Whenever I explain that The “Plan A” Diet promotes getting the majority of your calories from carbs, most people are shocked. Especially when they learn that it’s OK to eat potatoes and rice!
There are two types of carbs: Complex (whole) and Refined (processed)
Complex carbs include whole foods – potatoes, corn, beans, rice, squash, all veggies, fruit, legumes, and whole grains. Complex carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel; we are designed to get our energy from the glucose in complex carbs.
Refined carbs include processed items made with stripped/enriched flours and added fats/sodium/sugars – donuts, hot dog buns, snack cakes, corn chips, toaster pastries and soda pop.
As Dr. McDougall loves to point out: (Complex) carbs don’t make you fat – fat makes you fat. To illustrate this point, consider a baked potato.
Only 1% of the calories in a potato come from fat. That is, however, until we adulterate that potato by frying it in grease to make french fries (46% fat) or convert it into potato chips (56% fat). Or until we smother that potato with butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits – which not only adds a big dose of fat, but lots of cholesterol too.
The biggest reason carbs have gotten a bad rap is because both types of carbs – complex and refined – have been lumped into one evil category, causing much of society to develop a condition called Carbophobia (the intense or obsessive avoidance of anything carbohydrate related).
Don’t fall prey to that mindset! Choose healthy, complex carbs but avoid the refined junk foods. Remember there’s a big difference between a bowl of black bean chili (complex carb) and a slice of glazed coffee cake (refined carb).
So go ahead and enjoy a plate of whole-grain pasta topped with marinara and steamed asparagus, or serve up your favorite potatoes topped with golden gravy, no-fat cheese sauce, your favorite salsa, or other ideas spelled out in The “Plan A” Diet book. And don’t forget those Fit Fries and Sweet Potato Wedges (recipes below).
(Signed copies of the book can be ordered here.)
PS: If you’re interested in a time saver, this “potato bag” microwaves potatoes in 4 minutes (or a bit longer for larger potatoes). It does a great job.
Fit Fries: 2 Large Russet Potatoes or other variety, cut into french fry size (or use a french fry cutter). Add to a bowl, mist with water if necessary, then add these pre-combined spices: 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and sea salt. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes, flipping half way through.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges: 2 medium sweet potatos, cut into wedges. Add to a bowl, then add these pre-combined spices: 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. each of cumin, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Arrange on a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until tender.
Experiment with spices to your heart’s desire!