Potato, rice or pasta?

Every time I have a consultation with a new client I’m told that they’ve quit eating potatoes. Then they look at me, proudly, expecting me to praise them. So you don’t eat potatoes anymore, yet you eat sugar and white bread? Great. 

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Then they look at me and ask if I eat potatoes. I eat potatoes almost every damn day! I do, however, not eat sugar or white processed carbohydrates every day. Why would anyone give up eating potatoes? It’s a god damn vegetable. And anything that classifies being a vegetable, goes into my body.

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Let’s compare the nutritional values of traditional carbohydrates typically found on a normal dinner plate.

White pasta – 220 calories per 100 g

White rice – 205 calories per 100 g

Whole grain pasta – 348 calories per 100 g

Whole grain rice – 180 calories per 100 g

Then, let’s look at the potato.

Normal white potato – 103 calories per 100 g

Sweet potato – 86 calories per 100 g

In other words, you can pretty much eat twice as much of the potato as what you can of rice/pasta etc. Now, I’m not saying that rice or pasta (wholegrain version) is bad, I’m just saying that I would rather choose eating  a potato. Preferably sweet potato though, as sweet potatoes actually can be considered a super-food due to it’s nutritional value and benefits – but there’s no need to shy away from the normal oh so dangerous white potato. If I can eat more of one type of food, then you can guarantee that that food will be my choice anytime.

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People are also genuinely surprised when I say that I actually enjoy eating my vegetables. When I show people the food that I eat every day, they’re like what, really – you eat THAT? Yes, I do. In fact, I quite like the way I eat. I’m barely ever bloated, I barely ever feel sick, I’m lean – and I’m happy.

When it comes to baking, however, my skills are sadly not present. Ask my ex-boyfriend from when I was 14 what my brownies look like and he’ll say yellow. Ask my friend Line what my healthy baking tastes like and she’ll say crap. Ask my housemate Lily what my buns look like, and she’ll show you this

IMG_6168Yeah, the bottom picture is my attempt….

So yeah, maybe don’t wife me up just yet.

IMG_6205Anyway, I’m still in a shit workout period where the only thing that’s actually working for me is when I’m doing legs. Upper body is just a joke right now. It might have something to do with the fact that I have to get used to exercising with food in my stomach and at other times than my preferred mornings. But I will make it work. Eventually.

Went for my first outside run in months this week and for some reason I managed to run 45 minutes straight with no break, don’t know what happened there. I do, however, know that my body was very against that run, and that I’m still in pain from it. Mission for this year is for sure to strengthen my body to feel less pain.

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Despite all my crap workouts, I’m practicing and practicing my pull-ups. Day in and day out. I’ve dropped down one resistance band, so I guess I’m veeeeeeery slowly getting somewhere. But fml, it’s so bloody hard.

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To carb, or not to carb?

So a dear friend from home asked me about carbohydrates. What should we eat? How much should we eat? When should we eat it? And not to mention, are carbs bad for you? The answer is no – carbs are great for you, you just need to choose the right type of carbs. Carbohydrates equal energy for the brain, if you deplete your body of carbs, you may risk losing brain cells – sucks, right?

As with any other food, STOP OVERCOMPLICATING THINGS. Unless you’re planning on competing in bikini fitness or other body building competitions, when you eat your carbs will not matter. The general rule is 5 g per kg of bodyweight, so I’d wanna be at about 65-68 x 5 g of carbohydrate every day. However, if you’re attempting to lower your body fat slightly, you might wanna consider lowering the amount of carbohydrate and substitute it with healthy fat and protein.

Now, there are carbohydrates in everything – so don’t think that just because you don’t eat pasta, bread and rice you’re not eating carbohydrates. People often tell me that because my body fat is low, I must be dodging the carbs. But I’m not. Let me introduce my food for the past days.

IMG_5825Okay, this is like the story of my life every day. Whoever said I have mad organizing skills – you’re right.

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On weekends, I try to have a variation of my normal breakfast (particularly if the boyfriend cooks it, or we go out for breakfast, and all I have to do is eat). Scrambled eggs with heaps of veggies, oven-roasted potatoes and some gluten-free bread (I don’t normally eat gluten-free bread, or much bread for that matter, but this one was actually ok). CARBS.

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I’m trying to learn to like the seaweed part of sushi, so we made homemade sushi-rolls stuffed with quinoa, veggies, salmon and tofu. CARBS.

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A half eaten salad at work. With oven roasted pumpkin, potato and sweet potato. CARBS.

IMG_5870This picture does not do justice at all, BUT this is probably one of the best meals I’ve had in a long long time. Kangaroo with a salad made of grilled beetroot and sweet potato, some other vegetables, brie and nuts. Carbs, carbs and more carbs.

And I do of course eat my normal oats for breakfast, eat at least 5-6 different types of fruit every day, and I’m pretty sure that counts as carbs too. So let’s conclude. Carbohydrates are not bad for you, if you eat the right type.

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You can’t out-exercise a bad diet

I saw this poster at my physio the other day, with a famous Australian PT, saying “6 days for hard work and exercise, 1 day for lazy mornings and breakfast in bed”, and it stuck with me. You know, whether you want to take care of your health or have a bangin’ body, doesn’t mean you’re forced to give up everything you enjoy. The amount of times people tell me that I have to “live a little too”.. Who gets to decide the definition of what living is? Those who know me have seen my cheat-meals on Saturdays, and they’ve seen the amount of candy I am able to demolish if I really want to. They’ve also seen how sick it makes me feel. And how hungover I look the following day (true story, food-hangovers do exist).

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So many people eat like shit and go to the gym, thinking that the exercise will outweigh the lack of healthy eating. But it won’t. Of course, working out should be encouraged no matter what you eat because of the obvious health benefits. It is no secret that losing weight is a matter of energy in vs energy out, but a calorie isn’t a calorie when it comes to nourishing your body. Think of your body as a car – for it to run smoothly you need to fuel it right.

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Of course it is okay to enjoy “the bad food” now and then too, but you shouldn’t be enjoying that every day. Trust me, the things you crave taste so much better when you’ve been wanting it for a week! And once your body has gotten rid of the desire to eat something unhealthy, you fill up a lot quicker when you once in a while do eat the crap food.

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A simple way to “live a little” and eat clean as well could be the 80/20 rule; i.e. eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging 20% of the time. I find it easier to stick to the clean eating when I exercise regularly, and honestly, choosing the banana over the package of biscuits isn’t that hard when you know you’ve just burnt 700 calories hating life on a crosstrainer.

We’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen, and they sure are – no matter how many sit-ups you force through, your abs are not likely to become visible unless you lower your body-fat, which is accomplished through eating the right food. I just want people to keep in mind that in the same manner as eating one unhealthy meal now and then won’t make you fat or affect your everyday health, eating a healthy meal once in a while (instead of every day) won’t make you fit or skinny or whatever your goal might be.

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I used to think I didn’t eat thaaaat unhealthy, and frankly I didn’t either, but try writing down everything you eat in a week, and I can promise you’re in for a little surprise or two. Those little “snackies” you have “now and then” suddenly turn out to equal an entire package of chips. I have friends counting the calories in the fruit they eat, instead of focusing on removing that “protein-chocolate” they think is nutritious, from their diet. Unless you eat 20 oranges a day, you shouldn’t be having to count the calories of your fruit! Even though you spend 4% of your day exercising (an hour every day), you’ve got another 96% left to make sure is on the right track. Keep that in mind.