The Carb before the Horse

Have you ever had the sensation to eat a whole baguette in one bite? Or have to have a cookie @ 3 pm? Gluten containing grains contain opioid peptides, an amino acid sequences that affect the brain in the same way opiates do. They target your endorphin receptors and make you feel good. Along with emotional uproars, these opioids can be addictive and responsible for intense, need to have cravings.

The authors of the Serotonin Power Diet are convinced that the carbohydrate craving is related to decreases in the feel-good hormone serotonin, which is marked by a decline in mood and concentration. Thus, to get your mood boosted you want a feel good carb.

Other possibilities are habits, feeling unpleasant feelings, or culture.

  1. An example for habit is if you were brought up to suppress a certain emotion and were given a cookie to hide it, this could prevail into your adulthood for many years.
  2. An unpleasant feeling example is to have a carb to prepare for a task that can bring up shame, stress, or disdain. You feel it  will help you self-medicate to get your rally cap on for something that can take a toll on you.
  3. An example of culture is tea time. The hours between 3-5pm can be witching hours for many people, thus maybe tea time was invented to get your second wind. Once this carb has been introduced consistently, your body can get programmed to crave this at the same time for years even if you over come the habit, it may flare up again. For example, I had a client who started her work shift and would run for a latte and pastry before work, 10 years later after she quit her job, she still had the same craving at the same time.

So how do we take in these carbs mindfully and nutritionally? Some of you know I am a fan of food combining. This style of adding nutrition can help your body break down food more efficiently, even carbs. There are three primary categories of food: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In food combining regarding carbohydrates, they are divided into two categories: fruits and starches. While fruits pass through your digestive system with relative ease, starches require more of a breakdown. By chewing your carbohydrate thoroughly you will have a better chance to break it down more with an enzyme called amylase that is released in your mouth. Chewing well can enhance your body to assimilate the nutrition.

According to the guidelines of food combination, you do NOT want to mix proteins and starches in the same meal (as often as possible, was adding by Conscious Nutrition guidelines). This means, no bun with your hamburger, no meatballs if you have pasta, no potatoes with your meat. Starches require an alkaline digestive medium to digest. When you mix them both together, basic chemistry shows that they don’t digest. They neutralize. If the food is not digesting, it is going through your body undigested and not absorbing the nutrients you need which can also alternate elimination.

Check out the Conscious Nutrition Food Tree YouTube tutorial.

When you have a carb flare up, add in healthy fats and veggies with the meal or soon there after. For example, have a sweet potato with ghee, or almond butter, the fat will help balance the sugars in the starch. You can wait 30 minutes to an hour and complement this snack with a protein meal to support your body if you are in need of more food.

Also, always remove all guilt. Stay kind during the flare up and if you feel courageous enough to feel all the feelings, it may pass and the baguette will not get inhaled in the cross fire.

Stay chewy,

Heather Fleming, C.C.N

P.S. If you want to learn more about your body and what types of meals support you best, I am taking 5 new clients through the summer for the Intention Setting 3-month program. Let me know if you have any questions.