Living: Snacking for Energy

Roasted Butternut Squash. You can mix with rice, eat it by itself or puree’ it into a soup.

I have hypoglycemia. I was diagnosed two years ago after having a very dangerous event happen to me. I had been eating chocolate with my team all day at work while we were working on a very tedious and stressful project. I came home and started to walk my dog. After I got a few blocks away, I started to get very disoriented. I couldn’t recognize the street names, and I didn’t know where I was. I started to walk in circles around the same blocks. Finally, I realized what I was doing, and I just decided to walk in one direction and hope that I was walking toward home. I was. But, it scared me so bad that I made an appointment with my doctor. What if I had been driving?

He really didn’t think anything could be wrong with me because I’m an athlete. He said I probably was just burning so many calories so fast that my blood sugar dropped. But, he ran a 3 hour glucose tolerance test to be sure. When I called to get the results, they just told me to come in to see the doctor. When I got there, he told me that he wanted to see me to make sure I didn’t have a new boyfriend who was shooting me up with insulin in my toe or something. He had never seen such a severe case of hypoglycemia, and he was very concerned.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

The only thing I can really do about it is to make sure my blood sugar levels stay pretty consistent. So, that means avoiding anything that creates blood sugar spikes like processed sugar and heavy meals, and I have to eat enough protein. I have to eat every 2-3 hours in order to keep my blood sugar stable. In addition, my acupuncturist wants me to avoid wheat, dairy (except yogurt) and processed sugars. I don’t do it all the time, but I feel bad when I don’t.

My friend Lisa has hemochromatosis. Her body stockpiles iron, and she had to get her blood checked frequently because it’s very dangerous to have too much iron.  She also had acid reflux and was having difficulty sleeping. She started acupuncture, and our acupuncturist recommended she give up the same things I avoid. Lisa took it a step further and is also following the diet recommended for her blood type. Now, her iron levels are normal, she no longer has acid reflux and she sleeps like a baby. She lost 18 pounds in 2 months and doesn’t restrict her eating other than eating the recommended foods.

Diet plays a really important role in how we feel. When I gave up the wheat, dairy, processed sugars and limited my caffeine to one cup a day, I felt amazing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as diligent as my friend Lisa, so I haven’t seen long term results, but I am going to get there. We are enjoying sharing recipes and ideas for foods that fit within our guidelines. I thought I’d share some with you. If you want to eat healthier, you could just eat these sort of things to feel better and have consistent energy levels through the day. Every little bit helps.


1/2 c oatmeal
1/2 c sweet potatoes, baked
1 small apple, chopped and microwaved for 5 minutes
dash cinnamon
3 oz. greeek yogurt
Agave Nectar for sweetener if needed
Roasted veggies (see below) with a fried egg over the top sprinkled with dairy free cheese or pumpkin seeds.
Black beans and rice with an egg over it.
Greek Yogurt (very high in protein) with sliced fresh fruit and walnuts
Dark chocolate peanut butter with strawberries and raspberries (This is my friend Keri’s solution to chocolate cravings.)
Pitted Dates stuffed with almonds or cashews
You may think I’m crazy, but I eat sweet potatoes all the time. I cook up a half a dozen large ones and snack on them all day long. I never get tired of their creamy sweetness.
1 c baked sweet potato
1 T peanut butter
Mix together and heat.
1 c baked sweet potato
1/4 c ricotta cheese
1 T pumpkin seeds
1/2 banana, chopped
Dash cinnamon
Mix together and heat.
1 c baked sweet potato
2 oz almonds
Top heated sweet potatoes with almonds
My friend Lisa’s recommendations for snacks:’
365 Brand Soy Crisps, Sea Salt Flavor
Willamette Valley Granola Chips
Lunch and Dinner Ideas
Roasted Veggies:
I buy lots of vegetables – whatever is in season and looks good. Examples are:
  • Beets
  • Butternut Squash or any winter squash
  • Rutabagas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
Peel and chop any combination of them in 1″ chunks. Toss in olive oil. Sprinkle with desired salt and pepper or any other seasoning. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Watch the leafier ones so they don’t burn.
They are delicious with an egg over them for breakfast, tossed with rice or pasta for lunch or dinner or as a snack. I make a HUGE batch and just add some protein and I’ve got a meal. Love it!!
You can puree any mix or individual roasted vegetable with some sauteed onion, a cooked apple and broth (any kind) to make a great soup. The apple adds some sweetness.
Lisa’s Soup Ideas:
I keep some homemade soup on hand at all times.  Butternut Squash, Vegetable, Miso for example.  Make a big pot and put half in the fridge for eating throughout the week.  And half in the freezer for future use.  I’ll have a bowl of soup and a pop two slices of gluten free bread (love UDI’s) with Daiya cheese on it in the oven broiler and have soup and grilled cheese. 
Make your own pizza:
Use Udi’s brand thin pizza crust. 
Use basil pesto as the base sauce, add favorite toppings.  (I like mushrooms and crumbled turkey sausage.)  Use Daiya dairy free mozzarella cheese and a little goat/feta cheese sprinkles.  Top with garlic and Italian seasoning, pop in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 7 minutes and VOILA!… incredibly delicious pizza.  What is cool is they are individual sizes so every member of the family can personalize their pizza and have a customized delicious meal in 15 minutes!  A working mother’s favorite for sure!!!
Salmon and Rice – Quick Dinner in 25 minutes
Fresh salmon filets rubbed in olive oil and favorite seasonings, pop in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

While salmon is in oven, make basmati rice using vegetable or chicken stock as the water.  Both will come out at around the same time.  Add some fresh fruit.


9 thoughts on “Living: Snacking for Energy

  1. Thanks so much for the great snacking ideas. I love roasted vegies–and especially butternut. I have a basic recipe which is similar to yours.
    After feeling yucky for years (but still pushing myself to the limits), I was diagnosed with kidney disease. I’ve always had a good diet, but now it’s even better. I will definitely try your snack ideas. They’re all unique, and they look delicious.

  2. I have an appointment next week with Accupuncturist who also specializes in Chinese herbal therapy also. My goal is weight loss, specifically where my body fat is stored (round belly). What are your thoughts?

    • I think that’s a great course of action. Ask her to help you with cravings. There is a point my acupuncturist does on me that kills my ravenous hunger. And Marlene does herbs and acupuncture. It’s a great combo. Let me know what happens.

  3. Sharon, thanks for the tips. I’m a friend of Karen Smith and signed up when she was posting but I’ve been following since. My husband does a lot of our cooking and we have very different styles but since he’s a great cook I usually eat what he fixes. Your suggestions today give me an opportunity to have some things on hand that are easy to get to and don’t require prep after the fact. A wonderful idea for snack food instead of dried fruit or chocolate bon-bons.

    I’ve enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for reading! I know….chocolate Bonbons are great, but I’d feel like a bonbon if I eat them all the time. Right now, I’m struggling with the Christmas cookies two cubicles away!

      • I know the feeling. The holidays are my nemesis. I was putting on 5 lbs a year after my husband and I married and I’ve gotten about 15 lbs of it off and am still trying not to put it back on during the holidays. I love to eat, though. Gave up everything else it seems like. I feel much better when I eat right.

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