I have to accept the fact that fats are NOT my friend and stop whining.

Well, after just ONE day of adding fatty stuff into my diet (for feedings #3, 5, and 6) there was a noticeable difference in how I felt…and not in a good way. Although I didn’t have a low blood sugar attack, I didn’t feel totally stable blood sugar wise either…and got almost no sleep last night. I had this horrible restlessness. Obviously, I have to stick with a low fat diet whether I want to or not and stop whining about it. I can handle a little peanut butter (or similar high fat item) occasionally, but to make a habit of eating vegan mayonnaise, olive oil, peanut butter, tahini, etc. is clearly out for me. This sucks. But, I have to remind myself that my two main goals are to feel good and be vegan. That diabetic guy on a chat board who said he’s tested his body’s response to food for years, and is 100% positive that if he eats more than 5 grams of fat at a meal, his blood sugar gets wonky…is right.

Low fatly yours,

Carrie

On Angels’ Wings Prods.
Hypoglycemic Journey

I want to whine…although I’d much rather wine. ;-)

I’m feeling the need to whine.  Thank you all for listening. :-)

Because I was pretty darn convinced that it really IS a fatty diet that causes blood sugar problems, and because I clearly have been doing better back on a very low fat diet…but am getting bored out of my mind and am tired of cooking rice, sweet potatoes, and other stuff seemingly all of the time…I decided to dabble in a mostly raw food very low fat diet yesterday.  I see all of these 80-10-10 type people who swear you can eat truckloads of fruit, as long as you avoid fat, and be fine.  I’ve been afraid of fruit, to a degree, and never eat more than 2 pieces a day.  But, since I was off from work, I decided to try it.  I have to admit, that for the most part, I did shockingly well.  I didn’t have blood sugar plummets or anything and was amazed.  But (and there’s always a but) by later in the afternoon I felt cold…like unhealthily cold…and just didn’t feel what I would call “strong”.  I did end up eating a cooked dinner and my final snack before bed was cooked (and higher in protein…but vegan…at least I’ve been able to stay vegan for over a week).  It was a subtle thing, but something just felt wrong, like I was frail.  And, sure enough, I lost a pound in one day.  My weight has finally been back up to normal and I do NOT want to lose a pound a day.  I’m sure I probably under ate fruit/veggie calories as I find it very hard to shove in the huge volume of food the low fat raw fooders eat.  That could have been why I didn’t feel like I was totally thriving, actually.  I do know that I need to eat more raw food than I have been eating.  Almost all of my diet for a long time has been cooked to death.  That’s not good either.

I don’t know if you have looked into Ayurveda, but I do find it interesting.  My constitution is very Vata with a bit of Pitta, and Vata types are supposed to thrive on warmed, oily, sweet food.  Now, although that makes me happy to hear, I’m not about to start eating sugar. :-) I do think that having different constitutions could explain why different people thrive (or not) on various diets.  My sister is very Pitta and thrives on lots of cold salads and doesn’t do as well on a cooked, starchy diet.  Although I can enjoy a good salad, I can’t live on them.  I just don’t feel right and I need more carbohydrate.  I’m someone who is very in tune with my body, and I notice even subtle things.

Now here is where I get really whiny.  I’M BORED!  I’m bored to death with very low fat, whole food!  I feel like I’m being punished having to eat the way that works for me!  Yes, keeping my blood sugar stable IS the most important thing, but having to eat such a limited diet sucks.  I just want to be able to eat a “whatever” vegan diet like I used to!  I want to have some olive oil here and there and peanut butter!  Oh how I miss avocados!  From experience, I know that I simply cannot handle a really high carb diet AND lots of fat.  My hypoglycemia gets bad.  One hour after such a meal weeks ago, I didn’t feel good, and my blood sugar was already down to 82.  I’m tempted to at least try eating a bit less carbohydrate (but not low carb…think moderate carb) and add some fatty stuff for variety (and also more protein…like nuts, seeds, peanut butter) to see if I can tolerate it.  But I also have this thought that I shouldn’t mess with what’s working (very low fat).  Looking on the bright side, if eating a more moderate everything regime makes me sick, I do now know what works and can go back to very low fat.  One of the things I do worry about with a very low fat diet like I’ve been on is my hair.  I’ve had hair loss issues since the mid 1990s as it is and I do get concerned that eating really low fat will make me lose more hair.  I cannot afford to lose anymore hair.  So far, things seem okay (not noticing more loss) but it hasn’t been that long either that I’ve been very low fat.  In the mid 90s when I was strictly eating very low fat, I noticed eyelash loss.  I thought it was just me, but then another friend who was also eating very low fat started noticing thinning eyelashes.  It was weird.  That’s also around the time when I DID start having thinning hair.  But, the hair issue has continued many years later even when eating fatty stuff.

Today’s blog has been a type of “thinking out loud” stream-of-consciousness thing.  I probably lost you long ago.  LOL – I do want to pass along, though, that I do seem to be able to tolerate a high carbohydrate diet IF I keep my fat intake very low.  It does get tiring having to be a chemist in order to eat. :-/ I look at food and think, “Okay, how much carbohydrate, protein, and fat is in this?”  I just want to be able to eat like a normal person!  And be vegan, of course…which isn’t like the average person, but in that regard, I don’t care to be average.

Peace,

Carrie (Atheria)

Twins tested high carb vs. low carb

http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1597066

I love this!  The high protein/fat diet made the one twin almost officially diabetic!

Right now I am back off fat and eating higher carb and feeling clearly better than the days I ate higher protein and fat with less carbs.  I got fed up when I woke up 4 times with my heart racing/pounding hard and cut fat out the next day.  I started off including animal protein in my low fat plan but am on day 2 of not eating chicken or fish.  If things backfire, I may consider eating egg whites and non fat cottage cheese for extra protein, but I hope to avoid animal products.  But, I’m still early in and sometimes my body changes its mind.  I am truly convinced, though, that fat IS a major blood sugar problem contributor.

Carrie

Realizations…fat and stuffing…

This is quickie blog.  I’ve come to two realizations that I think I’m 100% right about.  (1) Overeating ANYTHING if you are hypoglycemic will mess up your blood sugar big time and (2) too much fat in the diet really does negatively affect blood sugar control (true for diabetics too).

I actually was feeling good on Dr. John McDougall’s suggested very low fat, very high carb diet except that I kept losing weight I can’t afford to lose (now, for those needing to lost weight…it’s  not a problem) until, in my desperation to gain weight back, I stuffed myself with food and definitely overate.  At that point, my blood sugar freaked out, and out of fear I quit the diet.  A couple of years ago, after overeating a lunch that was too yummy at Annapurna’s my blood sugar skyrocketed and then fell 120 points…and I got very sick.  When you are hypoglycemic, you’ve GOT to eat small/medium meals.  Stuffing yourself silly doesn’t pay.

I’ve been back on animal products (except today…am trying to get off them altogether or at least cut back) the past week and have put weight back on, thank God, but…my blood sugar really hasn’t felt all that great.  Of course, my carb intake has gone down a bit because I’ve replaced some of my carbs with protein and fat.  At first I thought my lower carb intake was throwing me off (unlike some hypoglycemics I really need a decent amount of carbohydrate)…but then I realized that the increase in fat was throwing me off.  I happened to “accidentally” eat low fat the first part of yesterday and felt better than I’d felt in days.  Then, later in the day I ate a banana with a bunch of natural peanut butter and started to feel my blood sugar get unstable about an hour later.  I can tolerate a little fat, but not a lot.

So, don’t overeat and don’t eat too much fat.  That’s my verdict.

Peace,

Carrie

Frustration :-(

My body just does NOT want to cooperate and it breaks my heart.  Sometimes being vegan will work for a while and then my body rebels.  I’ve dropped weight AGAIN and I’m having trouble keeping my blood sugar and blood pressure stable.  It’s a cruel fate for someone who loves animals as much as I do to be forced to eat meat, eggs, and cheese in order to not waste away to nothing and not get sick.  I had some weakness and lightheadedness after taking a walk after lunch yesterday.  Although my sugar wasn’t low, something was clearly wrong, and I think it might have been my blood pressure.  I tried to get in more vegan calories yesterday because my weight had already dropped some, but I can’t stuff myself full of starches without getting sick at this point…so I did eat more fat.  I did not get much sleep last night because my blood sugar felt like it was swinging a bit, and woke up this morning with it too low for what my body likes to maintain.

I give up…I just have to give up.  I’ve been struggling for way over three years now.  I just don’t know what to do anymore. :-( Maybe I’ll find a miracle answer, but I’m not hopeful right now.  Sorry to be such a bummer.

:-(

Carrie

Got Balance?

ImageWell, the quote “All good things must come to an end” seems to be quite true…sad to say.  I truly thought that fat in the diet was the main culprit with hypoglycemia (and diabetes) but now I’m not so sure.  I can’t even remember why, now, but I had veered off a strict very low fat, whole foods, vegan diet weeks ago and started eating more moderate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate.  My blood sugar did fine, for the most part, but over time I noticed that my ability to sleep was getting worse and worse.  I need 9 hours of sleep (or more) to feel really good, and I’ve been lucky to get 4, maybe 5 (on a “good” night).  I can fall asleep, usually, but then wake up around 2 or 3 a.m. and toss and turn for the rest of the night.  I got so fed up with being tired all the time, that I decided to go back to a very low fat, very high carb vegan diet to see if it would help me to sleep again, like it had before.

On Saturday I did fine blood sugar-wise, and slept “better” than I have been sleeping…but still not GREAT.  While out dancing, though, I was hit with really bad stomach gas bubble pain from the truckloads of beans, I’m guessing, and it ruined the night for me.  I had to go home early.  But, at least my blood sugar did fine.  The other problem was, I lost weight.  Yes, in one day I can drop weight.  So, I decided to stuff myself full of whole foods carbs yesterday (Sunday) to try to stick with the diet but get more calories in, since I do not want to lose weight.  (Oh, that’s right, that is why I had veered off a strict McDougall diet weeks ago…I just could not keep weight on and needed the calories in such things as peanut butter.)  Well, I felt off all day, blood sugar-wise.  I should have checked my sugar but didn’t.  I have a feeling my blood sugar was actually too high.  I felt funny in my head, and that usually means my sugar has spiked way up.  It seems that I do okay with controlled portions of starchy low fat foods, but if I stuff, my blood sugar jumps up too high.  But, you need to stuff to get enough calories in.  It’s frustrating.  Anyway, I stuck it out even though I didn’t feel totally normal.  My dinner seemed fine, but about an hour after dinner I started to feel NOT good.  I held out and tried to ignore it and tell myself that I was fine, but I finally checked my blood sugar at the 2 hour mark because by then I really didn’t feel good.  Sure enough, my blood sugar was way lower than it should have been just 2 hours after eating…so…I had to have spiked and then plummeted.  I had to fry up some eggs and cheese to get my blood sugar to stabilize.  Although I’ve been able to avoid eating dead animals for a while now, I have had to give in and eat eggs and cheese a couple of times when my sugar has acted up and I was struggling to stabilize it.  I do hope that someday SOON the eggs and cheese won’t be necessary.

It seems like my body just changes its mind about what it wants on a regular basis!  It’s so annoying!  I felt really good on a very low fat, high carbohydrate diet previously, but now my body is saying, “Nope.  Sorry.  We have changed our mind.”  GRRRRRR…So, as of today, I’m back to a more evenly BALANCED (ironic that I’m a Libra yet swing to extremes with food) hopefully full-time vegan diet where I’m cutting back on carbohydrate a bit and increasing fat and protein.  So far, it’s been a really good day and I’ve felt stable.  Of course, this means I’ll not sleep hardly at all. :-/ I clearly slept better on higher carbs.  It’s like what works for one issue doesn’t work for another issue.  Talk about aggravating.

I need to let go of my stubbornness and accept the fact that my body just does not like ANY dietary extremes.  Too low carb and I get sick constantly with low blood sugar attacks.  Too high carb and I get sick too.  Too low fat or too high fat…not good.  I’m back to that Buddhist line…The Middle Way.  I’ve also given up the idea of being able to ever do extreme exercise again, and am sticking with fast walking and yoga.  I’ve only been back to yoga for 2-3 weeks now and already feel like I’m getting some muscle tone, plus my chronic head pain is at a lower level of pain.  I think when you have hypoglycemia or diabetes, you need to be gentle with your body in many ways, not only with diet and exercise, but also with taking time for rest, meditating (am getting into mindfulness meditation right now), spiritually, having love in your life in some form (yes, pets count), etc.  Pamper your body and soul.  I think Louise Hay said that diabetes is caused by “a lack of sweetness in one’s life”.  Something to contemplate.

Be well,

Carrie

As the book said, “Potatoes NOT Prozac”!

Well, since my last post, my diet has been all over the place as I struggled to keep weight on (due to massive stress at work which is now finally gone).  When my weight drops to the numbers it dropped to, I am more prone to anxiety/panic attacks.  I actually believe I have an official panic disorder that has been caused by my hypoglycemia, according to a website with symptoms I found.  Since Wednesday morning, I’ve been back to a whole foods, high carb, low fat vegan diet (a la Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn) and once again feeling better.  On Tuesday night, after eating meat and eggs (BLECH) for a few days, I had a fattier meal…and sure enough…my blood sugar started swinging and I did not feel well during the evening.  I had been eating a not overly high fat diet despite the meat and eggs prior to that dinner.  It confirmed for me, that at least in my body, a high fat diet clearly negatively affects my blood sugar regulation.

But I’ve also had another epiphany.  As someone who used to travel the world alone with no fear, who now feels anxious driving up to Santa Fe (one hour drive), I’m sick and tired of the ongoing panic/anxiety issues that my hypoglycemia has caused.  Because I had many really, really bad low blood sugar attacks when my endocrine system first blew…and for the following couple of years with the first year being the worst…I became petrified that I’d have an attack on an ongoing basis.  My main triggers for a panic attack are:  traffic jams, where I feel trapped in my car so that I can’t get to food/help – remote, in the middle of nowhere, locations where I feel too far from hospitals or food (even though I always have some emergency food with me) – movie theaters, for some odd reason – being away from my “safe” home (yes, I was starting to become agoraphobic but have mostly beaten that) – any closed in/claustrophobic places – etc.  I would also have totally random panic attacks while at home though, too, even when relaxed and seemingly not stressed about anything…usually in the evenings.  Although I’ve lived alone most of my life, at one point I didn’t think I could continue to keep living alone and thought about selling my house.  I got so afraid I’d have a low blood sugar attack and pass out and die before anyone ever found me.  As bad as hypoglycemia is, I have to say, the panic/anxiety disorder has become worse than my actual blood sugar issue.  I ended up in an ER in late January, where I was given Ativan (OMG that drug is awesome and I’m not at all a fan of pharmaceuticals in general.  It should be marketed as a sleep aid.) and an anti nausea medication.  Ativan worked within a very short period of time and I was able to get much needed sleep before a job interview I really needed to go to.

Out-of-the-blue, days later, the thought popped into my head that my general mood…and not “just” my blood sugar control…was better when I was strictly eating a whole foods, low fat, high carb vegan diet.  My underlying anxiety, which St. John’s Wort had helped some, but not totally, was noticeably better on LOTS of carbs.  I had this “safe” feeling.  When I ate a higher fat diet or less carbs, I didn’t feel as stable emotionally or blood sugar-wise.  Antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds basically work by increasing your brain’s serotonin levels, which is what carbohydrates do!  When I mentioned this realization to my sister, she said, “Potatoes not Prozac”.  I remembered the name of that book from years ago but had totally forgotten about it!  I just got it yesterday from the Albuquerque library and started reading it last night.  It’s a book that, so far, is very anti sugar and processed food, and pro quality protein and natural carbohydrates…tying blood sugar to mood and alcoholism.  I’ve always heard that most alcoholics have diabetes or hypoglycemia and that the reason they are drawn to alcohol is because of a sugar craving.  If you’ve ever seen an AA meeting, there is ALWAYS lots of sweets for people to snack on…and plenty of caffeine.

Although I do have an appointment to meet with a psychologist to address my anxiety disorder and probably get medication, I really think I’m onto something diet-wise.  I’m HOPING I can cure myself with food and not meds.  I may be able to kill two birds with one stone and greatly improve my hypoglycemia and anxiety with a natural, whole foods, high carbohydrate diet.

Carb up!

Carrie

Peanut allergy may be a hypoglycemia contributor?

ImageI’ve heard people say that food allergies can cause hypoglycemia, but, to be honest, I had poo-pooed that.  It just didn’t seem plausible to me.  That was until last night. :-(

I’d been doing shockingly well blood sugar-wise on a very low fat, whole foods, vegan McDougall Diet…except that I’ve been losing weight again I cannot afford to lose.  I simply cannot get enough calories in when eating the really strict form of the diet that I felt I needed since my blood sugar was doing better.  You can only fit so much beans, brown rice, and yams in.  There is the very real possibility that it’s fat in the diet that causes both diabetes and hypoglycemia, so that is why I did the strictest form of McDougall.

Yesterday, a friend mentioned to me that maybe some of my worst hypoglycemic attacks were not caused by fat, but by peanuts.  Or that peanuts could at least be a contributor.  I thought back to some of my serious “episodes” and yes, I had eaten peanut butter at the time.  So, the only way you know is to test the food.  At lunch yesterday, I added some olive oil and hemp nuts to my normal meal of beans, rice, and veggies to see how I’d react to added fat.  Well, I did okay…no major symptoms.  I even took a long walk after lunch and my sugar was a fine 107 two hours after eating.  Then, at dinner, I included 1/4 cup of peanut butter with my yams and veggies…and got very sick starting around 1.5 hours after eating (although I felt slightly weird at the 1 hour mark).  My blood sugar freaked out for hours…sadly, to the point where I had to eat tuna fish to try to get it to stop swinging up and down wildly.  When my blood sugar starts see-sawing, the feeling is horrible.  I was hit with many of the classic symptoms too:  nausea (thankfully I have some anti nausea meds in the house), intestinal distress, heart pounding hard, feeling shaky inside, a feeling of panic, etc.  My sugar was falling too fast, and then at the 3 hour mark had actually shot back up too high.

I have been a huge peanut eater for many years.  I do know that if you eat a lot of any one food, it CAN cause you to become allergic, but I always thought it happened to others…not me.  I do suspect that peanut issues and gluten issues are related as I know a few people who have to avoid both.  I wonder if being off gluten actually makes other intolerances show up?  I’m still not 100% sure that it’s the peanuts that caused last night’s attack or the fat in the peanut butter, but it’s looking that way since I did okay with fatty olive oil and hemp nuts earlier in the day (unless the effect of the lunch time fat didn’t show up until dinner).

In any case, I lost another 1.5 lbs. because of yesterday, so right now I’ve got to add some animal products back into my diet as I’m not at all confident that I can get weight on staying vegan.  The good news for dieters is that very low fat, whole foods vegan eating DOES cause you to lose weight!  Until I can get my weight AND blood sugar totally stable, I just don’t think I can be vegan. :-(

I would suggest that if you have hard to control hypoglycemia, you check yourself for food allergies.  It’s a definite possible trigger.

No peanut butter for me,

Carrie

Testing the fat theory…(from 1/19/2014 posted to the wrong blog)

I’d been doing much better on a very low fat, high carb diet until I decided to test the fat theory yesterday for lunch. On a hypoglycemic support Facebook page I frequent, people are practically yelling at me (not everyone, but many) for suggesting that maybe it’s not carbs that are the problem…that it’s fat in the diet that makes blood sugar go haywire. A majority of people on the Facebook page do low carb, high protein, high fat. There are some that are a bit more moderate about it. Anyway, after doing really well, I purposely ate a much lower carb and much higher fat lunch yesterday and then took a walk. Well, within 30 minutes my heart was pounding hard (before I started walking) like my blood sugar was off and continued to beat hard for a couple of hours. Also, my legs felt much weaker than they did the day before (when I McDougalled). I checked my blood sugar one and two hours after lunch and oddly, my sugar was 86 both times. Now, the good news is that I didn’t swing wildly around, but the bad news is that my sugar SHOULD have gone up after eating and didn’t and I don’t feel great in the 80s. I am someone who feels my best right around 100. I felt off until about an hour after I ate a high carb, very low fat dinner when I finally felt good again. I was able to enjoy a night out with friends and even do some dancing.

Now, the day before, my blood sugar responded PERFECTLY to a dinner of brown rice, beans, and veggies. One, two, and three hours post dinner my sugar was 122, 111, and 109. I then waited a while and ate a bit of sweet potato and beans before bed and woke up yesterday a.m. with a fasting blood sugar of 94. Those numbers are fabulous for me. Keep in mind that Sunday night, a dinner of beans, rice, with peanut butter (I thought I needed even more protein and some fat as that is the common thinking) shot my blood sugar quickly up to around 200 and then I plummeted fast and got sick. Granted, that whole day my blood sugar was very brittle because of a lunch that didn’t agree with me.

It’s still a meal by meal thing, and I’ve been doing this not that long…but right now I am hopeful. Time will tell, but hopefully I’m onto something. While surfing the web, I found this great site I wanted to share: http://lowfatveganchef.com

Carb up!

Carrie

Stress kills :-(

I don’t know why I thought things might actually be going well for me for ONCE.  I had gotten a new, higher paying job in an interesting area that I started December 13th, my blood sugar was doing surprisingly well on a McDougall whole foods, very low fat vegan diet, etc.  I thought things were finally getting better for me.  Then, on January 20th the rug was pulled out from under me.  I was notified that I cannot keep my new job and that I had 30 days to find another one.  Of course, as fate would have it, when I needed there to be lots of job postings, there were very few.  I don’t handle threats to my income and ultimately, safety, very well.  This is poor New Mexico where there are not tons of good opportunities outside where I work.  And, I own a home in a still struggling real estate market.  So I can’t just easily pick up and move for work if need be.

The immense stress has destroyed my health.  As it is I’m still dealing with stress induced shingles scars from the government shutdown at the end of September (we didn’t shut down, but we came within days of doing so).  But this new stress has made my 18+ year constant headache and neck pain from a 1995 accident MUCH worse.  I’m emaciated and cannot keep weight on…losing a pound a day even when gagging down thousands of calories.  The tendency I have for anxiety issues triggered by my hypoglycemia, have gotten MUCH worse, to the point I ended up in an ER last Sunday.  Initially I was panicking about work, but now I’m panicking about my weight.  I’m too close to a certain low number, that if I hit it, I know from past experience will make my blood sugar harder to control.  In total desperation and needing to shove in whatever calories I can, I’ve had to quit being vegan AGAIN. :-( I am physically weak right now and just can’t risk dropping weight even faster.  I tried being vegan yesterday and only made it through 3/4 of the day…and woke up a pound lighter.  I’m stressed, exhausted, depleted, and just barely hanging in there.

I did have an interview (at the same employer) late on Thursday that went well, and I have two others this coming week.  So there is a glimmer of hope.  But, because of this and other things I’ve encountered I don’t know if I can ever feel really secure…which causes slight constant anxiety.  Now, my blood sugar has actually done okay…shockingly enough.  It’s the rest of my body that is freaking out.  I am going for a recommended consultation at http://www.elite-osm.com on Monday.  Supposedly, there is a guy there who does myofascial therapy that is miraculous.  After 18 years of CONSTANT pain (and facial drooping) I need a miracle worker.

Right now I just cannot thing about being vegan.  It makes me sad, but I’m fighting for my life right now.  I am truly dangerously thin.  I do want to reiterate, though, that the low fat eating really DID seem to help my hypoglycemia and the added carbs made me feel better (before tall this happened).  It had been drummed into my head since 2010 that carbs are evil for a hypoglycemic, that for me that is not true.  I felt BETTER with more carbohydrate as long as I kept to low fat.

:-(

Carrie