Tuesday, July 24, 2012

red, green, lean

The bottles aren't mine, I SWEAR!
This isn't even Saturday, either!
The apples and tomatoes are being divas and asked not to be photo'd. 
Lately I have been working reaaaaaal hard on getting my diet squared away.  When I say diet, I don't mean "Oh, let me starve and not eat anything at all so I can lose weight.", I mean my regular foods.  With the current workout I am doing, I need to eat a lot of proteins and junk so I can't just eat less and call it good.  However, it feels like I am holding onto the extra carbs and I decided to do some digging and figure things out.  How can I cut carbs from an already low-carb plan?  Where is the extra sugar coming from?
The interwebs are great!  I typed in a quick little search for "list of fruits low in carbs" and got several right away!  Combining several lists, I noticed a pattern.  Fruits that are red tend to be the lowest in sugar/carbs with a couple exceptions.  The low-in-sugar fruits that I found were:
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • cranberries
  • blackberries
(see a pattern there? BERRIES!)
  • blueberries
  • watermelon
  • rhubarb 
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • apples
  • melons
  • cantaloupe 
  • grapefruit
Now, beware because I also found grapes and cherries were in the "highest-in-sugar" category and while they are yummy, not so good when trying to cut back on sugars and carbs.  Sadly, oranges (my most favorite fruit) are in the highest sugar category and so that means no more cuties for me for a little while.  It pains me to read that last sentence. I'll not look again at it! This is the most compiled list I have found and follow when I am shopping at the store for fruits. Easiest way to shop is, "red fruits and berries".  It also shows which fruits to avoid if you are cutting sugar.

We are all probably aware that leafy green veggies rock when it comes to eating good.  I was still curious though as to which veggies would be lowest in carbs so I asked the interwebs again.  What I came up with was pretty much what I expected, but there were a couple of surprises I found.  Lowest in carbs are your leafy greens, as I suspected like:
  • sprouts
  • greens like kale, spinach, rhubarb, chard (you get it...leafy = YES!)
  • herbs
  • cabbage
  • mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • broccoli 
  • cucumbers or pickles
  • zucchini
Again, I was not too happy to find carrots are iffy and for carb watching purposes should be avoided more often than not.  Corn and potatoes I wasn't too surprised about, but anyone who knows me, knows my love for butternut and spaghetti squash and that's a big no-no. *sulks*  Again, here is my go-to list to narrow things down.  The "master" list for veggies is linked in there, but I like the way this sorts things.  Keep it green.

This is probably a given, lean meats are best.  But I didn't think about lunch meats, even though they say 98% fat free and are easy, pack on extra sugars in the packaging and are doing more harm than good.  BOO!  We have been buying our meat from the market pretty much every week now.  I don't even remember the last time I bought store bought meats.  With that said, we have a lot of lean pork and buffalo here.  During the week I substitute meats for good alternatives such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pecans, sunflower seeds, flax and hummus.  I usually either snack on a small handful of almonds or toss some sunflower seeds onto my salad.  It's just easier for me to not stand over the skillet or deal with the pressure cooker to make a meat just for myself for lunches during  the week.  I'm lazy sometimes and don't wanna deal with it.

  • eggs
  • pork
  • bison
  • chicken breast
  • turkey
  • nuts (pistachio, almond, sunflower, pecan)

Now it's not to say that you couldn't have whole grain in with this eating regime, such as quinoa.  I just don't think I will add it in, so I will omit it for now. I am a sucker for granola too, love it in my greek yogurt (which yes is higher in carbs, but super high in proteins) so I might add that to my breakfast once or twice a week.

Since I shop seasonally with the market, its easy to get a ton of red, green and lean and work your meals with it.  I bought store bought lettuce a couple weeks ago and could taste the difference!  WEIRD!  I still love a salad though, so I will do it.   I am excited to see if eating like a color wheel will indeed make a difference for me as far as how my carb intake is going.

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