Good morning and welcome to Wednesday friends!
And on this WIAW, let’s chat about carbs. Ahhh, yes carb-oh-highh-drates.
I’ve gushed about my love for healthy fats and about how I don’t think you can never have too much really. Fats are hands down my favorite macronutrient, but carbs…they come in a real close second.
So although I lurrrve fats, I really like carbs. And usually I’m smothering fats onto a carb [oats and nut butter anyone?] so you kinda need both. Ya with me?
Lately, I feel like carbs have gotten a really bad wrap. With all the paleo hype and anti-grain parades it seems carbs have become this evil food that causes weight gain and bloat and insulin resistance and yada yada. But that’s not really true.
You see, we need carbohydrates to replenish our muscles and give us sustained energy and to satisfy our bodies. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, you’re likely going to be snacky or set yourself up for a binge episode later down the road.
And my favorite way to kick off the day is with a big carby breakfast! Not only does is replenish my glycogen stores if I’ve worked out in the morning, but if I haven’t, it puts fuel in the tank after fasting during the night. And a carb heavy breakfast just makes me happy. Carbs are not going to make you “fat.” That is one of the most damaging nutrition myths and not only does that lie cause lots of disordered thoughts around eating, but it leads to inadequate nutrition.
So this morning kicked off with a green smoothie [1/2 scoop vanilla chai vega one + 1 cup almond milk + 1/2 frozen banana + kale] and a plate of chocolate spelt pancakes with strawberries, coconut oil and peanut butter! This plate was dee-vine and fuel me right up to tackle the day.
Mid morning snackage was some carrots and raw almonds…eaten together, it’s a good combo I promise!
Carbohydrates are always part of every meal I eat because if they weren’t, I’d be reaching for something else right after finishing my meal. Lots of time when I hear people complain of carbs making them bloated that’s not because of the carbs, that could be for a million other reasons. And sometimes bloating is normal. And secondly, carbs are not the cause weight gain. If you gain weight rapidly when you eat carbohydrates, maybe you weren’t eating enough to begin with? A low carb lifestyle is not sustainable for LIFE and can cause increased stress on the body, which can cause your body to conserve energy. Of course some people thrive off eating more carbohydrates than others, but the majority of people who follow a low carb lifestyle don’t sustain it and then they put on weight rather quickly when they begin eating carbohydrates again. Much of that being water weight.
So with that, lunch was a big salad with romaine + spinach + bell pepper + tomato + balsamic + pumpkin seed oil. And alongside, 1/2 mashed avocado mixed with ~ 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast that I used to dunk some spelt pretzels in, plus a big grapefruit. These lovely carbs helped replenish my glycogen stores after a sweaty yoga sesh.
And some coconut butter fudge for my sweet tooth!
Carbohydrates also don’t cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is so much more complicated that that.
But carbs aren’t just in breads and grains…fruit and starchy veggies are some of my favorite carbs too. And no, the sugar in fruit is not “bad” for you…it’s fruit grown from the ground for crying out loud!
Afternoon snacking included one of my favorite starchy veggies…pumpkin! I stirred in pumpkin with some almond milk yogurt and topped that with cinnamon, chopped apple and walnuts. This was so good, will be repeating asap.
And after GOTR practice, I noshed on two flourless PB and J cookies [recipe to come!] on my way over to my friend Kelli’s.
When I got home I whipped together a quick dinner by roasting up some asparagus, which I’m SO happy is in season, baked a baby yukon gold potato and defrosted some lentil soup from the freezer. I also made a quick flatbread using 1/2 corn flour and 1/2 spelt flour and slathered that and my potato with some organic buttahhh.
Carbs keep my satiated. Carbs keep me energized. And carbs make me happy.
Embrace ’em. If we deprive ourselves of this lovely little food group then we’ll likely be irritable, tired, or rummaging the kitchen because we’re feeling snacky.
But regardless, I also gotta have a nighttime snack. Ya feels me?
Last night was a PB & J banana, I can’t get enough peanut buttah jelly time lately and this combo with a glass of almond milk was the perfect night cap.
Healthy, wholesome carbs are meant to nourish us. Fruits and starchy veggies and oats and brown rice and quinoa and sprouted grain breads and tortillas and millet and buckwheat and so much more. And sometimes we also need a good crusty loaf of white bread dipped in olive oil or a vanilla cupcake with buttercream. Because that stuff tastes awesome and makes us happy too.