Protein vs. Sugar

May 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm (Daily Workouts/Eats, General Life Updates)

This is not going to be a great food blog post where I write about research between these two things and how they affect your body. But I’ve come to a realization today about them and MY body. My pregnant body. You’d think I would have come to this decision/realization over a week ago when I thought I might have gestational diabetes, but no. I’ve been trying to eat well and not eat so much at night since then, and I feel I’ve improved. But not drastically.

I’ve been getting headaches. Sometimes on and off all day, but almost always an inevitable one in the evening. And they aren’t mild headaches. I’ve been trying to drink them away, since for a lot of my life a bad headache (unless it was TOM-related) meant I was simply dehydrated. But water hasn’t been working. They’re not hunger headaches, and they’re not menstrual headaches. Hello, I’m pregnant.

I’ve been taking acetaphetamine, but I don’t want to take medication every day and it doesn’t always help.

This morning I had my typical bowl of oatmeal with berries, peanut butter, and white chocolate chips. The white chocolate chips were about to run out and just to use them all up, I had way more on my bowl of oatmeal than I normally do (and I usually have too many). About an hour later, I felt the headache coming on. It was a bad one. I really didn’t want to take and pills, and I had been drinking water since breakfast. I wasn’t hungry. Two things occurred to me: 1) there wasn’t a lot of protein in that breakfast. The pb had some, and so did the oats, but I didn’t have as many oats as I usually do (only 1/3 cup). So a pretty low-protein breakfast. 2) With so many chocolate chips on top, the protein was completely overpowered by sugar. Too much sugar for breakfast, too much sugar period.

I decided to experiment. I scrambled two eggs and cooked them in about a tsp of coconut oil. Salt & pepper. Ate them straight out of the pan. Within 10 minutes, my headache was almost completely gone.

With that, I came to two goals or resolutions. 1) I need to do a better job of making sure I’m getting high-quality protein at every meal and snack. 2) I need to cut back DRASTICALLY on the sugar intake, if not eliminate gratuitous sugar entirely.

I am a little nervous about the second one. I feel like I’m such a wimp. Right now, there are no snacks/munchies in the house that really appeal to the binger in me. I haven’t felt very good the last few days (in my stomach) and haven’t FELT like binging at night, which is different for me, and I’ve been trying to take advantage. We don’t (and won’t) have any money to go get more food until the end of this week, so I’ll have to make anything we decide we want to munch on. My point is, there’s not a lot of opportunities to eat sugar in the house and there won’t be for a few days. That makes it easy to resolve to not eat sugar. But will my resolve hold when I’m presented with an opportunity? I feel wobbly in my resolve just thinking about it.

The first one is easier. I like protein. 🙂 I hard-boiled some eggs today so that we’ll have those on-hand. We had BBQ chicken sandwiches on sandwich thins for lunch – the kids only ate half of theirs though they seemed to like them. I had two, with cheese and lettuce. I had a hard-boiled egg and a miniature bowl of Grape-Nuts (with a little sprinkled sugar – See!!) for a snack a little while ago, because when I woke up from my little nap the headache was coming back. I also guzzled a bunch of water. The headache is just niggling now – tiny like it could come back but not uncomfortable.

So, there you have it. Too much sugar/too little protein is I’M HOPING the cause of my headaches. Because if that’s the case I’m hoping after a couple days of doing better they will abate. Perhaps I’m in for headaches for the rest of this pregnancy. We shall see.


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