Apr 22

Sample Low FODMAP Meal Plan

If you have IBS and looking to resolve some of your symptoms, look into what foods fall within the FODMAP family. Either way, here is a sample meal plan of foods that are ideally tolerated by those avoiding FODMAPs.

Breakfast:

3-4 egg (pasture-raised eggs) omelette. Fill the omelette with ingredients such as spinach, bell peppers, olives. Pair with high quality bacon and/or fruit such as raspberries. Cook in ghee.

Lunch:

Stuffed baked potato (loaded w/ high quality protein). Keep it dairy free until it’s known what can be tolerated. Consider veggies on this list. 

Snack:

Plantain chips (made with coconut oil)

Dinner:

Large dinner salad with protein such as grassfed beef, organic poultry or seafood. Use a homemade dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Apr 21

Real Food Muffins + Resistant Starch

Hitting my third trimester of pregnancy, my blood sugars are surely feeling the insulin resistance. During this time I am trying to approach the challenge by of course increasing my insulin dosage but also holistically with manipulating what I eat. Have you seen the research on using resistance starch, such as potato starch, for optimizing insulin resistance? If not, check out what they have to say on freetheanimal.com. 

I’ve found some good recipes online (original recipes included in title of recipes) but have modified the amounts of flour and included a dose of potato starch with the followed.

Please note: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, circumstances or adverse effects. if you also have type 1 diabetes, understand the research in that resistant starch can lower blood sugars. If chosen to consume muffins like this, or resistant starch in general, it is a good idea to monitor blood sugars more than normal initially and know that potato starch carbohydrates are not absorbed. Please consult your physician as well.

Blueberry Muffins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a regular size muffin tin or line with paper liners. (You can also use silicone cupcake liners for better “non-stick” results)
  3. Mix (or sift) the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. Whisk the “eggs”, honey, oil and vanilla in another bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  6. Gently stir the blueberries into the batter.
  7. Spoon into 12-14 muffin tins. (They will be fairly full)
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden on top.
  9. Serve warm

Pumpkin Chia Muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder and then mix the chia with the water.
  3. Add pumpkin, honey, vanilla, coconut oil, lemon, then mix well.
  4. Sift in the coconut flour and baking soda
  5. Add in spices
  6. Grease a regular size muffin tin or line with paper liners. (You can also use silicone cupcake liners for better “non-stick” results)
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until dough is set.

Apr 07

Educate Me: What’s So Special About Lemon Water

Lately I have been making a large pitcher of filtered water with cleaned/sliced organic lemons and enjoying over a matter of days. Why am I doing this? Well, I feel better drinking a large glass of lemon water while prepping breakfast every morning, but also it inspires me to drink more water throughout the day. Yet, let’s explore what else this habit is doing for my health.

Justaddgoodstuff.com has a fabulous info-graphic displaying such.

Just Add Good Stuff Lemon Infographic detailing the health benefits in a visual way

 

Mar 14

Type 1 DM and 26 Weeks Pregnant

The insulin resistance is full on – but for once in my pregnancy, I feel pretty good and on-top of things.  I’ve increased my insulin pump basals and now every-time I eat, I dose with plenty of time in advance (30 minutes – 50 minutes depending on the time of the day) and usually use a dual bolus. If you are reading this post for insight on your own situation, I of course advise talking with your health care team before making any changes. The dual works well for me as my meals are moderate carb and protein and high fat. A sample of my meals lately below.

Breakfast – 3 pasture-raised eggs, cooked over easy (yes, this is a pregnancy no-no, but I trust where I source my eggs), 2 pieces of breakfast meat, usually Applegate chicken sausage and vegetables (mushrooms maybe something fermented). All paired with a black coffee and organic cream.

Yup – I also drink coffee. I didn’t with my first pregnancy but have a cup in the morning with baby #2.

Lunch – Vegetable meat muffins – I have been making mini meatloafs and having 2-3 depending on their size and pairing with a green apple or salad.

Snack – nuts or organic cheese and maybe some melon or gluten free pretsels.

Dinner – bunless, lettuce wrap burger – homemade with grassfed beef paired with either green beans cooked in bacon, onion, garlic or a side of warm organic berries.

This is pretty much the backbone of my meals but there are typically some lows that I have to treat as I continue to tweak my basals.

Mar 12

Need Some Meal Time Inspiration? #JERF

Eating whole real food is one thing to accomplish, but a second important element is keeping meals versatile and appetizing. If we eat the same things repetitively, not only do we put ourselves at risk for nutrient gaps, but our palates get bored and we become more impulsive with frankenfoods due to boredom. I’ve posted a few articles on lunch ideas (click here and here) but I have included some more quick solution below.

  • Shrimp cocktail w/ a salad using a good dressing and adding in avocado.
  • Taco salad – I typically always make my tacos with grass-fed beef and follow my own spice recipe (it’s clean, no fillers, so why not?)
  • Chipotle bowl – but w/ cauli rice, no beans.
  • Stir-fry – using either beef, chicken or shrimp. All yummy and easy to make a large portion, allowing to carry over for another meal for the week.
  • Burgers – yum, we had these last night. If you have the ability buy the grass-fed ground beef and make your own 4-6 ounce patties. I did this last night and just added in some cayenne, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. We ate them in romaine lettuce leaves and I paired the meal with some green beans cooked in a little bit of bacon, s/p. fresh garlic and onion and some organic raisins. I made a double bath of patties and had leftovers for lunch.
  • Grab-n-go lunch dejour – I am road tripping tomorrow and I have packed a green apple, 2 applegate grass-fed organic hot-dogs, hard boiled egg and carrots.
  • Smoothie – my go-to when ingredients are low and a grocery run is needed.

Mealtime can get complicated or stressful, especially if you are trying to please family members while trying to make something healthy. Overall, keep it simple and Just Eat Real Food! #JERF

Mar 08

Type 1 and 24 Weeks Pregnant

Where has the time gone? I am sure many of us are asking this same question, pregnant or not.

My first pregnancy, Dex was born August 6, 2013, and I could pretty much recite the weeks, day and perhaps the hour of time I was pregnant, and this go-around I am finding I have to track it in my calendar or the ask the nurse at my monthly appointment. Perhaps this is due to the fact, I have been a little behind the 8 ball with baby Schmidt #2’s arrival from the get go. I didn’t know I was pregnant until about 8/9 weeks; and yes, this can be a dangerous thing being type 1 diabetic. Thankfully I had a decent A1C at the time, it was about a 6.2% and now I am riding in the 5’s.

So what is the blog post all about? Well, the title is a little obvious, but I have been wanting to write out and publicly share my experience with pregnancy and type 1 diabetes because the last 24 plus weeks haven’t been easy, and perhaps my experiences can help another. I also hope to continue writing quick posts, in a style of writing in a personal journal, and if this is something that is beneficial for you, please share your feedback. To start, maybe I’ll explain my journey thus far…

Early October (24ish weeks ago) I was packing my suitcase for a trip to Los Angeles to present at a conference on blood sugar control, diet and diabetes for DiabetesSisters.org. As I was in my bedroom loading my things, my 14 month old son was being “busy” exploring all my accessories in all my draws in the bathroom. A few items he kept pulling out and showing off to me included a pregnancy test. Geesh, I haven’t used one of those in quite some time; 14 months actually. And for some reason I thought, I should take it. In the last few days leading up to this moment I had an appetite like a triathlete and while I didn’t think I was pregnant, my cycle hadn’t arrived, which wasn’t too off due to it still balancing out from breastfeeding. So I took it. What do you know, it was positive. I immediately told me husband. His response? Take another one. I took another one. His response? Are they accurate???

So there I was. Focusing on a trip, 2 presentations and now having a minor freak out if my blood sugars were good enough, as well as, having a moment because my pump hadn’t been working out for the summer and I was currently on MDIs (in diabetic jargon this is multiple daily injections). Oh snap, I should call my mom, I should call my nurse, I should breath. Wait, is this really happening? Yes.

(Tangent, mom and dad, if you are reading this, sorry my news of expecting is never lovey dovey. It’s usually an immediate phone call of worries and tears and your support has been beyond appreciated. Maybe if I have a third, I will be a little more traditional. Oye.)

Next, I got on the flight the following morning, put my ducks in a row, and drew back on my memories of my last pregnancy. Well, this pregnancy and my first haven’t been a lick alike. The first pregnancy I was low in the beginning all the time. I had to cut my insulin basals and with this current pregnancy I was running high and actually had to increase my daily insulin needs. Secondly, while MDIs can do the job, I wanted back on the pump. I needed to make it work and I wanted that security knowing I could have the insane tight control of an average of 5.4% A1C I had with Dex. It also didn’t help I was puking like it was fashionable this go around. Are girls always tougher??

Long story short, I did the conference, I was in bed by 8 every night! And returned back to Chicago and put myself back on my Minimed pump as soon as possible. Ahhhh, the Quickset infusion set hurttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. But hey, I thought, I’ll do WHATEVER I need to do, regardless of pain. I stuck it out, but oh crap, absorption sucks, sugars ran high, ketones!!! Ketones, not ketones! I call my doc and she recommends I use the steel needle infusion set called the Sure-T. I get some from Minimed and gave it a whirl. Yes it worked. Oh, but only for about 24 hours. I changed my site sometimes 3 at a time. And this happened for days. Every few it would work, and then I’d have moments where I had to change it again and again. Meanwhile, and in retrospect, I was having absorption problems with my infusion sets, but I also was banking on the fact my first pregnancy I was bloody low all the time in the first trimester, and that wasn’t happening this time. I no doubt was jumping the gun with changing my site and not being patient with my insulin, but I was worried. Every high blood sugar could honestly mean birth defects, or worse. It was hard to calm down. Until my first appointment I was constantly holding my breath. Side note – I am thankful for how advance insulin is these days, but it surely has room for improvement, esp with my impatience at the time in pregnancy.

Next up, I finally get to my first appointment to learn if I was 11 weeks or more; I was 12, and thank the heavens for my CDE. I think I have the best one in Chicago, she encouraged me to do what is best for me in the moment and if need be, we would figure out how to do MDIs and have optimal blood sugar numbers. I switched back to MDIs – I needed a break, and I needed to sleep, and we worked it out.

Since then, I got a Dexcom or a CGM (continuous glucose meter) and the data is magical. Well, when it works. Another twist with pregnancy is that a CGM is less accurate and there isn’t research done on using a CGM in pregnancy. I had a similar experience in fighting to find a spot on my body for a CGM to accurately read, but over time I have found my upper stomach is my only accurate site. Post pregnancy perhaps, I can use my backside, arms and thighs. Not now, and that’s okay, as long as it works.

So I am on the Dexcom, on MDIs and by about week 23 I am finding that with creeping insulin resistance, as it happens around this window, I was taking anywhere from 10-16 shots a day. I felt like my quality of life was dwindling and my CGM, shots, blood sugar pricks and being married to exact meal time for every meal was affecting my personality. I was surely declining social events because dinner dates did not line-up with my dinner time, or if I did attend, I’d fight blood sugars all night. I talked to my CDE and we switched back to the pump….and it was not easy, but I was and am persistent and was on top of it.

So far in this pregnancy I have been on MDIs, to MDis with a Dexcom (quick learning curve there obviously as I have never used one), to various Minimed infusion sets, and I will add the silhouette manually inserted is doing me the best, back to MDIs and then back to the pump. I’ve continued to assess and analyze what daily changes I need t make, including the number of carbs to eat at each meal, when to have snacks or not to, to how long dependong on the time of day I need to take insulin before eating. Right now I wait about 30 minutes for bfast, lunch, 40 for an afternoon snack and about 50 minutes for dinner. I’ve moved my diet from a low low carb eating plan to a daily intake that is still considered low carb, but higher to meet pregnancy needs of 100 grams a day. I have also tried to drop my protein down, closer to 80 grams per day. My fat intake is somewhat the same. I do not restrict and indeed during this pregnancy butter, eggs, and nuts are my main cravings.

It has not been easy, but this entire journey has really made me appreciate every tool I have to control my blood sugar and to be able to grow a baby. A century ago my life expectancy would have been a week and these days, I can not only grow up and be what I want to be (the best dietitian!!!), but a mom and to have a family. For this I am forever grateful, and while there are challenges, sleepless nights (already) and worries (who doesn’t worry while they are pregnant), it makes the end result that much more special.

 

Feb 23

Just 19 Inches of Snow in 24 Hours

A few weeks ago we experienced Super Bowl 2015, but in Chicago, we had Super Bowl on-top of  a hefty snow storm. Record breaking actually, and somehow my insane (awesome) friends still made it to our party. However, being the hostess of the mostest wasn’t my priority (honestly I didn’t think people would show), but rather I crafted a list of foods I could prep and have in the house for a week plus to handle the snowy, cold and inability to pull out of our alley.

To relate, this situation can be applied to many circumstances such as:

  • when we return home from a vacation and need something to eat; and more likely than not, something really healthy.
  • power outages,
  • any weather pending event,
  • and/or weeks when there is not time to make it to the store or batch cook, etc.

In creating an action plan I think these questions:

  • Do I have freezer space?
  • What non-perishable goods can I get and like?
  • How many days do I need to consider and what meals do I need to prep for myself and the family?
  • What do I already have, what food groups do I really need?

With any health journey, a crazy weather circumstance or not, we need a soft plan. No doubt, “when we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” I capture such in my smart phone, using the notepad app. Too many times I have made a grocery list and left it at home. Rarely do I forget my phone.

  • First, I choose a store – and while I love Costco and often shop there weekly, I went with a standard grocery store this time to easily get all I needed.
  • I thought of the meals I needed and what I had on hand. Fortunately in my freezer I already had frozen grass-fed, organic beef, wild salmon burgers and some cod. I also had frozen berries, organic Normandy vegetable blend and scallions. Other staples I already had – canned wild skipjack tuna, onions and garlic.
  • Proteins I needed – a whole chicken (I planned to roast one and extend it over 3-4 meals as a main dish then the following days I plan to top the meat on salads or make into lettuce wraps), eggs (I go through them like oxygen) and I can also use the proteins I had stocked at home. Canned seafood is cheap, delicious and nutritious. Best of all, it can be made into a meal with little prep and can be quite handy for road trips, camping or when we don’t have electricity.
  • Produce – bananas (I use them in so many ways, from smoothies to banana pancakes), mustard greens or romaine lettuce for my “wraps,” green apples and oranges (my current favorite fruits and they both last numerous days), acorn squash (a family favorite), raw veggies such as cucumbers, carrots and lastly some arugula. For my veggies I had plenty of good olive oil at home.
  • Dairy – I need to make sure I have plenty of Kerrygold butter on hand. I use it in my eggs, on my banana pancakes and roast vegetables with it.

The above are some basic ideas to get me through the week and when in need I can resort to my perishable goods already stocked in my kitchen.

What meals and foods to you plan to have on hand when you have a situation like this or a busy week ahead?

 

Jan 02

Unconventional Weight Loss Summit!

 

7 days of 28 presentations on scientific methods of how-to lose weight.
With-heads-b-600x150Purchasing the summit provides all 28 talks in mp4 video format, audio files, transcripts and slides – as well as a HUGE bonus pack of fitness, nutrition, mindset ebooks, videos, audio files and ecourses. Pre-launch has begun and the actual event runs from Sunday, January 4th to Sunday January 11th.

This is perfect timing for all of those people making another New Year’s Resolution to lose weight! Register for the event, which is Jan 4-11th here for FREE, or purchase the summit and materials by clicking here. 

rsz_the_bonus_package

Dec 18

Organizing A New Year’s Plan

The new year welcomes an opportunity for a new start. This January I implore you to not make a New Year’s resolution (they don’t last long enough), but to strive to build habits that help you gain on your health. Here are a few ideas:

  • Track. Have you ever captured what you eat in either an app (I like Myfitnesspal, Lose It and Fooducate) or on paper? Research shows a strong correlation with those who note lose weight by eating better. This process makes us accountable and we are most likely to strive for eating well when we share the journal with others. The apps allow for this feature, but you can also buddy up with a friend and exchange logs over time. Data from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found those who wrote everything down lost 2x as much weight as those who didn’t. How is that for motivation? A small task can give big results.
  • Pack your meals for work. When we control what we pack for breakfast and/or lunch, we can control the portion size and ingredients. Use the structure of going to an office to your advantage. Having this boundary and packing meals/snack, you can leave your options to healthy ones, even when at home you wouldn’t follow through. For example, my afternoon snack in the office used to 1-1/5 cups of raw vegetables and nuts. At home I’d be less tempted to eat all the vegetable, but if I was in an office and was hungry, I’d eat what I had on hand.
  • Sleep. First sleep needs to be appreciated and then it needs nurtured. On average for US adults our clocked hours in bed are about as appalling as the current obesity rates. We feel like we do not have enough time in the day and we forgo sleep to makeup for it. This might be common sense, but we will never have more than 24 hours in a day and the best ways to slow down time is to 1) organize ourselves, 2) be mindful (do you every pause before eating?) and 3) meditate (Headspace is a go-to app/podcast). So back to sleep – as adults we need a bedtime and a bedtime routine, just like children. We shall not abuse caffeine as it not only hurts our sleep it can hurt our hormones (health) too, which can lead to insulin resistance, making blood sugar control harder to manage and cravings more prevalent. If you haven’t made sleep a priority, know it is more important than your exercise routine and right up there with diet. More tips on sleep here. 
  • Treat. As a woman and a new mom, I now more than ever, have realized how we are often more than willing to jump and help a family member of friend when the need presents, but we don’t go out of the way for ourselves. 2015 shall be the time to slow down and schedule personal dates that may include – an early morning at the book shop with coffee and exciting read, a mani/pedi (I know guys that loves these too), massage, some locations even have a monthly membership, a new accessory or piece of apparel. On a similar note, but slightly different page, maybe you schedule in some charity time – soups kitchens, walkathons, etc. Research shows, when we contribute or give, we get more out of it than receiving. Know what makes you tick and pleasure your soul.
  • Move with interest. Likely we can all agree that movement is good, but make sure it’s something you enjoy. Yes, we may judge an interval workout will give a bigger burn than Pilates, but if Pilates is something we really want to do, it benefits the body and the mind. Find new things that excite you, and rotate the activity each month, before it dulls.
  • Assess. Pick a time at the end of a week to review the actions you intended to reach for your latest health goal. Write down what works and what doesn’t, and re-evaluate what you can do differently moving forward.
  • Gong. I am 100% stealing this brilliant idea from one of my favorite podcasts, The Health Bridge. It’s a 100 day Gong, or what can be defined as in Chinese it’s a designated amount of time to practice a daily task. Data shows a habit takes about 90 days, so this time-frame is a beautiful amount of time to commit to a healthy action. January 1 I am committing to a 100 day Gong to #1) have warm greetings with my husband, #2) have a 1 sentence gratitude journal, and #3) to part-take in a min. of 20 minutes of exercise a day. If I miss an actual trip to the gym, there is the luxury of being able to do squats, push-ups, jump jacks etc, anywhere. As for warm greetings, this encompasses just that. Rather than yelling down to my husbands office, “good-bye” when I am off to an errand, I intend to put in more effort with our departure. What type of task would you like to commit to?
  • Theme/word. What theme or word would you like to empower for 2015? There are so many goals I want to reach, all-while aiming to be domestic and nurturing with my family; especially with a second on the way. I want to slow life down as much as I can as well.  Running a business and soon to have 2 children under 2!! I get a little stressed thinking about it. But, I want to expect more out of myself and not be held back with fear or thoughts. My word for 2015 is,”Believe.” I will believe in myself to accomplish more things and to be pleasantly surprised with what I can succeed to.

Life and health is a journey. No need to hold guilt over your head if you fall off track of what you intend. Just aim to take 3 steps forward with less back. Progress is a win. Cheers to good health and Happy New Year!

Dec 09

Healthy (Real Food) Holiday Recipe

This weekend I am headed to a Friendsmas party and will be bringing one of my favorite paleo-based bread recipes. I have really enjoyed the ideas presented on paleoleap.com, which this recipe came from.

Since my son is allergic to eggs, I have altered the recipe to include flax eggs (1 tablespoon of flax meal soaked in 2 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg). I also sometimes add gelatin to increase the protein content and add a punch of gut health. Lastly, I make this recipe into muffins verse a loaf, which helps with portion control.

What recipe will you be bringing along this holiday season?

pumpkin-banana-bread-main-large-2

Pumpkin Banana Bread

  • ½ cup coconut flour;
  • ½ cup almond flour;
  • ½ cup very ripe banana, pureed;
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree;
  • ½ cup melted clarified butter or almond butter;
  • 1 tsp. baking soda;
  • ¼ cup raw honey;
  • 4 eggs;
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract;
  • ½ tsp. salt;
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped; (optional)

Prep:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, clarified butter, honey, ripe banana, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Mix everything together until you get a smooth texture.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until thoroughly combined. This is also a good time to add the chopped pecans if you’re using them.
  5. Pour the batter into a well-greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pumpkin banana bread cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.

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