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Gluten-Free, Vegan Booby Boosting Bites – A Yummy Alternative to the Lactation Cookie

Disclaimer: I’m neither a food blogger nor a chef. I’m more of an eat to live person. Efficiency is the name of my game, so when I make something quick, easy and with minimal clean up that also actually tastes pretty good, I call that a win.

Seriously guys, when I was in med school, my friends will tell you, I ate a protein grilled on my George Foreman grill (remember those??) and a veggie every night I ate in. It checked my protein and fiber boxes and I was done. It wasn’t until I met my husband – a true foodie with the patience to follow long detailed recipes – that I truly started appreciating food a bit more.

Yesterday, I was in the mood to try a different lactation cookie. I searched Pinterest, and I couldn’t believe I could not find a single reasonably healthy one. I’ve been spoiled by Dr. Illuri’s vegan, gluten-free lactation cookie recipe. The other recipes I found all contained tons of refined sugars and flours – certainly not good for postpartum weight loss or anyone in your family’s health!

My newborn was sleeping so using my Blendtec to make the oat flour for the above recipe was out of the question, so I decided to experiment with my own. Turned out great and hubby and toddler approved!

One KichenAid stand mixer bowl, a few measuring cups and spoons, 10 minutes and done!

5 from 1 vote
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Booby Boosting Bites

Lactation boosting bites. No baking required!

Course Dessert
Keyword Lactation
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author RiverwalkDoc

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tbsp Brewer's Yeast
  • 1/4 cup 70% cacao chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in bowl. *Using your measuring cup for dry ingredients first makes for less clean up!

  2. Mix until even in consistency.

  3. Form into bite-sized balls.

  4. Refrigerate if desired - these do well both in the fridge or at room temperature!

Recipe Notes

Next time I may consider using mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs to make the balls stay together even better - the regular ones did the job, though!

Health benefits of this recipe
1. No refined sugar or flour. Refined sugar and flour lead to rapid increases in blood sugar and insulin release leading to weight gain.
2. Gluten free therefore fine for those with celiac disease. Also trendy!
3. Lactation boosting ingredients: flaxseed, coconut, almond, oats, Brewer’s yeast
4. ≥ 70% cacao containing chocolate has many metabolic health benefits

Diabetes Myth Busting

Almost all my patients have diabetes. In the hundreds of patients with diabetes I see every month, I’m saddened by how little most patients know about their disease. Worse, many patients have been given incorrect, dangerous, detrimental information. This post is to address common diabetes misconceptions for patients and providers.

1. I have to eat six times per day because I have diabetes.
False. Diabetes causes high blood sugar, not low blood sugar.
– If you are having low blood sugars, it is more than likely a problem with your medications and dosages. Common medications that lead to low blood sugar are sulfonylureas and insulin.
– Why is this myth dangerous? Eating more leads to weight gain, worsening insulin resistance, thereby worsening diabetes. “Snack foods” are often the worst of all.

2. Breakfast is a must.
False. In fact, one effective way to lose weight and decrease insulin resistance is intermittent fasting. Skipping breakfast is the easiest way to intermittently fast for most people.
– Many of my patients tell me they eat breakfast even if they are not hungry, and are relieved to hear they don’t have to!
– Some of my patients with type two diabetes on high doses of insulin have been able to stop insulin completely using intermittent fasting.
– Want to learn more about intermittent fasting? I highly recommend this book

3. I can cure type one diabetes with diet.
False. Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease where one’s body attacks its own pancreas – the organ that secretes insulin. If you have type one diabetes, you will die without insulin.
– Caveat: You can significantly reduce your insulin dosages with diet changes even in type one diabetes.

4. I can never eat sweets because I have diabetes.
Kind of false. You can eat sweets just recognize that your blood sugar will go up.
– If you take insulin, you will need higher doses to cover high carb foods like most desserts.

5. Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are healthy.
False. While these may have less of an impact on your immediate blood sugar, they can lead to worsened weight gain and insulin resistance, the underlying causes of type two diabetes.

6. My blood sugar is all over the place with no rhyme or reason.
Usually false. Usually with a thorough history and a physician experienced in appropriate diabetes management, we can figure out the problem.
– I have seen thousands of patients with diabetes in the hospital, which is a more controlled setting than home. Here I can recall very few patients we had trouble figuring out. It gets tougher in the clinic, because home life is unpredictable.
– If you are struggling with this, make sure to bring your doctor a detailed meal, snack and blood sugar log. There are many other things that can affect blood sugar including illness, medications and hormones, so also consider seeing a specialist.
– Continuous blood glucose monitors such as the FreeStyle Libre or Dexcom can also help.

7. I have to stop all other medications when I start insulin if I have type two diabetes.
Usually false. Unless there is a specific reason to stop them (e.g. kidney disease, side effects), many medications can be used in conjunction with insulin. In fact, keeping insulin doses as low as possible by using other meds that don’t cause weight gain actually decreases the weight gain associated with insulin.

Hope this clarifies some things! Leave me a comment if you have any further questions!

Quick and Easy Daal Recipe

Finding quick, healthy dinner ideas is tough for me, so when my hubby says I nailed it, I do a happy dance. Tonight was one of those nights. I made a super easy twist on daal (Indian lentils) sans salt, with vinegar, which lowers glycemic index, and loaded with fresh veggies – I just use veggies I happen to have at home.

I like to serve this with whole plain yogurt for added calcium and protein, and a grain – try quinoa instead of traditional basmati rice for a healthier alternative. If vegan is your thing, just take out the ghee. I admit that most of these measurements are guestimates because I can’t deal with measuring.

Here’s how I made it:

  • Turn instant pot on sauté mode
  • Add 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Add 1 tsp ghee (Homemade by hubby and daughter!)
  • Add 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste, 1/2 chopped Serrano pepper, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • Other things from my spice box that I usually use but forgot tonight: mustard seeds and turmeric
  • Add 1/2 chopped yellow onion and sauté until translucent
  • Add 3 chopped medium tomatoes, 1 cup chopped carrots, 2 cups red lentils, 4 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar and change to manual mode and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes
  • Allow rapid pressure release before opening lid
  • Open and add 1 5 oz box of spinach and lemon juice to taste
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro

Sleep Your Way to Successful Weight Loss

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep. Similarly, more than a third of American adults are overweight or obese. These statistics are not surprising; however, the link between them is less obvious.

After just one week of sleep deprivation, people had worse metabolism for carbs, higher blood sugars and higher cortisol levels in one study. All of these changes cause insulin resistance and high insulin levels, which lead to obesity and type two diabetes.

Targeting insulin resistance and high insulin levels makes for effective weight control, and sleep  is an important part.

Recommendations

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep/night
  • If you are sick or recovering from sleep debt, sleeping more than 9 hours/night may help
  • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime
  • Exercise during the day
  • Avoid foods that cause indigestion near bedtime (ex: spicy food, citrus, fatty/fried foods, carbonated drinks)
  • Expose yourself to natural light during the day
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Sleep in the dark, the following can help:
      • Sleep mask : I highly recommend this one!
    • Black out curtains
    • Turn off the TV, cell phones, lamps, night lights
  • Optimize your sleep environment with:
    • Comfortable bed and pillows
    • Cool bedroom (60-67 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Earplugs

Shaping metabolism starts young (probably even in utero), so make sure your kids have good sleep habits, too. They need even more sleep than adults.

  • Infants 4-12 months: 12- 16 hours per 24 hours
  • Children 1-2 years: 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Children 3-5 years: 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Children 6-12 years: 9-12 hours per 24 hours
  • Teens 13-18 years: 8-10 hours per 24 hours

“CDC Newsroom.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html.

Paruthi, Shalini, et al. “Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, vol. 12, no. 06, 2016, pp. 785–786., doi:10.5664/jcsm.5866.

“Sleep Hygiene.” National Sleep Foundation, sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-hygiene.

Spiegel, Karine, et al. “Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function.” The Lancet, vol. 354, no. 9188, 1999, pp. 1435–1439., doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(99)01376-8.

Watson, Nathaniel F., et al. “Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2015, doi:10.5664/jcsm.4950.Consensus Conference Panel: Nathaniel F.