( I love this pic of my girls! Raise healthy kids! They’re depending on us!)
Potatoes, corn, carrots, plantains, bananas, beans,…wow, they sure do cause confusion. Years ago, Dr. Atkins came out with his first book and completely demonized these foods by lumping them in with grains and sugars.
It was a great book, and he had a TON of research behind his initial recommendations, which were that if you’re overweight and want to lose, cut waaay down on the carbs, and consume lots of protein and fat. He’s right. Crappy carbs will not only put weight on us – and our kids – but they’re the perfect vehicle for: inflammation, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurological conditions, ADD, ADHD, skin issues, and just about every disease out there. Crappy carbs cause an Inflammatory Environment in our body – and our kids bodies.
Crappy Carbs are Evil.
But are those Real Whole Foods I listed above “Crappy Carbs”? No. But that doesn’t mean you get to eat them. Sorry. The real answer is, “It depends.” What do they do to your blood sugar after you eat them? There’s an easy way to find out: buy a blood sugar kit, aka, a Glucometer.
IT’S SO FUN – honest! You might think Glucometers are just for diabetics, but they’re not. Anyone can buy a kit in any drugstore or Walmart, or off Amazon, anywhere.
If you’re a weight loss client of mine, you probably already own one. If you’re not a client, but a blog reader, buy one today. Here’s why.
When blood sugar rises above “normal”, (normal is between 80 – 100, but some labs have lowered that value to 70 – 90), the pancreas releases the hormone INSULIN. Insulin is an anabolic, building hormone. Insulin takes the excess blood sugar, the amount that sends the value over “normal”, and stuffs a little in our muscle cells (the empty ones), a little in the liver-glycogen storage (if it’s low) and then…….turns all the rest of the excess into FAT/triglycerides, and stores them in the fat cells.
How does Blood Sugar get above normal? EASY. Every single carbohydrate we eat becomes blood sugar in our gut. EVERY. SINGLE. CARB. Whether it’s from a grain, pure sugar, fruit, veggies, beans, nuts, whatever. The carbohydrate in those foods is reduced to Glucose. That’s the gut’s job: break food down to chemical molecules so our cells can use it. All carbs become glucose and fructose, 2 tiny, simple sugars that fit in cells easily. (Today, we’re just talking about glucose; fructose is evil too! More on that later.)
How much blood sugar is too much? If we weight 150 pounds, we have about 4.7 liters of blood. “Normal” blood sugar – a measurement of 85 on the glucometer – equals 4 grams of sugar in the whole body. 4 Grams. 4 Grams. That’s 16 calories of carb (1 gram = 4 calories). More than that, and the conversion of sugar/glucose to fat/triglycerides happen.
A medium French Fry has 47 g of sugar (all carbs break down to sugar).
A can of coke has 39 g of sugar.
Krave Jerky Lime Chile has 39 g of sugar per package.
1 cup of pasta has 43 g of sugar/carbs.
1 cup of orange juice 27 g of sugar.
Those are all obvious Crappy Carbs; the starches become sugar/glucose very very quickly and go from gut to blood stream fast. But the real reason they’re Crappy is because they’re highly, highly processed and have no nutritional value at all. None. They’re so anti-good for us they’re poison!
Conventional wisdom tries to tell us that pasta has B vitamins, or french fries from McDonalds are vegetables. Bull Crap. Those B vitamins – added/fortified – back into the pasta, were made in a factory in China from synthetic materials. And those Mc D’s french fries? 19 ingredients!! Gross! That’s not real! Read their ingredient list, and several others, here. Please, read it. Our kids eat this stuff, and our kids are getting sicker and fatter and sadder than ever.
It’s. The. Food.
So what about YOU, and ME, and potatoes, or corn, or plantains, or all these other starchy fruits and veggies? How does that affect our blood sugar since we know they’re carbohydrates?
I don’t know how they affect you; I know how they affect me because I’ve pricked my finger and tested a million times in the past 5 years. Buy the glucometer and test yourself. They’re cheap and they’re easy to use. Prick your finger 90 minutes after a meal (peak blood sugar), and look at the number. See how your oatmeal or your pasta or your crackers affected you.
And see how a meal of corn or potatoes or bananas or beans, or any high carb fruit or veggie, affects you.
Five years ago, I had pretty fluctuating blood sugar. I considered myself “low carb” because I ate a lot of “low carb” foods: Kashi Go Lean, Low Carb Tortillas, Low Carb Bread, Low Carb Ice Cream, Low Carb Cookies….. then I bought the glucometer. Wow. Did I get a wake up call. My blood sugars were way too high, and it scared me into action.
No more Low Carb Crap, just Real Whole Foods. Of course, I worried about the high carb fruits and veggies, and the glucometer showed that yes, they did raise my blood sugar too much. So I cut way back on them.
In the past 5 years I’ve changed and refined my diet – a lot. I eat more herbs and spices than ever – every day. I use essential oils. I’ve added more fat than I ever thought possible. I’ve managed to completely delete “cheat days” from my life (thank you God), I’ve become scared of processed foods to the degree that I’m literally afraid of them. I’ve joined several food co-ops, I go to a couple different farmers markets.
Last summer I went totally ketogenic for a few months.
In other words, I’ve taken several actions, consistently, for several years now, and guess what? Now when I take my blood sugar ( which I still do all the time – and I take my kids and Mark’s often also), it’s always good.
A few mornings a week I throw a banana into my smoothie – blood sugar stays low.
I eat potatoes or plantains for dinner at least 4 or 5 nights a week. The other night I measured before dinner, I was 78. After a dinner of roasted potatoes coated w butter, squash coated with olive oil and parm, a steak, and a piece of dark chocolate, I was 98.
I’VE BECOME SO DARN NORMAL. It’s awesome!
I believe you can become normal too, with persistence and consistence.
What’s normal? Normal is when you eat a real whole food, in normal amounts, in a normal diet full of nutrient dense foods loaded with good fats, some protein, and a ton of vegetables, and your body processes it just fine.
Your muscle and liver cells are open to the carbs and the fat both, you sleep well, you don’t feel sick, bloated or brain foggy – ever, and your energy and immune system hum.
By the way, as good as they look, 6 pack abs aren’t totally normal, especially for most women. Having some body fat – is normal. Being ripped, lean, and shredded, goes against most body types, and the actions needed to get there usually lower thyroid function, lower body fat to unhealthy levels, and mess up our sex and adrenal hormones.
How can you become normal? There’s only one way: change how your brain things about about your body and food. No more diet and weight loss focus, it doesn’t work. Focus on your health instead. Pledge that at least a few times a week you’re going to read something from Dr. Mercola or Suzy Cohen or Dr. Davis/Wheat Belly or if you’re interested in the science behind the Ketogenic Diet (because I really do believe it heals cells and the liver and reverses insulin resistance) check out Dr. Nally here.
Here’s my Cigarette Analogy: would you ever pick up a cigarette butt off the sidewalk and put it in your mouth? No! That would be disgusting, and there’d be no effort at all in resisting that urge. I want you to look at a slurpee or a box of cookies or a fast food burger and think: “I’d never put that in my mouth, that’s disgusting!”.
Here’s something that’s not disgusting, and it’s delicious! 2 Recipes, each I’ve had on here before, but they’re worth repeating. The first is my Sweet Potato Pizza – Oh My Gosh is it delicious!!
Chipotle Sweet Potato-Zucchini Pizza
1 large sweet potato
1 large green zuc, ring out water by twisting in a towel
1 heaping tbsp chipotle powder
3 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and pat onto a pizza pan. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes. Top with tomato sauce and cheese ( and whatever else you want, I’ve done corn, cilantro, and peppers). Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.
Roasted Potatoes – kids love this and it’s so much better than french fries-
By the way, these things freeze and reheat beautifully, they’re a great Power Cooking food.