Dirty word? Absolutely not! Carbs, get a bad rap, but they are our friend. Remember that!
Carbohydrates are what gets us through the day. The key to carbs is filling yourself with good ones. If you strive to consume good carbs you can actually eat as much as you want. There is no limit to these wonderful nutritious foods. Greens of any kind (Kale, Spinach, Collards, Mustard) should be in your daily diet.
Lots to think about here…how much do you exercise/lift weights, are you vegetarian or vegan, what is your genetic make-up as far as heart trouble, blood pressure, diabetes? To make it simple, lean protein is great for your body in moderation
Fats: Key to these is remembering…Fat does not make you fat! You may add fats through regular cooking…stir-frying in good oils. Using real butter in cooking and baking (not margarine). Adding avocados, coconut, and other fruits that contain “good” fats. I do not add butter to my coffee, but many people swear by this for increasing their metabolism. If you do this practice, make sure to get your cholesterol checked. Physicians have seen cholesterol go up in patients either due to this practice or an increase in coconut oil use.
#2: What about pasta, rice, grains and such? Picture a dinner plate. Of the total surface area, two thirds to three fourths of the plate should be good veggies, the pasta, rice, bread, and protein should make up the other one fourth. For pasta and bread, your gluten-free options are the best. Foods made with both white and wheat flour turn to sugar (see miscellaneous health suggestions link)
#3: The average American diet is backwards! Many people think they are eating a balanced meal with a plate consisting of a huge piece of meat, a baked potato, corn or green beans as their vegetable, and a salad made of iceberg lettuce, with a few shredded carrots, onion, a tomato and a creamy dressing. While this meal isn’t terrible, it offers very little in actual nutritional value.
#4: Snacks. Two principles stick out in my mind. One is that it is better to eat several smaller meals earlier in the day rather than few meals with the large one late in the day. Two, you may remember the “Zone” diet trend several years ago. A great tip to take from this diet is that your snack should be balanced in carbs/proteins/fats. So if you eat an apple, add nut butter (stay away from conventional peanut butter because it is bad for you). If you eat carrot sticks or crackers, dip them in hummus, cottage cheese, or something with protein. Organic protein bars are great because they are made up of the proper nutritional balance. Read labels!
#5: Eat Organic Food, Free-range, non-antibiotic fed animals, and go local when at all possible
#6: Stay away from artificial sweeteners! This comes to beverages. If you drink fruit juice, soft drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, etc. do so in moderation. That way you don’t need to feel guilty by drinking the full-flavorful version.