Breakfast and Carbs

Breakfast and Carbs

Doughnuts, cereal, pancakes, waffles, waffles with fried chicken, muffins, bagels, toast…what do these all have in common? You guessed it right, dun dun dunnnnn…Carbs. We have a love/hate relationship with carbs. It’s so tasty, it’s so tempting, but once on your lips forever on your hips. And when do we normally consume all of these items? Right again…Breakfast! Breakfast should be made of protein, good fats, and vegetables. The most important meal of the day is definitely not Frosted Flakes. Sorry Tony.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come to a shoot and there was this beautiful buffet with an array of luring pastries and enticing breads, warm and flaky, but NO! *slaps hand * Empty carbs plus sugar are appetite stimulants and once consumed, it’s a hard and dangerous cycle to get off. And then the afternoon slump brings you from an energetic upbeat “seize the day” being, to a useless, “I can’t wait until its Friday and it’s only Wednesday feeling.”

Explain.

  1. Carbs, especially from wheat cause the blood sugar level to rise. This ups to level of insulin to store the excess sugar causing you to feel tired and hungry. Eating carbs leads to high blood sugar which leads to high insulin which leads to fatigue which leads to craving more carbs. Repeat.
  2. Carbs boosts your sleepy neurotransmitters like serotonin whereas protein and fats boost your neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine. Wait, what? Neurotransmitters are the little messenger guys that deliver signals to the brain to make the body function properly. Many of us have a chemical imbalance due to poor diet. Don’t shoot the messenger!
  3. Another thing, at night when we sleep our body goes into a fasting state and burns fat. Once you wake up and the first thing you eat is carbs, you immediately stop that fat burning process. For this reason, I eat carbs after 3 o’clock. I am human and don’t always stick to this (especially when there are time changes involved) but when I am consistent, my energy levels are higher and I sleep better at night.

 

Let’s get into the fun part now! Food!

Read my lips: healthy food can taste delicious. Normally when I am getting ready and have to race out the door—which happens more often then not—I drop two eggs in a boiling pot for 15 minutes and this gives me 15 minutes to take a shower and brush my teeth. I peel and eat with raw spinach. Boring? I get creative too! Omelets are not as hard to make as they look. Grab mushrooms, spinach, and eggs (eat the yolk!), cook with coconut oil. Add avocados, tomatoes, or peppers. Have sautéed butternut squash and goat cheese omelet, scrambled eggs with green onion, even bacon. *Side note…There are so many misconceptions about bacon. Bad bacon is bad. Look for organic, nitrate free bacon. * Make your own breakfast sausage! I love left over ground beef for breakfast. When I’m feeling naughty I’ll make pancakes with coconut flour. Seriously, there are so many options! The funny thing is when you start training your body to eat healthy, unhealthy food starts tasting bad.

In conclusion, please always eat breakfast and eat a healthy, kick ass breakfast with protein, vegetables and fats.

 

Sources

Alban, Deane “Balance Your Neurotransmitters to Take Control of Your Life”www.bebrainfit.com/balance-neurotransmitters/

Davis, William. (2011) The Wheat Belly. New York, NY: Rodale Inc.

Lipman, Frank and Claro, Danielle. (2014) The New Health Rules. New York, NY: Artisan 

Neurogisitcs: The Brain Wellness Program

www.neurogistics.com/TheScience/WhatareNeurotransmi09CE.asp

 

 

Don’t Get Hangry—The Best Snacks For Prevention

ThailandI am sure you have seen the Snickers commercial. Someone is acting like a diva because they are hangry (if you are unfamiliar with this term: hungry + angry = hangry. Get it?) Someone tells the diva to chill and hands him a Snickers bar, then suddenly the diva becomes himself again. This we probably can all relate to.

As a model, I am constantly on the go and don’t always have the convenience of sitting down for a warm meal or eating when my tummy growls. When I am on the plane or in commute, I keep snacks and water on me at all times. I know myself and when I can’t eat when my body tells me to…it’s something like a female Hulk crossed with grumpy cat. I am cranky, sleepy, unyielding and can’t make a decision to save my life. Frankly, it’s not attractive and I am not proud of my behavior. As soon as I refuel my body, it’s a huge relief. Insert Beiber song: Is it too late now to say sorry?

 

Here is a list of snacks I keep on hand. Here we go:

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Epic bars:

I was on the hunt for protein bars. Trial after trial, I was consistently hungry 10 minutes after snacking and then shortly after I felt fatigued. What was up? I read ingredients and discovered the common denominator: sugar and carbs. These “protein bars” contained rice protein, high sugars, and soy. Then I stumbled upon EPIC. 100 percent grass fed meat from lamb, beef, bison, pork, and turkey so it’s good for the land, the animals, and your own body. It’s not your typical jerky; so don’t be skeptical until you try.

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Thunderbird:

For those who are vegetarian and vegan: these are bomb! Nuts and fruits mixed up into a delicious bar. I can count the ingredients on one hand. Sweetened with dates and packed with good fats and seeds. I like pairing this with an espresso to have a little something-something sweet to wake up. No added refined sugars here!

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Nuts and dried fruit:

Very simple. Try mixing your own because often times pre-made trail mix contains unhealthy oils (cough, canola, cough) or sweeteners and can also be more expensive. Buy raw and mix your favorites. Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and give a good boost of energy.

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Fruit:

When I was in Thailand, I have never experienced fruit in this way. I woke up at 6 in the morning and ate freshly picked fruit every day. I once ordered a young coconut and the Thai man went to look and came back with “coconuts no good today. Not ready.” Even though I was disappointed I couldn’t drink coconut water that day, I was so pleased they weren’t picking fruit just to sell. The coconut was “no good” so I had to wait for nature. When fruit is picked at the right time, it tastes more like a fruit should–sweet (and delicious) with more color and nutritional value. Now since we can’t go to Thailand…sigh, buy organic and local and opt for fruits that are lower in sugar and high in antioxidants i.e. blueberries, strawberries, blackberries.

Try keeping these snacks with you and don’t let yourself get hangry.