To counter balance that slightly horrendous video from last time, I’d like to offer you this perspective. This girl walks her talk, for sure.
The following books will give you a great frame of reference for forming your own opinions and establishing your own relationship with carbohydrates, as well as with food in general. It’s helpful to get a perspective that’s beyond the standard pop-culture low-carb, high-protein myths and stereotypes. It’s worth nothing that these books offer often-conflicting perspectives on food; don’t shy away from this. Read them all, and go with what resonates best with you, in the stage of your life that you’re in right now.
The Yoga of Eating – should be required reading for anyone with a body (that’s you). Offers a unique perspective on eating, and went a long way toward helping me heal my relationship with food. Stresses balance and eating in a way that makes sense to you, above any specific “diet.” A very non-judgmental perspective.
The 80-10-10 Diet – encourages a raw vegan diet, specifically one that is low in fat and high in carbs. Plenty of scientific evidence is included to back up this stance, although there is some controversy about the soundness of some of the arguments used.
12 Steps to Raw Food – elaborates on the addictive nature of cooked food. Emphasizes a raw diet for health reasons, and trusts that the carbohydrate-to-fat ratio will work itself out as one adjusts to an all raw food diet. Uses personal experience for a down-to-earth, “real” vibe.
Wheat Belly – cardiologist author goes into almost too much detail on the biology of wheat chromosomes and their effect in your body. Takes the stance that one should avoid all high glycemic index foods, but that wheat is unique in its devastating effects, from your brain to your bowels, and everywhere in between.
Welcome to CarbAware. In this first post, we’re going to talk about the easiest ways to keep track of your carbs–and your food intake in general.
Most people believe they eat healthy food in reasonable amounts. On the BBC show “You Are What You Eat,” the host starts each episode by showing overweight people the amount of food they consume in a week, and without exception, they are shocked. It’s all too easy to forget about a handful of crackers or a bag of chips or three granola bars. Or you may recall that you had “pizza,” but conveniently forget that you personally ate “three quarters of an entire large pizza.”
I’m equally guilty of doing all this, and the easiest way I’ve found to keep myself honest is to write down every bite. I don’t do this every day, but anytime I’m trying a new “food lifestyle” (because I DON’T “diet”) or anytime I just feel like my food habits have gotten away from me or become a bit out of control, this is what I do. Awareness is key! We can’t change what we won’t face or acknowledge.
Some people like to use an app on their phone to do this– myfitnesspal works GREAT for this. If you’re really just starting out, this is what I recommend. You enter whatever you just ate, enter the quantity, and most of the time, the app’s other users have done the work for you, and the nutrition info is already entered into their database. There are tons of restaurant dishes in their system as well. If you ate half of a dish, or 1/3, or 3/4, myfitnesspal will do the math for you. If it’s a recipe you make often, you can enter the data manually and save it for every future time you eat that food. You can log exercise too, and the app will tell you whether you’re at a calorie deficit or excess for the day. You can enter your height, weight, age, and goals, and myfitnesspal does the rest. I’m not super big on just counting calories for the day (more on this in future posts), but it helps to give you an idea. You can even connect with your friends on there to help you stay motivated!
Of course, entering all this data every time you eat or workout gets a little tedious after a while. Once you have a decent idea of what your food intake for the day is, and where you want it to be, and the nutrition info for certain foods, etc., you can just as easily get a good idea of how much you are consuming by writing it down. Whether you do this in a note taking app in your phone or with plain old pen and paper makes little difference, and really just comes down to personal preference, and how likely you are to keep up with it. Every time I do this, two things happen: I’m always surprised by the sheer volume of food I’ve been eating; and I tend to eat less, because if I’m not hungry and just wanting to snack for pleasure, knowing that I have to write it down (even though no one else will see it besides me) sometimes makes me stop and think just long enough to realize I really don’t need that extra half dozen cookies. 😉
Stay tuned for our next post!