We love carbs.
It is just human nature to want sweetness and that means carbs. For most that means bread and we have decided bread is bad, so we avoid all carbs. Well let’s not.
We need carbs.
But it is the quality of the carbs that matter.
Human Development is a process of evolution over time — as are our habits, our choices, and how we eat. In the online program Step 2 is about carbs where I unravel some myths and give you the knowledge to learn what choices are best for you and how to create new habits that will give you more balance.
When we get too obsessed with weight loss rather than health we get lost. At least many are waking up to the need to focus on how we thrive, rather than how we look. And don’t get me wrong – loosing weight can be healthy too, the point is what we focus on and that is were we need to learn “why we need what”. If not we jump on every new solution that the weight-loss industry comes up with, without understanding our own reasons for doing so. We get “seduced” by “it” is the “latest,” and we assume that what is new is always better, more evolved. But we are not new machines that require the latest technology. We are actually pretty old devices, and we are getting caught up in new “solutions” that don’t fit the way we were built to function.
Once we understand that our core drive is survival, we can begin to learn why some of our actions are not working for us; only then can we get a sense of the “way back” to what lies ahead. What we will come to understand is that we have the wisdom inside ourselves to find our own solutions.
In this Step 2 of the online program I teach about how to listen to what our bodies are telling us and to allow the universal law of balance to guide us, so we can begin our healing process and eat in peace.
GRAINS AND THE ESSENTIAL CARBOHYDRATES
Grain and rice have been staple foods for thousands of years. For example, rice and wheat have been eaten for 10,000 years; barley has been eaten in the Middle East for 11,000 years, and Africa has had millet for 6,000 years. Some believe that our digestive system is “designed” to mainly digest meat and fruit. However, most of our teeth are grinders, a fact others cite as evidence that we are grain eaters by nature. What is beyond argument is that the consumption of carbohydrates is a crucial element in the evolution of humankind because of their impact on the development of our brains and on the “thinking mind.”
Since humans changed from a nomadic hunter/gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle that required permanent settlements, grain and rice have provided the bulk of the carbohydrates we eat. This shift to an agrarian lifestyle is the basis of our food production system today.
CARBOHYDRATES PROVIDE ESSENTIAL GLUCOSE
Carbohydrates not only feed our brains, they also provide essential energy to our entire cellular and muscular system — in short, they enable our basic ability to move around. Blood sugar level is a measure of energy, availability and stability; we need a steady and stable influx of glucose into our bloodstream throughout the day. But a certain amount of glucose is also stored in our muscles and liver, to be delivered into our bloodstream and circulated throughout our body over a period of time.
The glucose in simple and complex carbohydrates is absorbed into the bloodstream in very different ways. If we eat a simple carb, we get a fast spurt of energy, because the glucose is very quickly absorbed. However, it is also used up fast; that’s why relying on this short-lived energy source causes us to “crash.” When our blood sugar drops quickly, our survival instinct is triggered and we become anxious to find food. The crash response happens after the consumption of any and all refined and simple carbohydrates made from sugar or flour products — including pasta, bread, cakes, muffins, donuts, cookies, pastry and other such popular baked goods and sugary treats. Complex carbs are absorbed in a different way, with different effects, which we will discuss a bit further on.
UNSTABLE BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS
When our blood sugar is imbalanced—as happens when we eat a lot of simple carbs — we experience a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs. We struggle all day to keep ourselves feeling balanced and our energy going. For some, wild swings in blood sugar can cause a day of sugar cravings, mood swings, sleepiness or fatigue, and overeating, especially of sweets. When the blood sugar drops we become super-hungry, moody, emotional, angry, depressed, and some even nauseous.
Glucose in excess of what we need for immediate energy and brain fuel needs to be stored; whatever can’t be stored in the muscles and liver will be stored as fat on our bodies. As you learned in Step 1, this worked well a long time ago, when we needed to “fatten up” to keep warm and avoid starvation during the winter months. Today, though, this survival mechanism can make us overweight; most of us don’t go days without food, and in fact, our next meal is never far away. Because of the above-mentioned storage of carbs as fat, popular diet plans have omitted carbs as a food group entirely.
We want to stop being so scared of all carbs, since they are an essential energy source. We want, instead, to learn which carbs support us and which carbs hurt us. If we avoid carbs completely, we are not getting the fuel our bodies need, and we will crave carbs. As a result, most of us will end up binging on simple carbs to regain the energy our bodies require.
Rice can be a great source of good carbs without the gluten and depending on which rice you use, more or less starchy.
This is a mixture of black and wild rice which can be a savory or sweet breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner.
Wash the rice well. I use 1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups of water. You can make less or more, depending on how many you are cooking for (people, meal or days).
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer with a pinch of salt. This makes the rice more digestible and taste better, but do NOT add a lot of salt because we just need a pinch to open up the taste of the grain. It actually gets a little sweeter, not salty.
Cook for 35 min. and turn off the heat and let it sit to “finish” on its own.
I keep my rice in the fridge in a big clay pot (that I also cook it in) and that way I always have some rice when I need some good carbs. Serve it with nuts and seeds, veggies, or like here as a breakfast with shredded coconut, chia seeds, and coconut milk.
Bowls from Clay by DF.