Monday, August 17, 2009

Cereal Bad, Eggs Good

So my New Years resolution this year was to eat less processed food. The number one processed food I ate was cereal. I love cereal and I would eat it every morning for breakfast. But in my effort to fulfill my resolution I decided to switch to eggs and peanut butter toast in the morning. The switch has almost been life changing. I have always had to eat often. If I didn't eat every 2-3 hours I would get seriously grumpy, and feel like I was going to pass out. I always got angry when I went to someone's house around lunch time and there was no food. I didn't understand why most people had no problems delaying or skipping meals, but I did. The symptoms became even worse in the past few years because I've been pregnant or nursing. My grandmother once mentioned that I might be hypoglycemic, but when I looked it up the symptoms had nothing to do with me. But after I stopped eating cereal I read something about carbs causing spikes and drops in blood sugar and cereal being one of the biggest culprits. I read up on hypoglycemia again and found a link about REACTIVE hypoglycemia, and the symptoms of that fit fairly well - fatigue, dizziness, sweaty, light-headedness, irritability, increased appetite, craving sweets, runny nose, usually 2 -3 hours after eating a high carb meal. The treatment is to exercise, eat often, avoid sugars, carbs, alcohol, and caffeine, and increase protein. I have always instinctively did all those things except avoiding the carbs and increasing protein. By changing what I ate for breakfast I was fulfilling the last two things and I have felt a remarkable difference. I still get hungry sometimes, but it isn't as soon, and I don't feel like I am going to die if I don't get food immediately. Sometimes I have wondered if it is in my head, but when we run out of eggs I will eat cereal for breakfast, and a few hours later I feel like I am going to pass out. I am much better off eating whole grain toast with peanut butter or even nothing at all.

I'm not sure if I'm being a hypochondriac. Reactive hypglycemia is hard to diagnose because you have to get your blood sugar taken 2 - 3 hours after you have eaten and are in the middle of a "crash", which is hard to time. It is supposedly pretty rare, but I've talked to many people who seem to have some of the same problems. So I'm not sure if I really have it, but I know that I feel so much better if I act like I do.

Since I've been eating eggs every morning I now have a very discerning palette as to good and bad tasting eggs. For a while I was getting fresh eggs from my egg lady, but she lives about 30 minutes away and I can't make an hour long trip every week with 2 kids to go and get eggs. But they do taste the best. The next best are Naturally Organic eggs (not Naturally Nested though the packages look similar). I get them at Fred Meyer, but I've seen them at QFC as well. They are free range (which is better than cage free),organic, and come from Everett, so they are local. They taste almost as good the eggs from my egg lady and are worth the extra money. Some people worry about the cholesterol in eggs, but your body needs cholesterol. If you don't eat it, then your liver will manufacture it for you, which isn't a good thing (but I can't remember why).

I also get Dave's Killer Bread for my toast. This bread is at Fred Meyer and Costco. It is expensive (but it is a better deal at Costco) but it is so good. Whenever I have guests over and I make them a sandwich they always comment on how good the bread is. It is organic and doesn't have HFCS or hydrogenated oils. It also has lots of seeds and grains, but it isn't dry at all.

For peanut butter I get freshly squished peanut butter at Fred Meyer. There is a machine that chops up your peanuts and pours it into a container for you. It is much better than commercial all natural peanut butter, like Adams, because for the most part the oil doesn't separate, and it is easy to spread. You make it on the spot so you know it is only peanuts.

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