Starch

Q:

Hi Bridget

Great blog by the way! I've just discovered it and love it. Fantastic 'bite size' portions of tips and advice that one can easily read and digest.......especially if you're reading them while at work hehe!
A question for you - what is your take on all this 'can't have certain vegetables etc because they are too high in carbs/starchy etc'? I am vegetarian and have been all my life (I also have to stay off dairy and gluten unfortunately). I've been fine until the last year or so and all the articles we get bombarded with daily on what is not good to eat have started to rub off on me ie i now am confused about eating brown rice whereas at one time I used this a lot.  
I also agree with you that people have gone a bit nuts over the whole high protein thing. That too was something I never used to worry about and yet again I feel like I've started to become brainwashed and started to worry that I have not had enough protein in my diet.
It's all very confusing to know what to eat. I do suffer from water retention which is a bit of a nuisance so there are possibly foods that exacerbate that?
Keen to hear from you.
Kindest regards

A:

Hi! Thank you for your kind words – I do enjoy writing these and running this blog, so I appreciate that.

I think where we have gone wrong with regards to food is breaking each bite down into protein, carbs and fat. Instead of looking at food as an amalgamation of each of these things, we strip it down and focus entirely on separate compounds. Then studies get published, each sponsored by different industries with different interests, data is cherry picked by online publications, conflicting reports are published each week, and the public is left completely confused. At least, I know I am!

It sounds to me like you really know your body, you know what doesn’t feel good, what does and doesn’t digest well, and you have had no issues sticking to your normal, instinctive eating habits. So I say go ahead and eat what you always have eaten. Rice has kept entire civilizations alive for countless generations, so if it feels good to you, eat it. I would be more worried with eating too much protein than too little – if you are eating enough healthy calories; you are getting enough protein in, end of story. I am yet to meet anyone with a protein deficiency that is eating enough calories. Or at all to be honest.

As far as starchy vegetables are concerned, I think they’re great. I eat sweet potatoes, parsnip and beets on a regular basis in the winter. I don’t have as much of a desire for them during the summer, but I certainly don’t limit them. I don’t eat many white potatoes though, simply because I find them a bit bland (unless they are deep fried!). I think that fiber is our best-forgotten friend, and is a strong preventative measure you can take against the diseases of affluence. So don’t be afraid of starch in vegetables and legumes. But again – listen to your body. I am not advocating for the HCLF lifestyle; I am advocating for the eat real food, not too much, mostly plants lifestyle.

I do like to know what the “latest findings” are, but I always make sure to read the published report, and pay attention to who sponsored the research. If it is an alcohol, meat or dairy company, I guarantee that the results will be pushing you towards consuming those products for “health” reasons. Don’t forget that cigarettes were once considered good for you. However I do tend to pay attention to what information I let into my brain. I only read certain wellness websites and online news sites – in this new age of fake news I don’t want to be overloaded with sensationalist news.

At the end of the day, with food, if it feels right then do it. I know my eating habits seem extreme to a lot of people (a gallon of water a day? Not eating for twelve hours each night?! CHERRY TOMATOS??!!) But it makes me feel good and energetic. So listen to your body and do what feels right.

As far as water retention, I am not a doctor. Maybe you should see someone about that – just to be sure there isn’t a larger issue at hand. Once you have done that, make sure you are drinking a lot of water. That will help to flush your system out a bit. And try taking dandelion extract, or having dandelion tea. That is a good natural diuretic – and also is great on giving your liver a bit of a detox. However this is not really my realm of experience, so I am sorry I cant help you more!

I hope this helps!

 

Love,

Bridget