Getting Out of the Carb Trap

A question from one of our Healthy Moms was how to eat less carbs, because once she starts – she can’t stop! I totally understand what she means.

I’m going to share a little of what I’ve learned on how to get out of the carb trap. But first, lets explore what a carb is! Then lets determine what makes a carb a “good” carb or a “bad” carb.

When most people here the word “carbs or carbohydrates” they picture bread and pasta. But carbohydrates are also contained in fruit, veggies, legumes and grains.

Simply put, carbs are large molecules made out of smaller glucose or sugar molecules. That is why on the Nutrition Facts on our packaged foods you’ll see Sugar content under Carbohydrates.

Some carbs break down into sugar fast, and other carbs take a while to break down into sugar. It depends on how big the molecule is.

Another part of the carb story is fiber. The amount of fiber in a food determines how fast a carb breaks down into its sugar molecules and how fast we absorb the sugar. The more fiber, the slower it will break down and the slower we absorb it.

The Good and the Bad Carbs

The carbs we want to reduce or eliminate in our diet is the bad carbs or refined carbs. These carbs are from refined white flour and high fructose corn syrup. You’ll find those in chips, soft white bread, muffins, doughnuts and pasta.

These refined carbs break down into sugar super fast. What this does, is shoots up our blood sugar, which sets us on a sugar high. We might feel more energy, but it is only temporary energy and then we are set up for the inevitable blood sugar crash, where we feel sleepy and sluggish. This also sets us up for craving more carbs, and a wacky blood sugar is going to negatively affect our hormones.

So – eating refined carbs is not helpful for our bodies at all!

The good Carbs are those that come in the form of fruit, veggies, legumes or grains. These carbs, even though they also break down in sugar don’t break down super fast because the sugar molecule is bigger and because of the extra fiber.

The fiber found in foods is fantastic for us because not only does it slow down the absorption of sugar, but the fiber helps us to feel more full, it adds fiber to our colon to make things move like they should

When you are eating fruits, veggies, legumes and grains you also are getting the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and all the other good stuff contained in the fruit or veggie.

So why is it SO hard sometimes to make those good choices and go for the healthy apple vs the bag of chips???

I’m not a doctor – but here are my thoughts and experiences on why it is hard to choose the good stuff…

I read that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine! So not only is the high carb food turning into sugar after we eat it, we also add sugar to recipe and then we may add sugar on top of it!! Yikes! We are turning into sugar addicts.

The high intake of sugar makes our blood sugar spike, which leads to that dip, which leads to more cravings. We unknowing put ourselves on a blood sugar roller coaster.

Chips have been created to make us want MORE! Who has not found themselves digging into a bag of chips for just a handful and then you find you can’t stop eating them. Companies that produce these chips have done a TON of study on us and chips and what we like to eat. They have researched how crispy a chip should be so that we get a great crunch without it being too crunchy or too soft. It is called “mouth feel”.

The other reason why we crave and over indulge with those refined carbs is because the yeast in our bodies thrive on it! And if we have yeast overgrowth in our bodies – which over 80% of the population does – then those cravings we are having are not us having those cravings – it is the yeast!!! And I can attest to that 100%! When you reduce the yeast – you reduce your cravings!!!

So between the chip companies being very successful at making chips that we can not eat just one…. the blood sugar roller coaster….. the sugar addiction and the cravings from yeast overgrowth – it creates a stituation where it is very hard to get out of the carb trap.

Now that you know what causes the carb trap – I hope it helps you understand how you can start to get out of it.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t even go near a bag of chips or sweets when you are hungry. Instead grab an apple, pear, carrot or celery. You’ll get that crunch, it will help stop you from getting the blood sugar spike, and will fill you up until your real nutritious meal is ready for you.When you have chips or something sweet – always pair it with a good fat or lots of fiber.
  • Chips – only have them with salsa or hummus or guacamole
  • Sweets – have them only after a hearty meal with protein to slow down the absorption of sugar. It will be easier to have just one portion because you’ll be full.
  • Bread – pair them with good fats or protein to slow down the absorption of sugar. Think of the Italians, dipping bread in olive oil or put real butter on your bread or enjoy it with cheese.
    Also have WHOLE GRAIN bread, not soft white bread. Whole great takes more time to break down because of the extra fiber.
  • Pasta – be a good Italian and cook your pasta al dente, which is on the harder side. Your body has more work to do to break down that pasta then when it is cooked soft. Have it with protein and fat, meat balls and cheese!

My daughter loves goldfish crackers and cereal too. I follow the same rules with my daughter that I follow.

When it comes to your kids, look at what snacks you are giving them.  I’m always surprised when I see kids at school eating candy bars or fruit chews as their snack, those things are nothing but sugar!

Goldfish and crackers snacks are treats she enjoys, but she eats the carrots or fennel first and then she can have a handful of goldfish.

My girl loves cereal too, but she either needs to add a hearty protein to the cereal or have a protein first. If I make a protein smoothie for breakfast that is what she adds to her cereal instead of almond milk. She also might use plain yogurt instead of almond milk and then add some fruit and a little honey or maple syrup. Sometime she will choose to have a protein before a bowl of cereal.  So then she will have an egg or avocado first and then she can have her cereal (which of course is low sugar and dye free!).

I went over what carbs are, what makes a carb a good guy or a bad guy and how they affect our bodies. I also shared a few tips on how I control my carb intake for myself and my little one.

I hope these Healthy Tips help you on your wellness journey too!

If you use a tip, I’d love to hear how it supported you. If you have any questions – please ask away!

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Why Reducing Toxins or “Ick” = Weight Loss

An easy way to reduce the “ick” is to make your own yummy…!

One way to be more healthy is to reduce the number of toxins and man made molecules in our body. Why? Because when you reduce toxins and man made molecules that are currently in your body or being added to it you will
1. Have less tax on body, liver and kidneys.
2. Your body will need less fat cells

What?? Less fat cells? What are you talking about Christina?

Can you believe that your body doesn’t know what to do with many of the toxins, man made molecules or “ick”, as they are added to your body. It is kind of like me and my kitchen drawer. I bet you have one too. I end up with stuff in the house that I’m not sure what to do with, – do I throw out or keep it? In my indecision, I toss it in the kitchen drawer of “stuff”. This is the drawer of stuff that I will “deal with later”. Yeah, you know how that goes, later is never….

So our bodies do the same thing with molecules it does not recognize. Your body tosses these molecules in the “kitchen drawer” or fat cell to deal with later, which is really never because there is so much other stuff to do! So when that fat cells gets full, well it has another one and another one and another one available!

If you have a goal of weight loss, then along with exercise, you must also reduce the toxins in your body and reduce the toxins you are adding to your body. As those fat cells get empty, they get smaller and your body doesn’t need them anymore. We see this is inch or weight loss!

A natural “side effect” of reducing toxins or icky molecules in your body is weight or in loss!

What I get so jazzed about is that I have great ways to reduce the toxins currently in your body and I have lots of ways to reduce the toxins you are adding to your body!

You have a lot of control over what you add to your body. The trick is knowing what is the good stuff and what is the bad stuff, right!! Ok, so I can help you there too :). Lets get started.

When you buy processed foods from the store there is going to be a certain amount of man made molecules, toxins or “ick” contained in them. Sure, some food will have more of these molecules than others and some will be more harmful and unhealthy than others. But the more we can make at home, the more control we will have in what goes in our foods and what goes in our bodies! Makes perfect sense!

It seems to be a common theme that when people want to be more healthy or loose weight they start eating more salads. You’ve noticed that too, I’m sure. It hurts my heart when someone sits down with a salad announcing they are “eating more healthy!” and then they pull out a store bought salad dressing that contains preservatives, sugar, unhealthy oil and other “ick” molecules.

So let me show you a super easy recipe so you can make your own salad dressings! Not only is it crazy easy, saves you money, tastes great, gives you healthy fatty oils, but it also give you control of what you put in there – so it will not contain any man made “icky” molecules!!

What you need:

An oil
Make sure it is a good quality, organic oil. I love avocado or grape seed because these oils are good for high heat cooking which means they are more stable and will not go rancid on the store shelves. Grape seed oil has high levels of vitamin E, supports the immune system and increases the blood circulation.  Avocado has high levels of vitamin E, has been shown to reduce inflammation and boosts nutrient absorption of certain good molecules.

I’m not such a fan of olive oil any more because it is delicate. Most of the healthy molecules in olive oil are not active anymore when we get it home from the store. Olive oil is also notorious for being cut with other cheaper oils.

An acid/vinegar
There are many to choose from, so have fun! Again get a good quality one. White wine vinegar is smoother, apple cider can be sweeter, lemon juice is tasty too, and of course there is Balsamic vinegar. When you get Balsamic make sure it is not colored from caramel color. I really need to try rice vinegar and coconut vinegar! Do you have any favorites I didn’t mention?

Yummies to add
Now you can play and make it fun. You can add fresh herbs from the garden or dried herbs. I love adding parmesan cheese. Can’t forget to add some pepper, maybe salt.

If I don’t have fresh herbs I will add a tiny bit of essential oil. With your first try at adding essential oil, just put a toothpick in the essential oil and swirl that around in your dressing. Add from there. You most likely will not be adding more than 1 drop of essential oil. Also, make sure the bottle says that is for internal consumption!

Basic recipe:
3 oils to 1 vinegar.
For a family of 3 I usually make 9 tablespoons of oil to 3 tablespoons of acid/vinegar.
Then you can add the yummies that would complement your salad or meal.

What did you add?
You can tell my salad dressing tends to be lean towards the Mediterranean or Italian taste. That is my background and what I grew up with. We’d all love to learn what spices and yummies you add to your basic salad dressing.

Keep it in fridge and add to it later
If you don’t use it all at one meal, don’t throw it out! Just put it in your fridge and add to it later. It keeps forever and this gives time for the flavors to mingle.

If you tried this – let us know your thoughts!
How easy and delicious was it? What spices and yummies did you add?

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Sugar Messes with Your Hormones!

After I found myself digging through the kitchen cabinets (for the third time in 20 minutes), looking for somethings sweet – I realized I had some serious sugar cravings. That was the day that I decided I needed to learn WHY I had a strong craving for sweet.

Well, not only did I find out why my sugar cravings were getting out of control, but I also found out that my sugar addiction was causing blood sugar spikes which really plays havoc on my body.  I’ll share what I learned in this 8 minute video.

How to Dry or Skin Brush

Dry or Skin Brushing is a simple tool that you can add to your day to support your general health. There are many benefits to Dry Brushing some are,
Dry Brushing…
    •    Stimulates the lymph system
    •    Supports the immune system
    •    Reduces the appearance of cellulite
    •    Gives a light exfoliation for softer skin
    •    Tightens skin
    •    Supports detoxification

The suggestions given in this first video is for those with a healthy lymph system.  I’ll share in another video how to dry brush when you have a compromised lymph system.

Download  Dry Brushing Directions

These are good and affordable dry brushes.