Monday, August 15, 2011

cutting carbs without feeling crazy? possible?

I hate thinking about diets. I'm pretty sure a lot of it has to do with the thought of restricting yourself to certain foods you love, but the truth is, if I think about it that way I am always dieting. I prefer to call it eating healthy and being food conscious though.

There are a few things I hardly ever eat and try my best to avoid:

1) processed foods
2) fast food
3) pork (minus bacon cause who can resist bacon?)
4) white rice
5) buying more than 1 type/loaf of bread at a time (and never white)
6) soda (except for the occasional root beer - I'm a root beer float junkie)
7) microwavable foods (i don't own a microwave thankfully!)

I'm sure there are more but for the most part I am pretty good about sticking to my guns on this list. Weaknesses for me usually fall into the sweet carbohydrate category but I also adore a delicious crusty baguette with rich, creamy cheese. (Brie!)

I've been doing a lot of reading, documentary watching and have spent time logging food journals to see what stands out and it's glaringly obvious. I eat a LOT of carbs. Over 200 grams a day. I'm not just talking sweets, although I am guilty of loving chai (hot or blended), bread, pasta (more often recently), brown rice and anything else that has a higher glycemic index is on my regular shopping list. Sandwiches piled high with veggies, some cheese and either meat or baked tofu are some of my favorite foods. Bagel sandwiches with egg, meat and cheese are golden. Brown rice and black bean bowls with spinach, chicken, cheese, salsa and pico de gallo are on regular rotation in my belly. I know all of these things sound pretty healthy and normally I wouldn't give this much thought but after reaching a plateau in weight loss I know I need to change things up a bit.

In a perfect world I would like to weigh 125 - 130 and that means I've got another 13lbs to go to just reach 130. It isn't so much about the numbers honestly, but more about my body composition. It's about reaching a comfortable and more efficient racing weight. I know I have quite a bit more toning to do and a lot of that comes from running plus cross training. I will admit, I don't cross train enough and considering my injury set-backs recently I need to start at least riding my bike again.

I know there are good and bad carbohydrates. As a runner I don't want to be stupid and give up everything. I need fuel to run but I also know I can get that fuel from proteins too. I don't plan on giving up all carbs by any means but I need to severely limit the bad ones. Just in one day of practicing restraint I can feel my brain craving a sugary drink. It wasn't happy that I got a salad today for lunch (loaded with protein and veggies) instead of the sandwich I would usually have. It was essentially the same thing I would eat but without the bread, and I can feel it.

I should probably do some more reading about this type of 'fuel shift' before I really jump into it. Hell, I should have read more before I decided to ramble on my blog about it but it's been on my mind a lot the past two weeks. This is another way to feel a bit more accountable since I've now put it in print. (Even though my only reader so far is my mom - Hi mom!) The local meat market is closed on Mondays so I've got some time tonight to read up a bit more and formulate some sort of plan. A carb detox plan, so to speak. Tomorrow I will go buy some inexpensive and local delicious cuts of meat. (Those two adjectives RARELY go together but this meat market is amazing. Western Meats for anyone living in Portland!)

I will still allow myself chai with some honey. It's my unwind, warm fuzzy feeling drink. I don't really drink wine/beer/liquor often so that's one less thing to worry about. Root beer floats after a good race are allowed. Carrot cake will be okay once a month. Beyond that I've no plan, just a goal. Rarely do I achieve my goals without a well thought out plan though. Tonight my goal is to research a bit more and come up with one!

Also, I think I might get a piece of carrot cake and some baguette with Brie cheese just to make tomorrow that much harder ;)

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