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Good News! Carbs Are IN This Season!

Why are they villainized?

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap for a lot of years now. With popular diets like Atkins, Keto, and South Beach, we’ve seen people drop a dramatic amount of weight in a short period of time; and, that leads to the question – is it necessary to limit carbs in order to lose or maintain your weight? It’s true that carbs are naturally higher in calories than most other food groups, and it’s a fact that if you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. However, we know there’s a huge difference between eating naturally carb-filled plants and candy/soda/baked goods. It’s not the carbs that are unhealthy, it’s the highly processed, sugar-filled foods that they often make up. But read on, because I’m not going to suggest you cut those foods out either.

What happens when we eliminate carbs?

We’ve seen the weight loss stories, and heard from people who “feel great” after cutting their carb intake. So, why is it important to think twice before hopping on the band-wagon and cutting carbs from your diet? Well, first of all, carbohydrates are our number one source of energy. Meaning that if you’re cutting carbs, your workouts may take a hit. No matter how “great” your cousin feels on her keto diet, cutting or eliminating carbs WILL lead to a loss in physical and mental energy. And speaking of mental energy, consuming carbohydrates increases serotonin production, without which you will almost certainly experience brain fog and trouble with mood regulation. And even if you can live through these symptoms, you have to determine if a low or no carb lifestyle is something you can maintain. Because when and if you ever decide to add them back in, you’re apt to gain any lost weight back – for most, it’s not sustainable.

Why they’re important

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient – an energy source that helps to fuel your brain and body. Carbs, along with the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the foods that contain them help you perform better, both mentally and physically. You’ll get a better workout and find it easier to focus and be productive at work and in all areas of your life. Not to mention, they make up so much of the foods in many if not most cultures and traditions. This is important too! Enjoyment of the foods we eat is simply a part of life most of us want to experience.

Choose wisely

You may be familiar with simple carbs vs complex carbs, but if not, here’s the long and short of it. Simple carbs are in things like white bread, sweet treats, sugary beverages, and even some fruit (although, fruit has important vitamins and minerals). This type of carb is easily broken down by your body, and SIMPLE/quick to digest. It will cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, giving you a quick burst of energy. But it’s not all bad. Yes, we all know we should eat donuts and cookies in moderation. However, a quick burst of energy from a simple carb (like say, a banana – or even a donut, occasionally) can be helpful right before you hit the gym.

On the other hand, complex carbs are in things like whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes and fiber-filled fruit. This kind of carb takes longer for your body to break down and uses more energy to digest. When you consume complex carbs, your blood sugar will still rise, but slower and less dramatically than simple carbs. You won’t feel the instant burst of energy, but you’ll have longer lasting, more sustainable energy to last throughout the day with no crash.

The main thing to keep in mind is there are no “good” or “bad” foods. It’s not healthy or necessary to villainize what you eat. If you want to lose weight or simply maintain your health, it’s all about portion size, moderation, and nutrient and fiber intake. Life is short, your body is only yours, and you should enjoy the foods you love! Speaking of which, fall is here and my family loves some good appetizers for game day! Here are a couple recipe ideas I love (containing BOTH complex and simple carbs – cheers!):

Easy Bruschetta


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

  • 26 oz. Roma tomatoes, diced (about 7-8)

  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, then more to taste

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped basil ribbons

  • 1 loaf hearty French bread sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices


1. For tomato mixture: Heat olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until just starting to turn golden (don't brown it), about 1 minute.

2. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Let cool while you chop the tomatoes and basil.

3. Pour tomatoes into bowl with cooled oil mixture. Add parmesan, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss mixture well. Serve right away over toasted bread (spoon some of the juices along with it). Garnish with more parmesan if desired.

4. To toast bread*: position oven rack a few inches below broil and preheat broiler. Align bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil first side until golden brown, about 1 minute (don't walk away and keep an eye on them they'll brown quickly), then flip slices to opposite side and broil opposite side until golden brown.

White Chicken Chili Nachos


  • 15 oz tortilla chips

  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, can use cheddar or Pepper Jack

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, or cooked shredded chicken

  • 15 ounces white beans, rinsed and drained

  • 4 ounces green chiles

Nacho toppings:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cubed

  • 2 scallions, green ends sliced thinly

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • Salsa verde


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line a large baking sheet with tortilla chips, mostly in one layer. It is ok if some overlap.

3. Cover the chips with 1 cup of cheese. Add the chicken, beans, and green chiles. Cover with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.

4. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and top with avocado, scallions, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and sour cream. Spoon salsa verde over the top of the nachos or serve the salsa on the side. Serve immediately.

Are you struggling with your relationship with food? If you do, know that you’re not alone! This is something I have struggled with throughout my life. Through lots of therapy and nutritional training, I have finally come to a place where I am in a much better place in my relationship with food and my body. In fact, it has become such a passion and so important to me that I have made it my mission to help other women with this struggle as well!

As a Certified Transformational Nutrition® and Life Coach, I specialize in helping others find their healthiest selves – inside and out! If you could use some guidance in any of these areas, I’d love to book a completely free consultation with YOU!


Lucie Mitchell, CTNC & CTLC

Fierce and Beautiful Wellness, LLC

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This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition.

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