Fuel For Your Body

by Monica Steiner

by Monica Steiner

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer or so the saying goes...

In this case know as much as possible about the differences in carbohydrates so you can use them to your advantage to fuel your body and advance your purpose!

Starches are the worst such as pasta and bread and you’ve got to be very careful with rice and potatoes. Yes, vegetables ARE carbs; the best ones for you are those that are bright and colorful and especially green. Broccoli, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, raw salads, sweet potato and red potato’s are what I mainly eat for my carb intake when I get strict with my diet.

Be very careful not to overindulge in those vegetables that grow underground, the ones we call “root vegetables” such as corn, carrots and potato’s because they are higher in their starchy carb content and not as nutrient dense as some of the other choices.

Fruits are also carbohydrates with many vitamins but also a lot of natural sugar. Enjoy your fruit but eat AN apple a day not an orchard and also be wary of bananas and oranges; while they are very nutritional they also contain the highest amount of sugar. Best choices for fruits with lowest amount of sugar are all those ending in “berry”, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.

When I was two years old I was diagnosed with celiac disease – my body could not assimilate any wheat/gluten. My stomach was constantly distended like those you see of malnourished children in third world countries because any and all food would go straight through my system without being digested or absorbing any of the nutrients. This was at a time when gluten free products were few and far in between.  Because I also turned out to be allergic to a number of other food items, there was a time in my life that I lived on rice and 12 bananas a day.  My mom held strong in her desire to eliminate the sources of my allergies and condition, instead of giving me medication, and to this day I credit her with allowing my immune system to slowly mature, fight, evolve and overcome naturally. Today I am not gluten intolerant and have no food or other allergies except to cats.

For as long as I can remember my metabolism has been fast; I could eat practically anything- and as much of it as I wanted. Yes, I did put on the “freshman 20”  but quickly got them off with my active college lifestyle of martial arts during the week and dancing on the weekends.

It wasn’t until a lecture I went to, while living in Scotland in 2000, and heard Dr. Brian Peskin  author of “Beyond the Zone” talk about the hidden dangers of sugar and carbohydrates that I finally got it.  I met him that evening and I will never forget what he said to me during our conversation that made a huge impact and planted the seed to changing my nutritional path to become a lifestyle for the sake of my health and longevity and not for the sake of my physical appearance.

Dr. Peskin looked at me and said, “Yes, you are the type that thinks you can eat all the bread, pasta and starchy foods you want without gaining weight. What you don’t realize is that in doing so you are becoming a walking type 2 diabetes case in another 10-20 years.”  What he said hit me like a brick wall.  I’d never thought of it in those terms, and it actually made perfect sense.  I am fortunate in that my metabolism has allowed me to indulge a bit more than others however if I didn’t change my eating habits, I’d be in big trouble down the line when it really counts. 

So now, when I’m “off season” I do eat bread, pasta and pizza but very sparingly and I always watch the amount of sugar I put into my body regardless of when eating more or less clean.