The Basics

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Grinds4Gamers

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The Basics: Part 2

GOOD CARBS vs. BAD CARBS

The RIGHT and WRONG Carbohydrate Sources

So what is the difference between the RIGHT and the WRONG carbohydrates? Let’s just keep it simple. Without going into the grimy scientific details of the importance of carbohydrates in your diet, just know this: Carbohydrates produce and store energy within your body. They are important for your immune system, reproduction, blood coagulation, and the all-important production of Glucose. Now here is the take-home part. Glucose, although incredibly important for energy stores, can be detrimental in excess. As a matter of fact, once your cells have enough Glucose stored for energy, it converts the rest into fat. So there’s the hitch. You need to BALANCE your carbs and choose the RIGHT CARBS. “How” you say? Alas! Your answer awaits…..

What are the right ones?

Well, there are basically two types of carbohydrates:

SIMPLE Carbs: Sources such as table sugar, white flour, honey, milk, candy, cake, jams, soda and many packaged cereals. These carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body and carry little nutritional value.

COMPLEX Carbs: Although still made from sugar to an extent, these carbohydrates consist of a branched chemical structure and are therefore longer lasting in the body. These sources include spinach, yams, broccoli, zucchini, to name a few, and many other vegetables and fruits. The catch here is that whole grains are also considered a complex carbohydrate.

So this is where Kash’s ramblings come in handy. Obviously we want to stay away from simple carbohydrates and focus on getting more organic sources to fuel your machine. But here’s the trick: You have to choose the RIGHT source of complex carbs! As I stated above, gluten and grain sources are the enemy! So the majority of your dense, complex carbohydrates should originate from mostly vegetables and some fruits. For example, half of your plate should consist of broccoli, spinach, zucchini, squash, etc. Any combination of vegetable sourced carbohydrates will do! And a smaller sliver of your plate (roughly one-quarter) should be from fresh fruit sources such as apples, melons, berries, grapes, oranges, pears, plums, kiwi, papaya, you get the idea……..As a matter of fact, here’s a comprehensive list.

VEGETABLES:
Artichoke
Mushrooms
Asparagus
Mustard Greens
Beet Greens
Onions
Beets
Parsley
Bell Peppers
Parsnip
Broccoli
Peppers (all kinds)
Brussels Sprouts
Pumpkin
Cabbage
Carrots
Radish
Cauliflower
Rutabaga
Celery
Seaweed
Collards
Spinach
Cucumber
Squash (all kinds)
Dandelion
Swiss Chard
Eggplant
Tomatillo
Endive
Tomato
Green Onions
Turnip Greens
Kale
Turnips
Kohlrabi
Watercress
Lettuce
I think we could all find something to choose from with that big ol’ list.

But what’s VERY important is how you prepare your vegetables. Hands down, the healthiest method of preparing vegetables is to eat them raw. But we all know that is incredibly impractical and sometimes un-palatable. I mean who the hell wants to munch on a raw zucchini? The preferred method of cooking vegetables is to bake or steam them without processed butters. I, myself, prefer to barbeque or sautee my vegetables. BBQ’ing vegetables is relatively simple. I splash a bit of olive oil on them, toss them with some light seasonings (sea salt and pepper usually) and put them on the grill. Sauteeing them is equally as easy. In a skillet, I add about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil and cook them on medium heat until they are cooked, but NOT mushy. Is there much difference in the nutritional value of vegetables depending on how they are prepared? Not if you aren’t drowning them in processed oils or butters (or Ranch for that matter). So, no Ranch. Oh, and don’t flip out on the coconut oil thing. We’ll get into the different oils when we have our discussion on Fats.

So now that we’ve filled half of the plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, let’s talk about the fun part.  Move on to The Basics: Part Three where we talk about MEAT!

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About the Author

Kash is the creator of Grinds 4 Gamers and the Founder of MOG Nation Gaming & a Co-Host on the Wildcast Podcast. I'm a busy & humble public servant, daddy, hubby, game geek, Crossfit Coach and self-proclaimed Paleo chef. Need help with min-maxing your life? Hit me up at kash@grinds4gamers.com.



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