A shallow dive into the glycemic index, CARBS and a WFPB diet.


A shallow dive into the glycemic index, CARBS and a WFPB diet.

Let’s talk a little about the Glycemic Index.  It was invented in 1981 by two researchers at the University of Toronto.  It measures carbohydrates, a nutrient in foods, and how different carbs raise blood glucose levels over a specified period of time.  So what!  Glucose is the building block of carbohydrates and the primary source of energy for your body.  NOTE: PRIMARY source of energy for the body….worth repeating!  We need carbs to fuel our body, provide energy and keep us going. There are basically three types of carbs: sugars, starches and fiber.  We need all of these for optimum health. 


There is a lot of talk (& confusion) surrounding the eating of carbohydrates.  The low carb/high protein bandwagon blares loud and strong.  I am not in that camp.  There are certainly special circumstances that dictate monitoring your blood glucose levels, but knowing carbs are our primary energy sources dictates a need to engage in them!  Embrace them! ENJOY them! There are certainly better ways to prepare carbs for optimum nutrition.  I’ll help you with that a bit later.  I would urge readers to explore research on this misunderstood topic.  I am not a nutritionist or doctor; simply a woman who is invested in my health and an avid reader of those professionals who DO have cogent insight and answers.


When I was younger and engaging in endless dieting, I was under the impression that if I stayed away from potatoes, bread and too much fruit, I would lose weight.  I lost weight, for a bit, struggled and then always put the weight back on.  When I went plant based 8+ years ago and started eating more whole grains (including whole wheat breads/rolls), potatoes (all types, now normally steamed NOT fried) and tons of fruits and veggies, I have lost over 40 pounds…..and kept it off. I eat more food now than I ever did when I was dieting.  Being older, people think you should eat less; of course that is based on your activity level and mobility.  The point is, the food I’m eating is natural and contains sugars, starches and fiber; all carbohydrates!  Of course I eat protein too, but I’m focusing on carbohydrates for this blog.

 Let’s list the actual carbohydrate containing foods you could/should be enjoying:

 Non -starchy Veggies:

Leafy greens (bok choy, cabbage) tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, artichoke, celery, cucumber, beans (green, wax….not legumes), leeks, mushrooms, onions, turnips, swiss chard,snow peas, asparagus….a BIG list!  (there’s still more)

 Starchy Veggies:

White potatoes, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes,  legumes, corn, peas, squash (acorn & butternut), parsnips, pumpkin, plantain, yams, plantain, taro

 Considerations in Purchasing Carbs:

 My personal advice is to purchase produce that is local.  Consider a CSA  (community supported agriculture) in your area. Check out this site for CSA information and a site near you.  The less time your food ‘travels’ the better it will taste.  Organic is also a good choice.  There is cogent research on pesticides and the effects of uptake in both the crop and the metabolic abnormalities it may induce upon eating.  More in later blogs on organics.  If fresh isn’t available or you don’t like the ‘look’ of a certain fruit or vegge or you find yourself wasting a lot of produce…… go frozen!   Nutritionally they are on par with fresh as they are normally frozen at the peak of their freshness. 

 Optimal Preparation for Nutrient Quality of Carbs:

 Steam, sauté roast, blanche, grill……keep it simple!  Add herbs.  Keep the salt content low; try Mrs. Dash no-salt spices.  Buy a bamboo steamer with 2 levels and steam large amounts of those wonderful cruciferous veggies (broccoli & cauliflower) for the week.  Invest in a great non-stick sauté pan (I use Scanpan brand)  Check it out here!  When I sauté I don’t use any oil and only a bit of water or veggie stock should I need a liquid for sticking. 

 The key is to keep the vegetable/fruit as natural as possible.  Cutting a potato and immersing it in a vat of highly saturated fat is NOT optimum and the potato has now been depleted of it’s nutritional beauty. Likewise for ANY deep fat frying or even pan frying.  IF you are in transition with frying, try to be good……move to better (less oil in the pan) and head toward BEST (NO oil in the pan and add water/stock instead!) 

 Remember: This is a process, a journey, it’s not always easy and you will slip sideways, crossways and even backwards.  Be kind to yourself and keep going.  Build your life on a foundation of reality, and don’t waste your time on regret.


I'm starting today.....Introduction January 25, 2019

“To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”, Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have started. There is a purpose. Everything has a purpose; good, bad, benign and otherwise sideways. Pete Seeger wrote a song immortalizing Ecclesiates words and the Byrds made the song “Turn, Turn Turn’ famous in the 1960’s. Funny how things turn out~

I think the time has come to share what I have discerned and learned over the years about food, families, friends and fun~ I’m sticking to the F words here. These are the things I have spent the most time on. Food: specifically whole food, plant based eating has become a passion of mine over the last 8+ years. I’ve studied the science behind the WFPB movement; am certified to teach WFPB cooking classes and read, read, read all things/articles/journals on the topic. Family: as the youngest of 6 children with 4 children in my own life and countless hours of family time under my belt, I feel qualified to reveal some life-lessons I’ve picked up on the way. Friends: as I’ve grown to become aware just how valuable a friendship outside of my family is: the honest, gritty, mirror people will hold up in front of your face to help you over the finish line or escort you to the back of the line. ….and finally FUN~ perhaps most important. The fun I have learned to enjoy while relishing the other F’s in my life. The knowledge (or at least feeling ….OH, there’s another F word!) of sitting back and reflecting on how blessed the other F’s have made me! The fun has been both physical and mental; obviously the physical fun has been mostly relegated to my reckless (but fun) youth, but the fun of knowing I don’t have to always be physical to have the same rush!

Let’s talk about food. Neal Barnard, MD, Caldwell Esselstyne Jr, MD, Michael Greger, MD, Michael Klaper, MD, T. Colin Campbell, MD (he may be my #1!) John McDougall, MD, Joel Fuhrman, MD, Dean Ornish, MD (one of the 1st!) ….sooo many scholars, diligent and caring in their time and research. SO many published articles in the elite (read: cogent) scientific literati. We have known for a long time how relevant a diet high in fiber and low in processed food is. The health benefits are astronomical. But I think you are on this site, because you may already have an inkling that this is the truth. As time goes on, I’m hoping to cover the value of specific WFPB eating to include facts, recipes and ….you got it….more FUN!