Thursday, February 9, 2012

Morning People

Wednesday February 8, 2012

08:35 - Snick. Beep. 122 mg/dL. Another "no bad number" number for my blood glucose. Just another morning reading. There's a reason why serum glucose is usually higher in the morning and I'll talk about that in a moment. I have taken my Kindergartner to school. My 8 year old is still sick in bed. This morning she threw up in her bed and fortunately got it all in her puke bowl. It's time for breakfast and I thought my wife had gotten more eggs but there was only one left so I grabbed the left over homemade mac & cheese that was mixed with diced ham and frozen peas. I'm planning some Tabata intervals on the bike this afternoon, so I'm carbing up a little bit. (wink wink)

5 units of NovoLog insulin will handle my "no bad number" and my "WHITE DEATH" pasta as I get breakfast ready for my 3 and 1 year old. While I'm eating my power breakfast and feeding my 1 year old, I'm thinking about milk. I had some milk last night for the first time in a long time. I find it very interesting that we humans are the only mammals on this planet that continue to consume milk after being weened.

I'm not anti-milk but milk is not good for diabetics and when people learn that I never drink it they are usually surprised. Most people think you have to drink milk for the calcium. For your bones. I remind them that there's more calcium in a double serving of broccoli than in milk and none of the fat or lactose (sugar) and lots more fiber and other nutrition that milk just can't provide and about a quarter or less of the calories. Milk is not health food. Broccoli is health food.

Fitness Rule #4 - Eat a power breakfast

about 75 carbs
A lot of people skip breakfast. Of those who don't, the average amount of time spent preparing breakfast is just under 13 minutes. That makes sense. We are all pretty busy in the morning. The easiest way to make breakfast is to use the power window at your local drive-thru but when I say power breakfast I don't mean the power window breakfast. Let me get it all right out here up front: don't skip breakfast. Eat breakfast at the right time. Make it a good breakfast. Eat the right things at breakfast. Breakfast is a key component in good health and weight loss and maintenance. It's so important that it is Fitness Rule #4.

Don't skip breakfast - If you have diabetes, you probably know all about the "dawn phenomenon." If you don't, well you've probably never heard of it. Here's what happens. Usually the longest time between meals is from dinner to breakfast, mostly because you're probably asleep. I don't know about you, but I always think I'm hungry later at night. Sometimes my tummy even growls a bit. To take care of this, a lot of people snack before bed. I do too. I would encourage you not to. Eat less and I know it's hard.

about 120 carbs or more
If I don't snack, I usually go to bed thinking I'm a little hungry, or if my wife is watching the Food Network, a lot of hungry. You're probably the same way. Have you ever noticed though, that when you wake up in the morning you aren't hungry right then? Frankly it's easy to skip breakfast in the morning because you're usually the opposite of hungry. Why is that? It's the same reason why diabetics usually have blood glucose readings higher than they think they should be and sometimes abnormally high early in the morning.

As it gets closer to the time of waking up, your body's glands and organs get busy. The glands start secreting hormones that make the body produce its own sugar out of stuff stored up in your liver and your organs start pumping that sugar into your blood and through your circulatory system. This sugar gets in your cells and starts making energy. In other words, everything that is happening in your body before you even wake up is basically stealing foods thunder. Your body is doing food's job and sometimes it even makes you fat.

sugar with sugar on top filled with fatty sugar
At the same time, with the flow of sugar coursing through your veins, your pancreas secretes insulin from the beta cells to help transport that sugar into your body's cells. The trouble with insulin, if your pancreas can still make it, is that it acts like an over-reactive boss. It usually responds out of proportion to the need. Sometimes way out of proportion. All that over-reacting insulin floating around in your blood stream helps make you fat by storing any and all extra energy or fuel or food, however you want to say it, as fat in your fat cells. You become a fat factory.

This reactive fat factory effect is why it is so common to hear the myth that you should snack between meals. To help even out your glucose levels and insulin response. Well, we've already covered that that's a load of crap. If you eat small plate peace sign meals you won't need to snack. Your glucose and insulin won't be riding on the fat roller coaster. Interestingly this same thing usually happens when you "diet." Your body fights back using this same mechanism. That is why you plateau on any "diet." Remember diets don't work.

about 45 carbs x 3 = 135 carbs
 Eat breakfast at the right time - This is why as soon as you wake up you should drink at least 8 ounces of water. It turns off this phenomenon. Then if you can, eat your power breakfast within in the next 20 to 40 minutes. That will keep the phenomenon from kicking in again, this time with a vengeance. The longer you wait to eat, the more your body fights against your weight loss efforts. So remember: 8 ounces of water before putting on your slippers and then a power breakfast within 40 minutes.

Make it a good breakfast - This is the meal that is going to set the tone for your body for the rest of the day. So make it a good breakfast. A good breakfast does 5 things:
  1. A good breakfast levels out your glucose and insulin response. It will stop your body from making it's own sugar in the liver and dumping it into your blood.
  2. A good breakfast will set the tone for your digestive system for the rest of the day. Processing food through the body in an expedient fashion is a key to good health so let's start pushing things along first thing in the morning.
  3. A good breakfast will nutrify your body. Fuel you up. Clear your mind and get you ready to face the day.
  4. A good breakfast will help you actually eat less over the entire day. It will control your hunger and reduce those fattening impulses that nobody can resist.
  5. perfect breakfast
  6. A good breakfast gives you the opportunity to go big. A good breakfast should not be your point of attack for eating less. If you eat less here or scale things back too radically you will get fatter. Eat less as the day goes on. In other words, it's exactly the opposite of what most of us are doing right now. If you're going to have a big meal today, make it the breakfast meal.
Eat the right things at breakfast - So keeping everything that comes before this in mind, what are the right things to eat at breakfast? First it doesn't come from a drive-thru window. Second you probably can't eat it in the front seat of your car. Here is my personal idea of the perfect breakfast: a 4 oz portion of oven poached salmon fillet that was lightly peppered and drizzled with olive oil (after cooking). About 1/2 a cup of fresh green beans that have been sauteed with olive oil and minced garlic. If you want to spice things up throw in some diced fresh tomato and some red pepper flakes, or you can toss in 2 Tbsp of salsa. If you use the tomato, eat the rest of it raw for your second vegetable. If you want you can cover each slice with some mozzarella and a basil leaf. If no tomato, then up to a cup of squash, zucchini, broccoli or carrots that have been sauteed with the green beans. Water to drink.

this breakfast is not logical
Do you notice the distinct absence of any members of the "WHITE DEATH" food group. There is no potato (sugar), whole grain anything (sugar), oatmeal (sugar), granola (sugar with sugar), pasta (sugar), rice (sugar) wheat or flour or grains or bread of any kind (sugar, sugar, sugar and sugar). Remember we are trying to turn your own body's sugar factory off. We're trying to shut down the fat factory. You don't fight fire with fire and you don't pour gasoline on a fire hoping that that stupid habit is going to help the situation.

There's also a distinct lack of fruit (sugar) or fruit juice (sugar) or milk (sugar). When you're trying to shut down the fat factory, my opinion of the worst possible breakfast you could eat would go like this: a cereal bowl filled with any dry cereal on the market (it's going to be 2 to 2 and a half portions - read the label and weigh your food every so often) topped with a cup and a half of fatty sugar water laced with a little protein and infused with vitamin D. Milk in other words. With that, we're gonna amp up our healthiness and pile on a half cup of strawberries or whatever other kind of sugarberries you have on hand. Let's not forget a glass of orange juice. And since where going big let's get out the bigassiago cheese bagel and spread it with as small a portion of garden vegetable cream cheese we can tolerate.

In other words: A big bowl of sugar drowning in sugar and topped with sugar and a glass of sugar with some sugar as big as your head (everybody knows the bigger the bagel the better it is right?) and a little bit of fat. Do you think that is going to turn off your body's sugar factory? Do you think that is going to shut down the fat factory? No. It won't.

your fat factory in the morning
It's going to sound the insulin panic alarm eight times louder than it has to be sounded, flooding your bloodstream with insulin squiring out of your pancreas beta cells as fast as it can be squirted into your bloodstream. The fat factory is going to be in full swing. The fat factory is going to have to add another shift and move to double shifts and offer overtime to make all that fat. Instant insulin overload first thing in the morning. Nice plan right?. No it isn't.

Your pancreas doesn't react to protein and fat. And while the carbs in the vegetables that I recommend will eventually have to be dealt with as sugar, those carbs take a lot longer to process so they don't cause a glucose jump or insulin spike. It takes your body a long time to move protein through your system and break it down into the amino acids that your body needs and uses. And that protein in there is going to slow down the absorption of any carbs you have ate.

or try this variation for breakfast
So eat your protein in the morning. Give your body time to do a good job for you. If you're going to have your biggest meal for breakfast, make it bigger with a quality protein. Or more vegetables. Or both. I recommend cold water fatty fish or other seafood. Eggs are perfect as well. Next best normal protein is chicken. I'm not afraid of beef, pork and sausage products either. Don't be afraid to experiment. Another perfect breakfast food is avocado. But if you don't know what it is and you can't tell what's in it, it probably doesn't belong in your breakfast. And don't forget bacon. Bacon is the king of meat.

Remember the peace sign portion technique and the smaller plate. All of that applies to breakfast too. If you're going to use a bigger plate at all today, now is the time to do it. I want you to notice too that there is no part of my perfect breakfast that came in a box or wrapper or a package of any kind really. Every thing in this meal came from an outside aisle in the grocery store. Nothing was frozen. Nothing has much of a shelf life. The goal is to eat the right things. Boxes and wrappers are no bueno. Sugar sugar sugar sugar sugar and sugar is not a good way to start the day. Space energy does not come from Sugar Smacks. Did you know that over 30% of the milk produced in this country is used on dry cereal? Eat the right things at breakfast.

11:55 - Snick. Beep. 115 mg/dL. Small plate and peace sign portion technique. 4 ounces of low-carb diabetic loaf of meat covered with 2 Tbsp of salsa. 1/3 cup of steamed peas poured over 2/3 cup of broccoli and a 1/2 cup of homemade mac & cheese with diced ham and frozen peas. 37 carbs. 54% of which come from the macaroni. 4 units of NovoLog insulin.

make ahead for breakfast
15:22 - I get on my new(er) bike and head out for a 15 or so minute warm up ride and then some Tabata intervals. After 36 minutes I have ridden for 10 miles and gasped and grimaced for maybe 3 miles. My legs hurt in places I didn't know I used and my body is sore from yesterday. I've got to get home and shower because there is a pizza party to go to tonight at church.

17:35 - Snick. Beep. 121 mg/dL. The Tabata intervals took my body into survival mode. Super hard effort work on the body always seems to raise my serum glucose, much for the same reasons it's usually higher in the morning. So another "no bad number" number and it's time for a pizza party.

Pizza. The round square meal and one of the worse foods a diabetic can eat. Taken as components, a pizza doesn't look like it would be so bad, but when you form it all into a pizza the synergistic effect of what comes out in the pan can destroy my efforts at controlling my blood glucose. My plan tonight is moderation. I plan to eat less. This is going to be hard because I'm the guy that can eat a whole pizza and usually do. Fortunately there is salad too.

or make this ahead for breakfast
I start with 6 units of NovoLog insulin. Then I build a big salad, piled on the biggest paper plate at the party. I grab 2 of the  thinnest slices of combination pizza I can find and sit down and eat. I get another biggest plate full of heaping salad and eat that. My resolve crumbles a little and I go back for one more thinnest slice of combination but there isn't any. I grab a thinnest slice of cheese. I eat another biggest plate heaping salad and then I go back for a fourth. My resolve gives up all pretense of solidarity and I watch myself wander over and grab a cupcake with chocolate icing and a little candy heart on top. The heart is yellow and it says: "WOW."

23:56 - I'm done working and almost ready for bed. I inject my 15 units of Lantis insulin and decide to pop a bowl of popcorn. I eat that. I don't want another low tonight.

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