20 March 2011

An About Face

Tonight marks the end of my 2 week fast of Sugar and Carbs. It was not an easy fast, but it has definitely changed my perspective on eating. I went into this whole fasting plan with the idea that I just wanted to give my body a good cleanse after all the sugar and carbs I have been indulging in for years. Now, as the last hours slowly tick by, I am not celebrating the fact that I am going to be able to wake up tomorrow morning and indulge in a big waffle topped with syrup(which I do plan on eating), but instead I am wondering how I can make a lifestyle change that will continue to keep my intake of sugars and carbs to a minimum. I know, it sounds crazy, but in the middle of my fast/diet I came across this blog post that really made me think about how I eat. I would love for you to please take a moment to read the article, but I will also give you a quick overview of what the author is saying. The article/blog is basically stating that the fat in food MAY not be a problem. Basically, what I have been told to believe my entire life could be wrong. The author states that it is not the amount of fat in food that is dangerous, but the amount of refined carbs and sugar in our diet. The article is pretty revolutionary in the nutrition realm, but it is not the first time I have come across these same ideas. I have also read Michael Pollan's book , In Defense of Food, also mentioned in the article, and in that book he touches on a lot of the same issues. All the food science involved can be very confusing, but if you take it down to the very basic level it is quite simple. Michael Pollan puts it best when he says, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It is an easy equation. Eat real, non processed food, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and make sure that your plate includes mostly vegetables with a little bit of meat and maybe a starch.

Whew..I got a little carried away there. I wanted to get all of it out so that you can understand exactly where I am headed nutritionally. I am young, active, and no longer overweight and I want to stay that way. In a perfect world I would be able to walk down to my local farmers market on the weekend or even on my way home from work and pick up fresh meat and fresh vegetables for my evening meals. Unfortunately for me and my family that is not the world in which we live. I have to take a weekly trip to the grocery store and weed through all the processed food lining the isles and try to make the best possible choices I can for my family. Is it easy? NO WAY! It is challenging, but I wholeheartedly believe that my health and my family's health is worth the fight.

Alright, so here is the plan. I want to continue to limit the amount of carbs and sugar that I consume. That does not mean that I am going to completely ban items from my diet that contain sugar or carbs, but I want to be more conscious of the amounts of sugar and carbs in the food items I currently include in my diet. Since I have made this decision I am going to meet with my nutritionist to talk about what kinds of food I can add back in to my diet and which foods I can leave out. I talked to him for a few minutes the other day and he told me that he is starting to be swayed over to the belief that sugar and carbs are the real enemies in our diet. He told me that he feels like the amount a carbs a person consumes should be directly proportional to their physical activity level. Sounds reasonable to me. I am not staking my beliefs on anything yet, but I am definitely up for another trial period. I am going to extend my new low carb diet until the end of Lent and then possibly do some blood work and a BMI just to make sure that everything is where it should be. I am hoping that I can make some follow up blogs on this topic. I want to do some more research and get some better information to back up these new, revolutionary food ideas.


  1. I completely agree. We have been brainwashed about fats in our diet. Another great author on this topic is Gary Taubes. I am reading his book Good Calories, Bad Calories. It's very scientific, but extremely informative.

    Also, tracking my food intake on foodpyramid.org helps me stay more conscious of my carb intake. There's just something about seeing that number on the computer screen. I am trying to keep my carb intake to 150-200 grams a day.

    Keep up the fight!

  2. Good thoughts.. I am so glad you had the chance to share them. The whole card thing is so hard! ( I can hear pasta calling me from the kitchen!).. but the fact is that my body feels better when I back off on them.. it is just waiting for my soul to quit it's cry for them that I am waiting for :)