26 May The balancing act – me and my lunchbox
As a human on planet earth in the year 2016, life has its way of feeling very full, with lots of things to balance. I happen to be a woman who wears many hats, which for me includes – mom, business owner, teacher, wife, farmer, afterschool chauffer, maid, head chef, etc.
Sometimes I look at the day that lies ahead as the ability to keep stress to a minimum. Yes, I like to make a list, check things off as I go, to help keep my head on straight. But another important thing that I plan for each day is my meals, especially the midday meal, as who knows where I will be.
With so many different forms of stress, when I am packing my lunch in the morning or the night before, I don’t always know where I will be, maybe even a day to work from home. I do know that by planning this meal for the day, I am also going to keep my blood sugar balanced and minimize the stress of unbalanced blood sugar. That feels good to me, because when my blood sugar is balanced, I know I am a nicer mom, feel more grounded, sleep better, and have less cravings for sweet things.
When we don’t eat all day, blood sugar dips, which the body sees as a threat or stress, and takes action to bring it back into balance. Through a series of chemical reactions, if this happens frequently, chances are we are going to start burning muscle to balance it out, and we might end up too hungry, losing control over the balancing foods we would much rather be eating. (ie that whole bag of chips) Skipping meals, high and low blood sugar swings, and not getting the nutrients the body needs are all on the path to diabetes, which is one of the biggest health threats we face this day and age.
Quite simply, keeping my blood sugar balanced means that I am eating a balanced meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am spacing my meals 4-6 hours apart. When I prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I think “What is my protein? What is my starch? What is my leafy green? What is my fat?” This is what makes my meal complete and keeps me properly fueled till I eat again. Many days I eat my lunch in my parked car, with a towel over my lap, relaxing to some NPR Fresh Air tunes with my green salad with smoked salmon, wild rice, carrots, jicama, and pumpkin seeds with balsamic vinaigrette. It is then that I appreciate the effort I went through in the morning, to make such a nice lunch for myself, especially considering I did it for others in my family as well. This is particularly helpful if I am sitting in front of a grocery store, to do some shopping for the family. After my fantastic lunch, when l go into the store, because my blood sugar is balanced, I am much less tempted to buy some chips or chocolate to keep me company on the way home.
I can’t control all the stress in my life, but I can control my blood sugar and keep that stress to a minimum.