Bulletin #164 (Revised Sept. 1995)

Hypoglycemia Association, Inc.
Box 165
Ashton, MD 20861-0165
(Founded in 1967)
Recorded Message (202)544-4044

Our bulletin is not meant to be medical advice. It is written by lay people, dedicated to helping those with hypoglycemia. All cases are individual. If you need medical advice, see your physician.

Feeding Yourself
in all Sorts of Circumstances

Marge Smith, Director

Introduction: This Bulletin will get right down to BASICS which we all need to review no matter how long we have been on THE DIET. Many of us are not as strict with our diets as Marge and we are not all following the same type of diet but, if we do not wish to keep a food and symptom diary as she did, we must not get discouraged and say that we are not going to even try. Whatever we do in this respect is better than doing nothing at all.

Marge Smith: The point of any treatment for hypoglycemia, whether diet or recognition of allergies is to keep our energy at a steady state, one high enough to accomplish normal everyday tasks and to be properly responsive to other people. We need to feed in energy (body fuel in the form of food) in small judicious amounts so that no great surge of energy occurs. Energy peaks cause us to feel able to do more than we ought or need to, but they are usually followed by sharp drops when we can't do even the minimum of what we ought to. We need to feed the energy (body fuel) in at regular intervals so that the body does not have to cope with a decline in energy. On the down hill path we experience forgetfulness, indecision, mental confusion, irritability, and inability to cope.

When the Blood Sugar Drops Low Enough, whether suddenly or gradually, the adrenal glands (should) act to help the body cope with the stress. Symptoms associated with adrenal action are the fight or flight symptoms. If the adrenals are too exhausted to work, the sugar level will continue to drop causing tensed muscles leading to headache or backache or stomach upsets, dry mouth, shakiness, racing heart, etc. They may occur singly or in any combination. If the adrenal glands can correct the low blood sugar by moving glycogen (stored blood sugar) out of the liver and into the bloodstream as glucose, these symptoms may be of short duration. But the glycogen stores may have been depleted in response to an earlier emergency. We have no stored energy available today because it was used up yesterday. In that case, the symptoms will continue until we have eaten enough to restore the blood sugar level which may take hours or days.

Feeding Yourself In All Sorts of Circumstances: The years that I have spent being very attentive to what I ate and how it made me feel have helped me to pick up some ideas which might be of some use to you. I would say offhand that the reason that I was as strict as Dorothy says, was that I needed to do that. This bulletin is an outgrowth of a remark I made when we were talking about cook books. In the beginning, hypoglycemics don't have the energy to deal with recipes. What we need is some directions that tell us how to have what we want and need to eat ready for us when we want it and without too much effort.

Find Out What is Best For You: Perhaps the most important word in our title is "Yourself". To feed yourself under any circumstances you must first find out what works for you and, like all suggestions that come your way, these should be weighed against your own levels of strength and energy. If you, for instance, are at a fairly early stage of hypoglycemia and you're not terribly sick, then maybe you can tolerate a more flexible schedule, a little more unrefined starch or some of the foods containing 15 grams of carbohydrate as shown in the Food Analysis Charts in THE DIET. But, if you've been sick a long time and you get the shakes when you wake up in the morning and then can't get through two hours without feeling down in the dumps, then you probably need to be much more careful with your schedule. You also may have allergies or other conditions to consider or your schedule may be relaxed or very demanding.

So the reason I was that strict was that I came to this after many years of not knowing what to do. For about 10 years I followed the book, "Body, Mind, and Sugar", which was one of the first published on hypoglycemia. Some of this information is now out of date. It wasn't doing enough for me. Then I found HAI 20 years ago and learned about the sorts of things I might need to give up.

Which Level Are You? It might be helpful to think of hypoglycemia as a deep hole with sloping sides. (Drawing deleted for CompuServe and Internet. Imagine a script v with normal off to the right. A is on the right hand side near the top. B is on the right hand side close to the bottom. C is on the left hand side near the bottom. ) Patient A is not too far from normal and can climb out quickly with minimum changes in diet. Patient B is a good bit deep in, may have other complications, and will require slower, more conservative treatment. (You?) Patient C is so exhausted and his mind works so poorly that it will be a long while before he can take any responsibility for his own treatment.

Getting Started: "The Diet for Living With Hypoglycemia, Phase I & II" contains much valuable information.
1. Read the diet all the way through. You won't assimilate all the information but use what you do understand to make a start.
2. Keep THE DIET within easy reach, preferably in the kitchen. You will refer to the tables of food values frequently at first.
3. Read THE DIET again in two or three weeks. With the experience you have gained, you'll see the relevance of facts you passed over earlier.
4. Read THE DIET every time you have a question or a problem You will find something new every time you return to it.

Begin to give up the stress items. They include caffeine, sugar, grains and flours, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and maybe sweet potatoes, winter squash, and things that taste sweet to you. You may have to forego the 15% fruits and vegetables at first. The prospect of life without coffee, bread, and ice cream may seem dismal but you will be supported by frequent snacks. If no breakfast coffee would normally cause headaches and shakiness at 9:30 am, a snack at 9:00 and another at 10:00 may prevent such an episode. You may decide to give up things in stages--one coffee less per day; sugar first and then grains. But keep at it until the job is done. You will never know how well you can feel until you learn to live without the stress items which can exhaust the adrenals and deplete the liver glycogen.

Read All the Labels: Eliminate anything that includes molasses, fructose, or corn sweetener. Go without a food for a week that you suspect might be causing a problem, then add it back to your diet and see what happens. Another step in gaining control of your body is eliminating decaffeinated coffee and artificial sweeteners, two known stress producers.

A food and symptom diary may be helpful at first. This is optional but I found it so helpful that I continued it for many years. For example, if you have a day that is perfect, you have a record. From such observations you should begin to see the pattern that will keep you well and active. I do not mean eating the same foods day after day. We should try to vary foods as much as possible. What I mean is the times of eating and the amounts of food that you can count on to feel your best. Our mental ability, competence, emotional stability, and sleep patterns are more clearly related to how we eat than many people realize.

In a spiral notebook arrange five columns for the time you ate, the food and the amount in oz. or cups, the grams of carbohydrate, the grams of protein and the largest space for comments. Write down the times you ate and everything that goes in your mouth, then relate the two. In the comments column you put things like "feel great" -- "going down fast" -- "lunch delayed, I'm starving" -- "can't seem to shake the blues," etc. The object is to relate feelings to food patterns and stress episodes... sometimes 24 hours back or longer. Some patients just do this for a couple of weeks.

Eventually, you will see the patterns that make for "good days" and "bad" days. Then you can be much more in control of moods and energy rather than being controlled by them. As you gain experience you get much better at hearing and interpreting the educated messages your body is now sending you.

Armed with this self knowledge you can now begin to think about the varying circumstances of your life. How much food and beverage must you carry with you? Can you be sure that you can buy extras you need at the right time? At work do you have access to a refrigerator?

What is your interval? If you are not very sick maybe you can go two hours without eating. Now, I have advanced to the point where I can eat a good breakfast and get through to lunch time without a snack. In the beginning I ate every 1 1/2 hours during the day. Perhaps you may need to eat oftener than that. If you have had a glucose tolerance test it may have shown the interval of time it took for your blood sugar to drop. If not, your symptoms may tell you. Then try to eat before the time that you would experience them.

How much Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat do you need in a day and at what rhythm do you need them? Beginners sometimes concentrate on protein and pay too little attention to carbohydrate which is your energy food. You need at least 60 to 80 grams a day just to keep going, digest your food and breathe (all of which takes energy). Some feel best at 100 grams. The 55 to 65 grams of protein recommended in THE DIET is less than the 8 ounce steak some people eat for dinner.

Divide the day's allowance into small amounts. Feed in low carbohydrate fruits and vegetables for a fairly quick (but not too quick) rise in blood sugar. Support this with protein which will be absorbed more slowly so that when you run out of energy from carbohydrate you won't feel a drop and you won't have to be eating carbohydrate too frequently. Fill in the gaps with fat which is a source of energy that doesn't cause a rise in blood sugar and adds a feeling of satisfaction. Fats can be from vegetable sources -- nuts, nuts and seed butters, avocados, unrefined oils or from eggs and cheeses as well as meat, fish, and butter. If you have a problem with cholesterol, check with your physician. For further information on fat see HAI Bulletins #63 and #157. There is no restriction on salt. For an explanation read Bulletin #96 & #152.

Knowing how much and when to eat puts you in control of your energy flow and not at its mercy. Ideally, each day there will be a little extra energy to go into storage for emergency situations. When stress occurs and this reserve energy is used up, you can expect to need extra food until the supply is rebuilt. If you have a day when you feel energetic and not too hungry, be very suspicious. You are probably drawing on stored energy. Remind yourself to eat as usual so as to avoid exhaustion the next day. If you are a working man with a large frame you may need to adjust the carbohydrate and protein grams per day upward to sustain your energy.

NOTE: We count carbohydrate grams, not calories. Foods consist of water and fiber as well as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. People are often confused about eating 100 grams of food but counting only a few grams of carbohydrate. Fruits and vegetables are mostly water and fiber. When the weight of these is subtracted, what is left is carbohydrates (also proteins, fat, vitamins, and minerals). In the less watery vegetables, the more concentrated the carbohydrate. It's the high concentration of carbohydrate that cause us trouble. When these components are separated, 100 grams of summer squash will yield only 3 grams of carbohydrate. 100 grams of baked winter squash will yield almost 15 grams. It would be possible to eat 300 grams of 7% vegetables and get only 9 grams of carbohydrate or eat 200 grams of a 15% vegetable and have 30 grams of carbohydrate, a significant difference. Eating these vegetables in the lower concentration of carbohydrates gives your adrenals, pancreas, and other organs a rest from the foods high in carbohydrate which you have eaten previously and helps the glands to recover.

Part II - Coping

Wellness or Homeostasis: The later word means "body in balance", the whole aim of treatment is to rest the many body systems and achieve this condition. Some patients may come along very fast with minimal changes in diet while others need years of very conservative eating, rest, and lots of understanding and a good doctor.

Getting Started: The right food at the right time: That is the goal of the cook with a little extra for the unexpected need. If you are the patient and the cook, choose a time when you are rested to plan for the time when you are not. Planning takes time and effort but it frees you to go longer, do more, and experience less exhaustion. The people around you also benefit when you are at your best.

Always be prepared for an emergency --traffic jams, flat tires, engine trouble, late busses, trains, or planes -- no matter if you are only going to the corner. Keep two sets of utensils; can opener, sharp knife, regular knife, fork, spoon, cup, and paper towels in your car. If you take one set in the house to wash it, you will still have another set to use in the car. Have several different size coolers for carrying the appropriate amount of food and beverage and some leakproof jars for liquids. When you are preparing to go somewhere, get the food out that you are going to take with you and put it in a conspicuous place so you won't forget it. Always carry water. If you don't have a car, carry a tote bag or small snacks in your pocket or purse. Now, let's go...

Shopping: Standing in line, carrying packages, searching for items, trying on clothes, reading the small print on labels, shopping with little children, forgetting to snack or eat a meal, all can exhaust a person with hypoglycemia. Enlist the help of others, if possible, and don't try to do everything in one day. If there is no other alternative and you have to do a lot of shopping be sure to: Eat a snack or a meal before you get tired. Take a rest if you can find a safe place to do so. A few minutes in the car with a newspaper in front of you so people won't be alarmed if you doze off, or on a bench in a store will rejuvenate a little.

An exercise break will relax tense muscles and circulate your blood which might help to produce more energy from your food. Plan to stop for a short while at the Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, the McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda, the Audubon Society's bird sanctuary in Kensington or whatever is in your area. Avoid carrying anything and let your arms swing free (lock everything in your car except your keys) and breathe deeply for much needed oxygen, which is necessary to convert the blood sugar into energy. If no such place is nearby perhaps a health spa would be the answer.

Meals At Home

Cooking for One or Two: If you are cooking for yourself or for only one other, don't be afraid to cook in quantity. You may prefer to cook your protein fresh each evening and, of course, you'll vary roasts with steaks, chops, hamburgers, turkey, chicken, and fish but frozen individual portions will help, especially if everyone in the family eats differently. Cooking in quantity is the solution. One half of a turkey or a couple of chickens, a beef roast and/or a pork loin are examples. They could be put into the oven when you come home from the store, if you have the energy, or done on a day off if you are working. Cook on one day, refrigerate then slice as convenient over a period of two days (you'll probably have use some for a meal each day). I wrap two ounce portions in waxed paper, freeze them on a baking sheet, then put all into a zip lock bag. Label carefully. It's surprising how alike things look once they are frozen.

Vegetables are hardly a protein. Buy the freshest, most young and tender that you can find. You will spend more time in the store but less time in the kitchen. Cook them quickly in as little water as possible. I use a large skillet, oil the bottom, slice the vegetable (two may be cooked together if they take the same amount of time, such as cauliflower and broccoli), add just enough water to prevent burning, and put it over moderately high heat. "As Soon As Steam" comes from the pan "Turn the Heat to Low" or off altogether if you have an electric stove. Shredded cabbage, sliced squash, broccoli flowerettes cook in 5 minutes, green beans a little longer.

Leafy vegetables like kale or collards can be cooked very quickly if you choose leaves that are 4" to 6" long or smaller. Strip them from their stems. Put into a pot just large enough to hold them with just the water that clings to their leaves. Stir once during cooking. They should be done in 3 or 4 minutes and taste much better than large leaves cooked a long time. With vegetables also plan for future meals and snacks. Individual portions can be frozen. Leave room for expansion.

Keep a supply of raw vegetables washed and cut in small pieces in the refrigerator for easy snacks and traveling. Mix broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, green peppers with cooked string beans or peas. Use a small amount of dressing for flavor. Canola oil is tasteless and cold pressed. Use salt as desired.

Cooking for Family: When you are in a hurry and are confronted with uncooked meat, stir fry is your answer and is an ideal way to share a meal with family or friends. You get your ration of the meat and vegetables. They get the rice with stir fry on top. Slice thick chops or a round steak into 1/4" slices or cut thin slices off the end of a roast. You can still cook the larger piece later.

The family would probably benefit from your change of diet but you can't impose THE DIET on them unless they need it or want it. If there are favorite dishes that you can no longer eat, try to serve them occasionally while you eat from your store of leftovers. Cherish your leftovers. They are security. Make leftovers or make overs acceptable to the family by changing the appearance and changing the taste. Sliced pot roast today, cubed beef with onions and gravy (see THE DIET for thickeners) over a rice another day. Meanwhile, you have enjoyed a few servings for lunch or snacks.

Also, ask yourself what your family can do to help. One of the first improvements I noticed after starting the HAI diet was that I could ask for help in a matter of fact way without seeming apologetic, or seeming to accuse them for failing me.

If you get confused and make mistakes, it helps to sit down quietly and list everything you need to do for the meal. Be very particular--peel potatoes, cook potatoes, cut up meat, make gravy, heat meat in gravy, etc.

The Hypoglycemic is not the Cook: In this situation, responsibility is shared and communications become all important. The cook's goal is the same. The hypoglycemic has the responsibility for letting him or her know what the right foods and the right times for eating are.

The cook's responsibility beyond food preparation is to suspend disbelief. Listen to the hypoglycemic and his reports on how he feels at any given time. It is hard for one with normal metabolism to understand the mood and energy fluctuations of the person. Freud use the image of a fish swimming in the water, unable to understand what was happening to the fish on the hook. Fortunately we are not fish. With sympathetic support, the cook can help the hypoglycemic regain his former health. But it must be a team effort.

Use the techniques previously suggested to arrive at a basis for meal planning and shopping. Learn to have extras on hand for the times when need is greater than average. A food diary could promote good communication. The cook would record meals, the hypoglycemic could record snacks, and both could add comments about body/mind reactions. In this way the cook would know what foods to provide and in what quantities. And also what happens when needs are not met. While the patient might say "feel energetic" or "very depressed", the cook might record "like his old self" or "impossible to live with". Learning to relate these comments to the foods eaten and the interval between would reveal the need for changes. It is very hard for a well individual to understand how some can be chipper at 10:00 am and tired and discouraged at 2:00 pm. As soon as well enough, the hypoglycemic should take some responsibility for shopping and preparing his own food.

When Company Comes you may want a few recipes. Mashed sweet potatoes baked in halved orange shells can be prepared ahead and reheated at the last minute. Your orange shell has winter squash in it (mark it with a toothpick--no one needs to know). A handsome easy dish is a jellied mold make from V-8 juice and plain gelatin. Fresh raw vegetables for dip or salad with a dressing on the side are always good. For additional ideas see cookbooks listed in the HAI Recommended Reading List. Bul#113 or Phase II of THE DIET. Or simply serve family style and forego the foods you cannot eat.

Eating Out

Dealing With Social Situations: The first thing to decide when sharing a meal with friends is how much will I be affected if I stray from THE DIET? Then you need to determine what to say and what not to say about your food. You will learn that it is not so much what you say as how you say it. If you seem self-pitying you'll draw more attention to yourself than is comfortable. If you are uncertain or apologetic your hostess will think you don't mean what you are saying and will urge you to eat something which you should not. If you give in, the next time will be more difficult. If you think you must eat to be polite, think again! Will the world be a better place because you eat the wrong thing today and then spend the next two or three days trying to get back to normal? You must VALUE YOURSELF! You are eating the way you do so that you can fill your proper place in the world. When you are confident in this, the specific words will come easily. Make them as brief as possible delivered with a smile and an upbeat air. (We shouldn't have to be so careful about all this but we are dealing with human nature and we do want to be invited again.)

Dinner Invitations Alert your hostess in advance. Explain your food restrictions, that you have to eat frequently, and ask if she would mind if you brought a small packet of food which could be stored in the refrigerator or you could leave it in a cooler in the car and slip out for something you forgot. I say that I don't want her to change one thing on the menu, but want her to understand if I have to say "no thank you." You could donate a casserole which would contain only foods in your diet. Another HAI member does not forewarn her hostess but says, "I may not be able to eat everything but I don't want you to worry bout it." If there are foods that really make you ill. Be quite specific about it.

Covered Dish Supper: When attending a covered dish supper always take a vegetable. You will probably be able to find meat even if you have to detach the batter from the fried chicken. You might not want to eat a meat loaf to which you haven't been properly introduced. It usually contains bread and perhaps ketchup which may have 20% sugar or corn sweetener. Vegetable casseroles may have sauces made with starch and/or sugar. You could take lightly cooked and marinated vegetables with red peppers; asparagus with butter and almonds; plain sliced tomatoes with chives sprinkled on them; or a mound of spaghetti squash surrounded by alternating broccoli and cauliflower; or green beans dressed with oil, spring onions and bacon. You'll think of other. If you have brought a "care package" for yourself which is in the refrigerator, go through the line & fill your plate with salad and whatever else you may be able to eat, then slip out into the kitchen and discretely put some of your food under the salad.

Visiting Friends and Relatives: How long is your stay? How much will it affect you to go off THE DIET? How well do you know your hostess? Well enough to make special requests? If you are visiting for one night only, the rules for sit-down dinner apply. Forewarn your hostess and take whatever food you expect to need. If you are limited to low carbohydrate fruits specify what they are. Otherwise you may be presented with high carbohydrate fruits. Be sure to take some snacks into your bedroom even if you don't usually eat during the night so you won't have to sneak out to the kitchen at 2:00 am or before the family is awake. I can visit relatives easily because (after some initial education), they allow me to be in charge of my own food. They give me refrigerator space for the foods I've brought and then serve what they normally eat, allowing me to supplement as necessary.

Eating in Restaurants: Order broiled meat or fish with no breading. Ask to leave off the gravies and sauces, even the "au jus" may be doctored up. Salad bars are fine if they have not been sprayed with anything but water to freshen the vegetables. I use oil and vinegar dressing. If you are being treated and your host urges forbidden foods on you, assure him that you've ordered just what you want and that you have to be careful. I drink a cup of very weak tea with lemon while everyone else has dessert. If you have been on the diet a while and are doing well you may be able to have a small amount of baked potato or some brown rice.

Public Functions: If you must reserve and pay for your meal in advance, include a note describing any allergies or sensitivities you might have. One of our members writes, "I am highly allergic to chicken in any form. If no alternatives can be arranged please refund my money." Her request has always been honored.

Fast Food Restaurant At a cookout or fast food restaurant it is entirely possible to keep shifting the hamburger so that just a mouthful protrudes from the bun. If anyone has ever noticed my doing this they've been too polite to say so.

Eating on the Road: Several days before the trip, at a time when your mind is working easily, sit down and make a plan based on your known needs. If you can't carry enough with you, think how you will replenish supplies along the way. Start with the utensils described on page 1. Some people cannot tolerate plastic. I use wax paper to wrap food, then place it in a little bag. A large cooler will hold frozen cooked meats for 2 days of meals and snacks, plus cooked and raw vegetables packed in one pint containers, and some fruit. A smaller cooler kept beside you can contain easy-to-get-at snacks so that you don't have to stop the car to eat (unless you are driving).

Arriving at a motel, carry in your cooler and add ice if needed. Bring in any perishables that you will need. In the morning dump the melt water and replenish with ice agin. If you plan to eat canned meat or fish that day, open the can in the motel room and dump the liquid or oil. Seal the can in a zip lock bag. On a long trip, replenish supplies at grocery stores or fruit stands. In a pinch, frozen vegetables can be thawed and eaten as is or they could be cooked in a hot pot. If this sounds complicated, just do what you think is necessary for you and what you think you can handle. Whatever you do will be helpful. With experience it gets easier.

Some people are able to be more relaxed about the diet for part of a vacation. Away from the stress of everyday life, their digestion seems to be able to handle more carbohydrates. Too much relaxation, in the diet, however, can either ruin the vacation or cause a severe reaction after coming home. How much relaxation of diet can you tolerate? For how long? My approach is to be even more careful on vacation. Otherwise, I would turn into the cranky, whining, edgy, unable-to-cope creature I used to be and nobody has any fun. Also, it would take me several days to get back to normal on my return. There are enough things that you can't control on a trip. I try to control what I can.

I can take car trips because I stock a cooler with the foods I'll need on the road. If I'm suddenly starving, with no restaurant in sight or if my husband wants to drive until dark, I reach into my box for "health insurance". The trip does not revolve around my needs and everyone is happier.

Planning a Schedule: The schedule imposed on you by work or family is a factor you must work around in planning for your own individual circumstances. Do you get up at 6:00 am and arrive at work at 9:00 am and have an hour commute? You must eat when you awaken, but if you've had all your breakfast by 6:45 am, how will you make it to lunch time? Snacks can do just so much. S-T-R-E-T-C-H your breakfast so there's not too long an interval until lunch time, or plan two small lunches before noon and after noon.

If you have a long commute, save a plate of last night's dinner to fortify you for the morning trip. Then eat again as soon as you get to work (before leaving the car if eating is frowned upon). If you can't eat at your desk, a bowl of almonds that you can share may be acceptable. Raw or blanched, of course, we can't have greasy fingerprints on the paperwork. If you have a late lunch hour, eat a substantial snack at coffee break. If there is not a refrigerator at work, a small cooler with refreezable ice may help. Dinner preparations exhaust you? Treating eating meat as you work. Getting kids off to school? Don't neglect your needs. Take fruit to the bedroom at night and reach for it as you shut off the alarm. Eat sliced meat or cheese with you pack lunches.

Overweight of Underweight? Reducing diets make a virtue of using will power to ignore hunger. You are on a sustaining diet. Formerly, stress foods, as carbohydrates, have been supplying many of your calories. Now you are sustaining your energy by replacing those calories with proteins and fats balanced with low carbohydrate foods. Even though you may feel that you are eating a tremendous amount of food, your snacks meed not be more than two or three bites and your meals, although substantial, are not as large as they used to be. Initially I lost 15 pounds and today, at 74, my weight fluctuates very little. Dorothy, at 77, stays at about 130 pounds. A long time member, who finally gave up wheat, reported losing 50 pounds. One under-weight, who said she drank milkshakes and ate mashed potatoes for years trying to gain weight, finally gained about 20 pounds on the HAI diet. Another underweight, who ate tremendous amounts of sweets for many years, has not been able to do likewise, but at that time in 1988, was able to maintain a house by herself, drive short distances for groceries, etc. and to keep in touch with us by phone.

Why Eliminate Grains? Richard Kunin, M.D., an orthomolecular physician in San Francisco, explains it in an article by Martin Zucker, Let's Live magazine (Feb. '83) entitled "What's Gumming Up Your Works". Dr. Kunin explains, "Grains are really Johnny-come-latelys on the nutritional scene. Meats, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetables have a considerably longer historical alliance with the human gut. Almost as if to make up for lost time, grain has deluged man's diet and this excess increasingly appears to have something to do with common major and minor ailments. We have become a nation of gluten gluttons. He adds that when you eat six slices of bread a day, plus pasta, plus a breakfast cereal, it becomes frightfully overwhelming for the poor gut. Also people gulp down breakfasts of cereal. If you eat grains, chew thoroughly and mix with plenty of saliva. Get them into your body properly.

To gradually eliminate grains cook from scratch some whole grains. Eat less than usual for breakfast and divide the rest between lunch and dinner in place of the bread that you would usually eat at that meal. Gradually reduce this amount at all meals. Substitute vegetables if you are hungry. If you still need roughage try sesame seeds if they don't irritate your bowel. Use mechanically hulled, not chemically hulled. Fresh pineapple, leafy greens, the outer stalks of celery are good fiber. Ask you doctor if you can use psyllium seeds or flax meal.

An Adequate Breakfast: In HAI Bul #95 (Jul/Aug '77), James Hill, M.D. stated, when he spoke to the Houston Hypoglycemia Society (disbanded), "Within one hour after you get up in the morning, after your longest period of sleep, certain hormones are at their lowest ebb for any 24 hour period. If you do not eat an adequate breakfast within that first hour after you get up, you will not build those hormones for that day. Certain other hormones are at their highest. If you do not eat an adequate breakfast, they begin to fall off, and within three hours of arising, they will have fallen off to practically nothing and then you have a worthless washed-out day. What you put in by way of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and your body utilizes them--breaks them down and puts them into your biological mechanism--determines whether you will build those hormones during the day." Dr. Hill passed away several years ago. We miss him.

Listening to Your Body: An important tool in managing your diet is your own thoughtful observation. The term "listening to your body" takes on new meaning as unwanted substances are cleared from your system. You'll get clearer messages from your body and as you gain experience you'll be better able to interpret them. Use your body signals to help you adapt to a new way of feeding yourself.

When certain dietary recommendations are made to the general public, we need to REMEMBER THAT WE ARE _NOT_THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

Marge Smith
Jean Eaton, and Dorothy Schultz, Contributors

The Hypoglycemia Association Thanks Marge for Teaching Us to be Jugglers, Magicians, and Diplomats

1. We juggle our foods to aid our bodies in recovering from the overstimulation of past dietary indiscretions.
2. We use slight of hand to divert others' attention away from our diet.
3. We diplomatically calm the host/hostess who is upset that we cannot enjoy their special dessert.

Case History: E.M. related her struggle to find the right diet in Bul#195. She listened to many warnings about the use of salt and fat and was afraid to use them. She also listened to reports that starches were good and meat was bad. In 1994 she sent for the HAI Basic Packet, followed THE DIET, but was still scared to increase salt. After reading John W. Tintera, M.D.'s theory on salt she increased the salt and began feeling better and better. Dr. Tintera believed that a person with edema, which she had, and who had been avoiding salt and then tries some, may develop even more edema temporarily. This indicates that the body is trying to hold onto the salt which it needs for bodily function, and so Vitamin B6 and even more salt may be needed. The body will then use what it needs and will excrete the rest by way of the kidneys, which will aid in decreasing the edema. At first there may be an increase in swelling for several days up to a week before the tissues release the fluid. (HAI Bul 45, 96, and 152 explain, but urge caution for those with kidney problems).

Giving up wheat, she began to see some improvement but she was still bloating. She was still drinking coffee with sugar and iced tea with lots of sugar. Keeping a jar of jelly beans on her desk, she thought they were the only things that brought her joy. Thinking the fat would make her fat she started to increase the fat in her diet, but her weight stabilized. She also learned not to go past her regular meal time as it would make her ravenous yet the food didn't make her feel better. It would take her two or three days to get back to feeling good again.

She is now married and her husband is very supportive of her diet and reminds her to eat on time. He knows, "THE LOOK", she says. Traveling quite a bit in her business she has a kit she always takes with her with some protein powder or tablets, some water, and a few slices of apple. She recalls all she had been through for years and remarked, "Help was just around the corner."

One of our long time members, a college professor wrote to us last year and said, "I often wish I had more time to devote to this extremely important business. I have been incredibly busy at work these last few years. This year I supervised the acquisition of a million dollars worth of computers, etc., for our new building, an chair of the university technology council, director of technical writing and an interdisciplinary core program, and I am preparing to conduct a three day workshop for the USGS--all of this in addition to my regular job of teaching four classes a semester. But, I couldn't be doing any of this if I hadn't been able to learn how to control my hypoglycemia years ago." He reports dragging several unconscious students into his office and finding out that they had had caffeine and sweets to eat.