Saturday, January 28, 2012

Food Facts Friday (Saturday): Let's hear it for the carbs!

This Food Facts Friday is being posted on Saturday! I just had too much going on yesterday, one of which, I am so happy to say, was an interview!

Yes on top of my everyday life of trying to 

  • raise two kids
  • care for my Jack Russell
  • manage a home
  • train for future half-marathons
  • maintain a 12 credits semester (I will get that RD license!)
  • And work with an engineering firm to complete the next level of prototyping for my patented portable abdominal fitness device

I have decided to pursue employment!

So a couple of months ago, I applied for a Dietary Aide position. I did not get the job - but actually, I was relieved. I don't think I could have managed all the above and a 40hour work week. But the Registered Dietician, who was hiring, reached out to me and offered me a chance to volunteer. I know, that doesn't sound like much, but in NJ, nutrition aide jobs are really scarce and most people start out by volunteering. So, I went on this interview. My goal (which I made very clear during the interview) is to volunteer throughout the spring semester, and hopefully, by the summertime, secure a dietary aide position. The RD mentioned that she thought this was how she saw it unfold, too! I am hopeful!

So, recently, I have been reading about food, nutrition and exercise - what else is new, right? This week, it seemed like carbohydrates were constantly popping up - everything I read had to do with carbs.

I started thinking, if I had a dollar for every person I've ever heard say: "I just am going to cut out all carbs from my diet and lose this weight", I could probably buy myself a brand new BMW!
How about this one?
Even in the local pub that I love to go to - it's dark and cozy, it smells of beer and the wide-planked wooden floors have that tacky, malt-residue feel - they are even "Anti-Carbs". They offer several salads on their menu and say something like, 'if you're looking to avoid carbs choose these salads'. First of all, alcohol is a carbohydrate, so if I were looking to avoid carbs, why would I be in their pub, sucking down a beer?

So, here it is, I'm standing on my Soap Box promoting carbs:
  • Carbs are not "bad"  - they do not make you fat. Excess calories make you fat!
  • From simple (lactose) to complex (fiber), carbs are all that!
Okay, I'll stop rhyming.

It's okay if, at each meal, your plate is 1/3-1/2 healthy carbs - full of a combination of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and/or dairy. Those whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy contain our much needed B, C, A, E, D & K vitamins - as well as a whole bunch of minerals. 

Besides, Carbohydrates = Energy. That's their primary role in life! As soon as someone cuts them out of their diet, they are going to feel slow and sluggish - this could prove disastrous for their training program - and even make them too tired for simple normal everyday activities.

Another great benefit to eating carbs is phytonutrients. Remember 5-A-Day - the number of recommended fruits & veggies we should eat every day? (I think the average American consumes about 2-3 fruits and veggies per day). Why 5-A-Day? Besides the great vitamins and minerals, veggies and fruits contain phytonutrients, like anti-oxidants, which help fight off inflammation and oxidative stressors that can cause damage to our DNA, cells and tissues. Eating 5-A-Day, we can protect our DNA, cells and tissues and decrease our risk of so many different diseases - like cancer.

So, don't just eat carbs ...Enjoy them, knowing that they are full of so many great nutrients that will help you feel great, fill you with energy ( which will help you train better) and protect you from disease!
Carbohydrates. Mmmm, mmmm good!


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