Lose Weight with Plant Carbs
What comes to mind when you think of carbs: pasta, peanut butter on toast, granola?
Or maybe it’s quinoa, kamut spaghetti and sourdough spelt bread.
These ancient grains are certainly more nutritious – and kinder to the stomach – than refined carbs.
Quinoa for example is recognised as a superfood by NASA, packed with protein and gluten-free. Properly fermented sourdough is created using a live culture, making it good for our gut health and better for slow releasing energy.
However if you really want to step up efforts to lose weight and load your body with phytonutrients, swap grains for plant carbs – think vegetables, nuts and seeds.
These foods are rich in anti-cancer compounds, fibre and antioxidants – and won’t leave you slumping on the sofa.
Swap Spaghetti for Pesto Courgetti:
A 125g serve of raw courgette spaghetti [without sauce] contains 21 calories and less than 4 g of carbs, compared with 346 calories and 64 g of carbs in regular spaghetti. Win!
Courgettes also contain Vitamin C as well as blood pressure lowering potassium. Plus, the soluble fibre in the skin stabilizes blood sugar and helps keep you regular.
How to make it: I use a simple hand-held spiralizer which works like a pencil sharpener to shred the vegetable into ribbons. At the moment I’m enjoying courgetti fried lightly with pesto sauce and topped with a poached egg, inspired by the recipe from Natasha Corrett’s new E Book Green and Lean. See image above
Swap Rice for Cauliflower Fried Rice:
Once reserved for cauliflower cheese, this cruciferous vegetable is now a fixture on raw food menus. Cauliflower supports the liver and kidneys and contains sulforaphane, shown to suppress breast cancer cells.
How to make it: Simply cut the cauli into florets and ‘pulse’ in a food processor for 30 seconds or so. Be careful not to over blend or you will end up with cauliflower mash. I love Asian flavours and have been experimenting with fried cauli rice – I simmer ginger, garlic, and onions then add prawns, mushrooms and lastly the cauliflower – as suggested by Paleo superstar Pete Evans author of Healthy Everyday.
Swap Toast for Vegetable Crackers:
Keep the warm crusty sourdough for a weekend treat and try these vegetable crackers for an everyday alternative. These Raw Herb Crackits from Inspiral are crisp, dense and crunchy and stay fresh for a week after opening. They are made with courgette, carrots, almonds, chia seeds, plus anti-cancer superfoods like reishi mushrooms and flaxseeds. If you live in Australia try Activated Organic Crackers from Good Natured Living – which I’ve been enjoying on holiday.
How to make it: Slather in nut butter or top with avocado, tomato a little salt and sauerkraut.
Swap Wheat-wrap for Coconut Wrap:
Nothing beats a wrap for a speedy on-the-go lunch and it can be a great way to use up leftovers. Made with coconut meat and coconut oil, a coconut wrap has just 70 calories and 4g of carbs, compared to an average of 180 calories and 28g carbs in a spelt wrap. Plus coconut oil helps boost the metabolism and stimulate collagen production to keep you looking young.
Swap Muesli for Nuts, Seeds and Superfoods:
Rather than eat store-bought muesli, in the morning I combine activated almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. I also sprinkle in superfoods like cacao nibs and hemp seeds, which are a great source of plant-based protein and contain the anti-cancer antioxidant phytol.
How to make it: Combine the nuts and seeds and drench in almond milk or serve with a side of coconut yoghurt.
Laura Bond is a journalist, author and nutritional health coach. She specialises in helping clients beat stress, balance their gut flora, lose weight and prepare their bodies for babies. For more information, click here.
Laura Bond is a journalist, author and health coach. She specialises in helping clients beat stress, reduce their toxic load and prepare their bodies for babies. To find out more, click here.