Thought I would use a post to shed some light on carbs. Ladies, this is for you- for the love of food, please eat carbs and get it out of your head that carbs are bad. Women need carbohydrates and fats. My real motivation for starting my own blog was really to inspire and motivate women in health and fitness. Along with helping educate women in nutrition as much as I can. First things first! Please understand that you do not need to eat like a rabbit to lose weight and get “fit”. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel, we need carbohydrates to truly be healthy and avoiding proper consumption of carbs can result in deficiencies such as energy loss, ketosis, loss of essential body protein and nutritional deficiencies. Carbohydrates break down in our bodies to create glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy and what our brain requires to function. So, you know all those carb memes you see me post on social media- they aren’t that far off, people on no carb diets do some crazy shit! LOL.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying go out and eat an entire pizza, eating the right types of carbohydrates is what’s important and crucial to your diet, especially for those of us living with any diseases, allergies etc. For the sake of this post though, I will keep it generalized for the average women with no known disease etc. I will explain a bit further about the good and bad carbs and which ones you should be avoiding and which ones you should include into your daily diet, but I wanted to take a second to explain my diet. You may have noted that I hate to use the word “diet” it has the connotation of meaning “short term” which in fact, a diet is really the proper term for how you structure your daily eating. It should never mean “restrictions”. I structure my diet based on my activity level. I match what I eat per day ( meal prep) based on the type or level of activity I am or have done for that day. If I am working out large muscle groups ( for examples my legs) my carbohydrates and proteins are higher, than on my active rest days ( days I take a break from the gym ,but do a more moderate activity like yoga). This is what works for me, I have learned to understand what types of food gives my body energy and makes me feel good all day. It’s important to fuel your body with the right foods that give you the nutrients that you need. If you do not exercise you can’t follow the same diet as someone who actively exercises and expect to feel the same and get the same results. Generally when I’m asked about my diet I explain that I eat “clean” it’s a big term, and used a lot, and it means different things for different people. 80-90% of the time I eat clean, meaning I eat organic, unprocessed, whole natural foods. This includes my choices of carbohydrates. I eat “good” carbs and avoid what I like to call “the not so good” carbs. If reading this post is your first step in starting your weight loss or fitness journey a great place to start is by understanding the types of food your body needs and how your metabolism works. The reason why you hear so much about balance is because it works. Moderation and balance, although it looks different for everyone, it’s the key principle to your nutrition. Making the smallest change will result in benefits to you, and most often than not you will notice and feel a difference.
Here’s my list made simple!
My good carbs:
- Organic oats or steel cut oats
- Sprouted breads (Sprouted= grains are sprouted before they are baked. Sprouted breads are higher in amino acids and are easier to digest) I buy Ezekiel bread made by Food for Life. http://www.foodforlife.com/product/breads/ezekiel-49-sprouted-whole-grain-bread
- Organic brown rice ( any rice- as long as it’s natural, brown)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Grains ( eg. quinoa, barley)
**Note: Fruits, Vegetables and Legumes are considered complex carbohydrates, but for the sake of this blog, I did not include it in the above list.***
My not so good carbs list:
- White rice
- White, fortified breads
- Dried Pastas ( usually made from processed white flour)
- Simple and artificial sugars
- Anything pretty much made with processed white flour
Being healthy is about creating healthy habits, not restrictions. It’s about eating better, not less! Choosing to eat the right foods, at the right times of day and making sure you have it balanced is what will make a difference for you. No one’s diet should look the same, because every person’s body is different. Find what works for you, but one thing is for sure- the minute you start to eliminate all the processed, un-natural foods you will start to feel better. Carbs are not the problem, if you eat the right ones, you are fueling your body properly. Even the healthiest foods can be taken out of control, so it really is about portion, balance of proper foods and intake. If this is your first go at changing your habits to making healthier choices, start eliminating things slowly. I started with eliminating sugars and only using natural sugars for sweeteners ( such as honey), then I changed everything from white to whole wheat. Your body will thank you and you will notice a big difference in how you feel, how your skin and hair looks, your energy levels ( and you libido too..wink wink). The worst thing you can do is starve your body. Learn about the healthy complex carbohydrates and healthy fats ( women need to eat healthy fats). The more knowledge you have, the better you will be at making healthier choices.
Healthier choices, one step at a time, you’ll get there, you got this!
Oh and EAT DEM CARBS!
Till next time….xo