Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Carbohydrates~ Good or Bad?

SO, what the heck are carbs anyway? And why are people so "afraid" of them!?!  Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. They are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose, or blood sugar.  Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs.   


THAT right there, is why you NEED carbs!! BUT, hang on for a second... I'm NOT telling you to go and eat a loaf of bread, or a bag of chips!  Carbohydrates break down to simple sugars allowing your body to quickly convert it to energy. How fast the process is is based on the type of carb you ate. Complex carbs take longer to break down and digest keeping you fuller longer and provide a slower steady steam of energy. Simple cabs like sugar are broken down very quickly leaving you tired and hungry shortly after consumption.  Any left over carb (or now sugar) that is not needed immediately for energy use is converted to fat and stored, UGH-- WHO WANTS THAT!? 


What does that mean?  Eat carbs, the complex ones (which I'll discuss), BUT don't eat them close to bed time.... Why not?  If you choose to eat a food high in carbohydrates prior to bed, you're going to get energy from it, do you need that energy? No. SO, you're going to store the sugar that the carb has created, and guess what? You're going to store it as fat.  Yep. the little baby "f" word some of know, and dislike very much!!

Carbs=energy, therefore we need them!! They're definitely great to have before a workout, or even after a workout paired with a protein.  A lot of people, myself included often go towards a banana or 1/2 of a banana with a tsp of all natural peanut butter before a workout, and then toss the other half in a recovery shake for your post workout!  Why? Because, yes a banana is a fruit, but a banana is SO close to a carb because of how much sugar it has in it!  I love those little devils, but I can't eat more than 1/2 or 1 per day on the plan I follow due to the sugar levels they have!  
I love the meal plan I follow, because all I need to do is a simple calculation based on my weight, and my goals in order to figure out how much of each food group I should eat! HOW easy?!  THEN I use the cutest little color coded containers to measure out all of my food!  The container I use for my carbs is yellow, and I get 3 servings daily.  Each serving is 1/4 cup, also equal to 1 slice of sprouted grain bread, or two-6 inch yellow corn tortillas.  3/4 cup of carbs per day is more than enough for me, and much more than I need actually.  I'm maintaining my weight right now, toning, gaining muscle, when I was losing weight, I only had 2 servings of carbs daily, or 1/2 cup of carbs.  

Lunch today was packed with protein, nutrients, and complex carbs!!! <3 <3 <3 The meal plan from The Master's Hammer and Chisel is so incredibly amazing, that I could never figure out what I want!!

This is simply called the "Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato," but it's SO much more than that, and even much more than what you see!!

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato
Serves: 2~ each with 1 potato and 1 cup filling
Total Time: 1 hours. 5 min.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Container Equivalents: 1 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 Spoon

Ingredients:
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, rinsed and pierced with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken 
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro or 1 Tbsp. dried 
Directions: 
  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 35 - 45 minutes, or until fork tender; cut lengthwise. 
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, combine chicken, beans, oil, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes, or until hot.
  4. Top sweet potatoes evenly with chicken mixture, and sprinkle with cilantro
  5. Serve immediately... OR SKIP the heating process in step 3, and portion out for food prepping!! (THAT'S WHAT I DID!! <3 <3 <3 

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