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You Don't Eat Carbs?!

The amount of times I've heard this exclamation annoys the crap out of me; due to the nutritional ignorance of the phrasing.



I'm celiac. So I don't eat the following:

  • bread

  • crackers

  • sandwiches

  • burgers

  • deep fried foods

  • pastries

  • pasta

  • couscous

  • orzo

  • barley


Also, since I train in the gym to keep a low body fat percentage AND I like having a well functioning digestive track AND I like to keep my insulin response low (slow glucose uptake) I also don't eat the following:

  • beans

  • rice

  • oats

  • legumes


Usually, for one reason or another (being celiac, being really fit or being a nutrition coach or having great results while pregnant) I get asked, "But what do you even eat?!"


The most comprehensive answer is "I eat protein & vegetables."


But you need fruit for a balanced diet!

But where do you get your fiber?!


AND "But where do you get your carbs?!"


Ok - So first: vegetables are carbohydrates.


Yes they are.



The picture above is a better representation of the marco labeled as 'carbs.'

Fruits & vegetables are not fats, not are they a protein. Quizzing irritated clients on this always offers my favorite pause in a conversation. They just never really thought this one through or there seems to be a rather funny memory gap from their grade 7 nutrition education about the (very crappy) North American Food Guide.


One of the reasons vegetarians & vegans use nuts & beans/legumes so dominantly in their diet is because, in comparison to other foods, these items 'often' have a close 33/33/33 balance of the fat/carb/protein marcos. They are seen as foods with the perfect ratio.


So when I eat almonds - there are carbs in there.

Same with when I eat broccoli, carrots, green beans, peas, kale, spinach, onions, celery, leeks, cucumber, my protein shake, pistachios, brussel sprouts & a hole bunch of other yummy veggies.


As for fruit - there are a number of ways to get the vitamins & minerals that are in them. First, a number of the vitamins you would find in fruits & berries are also found in vegetables. Second - if you're really worried about it - you can use supplements.


As for fiber - news flash - green vegetables have a f*ck load of fiber. Google it.

So do other veggies such as yam, parsnips, artichokes & beets.


So why? Why do I, personally, focus on protein & veggies. What is the point of cutting out grains & fruits?


Glucose & insulin, my friends. I want it low & slow.


Do we need glucose? Yes. Absolutely. It's the fuel our body runs on.

Our carbohydrates become the glucose that give us 'energy.'


But all glucose is not created equal. We have simple carbs which give us quick glucose. We also have complex carbs which give us slow glucose.


All of the simple carbs, offering quick glucose & insulin spikes are causing this international pandemic of diabetes. Chips, pasta, crackers, pastries, breads - all of it. Just diabetes waiting to happen. We also have a sneaky one - milk. Yes, cows milk (that means cream too) provokes a similar response as simple carbs, for your insulin response.


I want complex carbs. It takes longer for our body to digest these carbohydrates & extract the glucose from them to use for energy. It keeps your insulin release very low or slow, causing far less fluctuations. It also prevents energy crashes. This causes headaches, irritability, drowsiness, low cognitive function or 'brain fog.' When we use complex carbs & the release is slower - the glucose has a more sustainable timeline for our daily energy needs; rather than being burned up quickly.


Why does this matter & why is it so effective in staying fit & healthy?

Insulin release signals your body to create & store fat. Not the good kind.


If I'm trying to lower my bodyfat, or keep my body from collecting more fat - my main goal will be to prevent my insulin from spiking.


My other main goal is to not put anything in my body I don't need (or don't enjoy the results of.) I don't NEED grains. The things we are told that grains provide (fiber & carbs) can be found in vegetables. I don't NEED fruit. The things we are told that fruits provide can be found in vegetables, nuts & seeds.


A special note for all of this: balance (as in a balanced diet) does not create change. When we are seeking homeostasis - maintaining where we are at - this is when we want to seek 'balance.' But in order to 'tip the scales' we need to do things that pressure our body to pivot off the path that it is on.


Do I EVER eat fruit & grains? Yah - totally. I have flex days, I have holidays & celebrations. But I keep them tight, I have non-negotiables (things I just don't eat) & I also have a legitimate allergy to gluten. So saying no to a food that makes me sick & suffer is a no brainer.


How do I ever feel full?!


Let me tell you - our entire nation of North America already doesn't eat enough vegetables. I promise. So if you stop eating simple carbs & double (or even triple) your vegetable intake - you will be just fine. You will actually be more than fine.


 

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Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. PrettyAggressiveRecovery@gmail.com 

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