Health Tip: Low Carb…Is it good for you?

Low Carb diets are all over the place, and many folks have had much success with them, myself included. BUT are they good for your health?

I know that for me, eating low carb caused me to feel sluggish, blue and unmotivated after a while. Which of course means I gave up on eating that way and gained back some of the weight I’d lost. Completely defeats the purpose, right?!

Every body is different and we all have different needs nutritionally. What I’ve found works best for ME, what helps me to make forward progress on my health journey, is to switch it up a little every once in a while.

I believe that God provided a variety of foods for a reason. One reason is as I mentioned above, that we all need different things nutritionally. Part of that is based on blood type, part of it on country of origin, and a few other things as well. Another reason that I believe He provided such a variety is because we were meant to enjoy as many kinds of things as possible.

Now don’t get me wrong, moderation is still a key factor. Don’t go all crazy with your Brussels sprouts and arugula now ok? (p.s. that is a joke) ūüôā

I LOVE me some protein and (good) fat rich foods, bring on the butter, cheese, bacon, coconut oil, etc. Yumm!! But I know that my body needs a variety, it needs veggies of all colors and sizes, it needs carbs too.

Carbohydrates (carbs) are used for energy in our bodies. This is why when we go “low carb” for too long our bodies get sluggish and tire more easily. It can also cause our bodies to not know how to handle carbs when we introduce them back into our diets, which can result in additional weight gain caused by inflammation.

The key is to make sure that the carbohydrates we are putting into our bodies are good ones. Ones that provide slow burning energy, great nutrition and steady blood sugar levels. We don’t need to spike those levels because that sets off a chain reaction in our bodies that actually increases our fat stores…ain’t nobody got time for that!

To get rid of fat our bodies need to be allowed to alternate fuel sources, fats and carbs. This helps keep the body guessing on what is coming next and actually helps to force the body to burn stored fat as fuel when done correctly.

So what are good carbs anyway?

Here are a few that I keep on hand:

  • Whole Grain Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Old Fashioned Oats
  • True Sourdough Breads (whole wheat)*
  • Sweet Potatoes

*a true sourdough has been fermented, it helps to “eat up” some of the inflammation causing parts of the grain.

A few years ago I stumbled upon something called Trim Healthy Mama, they explain in their plan book how all of this fuel switching works as well as how to best combine foods, etc. They also have a recipe book as well. If you like the sciency stuff behind the why’s of the plan then definitely get the THM book and read it.

Once you get the general idea of the plan (I talk about it a bit in my eBook that you can get for free by signing here) you can pretty much run with it. I follow the plan loosely along with my regular supplements and exercise (also mentioned in the free eBook) and am loving the freedom it gives me to enjoy all of the food groups and still make progress and feel amazing!! Food freedom!!

If you are considering ordering your own copies of the Trim Healthy Mama books, please consider using my affiliate link below. It doesn’t cost you any extra but helps me keep this site up and running. Thanks!!

Affiliate Links: Trim Healthy Mama Plan Book or the Trim Healthy Mama Cook Book

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Health Tip: Simple Health System Part 3: The Secret Weapon

Due to many factors including those mentioned in Dr. Hyman’s quote here, we all need a little extra help. Our food supply just isn’t what it used to be, our life styles aren’t what they used to be either. Sure, you can get healthy by eating right and exercising…to some extent. But if you are doing those things and still not seeing the progress you’d like to be seeing, that you really HOPED you’d see, you might be missing the Secret Weapon for health.

There is no such thing as a magic pill for health, but there are definitely some key things we can add to our regular health routine (healthy mindset, healthy eating & healthy movement) to get to that next level. To see and feel those desired results. I bet you didn’t REALLY know how good you could feel until you found the right Secret Weapons. I know I didn’t!!

Here’s the thing…as American’s we are used to (and usually demand) easy, quick and effective. Right?

Ain’t nobody got time to go to the drug store, read every label (after first doing sufficient research at home on the best things to take, of course), fill our cart, and then our cabinets, with 80,000 bottles of who knows what…and then, on top of all that figure out the perfect dosage of each one of those 80,000 items will work best for us in combination with the rest….blah blah blah!!!

Keep it simple!! That’s the whole point of this Graceful Freedom thing!! ¬†Good grief! (side note: How many of us research every ingredient of EVERY thing we put into, or on, our bodies?! Not very many…and that’s part of the problem…sorry off topic, kind of.)

So, what are the Secret Weapons anyway?! Like Dr. Hyman mentions in the graphic above, there are some basic things that pretty much everyone needs. A good multi-vitamin, a good source of Omegas, Vitamin D and a good probiotic…I would add something to help support healthy glucose metabolism.

You say: But Yvonne, I don’t have time to, don’t want to, don’t know where to, research the billions of products out there…

I say: DUDE! Don’t just go taking anything, MAKE the time to do at least SOME research. Find out why these things are important. Google the link between gut health and whatever issue you are dealing with, the link between blood sugar and whatever you are dealing with, etc. Research the ingredients!! If one of the ingredients is Sucralose (or one of it’s AKA’s)…RUN!!! This is YOUR health we’re talking about!!

You say: BUT….I feel pretty good, I eat pretty well, I do all the things for health

I say: Sure, but how much BETTER could you feel if you added the Secret Weapon?!?! WHA!!!! I have a friend who ate REALLY clean, did ALL the things and still felt icky all the time, was gaining weight,¬†feeling old before her time. I’d love to tell you the rest of her story, but you’ll have to message me for the details. (Sorry I’m such a tease…)

ps I also say that there are lots of options out there (as previously mentioned), find someone who knows what they are doing to help you find what is best for you AND allow them to help you, guide you along the journey. I’d be happy to recommend some of my favorite resources to you as well. I know that my life has forever changed for the better by adding my particular Secret Weapons, and the best part is, they are simple and effective!! (If they weren’t…duh! I wouldn’t use them!)

pps Keep in mind…you did not get where you are in your health in 5 minutes…these types of products WILL NOT help get you back on track in that amount of time either. It’s like a dance, 2 steps forward, 1 step back. At least at the beginning, so be patient and stay the course!! That’s why I say to stay in contact with the person who helps get you started, they can help so much along the way!! If you let them.

pst!! Don’t forget about getting our FREE eBook on the whole Simple Health System. There are more details and tips to be found there! Sign up here¬†or in the sidebar to the right!

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Healthy Tip: Simple Health System Part 2 – Healthy Eating

Don’t those pancakes look amazing?!?! What if I told you that you could eat pancakes…and still get healthy? What!?!?!?

Oh yeah! You betcha!!

Change up a few ingredients and voila! Healthy and delicious pancakes!!

Here is a link to my favorite recipe:

Who says that you can’t enjoy your food, get healthy and enjoy the process? I’m a firm believer in the idea that not only do we need good food for nutrients, but that we should enjoy it as well. There is no reason to suffer on the road to better health. That is what we’re all about here at Graceful Freedom and the whole point of this Simple Health System!

Part of my learning process over the past few years has led me to believe that the more nutrient dense food we eat the better and that simple is best. Most “diets” these days require significant prep, deprivation, and lots of “no fun.” We want to make things simple, doable and tasty. No cutting out whole food groups or math required!! Whoop!!

Goals for the week:

  1. MAKE A PLAN: create a meal plan that will be simple to implement. For me that looks like planning dinners for the family and making sure to include plenty of fresh veggies, planning easy (and quick) healthy lunches and making sure to have healthy snacks on hand at all times (any other snackers out there?!)
  2. Breakfast is important…but needs to be simple and quick as well. Try prepping some of these for grab and go options: overnight oatmeal,¬†smoothie bags (prep the smoothie ingredients all at once and freeze in individual bags to toss in the blender), bacon & eggs (prep a bunch of bacon in the oven and boil some eggs) you can warm these up and toss them in a tortilla with some peppers or veggies for a tasty breakfast burrito, make a batch of those pancakes up ahead of time and put them in individual serving bags in the freezer then pop them in the toaster and spread some almond butter on them. Yumm!!
  3. Be intentional about adding in more fresh green things and avoiding as much processed foods and sugar as possible.
  4. Drink your water!! Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day, more if you’re outside in the heat or if you drink a lot of coffee or tea (ps they don’t count toward your water intake). Don’t worry about drinking it all at once, your body can only process 4-6 ounces at a time so stretch it out throughout out the day.
  5. Prep as much food as you can before the week gets busy. If you have time on Saturday afternoon to cook up all of your protein for the week (a turkey, a bunch of hamburger or beans, etc) that will help with getting dinners on the table quicker and help avoid the temptation to grab something processed or deep fried.

Snack items we keep on hand:

  • lots of fruit and veggies (oranges, grapes, apples, carrots, celery, sweet peppers, cucumbers, etc.) the easier they are to grab and go the better.
  • a variety of cheese sticks, my favorite are the Babybel rounds, the kids like the string cheese variety.
  • almonds, cashews, etc.
  • Light Rye Wasa crackers (great for a quick sandwich too with a Laughing Cow spreadable wedge and some preservative free lunch meat, veggies and a dash of oregano)
  • Pressed by Kind fruit bars (the pineapple, coconut, and chia one is my fav!!)
  • Quest bars (look for the ones that are sweetened with ONLY stevia)

I hope this helps you get started on the simple road to health…without the torture!! Make sure you get your FREE copy of our eBook by signing up in the sidebar to the right. It’s filled with even more tips and ideas…and even a few recipes. Enjoy!!

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