Thursday, April 23, 2009

One Thing After Another

For those who do read the blog normally, I feel I owe an explanation for why I haven't been blogging much lately. For a few weeks, I was really struggling to get my hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) under control. I realized that a lot of the food I was eating was sending my blood sugar levels into extreme up and down spikes, and so I spent a lot of time doing research about what kinds of food I can eat to keep the levels steady during the day and avoid the headaches and fatigue that accompany a hypoglycemic crash.

Now I know I need to focus on eating protein rich foods and complex carbohydrates in 6 - 7 smaller meals during the day. I need to avoid foods that turn into sugar in my bloodstream quickly like sweets, white rice, pasta, processed foods, juices and soft drinks (cold drinks). I also need to avoid fats and caffeine as much as possible. This type of diet does not go well at all with the local culture in Pakistan, and I feel a bit like I'm always the party-pooper when I have to refuse the oily (yet tasty) foods on offer and literally have to hold my hand over my glass to prevent being poured endless servings of Coca Cola. Many Pakistani friends are telling me the solution to "being weak" is to eat more! It's been quite frustrating to have to be so negative all the time, but it's just unhealthy (and even dangerous) for me to eat huge heaping plates of spicy, oily food followed by "mitai" (traditional Pakistani sweets that are VERY sweet, I can barely stomach them anyway).

There are some Pakistani foods I can still enjoy, such as a small helping of chicken handi with a whole wheat roti, but the amount that I eat is about 1/5 of what a typical Pakistani would eat the same meal, so it's still hard for me to be understood. I can also enjoy BBQ meats such as chicken malai boti (one of my favorites) or chicken tikka.

As soon as I got my diet under control and started feeling healthier, I came down with a killer cold that caused me to stay up all night coughing and blowing my nose. I eventually lost my voice and had to teach Monday's lecture in a whisper. My students were amazingly accomodating and listened closely to my barely there voice.

Yesterday I was starting to get my voice back and only wake up a few times during the night, but this morning I woke up to a case of mild food poisoning! Needless to say I have spent most of today in bed as well. Thank God we have had electricity for the last two days, becuase last week when my nose was all stuffy it was torture to not be able to breathe in the hot, sticky air. Then they were turning off the power every other hour. I felt I was going to suffocate just in the thick, hot air. Blah.

To top it off the maid has been 'sick' as well, and also had an extra day off for attending a wedding. Our kitchen is atrocious and I have no energy to wash the mountain of dishes that have accumalated.

Hopefully when I recover from the food poisoning I will not get sick with anything else or be forced to eat Pakistani sweet dishes until I swoon and pass out on the floor!

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