I've been experimenting with taking cinnamon to control my blood sugar for years. And yet, I never really did enough controlled experimentation to get to the bottom of how it could help me, especially with my reactive hypoglycemia in the morning, until now.
I have discovered that if I eat more than 25 grams of carbs for breakfast, I will have a reactive hypoglycemic reaction about 1-2 hrs afterward. I contemplate why this might be happening in a previous blog post. But regardless of why it was happening, I was not able to prevent a reactive hypoglycemic reaction unless I ate less than 25 g of carbs for my first meal of the day. Carb restriction is a reasonable approach, but sometimes carbs (like an apple with nut butter or a fruit-nut bar) are the most convenient thing to eat quickly before I start my morning treatments. So recently I've been experimenting with eating about 30 g of carbs for breakfast and taking different combinations of cinnamon and insulin to see what happens.
2. Reintroducing Foods
My guts are feeling great these days and I am having no GI issues whatsoever. I credit this not just to my very controlled diet, but also to the fact that I've been off antibiotics for over 5 months now! My microbiome is thanking me. So I've begun to reintroduce foods that I have kept out of my diet since I went GAPS/Paelo. Also, I've been more lenient with foods that I am allowed to taste once in a while, like a bit of chocolate with sugar in it, or a couple potato chips. Interestingly, those foods that our culture tells us are delicious and irresistible are actually neither once you retrain your taste buds. For example, a friend offered me a conventional chocolate truffle and I thought to myself, Hey my guts can probably handle it these days, why not? So I tried it and discovered: 1) it actually didn't taste that good compared to the high quality foods that I am used to; 2) it made me feel gross the day after with increased fever and lung mucus. It wasn't even that tasty and yet it caused me some grief afterward. So I guess I'll just stick to my dairy-, gluten-, sugar-free chocolate bar that I eat every month or so, which is a hell of a lot tastier anyway.
On the other hand, certain foods I've reintroduced that I really love don't cause me any problems at all (that I know of). Tofu is one of these loves. My mom made us a lot of tofu as a kid and I've grown to love it. It is so fantastic in a stir-fry because it soaks up flavor so well, and I love the texture. Fry it up in bacon grease with some green beans, garlic, and fish sauce = heaven. While I can tolerate traditionally prepared and fermented soy products (like tamari, miso, and tofu) just fine, that is not the case for everyone. My sister (who does not have CF) is much more sensitive to soy than I am, most likely because she spent a few years as a vegan and caused herself several food allergies which have lingered. She can't handle soy milk at all (I never drink soy milk because it's not traditional and it's so highly processed) and tofu doesn't sit well with her. But she can eat goat and sheep dairy (not cow) although I can't at all. Everyone's different.
I've been eating these gluten-free pretzel sticks that I am totally addicted to. They're made out of whole-grain (not flour) quinoa, millet, and brown rice plus sesame, flax, and chia seeds. They're called Mary's Gone Crackers pretzels, and I am in love. But they're expensive and they are full of carbs, so I have to be careful not to binge, which I am frequently in danger of doing if they're in my cupboard. Similarly, these cause me no ill-effects at all. Sometimes when I have no appetite at all and I need to eat something, these are the only things that seem appealing... at least that's how I justify buying them. They are the only grains I eat.
I've also allowed myself to branch out and eat a whole-foods "candy" bar (like the Larabar Uberbar with nuts, chocolate chips and brown rice syrup) once in a while, as a treat. I've also started eating a lot more fruit as it comes into season. I LOVE black plums, and they are so high in antioxidants. I am very happy I've moved past the anti-carb zealotry so that I can enjoy these delicious, nutritious treats. Peaches are also amazing. Raspberries are in season here as well as blueberries, and I am eagerly awaiting the wild blackberries to fruit (my favorite). Thimbleberries are my latest discovery, but they probably won't fruit here for another month or so.
My appetite is not so good these days, so I think I am going to continue reintroducing foods to see if I can expand my diet a bit, to make eating more appealing. I've been dreaming about hummus recently, so that might be next. We'll see.