Over Forty Percent of Fibromyalgics also have a Hidden Condition Called “Reactive Hypoglycemia:” (Low Blood Sugar)
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia can be Frightening and may Occur Suddenly Without Warning
A Low-Carbohydrate Diet can Control and Minimize many of These Symptoms.
(Left Untreated Hypoglycemia often Leads to Type-2 Diabetes.)
For me, diet has been monumental in my recovery from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome / (M.E.) Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
I'm sharing, Chapter 2, from my memoir here, because I believe that healing, health, and wellness begin with nourishing our bodies with the proper food for fuel. What we eat can have a direct affect and impact on our health. Knowledge is power. We can either feed disease, or feed wellness. Ultimately, the choice and authority belong to us. Choose wisely. Enjoy! ~Chantal
Chapter 2: The Second Step: Empowering Self
Controlling Symptoms with Food: The Hypogylcemic Diet
Preparing the Pantry: The Hypoglycemic Way
This shift in the foods that we are now going to eat feels enormous and overwhelming at times. I decide the easiest way to figure out how to welcome it into our lives is to replace all of the starchy foods on our plates that we used to eat with an allowed vegetable. That means broccoli will be substituted for rice, cauliflower for bread and rolls, and zucchini squash for pasta. Lettuce will replace the bun on my sub sandwich and hamburger. I will order my favorite taco salad without the onions, taco shells, refried beans, and rice. I will eat only the toppings on pizza not the crust or sauce and add a side salad. Good-bye heavy carbohydrates, hello health!
Josh helps me clean out our cupboards. I figure that this is the best way to ensure my success. We donate the “forbidden” foods that we are no longer going to eat to a local food pantry.
Next, Josh takes the grocery list to the store and shops for us because I am too sick to accompany him. He shops only the perimeter of the store where all of the whole foods are located. He is not to go down any of the aisles, with the exception of frozen fruits and veggies because this is where most of the heavy carbohydrate laden foods are located. Absolutely nothing sweet is to touch his cart.
We stock up on the allowed frozen veggies, frozen chicken breasts, lettuce, salad greens, Egg Beaters, eggs, cheese, cantaloupe, strawberries, nuts, olive oil, and fresh meats and fish. I have my husband order us online the book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue, by Claudia Craig Marek and R. Paul St. Amand M.D (I have heard that it is full of simple and easy recipes), a large wok-type pan for the stove, two lettuce spinners, two metal veggie steamer pan-inserts, Solgar low-carbohydrate vanilla whey protein powder, Hefty zippered freezer bags, snack size plastic baggies, and clear glass Pyrex storage containers that go from oven to fridge. I put a food processor, a George Forman Grill with the removable plates, and the Magic Bullet personal blender on my birthday and Christmas lists and hope that Santa will be good to me. These are our staples. I am ready to begin.
I will be honest with you. I am not fond of diets and that is putting it very politely. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and have been on them since the fifth grade. My mom tried hard to spare me the pain and anguish of being an obese child in a thin-obsessed society. To complicate my weight matters, I also have asthma and wasn’t able to get much exercise growing up until my teen years when I outgrew some of my allergies and played tennis in high school. Consequently, I ate a banana and I drank a small can of tomato juice for lunch in the fifth grade. By the sixth grade I had progressed to lunch consisting of one can of yogurt with fruit on the bottom; three hundred and sixty calories. Thank you.
My mom did the best that she could. However, I won’t go into details of the years that followed and my own self struggles, self-hatred, and guilt with food, my weight, and anorexia. I only mention this now as the subject of hypoglycemia, diet, and fibromyalgia are so closely intertwined. Is hypoglycemia the reason why I have been plagued with weight gain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, constant hunger, and sudden anxiety my entire life? Or could this have been the fibromyalgia all along? Maybe it was a mixture of the two conditions?
Starting the New Life Style of Eating
I begin the strict diet for hypoglycemia because I need to lose weight, as written in the book, What Your Doctor may Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia, by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. and Claudia Craig Marek (I have included a copy of the diet at the end of this chapter.) My first three days are hell. I am hungry all of the time. I can’t stop thinking about what, where, and when I am going to eat next.
I follow the book’s guidance and eat when I am hungry; a little good fat like olive oil, avocado, canola oil, walnuts, or almonds; and a little low-fat protein like a scoop of low carbohydrate whey protein powder, chicken breast, turkey, or fish. I am careful to eat only twelve nuts per day. To curb my hunger pangs and feel more satisfied throughout the day I usually mix a scoop of the low-carb Solgar whey protein powder with eight ounces of water and a splash of olive oil. I am not accustomed to this type of a diet. I am not used to eating so often without bread, pasta, potatoes, beans, milk, rice, or corn.
I am irritable and hungry all day long. I feel like I want to hit someone. By day four, I am frantically searching all of our cupboards for any remaining scraps of food and carbohydrates that we may have over looked in our purging phase of the pantry in preparation for this new way of eating. Josh isn’t home right now and it is a good thing.
Like an addict, I need my sugar fix! In the fury of my frantic search for sweets, I realize one fact: I have not sweated at all! And although I am determined to find the food, I am not feeling anxious. Unbelievable! For the first time in twelve months, my anxiety is gone.
Experiencing Positive Results
By day five, I don’t have any cravings at all, and I am not irritable. I squelch my remaining hunger by upping my water intake. I mix a scoop of low-carbohydrate whey protein powder and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil with eight ounces of water. This helps me feel more satisfied. For the first time in my life this new diet hasn’t riddled me with guilt, food deprivation, or self-hatred.
I actually like the feeling of empowerment that I am creating and I realize that this is a life-style change. It’s no longer about my body image. This new way of eating focuses on my health and well-being. It’s not about what I am giving up; it is about what I am gaining.
My husband notices that by week two, I am no longer agitated. I don’t feel like I need to hit someone anymore when it is time for me to eat. I am eating all day long and the weight is dropping off. Every two hours I eat a little good fat and a little good protein like avocado, nuts (twelve per day), or olive oil. I drink at least eight glasses of water each day to stay hydrated. I eat loads and loads of low-glycemic veggies. I buy them frozen and I steam cupfuls of them in my stainless steel wok-type pan. Once they are cooled I transfer them into the glass storage containers. I am always thinking of easier ways to do things while cooking.
As a way to help conserve my energy, I always keep two metal veggie steamer- pan inserts, a large wok-type stainless steel frying pan, a medium-sized sauce pan, and a medium-sized stock pot on my stove for boiling eggs or steaming veggies. This helps reduce my fatigue while cooking. I have also taken the time to organize my kitchen so like items are all stored together. For example: my Magic Bullet personal blender is kept on my counter and its supplies are all stocked in the same cupboard above it right next to the whey protein powder, and I keep the scooper for the powder in the can. This provides easy access for making my morning protein shake.
In fact, I buy extra measuring utensils at the dollar store and keep them with the items that need to be measured. In my fridge each shelf is devoted to certain foods. All frozen veggies are grouped together in the freezer on the top shelf and frozen meats are stowed underneath. I also plan a two-hour block for cooking either on Sunday night or Monday morning so I start my week out with plenty of food prepared in advance. I cut up celery, broccoli, and cauliflower and keep them stored in the glass containers.
I buy a family pack of chicken and bake it all at once. This provides three meals for the week: garlic green bean chicken stir fry, chicken “taco” salad, and chicken nuggets. (Recipes are located at the end of this chapter.) I take a package of the Jennie-O lean ground turkey and divide it into 20 squares with a knife. Next, I place these “squares” on the broiler in my oven or on my George Foreman grill. In ten minutes I will have mini-turkey burgers. They immediately go into my glass food storage containers. Organization like this helps to motivate me to stay on track with the diet. It’s a must to always have quick hypoglycemic diet-friendly foods on hand to avoid cheating. Never let yourself get too hungry. To avoid binging and going off plan.
Over the course of the next year I watch my triglycerides fall from 458 to 222 to finally 140 by diet alone. I lose forty pounds (Most of this weight I had gained on Prednisone.) My husband loses eighteen pounds in the first three months and his restless legs are gone! He has more energy and more stamina. I no longer urinate fifty times per day and sixteen times per night. My irritable bowel syndrome is better. My acid reflux has improved. No more day or night sweats. My heart doesn’t pound or flutter anymore either. Although I am still very sick, I am improving. This new regime is working. I am making it work!
My friends and family look at my diet with rolled eyes and skepticism. They have never heard of a low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. They have watched me repeatedly, throughout my lifetime, try fad diet after fad diet, become anorexic and exercise bulimic. They are worried. I am not. I am living the positive results!
They all fear that I am being too extreme with what I am no longer eating—the carbohydrates and refined sugars. They encourage me to eat comfort foods in the form of sweets. I refuse. I have my own doubts from time to time about my new diet until my blood tests return and they are normal without the use of cholesterol reducing medications. My night sweats are gone as long as I get up and eat a slice of cheese during the middle of the night. (The protein stabilizes my blood sugar throughout the night and doesn’t create the adrenaline rush and night sweats.) For the past twenty years three o’clock in the morning has been my waking hour every night. Now I know why—blood sugar and hormonal shifts. My migraines are less severe—still daily, but improved. I am no longer up all night peeing every fifteen to thirty minutes with the insomnia. Although sleep is still a problem and I never feel completely rested in the morning, this is still a great improvement for me. My restless legs are completely gone. I am able to put sentences together once again. I am able to read and to write again. There really is something to this diet for hypoglycemia. It works. I am on my way to great health! I can feel it. I am rebuilding myself, reprogramming myself and reframing my thinking towards food. Who would have thought? It’s not easy to eat this way, but it is confirmation enough for me to continue.
My secret weapon is not viewing this diet as a diet. I have been on too many diets to know that diets don’t work for me. The very word “diet” itself automatically conjures up images of past attempts of starving myself and bodily image failure in my world. Food is no longer my enemy nor is it my long-lost friend. It is here to nourish my body and to make me strong and clear-headed. I am becoming healthier everyday. The fibo-fog is not going to return as long as I continue eating this way. And, this is the key to it. I must continue to eat this way if I want to think clearly and be able to put my sentences together. I am slowly getting my mind back and I am determined that it is going to stay with me. I want to be headache free. Someday I will be completely headache free. I will persevere. “I am woman—hear me roar!”
If anyone had ever told me that my migraines were triggered by sugar I would have told them that they were crazy because sweet foods always made me feel happy, not sick. I also never would have believed that even complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and pastas would have made me feel so sick.
Josh and I had made the healthy switch to whole wheat pastas and Boca Burgers and were living a nearly vegetarian lifestyle for two years when I crashed with my fibromyalgia. Heart disease runs in his family and we wanted to be proactive and try to ward it off. So you can imagine my shock when I learned that I was carbohydrate intolerant. I now know better and I notice within five minutes of eating even a bite of a granola bar, a whole wheat cracker, or bread that my stomach starts to bloat, I immediately have gas, and my face and chest both flush. Indeed food did cause and trigger my daily migraines, bodily pain, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, insomnia, and night sweats.
However, it wasn’t until I followed Dr. St. Amand’s diet for Hypoglycemia for a week and I eliminated all refined sugar (simple carbohydrates found in white bread, processed foods, sugary beverages, and candy) and all complex carbohydrates (whole grain and whole wheat breads, pastas, corn, and rice) that I began to feel improvement. Even the smallest bite of a food not allowed on the hypoglycemic diet would send me into a tailspin, make my face flush, make me sweat, my migraines scream, and my pain levels soar. Not only did my body feel dizzy, weak, and shaky, after a diet cheat, this cheat would also impair my concentration and memory, activate my irritable bowel syndrome, and keep me up all night with night sweats and a pounding heart. The next day I would also experience without fail, heart burn, diarrhea in the form of irritable bowel syndrome, a migraine headache, increased pain levels, and fibro-fog. I have learned. Although the concept of being carbohydrate intolerant is still hard to grasp, my body certainly responds positively to this way of eating. Who would have thought that food could affect a person like this?
Dr. Srutwa, my local M.D. acupuncturist knew it. He agrees completely with Dr. St. Amand’s theory of hypoglycemia and eliminating certain carbohydrates to obtain positive results. He equates this carbohydrate intolerance to the “fight or flight” mechanism in our bodies. He said that what we feel is an adrenaline rush after we eat a forbidden carbohydrate. This panicky feeling is that of our bodies trying to push our blood sugar back up after it falls. This happens when we eat something sugary, sweet, or starchy and our blood sugar rises. Added to the story are the misfiring of the counter-regulatory hormones adrenaline, cortisol, growth hormone, and glycogen. The falling blood sugar frightens the brain and triggers the horrible symptoms of hypoglycemia: hunger tremors, pounding heart, panic attacks, faintness, fainting, intense hunger pains, and intense sugar cravings. Those of us with fibromyalgia have a double whammy. Dr. St. Amand states in his book that,
“To make matters more complicated and confusing fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia have the following overlapping symptoms: ringing in ears, weakness, fatigue, irritability, moodiness, nervousness, depression, insomnia, impaired memory, impaired concentration, anxiety, frontal headache (migraines), dizziness, blurred vision, numbness (face or extremities), abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, sugar craving, swelling, weight gain, generalized muscle stiffness, nasal decongestion, and leg/foot cramps.”
Again I got lucky. My local doctor also understood very well that the only way I would know if this diet would work for me was by actually adhering to it perfectly for two months just as written by Dr. St. Amand. He told me that the blood tests for hypoglycemia are inaccurate most of the time because our bodies have the ability to restore and correct themselves quickly making the low blood sugar levels non-existent by the time the blood is drawn. However, in certain individuals these low blood sugar levels are traceable, but the test is inaccurate over forty percent of the time.
I was stunned to learn that this blood test was still the only means that the medical community has to diagnose hypoglycemia even to this day. Another shocker that my local doctor, Dr. Srutwa, shared with me was that medical students aren’t even taught about hypoglycemia as a stand-alone condition in medical school. In fact, the majority of the medical community doesn’t believe it exists. And here we are in this modern day and age. It’s criminal.
Forty percent of us with fibromyalgia are also hypoglycemic! And more have the milder carbohydrate intolerance. Anyway we have two overlapping conditions that most of the medical community still chose to ignore: fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia. I won’t go into detail about how detrimental these two facts are for us. Rather, I will focus on the fact that I am very thankful to have found the Hypoglycemic Diet and two doctors who believe that my condition is real.
I have concluded that my body needs this diet and I have decided that I am going to commit to it. I am determined to treat my symptoms with food, not pills, especially since I was on thirteen prescription medications all at once this past year and none of them helped alleviate any of my symptoms. But, it was the best that those doctors knew how to do. And I am still grateful for modern medicine.
Breakfast is going to be my most challenging meal. I will have to give up my oatmeal and banana. Bye-bye milk, cereal, graham crackers, and toast. I will also need to change my thoughts about morning foods and eat items that I normally would not have considered as choices. It won’t be easy. But, I did learn to eat rice and fish for breakfast my year abroad living in Korea. There I realized that it’s the morning foods that you are raised with that determine your concept of what to eat first thing after you wake up. In Korea cereal and milk weren’t an option, at least not with my host family. Sandwiches were foreign too. So I know that I can do this! I can completely change my eating habits. I can change the way that I view sweet treats and food. They are no longer treats but rather things that feed my migraines, anxiety, brain-fog, pain, and fatigue. If I want to remain symptom free, I have to adhere to this new life-style of eating. My dad is a type-two diabetic but he rarely watches his diet or tests his sugar. He tells me that a little sugar won’t hurt me, yet he can’t figure out why he has developed neuropathy in his feet! He thinks that amputation will never happen to him because he takes his medications for diabetes daily—all five of them! He doesn’t believe that he can actually treat and possibly control his diabetes with food instead of pills.
This isn’t going to be easy, but I am worth it. I know that I can do this. My thoughts about food are my power. I am in control. I am in charge. No tweaking or substituting. The more tired I may become directly after starting the diet, the more it means that I need it. Whether I actually am hypoglycemic or not is not the real issue here. The real issue lies in empowering myself through this new healthy life-style of eating and using it to get my life back. I won’t let myself think that I am being deprived. I am not going there. The pity party down Sugar Street won’t seduce me. This is not about what I am giving up (food wise) rather it is what I am gaining (getting my life back.) I will remember this and recite this affirmation whenever I start to falter. I will remind myself that I deserve perfect health. You deserve perfect, Chantal. I will become my own cheerleader and wave my pom-poms.
I will pay careful attention not to beat myself up if I eat something off plan. I know that I am human and that it will happen from time to time. Rather, I will learn from it and move forward. I won’t let my slip-up hinder me from obtaining my goal: perfect health! I understand that this is a gradual process and that eating healthily will require more energy from me to cook and to prepare meals and that is why I am starting out with mostly frozen items. I know that I am able to open a bag and throw hypoglycemic friendly frozen foods into a pan, a microwave, or a steamer pan-insert. That much I can do!
My goal for each and every day is to prepare healthy meals for myself and my family—even if this is the only task that I am able to complete for that day. This is the utmost import step in reducing and controlling my fibromyalgia symptoms for my return to perfect health. These foods are my new medicine. They are going to be the fuel that I will need to reclaim my life. This is the investment that I must make right now in myself. I am not a cook so this is going to be an adventure, the challenge of all challenges. All of my meals are going to be prepared from scratch. No pre-boxed or pre-made anything. Yes, I can do this. Welcome to the kitchen of World Famous Chef Chantal who has spent all day graciously preparing the most scrumptiously healthy meals for you!
My next step is to fill my cupboards with cooking utensils and baking items that help me preserve my energy and support me daily. Simplicity is the key. Objects like a salad spinner, clear Pyrex glass containers that go from oven-to-table-to-fridge, and a large stainless-steel frying pan with metal vegetable steamer-pan inserts will soon become my new best friends.
I will focus on preparing extra food for use as leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day. By doing this I am putting my health first. We will hold a family meeting to discuss nutrition and everyone’s new role in helping me to get well. I will set aside my feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment and I will ask for assistance when I need it from family members or friends. Maybe they can shop for me?
Little by little I will create a system and a plan. I will think ahead and devote two hours each Sunday night or Monday morning to cooking meat—a family pack of chicken to be used later in the week and mini turkey burgers and turkey meat loaf. I will boil a dozen eggs and make one crustless quiche and have them readily available. My goal here is to get well. I know that by fueling myself with the right foods—lean protein and low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, I will be able to get both my mind and body back.
No matter what, I will not give in to any of my own excuses of why I can’t convert to this healthy way of eating. Monday will be fish night, Tuesday will be taco salad and homemade salsa, Wednesday will be turkey stuffed peppers, Thursday will be chicken garlic green bean stir fry night etc… (Recipes are located at the end of this chapter) and I will repeat these meals every week for the first month.
I will not listen to my mind chatter that will tell me things like I am bored with this food or I don’t feel like eating that meal. I will make food plans in advance no matter how fatigued I am. I will learn to ask for help from my friends and family members with the shopping, food preparation, and cooking and not feel like a failure for asking. I know that restoring my health revolves around getting my blood sugar stabilized. Maybe my husband, Josh, and step-son, Nik, can help me?
By following the diet exactly as written I will no longer have spikes in blood sugar and the insulin release that creates our multitude of debilitating symptoms. All symptoms of blood sugar fluctuations will disappear. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
But, it is true! I quickly replace caffeinated beverages with Solgar brand low-carbohydrate whey protein powder. I make it routine to never leave the house for an appointment without first drinking a scoop of it mixed with eight ounces of water. I pack allowed nuts, slices of cheese, and mini turkey burgers to bring with me on my outings. I have breakfast options prepared in advance because I always make sure that there are left-overs stored in my fridge in clear glass Pyrex rectangularcontainers or the like (so I can easily stack and identify food contents) from the night before. The more prepared in advance I am the more successful I will be. The longer that I eat this way the more energy I will have. (For more information on this subject please refer to the Updated and Revised What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia Fatigue, by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. and Claudia Craig Marek.) Eventually I may even be able to reverse my hypoglycemia and not become a type-2 diabetic. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
The following is a list of the items from this chapter that I used to get started with the strict diet for hypoglycemia. Please keep in mind that both diets control blood sugar although the strict diet is for weight loss only. The liberal diet is for weight maintenance. Enjoy and Be Well!
Non-Food Items to Get You Started with the Strict HG Diet
•The book-What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue, by Claudia Craig Marek and R. Paul St. Amand M.D
•A large frying pan or wok-type pan and lid (I always keep/stow my three pans on the stove top in order to preserve my own energy.)
•A large stock pot and lid for boiling eggs and steaming veggies like cauliflower and broccoli.
•A medium-sized sauce pan and lid.
•Two lettuce spinners—Great for cleaning lettuce & other veggies and then using for salad serving & storage.
•Four metal veggie steamer-pan inserts.
•Hefty® zippered freezer bags.
•Snack size plastic baggies.
•Clear glass rectangular (they stack well in the fridge) Pyrex® food storage containers with lids that go from oven to fridge.
•A food processor for chopping veggies, making sugar-free salsas, and preparing whipped cauliflower.
•George Forman Grill® with the removable dishwasher-safe plates.
•Magic Bullet® personal blender.
•Solgar® (Or the like) low-carbohydrate vanilla whey protein powder—I never leave the house without drinking a scoop of this beforehand. Often I put it in my water bottle with eight ounces of water and one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and bring it with me and sip on it for the day.
•Frozen zucchini squash, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, asparagus, and mixed peppers.
•Frozen cauliflower—Whipped Cauliflower— Steam one bag frozen cauliflower. Cool and add to food processor. Add four tablespoons Newman’s Own Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Blend together. Taste. Add more olive oil if desired. May also combine one fourth cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese or one fourth cup heavy whipping cream.
•Frozen chicken breasts—I bake eight breasts at one time at 300° for 40 minutes in my large glass Pyrex® baking pan and once they are cooled I store them in the fridge. During the week I use this meat for salads, “taco” salads, and stir-fries.
•Frozen Fish—Salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, and cod.
•Lettuce and salad greens.
•Eggs—At the beginning of the week I boil up a dozen and either keep them whole and eat only the egg whites or make egg salad with 2 egg yolks, 10 egg whites, chopped celery and sugar-free mustard and mayo.
•Egg Beaters®— Easy Crustless Quiche—Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with Pam® olive oil. Next pour one 32 ounce carton of Egg Beaters® or 12 eggs into pan. Microwave 1 box of frozen spinach and 1 bag of frozen broccoli (or acceptable veggies of your choice) on high for 6 minutes. Drain excess water. Combine veggies and ½ bag shredded cheese and place into baking dish. Swirl with fork. Evenly mix eggs and veggies with cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. (For extra variety you may add chicken, ham, walnuts, almonds...anything you'd like that's on the diet. I usually make this every other week and eat it for breakfast or lunch.)
•Cheese in brick form.
•Cheese pre-shredded—Great for salads and on top of the quiche.
•Cooking spray—olive oil.
•Cantaloupe—In a blender mix ¼ cantaloupe wedge with 6 ice cubes and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. Blend on high until frothy. Serve.
•Strawberries—In the Magic Bullet® combine 6 frozen strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, and 8 ounces of water. Blend for 10 seconds. Serve. Alternate strawberries with cantaloupe and 6 ice cubes.
•Nuts, almonds, and walnuts—12 per day for weight loss—Roast your own in the oven. Place nuts on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Rotate nuts every 3 minutes.
•Olive oil—This is the only dressing I use, sometimes mixed with apple cider vinegar. Newman’s Own Organic Olive Oil is excellent!
•Fresh or frozen meats without added sugar—Always read food labels and ingredients. Manufacturers hide sugar in everything these days. Beware of words that end in—ose like dextrose, sucrose, maltose, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, and cane juice.
•Jennie-O lean ground turkey Mini Turkey Burgers— Open package. With a knife divide package into 20 small squares. Cut 5 squares the long way and 4 squares the short way. Remove from package and place squares on the George FormanGrill® and cook for 10-12 minutes at 300°. Store in a glass Pyrex® container. (These mini burgers are great for on-the-go snacks.)
•Turkey Meat Loaf—In a large bowl combine two packages of Jennie-O lean ground turkey with four stalks of chopped celery and one bunch of green onions. Use food processor to chop celery and green onions before combining. Sprinkle on garlic and pepper to taste. Mix in bowl (I use my hands.) Spray oven safe baking dish with Pam olive oil. Form ingredients into a loaf. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Pierce with a fork for doneness.
•Turkey Stuffed Peppers—Lightly oil frying pan with Pam olive oil cooking spray. Brown meat in frying pan until completely cooked. Add garlic powder and chili powder to taste. Combine one package frozen peppers to meat. Sprinkle olive oil over frozen peppers and toss. Add garlic powder and chili powder to taste. Let simmer until frozen peppers are cooked. Next, wash and core six peppers—2 yellow, 2 red, 2 orange. (Costco® sells these in packages of 6.) Cut each pepper in half length-wise. Microwave peppers on high for 3 minutes or until cooked. Preheat oven to 350°. Finally, place one inch of water in the bottom of an oven- safe Pyrex® baking dish. Set open-faced peppers in the dish. Stuff with turkey and pepper mixture. Add half slice of cheese if desired or sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Bake 10-20 minutes. Check to ensure cheese has melted and meal is hot and ready to serve. Enjoy!
•Garlic Green Been Chicken Stir Fry—Coat large wok-style stainless steel pan with olive oil. Peel ten garlic cloves. (To save energy, time, and my fibromyalgic fingers, I buy these in bulk already peeled at Costco®.) Add two stalks chopped green onions. Lightly brown in pan. Add pre-baked pre-cut chicken (about 4 breasts). Chicken should be pre-cut into bite sized pieces. (I usually cut my chicken right after I bake the family pack and then I divide it into 4 breasts and store individually.) Cook chicken until heated. Add 4 cups frozen green beans. (I buy mine (organic) at Costco® in a large bulk bag.) Toss with olive oil and garlic powder. Cover and simmer until ready to serve. Enjoy!
•Chicken Nuggets—Lightly coat Pyrex® baking dish with actual olive oil—not Pam spray! Place pre-cut pre-baked chicken (about 4 breasts) in dish. With a fork lift chicken pieces and spread around to cover with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 40 minutes. Flip chicken pieces after 20 minutes and sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
•Chicken “Taco” Salad—Coat large wok-style stainless steel pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add pre-baked pre-cut chicken. Sprinkle with chili powder to taste. Simmer on low until chicken is heated (around 20-30 minutes.) Stir occasionally. Add more spices to taste. To prepare the salad: cut up lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados. Top with shredded cheese. If you have non-HG family members or you are on the liberal side of the HG diet, then you can also top salads with corn tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Diets For Hypoglycemia
by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D.
(Reproduced with permission from the authors www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com)
Both these diets work to correct hypoglycemic (blood sugar) symptoms. Choose the strict diet to lose weight or the liberal diet to maintain weight.
You must do the appropriate diet AS WRITTEN for two months, without cheating. At that point, if you are on the liberal diet you can start to experiment with forbidden foods to see what you can tolerate.
Each hypoglycemic's tolerance for listed foods will vary. Judge your tolerance level by how you feel and adjust your intake of foods accordingly.
The Strict Diet
Choose any foods from the following list
MEAT and FISH
All meats except cold cuts that contain sugars or dextrose; All fowl and game; All fish and shellfish.
Eggs; Any natural cheese (bleu, roquefort, cheddar, cream, gouda, swiss, etc;) Cream (heavy and sour;) Cottage and Ricotta (1/2 cup limit per day;) Butter; Margarine.
Fresh coconut; Avocado (limit 1/2 per day;) Cantaloupe (limit 1/4 per day;) Strawberries (limit 6-8 per day;) Lime or Lemon juice for flavoring (limit 2 tsp. per day.)
Asparagus; Bean Sprouts; Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage (limit 1 cup per day); Cauliflower; Celery Root (celeriac;) Celery; Chard; Chicory; Chinese cabbage (limit 2 cups per day;) Chives; Cucumber; Daikon (long, white radish;) Eggplant; Endive; Escarole; Fennel Bulb; Greens (Mustard, Beet, Collard etc;) Jicama; Kale; Leeks; Lettuce (any type;) Mushrooms; Okra; Olives; Parsley; Peppers (green, red, yellow, etc;) Pickles (dill, sour, limit one per day;) Pimiento; Radicchio; Radish; Rhubarb; Sauerkraut; Scallions (green onions;) Spinach; Squash (yellow or summer only;) String beans (green or yellow;) Snow peas; Soy Beans, Tomatoes (not sauce or paste); Water Chestnuts; Watercress; Zucchini.
NUTS (limit 12 per day)
Almond; Brazil; Butternut; Filbert; Hazel; Hickory; Macadamia; Pecan; Pistachio; Sunflower seeds (small handful); Walnut.
Sugar-free Jell-O; Custard (made with cream and artificial sweetener.)
Club soda; Decaffeinated coffee; Decaffeinated tea; Caffeine-free diet sodas.
CONDIMENTS and SPICES
All herbs and spices including seeds (fresh or dried); All imitation flavorings; Horseradish; Sugar-free sauces such as Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Ketchup; Sugar-free salad dressings; Oil and Vinegar (all types;) Worcestershire sauce.
All fats; Caviar; Tofu.
FOODS TO STRICTLY AVOID
Alcohol (most hypoglycemics can tolerate one drink after two months on the diet - use discretion as individual tolerance levels vary;) Baked beans; Refried beans; Black-eyed peas (cow peas); Bananas; Lima beans; Potatoes; Corn; Dried fruits & Fruit juices; Barley; Rice; Pasta (all types;) Flour and Corn Tortillas; Tamales; Sweets of any kind; Products which contain Dextrose, Glucose, Hexitol, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose, Honey, Fructose, Corn Syrup, Food Starch, Agave Nectar, Caffeine.
The Liberal Diet
You may add the following foods to the strict diet:
(limit: one piece of fruit every four hours. No fruit juices.)
Apples; Apricots; Blackberries (1/2 cup limit;) Blueberries (1/2 cup limit;) Boysenberries; Casaba melon (1 wedge limit;) Grapefruit; Honeydew melon (1 wedge limit;) Lemons; Limes; Nectarines; Oranges; Papaya; Peaches; Pears; Plums; Raspberries; Strawberries; Tangerines; Tomato juice; Tomato sauce or paste; V8 Juice.
VEGETABLES-remove limit from strict side
Artichokes; Beets; Carrots; Onions; Peas; Pumpkin; Winter squash; Hubbard squash; Turnips; Rutabagas, Spaghetti squash.
Cashews; Peanuts; Soy Nuts.
Whole, Non-fat, Low-fat milk and buttermilk, unsweetened yogurt.
Sugarless diet puddings (1/2 cup a day limit)
Three slices a day of sugar-free white, whole wheat, sourdough or light rye. No more than two slices at one time.
Corn tortillas (2 only per day;) Carob powder; Flour (gluten or soy only;) Gravy made with gluten or soy flour only;) Popped popcorn (one cup only;) Sugar-free cereals (puffed rice, shredded wheat, oatmeal etc;) Wheat germ.
If cholesterol is a problem, avoid cold cuts (except turkey,) cheese, cream, solid margarine, hollandaise sauce, and macadamia nuts. Use egg whites or Egg Beaters instead of whole eggs. Use liquid margarine only. Nuts should be dry roasted only. Trim all visible fat from meats and remove skin from poultry. Use canola or olive oil.
This diet is not meant to be used as to make a medical diagnosis. Please consult your own physician before making any changes to your current diet, medications or treatment. Prior to commencing any diet R. Paul St. Amand M.D. recommends a basic work-up that includes a thyroid test, blood count, blood glucose screening and testing for any conditions that may mimic blood sugar abnormalities.
© 2023 Chantal K. Hoey-Sanders. All rights reserved.
Syndrome, but it
Doesn't Have Me!
Chapter 2: The Second Step: Empowering Self
Controlling Symptoms with Food: The Hypogylcemic Diet
Preparing the Pantry: The Hypoglycemic Way
I Have Fibromyalgia /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it Doesn’t Have Me!
by Chantal K. Hoey-Sanders (Available on Amazon.com, Balboa Press, and all electronic devices.)