Well, there goes carrying only a tiny, useless purse!

Because I got tired of lugging around a bigger, heavy purse full of food and my glucose meter, etc. I downsized to a tiny crossbody that only held a very few things.  Having something on one shoulder causes me even more pain than I am already in with my neck damage…that is now causing not only a constant headache (approaching the 20th year) and neck pain, but also upper back muscle spasms too.  Anyway, things went okay for a few days, but i also didn’t really go anywhere that far from emergency supplies.  I am a walker, though, and don’t always have my car with me to stash stuff in.

After work on Wednesday or Thursday, can’t remember, I stopped at Sprouts to pick up some things on my way home.  I’d eaten a banana, which is typical, around 3:15 p.m. and this was about 5:15 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.  Just when I got ready to check out, I started SEVERELY yawning…truly, a not normal tiredness.  A sign that something was wrong with my blood sugar kind of sudden tiredness.  I mentioned to the cashier that I was concerned that my blood sugar was messed up, but I couldn’t tell if I was too high or too low.  Then the dizziness hit.  I got really dizzy.  She told me to eat a banana, but I was afraid to because severe tiredness/yawning can often mean your blood sugar is too high…not too low.  And, I didn’t have my normal low blood sugar symptoms of shaking, heart racing, intestinal distress, etc.  It scared me that I didn’t have my glucose meter with me to be able to check my sugar!  Ugh!  I did have glucose tablets in my tiny purse, but not any nuts or anything for protein either.  (Although, being in a health food store, I could have gone and found some.)  I live only about a mile away from Sprouts and just decided that I needed to get home ASAP.  In retrospect, I probably should not have driven with the dizziness, but I also wasn’t thinking straight and was slightly panicked.

I almost smashed my new car zooming through a crowded parking lot as another guy was also speeding through the lot from another direction.  I slammed the brakes on (thank you anti-lock brakes) and didn’t t-bone him, thank God.  Of course, then I was shaking and my heart was racing due to the near miss.

When I got home and checked my blood sugar, I was indeed low.  I don’t know why I dropped that day as I’d not done anything different.  But, I was also around ovulation time, and we women know that hormones DO affect blood sugar.  What concerns me is that I didn’t notice I was getting low.  My normal symptoms didn’t show up.  Probably if I’d gotten much lower, they would have, but I’ve read about diabetics that get into major trouble because they lose the ability to feel their lows.

So, I’ve gone back to bigger purses that can hold food, my meter, etc.  I just found an all black Tommy Hilfiger backpack to wear so that at least weight is evenly distributed on my back.  So far, I love it.  I used to joke on a hypoglycemic chat board that I might as well lug around luggage with all the crap I have to carry with me.  Others agreed that they get tired of having to carry so much too.  But, as a gluten free vegan, it’s not as easy for me to be able to find food in an emergency situation…so I need to carry stuff.

Here’s my new backpack purse…thanks to Ross!

Tommy Hilfiger backpack purse

Tommy Hilfiger backpack purse

Oh, I should also mention that I’m testing some fattier food here and there.  I did good with avocado but didn’t feel as good with sunflower seed butter that I had with dinner last night for some reason.  It’s still trial and error seeing what my blood sugar control system can handle and what it can’t.  And, my body changes….

Traveling heavily,


Good diabetes/hypoglycemia specialist visit…but…

I met with a diabetes/hypoglycemia counselor this week and she told me I was doing everything right regarding exercise (walking and yoga) and eating a whole foods, clean diet.  The only tweak she mentioned is possibly eating some nuts or seeds by themselves as snacks instead of tending to grab fruit.  It was nice to hear that I’m doing the right things, but what wasn’t good to hear is that with time it’s very possible my sugar issue will change and not respond to dietary intervention. :-( She said sometimes that as you age, what you used to be able to control with diet and exercise, you simply can’t control anymore…and have to turn to medications. :-( I made it very clear that I want to avoid drugs.  But, I heard this one older woman on a chat board mention that she had controlled her pre-diabetes for 20 years with a high quality vegan diet and exercise, but when she got to about 70 years old, suddenly her blood sugar went into diabetes no matter what she did…and she had to give in and start taking something.  That sucks!!  I’m still hoping for the best, though, and that I don’t end up on that path.

I seriously cannot get over how quickly my blood sugar reacts negatively to fatty food though!  My fasting numbers, and numbers after eating my high carb, low fat vegan way, have been really good.  But, for dinner last night I added a big spoonful of sunflower seed butter because I needed the calories to the rest of my starchy meal (and I’d had some hummus 3 hours earlier that had high fat tahini in it)…and even though I didn’t eat again before bed, my fasting number this morning was back up into the pre-diabetes range!  Argh!  It seems I’m not allowed to waver much from my very low fat diet.  I can only tolerate VERY small amounts of fatty stuff…especially mixed with carbs.  If I eat nuts by themselves, I do okay.  It’s annoying.  i should probably test things to see exactly how much I do okay with.  I’m guessing 2 tbs. of nut butter is the maximum…if that.  But, I always found 2 tbsp. to be pitiful.  HA!  You need at least 4 tbsp. to make a sandwich!

I’ll stick to my rice, sweet potatoes, beans, veggies, and fruit I guess.  Oh, I should also mention that after that spike weeks ago, I’m avoiding white potatoes.



Do NOT take your improved health for granted!

Me being who I am…I tend to start pushing the envelope regarding how much my body can take when I’m doing really well. It’s not an intentional thing. It just gradually starts happening and I nudge "the line" out further and further. I have been doing well on a mostly raw food regime with only moderate fruit intake, a lot of fat, and one big salad per day. Well, I’ve been doing well blood sugar wise, anyway. My digestive system has not totally cooperated, and the past few days I’m getting some stomach pain (like right now) and IBS has still been an issue, usually leaning more towards the constipation side. How someone can still struggle when she’s living on fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds is beyond me!

Anyway, I ended up with blood sugar problems last evening because I tried to get away with too much yesterday. I’ve been having wine more regularly…almost daily. I have started skipping some of my 6 meals or eaten later than I should. And, I got this free grande skinny vanilla latte made with soy milk yesterday from Starbucks, which contained extra caffeine. So, all of a sudden, after not eating all of my "meals", having excess caffeine (with sugar), and also having some wine…my body said, "Okay, we’re done." I ate a banana to get my sugar up, and that worked for a while, but then I started to have that horrible panicky feeling kick in, my intestines let me know something was wrong (usually it’s one of my first symptoms of low blood sugar) and I felt VERY unstable like I was going to get REALLY sick if I didn’t so something. My sugar was up at that point, but I just felt really brittle. So, I knew I had to "lock in" my blood sugar level so it didn’t suddenly drop a huge amount of points. I ate cashews, walnuts, and some toasted soybeans. I knew I needed protein, some fat, a little carbohydrate, and SLOWLY digesting food. Thank God, it worked, and I was able to finally fall asleep. My sugar was good at 91 this a.m.

I will admit that I’m occasionally feeling carbohydrate starved eating the way I’m eating. And I suspect my glycogen stores are depleted. Although I’m not super low carb by any means, I am eating noticeably less carbohydrate than I had been eating. I’ve even had leg weakness a little bit. But, my fasting numbers have been good, and I don’t seem to spike as high after eating. So, I’m not sure exactly what to do. I will say that eating the way I’ve been eating has been easier in terms of finding food when I’m out and about. My intuition is telling me, though, that I’ve gone too extreme again. Pfffffft!

Whirled peas,

On Angels’ Wings Prods.
Hypoglycemic Journey

Raw food convert!


Why, oh why did I ever quit raw flooding many years ago?!  Oh wait, I remember.  I got bored.  Well, that and I ODed on fat to the point I started to have gallbladder issues (think nausea, etc.)

Since all of a sudden what had been working, a high starchy carbohydrate very low fat (mostly cooked food) diet, stopped working…in desperation I went back to a mostly raw food regime.  I say “mostly” because a lot of the nuts, seeds, and peanuts I’m eating are roasted.  And there’s the whole coffee-I’m-not-giving-up thing. 😀 Although I was feeling good on a starchivore diet, all of a sudden I started to experience SEVERE tiredness.  It didn’t initially dawn on me that it could be a sign of high blood sugar because for years I’ve been battling low blood sugar.  But, it was getting so bad I started to suspect something was wrong and checked my fasting sugar one morning and freaked when I saw a diabetic number!

Since I had been warned previously that it was highly possible I’d become diabetic eventually (following in mom’s hypoglycemic to insulin dependent diabetic footsteps), I panicked and turned to the only other thing I could think of…a lower glycemic raw vegan diet like I’d been on in the late 1990s through early 2000s.  I remembered that back then, not only did my lifelong digestive problems disappear, my hormones got better, and my blood sugar kept very stable.  Of course, back then I also didn’t have the blood sugar issues I’ve got now, though.

Now, I’m not doing that super high fruit, very low fat thing.  I think it’s totally dangerous and unbalanced.  And since I’m concerned about carbs right now, that’s not for me.  Besides, it’s boring!  Anyway, I’m doing a moderate amount of fruit, one LARGE salad, tons of nuts/seeds/peanuts, and one dose of soy protein powder in the morning (not raw, but I may switch to a raw protein powder).  I’m eating fatty avocados again too.  I was also adding oils, but have cut back on that.  Now, I’m eating a lot of fat, so I’m going to have to monitor that so as not to blow out my gallbladder, but I’m feeling so good!  My fasting blood sugar dropped after the first day!  The tiredness disappeared immediately!  My sugar is way more stable and I’ve still been fine when meals have been delayed by hours.  I’m not getting anywhere near as hungry either, but I’m thinking my calorie intake has probably increased due to the dramatic fat increase.  Often this past week I’ve not needed to eat before bed.  Oh, and although not perfect, my digestive system is a bit better already.

My weight is stable, despite all the fat I’m eating.

I am eating 5-6 pieces of fruit per day, and often having a glass of wine.  Yesterday I seemed to need more fruit and ate another 1-2.  But I’m far from those 30 pieces of fruit a day people.  Basically, I’ve cut carbs down (and all cooked starchy ones)…but not super low as my body demands a certain amount), and dramatically increased fat while also increasing protein.  I’m eating so much sunflower seed butter, cashews, almonds, and peanut butter, my protein intake has to be higher than what it was before.

I’m obviously not a raw food purist by any means, but all of my fruit and veggie intake is raw.  I’m kind of Paleo Vegan but on the raw side.

I’ve gotta admit I love not having to cook!  That’s a plus!

I know I’ve gone back and forth a lot, but I think I’m into something.  And this is much more doable when traveling, etc.  You can always find a salad bar somewhere, and trail mix is easy to carry.  I can live for months on bananas and peanut butter! 🍌 That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. 😉

My fasting numbers are staying in the 80s-90s… much better than 147!  Another plus to this is that my diet has to be more alkaline now, which will help my bone density too.  The acne that I’d started struggling with recently is also way better.  I’m going to assume the sugar in my prior diet was triggering that.

Mostly raw,

My body has mutinied. :-( Good-bye tons of carbs…

My body is schizophrenic, I swear. For a while it’ll LOVE something, and I’ll be doing great, and then suddenly one day it just goes, "No, I’m done. I don’t want that anymore." For quite a while I’ve kept my hypoglycemia under control, and felt a lot better, as long as I stuck to very low fat, high whole carbs vegan. I thought I found the answer. My fasting blood sugar numbers averaged in the low to mid 80s, I wasn’t having dramatic blood sugar drops, etc. I had even stopped checking my blood sugar, except on rare occasions, because I didn’t feel I needed to. I don’t know what prompted me to start checking lately, but something did (could be a spirit guide wanting to alert me…that is very possible when things just pop into my head out-of-the-blue) and my fasting number was in the pre-diabetic range (100-125). I panicked and cut back on carbs and added fat and initially had my fasting numbers get worse, not better. But, after a few days my numbers dropped down into a good area (80s-90s) but I wasn’t feeling as good energy wise and cut back on fat and upped carbs again. For a few days, all seemed good. I am lucky in that my body does respond to dietary changes quickly. I don’t have to wait weeks to see results.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel really good. I actually thought my blood sugar was too low, but when I checked, my fasting number was 146! ARGH! That is diabetic…not pre-diabetic or hypoglycemic! I’m totally freaking right now, which doesn’t help. When I told my diabetic mother about it this morning, she said, "That’s not bad." I’m like, "Mom, that is diabetic!" "Well, yeah, but my fasting has been 300 lately." "WHAT?!" Yes, that was me yelling! So yes, compared to my mom’s horribly out-of-control diabetes, I’m pretty great. But as God is my witness, I am NOT letting my body become diabetic! I am NOT going down my mom’s road and the problems her high blood sugar has caused.

Back in the mid 90s when I was strictly McDougalling for 2-3 years, I did fabulous…until I didn’t. My body, at that time, suddenly said, "No, I’m done. I don’t want super high carbohydrate and super low fat anymore." I had begun to gain weight eating the exact same things I’d been eating in the same amounts, and I started having random low blood sugar attacks. I had to quit the diet at that time, lowering my carbohydrate intake, and increasing fat and protein while staying vegan. Same with raw fooding years ago. I did great for years, until my gallbladder mutinied from all the truckloads of fat I was eating (not exaggerating…truckloads) and I had to add cooked food back in to get off so many nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, etc. that I was eating in order to feel satiated.

So here I go again. Other than becoming a breatharian and just not eating at all (which mom agrees would be easier), I don’t know what to do other than cut back on carbohydrate and increase fat and protein (still vegan). The problem I have is that if I cut carbs too much, I get low blood sugar attacks and anxiety. There is a fine line I’ll need to walk. It’s exhausting and aggravating. I’ll have to aim for something like "The Zone" from years ago where carbs, proteins, and fats are carefully measured. This just sucks. I’m gonna say it. I’m so in love with yams, potatoes, brown rice, beans, fruit, etc. :-( My snack before bed last night was some brown rice with a mushed up banana and cinnamon. I know, I know…the Atkins people are having a heart attack just reading about that snack and saying, "No wonder your blood sugar got too high!" But, believe me, that kind of eating was working for months and months! This does explain the weird SEVERE tiredness I’ve had the past few days. I’m not talking about normal lack of sleep tiredness. I’m talking dramatically odd tiredness after eating. But, that can be a sign of too high blood sugar. I wasn’t checking my glucose number after eating like I probably should have been. I’m afraid to know how high my sugar went last night before landing at 146 this morning.

Upset and frustrated,


On Angels’ Wings Prods.
Hypoglycemic Journey

Maybe sugar cravings AREN’T a bad thing?

It has been brought to my attention that my body wants…no…make that DEMANDS an insanely high carb diet. I just got back from my lunchtime walk around the park, and even at the start of the walk, after I’d eaten lunch at my desk, my legs felt weak. I actually felt slightly stronger by the end of the walk (which is odd) but still not "strong". I’ve been feeling noticeably weaker strength-wise, have been experiencing nausea on and off (meaning my gallbladder is not happy), have had some twinges of anxiety, and my blood sugar doesn’t feel as stable since I upped my fat intake (and protein a bit) and cut carbs to a more moderate level. I’ve not been eating super low carb, but lower than the very high carb way I was eating. All this started because I panicked when my fasting blood sugar, which had been great…averaging mid 80s…suddenly jumped up into the pre-diabetes range. My first thought was, "Oh no! Those people who warned me that a high carb, low fat diet would make me diabetic were right!" So, in my panic, I tweaked things a bit. I have to admit, that although I was overall feeling MUCH better McDougalling strictly, I was bored to death with the same simple food all the time. Anyway, I panicked more when my fasting blood sugar numbers went up even higher on a fatty diet. Thankfully, this morning my number was clearly better, but not as low as I’d prefer…at least under the pre-diabetic range of 100-125. That being said, I’m just not feeling as good! I even started to feel like my sugar was starting to get too low during a meeting at work this morning. There is no doubt that my body runs better on a low fat, high carbohydrate diet. I don’t think I need to be as paranoid about fat intake as I had been though. When I do something, I do it 110%. So, when McDougalling, I eat no fat…none…nada…zilch. A couple of slices of avocado or a little peanut butter won’t kill me, and I need to loosen up about that. But, adding coconut oil to my hot cereal, eating big servings of sunflower seed butter, and pouring oily dressing on my salads (don’t even ask about eating vegan mayo out of the jar) isn’t a good idea. I am just surprised at how sensitive my body is to a cut in carbohydrate intake. I seriously can’t comprehend how people can be on the Paleo/Primal/Atkins Diet and not die! I can’t handle a small cut in carbs and feel like crap with less energy and weakness!

Now, what I’m wondering about is…

I had mentioned in my prior post that I was noticing that the more carbohydrate I ate (including real sugars like fruit jam and agave nectar)…the more I started craving sweets/sugars. I assumed that was a really bad sign. But, what if it’s not? What if the fact I was craving more sugar actually just my body’s way of saying, "Hey, Atheria! Bring it on! Your body is a fast carb burner and you need a lot of fuel!" Look at chocolate cravers, for example. It’s been discovered that people who crave chocolate often are low in magnesium, and it’s their body’s way of trying to get more magnesium in. Maybe cravings aren’t a bad thing! This must be pondered…ha ha!

Now, there is still the issue of my fasting numbers needing to improve. I am determined to not become diabetic. It’s simply not going to happen. I’m stubborn! It’s certainly possible that when I noticed a suddenly higher number many days ago it was just a fluke, and I should have kept checking to see if it was a one time thing or a trend. I hadn’t been checking recently because it had been doing so good. It was interesting at how the day after adding a lot of fat into my diet, my number jumped noticeably higher for a couple of days. I may need to cut out, or at least back on bedtime snacks too. I ate as little as possible last night before bed and my number was better (under 100) this morning. My diabetic mother noticed she did much better in the morning if she skipped a bedtime snack. Sometimes, if my sugar feels a little low, I have to eat something…just to play it safe, though.

For those who don’t know, there are different types of hypoglycemia. I was told years ago that I have the type that can indeed become diabetes. That is what happened to my mother. She started off like me, but is now an insulin dependent diabetic. I’m doing everything in my power via exercise and diet to not go down the diabetes road.

I was talking to a woman online a while ago who developed severe perimenopausal hypoglycemia like I did, and she said that once she went through menopause, her blood sugar issue totally vanished. Overall, compared to how I was 4.5 years ago, I’m much improved, and at 48+ years old noticing changes are happening and that I may be getting close to menopause. So, that may be why my hypoglycemia isn’t as horrid as it once was. But, it’s still not something I can take for granted. I do have to continue to eat 6 times a day, on average, and as cleanly as possible. I am able to handle one modest glass of wine now, which is wonderful! I could not drink AT ALL for years as I’d get very sick for numerous hours.


On Angels’ Wings Prods.
Hypoglycemic Journey

Bye, bye #hclf vegan. Hello balanced vegan.

I’m saying goodbye to very high carb, very low fat vegan today.  I’ve actually been feeling really good, for the most part, but an issue MAY BE arising that I need to test.  Friday night I couldn’t take it anymore and just HAD to eat fat.  I have to admit, that although I love my starches and other carbs, not eating fat makes you always feel a bit unsatiated.  The sensation of fullness is different on a very low fat diet, and I never really feel satiated even if my stomach is bulging.  But, I would be willing to deal with that for great health.  Anyway, for my meal before bed (I eat small meals 6 times a day on average) I had some rice cakes that I spread 1/4 cup of sunflower seed butter on mixed with 2 tbsp. of coconut oil.  Yes, that is a lot of fat.  But, good God it was yummy!  LOL

Now, I have difficulty sleeping most of the time, but I really struggled that night to sleep at all…and at one point in the very early morning hours, I felt like my blood sugar was off.  When I finally got up and tested it, it wasn’t too low…it was actually a bit too high.  My knee-jerk reaction was to blame the fat and say, “No matter if I’m bored to death with gluten free, very low fat, vegan food or not…I clearly need to stick with it.”  So, yesterday I ate perfectly all day (meaning very low fat vegan) and checked my fasting blood sugar this morning to see…that it was still too high!  It was 4 points lower than the morning before, but technically, pre-diabetic.  Shit!  Now, my friend has a valid point when she said, “Well, there will be day to day fluctuations in blood sugar.  You need to just make sure it’s not a bad trend upwards.”  But, my fasting numbers had been doing great in the low to mid 80s.  Why are they suddenly in pre-diabetes territory even for 2 days?  And, because I’ve not been monitoring my sugar regularly lately, maybe my numbers have been high for weeks.  I have a harder time sensing when I’m high as opposed to low.  There have been times when I could have sworn my blood sugar was too low, but when checked, saw I was high.  Other times I thought I was okay, but was actually too low…but…those instances are the minority.  I usually get very clear low symptoms.

Anyway, I’m starting to worry that the truckloads of carbs I’ve been eating as a #hclf (high carb, low fat) vegan are starting to backfire.  There are gradual, subtle things I’m also noticing.  My fingernails, which normally grow like weeds and are very strong have slowed down noticeably in growth and are breaking much easier since I quit nuts, seeds, peanuts, and concentrated protein vegan “meats” (due to their high fat content).

I’ve also had some minor (thankfully) chest pains back again the past couple of weeks.  I get the chest pains if my diet gets too low in protein or carbs.  I’ve tested that one.  Yes, I do still take one dose of vegan protein powder at breakfast and I do eat beans, but I’ve always noticed that my body seems to utilize the protein in nuts, seeds, concentrated soy, and peanuts better than the protein in regular starchy beans and peas.  I don’t know why that is, but I’ve noticed it before.  So, going Starch Solution/McDougall my protein intake has dropped quite a bit.

Sugar Craving?

And, finally, I’m noticing that I’m craving sugar more and more.  That one snuck up on me very covertly.  I never used to crave sugar, but more and more I’m wanting jam on things or agave nectar poured all over stuff.  I even bought a box of gluten free, vegan cookies.  (They are GOOD.)  My 400 grams of carbs a day (or more) diet is triggering a craving for even more sugar.  Uh Oh.

Then there is the stress and social issue.  I’m SO tired of having to carry around truckloads of low fat, gluten free, vegan food.  I’m SO tired of stressing about “Will there be anything for me to eat there?”  I’ve caught myself not doing some social things because of it.  And, quite frankly, I’m thinking about what I can and can’t eat way too much.  I’m tired of it.  Now, staying off gluten I have to do…no choice there…but I can loosen up on the whole fat free thing and actually TRY to stick to moderation.  I’m a libra and we tend to swing to extremes before finding balance.  Yes, I’m blaming my astrological sign!  HA!

I think my digestive system (which has been better lately, but I don’t want to jinx it) will be happier with a bit less beans and starches, and a bit more oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.  I already know that LOW carb is really bad for me, but I’m going to have to cut back on carbs some if I want to add in more protein and fat.  Finding my “sweet spot” will be key…enough carbs, but not too many.  Now, if my blood sugar continues to climb, then I’ll need to do something else…not sure what…but….sigh…

Less carb-ly yours,


Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. John McDougall are right!

I pushed the limits this morning to see if eating very low fat truly is the cure for hypoglycemia and diabetes by making very high sugar (I actually added agave nectar to my peach jam that a coworker made with regular sugar) pancakes.

I tested my blood sugar 1, 2, and 3 hours after eating and feared my sugar would spike up into the 200s and plummet fast, making me sick. But, nope! I was at a shockingly great 126 at 1 hour and 124 at 2 hours! I dropped to 86 the 3rd hour, but had walked down to Sprouts Market and carried a heavy bag full of food home, which burned up some glucose I’m sure. I felt totally fine at 86. I used no fats in the pancake recipe or in the pan to cook them. If I’d used oil my blog sugar would have seesawed all over the place. I’m sold. High carb, low fat vegan for the win!

I’ve actually been trying “Raw Till 4” occasionally and am doing great on days I eat all low fat raw food until dinner. Just now my lunch was some bananas with cinnamon wrapped in lettuce leaves. Now, I’m not “smashing it in” and eating 10 bananas with dates at a time, but eating until comfortable. I’ve actually noticed my blood sugar feeling MORE stable on fruit than on cooked starches, not that I feel horrible on cooked. I just don’t seem to have that underlying unsatisfied feeling.

I found this local gluten free bakery that makes awesome, low fat, vegan tortillas! There IS a god! LOL! They are actually soft like wheat flour tortillas. All the other gluten free ones I’ve tried were dry and crumbly. Here was yesterday’s raw lunch and cooked dinner.

I truly feel back on the road to normalcy and am grateful for the progress I’ve made through trial and error. I had a year later follow-up DEXA scan on Friday and am praying it shows that I’ve built bone, not lost more. I really want to be able to prove that daily yoga works for bone density building!

Carbohydrately yours,

Well, THAT didn’t last long!

I’m heading back to a mixed vegan diet that is very low in fat and high carb already.  I can’t stick with all raw.  For one thing, I love starches.  For another, the fattier diet is starting to cause me to gradually not do as well blood sugar wise (including not having as much energy).  It’s subtle, but I’m noticing it.  And, I cannot do all raw AND low fat.  I just can’t do it.  I need more substance.  When I’m raw I end up eating quite a bit of nut and seed butters, oily dressings, etc.  What I will TRY to do, though, is eat a decent amount of fruit and raw veggies with my cooked grains, potatoes, yams, and beans.  I was watching a vegan cooking video at work today that was shot last week for the employees.  The chef, who has lost 30 lbs. so far by eating vegan, based his recipes on Dr. Fuhrman’s “nutritarian” approach to being vegan.  Dr. Fuhrman believes in getting the most nutrients for the calories you eat, which means eating A LOT of fruits and vegetables.  The video reminded me why eating low fat is so important.  Fats are basically empty calories with no real nutrition.  Why waste calories on oils?  I’d rather eat a yummy yam!

I will also say that although my cruddy digestive system is a bit better eating all raw, it’s not great by any means.  I’m still struggling.  I was hoping raw would cure it, but, nope. :-( Probiotics aren’t helping either.  It’s very frustrating!

So, back to a higher carb, lower fat, cooked and raw diet…trying to make sure I eat more fruits and vegetables than I tend to eat when cooked.  For some odd reason, in the past when I’d be on a cooked diet, I wouldn’t eat that many vegetables.  Naughty vegan!



The accidental raw foodist. Is that something like the accidental tourist?

As I complained about in my previous post, juggling more than one health issue…and trying to treat them via diet…is hard.  Often, what helps one issue bothers another!  But, I think I’m onto something.  In my case, I’m dealing with hypoglycemia and increasingly bad IBS.  (Many hypoglycemics have IBS or other digestive problems I’ve been told.  In my case, my digestive woes have existed since birth.)  While my blood sugar was doing well on a McDougall/Engine 2/Esselstyn type very high cooked carb, very low fat, whole foods diet, my digestive system mutinied big time.  It got unbearable, and occasionally embarrassing.  So, where do I go from there?  I’m not willing to quit being vegan again, but I cannot eat tons of beans, potatoes, rice, etc.  So, where I went was back to raw food.  I didn’t really do it on purpose, but since cruciferous veggies are also majorly bothering my digestive tract, and I only eat them cooked, I started eating raw lettuce and such as my veggies.  There is no argument that my body DEMANDS carbohydrates in sufficient quantities or my blood sugar cannot maintain itself and I get lower and lower and lower until I get sick.  So, I replaced rice, yams, potatoes, beans, etc. with fruit.

Because I also need a bit more protein than others seem to need, I have been continuing with my dose of vegan (soy, currently) protein powder first thing in the morning.  So, will I ever be 100% raw?  Probably not.  But, mostly raw is making a BIG difference in my digestive tract (as long as I don’t overdo veggies…they are harder on me) and despite the fact I’m eating a lot more fat (averaging 1/2 cup of nut/seed butters a day plus oily salad dressing and occasional other fats) my blood sugar is doing fine.  I’m erring on the side of caution and moderating how much fruit I eat at one time, and I’m trying to have some greens/lettuce with both lunch and dinner for less sweetness.  To be honest, I can already see that I’m probably going to gradually cut back on fats.  I found this article from 2008 about Steve Pavlina’s low fat raw experiment that changed his diet forever.  Note the part about how he couldn’t get his blood sugar to go too high no matter how much fruit sugar he ate and that his sugar stayed stable.  http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/02/raw-food-diet/ – I also noted how when he ate cooked vegan, he was acidic, but was alkaline on raw.  I have a bone density issue and really need to get my body to stay alkaline.  Yes, I should give up acidic coffee, but I’m just not willing to.  So, I plan on counterbalancing it with lots of fruit and veggies. :-)

Something I’ve noticed already is that on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, peanut butter (not raw and technically it’s a bean), tahini, etc. is that I don’t feel hungry all the time.  When I was doing McDougall, I felt unsatisfied and hungry a lot.  I was always looking at the clock trying to rush my next meal.  I was always thinking about food.  I’m not doing that now.  A friend commented, after seeing my 3rd meal (I eat something 6 times a day still) of bananas, peanut butter, and plain lettuce that she’d pass out if she ate like me, but I feel GOOD.  I am really, really, hoping I’ve found the answer.  I actually feel freer too.  I was stressing out about going out and being able to find McDougall friendly food, but now it’s easy to find salads and fruit because I don’t have to obsess about oils in dressings and such.

I was mostly raw in the very late 1990s/early 2000s and did fabulously well until I overdosed on WAY too much fat and started to have gallbladder issues.  So, yes, I do need to make sure I watch my fat intake and gradually lower it.  I doubt I’ll go super low fat, but eating a diet of 50% fat isn’t good either.  I side benefit is I don’t have to cook all the time!  I got so tired of cooking potatoes, rice, etc.!

Whirled peas,