Today Christa welcomes April Saunders, Registered Dietician and Diabetes Coach who is also known as the “Love Carbs Coach.” April’s mission is similar to Fitlandia’s greater mission of ending the dieting cycle.
The most common problems are:
- People don’t eat enough of the good stuff
- People have a diet, deprivation mentality and a low-carb, low-fat mindset
April states, “We have the answers to our best life; our healthier most wonderful life – if you want to run, jump, laugh, learn, swim, dance and play you need carbs. To lose weight and optimize energy – we need to eat more!”
The dieting industry is a $64 billion industry that has taught us to care too much about what we look like instead of how our bodies function. By focusing more on how we feel, we can let that be our motivation including the benefit of weight loss.
Christa reminds us that cooking your own food can a beautiful meditative process, a great opportunity to slow down, gain balance and is an act of self love.
April offers tips for healthy easy meals to cook at home, that you can put in the freezer for the week. Check out her website for recipes that are simple and healthy,
Everyone’s individual needs vary but most nutritionists agree that everyone should do food journaling. Here’s why:
- Quicker time to discover what foods work or don’t work for your body
- Paleo, vegan, raw foods aren’t for everyone – different digestive needs
- Removing all sugars to break from that additive cycle
Keeping a food journals helps us see how our bodies react to certain foods, which is the science of Nutrigenetics; how actual nutrients influence our genes at the molecular level.
April helps to design a balanced, maintenance diet for people who are past the elimination phase of these foods by overcoming their addictive components. This creates a healthier lifestyle which is sustainable; and fuels our bodies sufficiently for exercise.
April works with people who want to:
- Fuel with whole foods
- Optimize blood sugar
- Get their fat off
- Have a little fun
- Don’t like diets
Fueling for Exercise “recreational exerciser” (more than walkers, but not marathoners)
- Have their macros optimized – balanced carbs, fats, proteins
- Fill in the gaps with healthy fats and healthy carbs
What is a healthy carb?
- Whole foods – you won’t be able to read grams because “anything that is a healthy carb doesn’t have a “label”
- Starchy vegetables – nutrient dense types such as sweet potatoes, peas, legumes, parsnips, turnips
- Whole grains – brown rice and low glycemic index options such as basmati rice and quinoa
Look for foods that give you carbohydrate energy that is slow and sustaining. The goal is to optimize blood sugars and stay away from anything refined.
Refined is when heat is added and it breaks down the substance. For example, steel cut oats are cut in four ways but not modified, whereas “instant” or “quick” means it has been processed down to a level that will impact your blood sugar.
“Stay close to the farm or the field, and as far away from as you can from the factory”, April suggest
Standing Up for Carbs
Let’s not lump all types of carbs together, healthy carbs are nutritious foods.
Whole fruits are carbs, the fruit sugar/ fructose provides carbohydrate energy. There are bio-active chemicals that haven’t been named yet which exist in whole fruit and vegetables that have amazing functional properties.
Christa offers a favorite quote from her colleague, Dr. Jerome Craig, “Those occasional treats that we have, there is no guilt, only consequences.” She says those consequences may lead to food cravings or increased weight, but we shouldn’t feel bad about it
- Morning Workout
- No need to eat before exercising if properly fueled from the day before
- If you are starving when you wake up, eat something small and wait a short while before exercising
- You want to be properly fueled throughout the day for optimal performance
- If more than three hours have passed since your last meal, have a snack including a small amount of protein and a slow digestive carb like a piece of fruit
- Watch your fats before a workout or run because of digestive distress
- If you’re going to work out within 2 hours of your evening meal, there should be no need to refuel before exercising
Within 30 minutes after cardio you need both carbohydrate and protein, usually around 200 calories total with optimal 100 calories from protein and 100 from carbs. It’s necessary to restore the glycogen lost during the workout. The challenge might be to grab a healthy choice like:
- a handful of fruit and nuts
- greek yogurt
- a whole grain rice cake with peanut butter
Try to resist reaching for the ice cream in the freezer or chips in the pantry as these will decrease your results and lessen the effectiveness of your workouts.
April’s Pro Tips
- Properly fuel your body every 3-4 hours
- Sufficient proteins are important, but the body can only process 30-40g of protein at one time. This is why it is important to have a balanced amount of macro nutrients in almost every meal
- If you want to work out at your peak performance level you need to have healthy carbs in order to do so