The Forbidden Fruit

by HEAB on January 13, 2009

Who doesn’t love a big crisp juicy apple?  Honeycrips, Fijis, Galas, Pink Ladies, I love them all.  But, for some reason my body does not.  One commenter noted that my daily eats never include fruit. (Thanks for reading Jill!)  She’s right.  Other than the occasional apple, berries, maybe a banana if I’m feeling extra sassy, I rarely indulge in nature’s candy.  Why you ask?  Let me tell you about my little juicing journey.

About 2 years ago, I tried eating more of an alkaline diet with an emphasis on raw foods.  I began each morning with a glass of green lemonade.  The juicer was purring by 7 AM as I tossed in any and all green produce we had on hand.  My favorite combo was cucumber, romaine, celery, lemon, ginger, and an apple or pear.  I would continue eating fruit throughout the morning if I became hungry.  In the afternoons and evenings, I ate mostly raw foods – lots of salads, nut, avocados, etc.  I  steamed vegetables for dinner, but ate no meat or dairy.  My sources of protein were mainly nuts and nut butters.  I dehydrated raw breads, and anytime I craved a diet soda or coffee, I’d eat an apple.  I think one day I ate 6 Granny Smiths!  I felt great…but I gained 5 pounds in one month!  Who gains weight on a diet like this?  ME!

There are so many different theories out there, but I agree with the one that states not all calories were created equal.  My body has told me so over and over.  No, I do not advocate a high protein/no carb diet, but I know what works for me.  Complex carbs – no problem.  I lost most of my weight while eating 1-2 sweet potatoes every night with dinner.  Winter squashes, rolled oats, low sugar cereals…no problem.  But, give me fructose and other simple sugars, and I will practically swell before your eyes.

I’ve been told I’m probably insulin resistant meaning when I eat or drink a simple sugar, my body reacts to the spike in blood sugar by producing additional insulin while simultaneously decreasing its production of glucagon. Not good, as glucagon allows stored body fat to be released into the bloodstream to be used as fuel by the muscles.  If the glucagon supply is cut off by excess insulin production, then I’m not using my stored body fat as fuel…it just sits there…in my belly…and eventually, the dreaded muffin top begins to rear its ugly head.  I don’t know why I react more severely to sugar spikes than others…at least it keeps me away from the dessert tray. 🙂

Not to get all scientific on you, but I think this is a valid theory, at least for me. Ask my husband.  It’s almost weird how fast I gain weight when I add an abundance of fruit to my daily diet.  Yes, I do eat small amounts of sugar, and I really try to avoid artificial sweeteners.  I’ll sweeten a recipe with a touch of maple syrup…I love my carob chips…most of my cereals contain some form of sugar, but for the most part, I try to avoid all simple carbs.  They are not my friend.  An apple a day?…Maybe, but that’s about my limit.

Love my complex carbs, but I'll take a pass on the fructose!

Love my complex carbs, but I'll take a pass on the fructose!

Anyone out there want to buy my juicer? 🙂

Last, but no least, I was tagged by Miss Tiffie over at Miss Tiffie MunchesStop by her blog and say hello…I’ve been loving all the amazing pictures from her recent trip to Taiwan.  Love Miss Tiffie!

Following is some fun information you may not know about  me.

4 favorite memories from 2008

1. Adopting our youngest pup, Radley at 8 weeks old.
2. Spending a week trail running in Northern California with Chris.  Run in the Forest of Nisene Marks if you ever get the chance…amazing!
3. Climbing the Incline Trail 3 times in Manitou Springs and setting a 5 minute PR on my last trip up.
4. Celebrating our one year wedding anniversary.

Incline Trail (picture courtesy of Flickr).  2,696 steps and varies between a 48%-60% grade.

Incline Trail (picture courtesy of Flickr). 2,696 steps with a 48%-60% grade.


4 favorite movies in 2008: We NEVER go to movies, and so I’ll just list 4 of my top favorites.

1. Say Anything
2. Shawshank Redemption
3. Little Miss Sunshine
4. When Harry Met Sally

4 favorite foods in 2008:

1. Almond Butter
2. Almond Butter
3. Almond Butter
4. Carob Chips 🙂

4 places I loved in 2008

1. Santa Cruz, CA
2. Colorado
3. Oregon
4. Arizona

4 events I loved in 2008:

1. Chris running his first full marathon in 2:32.  7th place overall!
2. Hosting our annual post Country Music Marathon BBQ.
3. Completing my second Hood to Coast Relay with my fellow teammates from Nashville.
4. Starting my blog and getting to know fellow bloggers!


Celebrating our Hood to Coast finish on the beach in Seaside, Oregon.  That's me on the left after 15 miles of running and no sleep for 24 hours!

Celebrating our Hood to Coast finish on the beach in Seaside, Oregon. That's me on the left after 15 miles of running and no sleep for 24 hours!

4 things I liked in 2008:

1. Trail running
2. Cooking & trying new recipes
3. Blogging
4. My scarf.  It makes me so happy.  Freezing in Nashville today!

4 things I am looking forward to in 2009:

1. Selling our house…know anyone that needs a 1920’s Tudor in Nashville?
2. Moving to Colorado.
3. Lots of almond butter.
4. Blogging…lots and lots of blogging.  🙂  I’m so grateful for all of my readers and commenters…more than you know!


Steph April 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Oh my gosh, I so happy to have stumbled across your blog. I’ve had a similar problem with fruit and bread particularly. I kept doubting myself for thinking they were the cause of my weight gain, bloating etc, but always felt better when I cut them down or out entirely. I just ballon out when I eat them. So thanks for sharing, it’s been super encouraging to be reminded that each body functions differently.

Emilia August 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Hey :)!
I live in Santa Cruz, I’m glad it was your “favorite places or 2008”, yay! At least there’s something good about it besides the cold weather. Come visit again!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 14, 2010 at 8:29 am

Emilia, We will! 🙂

joelygolightly August 4, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Oh my gosh, I am so happy you wrote this post! I just found it because of the trackback from today’s post, and you have totally hit the nail on the head for me! I have been struggling with crazy tummy symptoms, and have been googling/bombarding my stomach doc with questions about the amount of fruit I eat on an average day, and have turned up little answers. (Let’s just say google was far more helpful than my doc in this situation.) I’m glad to see my suspicions confirmed that there can in fact be a relationship with the amount of fruit I eat per day and any tummy bloat.

Again I have to say thank you for your blog HEAB!

Erica January 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Its so funny how all of our bodies are so different! For example, when I started having oatmeal on a daily basis, I gained weight very easily! Now I eat an apple at breakfast and another piece of fruit or light snack half way through the morning and I feel much better! Odd!

Thanks for sharing your experiences and I loved reading your meme. I need to do mine!

PS I love your comments they’re so thoughtful 🙂

Evey January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm

interesting post, heather.

i never thought that some people might gain weight from fruit.. it seems so topsy turvy, but it does make sense! I’m glad that you were able to find this out, but a bit sad that you are not able to always partake in nature’s candy. But you’ve found some other amazing eats to have, so it seems to me you’re gonna be a ok!

Oh, and I finished off my jar of Barney Butter.. boo-hoo!! I must buy some more soon, I am now hooked on the stuff! Thanks so much for introducing it to me!

Have a great week!

glidingcalm January 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm

it’s interesting…i used to not at a lot of fruit too, but i felt tired all the time when I was on a higher protein diet. i couldn’t imagine being limited to an apple a day. I’m sawry…but hey at least you can have winter squashes!! I’d die if I couldn’t eat my beloved butternut nut nut loving. wow. im tired.

ANYWHO, have a great Wednesday Heather!

Erin January 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Wow, I loved this post! Really informative! I am super glad you’re going with what works for you instead of what people say is best, diet-wise. You’re obvs a very nutrition savvy woman. Your posts always have something new in them and I love that. Basically – I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I didn’t know what insulin resistance looked like in practice – I’ve just heard of it.
Yesterday I ate 3 apples, 2 bananas, 2 oranges, 10 prunes, and 4 figs. Ha!
Honestly, I’d buy your juicer! Were you serious?

Hangry Pants January 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm

That’s really interesting. I could not imagine not eating fruit everyday, but I’ve never thought about, or paid attention to, how the sugar affects me.

thelongweigh January 14, 2009 at 11:47 am

I have been reading your blog for awhile and just thought I would jump in! That’s so interesting about the different effects different carbs have on you. I know carbs are my downfall, but I don’t know if its both simple and complex carbs that take me down. It’s awesome you know your own body well enough to notice!

newmusiclibrary January 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

Peanut Butter Puffins! I’m hooked. This is your fault.

misstiffie January 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

AWW loves you too!!! I love the pic of you and the squash + the apple, TOO CUTE FOR WORDS <3

and that’s so crazy about the fruit :[ i don’t know how i could live without eating it so much. my friend is allergic to pretty much all fruits so she can’t eat nature’s candy either :[ so sad. i duno how i could live like that.. i think it’d just be 300lbs loving my fruits still hahaha..

Missy (Missy Maintains) January 14, 2009 at 10:52 am

Interesting post! I tried South Beach a few years ago and cut out all fruit and lost a lot of weight. I should try something similar soon to see what happens but I just love fruit so much!

gina (fitnessista) January 14, 2009 at 10:32 am

ps i was so happy to see my favorite state on there!

gina (fitnessista) January 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

may i please buy your juicer??? seriously!
i’m gonna have to send you some of my next batch of macaroons as i made these ones too sticky on the bottom and don’t think they would ship well :/ i’ll be making a whole foods run next weekend and will get you some soon after!!
what an interesting story! i guess it’s proof that everyone’s body is different. my thing is flour- even whole wheat.
love the meme 😀
have a wonderful day!

lissa10279 January 14, 2009 at 10:14 am

Thanks for sharing your story, Heather. I tend to eat 2-3 fruit servings a day and, combined with the other things I eat, I wonder if it’s not harming me more than helping me. Thanks for the insight.

dailygoods January 14, 2009 at 10:10 am

haha i really loved your 4 favorite foods 🙂 that made me laugh!

For the Love of Peanut Butter January 14, 2009 at 9:20 am

this is such a cool post.. i never knew this! so informative and great..thanks for sharing!

Miss you Heather!

Jill January 14, 2009 at 9:06 am

What a great post! Gets me thinking. I am a 1 to 2 fruit a day person. No more than that…and I’m not a big apple fan…but give me some berries and I’ll eat until I turn into one!! So, I’ll have to try and see if I react the same (did your Dr/boss tell you all that scientific stuff?)…it makes sense!!

Some of your favorite things – CMM BBQ..yes, my favorite too. We are always SO honored to be invited.

Yes, CD is a running stud. Always has been always will be. I continue to be amazed by his training rituals and racing flats!

Someone will buy your house…just wait and see. It is BEAUTIFUL!!

Have a great day…thanks for the wonderful blog!! (I love learning new things about you!!)

Cherie January 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

Hey, who’s the other hot babe pictured in your blog? Ha! I feel famous. Interesting post, by the way. It makes total sense to me.

petitfoodie January 14, 2009 at 8:58 am

This was such a great post thank you for sharing!!

polly January 14, 2009 at 8:44 am

There were too many typos in that comment! hehe I apologize!

polly January 14, 2009 at 8:42 am

do you know that THIS post was amazing!??! I too, cannot tolerate a LOT of fruit. Swell up like a blueberry like the girl from Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. hehe Actually berries are great. It’s apples, pears, ANY kind of melon (haven’t had melon in a couple years!) and a few others. I love bananas (obviously if you read my blog 😉 but… I learned so much from this post. I have been learnig more about Aruyveda and Vata Doshal (me!) doesn’t tolerate many of things you mentioned (especially raw apples) so food for thought for sure…

Thank heavens berries are okay. And heaven forbid Almond butter hurt anything! phew! 😉

Love your faves from 2008! Happy day, sweetie!

Dori January 14, 2009 at 8:36 am

Hi Heather, just curious, is there a test that you can have done at the doctor’s that could give you a confirmation or definite answer?

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 14, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hey Dori, that is a good question. I think their is some kind of blood glucose test available. I should ask my boss as he is an MD. However, I don’t really know if the results would really change the way I eat. I’ve learned what I can eat from trial and error. I do like definitive answers when it comes to my body though…we’ll see.

Meghann January 14, 2009 at 8:22 am

Wow, I don’t know how I could cope with out my daily fruit fixes.

Love your recap of moments of 2008 🙂

John O January 14, 2009 at 7:56 am

Just made reservations to Monterrey for 5 days in April. Nicsene is the best! Especially if you come from altitude. Did I tell Chris to run there?

VeggieGirl January 14, 2009 at 7:44 am

What an interesting post!! It’s 100% true that not all foods work for people – glad that you found what works for you, so that you can feel good while nourishing yourself 🙂

Great meme and photos!!

ttfn300 January 14, 2009 at 7:36 am

hmm, now you got me thinking. i eat so much fruit, i love it. but maybe i should cut back and see how it affects me… i love protein too, and complex carbs are the way to go 🙂

MizFit January 14, 2009 at 5:32 am

(how cute are you in those pics! we need to start seeing more please :))

and my comment is cut short by the fact Im duly saddened you dont go to the movies much.


carolinebee January 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Rrrreally interesting…I feel really similarly about the less fruit the better, except for all the science-y stuff (I didn’t know any of that). I try to eat a fruit of half serving of fruit with each meal, just b/c it makes me feel so bloated and full and blah! Thanks for sharing your info, I always “feel bad” about not eating more! And thanks soooo much for your supportive words Heather 😀 I got into my class today so I’m really happy. I majored in American Studies and Ethnicity- and have had ZERO luck finding a job, so I’m considering going into nursing, after I get my science prerequisites.

blueskyworld January 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm

it’s good that you have found what works for you ;]
i guess too much of one thing isn’t so healthy. moderation works at best ;]

sarahannmatheny January 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm

It’s funny how everyone’s bodies needs a different formula to be at its best. Congratulations for figuring yours out!

I had no idea that you were so well acquainted with Oregon! Come back come back come back come back!!!

FollowMyWeigh January 13, 2009 at 10:22 pm

loved the post! very interesting about the fruits and their affects on your body. i think i may be sensitive to carbs too, and really need to experiment with a higher protein diet.

loved reading about your “4”s!! i’ll have to check out that trail in N. Cali =)

eatingbender January 13, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Heather and Ross, thanks for the extremely valuable lesson! I am not joking because I have been reading about this for a while now and thought back when I had my stomach pains earlier this summer that it might have something to do with the way my body reacts to fructose. When I make a conscious effort to cut down on my intake, I feel so much better! Of course, I can’t be positive that’s the reason…but my stomach issues also led to a bit of weight gain, so maybe…

You had a great 2008! I’m glad the trip to Arizona made the list 😉

Ross January 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Hiya Heather,

Some geeky science for you….

When we eat Fructose, it goes from our small intestine straight to the liver (via the portal vein). Liver contains an enzyme called Fructokinase which is attracted to the fructose.

All fructose we eat is actually absorbed by the liver where it tops up the glycogen reserves. Now remember that our liver isn’t all that big and we can only store about 70g of glycogen.

Once we’re at 70g what happens? Well any excess fructose becomes FAT (table sugar on the other hand goes to the muscles where around 500g can be stored before it becomes FAT). This whole process of getting energy out of fructose does take a wee while thus fruit sugars have a low Glycemic Index.

Please also note that many complex-carbs turn into blood sugar FASTER than table sugar spiking our insulin bigtime. Its insulin that makes us fat.

Melissa S. January 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm

how interesting! i never would have thought of that as something to make one gain weight. but i’m glad you’ve figured it out and know how to work around that problem!

and love the love for ab…:D

Marissa January 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I love your 4 things!

charlotte January 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Interesting. I love hearing how people find out what works and what doesn’t for their individual bodies. I think I am more sugar sensitive than most. I tested out that theory by doing 3 months with no simple sugars at all, including fruit. I actually didn’t lose much weight and wasn’t very happy. For some reason, I don’t feel terribly deprived if I tell myself no candy. But no fruit? My mind rebels. So I try to balance out my mind and body and I eat the fruit.

Meg January 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm

You sound like me. My body thrives on complex carbs, but fructose and fruit do not get along with my body at all!

Gina January 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Aww, no fruit for Heather! I really *should* eat way more veggies than I do, and less fruit, I know my body looks better with less fruit, but some things I just can’t give up. I do better with more protein too…I am a little bit of a protein junkie. I started out trying to eat raw today and then was miserable until on my way home tonight I realized I really just wanted protein. So simple *sigh*

I like your scarf too!! Very cute 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: