I vividly remember the first time that I felt an earthquake in San Diego. I was working in one of the top floors of a downtown high rise. I got up to bring a file to a colleague and thought I was about to faint!
It was not until I saw that “I’m Still Standing” (thank you Sir Elton John) + everybody else’s surprise + the overhead lights shaking that I realized what had just happened. A real earthquake! Growing up in Chicago, we had practiced tornado drills, but NEVER drills for earthquakes!
Whenever I felt that shaky feeling after that experience, I always checked the lights above to see if it was me or another earthquake. Thankfully, with the exception of a few times, it has been me and it was because of the breakfast I chose.
What do you usually have for breakfast? Coffee + donuts? Yogurt? An all fruit smoothie? Cereal?
Have you ever felt those jitters an hour or two after eating breakfast? They used to hit me between 9:00AM and 9:30AM and would have me reaching for just about anything that I could find.
The effect that carbohydrates and more specifically sugars (a type of carbohydrate) have on the body is that they are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Brain cells need glucose for energy, but in response to this sudden increase in sugar, the pancreas begins to release insulin. Insulin allows cells to use and store the glucose, which results in a rapid drop in glucose. The brain cells no longer have their energy source as it as been absorbed into the cells and this leaves you feeling light-headed, shaky, and weak.
Eating simple sugars in the absence of protein and fiber is a recipe for Type II diabetes! There are easy measures that we can take to prevent these sensations and have you leaving the tremors to Mother Earth.
1.) Eat more protein! Protein takes longer for the body to breakdown. 30g of protein should keep you feeling satiated and full for 3 – 4 hours.
NO sugar high = NO Jitters
2.) How much protein? A few years back, I worked with an amazing and knowledgeable trainer that completely redeveloped my food plan. At 5’9 and 149 pounds, I should be eating 110gram – 150grams of protein each day. I always felt satiated and NEVER felt hungry when I followed this rule. This also kept away the light-headed and weak feelings. (My current intake has increased slightly since having my little guy, continuing to breastfeed, and weighing a few pounds more during my post-baby slim down.)
3.) But I LOVE Carbs… If you choose to have sugars (yes, even fruit!) make sure that you pair it with fiber or protein. This means avoid the juice and eat the whole fruit and consider a scoop of almond butter as your paired protein. We want to slow down the absorption of the sugar to a speed that the body can handle. We don’t want a sugar shot into the bloodstream and insulin backlash!
4.) What should I eat instead? Try our EASY Power Protein Breakfast Muffins or try adding a scoop of protein powder to your morning smoothie. Who needs a power nap when you have a power breakfast
We love the Jarrow French Vanilla protein available at Whole Foods or All Star Health.
Let us know how you stave off those sugar lows and stay tuned for our upcoming blog on some additional ways to incorporate protein into lunch and dinner.
Live your WHOLE life!
Meg and Shannon
EASY Power Protein Breakfast Muffins
Serving size = 1 muffin, recipe makes 4
1 cup whole oats
5 large egg whites
1 large whole egg
½ scoop vanilla protein powder (or flavor of your choice)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. almond butter (optional “frosting”)
12 dark chocolate chips (optional)
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
STEP 2: Blend first 5 ingredients together for 30 seconds (through vanilla extract).
STEP 3: Spray a muffin pan with PAM and divvy up the batter into 4 muffins.
STEP 4: Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
STEP 5: Remove from oven and “frost” with almond butter or melted chocolate chips. Let cool and serve!