Fat Is Fat Part 2: I Love Carbs.
I’ve been completely off the blog wagon for about a month and the truth is I just couldn’t find the time because August was insane. In fact when I wrote the last blog post that I posted on August 7, 2015, “Train With A Purpose”, one of my distance coaching clients was visiting and she asked me,
“How do you have the time to write??”
I replied, “I don’t. I just find the time because it’s important and it’s something I enjoy.” However, since August 7, I haven’t been able to find the time. At least time for blog posts. I’ve been able to stay on top of my social media posts, where I post daily, if not multiple times per day.
If you’re not already following me on Instagram, Facebook, or my new found social media love, Periscope, then please search for @IronBodyByArtemis (IG & FB) or @IrnBdyByArtemis (Periscope) and follow me on one or all of those platforms for delicious bon bons of knowledge daily.
The first weekend of August kicked off with speaking at The Elite Training Workshop and attending the Optimizing The Big Three powerlifting seminar, which I wrote about in my post “Train With A Purpose.”
The second weekend of August followed up with a visit from my amazing distance coaching client April Doherty who came to shadow me for a weekend and was joined by Cressey Sports Performance Intern Nancy Newell.
The third weekend of August Eric and I assisted at a StrongFirst Level I Kettlebell Certification here in Boston. We trained 9 people for this certification, and they all kicked ass and successfully completed the certification weekend.
Patti Pendexter is missing from this picture!
FINALLY, the last weekend of August kicked off a week long vacation for Eric and I. I have not taken a full week vacation in EIGHT YEARS! That’s what happens when you’re hustling to make a drastic career change and open your own business.
Eric and I spent 7 days and 7 nights at the beach on the South Shore of Massachusetts, where we caught up on sleep, enjoyed healthy food with some beer, ice cream, and local seafood mixed in, light workouts daily,
learned to paddle board with our friend and colleague John Bischof, Owner of Vermont Ski and Sport,
Spent ample time at the beach and caught up on reading. In fact I spent the entire week reading my Precision Nutrition Manual because I’ve been trying to find the time to finish my certification and it’s been sporadic so I used our week at the beach to study.
Yes, Eric is wearing my polka dot beach hat 🙂
Reading in depth about nutrition all week had me thinking about the changes I made earlier in the summer with regard to my healthy fat intake and even about making some additional changes and adding even more variety to my diet.
If you missed my post from June, “Fat Is Fat.” on June 2 of this year I reduced my healthy fat intake to see if I would,
- Feel any differently e.g. lighter, less bloated, less sluggish; and
- If any physical changes occurred e.g. leaned out and/or weight loss.
It ended up being a very positive change, and you can read more details about the changes I made and the results three weeks after I made these changes in my post “Fat Is Fat”.
Now, three months later, I have kept up with the changes and even made some further discoveries and further adjustments. As a result I have also been feeling lighter and more energetic and the nice side effect is that I leaned out as well.
To recap, the biggest changes that I made were that I eliminated,
- Lara Bars
- Almond Butter
- Pepperoni, Salami, Bacon (fatty, cured meats)
I also made a point to hard-boil my eggs again, instead of cooking them in coconut oil on a regular basis.
I also avoided combining fats with fast digesting carbs. For example, I eliminated my daily almond butter and banana snack combo.
I replaced the fats that I eliminated with more carbs and more protein.
When you eliminate something from your diet you need to replace those nutrients and calories with another food source. Therefore I ended up increasing my starchy and whole grain carbohydrate intake, e.g. potatoes, rice, and rice pasta (I don’t eat wheat pasta regularly), and I increased my protein intake.
Note: Even though I eat rice pasta once or twice per week, I try to eat more potatoes and rice, as carbohydrates are the most nutrient dense in their original form and rice pasta is processed.
I discovered that I really missed eating carbs, that I enjoy eating carbs more than fats, and that I LOVE CARBS. Not to say that bacon, avocado, and almond butter aren’t awesome, but I really enjoyed adding more carbs back into my diet again.
What am I doing now three months later? Did I re-introduce any of the foods that I eliminated?
The biggest thing for me was getting control of my Lara Bar addiction. And it WAS an addiction.
I went through complete withdrawal for the first 7 days after I eliminated them, I was cranky and hungry ALL.THE.TIME. but now I don’t feel like I have to have one every day. However, I have re-introduced them back and I do have them on occasion, maybe once or twice per week as a late morning or afternoon snack. Or if I am at an event, like when I assisted at the kettlebell certification in August and I was on my feet all day teaching, talking, demonstrating, etc. I had one every morning, late morning, to carry me through to lunch.
I have also re-introduced almond butter on occasion but I’m not longer eating it daily as a snack with whole banana. When I say on occasion, I really mean on occasion too. Like not even weekly. When I do have it, I will measure out a half to one serving (which is one to two tbsp.) of almond butter and I will have it by itself, with a cracker, rice cake, or if I want to indulge with dates – it’s really delicious. Now that I’m not slathering it on a whole banana, I’ve discovered that even a half serving of almond butter can be enough.
I have also re-introduced whole nuts on occasion, at the same frequency as almond butter. I’ve become a big fan of whole walnuts, which are rich in vitamins B6 and B7. I’ve found that I digest them better than other whole nuts like cashews or even whole almonds.
I’ve also re-introduced avocados on occasion, like if I’m out to dinner and order a salad, appetizer, or burger with avocado.
I have not re-introduced pepperoni or salami, but I’ve had some bacon here and there. Although Eric and I have been leaning more towards Canadian bacon and turkey bacon when we have it.
As I mentioned I have been eating more carbs and LOVING IT. I will have carbs with every meal, e.g. a half or whole sweet potato over the course of the morning, pasta or rice at lunch, and then a half of a sweet potato at dinner.
Recently I’ve been exploring different types of nutrient rich grains beyond rice and potatoes and this week I started to incorporate Amaranth post workout or as my first breakfast if it will be a few hours before I workout.
Amaranth is a wheat free grain. It is considered a seed. It is high in fiber, a source of the amino acid lysine, and nutrients magnesium, calcium, and squalene. It reminds me of a non-processed, nutrient dense Cream of Wheat.
You can read more about a variety of nutrient grains here in “17 Healthy Grains You’ve Never Heard Of”.
Out of the grains listed I have eaten whole farro and freekeh, and they are both delicious.
A few things to keep in mind with increasing your carb intake is that,
- You want to make sure that you have an inverse relationship with your carb and fat intake. So, if you are eating more carbohydrates, you want to eat less healthy fats.
The reason for this is because your body is going to use one or the other as an energy source. So if you are eating a high quantity of carbohydrates and a high quantity of fats, your body is going to use the carbohydrates as an energy source first and likely store the fat as fat if it does not need to use it for energy.
Some people do well on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet, but I discovered that I am not one of them.
Some people will do well on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet initially, and then hit a wall.
Everyone is different. You need to figure out what works for YOU.
2. If you are going to increase your carbohydrate intake you want to make sure that,
a) your carbohydrate intake matches the recommendation per your body type; and that
b) you are active enough to use all the carbohydrates you are consuming as energy.
I am very active and on my feet all the time for work, exercise daily, and try to walk whenever I can to run errands or even walk to work, so I can afford to incorporate more carbohydrates into my diet because my body will use them for energy.
On my Facebook page I had someone ask me,
“Do you think it was the fats in the Lara bar, the less sugar from the Larabar, the higher volume of food, or the fact that you were getting more protein first thing in the morning that prompted those changes?”
The changes being that now,
- I feel lighter, less bloated, and less sluggish; and
- As a nice side effect, I leaned out and lost a few pounds.
I don’t think it was any single one of the changes that I made to my diet that resulted in these two positive outcomes but rather a combination of all of them. The reduction of healthy fats, build up of consuming a processed Lara Bar DAILY, and being more aware of avoiding food combinations like almond butter and banana, helped me to get control of my Lara Bar addiction, get back to whole foods, and think twice about the amount of healthy fats I was consuming.
It important to evaluate your diet every 6 months to a year, especially if you feel like something is not working for you. If you don’t know where to start then I hope that you will join me for my half day workshop Keep It Simple Nutrition and Conditioning.
Schedule and registration link is listed below.
- New York City, New York on September 13, 2015 at Drive495
- Dulles, Virginia on October 4, 2015 at BSPNOVA
- Needham, MA on November 8, 2015 at Iron Body Studios
Learn more HERE.
Register under the “EVENTS” tab HERE.
If you are unable to attend my half day nutrition and conditioning workshop, I am kicking off Iron Body Studios Fall Nutritional Reset with our Iron Body Restore program on September 8, 2015. The deadline to register is TODAY September 4, 2015 in order to receive the 6 prep emails, including the program guide, before the start date of September 8, 2015.
Learn more and register for the Fall Nutritional Reset with Iron Body Restore HERE.
Also join me for my strength workshop I Am Not Afraid To Lift!
Next I Am Not Afraid To Lift workshops coming to:
- New York City, New York on September 12, 2015 at Drive495
- Dulles, Virginia on October 3, 2015 at BSPNOVA
- Needham, MA on November 7, 2015 at Iron Body Studios
Learn more HERE.
Register under the “EVENTS” tab HERE.