Is your Body talking to you?!
Today I wanted to talk about normal signs your body might be sending you to say “I think something is up”.
When we: skip meals, eat too much here/not enough there, don’t sleep enough, or live with constant stress in our lives – our bodies might not understand what is going on…
In these examples, it would be NORMAL for a person to experience cravings for ‘comfort foods’ or cravings that say ‘please eat something’ (usually in the evenings or emotional roller coasters (moodiness, anxiety, and mood swings) throughout the day or in the evenings. This is generally because during these types of examples, our blood sugars are not happily balanced but are probably spiking and dropping.
These signs (cravings and emotional changes) are your body’s way of talking to you…. saying the way things are going are pretty rocky right now…. This is also your body’s way to get your attention and suggest: “please eat more regularly” or “please eat a more balanced meal so that we can go longer between meals”.
Now that you know your body is trying to get your attention, you can do something about it! Awesome!
The best way to balance blood sugars (and where I usually always start with my clients) is to make sure you are balancing your meals and snacks with each of the three macronutrients: [please note, I will go into more detail for each of the macronutrients in later emails! For more information, also check out my online courses!]
1. Carbohydrates (anything that breaks down into glucose (a sugar, and your body’s main fuel source) in your gastrointestinal tract). Carbohydrates include: vegetables, starchy vegetables, fruit, grain products, dairy products (like milk that have lactose in them) and refined carbohydrates (like cakes, cookies, chips, fries, etc). The go to carbs should be: 1st non-starchy vegetables, 2nd starchy vegetables, and 3rd whole fruit (rather than juice).
2. Fat. Sources include: avocado/nut/olive/ coconut oils, nuts/seeds, nut/seed butters, cream/butter/ghee (especially from grass-fed animals), avocado, olives, cheese, etc. Don’t be afraid of fats. Feel free to have 1-2 tablespoons of oil or nut butter per meal, or ½ an avocado. Fats will help slow down digestion and increase satisfaction at a meal.
3. Protein. Sources include: Nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, eggs, fish, poultry, meats, yogurt, etc. Protein also helps to slow down digestion and help you stay fuller longer. Note, if you choose to eat animal products, my suggestion is knowing where it comes from and how it was raised. Happy animals = healthier food and more healthy and healing nutrients available to your body.
So, at every meal and snack, try to make sure you are always having 2 or more of these macronutrients. Not only will you balance your blood sugars, you will also feel more satisfied and be able to go longer between meals.
E.g 1. Instead of eating fruit alone (such as an apple), eat a fruit with nut or seed butter. You will be more satisfied, stay fuller longer, and the natural sugar found in the fruit will not spike as high as it would on its own.
E.g 2. Instead of eating cereal with skim milk and juice for breakfast (note how that is really just carbohydrate, carbohydrate, and carbohydrate), consider several options:
- Plain, full fat yogurt with nuts/seeds, and berries for breakfast
- Eggs fried in avocado oil/butter/coconut oil with sautéed spinach and mushrooms.
- Try a high fibre cereal with cream or homogenized milk or plain high fat yogurt, add nuts and seeds, add berries or fruit of choice.
- Smoothie made with: any green leafy vegetables of your choice, full fat plain yogurt (if you need it more liquidy, add homogenized milk or milk of choice), berries or fruit of choice, nut or seed butter of choice (optional). If you want it more icy, add either ice or frozen fruit.
See how I did that? I took something that might be eaten on its own, or might be several foods that are all part of one group (e.g. the carbohydrates) and I added foods to it that were either fat or protein. Hope that helps! Try that exercise for each of your meals and snacks at home!
[*Note… this is a different approach than food groups (from the food guide or the food pyramid) in that food groups are not based on how they are digested but rather the type of food they are, and maybe some nutrients. How Dairy and Grains got their own food groups instead of ‘calcium’ and carbohydrates, I’ll let you consider for yourself… strange influences on the food guide perhaps... There is even a debate about where potatoes belong, in the grains group or in the vegetables and fruit group. And of course, fat is barely considered in the food guide at all… Sugar is barely addressed as something to be concerned with… So I use the balanced macronutrient approach, because at the end of the day, how the food is digested affects your blood sugars and hormones, and inevitably your mood.] :)
As always, if you have any questions, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Wishing you the best of health, Eliana