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Good foods for emergency snacks

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Calathea, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    You know, the moments when you realise that you need to eat something Right Now. This may be when you're out, or when you're at home and up to a bit of food prep, or when you're at home and not up to food prep at all.

    My own requirements: vegan, something that packs down small as I carry a really tiny bag, minimal sugar. I carry a tube of Nuun tablets in my bag, so that takes care of electrolytes, and I can't remember the last time I got stranded somewhere without access to a glass of water to put a Nuun tablet in.

    Most energy bars are loaded with sugar and much higher in calories than I want for a snack. I tried the Meridian peanut bars and really liked them, those are about half peanuts and half sugars coming from fruit syrup, but while they gave me a good boost if I was out and light-headed, I'd get increased pain from the sugar later. I've also used Sesame Snaps, which are half sesame seeds and half glucose, so there's too much sugar for me there as well. If you're OK with that amount of sugar, both of those are noble things.

    I've bought some little resealable bags and filled a few with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of salt. They seem to weigh about 25g. If I make this snack at home and can be bothered, I toast them in a non-stick pan for added nomminess. I might throw in a few raisins once this pain flare has subsided, as I suspect that a small amount of sugar may help when you need emergency energy. Just not as much sugar as a Meridian bar (11g sugar), that seems to be over my limit.

    What do other people use? I'm also contemplating almonds and a small bit of dark chocolate (say 4g, 70% cocoa), though I don't know whether the chocolate will get nasty in the bag if it's left for more than a short time. It's a common snack for me at home, they seem to balance well and are very tasty.

    Right now, this is generally needed for when I go to acupuncture, because that lowers my blood pressure to the point where I come out with blurry vision for a while. I had the same problem when I was going out for a massage or trigger point therapy treatment. I will probably be giving up on the acupuncture, I don't think it's really helping, but it's handy to have snacks prepared. Hopefully I will get through this bad patch and be up to trips out to the pub and so forth soon! The snacks in the hall end up being given to other people quite often, especially my support workers, who are generally working long hours with little time for lunch.

    For snacks at home when I want something more substantial and have the energy for a bit of cooking, I am getting very into popcorn! Savoury, of course. One version is with salt, smoked paprika and nutritional yeast, and anoother is with salt, black pepper, cumin seeds and nutritional yeast.

    I reckon protein is one of the crucial things here, what do other people think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  2. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    I've been making some vegan muffins and cookies from recipes l found on the internet sugar and gluten free as well and the are delicious! I use ground flax seeds instead of eggs and one was with oats and another with sprouted buckwheat which is also good mixed with home made sugar free chocolate.

    I use coconut nectar or sugar and zylitol for sweetening. I make chocolate lollies from dates for the freezer and try to keep some snack in to stop me breaking my diet. Chia seeds soaked in water are very good for keeping hunger at bay. You could take protein powder out with you l guess and mix it with water.
     
    Effi likes this.
  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I love organic popcorn with sea salt, nutritional yeast and coconut oil/ghee combo. I have this in the evenings and it puts me right to sleep.

    I don't know how well you are but if you're able you can make easy raw energy bars yourself. You need a food processor though.

    I eat raw sunflower seeds when my blood sugar feels like it dropping. Almond butter is nice with a banana, easy and hits the spot.
     
    rosie26, mango and Effi like this.
  4. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    I hadn't tried coconut oil for popcorn, that sounds intriguing. I tend to find it burns easily, which I'm fairly sure it's not meant to, but I'll give it a try, now I've learned the right way to cook popcorn.

    Other suggestions - thanks, folks, but I really cannot have sugar right now, and you've listed loads of sugary stuff! It all sounds very tasty, mind. I'm experimenting with xylitol a bit when I make biscuits/cookies for the board games group, but it seems to make me gassy. So I'm making popcorn for board games at the moment.

    A couple of other things I remembered which I snack on at home: oat cakes with peanut butter, a small piece of chocolate (the amount of sugar you get in 3g of dark chocolate is minimal) spread thickly with peanut butter. I should use almond butter more often, it's tasty stuff, although it always separates into oil and a really hard part that's difficult to stir into it.

    I've got some protein powder in the cupboard, it tastes weird and I've never been able to figure out what to do with it. I did try making vegetable smoothies a while ago, but guess what, they're too high in sugar and I got weeks of horrendous pain, so smoothies don't seem to be an option for me.
     
  5. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Annie Gsampel

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    @Calathea I just spotted that you are vegan. There are eggs in the recipes that I provided but there shouldn't be any problem replacing them with your egg substitute of choice.
     
  6. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Sorry, I thought I clarified this above. I cannot tolerate sugar right now. The only reason I'm getting away with tiny amounts of dark chocolate is because I'm getting less than 1g per day of sugar from them, and to be honest I probably need to give chocolate a break to be on the safe side. If I end up adding a few raisins to that seed mix, it'll be a) once this pain flare is over, and b) something like three raisins per serving. I've just had a pain flare due to having a few Strepsils, for heaven's sake. It doesn't matter whether the sugar is from orange juice, dates, agave syrup or a sugar cane. It's sugar. I can't eat fruit right now, I'm not eating things like beetroot, and I probably need to limit carrots. It's not about whether it's "natural", it's simply about whether it's sugar. I'm sure that cake is lovely for people who are gluten-free, not vegan, able to tolerate a fairly high amount of sugar, and well enough to be baking a cake, but none of those things apply to me.

    Any suggestions for savoury snacks that are vegan and do not take longer than a minute to prepare?
     
  7. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @Calathea celery sticks with peanut butter is a classic that comes to mind that is low on the glycemic index. (but you'd have to clean the celery a bit, prob. longer than a minute?) Humus is a filling snack that can be prepared in advance and keeps in the fridge for a few days (covering it with a thin layer of oil makes it keep longer). If you can't tolerate legumes there's a lot of nut-based humus recipes online. I also eat olives as a savory snack sometimes.
     
  8. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Annie Gsampel

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    Nope, not really. In your OP, you keep referring to foods you eat that contain a small amount of sugar because you can't tolerate things that are loaded with sugar. No wonder people are confused.

    Avocado, whole and eaten with a teaspoon, or mashed.

    Taking Effi's olive suggestion a step further, green or black olive tapenade are both great spreads.

    If you can tolerate yeast and don't mind processed foods, tartex is quite good.
     
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    If you can't eat sugar (I have problems with it too) you may like these crispbreads which I have been eating for a while - Le Pain des Fleurs Chestnut Crispbread. Obviously you can then spread all kinds of things on it, or even make it into a sandwich, though it does tend to go a bit soft then, but still tastes delicious. They are very light, and the chestnut makes them naturally sweet. The only other ingredients are rice flour and sea salt.

    They have them in my local health shop, but they can be bought online.
     
  10. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Kale chips or dried sugar snap peas, but they are expensive unless you do homemade :(

    Some other vegetable chips might work. Some brands aren't very expensive. A lot of them are root vegetables which are starchy, however. (Taro, sweet potato, etc.) I don't know the sugar content.
     
    Calathea likes this.
  11. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Oven roasted chickpeas with some olive oil and all the spices you like are nice. You can buy them in a can. I like crispy stuff.
     
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  12. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    I didn't realise I'd been misleading, but that's what happens when we all have ME brain, I suppose. Just in case anyone else is confused about this, I am not on a gluten free diet! I love my bread machine dearly and have a lovely loaf of sourdough in the other room! I seem to be fine with complex carbs, it's just sugar that sets off the pain flare, and it's really obvious when it happens.

    I did, however, completely forget to mention that I can't handle huge amounts of oil at once, or something that is pretty much just oil. Low to moderate fat content is fine. In terms of processed foods, high histamine isn't great either, though that one seems to fluctuate.

    I'd totally forgotten about crisps (potato chips to Americans). I should get some in stock. One friend has brought a bag of root vegetable crisps to board games a couple of times, they always get wolfed down with great enjoyment. The last time I tried making kale chips, they just burned.

    Roasted chick peas sound tasty, nutritious and interesting, how long do they keep for? I've a feeling I've seen ready-made ones that are full of various additives I probably don't want. I'm 4'11 and one of the people who tends to put on too much weight, which is why I said I wanted small quantities with my snacks. You can get half-sized tins of chick peas, though, and I bet my partner would love this.

    The thing I was muddle-headedly not-quite-asking is this: when you're in need of an emergency snack because you are getting lightheaded and in danger of passing out, is sugar something you need in it for some reason? (I'm not diabetic.) Is there an actual benefit to putting a few raisins in those bags of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds? What sort of things are useful to your body in this situation? Electrolyte drinks certainly make a difference, for instance. Do you need a certain minimum amount of protein, carbohydrate and/or fat?
     
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  13. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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  14. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Annie Gsampel

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    As far as your body is concerned, there's no such thing as just 'sugar' but rather lots of different compounds that are digested in different ways. AFAIK glucose and possibly some other simple sugars can be absorbed while still in the stomach while complex sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars in the small intestine, where they are absorbed.

    If you are feeling lightheaded due to low glucose (which a glucose monitor should reveal) then it makes sense to eat some of that because it will get into your blood quickly. I'd be surprised if glucose would cause you any pain because there is almost no digestion involved in glucose absorption. Dried fruit does contain glucose but also a lot of other different sugars that could be problematic for you.

    How quickly after eating sugar do you feel pain? It may provide a clue to which sugar or sugars are causing the problem and why. Some people lack the enzymes required to digest certain sugars but I think this is an inherited characterisic. I don't know if it's something you can acquire. And, of course, sugars can cause dysbiosis.
     
  15. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    It's not digestive pain, it's pelvic, and it's a few hours later. Sugar's a known trigger for pelvic pain.
     
  16. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Annie Gsampel

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    So, if starch isn't causing a problem, then you know that the sugar or sugars responsible are not those produced when starch is digested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  17. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Go on?
     
  18. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    If your blood sugar is dropping due to reactive hypoglycemia (not sure if it's the reason in your case) then taking sugar is not a good idea. It enters the body rapidly, causing a blood sugar spike, then the body releases insulin to lower the blood sugar. The problem with reactive hypoglycemia is that the body overreacts, produces too much insulin, and can push the blood sugar too low, which produces associated symptoms again. Taking sugar results in a roller-coaster graph of blood sugar values.

    Foods that are high in protein, some fat, with some complex carbs should digest slowly and lead to a gradual increase in blood sugar. Whole grain sourdough bread with ghee is a staple for me. Nuts are good (many kinds available for variety.) A small handful of nuts only keep my blood sugar up for about an hour, but if I add a few to some mixed vegetables then I can last longer. Vegan yogurt might be an option when at home. Food that digests slowly is usually a good bet.

    Chocolate may not be a good idea if your blood sugar problems are related to poorly functioning adrenal glands or pancreas since chocolate can stimulate both.

    A blood glucose meter won't necessarily give you a very accurate idea of what's going on with your blood sugar unless it's quite low. The ongoing theme in reactive hypoglycemia books is that the rate of change (how quickly the blood sugar drops) is more important than the blood sugar value itself. Most doctors rely on a low value alone.

    As far as sugar induced pelvic pain, this may provide more info for readers of this thread:
     
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  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I have nuts, a small amount of vegan sugar-free chocolate, and a small amount of sesame sticks made from gram flour, maize flour, sesame seeds, salt and vegetable oil. They're a bit like the long pieces in Bombay mix, but without the heat! Also, when my apples are in season, I have about one of those a day.
     
    mango likes this.
  20. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    A mixture of toasted almonds and unsweetened coconut flakes is very portable and satisifying.

    When I travel, I like to have a protein bar with me. The trouble is that a lot of them are way too sweet.

    I really like the Bulletproof Vanilla Max Collagen Bar. It has only a slight sweetness from stevia. They use stevia that doesn't have the bitter aftertaste.

    http://www.bulletproof.com/vanilla-max-collagen-bar-12-pack-total-net-wt-18-96-oz
     

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