Saturday, August 11, 2012

Unexpected Blood Sugar Test Results

So Thursday I went in for my acupuncture appointment and asked her if my bloodwork was back. She found from the Chinese and Japanese exams she did on me at my initial consultation that I was having blood sugar issues. So freaky-deaky that she can figure that out from taking my pulse or pushing on weird points of my body, but well, she was right. My bloodwork came back and four markers that show blood sugar issues are off. 

The surprise? It's not that it's too high. It's too low. It's overcorrecting. Fascinating. I've noticed lately that I get very sleepy right before I eat, and panicked if I've gone too long without eating. For a long time I thought this was just anxious eating, so I would just try to talk myself down from the ledge. Turns out there was actually a physiological thing going on there. Hmm. 

So anyway, upon learning this she said to make sure I'm eating something with protein and fat, and low-moderate carb every 2-3 hours. 

I tried it yesterday and today, and while a total pain for planning ahead, it's been amazing. For starters, it's not too hard to get to the Lean Eating rule of eat until you're only 80% full, if you know you have to eat again in 2 hours. Yesterday I had breakfast which was an egg + white, cooked in a little bit of bacon fat with tons of spinach. Two hours later, 2 hard boiled eggs and a side salad (which I couldn't finish). Three hours later, carrot slaw (still slaw-obsessed) with roasted chicken. Two hours later and post-workout, a handful of almonds. I didn't feel stuffed all day. For dinner I had less than half of what I would normally have. I had four people over for dinner last night (including two vegetarians, which caused great great great anxiety over making the right kind of food. I'm so weird sometimes) and they had chocolate cake for dessert; I had dark chocolate and blueberries and was thrilled with that. 

Second, with eating this frequently, you don't have time to get HANGRY. Again, from my years of reading diet books, I always thought something was very wrong with me for getting that way. Turns out nope, I just need to eat less, but more frequently. 

Third, my energy levels feel so much more consistent. I have to admit, giving up coffee this pregnancy has been really hard, and I think it's because I've been relying on it to perk me up when my blood sugar lags. Pre-pregnancy, I was drinking about 4 cups a day. Not four-Starbucks-full-velocity cups, but ok fine, about three of those. My point is I was relying on a shit-ton of caffeine. Now I'm having 1-2 cups of half-caf made at home every morning, but it's still been hard not to have something before I hit the gym. I didn't miss caffeine as much today or yesterday, and am hopeful I can go completely off it in the next few weeks (without massive headaches).

Fourth, I'm not panicked around food anymore. I think I used to overeat (I mean, one reason anyway) was because I wanted to make sure I didn't feel deprived later. I've always wished I could just be goddamn normal about food and I think I'm nudging closer with this new information. 

Fifth, morning sickness has started, and eating frequently really helps. I know this nugget o' wisdom is like Pregnancy 101, but I haven't been that sick before. Today I was this close to throwing up in a parking garage elevator in SF. It smelled like farts and body oil and car grease and dirty shoes and mygod, it was a close call. I rode down from the 9th floor holding my nose and praying. 

Today we went out for brunch and I ate slowly, not panicked, and stopped when I was about 70% full, and packed up the rest. Two hours later, I told Pete I needed a break to eat the rest. We stopped at the food court in the basement of Macy's in SF. He had a giant ice cream cone (oh the irony). Three hours later, I had a spoonful of peanut butter to tide me over while I cooked dinner, which was 1/2 chicken thigh, mashed cauliflower and roasted broccoli. Tonight I was craving potato chips like nobody's biz, so I had a few, ate them slowly, and had another small spoonful of peanut butter. 

I feel great. Not stuffed. The key with this is not eating a ton of food. Not even eating half-portions, it's more like 40%, so that I can eat again in a few hours. Pretty amazing, and nice to have an answer for my energy lags. 

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