My anti-yeast infection diet makes me sleepy
September 14, 2007 1:42 PM   Subscribe

I am on a no-sugar/very low-sugar diet to help combat a yeast infection. My diet consists of fish, a little bit of yogurt, good fats, and leafy greens and other non-starchy, non-sweet vegetables. Since I started it I crash every afternoon at exactly 2:00--right at the beginning of a class. How can I avoid this without resorting to coffee or high-glycemic foods?

I figure there are two possible reasons for the crash: either my body isn't used to such a paucity of sugar, or I'm not eating enough meals. Usually I try to do 5 or 6 meals a day, one of them being a snack after lunch (like a energy bar or a piece of fruit). I've switched to 3 or 4 bigger meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack) since there's no convenient way to do snacks with the foods I CAN eat, as the quantities of spinach or broccoli it would take to make enough carbs for a snack aren't easily transportable around a college campus. I'm lost.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Can you eat nuts? Nuts are easily transportable and are a great source of energy and protein!
posted by hecho de la basura at 1:47 PM on September 14, 2007

In general, I find protein snacks prevent sleepiness more than carb-y snacks, so I think you should be able to find something. You could also try cutting your lunch in two, and eating half around 11 and half around 1:30, or whatever works with your schedule.

What about nuts? Or yogurt? Those come in easily-transportable snack size containers, and the plain unsweetened stuff would be good for you. I know Stonyfield Farm makes it in 6oz containers. Cheese? Jerky, if you can eat that? Plain roast turkey or chicken? Avocado?

Good luck. The anti-yeast diet is really hard.
posted by min at 1:51 PM on September 14, 2007

seconding: nuts, or even peanut butter (granted you get the "just ground-up peanut" kind) are awesome for quick pick-me up snacks. Hell, a big spoonful or two of peanut butter is my default "I have to get to class in 10 minutes, and do not want to fall asleep, and do not want to drink coffee, and I am hungry" breakfast.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:14 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

how about a banana? or if that's too many carbs, you can make a smoothie of plain yogurt, pureed frozen berries, and splenda or agave nectar. freeze it in a water bottle overnight and it'll defrost in your bag by 2pm.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:24 PM on September 14, 2007

The afternoon crash is often associated with insulin/blood sugar issues caused by a big, carb-filled lunch. With the foods you're eating, your blood sugar should be very stable so the sleepiness isn't being caused by your diet. You just need more sleep at night. Most people's need for more sleep is masked by caffeine and blood sugar rushes so when you cut those out, you're just seeing your more natural state.
posted by Durin's Bane at 2:29 PM on September 14, 2007

There are plenty of low-glycemic carbs that you can eat. Sweet potatoes, yams, buckwheat products (soba noodles are my favourite), etc.

Here's a good reference that categorizes food according to their GI.
posted by randomstriker at 2:32 PM on September 14, 2007

You probably just need to eat more (and likely sleep more, as noted above). You're on the precise opposite diet from the ones that usually make people sleepy.

Regarding portable snacks: lots of good ideas above, others off the top of my head: tuna (if you can stand a can of tuna at a time), beef jerky and other types of jerky, protein bars, yogurt smoothies, Odwalla-type drinks (the more protein-oriented ones, obviously).
posted by rkent at 2:48 PM on September 14, 2007

(Re: the yeast infection - have you tried taking acidophilus? That's the best cure in the world!)
posted by agregoli at 3:01 PM on September 14, 2007

could you take a short nap after lunch? or some exercise that might be invigorating?
posted by lgyre at 3:04 PM on September 14, 2007

Pemmican. Look for the kind with lowest carbs/least flavoring, and it will keep longer (nearly indefinitely), and remain within your diet guidelines.
posted by paulsc at 4:57 PM on September 14, 2007

Oh, I've been there. It's hard!

1. Get enough sleep at night. Some experts say that eight hours a night is actually not enough. And if you're getting less fuel and starving out yeast, you probably need even more.

2. Snack all the time. It's hard to eat enough when you're on the MEVY* plan, and if you don't eat enough, you're going to run out of steam -- so eat, eat, eat and snack, snack, snack. Carry around crunchy fibrous foods like cut up celery, cucumbers, jicama and cherry tomatoes. Steam broccoli and zucchini pieces and carry those. Also try carrying around hard boiled eggs, sunflower seeds and small containers of plain yogurt (no pectin). Eat a lot!
(*MEVY = Meat/Eggs/Vegetables/Yogurt)

3. Proteins are wakeup food. But I wouldn't worry about carbs being a sleep food so much though, because you're eating very low glycemic foods.

4. Consider eating chicken, especially dark meat. Fat is satisfying and helps make you feel full. Or try to eat fattier fish regularly.

5. Take acidophilus, garlic and multi-vitamins every day.

BTW, you probably know this, but don't stay on the extreme version of this diet for longer than four weeks. Start working in other foods soon.
posted by hmaroon at 6:38 PM on September 14, 2007

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