Healthy or complex carbohydrates (brown rice, barley, oatmeal, polenta, couscous etc.) are an essential part of a healthy way of eating as they offer a vital source of energy and balanced nutrition. Afterall, our body runs on glucose, which comes from unrefined carbohydrates. These healthy carbs break down to glucose slowly through the digestive process to nourish our body and mind. In addition, healthy carbs help you feel fuller, regulate mood, promote heart health, improve digestive health, boost metabolism and sharpen mental function. However, it is important to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy carbs. Of course, refined flour products and fried carbs such as donuts, pastries, cookies and chips, etc. are unhealthy. Unrefined or naturally processed carbohydrates are the healthy carbohydrates that are an integral part of the macrobiotic way of eating.
One of the major ways in which people tend to go a little too far when it comes to consuming carbs, is through snacking. If you think of popular snack foods, you’ll see that they tend to be quite heavy in unhealthy carbohydrates. Many people over consume carbs by snacking throughout the day. When you’re snacking in a way that’s not present and mindful, it’s easy to just graze and not pay enough attention to how much you’re actually eating. The best remedy for snacking is to make your meals more satisfying through a wider variety of dishes and combinations. If your meals are too simple or repetitive you tend to snack more.
The macrobiotic way of eating emphasizes mindfulness. Eating slowly without doing other things helps to regulate your appetite and reduces the need for unhealthy snacks. When you focus on how you eat your food and eat at regular times, you’ll feel more satisfied. Snacking throughout the day disturbs your digestion and interferes with the satisfaction of our meals. You will notice the benefits of these changes in a short period of time.
Eating at regular times harmonizes your digestion and all aspects of physical, emotional and mental health. Our digestive system isn’t able to constantly work 24/7. It has the greatest ability to receive and process nourishment two or three times a day. The ideal meal times are breakfast by 8:30, lunch between 11-1, and dinner between 5-7:30. These are starting times generally specific throughout the world. Although, in hot climates people tend to eat later to deal with the excessive heat.
Include a variety of healthy carbs in your meals to alleviate cravings for unhealthy carbs. If you’re often snacking on chips and baked goods, try adding more lightly cooked, crunchy vegetables such as quickly steamed greens and blanched vegetables. These bright and crispy vegetables help satisfy our need for crunch and make us feel more satisfied in general. The variety of grains, beans and vegetables ensures that you will have the most complete and balanced nutrition and satisfaction. Experiment and add new dishes and combinations for the type of cise you enjoy the most.
For more information and recipes that utilize good quality carbs, check out the “Good & Bad Carbs: Carbs are Your Friends” Webinar For more details, click here.
If you need further guidance, schedule a macrobiotic counseling session. With over 45 years of experience, Denny Waxman is ready to help you feel better through diet and lifestyle. Contact Denny Waxman today.
For more interesting articles about nutrition, macrobiotics, and living a healthy lifestyle, please visit Denny’s macrobiotic blog.