Let's talk about this smoothie.
It's a Pear Ginger Cinnamon Oat Smoothie and it's ridiculously good. I've wanted to make this smoothie for a year and yesterday, I finally did it. I'm having another one today. Why did it take me a year to make something so delicious? Because my head is stupid sometimes.
You see, I've been under the assumption for the last, oh, 7 years or so, that carbs are the devil, that they will make me fat and give me all kinds of inflammation, and be total jerks to my body. And because this very healthy smoothie had oats in it, I put it off forever.
But, because of some very nice friends and some nutritionally sound advice, I went for it. And I have to say, I feel a lot more satiated and happy. A little bit of carbs goes a long way for me. I am normally quite hungry by 11 am, but yesterday I didn't eat lunch until 1 pm and it was fine. I felt great.
I think quantity matters a lot more here than I'd previously thought. For the longest time I believed if I just didn't eat ANY carbs at all, I was "safe". But that's not so. Over time, I'd build up potatoes and heirloom grains and fruit to such ridiculous levels of desire that I'd end up binge eating something else that was a lot less healthy, because I wanted the healthy stuff so much. Weird? Yes. But I don't think it's uncommon.
I think a little bit of carbs (this smoothie has 3 tablespoons of oats, and 1 fresh pear) is great. Quantities matter. Carbs alone don't cause weight gain, but eating carbs mindlessly, in large quantities, can most certainly cause it. Eating anything mindlessly can cause weight gain. No surprise there.
So while it was easier, in a way, to rule out carbs altogether as a food group, I think mindfully eating small quantities of carbs will be better. Harder, but better. My hypothesis is that by eating the carbs I actually want - fruit, potatoes, minimally processed heirloom grains - in reasonable quantities, I won't be tempted to mindlessly eat/binge* later in the day. It's a fun experiment, and I'm looking forward to seeing if my hypothesis is correct.
* For purposes of clarification, I define binge as any spate of mindless eating, where someone checks out and eats stuff, rather than making mindful choices. It doesn't always look like eating a whole package of Oreos in one go.