Updated: Jan 18
Rich, buttery, crusty sourdough bread. Warm and comforting pasta with a homemade marinara. Oooey, gooey cinnamon rolls. Am I making your mouth water yet?
Meet carbs. Any woman's #1 enemy when attempting to achieve a health and wellness goal. Or so we think! Carbs actually play a vital role in our health, wellness, and fitness regimen. When taken out of a nutritional diet in a drastic way, it can wreak havoc on our systems in a variety of ways. What is important to remember when starting any type of fitness routine or diet, is to reduce the amount of processed foods and incorporate, good wholesome, variety of plant based foods to increase optimal nutrient absorption. That doesn't mean taking away what we love, but putting more intentional and clearer boundaries in place for what we know is good and, only to be enjoyed occasionally.
Here are 3 rules I live by when it comes to carbs:
Complex are BEST: I eat roughly 2-3 servings of carbs daily. This is typically in the form of oatmeal, healthy homemade muffins, and seeded breads. I don't buy store bought cakes, muffins, or even from the box goods too often. I make almost everything from scratch. That way, I don't fall prey to a craving that could pass in a few moments, and I am in charge of the ingredients that go into what I am eating. It might seem laborious, but when you make your own muffins, and know the good ingredients that went into them, you feel ZERO shame or guilt for enjoying one... alright, more like two. Here is a go to recipe that I love to use to make and keep in the freezer, when I am needing a muffin fix. Sweet Potato Muffin Recipe
Don't sweat the overindulgence: When you do go to town on your favorite bread bowl and dip at the party, or the cookies that are calling your name on the counter, don't stress. It only adds to the raise in cortisol levels that are increasing in your body. Instead, ask yourself this: What is the next best thing I can do for my body? Maybe this is a walk in your neighborhood, or a glass of water to hydrate yourself, or even planning a healthy meal that is chock full of veggies. What is the next BEST thing you can do for your body. The overindulgence won't undo any hard work you have already put in, and you will get back on track faster with out the guilt trip in between!
Restriction leads to repetition: You go into a diet with the mindset that you are going to cut back on carbs and eat more protein. Right? Because that is what all the people are doing to look lean and cut, and lose weight fast. And yes, it makes sense, in some sense. I have definitely carb cycled, before an event or vacation to really help my muscles to pop and lean out a bit. But those are NOT sustainable results! Or bodies require a hefty dose of complex carbs to help refeed our brains and muscles. So the problem there in lies, after you have been restricting for such a long time, that when you do inevitably add carbs back into the mix, they stick to your body like glue! Why? Because you restricted once and your body doesn't know when the next time its getting its source of energy, so it holds on to it like a woman who clutching a pair of Lululemon's at a Black Friday Sale. And the crazy cycle starts again.
Bottom line: Take the approach that less is more.... in your quantities and ingredients. Enjoy treats in moderation, and bake them from scratch. And whatever you do, don't place harsh restrictions on yourself if you will inevitably cave. Learn to purposefully add in the enjoyable foods with family and friends and shed the guilt.
And if you would like to chat more about this, or think that my EDIT Your Life program would be a good fit, then schedule a complimentary Health Consult with me here!