30 Day Challenge: Meal Plan – Day 12

Posted on May 13, 2011


If you’ve been reading along, you know one thing I deal with poorly is being hungry. I go from zero to FAMISHED!!!! in about 7 seconds. I have tested positive as hypoglycemic in the past and so while I’m not literally hungry all of the time, I can be fine one minute and ready to do anything for food five minutes later. Sometimes I wonder if I just don’t listen to earlier signals of oncoming hunger, but no, hypoglycemia can cause you to feel this way, and it’s a problem. Not just for those unlucky enough to be around me when extreme hunger hits…it’s also a problem for my body because it’s clear evidence of something:

I am not utilizing my electron transport chain as well as I could be. You totally thought that too didn’t you.

First, to clarify – hypoglycemia is the name for the condition where your blood sugar goes too low. Think of diabetics who need their insulin…this is an extreme example of the condition. For non-diabetic folks like me, this can be noted when you feel sort of sickly from not eating for a while or when you get a cold sweat and something sugary makes it go away. Interestingly, I’ve had this condition since being a child, but never knew what was happening to me when I’d experience these symptoms. All I knew was that if I felt bad, a few bites of food & I wouldn’t feel like I was going to pass out anymore.

Now, back to the electron transport chain(ETC). Hang on!…don’t freak out, we’re not getting too crazy with the science words today. The ETC is what’s found inside the mitochondria, which are inside your cells, and which are always made to look like little factories inside your cells because they produce the energy you need to move around. Got it? ETC is in mitochondria, which is in cells, which gives you energy. Ok, onward.

There are 2 points of entry into the ETC – one that glucose (i.e. carbs) use & one that fatty acids (fats) like to use. If the body gets lots of carbs (whether they be from white bread bagels, a bag of grapes, or a giant cake – it matters not to the ETC – it’s glucose) it will rely on entry point #1. The problem with that is twofold –

1) the body becomes habituated to glucose metabolism  & thus, learns to look for regular intervals of carbs to keep going, never needing to move to fat metabolism…so why would a body ever want to let go of a little fluff then since it knows the carbs are going to keep on coming

2) utilizing entry #1 of the ETC can create increased oxidative stress within the body….know who feeds off free radicals from oxidative stress? cancer. I know. crappy huh? Not to put all of the load on cancer, many other diseases share the joy of a body full of free radicals aka oxidative stress. Will everyone who has oxidative stress in their body get sick? Probably not. Do you want to stick around to find out? Definitely not. 

So if I’m hypoglycemic, it means- in part – that my body is relying heavily on carbs for fuel, and needs to be conditioned to convert the fats better. It can be done. It usually only takes a few weeks to teach the body to use fat more often as a fuel, but if the sugar always comes, it will never happen. I’m not saying this so you say, ‘that’s way too technical for me! I’ll just try not to eat McD’s as much.’  No, this IS  simple to apply! Eat more carbs and train your body to run on carbs primarily…hang on to fat…increase oxidative stress…possibly raise risk for disease. OR: eat fewer carbs (the crap kind)…eat more fat (yes, more)…train body to burn fat as fuel….create energy w/o all that prickly obnoxious oxidative stress stuff. 

See? Simple. 🙂

Breakfast #1 @ 5am when I’d been up for an hour already thanks to the monster thunder that came rolling through: 2 oz. leftover chicken breast + handful mixed nuts

Breakfast #2 @ Work meeting at Whole Foods: 3 slices bacon + Americano black (only thing on the menu I could have since I’m still off eggs for a few more days of this challenge)

Snack: handful nuts (my fatal flaw for the day, I didn’t think I’d be teaching then seeing ProKine training center facilities for so long. it ended up being 4.5 hours of not eating. I almost ripped someone’s arm off trying to get to the cabbage salad when it came time to eat)

Lunch that was 8 million hours too late for my hunger: 3 chicken drumsticks seasoned & baked in olive oil + 1 sweet potato + 1/2 cup cabbage salad (was on a ledge before eating, the world was right again after…hypoglycemia is lame & if it can improve during this challenge, it would be all worth it)

Dinner that was the go-to 2nd option when I was not fully prepared for the original plan…unthawed meat can do that to you: Grass-fed beef browned in a pan + grilled asparagus + yucca root slices + bowl of frozen sliced strawberries/1 Tbsp sliced almonds  (it’s still freaking hot in my apt with no A/C. The frozen berries are out of this world right about now! I had planned a really cool meal for tonight, but realized I was short a key ingredient when I got home and my meat wasn’t fully thawed yet. So Plan B was this meal…I can’t wait to do the Plan A meal…you’ll love it!)

PS – If you’re still reading, thanks for following along with me on this journey. I appreciate you being here & watching how this whole thing works out. And if you glean a little knowledge or willingness to try something to better your health from this, then that’s awesome!

And for even more resources on Paleo eating, go to Primal Toad’s site by clicking HERE.