Not ALL Carbs Are The Enemy

Not ALL Carbs Are The Enemy

It seems that carbs have been getting a very bad rap especially for those looking to lose weight and get fit. The ketogenic diet which has gained immense popularity over the past few years, has emphasized the lowering of carbohydrates and the increasing of good fats and protein.

While I am in total agreement that reducing your overall carbohydrate consumption is important for long-term health, especially processed ones, we must remember that non-processed carbs work to produce energy within our body helping us to get through our day. It’s vital to choose the right carbs that won’t spike our insulin and blood sugar but instead, those which support extended energy levels.

One simple step to remember is that it’s best to avoid all things white, mainly known as processed carbs. Things like white rice, white bread and flour, white pasta, pretzels, and white sugar in excess can cause long term health issues and may lead to Diabetes, heart disease, Arthritis, and even cancer. By following this rule 80% of the time, it will positively affect your overall health along with your waistline.

If you’re craving carbs, do your best to combine them with proteins and fats such as coconut oil, avocado, lean meat and poultry, wild-caught fish, grass fed butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds. This will help to slow the inevitable spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

When deciding to cut or lower your carbohydrate intake and to increase fats, lean proteins, and fruits and vegetables such as the ketogenic suggests, consider keeping some of the following carbs in your weekly diet but in lower amounts than you would have consumed in the past:

Whole Grain, Sprouted Bread
There are so many delicious organic, sprouted, multi-grain breads available. Choose ones that are topped with nuts and seeds and make sure that there are few ingredients on the list. The closer to nature, the less added color, flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. Ezekiel bread is a popular brand which in moderation, is good for your health.

Quinoa, Black Bean, Whole Wheat or Brown Rice Pasta
Pasta is now created in all sorts of exciting formats. Unlike traditional pasta, these new versions contain higher levels of protein and increased fiber which in turn, can support steady energy especially for those who work out regularly. Look for pasta made from beans, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sprouted grain, and spelt. Or, create your own using spaghetti squash or zucchini.

Quinoa
Possibly the best rice alternative, quinoa comes in many different colors and has a rich and nutty flavor which is much higher in protein than other starchy sides. Cook the same as rice using 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa. Use chicken or vegetable stock along with coconut oil for extra richness. Throw in your favorite chopped vegetables such as tri-colored peppers a few minutes before removing from the stove.

Multi-Grain Chips
More and more you’ll notice whole grain and multi-grain chips and crackers everywhere. Choose these over the typical ones that are made from enriched flour or processed corn. Enjoy them with guacamole, raw, organic cheese, humus, or nut butter.

Morning Cereal
Most breakfast cereals spike our blood sugar and leave us exhausted by noon. Choose ones that contain flax and chia seeds, whole grains like spelt, kamut, or amaranth for example, and add nuts and seeds along with whole, raw, organic milk or your favorite unsweetened nut milk.

Life isn’t meant to be one deprivation after the other and creating eating habits that are easy to follow and become a lifestyle, not a diet, is key. We can have fun and enjoy our eating experience.

One thing is for sure, we crave what we eat the most. This being said, once you make the switch from refined, sugar-laden carbohydrate foods to more healthy ones, you will eventually wonder how you even considered the overly processed, unhealthy choices you once craved.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Protein in the Most Unexpected Places

Protein in the Most Unexpected Places

We all know the usual sources of protein, which include chicken, fish, beef and pork along with tofu, eggs, dairy products, and nuts and seeds.

With more people aiming to consume less animal products for both health and ethical reasons, there are plenty of ways to get your protein in the most unexpected of places. As a wellness coach, I am not convinced that everybody does well on a vegetarian or vegan diet, but regardless, it is a great idea to reduce overall animal protein, and to bring in more plant-based protein sources to reduce inflammation and to give our digestion a break and our organs a break.

As a general rule, most active people require approximately 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. So a 180 lb. man for example, should consume approximately 90 – 144 grams of protein per day. We normally require less protein than we think so pay close attention to your body and experiment a little bit to find the level that works best for you.

On your next supermarket visit, why not try something new? Here is a list of some unique vegetarian proteins that are easily digestible and great for even the most athletic consumer:

Spinach5 grams per cup: Who knew that this healthy vegetable actually had protein too? Steam it up, serve it raw in a salad, or throw it in your smoothie and not only get loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, but a great deal of protein too.
Peas8 grams per cup: Peas are now one of the most popular vegetables used in protein powders and are known to keep people satiated longer then other vegetarian options. Look for a vanilla or chocolate pea protein powder or steam fresh, organic peas and top them with your favorite dairy or vegan butter.
Brown Rice5 grams per one cup: Brown rice is another very popular protein that is used in powder form. It can also be eaten in a healthy rice pudding, as a morning cereal with nuts, or as a side dish.
Beans10 grams per half cup: Beans have always been a favorite for vegetarians and vegans because they contain some of the highest quality protein available and they are very filling. Depending on the type from white, adzuki, pinto, kidney, black, navy, garbanzo and lima beans, white beans contain the most protein.
Quinoa4 grams per half cup: Quinoa has become one of the most popular grains because of its high protein content and delicious, nutty flavor. It is also found in unique and healthy pasta options along with protein bars and snacks.
SoyUp to 40 grams per cup: Soybeans including edaname have always been a very high source of protein. Soymilk, ice cream, and other products are great for vegans and vegetarians although may convert into estrogen so it is advised that most people consider other sources of plant-based protein along with soy products.
Teff 14 grams per half cup: This is a grain that you hear very little about. Teff is a wonderful alternative to oatmeal in the morning topped with cinnamon, honey, and a milk product of your choice. Teff contains a surprisingly high amount of quality protein and it is rich in Vitamin C, amino acids, and calcium.
Lentils18 grams per cup: Lentils are a delicious option for those who want more vegetarian protein in their diet. They can be served warm or chilled in a salad mixed with feta cheese, fresh vegetables, and homemade vinaigrette.
Chia2.5 grams per tablespoon: Who would have known that our Chia pets from the 1970’s would become one of the healthiest seeds in the world. Chia can be used in baking, smoothies, and by letting it sit overnight in almond, hemp, or coconut milk along with cinnamon, vanilla, and honey, you’ll create the most delicious pudding imaginable.
Hemp3.3 grams per tablespoon: Hemp is another great source of plant-based protein. Add hemp to your cookies, smoothies, cereal, or sprinkle hemp hearts over your favorite salad.

Make sure to experiment this week. Try something new and shake things up. Focus on consuming less animal products and more plant-based protein. You may be surprised at how easy it is to make the substitutions and your body will definitely thank you.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Coconut Almond Encrusted Cod

Coconut Almond Encrusted Cod

Ingredients (Use Wild-Caught Fish only, not Farmed)

4 Pieces of Fresh Cod or Mahi Mahi Filets

2 Cups of Full-Fat Coconut Milk

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Cup Coconut Flour

½ Cup Almond Flour

3 Tbsp Ground Chia Seeds

6 Tbsp Shredded Coconut

½ Tsp Paprika

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

2 Tsp Sea or Himalayan Salt

1 Tsp Ground Pepper

1 Tsp Ground Ginger

Directions
Marinate fish pieces in coconut milk anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour

Mix the coconut and almond flour and all spices into a shallow bowl or a rimmed plate

Once marinated, coat the fish thoroughly with the coconut, almond batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heat a frying pan with the coconut oil on medium high heat and pan fry the fish for approximately 2 minutes on each side until golden brown

Put them into the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes depending upon the size of your fish filets

Serve with baby organic broccoli and red and white quinoa with colorful peppers.

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