Fresh recipes for summer!

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! The week really flew by. Between classes, my internship, and being a Yes Woman, I feel like I have hardly sat down in the last 6 or so days. My internship at the fertility center has gotten much more stimulating lately. Even my busy work was fun this week. Instead of filing charts and alphabetizing papers, I got to handle ‘delinquent’ charts, which for whatever reason are lacking key information needed to close the chart. Basically, I got to call patients who completed treatment (in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination) and find out whether or not they gave birth and what the sex, name, and weight was. Luckily, everyone I called had a successful outcome and were now the parents of healthy, beautiful babies. Hearing the joy and pride in their voice as they told me little Alexa or Trevor was born on this or this day and weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces left me smiling for days. It was a good lesson in talking to patients on the phone and both keeping it professional, yet showing emotion and excitement for their new family addition. My other shift was even better: I got to watch 4 ultrasounds! At 8 weeks, you can hear the heartbeat  – and it is usually around 170 beats per minute. Crazy.

I need to research on my own and talk to the endocrinologist at the center more before going into details, but I have been meaning to share something he taught me with y’all for weeks now. As most of you are probably aware, foods have been labeled with a rating system called the Glycemic Index. Basically, a high GI food spikes blood sugar and a low GI food keeps blood sugar stable. The whole point of the glycemic index is to predict the body’s insulin response to a food. When we have high blood sugar, our body secretes insulin to make our cells suck it up from the blood. Insulin spikes cause a MASSIVE chain of events in the body and do many things, including promoting weight gain (and growth), and in the long term can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. So, people have been afraid of high GI foods for years now, but as it turns out the GI rating system is not always a good predictor of insulin response. For the most part, it is, but there are many exceptions. It thoroughly depresses me to report that yogurt (yes, including Greek yogurt) actually spikes insulin quite badly (more so than white bread) despite the fact that it is high protein and low GI. This is because whey and casein protein are insulin promotors. Some other proteins (like beef) appear to be low GI but actually have a higher insulin response than would be predicted. In contrast, some higher GI foods have lower insulin responses, like popcorn and brown rice and pasta.  Im not saying to stop or start eating anything, I just think it is good to be aware that the relationship between glucose response and insulin response is not so clear. Once I learn more and can make a better judgement about actual diet modifications related to insulin response, I will certainly share. For now, you can check out this cool chart comparing GI and insulin index ratings and an interesting blog post from a few years back (I don’t know about the accuracy of either).

I am currently in Tahoe with my girlfren Carlyn and am not cooking a single meal this weekend, but here are a few summer-inspired recipes I have been lovin’ on lately.

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Pops

cool, refreshing & high protein!

Recipe: Makes 3-5 pops depending on mold

1 cup plain greek yogurt

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries (Rhythm and blueberries are the best, if you’re semi-local!)

NuNaturals liquid stevia, to taste

1/2 tsp lemon zest, very finely grated

3 tbsp heavy cream (optional)

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Fold in blueberries. Divide mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.

Sesame-Sugar Snap Peas

such a filling, delicious snack

Recipe: Makes 1-2 servings

1 cup sugar snap peas

1/3 cup edamame, shelled

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds

dash salt

Directions – Lightly steam the snap peas and edamame (unless you prefer raw!). To do this the lazy way, simply add 1 tbsp of water to the veggies in a bowl and cover with a plate and microwave for about 10-15 seconds, until bright green. Drink the leftover water and pat dry! Toss with oil, seeds and salt. Enjoy!

World’s Best Honey Mustard Dressing

greens, snap peas, grilled parsnip, chicken, sunflower seeds, whole wheat panko

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp greek yogurt

1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 egg yolk

1 drop stevia (or pinch sugar)

dash salt, to taste

Directions – Combine all in a dish and mix with a fork until homogenous. For the weird vinegar measurement, I simply used a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon and filled it half way with apple cider vinegar and filled it to the top with white balsamic vinegar.

Just make sure you re-wash your pre-washed mixed greens!!!!

I came thissss close to eating the little guy. 

Q: How are you celebrating the 4th?

12 thoughts on “Fresh recipes for summer!

  1. GI labeling is so sketchy these days, but I really love your follow up article on it. I am quite the science nerd, so yea!
    For athletes, the insulin spike right before bed (like yogurt, banana, milk, etc) can actually aid in recovery and help sleep. So its funny how the GI index can either harm or help, depending on the bodies level of activity.

    Have fun in tahoe!!

    1. I said the exact same thing to the head endocrinologist at work (about insulin spikes being beneficial in some cases) and he kind of gasped and was like ‘No, insulin spikes are never beneficial. The cascade of after-effects…’I think he meant though that insulin SPIKES are bad. But I bet higher rather than lower (rather than spiked) insulin levels for certain periods of time AT certain periods of time (like after weight lifting, etc) would be beneficial. What say you?Or do you think that a physical spike (abrupt high, to very high, back to normal quickly) of insulin is actually beneficial?

  2. Haha. I’m glad you didn’t eat that little guy.

    I usually try to stick with low GI foods, but it’s interesting to read that perhaps the scale isn’t so accurate. I eat a lot of greek yogurt too (and lot’s of dairy in general)!! This makes me want to do some more research on my own too.

    And, btw. The “ice cream” I made wasn’t too creamy…a bit more on the icy side, but I added whipped cream, and that made it taste quite decadent and much creamier as you might imagine!

    1. I know. I was floored when I first heard it. And then I was like ‘Why did I think of that?!’ Ill have to make that icecream and perhaps make it a bit more fatty for some creaminess ;)

  3. OMG!! I would have totally fainted if I found that one in my salad…(or I would have never found it because it was already in my stomach)

    Anyways, thanks for the recipes, and especially the wonderful info.
    No wonder my ancestors never had serious GI problems…I always thought it was strange how some people can just eat tons of rice and still be fine (since rice has such high GI index). The information you provided gives me answers to many of the strange symptoms I personally have gone through. Thank You so much!!! More people should read this!!

  4. Interesting things to think about, Lauren. I will have to research some of this, too.

    And it sounds like you are having very inspiring work! Good for you! Have a great Fourth of July weekend!

  5. I didn’t even notice “that little guy.”. Yuck! Your internship sounds AWESOME — so glad you’re liking it! I must try that popsicle recipe, it sounds so much better than buying some at the store. Have fun this weekend!

  6. YIKES about the little wormy guy! I’m sure I’ve eaten one before – right? Glad you are enjoying your internship and learning a lot. I love sugar snap peas – you just reminded me to pick some up next time I’m at the store.

  7. ahh! That leaf with the little worm on it gave me the creeps! Its all natural, I know, but still…I definitely need to wash muh greens…

    I pretty much love ALL the recipes in this post. Especially the lemon blueberry yogurt pops because I’m a lemon blueberry lover (especially mixed with yogurt!). I really want to get some pop molds now!

    I’m a little iffy about the raw egg yolk in the dressing…even though I eat raw eggs all the time when I slick raw batter and such, but still. However, honey mustard is my FAVORITE dressing so i think its worth it 😛 Also, a 1/4 of a tablespoon is the same is 3/4 of a teaspoon just for reference (and an easier way to measure).

    And one last thing…OMG YOU HAVE A FRIEND NAMED CARLYN?! You have no idea how cool that is… I never met anyone with my same name, let alone spelled the same way as well!

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