This will provide the majority of your carbohydrate intake, and avoids starchy, fattening carbs that are hard to digest and cause swings in your blood sugar.
For now, let’s take a closer look at carbohydrates….
In the Diet For Human Beings, I suggest that humans are not designed to eat grains. Grains are the seeds of grasses, and they include wheat, oats, barley, rice, corn and spelt. Four-legged creatures such as horses and cows have the correct anatomy to eat and digest grass and the seeds of grass. Humans do not.
So, I only eat grains when I prepare them according to the findings of Weston A. Price, and in the wonderful book we sell called Nourishing Traditions. (You can read more about soaking, fermenting and sprouting grains in that book, or in the Gut And Psychology Syndrome book known as the GAPS diet).
OK, so how do you calculate a “serving”?
My system is this. One serving of vegetables is generally one packed cup of wilted, steamed or cooked vegetables or beans. For fruit, 1/2 to 1 cup raw fruit, not juice.
One serving of raw leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach would have to be 3-4 cups, as cooked greens wilt down and lose most of their volume.
Some nice additions to this are an avocado, or tempeh (fermented soy) and soaked nuts or seeds. Just 1/2 cup equals one serving of carbohydrates, in my system.
Generally, I leave potatoes and sweet potatoes out of this calculation as they aren’t really vegetables. But they do provide carbohydrate, so some red, new potatoes or a half of a medium-sized baking potato would count as one serving of vegetable. Just not every day… The last item to consider here are the seeds of plants such as quinoa and buckwheat (pictured here). These “grains” are seeds and grow on small bushes. They are not members of the grass family and are easier for humans to digest. So, a 1/2 cup cooked serving of quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat could count as a vegetable.
If the goal is 6 to 9 cups of veggies, fruit, soaked grains or seeds daily, here’s two ways to calculate that.
1). 2 to 3 compact cups of veggies with both lunch and dinner; a cup of beans, left-over veggies or carrots and celery with breakfast; an avocado with lunch; and an apple with almond butter for a snack.
2). 3 cups of raw spinach or lettuce plus an avocado as part of a lunch salad; 2 to 3 servings of vegetables with dinner; quinoa or buckwheat with 1/2 cup blueberries with breakfast (don’t forget to add some protein and fat!); and a pear with walnuts as dessert or as an afternoon snack.
The point is to emphasize the vegetables, not the grains, potatoes, seeds or fruit.
If you tend to be constipated, your bowels will appreciate this move towards veggies and away from grains and starches. You’ll probably lose weight too, as vegetables and fruits are much lower in calories than the starches. You’ll invest more time and money on these foods, but they’ll provide you with the vitamins and minerals that the starches cannot, and they’ll keep your colon, and you, a lot healthier. You’ll feel fuller, be less likely to eat sugary snacks or desserts, and your blood sugar and moods will be more stable. If it feels right for you, increase your veggies alone to 9 cups a day – that’s what I do as I don’t eat grains or much fruit.