With the fall holiday season in full force, there are carbs practically everywhere in sight including processed candies for Halloween to rich savory dishes for Thanksgiving, and of course Santa Claus Christmas Cookies and rich Eggnog so it’s hard not fall victim to indulging in the wrong carbs! However, the right amount of carbs are essential to one’s lifestyle and food plan because they promote better moods, reduce depression, increase energy, promote weight loss, reduce heart disease, prevent cancer, promote better memory, and believe or not promote fat loss with the right foods! Read on to get updated with CARB 101, and for this Spook-tacular Halloween weekend a #zenonaplate recipe straight from the graveyard a skinny red bean sauce with brown rice pasta
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The below article is taken directly from
"You’ve probably heard of the term, “good carbs versus bad carbs” and all that really equates to is non-refined carbs versus refined carbs. Non-refined carbs are foods that contain a complete source of carbohydrates that include natural sugars and more importantly- fiber. Refined carbs are foods like white bread, enriched flour and sugar, which have been highly processed to the point that little to no nutrition remains.
Your body uses “good carbs,” which are non-refined, complex carbs to do a host of important issues in the body. The best complex carbs come from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Eating more of these foods will only benefit you and without them, you’ll likely suffer a number of health consequences.
Here’s Why You Need Complex Carbs:
Carbs provide the body with energy immediately. That’s their purpose by nature and depriving yourself of them will leave you tired and fatigued all day long. I suggest eating them earlier in the day when you need most of your energy in the form of some whole grains, which take all day long to burn through your system. These carbohydrates from whole grains release slowly into the blood stream so you never suffer a “crash” like you do with caffeine or sugar. This means you’ll have energy all day long and won’t have to deal with the afternoon slump.
Since carbs contain fiber, they help aid digestion and assist in regularity. This is one benefit of eating whole food sources of carbs such as whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits instead of opting for processed foods.
Carbohydrates provide you with energy so they’re important for an optimal metabolism. Without energetic calories (which is essentially what carbs are), your metabolism will suffer quickly. Most people assume that because a low-carb diet can lead to weight loss that it will improve their metabolism, but this is actually the opposite from being true. While you might lose some weight without carbs, your metabolism will actually suffer and slow down the longer you prolong the diet. Again, eating whole food sources of carbs is the best way to optimize your energy, weight, and metabolism.
Certain carbs like oatmeal, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, bananas, and brown rice contains large amounts of trytophan, which relax the body and help put you to sleep. Oatmeal even helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep. Eating some complex carbs at night before bed can help you sleep more soundly through the night and fall asleep faster.
5. Filling Fiber
Fiber doesn’t just regulate your digestion – it also keeps you full a really long time. While the daily recommended amount is only 25-30 grams of fiber, most plant-based meals provide much more which means you’ll stay fuller longer. For a super-filling meal, aim for 10-15 grams of fiber from your foods and try not to eat meals that contain less than five grams of fiber for optimal satisfaction. All whole food sources of carbohydrates are excellent sources of fiber. Fiber also slows down your blood sugar so you don’t get hungry quite as quickly and it keeps your glycemic levels steady all day long.
6. Brain Function
Your body also uses carbohydrates for optimal brain function. Foods such as vegetables, oats, quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit all contain an array of carbs that aid in mental focus and a healthy mood. Without carbs you may become foggy-headed, feel light-headed, have a hard time concentrating, feel sad or depressed, or just not feel like yourself. You may also have a harder time retaining information. Don’t deprive your brain of carbs- it needs them!
7. Nervous System Function
While sugar makes you jittery and anxious, complex carbs help provide a grounding effect to the body and reduce nervousness and anxiety. It’s the reason you often feel less stressed after having a yummy bowl of oatmeal, a simple banana, or a dish made with sweet potatoes. Carbs provide your body with exactly what they need all the way down to your nervous system. They help your body produce a number of enzymatic reactions and bring balance in just about every way possible.
What to Avoid:
The types of carbs you’ll want to avoid are all refined grains and quick sources of sugar such as: enriched flour, products made “with whole grains” (which indicates they’re not 100 percent whole grain), evaporated cane juice, cane syrup, cane sugar, sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar, and even “healthy sugars” like tapioca syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, coconut syrup, and maple syrup. Your body processes these very quickly and they can alter your blood sugar in a negative way. Avoid buying breads, rolls, cereals, and other processed foods that contain refined grains or sugars like those mentioned above. You’re much better off eating whole grains, using stevia or fruit to sweeten your foods, and nixing most processed options altogether. "
The bottom article is taken directly from
Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates are naturally occurring in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar.
Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:
Types of carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
Sugar. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrates. Sugar occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Sugars include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).
Starch. Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Fiber. Fiber also is a complex carbohydrate. Fiber occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Choosing carbohydrates wisely
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet, and they also provide many important nutrients. Still, not all carbs are created equal. Here's how to make healthy carbohydrates work in a balanced diet:
Emphasize fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Aim for whole fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar. They're better options than are fruit juices and dried fruits, which are concentrated sources of natural sugar and therefore have more calories. Also, whole fruits and vegetables add fiber, water and bulk, which help you feel fuller on fewer calories.
Choose whole grains. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium, than are refined grains. Refined grains go through a process that strips out parts of the grain — along with some of the nutrients and fiber.
Stick to low-fat dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Choose the low-fat versions, though, to help limit calories and saturated fat. And beware of dairy products that have added sugar.
Eat more beans and legumes. Legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat; contain no cholesterol; and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also have beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. Because they're a good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.
Limit added sugars. Added sugar probably isn't harmful in small amounts. But there's no health advantage to consuming any amount of added sugar. In fact, too much added sugar, and in some cases naturally occurring sugar, can lead to such health problems as tooth decay, poor nutrition and weight gain.
#ZENONAPLATE SKINNY GRAVEYARD DOUBLE FIBER RED BEAN SAUCE WITH BROWN RICE PASTA (VEGAN, GF)
1 Can of Red Beans (organic)
½ tablespoon of fresh ginger chopped and minced
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
¼ onion chopped
½ cup of almond milk unsweetened
½ Tablespoon of date sugar (you can use stevia)
¼ tablespoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of Olive oil for sauce
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste (organic)
1 ½ cup of diced tomatoes equals 3 small tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of agave light or stevia
2 cups of gluten free brown rice pasta
One lemon-sliced and use for flavor after dish is cooked
Two Zucchinis ( slice )
Olive oil for cooking
Boil Noodles for 15-20 minutes and then put aside. In a food processer pour the red beans, almond milk, date sugar, salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil and blend until in a sauce form set aside. Turn burner on to medium and high. Pour olive oil in the pan and put the chopped onion, ginger, and garlic and start cooking for a minute and then add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and ginger lightly. Then add red bean sauce to the pan, and add two tablespoons of tomato paste and mix around until sauce is uniform and cook until the sauce has reduced a bit and you are ready to serve with the pasta. Take a cup of pasta and put sauce on top with sliced zucchinis and thyme on top and a slice lemon for more flavor.
The #ZENONAPLATE Macro Mix Breakdown
Protein: Red Beans, Brown Rice Pasta
Carb: Beans, Brown Rice Pasta, Zucchinis
Fiber: Red Beans, Zucchinis
Healthy Fat: Olive Oil
Natural Sugars: Date Sugar, Stevia,
Veggie: Zucchinis, Tomatoes, Onions