Tuesday, July 5

Hunger Pains

Two weeks ago Michael and I took the kids to Cape Cod to join some friends for the weekend. We frolicked in the waves, (well at least the kids did, and only up to their ankles, the water was a chilly 68 degrees), biked along the trails of the national seashore, walked the streets of Provincetown, Massachusetts, played games and chatted nonstop for 72 hours, catching up with our friends whom we hadn’t seen in two years.

Our time together was far too short and reluctantly we got up Monday morning and prepared to leave. We grabbed a quick breakfast of bagels and cream cheese in order to get all eight children, four adults and one dog packed up and out the door by check-out time, 9:00 a.m.

With hugs and promises to get together again soon, we hit the road, only 10 minutes late.

Traveling down I-195 my stomach started rumbling about 10:30 a.m. By 11 o'clock I was starving. And I’m not talking just a little bit hungry. It was the kind of hunger that makes me crave a Chick-fil-A sandwich, large waffle fry and extra-large sweet tea. And, standing at the counter with the beautiful pictures of their hand-spun milkshakes glaring at me, I'll order one of those too.

I was having a food crisis.

Thankfully, Chick-fil-A doesn't grow that far north. I guess Yankees aren't big fans of fried chicken sandwiches.

Momentarily saved from my bad food cravings, I began Googling restaurant options on my iPhone plotting exactly where we should eat.

What is wrong with me? I wondered. I’m rarely this famished. Crap, I thought, am I pregnant? (No.) Is it that I'm in such peak physical condition that I burn calories like Michael Phelps? (Uh, no.) Am I just a pig? (Maybe, but not this time.) Then I remembered, I had a bagel for breakfast, that’s what did it. I had unknowingly jumped on the high Glycemic Index (GI) hunger spiral and this was the result.

High GI Foods Hunger Cycle

The glycemic index measures how fast and how much a food raises your blood sugar levels. High GI foods (like bagels, chips, cookies, candy etc.) spike your blood sugar rapidly which leads to the inevitable blood sugar crash. This fluctuation causes increased hunger and cravings for more high GI foods. A vicious cycle of overeating has begun.

Yup. There I was, half-way through the cycle, getting ready to round the bend and pound down some more bad food.

One thing I've learned on this journey toward health and wellness is to listen to my body. Recognizing what was going on, I knew I needed some protein and vegetables to stabilize my blood sugar and get back on track. (If I'd had some nuts in the car that would have been a great snack option, but I didn't.) 

We stopped at the Brick Alley Pub in Newport, Rhode Island. A fabulous little place where I got a bowl of turkey, mushroom and spinach soup plus half a vegetarian panini. Yummy!

My hunger satiated, I was fueled up and ready to explore the mansions of Newport, our activity for the day. (They were extraordinary, by the way. What displays of wealth and extravagance.)

The experience reminded me about the importance of a decent breakfast. As I gear up for more travel at the end of this month, I realize I need to prepare better. I need quick, portable, low GI breakfast options (yogurt, fruit and oatmeal) plus healthy snacks for the car (protein bars and nuts). 

Next time, I'll be prepared. And if not, we'll be traveling to Texas. I think they have Chick-fil-A there.

For more information about the glycemic index see these sites.



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