Lowering the Glycemic Load

>> Monday, November 17, 2014

So, I brought up in my Weekend Things post that I’m experimenting with eating a diet lower in those high glycemic foods. What’s this all about? Well, if you’ve been reading here long enough, you know I have a regular battle with sugar. And not just sugar, but all those carb-liscious foods that have the power to overwhelm even the strongest of body systems.

As you can imagine, I found myself extremely sluggish and exhausted lately. I took a look around . . . and I realized that with some of the stress I’ve been dealing with in recent months, my diet had gone nuts. This happens to the best of us. Get busy, have stress, feel emotion -- eat ALL the sugars. I was to the point a couple weeks ago when I felt like I needed to lay down basically all day long. Pathetic, I know. I’d do my work from my comfortable chair, do the bare minimum of daily tasks, find time to get in a run, and then collapse into bed in a total crash.

I don’t like sharing this kind of stuff about myself, especially since in the past I’ve received comments like “you’re an adult, just stop it already!” And despite how it may seem, I actually KNOW all the “right” things to do to eat to fuel my body in a healthy way. Like, I could teach a class on the subject. But the whole “do as I say, not as I do” applies much too aptly in this situation. To those of you who have fought this battle and won, I admire you. I want to be you.

I routinely fall into that trap that many vegetarians sink into of needing ENERGY. So, the simplest place our bodies know to hunt for it is in carbohydrate-rich foods. Sugars. Those foods that give some major boosts initially and an even bigger crash in the afterglow. So many vegetarians (and people in general) fall into this trap because these are the foods of convenience. Even if they seem healthy on the surface. They also make us more hungry, so we eat more of them, and the cycle continues.

Instead of trying some major overhaul or detox or diet, I’m just working on changing my fridge first and foremost. It’s when I stock certain foods that I start to rely on them more heavily. I’ve found protein -- in its many vegetarian sources -- to be an incredible help in this regard. And I think know a lot of my issues stem from a lack of overall protein. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, beans, tofu, nut butters, soy milk, etc. And I’ve started to slowly reach for these foods before I stuff my face with more delicious bagels to see if they can quell that hungry beast inside of me.

Tomorrow I’ll share what my favorite low glycemic foods are these days. How I’m combining them to made more nutritionally sound meals. I may even toss in a daily food diary later in the week for good measure. Every time I try to overhaul my diet, it works for a few weeks or months and then I’m back on the sugar again. Obviously this season is a hard one to avoid all sugars, so I’m not going to cut them out entirely. I’m focusing my efforts on my main meals, and so far it’s been helping to curb my cravings so that just one or two cookies satisfies me versus a landslide of treats.

Only time will tell. But the energy and clear head I get when I eat less sugar is certainly worth the continued struggle. I wish I had more will-power, but at least I’m trying to clean up my ways!


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