A few months ago I started noticing that my hunger really changed. It would come on instantly, and instead of a normal rumbly stomach, my face would flush with heat, I felt dizzy, nauseous and start shaking. Instinct would take over and I'd just start reaching for anything to eat. I'm not pregnant, this isn't just being hangry, and it's not just a metabolism change-this was something really different.
After I talked to my mom about it (moms know everything) she mentioned that hypoglycemia and diabetes run in my family on both sides. I was actually kind of offended by that suggestion, because I eat well and I exercise a ton-no way could I have that kind of problem. That's when my education began! You can be the fittest person in the world, but your genetics can still play a huge part in your health.
The internet is a crazy place full of conflicting information, so I did what research I could and met with a nutritionist. After a few weeks of experimenting I wanted to share what I've learned about my body and how my relationship with food has changed.
one// Plan Ahead
To begin with, I have had to change how I think about food. My meals used to be an afterthought. I'd eat when I got a chance. I never ate horribly, but now I'm thinking about what my meals consist of and I'm watching the clock to make sure I don't even have a chance to get hungry. My biggest drops usually happen in the morning-so now instead of eating breakfast last, it's now my first to-do in the morning.
two// Each Day is Different
Many suggest having 6 small meals a day, instead of 3. This just doesn't work for my lifestyle! Instead I'm having 3 well thought out meals and carrying a small snack in case I get hungry. Each day will be different because our bodies are always fluctuating and our activity levels change.
The main tip my nutritionist gave me is when I eat carbs (whether simple or complex) eat them along with protein and fiber. Simple carbs especially will lead to a drop in sugar, so we need to eat them along with something substantial that will keep you full longer.
four// Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can cause drops in sugar, so if you do consume them do so with something else. I don't drink a lot of alcohol, but I do love a cup of hot tea everyday-so now I make sure to have my cup along with breakfast instead of by itself.
five// Track and Monitor
Each person is different, so we all have to experiment with what works for us. The best way to do that is to track what your eating and notice how it affects you. https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/ is an awesome tool for tracking.
I've been experimenting a ton in the last few weeks, and I wanted to share one of my meal plans on a day that I never felt a single symptom:
Breakfast: Avocado Toast topped with 2 over-medium eggs with a side of watermelon. (so yummy and this kept me full all morning!)
Lunch: Mediterranean Hummus Wrap that included hummus, mashed avocado, red pepper, cucumber, shredded carrots, feta topped with oregano, basil, salt/pepper and oil/vinegar.(this is a vegetarian option, but you could easily add chicken for more protein)
Snack before Workout: 2 sliced bananas and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (peanut butter is my lifesaver!)
Dinner: Rice Bowls that included brown rice, black beans, grilled chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo and shredded cheese. (this is a favorite dinner anyway, but now I love that it has a lot of protein and I can add lots of veggies. Rice is a carb, but you're eating it along with something else)
I've had such a learning curve. One day I had such a good breakfast and took a detour into a store before lunch and got so sick in the store-I should have just gone right into the restaurant to pick up my lunch. I am working on not giving myself a chance to get hungry, but also not over eating. It takes a lot of balance and thinking ahead!
Leave me a comment: Have you ever had to deal with hypoglycemia? What works for you? Have you ever been frustrated when your body rebels against you?
**Obligatory Disclaimer! I'm not a doctor! Everyone needs to make their own health decisions and meet with professionals for diagnosis and treatment**