You know when someone says to you, “whatever you do, don’t think about elephants”? People say that a lot… anyway, of course, you’re going to think about elephants right?

So when my doctor said, “Only two serves of carbs a day”, all I can think about is pasta. Basmati rice. Bread. Brown rice. Gozleme (those Turkish things with dough with cheese and spinach filling). Potatoes. Raisin bread. Sourdough bread. Bread with seeds n things in it. THINGS I HARDLY EAT ANYMORE ANYWAY.

I haven’t really eaten a lot of carbs for about 18 months, mainly to keep my weight in a manageable range. Before that, carbs used to be my daily bread so to speak. And healthy carbs, so I think I was kind of kidding myself. But you know, muesli for breakfast, brown rice salad for lunch (Heathy with a capital H!). Or soba noodles, or pasta, or something Asian with rice or noodles or laksa (oh the goodness of chilli and coconut milk and rice noodles, mmm).  And then for dinner, something with basmati rice. So pretty much every meal was based around carbs.

But then a year and a half ago I stopped. Not completely, but I cut out A LOT. I had gone to see a nutritionist who worked in the gym I went to, and her mantra was “Look great naked” and she was MEAN. She weighed me, took my measurements and asked me about my diet. I was feeling particularly puffy and fat that day but I think I was kidding myself that it was “just that day” because the scales and measurements she was writing down – well, I didn’t like them. And she kept on saying “No! no, no, no” after everything I said I ate…

Anyway, cut a long story short, I lost about 5 kilos, mainly because I had to keep checking in with her and I didn’t want her tut-tutting.

But then I put it back on in the ice cream binge I went on during IVF.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I don’t really eat carbs the way I used to. And my diet has by and large been very healthy. So imagine my surprise when my doctor said I had low-level insulin resistance – a pre-cursor to Type 2 diabetes (I mentioned this in this post). Horrified. And unable to think of anything but the elephant in the room.

I know most people probably link diabetes with sugar, but I am reading more and more about the effects of carbohydrates – particularly refined carbohydrates – on creating an environment for Type-2 diabetes, the so-called “metabolic syndrome” or syndrome x, and also heart disease. I have also recently read an article where researchers are linking childhood consumption of sugar to future heart disease.

Carbohydrate consumption is also linked to high cholesterol levels – on a high-carb diet, triglyceride (bad cholesterol) levels go up and HDL levels (good cholesterol) go down.

And that is not what we’re told right?

Anyway, I thought I’d just give a quick run down on what my doc had laid down for me in terms of a low-GI diet (and Pauline, you asked!).

  • LOTS of veggies
  • 2 serves of carbs per day – 1 serving = 1 slice of bread or half a cup of cooked grains –  grains need to be whole and unrefined. Not much huh.
  • Good quality animal or vegetable protein
  • Two serves of fresh fruit (but not juice) and no bananas :-(. Luckily it makes no mention of mangoes
  • No processed foods, no additives and refined sugars
  • The only acceptable sweeteners are agave and stevia (ditch the fake sweeteners – yucky chemicals). Honey has a really high GI, so that’s a no-go
  • Plain, organic yoghurt
  • Eat 4-6 smaller meals every day to keep blood sugar stable
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol (BUGGER) (except small to moderate amounts of red wine). My definition of “moderate” may vary substantially from theirs though…

How much do you think I feel like chocolate RIGHT NOW??

The picture has nothing to do with bread, obviously. But it’s almost summer and the jacarandas are out – aren’t they gorgeous?


Thanks to my friend V over at Babbling Bandit for the coffee and chat today and the inspiration to get blogging.



Filed under carbohydrates, IVF, sugar

5 responses to “GI-Low

  1. Pauline

    I did ask 🙂
    Know exactly what you mean – I notice though that sometimes when I’m eating the bread/pasta that I shouldn’t eat but crave so much it’s never as good as I imagine it’s going to be!! Now I try to keep reminding myself of that!
    Did we have moderate amounts of alcohol on Friday 🙂

    • A bottle of champagne each? No, no, not immoderate at all! Double negative, I don’t even know what I just said there.

      Yes it’s a bit like that isn’t it – not as good as you thought. Maybe more sauce, less pasta. Protein and fat fill you up and satisfy you more than carbs I think.

  2. Anna

    No carbs! Oh my gawd. I’m like you – carbs are my STAPLE but I always thought I was doing the good variety – sourdough, basmati etc. (Oh, and lots of roast potatoes.) How did you come to be at the doc’s getting your insulin tested? Was it a general check up or were you there with symptoms of some kind?
    Btw, I cut right down on sugar about 9 months ago and pretty quickly lost 4-5kgs. If I cut down on carbs, I wonder if I’d lose another 5kgs like you? But so much pleasure would drain from my life 🙂
    Keep up the good blogging work! x

    • Hi Anna! I know, life is full of sadness! But it’s actually ok, except when I think about making something quick and easy. And you know, last week I did eat a whole pizza in one sitting so I reckon as long as I’m good most of the time, that will be fine.

      No I didn’t have any symptoms, just found a new doctor and clinic who look at things holistically. I wanted a few other things checked out (like hormone levels post-IVF) and with all the blood taken they ran a range of tests. It’s really good to know. I think we are sold a bit of a lie, not intentionally but based on old science, that loads of carbs are good – the old food pyramid – but they are not. I do notice I get a headache if I binge at work morning tea – have two pieces of cake instead of one – too much sugar! And carbs turn to sugar in the end too.

      But don’t give up carbs if you don’t need to – I’m sure 5kgs off you and you would be looking too too thin.


  3. I’m so happy you’ve made so many positive healthy changes in your life way before finding out about your recent insulin resistance. If you hadn’t, can you imagine how much worse off you’d have been! Cheers babe!

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