Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carbs for stress

I am a naturally lean person which is probably one part genetics, one part obsessive behavior in the terms of working out and also because I tend to fidget quite a bit. I hate sitting still which may be one reason why a tolerate high carb diets fairly easily.

I know their are other factors like the rate of chew, the amount of enzymes my body produces and bacterial populations in my gut. Precision Nutrition has a great write up in regards to the enzyme and rate of chew thing.


The more I research this nutrition thing and read guys like Stephen Guyenet, Alan Aragon and Richard Nikoly I realize universal truths and dogmatism aren't always supported by the science and/or are necessarily right.

Nikoly of Free the Animal whom I quote a lot seems to be on a campaign to shatter myths by showing their is alternative to the universal paleo dogma. Good for him.

Anyways,  the reason I mention carbs is because although I am never my leanest when I am carbing out (although I still do maintain abs), I tend to look my healthiest and have better control over my emotions.

White rice, sweet potato, banana with raw honey are usually on my plate sometimes all three at the same time. However, I tend to feel like how I deal with stress can go through the roof when I eat lower carb meals.

It may be because I struggle with eating the equivalent amount of calories when I am low-carb since cheese, coconut oil, butter and large quantities of meat can be pretty damn expensive.However, it could be because carbs are emotionally satisfying and can can be a good way to help raise those neurotransmitter so important for happiness and stress reduction dopamine and serotonin.

Is high carb for you maybe not. However, as I write this I can tell my blood pressure is high simply from an aggressive Facebook comment. I know low-carb is the rage but for someone who has never been obese I find that this may be a detriment to my health.

I've chronicled my challenges with attempting ketosis such as low body temp, cold hands and etc. Is it the ketosis or is it because I wasn't consuming enough calories or both? Who knows really but I know financially ketogenic diets are not something I can sustain.

I do low carb for maybe a day or week just as maintenance for body composition and to get some of the benefits of fasting and etc. However, emotionally carbs help to keep the negative thoughts and anger issues at bay (meditation helps as well).

I can do this mostly without grains as well although I enjoy white rice and brown occasionally (not to mention quinoa or oatmeal). Are grains essential? Hell no! However, like the above nutrition and diet gurus mentioned their is no universal law for what is optimal for health.

I like paleo as a concept and as a starting place for eating real food. Guys like Chris Kresser, Mat Lalonde and Robb Wolf all great sources for information and seem fairly flexible in their thinking.

Sure Kresser and Wolf are making money off of pedaling the Paleo Diet but they are both quick to point out tolerance to certain foods may vary and have no problem saying that some people can tolerate a legume or two– I personally enjoy lentils myself.

Anyway, is low carb right for you? I argue if you are thin to begin with and can't seem to hand stress very well it may be time to drink a bottle of maple syrup and eat 14 bananas  because it may just help you deal with the stress of life. In fact I intend to do something similar when I get home.

Oh yeah masturbating helps too!

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