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Carbs carbs carbs . . . good, bad and how many is right for you?

Carbohydrates are an essential building blocks for health and healing but getting the right ones is the key. The key is choosing them wisely, and timing them properly. Used optimally, carbs can enhance your fitness regimen. Settle your hormones and promote sleep or derail it all and cause sickness and disease.

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Since I was 16 I’ve heard all the “rules’ about carbs, I remember my old hairdressing clients when I was 18 on the Atkins Diet which was strictly no carbs and the no carbs after 5pm . . . you have seen them all right? But are you confused as I was?

Well I went on a research rampage over the last few years and through my nutrition training this is my take and personal experience with carbohydrates.

From being a vegetarian fruit, vegetable, grain and whole food eater. I went on the ‘low-carb’ bandwagon and I even tried Ketosis (extremely high fat, high protein and very low too NO carbs) and it was the sickest I’ve ever been although I was sick before, but it made me much worst. It has a great effect on obesity as you can loose weight dramatically but not correctly, or on very sick epileptic children who need a high fat diet for the brain to cope . . . being ‘low carb’ can work for some and can be stepping stone to get you where you need to go in short time but it is my belief and through my research that a prolonged time of ‘low-carb’ is not good for the brained can do more harm. I have seen when people cut out all fruit and go low carb the body can not cope and goes into shut down mode, the more I was trying to clear by body and loose weight the worst I got as it was starved of all glucose which is essential for the brain to function for the glands to produce a healthy balance of hormones and for my body to thrive. The Paleo way of eating is still ‘low-carb’ as is the Gaps Diet which promote real foods and healthy living so again can be a stepping stone in your healing journey, so this information below can still be used in conjunction to that way of eating. I still stand by my body feeling so much better without soy, grains, legumes and sugar but it did not go so well with the much needed simple healthy carbohydrate.

So now I eat an abundance of healthy simple carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables each day, at each meal and I have not gained any weight and I’m slowly building the much needed muscles I lost through my Adrenal Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, as simple carbohydrates release energy slowly in to the cells I have energy! Yay to that fellow Chronic Fatigue suffers- you can have it too.  I can now exercise without crashing back to bed for days and my hormones are balanced. This has taken a year of trailing how much carbs my individual body needs and slowly slowly introducing the right type of exercise for my body and it’s needs-blocking out the latest fads in exercise and ways of eating and listening to my body and what it needs each day- not comparing my body to any one else body and loving the ride.

So let’s break this information down . . . when you work out, have a busy life you need energy or in my case having Fibromyalgia meant each night as I slept my body switch on the muscles like I was running a marathon; thus waking me up with exhaustion and achy muscles. This is because the muscle needs an energy source or they will start breaking down the muscle for energy. If your food source is low in natural glucose and fructose from fruits the body can not sustain energy and then that effects your endocrine system and your whole body. In others words your body is starving or thinks it’s in starvation/famine so it eat’s the muscles and keeps the fat  . . . oh gosh the opposite of what we want huh? By feeding your cells and brain with good healthy complex carbohydrates the body uses what it needs and you get energy stored in a healthy way.

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So what’s the good carbs and the bad carbs?

All “Complex Carbohydrates” are nutrients that break down into glucose, your body’s primary source of energy and essential for the brain, and most foods contain them. Fruits and Vegetables!

But not all carbs are created equal and we know not all calories are created equally. Sugars that are added to foods, baked goods, pastas, cakes, crackers, muffins and refined grains (even gluten free products) such as white rice are broken down quickly by your body as these are a simple chains of 2 sugar molecules “Simple Carbohydrates”. That means they provide almost-instant energy, but it doesn’t last and spikes insulin to be released which then has to be stored outside the cells and this kind of sugar can not be used within the cells, the body then sends in hormones to cope and candida to mop up the excess sugar. This unbalances the bacteria and the whole body goes out of balance this is the onset of diabetes and fatigue, all while not fuelling the cells and feeding the brain so you crave more sugar and you are on a roller coaster of energy and emotions. When you eat a complex carbohydrate (fruit or vegetables) in a whole food state that fruit or vegetable is a complete package of fibre, minerals, fructose that can be converted to glucose-remember the brains food. FRUIT DOES NOT SPIKE INSULIN. Other carbs, such as those found in whole grains, vegetables and legumes, take longer to digest, so you get a steadier supply of energy but that can come at a price if you are not combining them properly or our body is backed up with waste.

Simple carbohydrate rich foods like bread can be very high in calories. But many foods that contain complex carbs, such as fruits and vegetables, are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals so you can eat them in abundance without gaining weight. Others fall somewhere in between: Whole grains contain a lot of nutrients and calories, while white bread has no nutrients and still a lot of calories. Neither are good options for digestion and brain health and especially Autism or behavioural issues.

What does this mean? Remove simple carbs like added refined sugar and refined grains like breads, biscuits, cookies, pastas, pastries, sweets, lollies and crackers (even gluten free) and consider all other healthy none processed carbohydrates to be a productive food to fuel your body and can be eaten in abundance like all fruit and vegetables.

What carbs when?

“Complex Carbohydrates” or “Natural sugars” are essential for the brain and if they are lacking in the body the gut can not produce the hormones it needs for proper function i.e. Serotonin and Gaba. So by increasing your healthy none processed carbs you slowly over time balance your energy, brain function and hormones. Loosing symptoms like brain fog, low energy, skin conditions and low mood and low libido. But don’t be fooled to thinking refined sugars “Simple Carbohydrates” will do this as they will cause the symptoms I have just listed . . . so NO lollies, sweets, chocolates and biscuits and trying to justify it’s good energy for the body, you know it’s not even in moderation!

Eating your fruit in the morning to wake up your digestion and allow your body to exercise or work hard is important. If you eat breakfast of fats and proteins your body will have to work hard to convert that into glucose for the brain. Unless you plan to rest for 1-3 hours after each meal, this will not digest and you will then be adding more food on top throughout the day and feel tired and have brain fog. By eating fruit as your first meal to break your fast (sleep) this is easily digestable food and the body will not need to use as much energy to digest it and that energy will go to you for your work or exercise. Then lunch could be a light meal as well like a salad or fruit without fats or proteins so you fuel your brain without loading your body with heavy to digest foods. Dinner can be a light steamed cooked meal with  fats if you wish for that as you have 12-18 hours after say dinner at 7pm to digest it. You can of course continue with a light meal of fruit or a salad to aid digestion further and give your body chance to heal. Remember no fruit after proteins, fats and starches!

Team this information up with learning about fruit and how it can heal your body and give you sustained energy and feed your brain; The truth about fruit . . .

So in conclusion Carbohydrates are a great essential food for your brain and cells but you must choose nature offerings not man kinds to get these benefits.

 

The Truth About Sugar and Fruit . . .

So is fruit good or bad for you? It makes you fat right?

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Well here is the truth about fruit and why it’s got such a bad wrap over the years.

Fruit is a whole food containing an abundance of antioxidants and healthful nutrients, and the cellular scaffolding to fuel the body, it’s packed with protein and they hold enzymes and nutrients for your body and is instant energy for your cells and brain.

In the modern word it’s a super food! So why the bad wrap? I’m glad you asked . . . it is because most of us was eating it at the wrong time, with the wrong foods and out of season old or unripe fruits.

You see fruit digested very quickly so it must be eating on it’s own, preferable on an empty stomach to not cause fermentation in the gut . . . for example watermelon digest in 15 minutes and if you combine that with an apple that takes around 45-55 minutes this will cause gasses to be produced in the gut. Then the poor apple get’s the blame. Or mixing fruit with meat which takes 24-48 hrs to digest . . . you see it’s not the fruit it’s the combination of food. If you are following a GAPS Diet or strict Paleo Diet then you must keep your fruit consumption low as your meat and fats are so high and the combination is very bad for the body causing candida to thrive candida grows from fats and starches not complex sugars. Once you move away from the strict gut protocols after healing has take place and you have more freedom then follow the rules below. or just fill up on fruits and vegetables and your don’t have to worry as much about mixing foods.

Now later I will explain how to get the optimum out of your fruit by eaten certain fruits with others or avoiding certain combinations this will take your health to the next level. But if you take anything away from this article, the rule is to have fruit on it’s own without nuts or any other foods and have it at least 1 hour away from other meals. This goes for water too ( I can see your eyes rolling) without getting distracted, drinking water is great for the body but no animal or human is designed to drink gallons of water and especially with food it then just washes out the nutrients and stops the stomach producing the bile it needs to break it down. Drink water only when you are thirsty (listen to your body health seekers, listen!) more on hot day and drink water away from food as it will stop the digestion process completely.

How much water is good for you, and why you should never take it with food?

fruitBack to FRUIT!

All sugars are NOT the same. Don’t be afraid of fruit sugar. There is a big difference between a simple sugar and a complex sugar.

Every cell in the body requires sugar!!!! 

Sugar = carbon. That is why we call foods high in sugar, carbo-hy-drates, carbon chained constituents.
Carbon is essential, over fats and proteins (amino acids). They are essential to creating ATP, what we call cell ENERGY. We are charging the battery of the cell.

Our body is made of carbon cells that feed and eliminate, just as every living thing on the planet does.

“The magnetic electrical research field will come to prove that the human body is an electrical being and our health (strength and endurance) depends on the ENERGY currents which run through the body.” – Dr. George S. White, M.D.

Each cell must have sufficient oxygen and fructose/glucose to convert the simple sugar into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is pure ENERGY for the life processes of the cell, through aerobic oxidation.
A delicately balanced distribution of sodium and potassium in and around the cells must be maintained at all times.

Fruits are higher in antioxidants and astringents and will move your lymphatic system far better than vegetables. This is why we see a lymphatic response when a fruit is consumed, and that is what we WANT to see.

Fruits, also being a simple sugar, are even superior for diabetics, pancreatitis, hepatitis, and all other gastric and intestinal conditions. Fructose does not require insulin or extensive digestive enzymes. It needs no conversion.

Fructose is not broken down into glucose; it absorbs directly into the bloodstream ready to be used. It enters the cell by diffusion. Fruits’ magnetic (electrical) ENERGY is the highest of all foods, making them the superior brain and nerve foods. They will bring ENERGY to the body, where most other foods take it away.

Our body is not meant for complex sugars (starches), complex carbohydrates, processed foods full of chemicals, toxins, refined and processed sugars (like corn syrup, which in no way resembles a simple sugar). It has been so processed and concentrated it is poison and unrecognizable to the body.

Simplicity in digestion and absorption is key. Simple sugars such as fructose and glucose found in fruits, berries, melons, greens, and vegetables are what the body requires to thrive.

Simplicity…

Sugars of the highest quality.

How do you now what fruit goes with what?

Well there’s a few simple rules and using charts like the one below can help. Until I learnt this I had it on fridge to always check the combinations.

The rule is: sweet fruit never with acid fruit –  so banana and pineapple is a no go! But a sub-acid fruit like a plum can go with a sweet fruit like a banana. BINGO!

Then there’s melons ALL melons should be eaten on there own away from all other fruits and foods, so that’s the 80’s parma ham melon dish is out!

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We start our day with watermelon or have it late in the afternoon at least 1 hour after a salad and at least 1 hour before dinner. Watermelon digest very fast in 15-20 minute and as I know far too well if you eat it after a meal you get a very bloated gassy stomach as it is fermenting on top of grains, meat, starchy vegetables and causes a whole heap of trouble for your poor system. We need to go back to simple eating, mono foods (one food at a time) and simple combinations as our guts aren’t designed to have 10-15 ingredients at each meal and then a meal every 2-3 hours with a new 10-15 ingredients. Without being another person saying to look back to primal eating . . . but look at monkeys they eat 1-5 foods without combining them, when they do eat meat they eat it on it’s own. When we used to farm the lands we ate grains as meals without loads of combinations and cooked them well after soaking. often starches for boring and proteins for dinner only eating 1-2 meals a day. We now eat many meals on top of each other without digesting the last and with bad combinations, and the result is disease and sickness.

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So leave the meats, fats, nuts, legumes away from fruit but these can be paired with starchy vegetables and non starchy vegetables.  Food combining and why is it essential for health!-chart.

Grains and starches should also be away from fruit so no porridge and fruit or paleo granola and fruit, but also away from proteins like meat, nuts and legumes as this is also a bad combination on the digestive system. Non starchy vegetables are fine with grains. So,  Why no grains you ask?

Grains and greens yes! Fruits and greens yes! Protein and greens yes! Starches and greens yes! Greens and fats yes! Acid fruits and fats yes!

Starches and fats no! Proteins and fats no! Starches and proteins no! Grains and starches no!

Fruits and anything but greens . . . no way!

Food-combining

I share this information not to get you into a panic about fruit but to show you fruit is a super food and should be in all of your diets as it is turned in to glucose which is what our brains and cells feed off. Often candida is caused by fruits and fats not being combined properly not the natural sugar in fruit. Those who have done candida cleanses and still find they have problems will agree with me. As they don’t address the food combinations, they just remove most fruits which helps for a while but then when they come off the cleanse or elimination diet the issues return back again.

In regards to ‘fruit is just sugar and will make me fat’ I will address that here briefly but I explain in more detail in this blog about good and bad carbohydrates and how to eat the right types and when to eat for your body:  http://nourishtohealth.com.au/2016/01/26/carbs-carbs-crabs-good-bad-and-how-many-is-right-for-you/

Fruit has sugar in it, your right but it is not a refined sugar that switches on receptors in the brain and makes you addicted like refined flour products (even gluten free), nor does it damage cells and cause insulin resistance (diabetes) like simple refined sugars do. Fruit has fibre which makes us feel full and provides other metabolic benefits. When you bite into an apple, for example, the fruit’s fiber helps slow your absorption of fructose (fruit sugar). Which is why fruit juices and dried fruit are causing issues with blood sugars and insulin as there is not the fibre to stabilise it in the blood and move the energy to the cells, so it just spikes and then your adrenals kick in to contract it. As long as you eat it away from other foods so it can digest and not ferment in the gut it will not make you fat but fuel your body and feed your brain with the much needed glucose it needs to function. You see any fat monkey’s and chimps in the wild? No, but you do see it in zoo’s where they feed fruit with nuts, grains and soy products to bulk their diet’s out! Don’t mess with nature human kind . . . it’s on it already and we survive for umpteen years before man come in trying to cook, change and create unnatural foods. Unnaturafying foods. I am sure that is not a word but I am rolling with it!

Studies have found that introducing fruit daily, eaten at the right times as per above have helped heal diabetes and obesity. (Again I will mention this in my Carbohydrate blog) diabetes can be healed very very quickly with the removing all unnatural foods and replaced with a high fruit and vegetable lifestyle with low healthy fats from nuts, avocado and seeds.

So what are you waiting for grab an apple and start eating fruit again and feel the life force return to your body!

 

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Here is my food digestion chart to show you why foods can not be combined like the do on most peoples plates without causing gut rot and purification-gas, bloating, pain and wind.

DIGESTION TIME OF VARIOUS FOODS: This is approximately the time spent in the stomach before emptying into the intestines and bowels.

Pure Distilled Filtered Water is Alkaline.

When the stomach is empty, it leaves immediately and goes into intestines.
Cold Pressed Juices is Alkaline

Fruit, vegetables, vegetable broth – 15 to 20 minutes.
Semi-liquid is Alkaline.

Blended smoothies and salads, vegetables or fruits – 20 to 30 minutes.
Fruits is Alkaline.

Watermelon – 20 minutes.
Other melons – cantaloupe, honeydew etc. – 30 minutes.
Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, persimmons, papaya, pawpaw, grapes, cherries, berries etc.- 40 minutes.
Fruits is Acidic

Orange, lemons, limes, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit – 30 minutes.
Raw Vegetables is Alkaline.

Raw salads and vegetables – tomato, lettuces, cucumber, celery, red or green pepper, other succulent vegetables – 30 to 40 minutes.
Steamed or cooked vegetables without oil is Alkaline.

Leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, greens etc.- 40 minutes.
Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, yellow squash, corn on cob – 45 minutes.
Steamed or cooked vegetables with oil is Acidic.
Leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, greens etc. – 65 minutes.
Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, yellow squash, corn on cob – 70 minutes.
Cooked root vegetables without oil Alkaline.

Not recommended to roast in oil (Oil slows digestion).

Carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips etc. – 50 minutes.
Cooked root vegetables with oil is Acidic.

Not recommended to roast in oil (Oil slows digestion).
Carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips etc. – 1hr 15 minutes.
Semi-Concentrated Carbohydrates (Starches) is Alkaline.

Not recommended to roast in oil (Oil slows digestion).

Artichokes, butternut squashes, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, chestnuts – 60 minutes.
Concentrated Carbohydrates – Grains is Acidic.

Really not recommended for good digestion.
Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, oats – 90 minutes.
Legumes & Beans is Acidic

Not recommended for good digestion, but in moderation in good combinations can be tolerated especially when sprouted.
Lentils, lima beans, chickpeas, yellow peas, kidney beans, etc. – 90 minutes.
Soy beans – 120 minutes.
Seeds & Nuts is Alkaline.

In moderation in good combinations.
Seeds, sunflower, hemp seeds, pumpkin, pepitas, sesame – 2 hours.
Nuts, Almonds, macadamias, peanuts (raw), cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans etc. – 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Raw Fats is Alkaline

In moderation in good combinations.
Avocado, coconut, nut butters – 3 hours.
Cooked or extracted fats is Acidic.

Really not recommended for good digestion
Trans fats, olive oils, coconut oil, butter, canola oil, rice bran oil, rapeseed oil etc. – 6 hours.
Dairy Acidic

Really not recommended for good digestion
Skim milk, soft cheese, low fat pot cheese or ricotta – 90 minutes.
Whole milk soft cheese – 120 min.
Whole milk hard cheese – 4 to 5 hours.
Animal proteins is Acidic.

Really not recommended for good digestion
Whole egg – 45 min.
Fish, cod, snapper, flounder, sole, seafood ect. – 30 minutes.
Fish – salmon, salmon trout, herring, (more fatty fish) – 45 to 60 minutes.
Chicken – 11/2 to 2 hours (without skin).
Turkey – 2 to 2 1/4 hours (without skin).
Beef, lamb – 3 to 4 hours.
Pork – 41/2 to 5 hours.
Animal proteins is Alkaline when eaten alone.

Egg yolk – 30 minutes.
Remember this is leaving your stomach. These foods can sit in your colon for up to 4 days if your digestion is not good or you have poor food combinations, especially meat. For the best digestion choose easy to digest foods and in the right combinations.

Happy food combining!

What does “Mindful Eating” really mean and how can it help your food intolerance?