. WIAW … cold weather carb cravings .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 10, 2012

You guys totally rocked my socks off with your responses to my last post. Seriously, if you ever find yourself struggling with any of those silly food myths, go read the through the comments left by all the rebels out there and don’t be afraid to take part in some rule breaking yourself. It’s good fun, I can promise you that ;)

Not so fun, however, was today’s nasty weather…

As much as I love Fall, I’d like it a whole lot better if it actually lasted as long as it’s supposed to. I mean, winter showing up in mid-October? Can someone please tell me how that guy got invited to the party?

No use complaining about what you can’t change, though. And speaking of change, even though I’m nowhere near a seasonal eater, I definitely notice my food preferences starting to shift around this time of the year…

Oikos Greek yogurt – banana – peach – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest – Puffins – roasted almond butter

Okay, so today’s breakfast is a bad example, but I thought about taking the time to cook up something warm for about 5 seconds before I trashed the idea, rolled with a quick bowl of cereal, and enjoyed it alongside a mug of hot coffee. In general though, most of what I’ve been craving lately has been warm, comforting, and carby. Take tonight’s dinner… I mean, is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of ooey-gooey cheesy pasta?

Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Not in my books. Was it balanced? Not exactly. Healthy? I could have done better. But good? Ohhhh heck yes! After the first few bites, all thoughts of balance and health went out the window and I was transported to cheesy, carby heaven. Besides, I managed to sneak some veggies and protein in at lunch, so I’d call it a pretty successful day overall ;)

Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey, cranberry sauce, roasted potatoes, grilled corn, and a side of random veggies.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my fats and enjoy protein well-enough, but when it all comes down to it, I’m definitely a carb-loving girl, through and through. It makes me sad to see carbs getting such a bad rap these days, and it seems as though the recent explosion of high protein, Paleo lifestyles has just made me cling to my breads and buns even more. If a low-carb diet works for you, then hey… that’s great; but it’s definitely not for me.

Fig and Date Oatmeal Bar

There was a time where I wasn’t nearly as eager to openly express the affection I felt towards my favorite of the three macros. I definitely bought in to the myth that eating carbs leads to weight gain, so I did my best to eat as little of them as I possibly could. Carbs for breakfast? Okay, then I can’t have carbs for lunch. Carbs for dinner? Are you out of your damn mind?! Protein, veggies, fat – no room for negotiation. And as for dessert? Maybe some cottage cheese and almond butter – I’ve already hit my daily carb allowance.

I thought it was great at first, but after a while the lack of carbs definitely started to take it’s toll. I had less energy, my muscles constantly felt weak and fatigued, I slept poorly, my skin got dry, my hair grew limp, my mood plummeted… and we’re not even going to get in to some of the stomach problems I experienced from eating so much protein and fat. I consider you guys good friends and all, but there are some things that are just better left unsaid.

Zensoy chocolate/vanilla pudding – banana – roasted almond butter – milk softened Bob’s Red Mill granola

There are certain things better left alone as well. Time and time again I’ve learned that cutting out any food group or macro doesn’t do me any good. Low fat? No. Low carb? No. Dairy free? No. Vegetarian? No. I know I can’t speak for everyone (especially when intolerances/ethics are involved), but I personally need a little bit of everything to feel my best; and that includes things like salt, butter, sugar, caffeine, and even fried food. The minute I start meddling is the minute I run into trouble; but when I eat a little bit of everything I crave and stop labelling certain foods as off-limits? That is when I feel my best…

… even when the weather outside is nasty and I just want to hide under my covers all day. Brrr.

. – . – . – .

Any fellow carb lovers out there? Show some love!
Have you ever experienced negative effects after cutting a food group or macro from your diet? 

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aimee October 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I too am a carb lover at heart!! Especially in the colder weather – some of my favs include homemade fresh pasta with fresh tomato sauce and lots of Parmesan cheese, fresh baked whole wheat bread, big bowls of warm oatmeal, granola, sweet potatoes, pumpkin bread – I could go on forever!!!
I used to be a vegetarian but found it way too difficult for me to tolerate all the beans and veggies that I was eating. I now basically eat everything and have never felt better!!
Hope it gets warmer in your neck of the woods!

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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Ohhh I would kill for homemade pasta! When can I come over to visit?! :D

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3 Aimee October 11, 2012 at 5:48 am

Anytime!! :)

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4 lisa fine October 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Snow! We have it in our forecast for later this weeks. Autumn was just not long enough this year. Oh these northern places we live in. :)

And as for carbs – yes, yes, yes. I am a little afraid of the Paleo trend going on, and just can’t imagine that it’s healthy to relinquish carbs for lots of protein.
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5 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness October 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’m totally a carb lover and proud of it!! They are easily my favorite nutrient! That stinks that it’s cold and snowing where you are already! We’ve been getting a lot of rain here and its just so gloomy out!
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6 molly @ heart, sole & cereal October 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

carb lovers unite! i adore carbs. they are definitely my favorite of the three macros as well, though i’ve been starting to really embrace the healthy fats as well. i definitely feel like i need to carb-load at my breakfast just to get through my mornings, which probably is why breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. i can’t really have a meal without any carbs…feels so wrong.
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7 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Healthy fats on carbs is pretty much my favorite combo ever :D And I definitely agree that a meal without carbs is like a day without sunshine… just lacking in that happiness factor.

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8 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate October 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I always crave carbs :)
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9 Tessa @ Amazing Asset October 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

As always, stellar post Amanda :) I most certainly used to think like that… still do to an extent but now I have the ability to recognize those thoughts and overcome them by quite literally saying “screw you” to the ED. Carbs are a favorite of mine, yet I have had a tumultuous relationship with them in the past.. again, it still lingers, but oh well, I need dem carbs for workouts and life in general :)
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10 Alex @ therunwithin October 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

nasty weather indeed, I crave warm comforting food all winter. i am jealous of the turkey and cranberry sauce. my favorite combo. can’t wait till our thanksgiving. i adore carbs to say the least. white potatoes all the way!
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11 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Yes! I wish more people were willing to give white potatoes a bit more loving. Poor guys don’t seem to stand a chance in the sea of orange…

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12 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm

0 degrees? I was feeling whiny about 10 degrees! :-p

I had Annie’s for dinner last night too – I’m all about a balanced diet, but sometimes all you need is mac and cheese!

You pretty much have the best approach to food I’ve ever seen. And now I’m craving a yogurt bowl. :-D
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13 Brittany October 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Ohhh I am sooo with you on the mac and cheese. Before I went vegan I would annihilate Annie’s mac and cheese! I would toss some spinach in there for “balance” but even without the spinach I always felt better AFTER I ate the carbs. Carbs are my life force, I don’t last without them!

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14 Chelsea@Ahintofhealthy October 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I am a total carb lover!!! Your food all looks delicious. I followed the link to your fig and date oatmeal bars and can’t wait to try them out! :)

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15 Dione October 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Yes the weather here in Edmonton today was horrible. I got pelted by ice pellets walking home from work today. Then I made a pot of potato bacon chowder and corn muffins. Perfect carby cold weather food!:). I can’t wait for spring already!

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16 Alexandra October 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm

BRRRR!!!!! man it is COLD up there!! I’ll send you some of this 90 degree weather if you send some crunchy fall leaves this way ;)
I wish greek yogurt didn’t mess up my stomach so bad, your yogurt bowls always make me RAVENOUS! They look so delish!!!
Hope you enjoy your evening Amanda! <3
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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Done and done! Can you be sure to send it overnight express, though? ;)

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18 debbie October 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I hate that carbs always get a bad rep too, and I guess that’s the reason the Paleo craze annoys me. I’d be the grumpiest person ever if I restricted carbs.
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19 Jess October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I just realized have a problem with comparing myself to your and other people’s blogs. I hate to put numbers out there, but…. I kinda have to. Annie’s Mac & Cheese: barely 300 calories for dinner. And a plate the size of a coaster for lunch? I know you eat snacks and all, but I just kinda feel like it’s no wonder you’re okay with not rigorously exercising anymore and eating certain things you might prefer because your pictures seem to show tiny helpings, which, for me even during my worst ED days wasn’t hard to do as well! As long as I fit it all into a certain caloric schedule I was good.

I’m not trying to attack you here. I realize I come off a certain way, and I know you’ll say something like, “You’re not seeing pictures of EVERYTHING I eat, therefore you can’t really judge me.” True… to an extent.

I’m just really skeptical of online bloggers who try to sell the idea that everything is fine while still obviously having food and all that on their mind all the time to even be able to run a blog like this in the first place. The reason I visit blogs like these? I have ED issues that I’m still working on overcoming. I’m starting to think, after visiting so many blogs quite regularly, that I maybe shouldn’t do so anymore because it almost feels like just another connection to the word of disordered eating. <– I'm thinking out loud here, but also hoping others out there may take a step back and think about this as well. How does outside influence play in our own recovery? If we engage in interests revolving around food, fitness, and health, aren't we feeding into our ED's interests?

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20 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

You raise a lot of valid points, and I definitely think there’s a fine line between disorder and interest when it comes to things food and health.While I honestly believe that blogging ultimately helped me in my recovery, there were a lot of instances where I used it to fuel my disordered thoughts as well. I remember doing exactly what you did and trying to tally up the calories in a person’s meal/day, or obsessively tracking what kind of workouts others were doing and how many hours they spent exercising every week. Then I’d go on and compare myself to them, proud that I was eating less, or thinking that I need to exercise more.

Now though? I don’t really care about what others are eating, and I gloss over any kind of workouts they do. I read blogs like these because I honestly like the people who write them, and I write a blog like this not because I spend my day thinking about food (if I did, my meals would probably be a lot more creative than they are) but because it gives me an opportunity to connect with others who have gone through or are going through the same thing I did, while letting me vent about some of the issues that drive me crazy.

I might be way off, but judging based solely on the comments you left on some of my other posts, it seems like you’re skeptical about recovery because of the struggles you’re facing in your own, which is completely understandable. It’s definitely good to question, but not to project your own struggles onto others. If you feel like blogs are a negative influence on you, maybe take a break from them for a while and see if that helps? I [sort of] left for close to a year, and came back with a whole new mindset.

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21 Jess October 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for the reply! And yes, you are right on the money when you wonder whether I’m skeptical about recovery. I am, mainly because of my own experience, but also from seeing others who seem to project this surface appearance of “everything’s just fine and dandy and I can eat whatever I want and not worry about it and enjoy life!” When…. I end up scrutinizing their blog posts for example (yes, probably should not do that for my own good and not to be judgmental of others!), but I notice things like working out everyday, eating the same meals, cooking/baking using substitutes…. and it just brings me back to my darkest points! I’ve gone a long way and am proud of myself, but I also feel like that haunting presence will always be there no matter how good life gets because it’s this extra piece of the puzzle that has somehow molded its way in. Okay, that’s REALLY philosophical and doesn’t really make sense lol, but you know what I’m saying.

If you are indeed in a better place, which you seem to be for sure, then that’s wonderful. It DOES give me hope that I could reach such a point too, but I think the blog world in general is an easy way for people to present themselves in a not-so-accurate light and readers should be skeptical of everything they read… and not compare because that gets you nowhere! lol

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22 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie October 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I am such a carb lover! And honestly I don’t know why people demonize it so much–even fruits and veggies are considered carbs, and they’re totally healthy. Lately I’ve kinda been subconsciously cutting back on carbs after seeing almost everyone else do it because they’re Paleo or focusing on protein more or whatever but I need my carbs to stay sane! However, during my ED I was all about eliminating the fats, and that did me no good. I had dry skin, dry hair and never had an energy. Now that I’m embracing the healthy fats I feel so much more vibrant. Plus who wouldn’t love an almond butter-smothered sweet potato?!
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23 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate October 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Oh wow, your weather makes me feel extremely guilt for complaining about a little bit of CA rain. My food preferences definitely shift as well when the seasons change. Bring on the winter squash and hot drinks!
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24 Nicole October 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Woah mama, your carb-delicious bowls always make my mouth water! I remember a few years back when I started my blog n wanted to eat “clean” – during Holidays I would skip dessert completely one time, then sadly watch everyone enjoy pies n cookies. This allllllways led to me binging like a wild horse the following Holiday or family get together- and full throttle: help serve pie, lick fingers, lick serving spoon, serve a large slice, eat a few extra bites if ice cream before joining family in living room….feel sick as a dog. Ay….. Nowadays I find SO much joy in making the pies and cakes myself and eating them with JOY.

We all do stupid things, huh? Live and learn, true it is. Pie is amazing.

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25 Julie October 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm

The weather actually looks nice from here… especially with some mac and cheese!

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26 Ellie@Fit for the Soul October 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I cannot believe it’s already that cold there!!!!!!!!!! 0_0 Wow, I guess I’m not so envious of Canadians anymore :P I hope you stay healthy and cold-less! It sounds bone-chilling.

And man I want some turkey now just thinking of the word “thanksgiving” lol. And I definitely think that carbs are essential to our bodies. It is really important to get our energy from them because there’s a good reason why runners fuel up on carbs the day before–because it gives energy and fuel!

I USED to be the ultimate carb lover, but now I think carbs and protein are neck to neck for me. I love most foods that have protein and if it helps with recovery, then that’s a plus. :)
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27 Laura Agar Wilson (@keephealthstyle) October 11, 2012 at 12:12 am

I think the mistake people make with carbs is the type – they just hear carbs and think all are bad! I lurvvve sweet potatoes and squash far too much to ever do low carb and I have just sat and eaten the more delicious slice of crispy crunchy bread topped with honey and avocado – no way could I give that one up!

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28 Jessie October 11, 2012 at 12:36 am

Oh I LOVE carbs and find it hard to not incorporate them into my everyday meals!! ohh & your thanksgiving leftovers look delicious!!
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29 Miss Polkadot October 11, 2012 at 1:35 am

Oh my, I do love carbs! Whenever I notice I’m moody, lack energy and am generally off the first thing I look at is whether I didn’t have enough carbs – as in grains, not fruit and veggies! – yet. I think I could never live a paleo/mostly carb-free lifestyle.

What I’m trying, though, is not to think of carbs as carbs but rather tell myself “Oh, I think I’d like to have some wheatberries with my lunch”. It’s a way to cheat my ED a little because the word “carb” is still negatively associated – there still are days when I feel like I ate “too carb-heavy”. So what I do love aren’t carbs to me but grains, potatoes (yes, white ones – I’m not really into sweet potatoes), cereal, …
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30 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

That’s a really great way to go about looking at it :) And I agree that plain old white potatoes are fantastic.

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31 Albizia October 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

Don’t touch my carbs or else! I can live without a lot of things but nothing can make me stop eating my bread and potatoes. Even moving to Japan :D I tried eating rice at the beginning but then I simply gave up. I never felt satisfied so I started bringing bread from home to the university cafeteria. I can’t learn to accept sweet potatoes as something more than a dessert but I’d sell my soul for a hot and steamy roast white potato with herbs and cheese. I need my oats, cookies, pretzels and everything carby there is.

As for fat and protein… I rely on my cravings to remind me I need more protein because I tend to forget about it sometimes and I get my fat mainly from nuts and nut butters (and shortbread?) because I’m really not a fan of fatty meals.

I can’t believe you already have snow. I was really surprised when I saw the picture on Instagram. It’s pretty cool though. The sudden change in the weather here gave me a cold without being at the least beautiful.
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32 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Oh no! I hope that you feel better soon <3

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33 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance October 11, 2012 at 4:19 am

Haha yesterday must have been macro-nutrient proclamation of love day, because I wrote a similar post regarding my love of fats!

Lately I’ve been actually cutting down on my morning carbs, but mostly because my stomach is becoming sensitive to a larger group of grains now rather than just wheat :( But hey, that doesnt stop me from getting my carbs from fruits, potatoes and starchy veggies!
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34 Khushboo October 11, 2012 at 4:21 am

Your posts always make me smile and nod my head in agreement, Amanda! It drives me loco when people say they aren’t eating X food group….there is no food which can single-handedly provide benefits or hinder our health….carbs aren’t the enemy, fat doesn’t make you fat, and protein won’t instantly give you muscles! I went through a phase where I tried to limit my carbs and honestly speaking, it just made me cranky, hungry, tired and a bee-yatch! Although I am not saying to stuff ourselves with sugar and white bread regularly, eating wholegrain bread, oats, cereal, sweet potatoes (or white for that matter) can make a world of difference to our health, happiness, AND physical appearance! I am almost certain that giving up carbs only instigates a binge sooner or later!
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35 Sara @my less serious life October 11, 2012 at 4:45 am

wow, what feedback you get in your comments!

i agree with you – my body functions best when it gets a little bit of everything – INCLUDING carbs and fat and indulgences. all about balance, right?
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36 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 11, 2012 at 6:15 am

Yes yes yes to this whole post! I eat a lot of carbs too. Oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, crackers in my snack, and pasta for dinner is a totally normal day for me. Carbs make me feel awesome!!! I just don’t get this whole low carb or cutting out food groups thing either. Maybe it’s the future RD in me, but I just feel like it’s so unbalanced! And it would suck out the joy of eating for me.
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37 Eating 4 Balance October 11, 2012 at 6:37 am

Whoa! What’s up with your weather? Did it really change that fast? Lol.

And I missed your post about food myths, so I’m going to check that out.
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38 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hehe those shots were taken at the same time, just one is in C and one is in F. But yeah, our weather is kind of goofy :?

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39 Eating 4 Balance October 12, 2012 at 5:42 am

Oh geez. You probably think that I’m stupid now :S I was trying to figure out what was different for the longest time! And I didn’t see any C or F signs on it. Good to know!
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40 Shannon October 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

I had the same Carb craving from the cold weather this week! There is nothing like a nice bowl of soup in a bread boule ;) But I agree that cutting out food groups unless for warranted reasons can lead to some pretty dire consequences that I for one am not willing to suffer anymore. My body tells me when I need one macro more than the other and i love to listen to my body!
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41 Kailey October 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

Dear gosh if you tell me not to eat carbs I might attack you! Seriously though, I experience the same things you do when I don’t get enough carbs for the day, or even in one meal. Salad for lunch? Sure…if I get some bread on the side. Otherwise I want to eat my arm off in 2 minutes. Besides, carbohydrates give us energy so we are fun to be around :)

PS – Annies Mac & Cheese is the bomb. No buts about it ;)
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42 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

“carbohydrates give us energy so we are fun to be around” < — :lol: That might just be the best reasoning ever.

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43 Madi October 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

Anyone who says they don’t like carbs they are a DIRTY LIAR, ok that might be drastic, but they are just SO GOOD! And snaps all around about the cutting certain food completely out (although I am vegetarian), holler at a little bit of M&M eating, french fry indulging, lick the batter off the spoon moments! Food looks derish! And now I really want some of that Mac n Cheese!

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44 Meghan @ After the Ivy League October 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

Definite carb lover here! But I totally go through phases with it too, sometimes all I want is cereal, cereal, pasta, and other times I’m really craving some healthy fats of PB and almond butter. I go with what I’m craving! My mom started a “low carb” diet recently and I keep telling her it’s no good! She won’t listen to me though, and then ends up hittin’ the potato chip bag hard at night after depriving herself all day. Duh! You need carbs!!
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45 Jessica October 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Massive carb lover here. I have them every meal. I don’t care if there’s supposed to be x amount of carbs to y amount of protein etc. Not intested. Sometimes I eat 100% carbs for a meal. A meal without carbs is not really a meal for me… even if they just come in the form of a side of bread, they have to feature otherwise I’m crabby and hungry withing the hour. And let’s talk about breakfast … I can’t cope without carbs at breakfast. I need them more than caffeine. ;-)

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46 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I’m the same way with needing to have carbs at every meal or not seeing it as a meal… it makes me feel like something is missing, big time.

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47 Lisa October 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I totally agree with your thoughts. I also don’t believe in cutting out an entire food group. I mean isn’t it a food group for a reason? It kind of reminds me of the low-fat days. Now we have just transferred those beliefs to carbs…its really an ongoing cycle. I don’t care if others have different preferences, I mean hey if it works for them then that’s great! I love my carbs dearly though! I can’t go a day without them in some form that’s for certain!
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48 kris October 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

woah. thats some brrr inducing weather ya got over there!!
deffffinitely a carb lover. for life :) i have a box of annies mac and cheese shells in my pantry that have been calling out to me. and now that i see your creamy and cheesy photo, i must make them sooon! yum.
stay warm!!
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49 Irina @ Chocolatea Time October 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I’m so happy to read what is so rare to hear these days. I need a bit of EVERYTHING in my diet in order to feel my best. As soon as I cut something…anything…out of my diet (whether on purpose or not), my body rebels. I must say though, carbs are my favorite! Bread, pretzels, etc etc. How can someone live without them??
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50 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Are you kidding? I am a carb QUEEN! I could not LIVE without my carbs…no if’s, an’s, or BUTTS…but I’ll take a bun if you’ve got it! ;) I rarely crave pasta, but I can’t go a day without some kind of bread…or pancakes! And the fact that the colder weather is coming, definitely makes me crave them more!

I definitely feel like I need a little bit of everything to feel balanced. I’ve restricted the amount of fat in my diet before and after a few weeks, it always ends the same way….with a nut butter binge! :-/
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