Health & Food

Counting Carbs, It’s What I Do

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I weighed myself recently, which is something I rarely do.  I found my weight had jumped two pounds over the past month; which is exactly what happened the last time I stopped nursing.  Over the past year I was easily burning 500 extra calories a day since I was a milk machine.  Now? I’m nursing twice a day and that’s likely dropped to about 100 calories.  I now have to really work on being intuitive and reminding myself that I no longer need as many calories. When I stop and think, I notice that I’m indeed less hungry throughout the day.  I need to work on adjusting my calorie intake to match my calories burned. I won’t count calories to determine this, but instead I’ll work on being mindful and intuitive.  In other words, my body will tell me when I’m hungry and when I’m full, I need to put aside my tendencies to eat throughout the day.  I’m working on my new normal.  And, while I would never put myself through the torture of an American fad diet, I am very careful about one thing; carbohydrates.  I have been, and will continue keeping track of my carbohydrates daily; aiming for no more than 130 grams/day.  This means I eat a lot of peanut butter.Of course, I buy the peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt (you gotta watch out for added sugars in peanut butter).  After I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes during my third trimester of my second pregnancy, I realized the best way for me to stay healthy and keep weight off is to monitor my carbohydrates.  While I was nursing I aimed for 150-160 g/day, since then I’ve dropped to 110-130g.   Another important factor in my wellness journey is forgiveness; I accept the fact that some days I will go over my 130 gram goal.  It’s ok.

For a while I was doing carbohydrate counting and not thinking too much about fats (after all, Dr. Adkins could do it, why not me?!) but then I found out once again, I am not invincible.  I had my cholesterol checked and it was high (over 220, not good).  So, while I still watch my carbohydrates I’ve also been watching my saturated fats.  This doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself some red meat and blue cheese here and there.Flank steak is a leaner cut of meat, and one of my favorites. Too bad the celebrity chefs have taken a liking to it lately, thus increasing the price for everyone.

So this summer my personal focus is on watching my carbohydrates and my saturated fat, while still getting plenty of fruits and vegetables (that’s always my number one goal).  I’ll be doing a lot of fish, tomatoes, and avocado (check out this cod ceviche recipe!)Once again I’ll completely ignore all the latest fad diets and allow myself to eat foods that I love, but with some boundaries.  After all, summer nights call for a cold beer on the patio.  Right?  What are your summer goals?

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