As much as I love reading blogs on real food and the great health results that have come to various bloggers from changing their diets, I love even more seeing how my own body is responding to what we are doing. While I have many years of bad health to recover from, I have continued to feel better and better as I make changes big and small.
One of the problems I used to deal with a lot was unstable blood sugar. There is a history of diabetes in my family, and I was worried that at any moment I was going to get diagnosed with the disease myself. When I was a child, I would get sick if I ate too many sweet things, but as a teenager and adult I craved sweets. Even when I was on a low-carb diet, I ate a lot of sweet things, and consumed far too many artificial sweeteners. I also found that I had to eat every 3-4 hours, snacking constantly to keep myself from getting shaky or light-headed. I thought that I was keeping my metabolism going, but in reality I was just overeating and keeping myself caught in the blood sugar rollercoaster.
This summer I have started to focus on eating more healthy fats, especially at breakfast and lunch. My old routine was to eat a small packet of organic instant oatmeal (which was ridiculously expensive, btw) with an apple and coffee for breakfast at my office around 8am, then eat a snack at 11, then lunch at 1, then a snack at 3, and then dinner at 6. If I missed any of my meals or snacks, I would start to feel the effects right away, and if I didn't get food in me fast, would turn irritated and depressed. But now I am trying to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods like eggs, bacon or homemade sausage, cheese, veggies, and whole fruit in the morning. If I make oatmeal these days, I soak it the night before to decrease the antinutrients, and cook it with coconut oil or whole milk to provide healthy fats in my meal. And I am finding that eating good protein and fat is incredibly satiating.
For example, today around 7am I had an egg, a couple pieces of bacon, a little leftover kohlrabi and greens baked with cheese, and a peanut butter-banana muffin made with sprouted flour. The result? Well, it's lunchtime now, almost 6 hours later, I am just now starting to get a little peckish. No sugar crashes, no shakiness, just a natural hunger, which will soon be satiated with a lunch of sauteed cabbage and bacon, and a green salad with grapes and lacto-fermented ginger carrots.
When I do feel a little hungry in between meals, I have a cup of tea with cream or coconut oil mixed in, which gives me just enough fat to calm the hunger and keep my blood sugar from spiking or crashing. I pass up the leftover baked goods from meetings that populate the lunch room (I find they're not that good anyway compared to my homemade recipes) and no longer dip into the candy jar at the neighboring cubicle. Overall, I am probably eating less but taking in more nutrients. I feel great and have been steadily losing weight.
There are books and studies out there that give competing and conflicting messages about fat and carbs and how to eat, but if you value real life experience at all, you'll take my advice: put back the cereal, eat healthy fats, and don't skip breakfast.
ps: Jer has moved our joint blog over to Wordpress since we were having issues at our previous location. I've posted a few new recipes there. Enjoy!