For as long as I can remember, low carb diets have been a frontrunner in the topic of nutrition. Though I may not be a nutritionist, I am a black belt in all things foodie, and although these low carb diets aren’t necessarily bad for you, they are difficult to sustain. Carbs have plenty of benefits like being a good source of fiber and giving us energy. However, 99% of the time I eat carbs, it’s simply because I enjoy these carb-filled meals. With so much conversation about low carb diets, I decided to dig into research myself and see what the world has to say about NOT treating carbs like the enemy. Turns out, there was a lot to be said and I was here for it. For example, I learned that there are three different types of carbs; sugar, starch, and fiber, meaning there are endless ways to get your carb intake. Even better, these different types of good carbs can help reduce your calorie intake and protect against certain diseases like cardiovascular disease. Nonetheless, I concluded pretty fast that there was way more to carbs than what everyone tried to tell me.
I grew up in a family that lived by the motto “the kitchen is the heart of a home”. Reading cookbooks, trying out recipes, preparing meals, and eating at our island brought my family together every day. The most prominent appetizer was a thoughtful charcuterie board and our go-to meal was pizza. A charcuterie tray was usually out in the kitchen before dinner, and twice a week, dinner meant pizza. I’m sure you can see where my love for carbs originated. We experimented together with different pickled vegetables, meats, and cheese for our boards alongside different combinations and doughs for the pizza. Most importantly, we always used fresh, organic ingredients. Charcuterie boards and pizzas are two options people tend to tie a negative connotation to. However, I think they are the perfect example of why carbs aren't evil!
I say this because eating carbs is all about how mindful you are about your intake and your choices of ingredients. I learned that charcuterie boards or pizzas don't need to be frowned upon when you choose a locally-sourced organic dough, which for my family was a spot in Massachusetts called One Mighty Mill, fresh or homemade tomato sauce, vegetables from the farmers market or a friend's garden, and meats and cheeses from your favorite Italian market. Taking the extra time to mindfully gather your ingredients can be a lot. However, if you’re like me and you can't imagine cutting out carbs, it’s worth it.
Conscientiously deciding how to eat your carbs not only makes your charcuterie boards less of an enemy, but it makes it that much more enjoyable. So next time your subconscious tries to tell you that carbs are the enemy as you reach for the cheese and cracker plate, remember there is far more to it. Some food may look like a good source of carbs that aren’t. At the end of the day, it's all about being aware of how these carb-heavy foods are made and where they are sourced.
Thanks for reading, let's keep (mindfully) eating carbs together!