Feel free to get creative, that’s just my favorite blend.
  3. Omelet with mozzarella and goat cheese, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, asparagus, and spinach. Again, go crazy with your favorite veggies, these are just mine.
  4. Plain or unsweetened greek yogurt (I recommend chobani, hello 14 grams of protein), with granola (remember my greatest) or millet, berries, and flax meal or chia seeds, and agave to sweeten.
  5. Large apple sliced in half, topped with peanut butter, banana, and raisins. Make it like a sandwich if you will.
  6. Left over dinner. Sounds crazy, but it would be a totally balanced meal and will get your day started right to have good protein and veggies rather than cereal loaded with sugars. Try having the zucchini skillet, chicken curry, or salmon (see dinner ideas).
  7. Protein bar or smoothie. This is sort of a cop out breakfast but it can be a good idea for busy mornings or after an early morning work out. Here are my favorite ones: Bluebonnet Whey Protein IsolateVega, Biochem Greens and Whey, Stinger Bars, Think Thin Bars, Balance Gold Bar. Another time I will elaborate on why I love these. Consider adding fruit with this breakfast.

Lunch

  1. Deli meat sandwich with a twist. Choose your favorite meats, cheese, veggies, and condiments but wrap it in a large green lettuce leaf and pass on the bread. Compliment with some fruit and a cup of milk.
  2. Green salad with smoked salmon, turkey or chicken breast, dried cranberries, feta or goat cheese, almonds or walnuts, capers, and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, and agave.
  3. Soup. This is a good chance to practice budgeting and meal preparation. Consider cooking when you have some time, doubling the recipe and freezing so you can have some later for another lunch or dinner. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes. chickpea chicken noodle soup, thai coconut soup,two-bean kale soup, pumpkin, barely, and sage soup.
  4. Mix tuna with a little mayo, mustard, relish, cheddar cheese. Eat with veggies, on a leafy green salad, or as an open faced sandwich on wheat bread.
  5. Tilapia (saute with a little olive or coconut oil a vwa la!) with steamed veggies and brown rice. Or try this recipe: honey ginger tilapia.
  6. Halve a spaghetti squash, cook face down on a aluminum lined baking sheet at 400 for 40 minutes. Scrap out squash into a bowl so it looks like spaghetti noodles, top with your favorite marinara and veggies. Or try Loaded potatoes (or sweet potatoes). Bake a potato and cover with favorite low sodium chili, low-fat sour cream, chives, and season
  7. Tex mex rice and black beans

** This is a lot of options for lunch. I usually like to eat leftovers and salads. But this gives you a lot of choices.

Dinner

  1. Zucchini Skillet. With this one I use quinoa instead of white rice. Did you know quinoa is the only grain source that is a complete protein and offers 6 grams per serving? Fancy. I also like to add some black beans to add some extra fiber and proteins. Also, I would recommend NOT adding the extra water.
  2. Thai Red Curry. I would recommend using shrimp or tempeh instead of tofu. I am not a huge tofu fan (I will need to go into that another time), so if you want to go meatless and soy try tempeh which is fermented tofu. Serve over brown jasmine rice.
  3. Three bean mole chili. Good one to do in the crock pot and so spicy delicious! Find the recipe under “recipes” above. Thank you to my mother-in-law for the recipe.
  4. BBQ Chicken Salad. Combine your favorite salad greens, black beans, corn kernels, red onion, green onion, avocado, mexican blend cheese, and bbq chicken (in the winter, stick some chicken breasts and BBQ sauce in the crock pot in the morning, shred, and throw in your salad), cover with BBQ sauce and low-fat ranch.
  5. sweet potato and kale pizza. This isn’t exactly the best choice if weight loss is the goal, but it is so so delicious. Use a whole wheat thin crust, make it margarita style with a small amount of fresh mozzarella, and try not to eat the whole thing.
  6. Fish Tacos. See “recipes” above. Ditch the tortillas and eat over lettuce if you want.
  7. Grill or bake a salmon with a little dollop of plain yogurt or low fat sour cream. Season with your favorite spices, wrap in foil, and cook. Serve with a spinach salad with nuts, fruit, and a raspberry vinaigrette. Steam some asparagus and brown rice if you want. This is my favorite meal of all time.

Snacks

  1. Trail mix with seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
  2. Cottage cheese and peaches
  3. celery sticks with peanut butter
  4. Apples with cheddar cheese or peanut butter
  5. Crackers with laughing cow cheese (mmm so good)
  6. Almonds and craisins
  7. Sliced raw veggies in a yogurt dip

*** All these snacks consist of a carb and a protein. This is a must for every snack. The carb will give you energy but the protein will feel you up so you don’t keep snacking and snacking. Notice how easy it is to eat a whole bag of potato chips, but would you do the same with a bag of almonds and dried fruit??

I know this is a very long post but I have a couple of comments. I don’t count calories so much, but I have tried to balance out the carbohydrate intake. If you are dying to know the grams per meal comment below and I will include them. Keeping carbohydrates balanced throughout the day and including protein in every meal is really the key to weight maintenance, balanced blood sugars, and satiation.

Notice I don’t recommend anything with red meat. This is kind of more a personal thing, but I really don’t think we need beef in our lives. If you love the stuff please don’t feel you have to deprive yourself. Look for lean cuts like “loins” and skim off the fat (see Nutrition for Dummies tips). Do however consider being moderate.You may have noticed I love fish. A good nutritionist will recommend having fish at least twice a week, so I took the at least part and ran with it.

Some of the recipes may seem overwhelming if you aren’t a cook. Don’t panic, just remember the plate method and try to make sure whatever you can cook covers all those areas. Now I didn’t include fruit and grains in all the meals because I think those things can be spread out throughout meals and snacks. Aim for at least 3 servings of fruits, So whether or not you want to get those all in during the morning meal is up to you.

And finally, if you are really serious about weight loss I would recommend cutting out all the grains in the meals I have suggested. Skip breakfasts and lunches with bread, forget rice as a side and add extra veggies. I don’t have suggestions for waffles, cereals, pastas, paninis, etc for a reason. Try it for one week and you will likely notice a difference that fast. And you might realize it’s not as hard as you think (this is coming from me a die hard cereal junkie)!

Probiotics

As promised, probiotics. In Shape magazine this month there is a little article called Win the Cold War. The article gives 5 tips for beating the odds of getting a cold this winter season. The number one reason is “Pump up the Probiotics”

A recent review of 10 different studies showed that 42 percent fewer people caught a cold after consuming any amount of these healthy bacteria-whether in supplement form or in foods like yogurt-for more than seven days.

So what are probiotics? Essentially our gut (intestines and colon) harvest billions of cultures of bacterias. There are good ones and bad ones. Bad ones would be like candida, can you say yeast infection? bleh. Anyway, the point is to have a larger ratio of good bacterias to balance out the bad ones. Ideally we are talking an 80:20 ratio. Good bacterias help our digestion, can prevent diarrhea (sorry I am a dietitian I get real here) and support our immune systems.

Probiotics seem to change how your immune system reacts to an invading microorganism and whether your digestive tract becomes inflamed as a result,” says John DiBaise, M.D., a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology at Mayo Clinic.

When looking to supplement, it can be confusing. I still don’t totally understand it so I won’t lie to you and pretend I do. But I do know if you see the word lactobacillus that is a form of bacteria that grows best in your small intestine, and bifidobacterium are bacterias found in your large intestine. Saccharomyces boulardii supports gut healing, and I know a lot of nutritionists who will recommend this strain to people with Celiac disease, intolerances, or other issues that would cause damage to the digestive tract. Supplements can come in varieties with a million strains up to 50 billion. I don’t know why you would want one over the other. Definitely talk to a doctor if you want to try supplementing. Also I would recommend checking out my favorite website (the mayo clinic) and reading their opinion. Probiotics are a new research and may not live up to all their claims.

Now the fun part, it wouldn’t hurt to eat FOODS with natural probiotics and prebiotics. By the way, PREbiotics are not bacterias but foods that promote the growth of bacterias, the pre is like prelude. Foods would be fermented foods! Yummy. Yogurts are the famous fermented food group, but miso, tempeh (fermented tofu), kefir (fermented milk), sauerkraut, and kombucha are also great choices. I feel like kombuchas are becoming very nice and trendy.

 

Look familiar? However, I personally like High Country brand better. I haven’t found it here yet but I am sure it’s at Whole Foods or Sunflower. The Chai flavor, mmmm. Haven’t tried kombucha yet? I would recommend it. It takes some getting used (be prepared for the burps) , but you will just feel great and you will get regular real quick! 😉