It’s the Carbs, Stupid!!

Remember back in the 1992 Presidential campaign, one of the popular slogans surrounding Clinton’s campaign was, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Well, I have a variation on the phrase. Every time I get fed up with how I feel and what the scale says, and I look at my diet, I always come back to the same old mantra:

It’s the carbs, stupid!!

it's the carbs stupid

WHEN will I learn?? WHEN??????

When I decided to try gluten free living, I intentionally did not go out and start buying the carbolicious gluten-free replacement foods. I had already been reducing the amount of processed foods and baked goods in my diet — which really needed to be done because my diet has always been horribly unbalanced. I luv me some carbs, that is for sure and certain!

So I tried natural gluten free living at first. I dropped a good five to eight pounds, and I felt great — less bloated, lighter, clear headed, all those things people say about going low-carb.

But my natural inclination towards carbs prevailed, and slowly I began eating more and more breads and cookies and crackers and chips . . . all gluten free, but still very heavy on the carbs.

Lately even my meals have become more carb-centric (did you notice my meal plan this week??) and I am feeling the effects. Even with all my exercising, I’ve been feeling bloated and full and heavy. Some nights I’ve gone to bed feeling almost sick.

Something’s gotta give.

Serendipitously, several bloggers that I read have posted this week about their paleo diets.

I always balk a little bit at anything with a label. It just smells of skunk. Or you know, fad. But I have been considering going this route for a long time because it just makes a whole lotta sense to me — not necessarily the origins (that you only eat the things people from the paleolithic period had available to them, assuming that that means the human body is best suited to these foods from an evolutionary perspective) — but because I think that the paleo diet is probably the best way to eat. If not for everyone, then for a lot of us, anyway.

Why Go Paleo?

It helps manage your blood sugar, and I tend to get light headed when I have had too many carbs and sugar and not enough of anything else to eat.

Meats, fats and fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrition, and they help you feel full for longer periods of time. Ironically, lately I have been getting hungry more often. I know that could partly be due to increasing my exercise regimen, but I think the shift in my diet is also a contributor.

In Lydia’s post, she claims that eating paleo improves your mood. I’m pretty moody, so I will take any help I can get in that arena. The main reason I exercise is to help regulate my mood swings (and it works!! That’s another story for another post.)

The paleo diet is also anti-inflammatory. We are now discovering that inflammation is the root cause of just about everything that ails us as a culture.

And last night after I feasted on homemade pizza? My feet were swollen up like a pregnant woman. As I sat there looking at them, feeling like a beached whale, and thinking about the posts I’ve been reading and what I’ve been eating, all I could think was I HAVE. TO. GIVE. UP. CARBS.

So I’m debating the paleo thing.

But . . .

I hate to make a big deal about “I’m going paleo.” I should just cut down on carbs, right??

Well, that never seems to work out. I guess I’m just an all or nothing kinda girl.

Part of the reason I haven’t done it yet is that I am not sure how to cook a meal without a starch. I tried it for a while, but my meals always seemed so empty without a potato or rice. I think I need to seek out paleo-specific recipes and learn to cook differently.

So . . .

That’s what I’m going to try to do. It will be reflected in my menu plans. Hopefully that will hold me accountable.

I’m not saying “I’m going paleo” just yet, but I am definitely going to try to cut back on carbs . . . AGAIN. And I’m going to focus on making meal times as paleo-friendly as possible. And we’ll see how it goes.

Do you follow any specific diet? Or have you in the past? Do you find it helpful or not?

And if you have any ideas for breakfast and lunch that is paleo-friendly (or just low-carb) I’m open to suggestions!

image by @DresdenPlaid