My Photo Food Journal & Thoughts on Insulin Resistance

Hiya! How’s your week going? Mine started off busy and has stayed that way. It helps that I’m back to my full energy and then some; my sleep habits have changed a bit to where I’m going to bed fairly early (9 p.m.) but waking up at 4 a.m. ready to start my day. My doctor warned me that I could become hyperthyroid since we increased my medication and I think this decreased sleep requirement might be an indicator of that. Or, maybe it is just the new normal? I don’t have any other bothersome symptoms so I just have to wait for my blood test in a few weeks and see what the numbers say.

Anywho, without further ado, the randomly-selected winner of the Vega giveaway was Dana W. who said:

“Hi Carrie,

I did it! I signed up to get emails from the program. I randomly stumbled across your website while I was searching for vegetable based salad dressings a few weeks ago and I love reading everything on your site and on facebook! I recently started a plant based diet and I am glad that I found you.

I was thinking of ordering Shakeology until I saw this post. Please pick me so I can try Vega One products!!! <3″

Thank you to everyone who entered and I’m sorry I can’t send each of you this awesome prize, but I’ll keep the giveaways coming for special, “Carrie-approved” products. πŸ™‚

Since today is Wednesday, I’m bringing you my photo food journal of everything I ate yesterday. I actually started the process on Monday evening when I chopped up a large Gala apple and put it in a microwavable bowl with some soy milk, cinnamon, ground chia seeds, chopped walnuts and about a half a scoop of the Vega One:

Getting breakfast ready for the next morning.

Then, yesterday morning, I took the bowl from the fridge, popped it the microwave for one minute and then topped it with some fresh blueberries, buckwheat groats and an extra splash of soy milk:

No-Cook Apple Oatmeal with fresh blueberries.

For users of my app for iPhones and iPads, Vegan Delish, a very similar recipe is available there as No-Cook Apple Oatmeal. I don’t normally use a protein powder, but I wanted to try the Vega One.

Why no green smoothie yesterday? That brings me to a side note. I said in my post on Monday that I was going to write about the fruit and greens I use in my smoothies, but I’ve decided that before I do that, I need to work with my formula a little bit. My concern recently is that I’ve started using too many fruits that are high in sugar (i.e. mango and pineapple) and that my smoothies are now so sweet that they are causing my blood sugar to go up too much.

One way I’ve noticed that my blood sugar is off after drinking my current formulation of green smoothie is that I finish hungrier than when I began and then I crave something else to eat. I’ve had a great e-mail exchange with a blog reader recently who also has PCOS which prompted me to do some more research into insulin resistance which is very likely a cause or result of this condition. I’ve also been working on a review of Dr. Fuhrman’s new book, The End of Diabetes, which is all about managing blood sugar:

Dr. Fuhrman's new book on diabetes.

I’ll let you know what I come up with in regards to a new recipe for a green smoothie. I don’t want to give them up completely because they are such an awesome way to increase my intake of greens, but I just need to do some tweaking.

I went hiking and then had some errands to run yesterday morning so I had lunch at a local health food cafe while I was out. I chose the raw salad with shredded vegetables and avocado and then shared a raw nori wrap with Alan that had a sunflower seed pate and a tahini dressing:

Lunch at health food cafe.

It was less food than I normally eat at lunchtime and I had some mango when I got home shortly after:

Mango dessert.

I also tried a mug of this coffee alternative I picked up at the health food store, Dandy Blend:

Dandy Blend.

I can’t drink it straight, though, I had to add a tablespoon of coconut crystals and a dash of soy milk:

Dandy Blend with soy milk and coconut crystals.

For dinner, I made some bean burgers based on this recipe from Dr. Fuhrman with pinto beans, mushrooms, onion, ketchup and nutritional yeast. I served the burgers with steamed greens and Saffron “Cheese” Sauce and grilled onions:


Sorry, that picture is not very appetizing, but it was a good dinner. I had some kiwis and applesauce topped with some homemade almond milk for dessert (unpictured).

By the way, someone asked me a question about hulled vs. unhulled hemp seeds and I had to do a little research to figure what was what. I did not know this, but hemp seeds have an edible shell. Most hemp seeds you buy including the ones I use are hulled (they are also called hemp hearts) meaning that the shell has been removed. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t missing any important nutrition by using the hulled version and it appears that the main nutrient that is lost by shelling is fiber. Considering my diet, I am not worried about missing anymore fiber!!! πŸ™‚

That wraps up my post for today. I’ll be back here on Friday for another round of Healthy Vegan Fridays. In the meantime, please follow me on Facebook here…I am nearing 2,000 likes and I’m currently lining up some cool prizes when I reach that goal (everyone who follows me there will be entered).

Have a great day!


  1. says

    I had to split screen this so I could refer back and forth to comment on several things πŸ™‚ teehee!

    First…I’m so happy you are feeling good and your energy is HIGH πŸ™‚ That’s great news!
    Congrats to the Vega winner! That’s awesome! I have yet to try their products…one of these days, hopefully!

    I see your Gala Apple! Woot! I just snacked on an organic Gala myself! It was FAB πŸ™‚

    Those Blueberries look awesome! I WANT!!! I was going to have Blackberries on my Granola this morning but when I open them up there was a funky FUZZY one as well as a lil worm…eeeeeek!

    The Furhman books I have read – I do like/enjoy!
    I’ve seen that Dandy Blend at my local Herb store but haven’t tried it yet.
    I DO have some Coconut Crystals in my pantry! Hummm…might have to get it πŸ™‚

    Also might have to try that ‘cheese sauce’ Looks good!

    Good luck on the 2,000 – looking forward to the contests – speaking of which – did you see that Brad’s Raw Kale Chips have an Instagram Contest going on right now??? I have it on my profile πŸ™‚

  2. says

    Hmm, sleeping from 9pm to 4am doesn’t seem too bad…actually I would LOVE that, compared to my 10pm to 10am! πŸ™ Interested to hear what your blood tests say (IF you choose to talk about them, of course).

    That breakfast sounds yummy! The only thing – and I hope it’s ok to say this, I don’t want to come off sounding critical – is that I might wait to add the Vega until after you microwave it. Now, I’m not an anti-microwave Nazi, at ALL, but since so many of the ingredients in Vega’s products are raw/sprouted, it’s something I’d hesitate to expose to microwaves.

    I ordered Dr. F’s new book right after it came out, but I’m ashamed to say I haven’t had time to read it yet. I need to get on top of that! Since I have PCOS issues too, I’m open to learning anything new about insulin resistance (even in those of us with great diets).

    • says

      Hi Amber! Oh my gosh, you aren’t kidding, I feel so much better being slightly hyper than being any amount of hypothyroid. That is the WORST!!! I feel for you with the sleep thing, I went for many many years needing 9+ hours of sleep AND a mid-afternoon nap. It’s a good thing I have a lot of work to do, otherwise I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at 4 a.m. these days. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the suggestion about not microwaving the Vega, that is brilliant and not at all critical. You’re so smart, lady, I appreciate any input from you.


      • Jill in Chicago says

        I was going to ask what you do with yourself at 4:00 am, and here you answered it yourself! I’ve heard that Plant-Based eaters often find themselves needing less sleep, fingers crossed that it kicks in for me some day!

  3. Shari says

    I sometimes have the same experience with green smoothies and being hungry very soon thereafter. I too have PCOS. I’m very interested to hear your review of Dr. Fuhrman’s new book. When I have a breakfast high in starch, such as oats, I stay full for hours. Dr. McDougall would say the starch provides higher satiety value than the smoothies are, I believe. Thanks for your inspirational blog!

    • says

      Thanks for the awesome input, Shari! I really appreciate the note on the difference in satiety between oats and smoothies. I think the type of fruit I’m using has a big impact, but there is no doubt that chewing something like oats or whole fruit vs. drinking something blended is worth considering. I’ll let you know how I fare. πŸ™‚

  4. says

    I really enjoy your blog. I adore Dr. Fuhrman too. As much as I follow his teaching, coffee is still in my diet, two or three cups of organic (trying to justify) a day. I gave it up years ago during pregnancy, but could not wait to have it after that. I just love it. I tried many coffee alternative, but never the Dandy, how was it?

    • says

      Hi Maria, thanks for the note. I should say that I’ve never been a coffee drinking, but I love the flavor and richness of the Dandy Blend. My husband likes coffee and doesn’t think it’s a fair trade, but I think if you are really motivated to give up coffee, it would be a great option. πŸ™‚

  5. says

    Thanks for the info concerning hemp seeds! People ask me questions all the time about the “seed family” & their rise in popularity lately. I have a huge bag of hemp hearts from Costco that I like to mix with Chia seeds. Chia seeds are just so darn expensive that I like to ration them out longer. πŸ™‚

  6. says

    Ooh, will try that Dandy Blend when I am back visiting the US in a month or so. I’ve been completely hooked on roasted dandelion coffee and also chicory coffee for a year and I LOVE it! It is amazing that the Dandy Blend is GF even though it has rye in it.

    Looking forward to your book review for dr. furman.

  7. says

    Hi Carrie – Still love your blog and still read it faithfully. (It’s been a while since I left a comment.) Anyway, I’m just curious about your thoughts on nutritional yeast. I see that you used it with your bean burgers. I have read that it has an MSG-like effect on the body (and is naturally-occurring MSG). Is this something you have heard? And if so, can you tell me why you are comfortable using it? I’m seeing that many healthy vegans DO use it, and many other healthy vegans don’t, and I’m seeking information and truths about nutritional yeast. Thanks, Carrie!

    • says

      Hi Angela! Thanks for the note. I’ve never heard of the connection between nutritional yeast and MSG, but I did note that at the Dr. Fuhrman Immersion in November, he said using 1-2 tablespoons of nooch was the suggested serving size (vs. the much greater amounts that many vegans use). I think his main concern is that people are using versions that have folic acid in them and that’s why he cautioned on not over-using it.

  8. says

    My Dandy Blend bag is still unopened in the cupboard. I keep meaning to try it…

    Never tried Vega. Love my Sun Warrior, and it’s less expensive than Vega, but if I ever find a good deal on it, I’ll certainly try it πŸ™‚

    Maybe I should check out that book. I have weird blood sugar issues. But, I have found adding fat to my morning smoothies helps me stay fuller longer. Protein powder, too. And mine are all fruit based (no greens – just doesn’t do it for me). 32 oz smoothie usually lasts me 2-4 hours. That’s 400-500+ calories, depending upon the fruits and other add-ins (almond milk, fruit, chia seeds, Sun Warrior, and sometimes carob or coconut oil or almond butter). I think that’s really good for the calories πŸ™‚

    9p-4a is 7 hours of sleep. Sounds good to me! During the week, I’d be ecstatic to get 7 hours of sleep. On the weekend, it’s hibernation time in our house. Our neighbors probably wonder what our deal is – ha.

  9. SueC says

    Hi Carrie,
    Another great post. Thanks for looking into hulled versus unhulled hemp seeds. I was curious to see what you would find out because I purchased a pretty sizable bag of the unhulled ones and was hoping you wouldn’t report back they had less nutritional value.

  10. Robyn :) says

    I have been looking for that Daisy Blend. I have Roma and Cafix is good, too, but I think the Daisy Blend is more natural.

  11. Suzanne says

    Hi Carrie,

    This was a really interesting post, coming as it did after reading a comment elsewhere that warned against vegan diets because, over time, they tend to cause blood sugar problems,. The person said that vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and beans overload the body with carbs, even if the diet contains no flour.

    I have never heard of a long-term vegan with blood sugar issues, and wondered if you would be willing to comment.


    • says

      Hi Suzanne! Thanks for the question. I haven’t heard that about vegan diets and blood sugar problems. I just finished reading Dr. Fuhrman’s new book on diabetes where he prevents evidence that a plant-based diet is ideal for managing blood sugar and preventing the other diseases that people who have diabetes are more prone to having. I think my blood sugar issues stem from my PCOS and it’s just a matter of me selecting lower sugar-fruits and meals to manage it. Does this answer your question?

      • Suzanne says

        Thanks, Carrie, that is reassuring and helpful. I have a lot of family members in my parents’ generation with diabetes, and I really want to avoid it. So when this person (who knows a fair bit about nutrition) said that there was some danger of raising one’s blood sugar with a vegan diet, it kind of scared me. Thanks, and please know how much I appreciate your blog!

  12. says

    Hey Carrie!

    Just found your blog. You have a very inspiring story! Glad your doing well!

    Just wanted to say, “hi” and keep up the good work! There are so many people (and animals) suffering from the Standard American Diet that we need more healthy evangelists.

    Carrie on! πŸ™‚


  13. says

    I have a feeling you are slightly hyper. I prefer being hyper myself, but it apparently wreaks havoc on other things in your body (like giving you heart palpitations that you may not notice among other things – silly thyroid).
    Your day of eats look awesome as always. I’m going to have to check out the no-cook oatmeal on Vegan Delish.
    I don’t know a lot about PCOS (other than my recent visit to the specialist resulted in them thinking I may have it, but they aren’t too concerned yet), but I feel like you don’t eat very many sweet things to warrant being careful about your smoothies. But, trying to have less sweet things in them is never a bad thing =)

    • says

      Thanks, Kimmy! Yeah, I am starting to get very curious where my TSH level is, I have two more weeks before doing my labs. I am certainly much happier and peppier than I was a few weeks ago…that was really awful. I know for sure I was hyperthyroid just after my surgery because my hands were shaky and I was irritable; so far I haven’t had those symptoms. That’s interesting that you might have PCOS, I have seen it connected with thyroid issues in the literature. Now we have one more thing to talk about when we get together. πŸ™‚

  14. Ali says

    I LOVE your blog! Saw your inspiring story on Dr. Fuhrman’s blog and had to read your blog. Thanks for all the great recipes and posts!


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