Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.
- Mitch Hedberg

A typical day in the life of 21 year old Sarah looked like this:

Wake up after 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Drink obscene amounts of coffee to get the day started. Maintain my energy level throughout the day with Red Bull. Go to work, class, random fast food place, class again. Meet friends for drinks until way too late. Sleep and repeat.

What 21 year old Sarah didn't know that 25 year old Sarah is all too aware of is that kind of lifestyle takes its toll. Basically, if I had tried to create the perfect conditions for my body to develop dysglycemia, I couldn't have done a better job. Let me tell you, I never do anything halfway!

GET READY for the science-y paragraph! I know what all of you are DYING to know:
What exactly is dysglycemia? Well, since you asked I guess I'll tell you. Dysglycemia is defined as disturbed blood sugar regulation. Abnormal blood sugar regulation occurs when the blood sugar is raised too quickly and too often. This wears out the regulatory systems to the point that any stimulation can cause too drastic or too little response from the necessary systems. Symptoms are exhaustion, forgetfulness, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, sweating and temper tantrums, and irritability to name a few. Sounds like the most fun you've ever had, right? To sum it up, this is what most people refer to as low blood sugar.

The perfect storm of simple carbohydrates (alcohol, bread and fast food) and stimulants (copious amounts of coffee and red bull) creates generation after generation of college-trained, carb-loaded sugar junkies. Basically, generations of people with dysglecmia. Now the kicker...what does untreated dysglycemia lead to? Oh, a little thing call
Type 2 Diabetes. No wonder so many people are developing it. We have pretty much created the best training ground ever in college!

Now for the fun part.
How do you treat dysglycemia? Well, by balancing your blood sugar with delicious food! If only everything in life was solved by eating something delicious...the most important things to remember when figuring out what to eat are:
  • High in Fiber: - Fiber is like a sponge in your gut that soaks up fat and sugar. Since fiber is harder to digest, it slows down how fast sugars are metabolized and how fast they affect your blood sugar levels
  • Low in Sugar: Sorry, sugar-free Red Bull doesn't cut it! Stick with natural sugars like fruits that have a good amount of fiber like apples and raspberries. A great resource to figure this out is whfoods.org
  • Get that Protein: Protein acts a blood stabilizer so eat small servings of high quality proteins throughout the day...McDonlads hamburgers don't count, sorry! Good sources are eggs and almonds.
Don't stress about it!! Just remember that you are what you eat, so choose the best stuff you can. I like to think I'm a plate of seasonal veggies with a side of homemade chocolate almond cookies...but that's just me. :)

Quinoa Broccoli Pilaf with Tamari Almonds by Sarah McKay
Serves 4
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 1/4 cup water 1 medium onion, diced
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3/4 cup almonds
3 Tablespoons tamari
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups broccoli
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1. Heat a large saute pan on medium-low. Add toasted sesame oil and diced onions. Sprinkle with salt and saute until translucent.
2. Meanwhile, toast almonds in a saute pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add tamari. Saute until tamari evaporates. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add garlic to onion and saute until fragrant. Add in mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes.
4. Turn heat up to medium-high and pour in vegetable stock. Add broccoli, cover and steam for 8 minutes or until tender.
5. Take pan off heat and stir in ginger juice, quinoa and nutritional yeast. Mix until combined and serve hot!

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