WOW - 19 Days without sugar. We've got this 💪🏽 💪🏽 💪🏽
Here is my Daily Success Log Entry for August 5th. Note: Food portions are approximations. Veggies are local. Meat is local, 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised. Poultry & Eggs are local & pasture-raised:
- Sleep Time & Quality: 7.5 hours.
- Exercise: 17,781 Steps (7.2 Miles) and 9 Hours of Good Posture. Morning Walk w/ Tim & Boys. Afternoon walk w/ Tim.
- Mood & Energy: Excellent
- Breakfast: Egg Scramble w/ Ground Beef, Avocado, Fresh Sage from the garden & 1/4-C Almond Flour.
- Lunch: Leftover Zuke Fries, Cherry Tomatoes, Bit of Pistachio-Crusted Salmon.
- Dinner: Leftover Pistachio Crusted Salmon, Steamed Green Beans, Zuke Fries w/ Homemade Avocado Oil Mayo.
- Snacks: 1/4-C Roasted Pistachios
- Notes: Still Kicking Sugar To The Curb!!
Nutrient Density Refresher
Yesterday I set the table with a discussion about nutrient density. And where it fits into the whole Food = Nutrition = Energy = Life paradigm. Our bodies use micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) to metabolize carbs and convert them into energy. So we need to eat foods with both naturally occurring micronutrients and macronutrients. Without this synergistic balance, the cells in our bodies simply can't make the energy to power our bodies. And our energy levels take a nosedive.
Bad carbs don't contain naturally occurring micronutrients. They (bad carbs) are not nutrient dense. Which may explain the low-energy (fatigue and depletion) after eating bad carbs 😩 😫 😴 And the need to eat more and more.
The cravings we experience after eating bad carbs are our bodies telling us to eat more. But not more bad stuff. Our bodies begging us to eat good stuff. Only whole, Real Foods loaded with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals will satisfy that need for micronutrients at the cellular level.
However, the food that's most readily available isn't the good stuff. So we need to plan ahead. To make sure the good stuff is on-hand, and without our reach. And Realistic FoodEs can help you develop strategies and plans to do this. That's why I started this Blog 😃
Breaking Down Carbs
So let's move on 👉🏽 Because I am sure you want to what happens inside our bodies when we eat carbs. And anything we eat that is not a protein or fat is a carb: Bread, pasta, rice, and candy to broccoli, butternut squash, berries, basil, etc. I am just focusing on carbs right now. So yes -- trace amounts of protein and fat may be present in these foods. But the major macronutrient they represent is a carb.
When we eat, our bodies get to work -- Breaking down any carbs into a usable form of energy called glucose (which is a simple sugar) and vitamins and minerals. In other words, food ultimately becomes energy. But not until it goes through the digestive process to be converted into energy. And as we chew, our digestive system releases enzymes that break food down into those smaller "pieces".
From Glucose to Glycogen to Fat
Glucose is either used or stored. I'll get to how glucose is used in a moment. But first, let's understand how glucose is stored.
Our bodies can store up to 4 grams of glucose in the bloodstream at any given time. Our liver and muscles are also "storage bins" for glucose. And when glucose is stored there (liver & muscles), it is stored as glycogen.
But our livers & muscles also have limited capacity to store glycogen. The exact amount of storage varies from person to person. So here's the punchline. And it's hardly a joke: While our bodies have limited storage for glycogen, it has unlimited storage for fat. Damn! That really sucks, right??
Now I want to backtrack a bit to explain the work flow for our bodies when we eat carbs. I've already discussed parts of this flow. But need to tie them together.
First, allow me to introduce you to insulin. Insulin is a storage hormone. And it is released by our pancreas in response to carbs in our diets. (Sidebar: Insulin is also released in response to protein, but we're focusing on carbs right now.)
Insulin's job is to send a message to our cells to let nutrients and glucose in to use as energy. Now, there are tissues in the brain and red blood cells that need small amounts of glucose to be replenished when our bodies' stores are low. And our livers are the master regulator of blood glucose levels. So before glucose gets stored in our livers and muscles, our livers check to make sure that our brain and red blood cells get all the glucose they need.
When we eat food, our bodies release enzymes to break the carbs down into glucose. Our bodies also release insulin to set the storage process in motion. Insulin sends messages to our cells that nutrients and glucose is on the way. And to let in what they (the cells) need for normal activities or exercise.
Glucose that is not used -- because our cells already have enough. And not stored as glycogen in our livers and muscles -- because storage space there is at capacity. That excess glycogen is converted to fat! And -- as discussed earlier -- our bodies have unlimited capacity to store fat. YIKES!! If that doesn't just suck the wind out of our sails.
And if we continue to eat more and more carbs, our bodies will respond with more and more insulin to help store that glucose for later use. So yes -- and around, around, around she goes. And where she'll stop nobody knows. Because once again, if our cells don't need the glucose. And our livers and muscles are hanging out the "no vacancy" signs. The carbs that were converted to glucose and then to glycogen becomes fat. And the fat just keeps on keeping on, if you know what I mean.
Sorry -- hate to be the grim reaper here. But this is what happens to carbs in our bodies.
There is good news, however. We can break this crazy, unappetizing cycle by eating more Real Food and less processed food. Because remember, good carbs that are naturally present in whole, Real Foods are synergistically balanced with the naturally occurring micronutrients. And this balance allows the carbs to be absorbed, metabolized and used efficiently and effectively by our cells for normal body functioning. Our cells want to the nutrients in these good carbs!
So once again -- we find ourselves at this familiar crossroads along our journey. When faced with the "Carrots vs. Carrot Cake Dilemma" . . . . When we set a course for lifelong health . . . . When we buy into the concept that Food = Nutrition = Energy = Life. When we decide to Eat for Energy . . . . We will realize that the better choice are the carrots. Except in those RARE occasions that we choose to celebrate with Carrot Cake!
Kick Sugar To The Curb!
If you decide to take this challenge, please let me know. I have received so much support and positive energy from you all. That I would like to return the favor :-)