PFC Balanced Eating Part 3A: FAQ

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Here’s a list of 10 of the most prevalent questions you've asked after PFC Balanced Eating: Parts 1 and 2. Stay tuned for another set of 10 frequently asked questions in Part 3B. Is PFC a low carbohydrate diet? Not necessarily. Eating balanced PFC leaves plenty of room for healthy carbs like vegetables and fruit. That said, by reducing processed food and added sugars; you will inadvertently eat a lower amount of carbs than people who eat a standard American diet. So it is safe to say that when eating the PFC way and incorporating more protein and fat, you will naturally eat LESS carbohydrates and MORE in balance. How closely do you need to eat PFC together to get the most benefit? The closer you can eat all three components of PFC together, the better. At minimum, try to always have a source of protein or healthy fat with your carbohydrate to promote balanced blood sugar levels. Is there a general breakdown of percentages for how much of each PFC group to strive for? Every one is different. We try to keep things general and simple in the information we disperse publicly but we understand the need for individual customization, which is why we work with people one-on-one. The field of nutrition is incredibly varied and there is no one-size fits all solution for every person. We all are wired a little differently so we all have certain needs and requirements. We assess individual macronutrient needs and make recommendations based on each person’s goals, lifestyle, and unique biochemistry. Can I go PFC on a vegetarian or vegan diet? It’s tricky. Being a healthy vegan or vegetarian requires careful planning. Vegan diets are pretty much just FC, and often times just C. While vegan literature will tell you that you can get plenty of protein from plants, you will have to consume a TON of carbohydrates to get there. For example, rice and beans are a popular plant combination touted by vegetarians and vegans for being a “complete protein” (containing all 22 essential amino acids). However, in a 1/2 cup of rice and beans, you’ll be consuming about 23 grams of carbs and only 5 grams of protein. In order to get to an adequate amount of protein (closer to 25 grams at a meal, but who’s counting? ;) ), you’d need to eat WAY TOO MANY carbohydrates which would result in a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster. This is why vegans often rely on processed meat look-alikes, which may contain lots of soy and other icky ingredients. If you’re a vegetarian and willing to eat some eggs, dairy, and fish, you can absolutely live a balanced PFC lifestyle, but if not, it can be tough. This is something we love helping clients with in coaching sessions. The approach at Healthy Simple Life is non-judgmental and regardless of your reason for including animal protein or not, we respect your decision and help you find ways to get in the best food combinations to support your body, brain and overall health goals. Why do you recommend a bedtime snack? And why only FC before bed but PFC at all other meals and snacks? The right bedtime snack promotes stable blood sugar levels all night long. Blood sugars begin dropping after our last meal of the day, so to encourage stable blood sugars all night long, it’s essential to slightly bring them back up by eating something before going to bed. The ideal bedtime snack includes fat and carbohydrates. Bedtime is the ONLY time we recommend eating PFC, minus the P (simply because protein gives us energy which can interfere with sleep). Read more on bedtime snacks here. Should you measure how much water you drink? It’s certainly important to stay hydrated and drink water; your body is comprised of about 60% water and just about every system in the body needs it to function. That said, you do not need to be a slave to it. Just like eating to stay ahead of our hunger, we should do the same with our thirst. Start your day off with a big glass of water, and drink water periodically throughout the day before you get thirsty. As they say, sometimes the best defense is a good offense! The best way to combat your hunger and thirst is to confront it first before it confronts you. When consuming alcohol, make sure you're drinking a cup or two of water for each drink you're tipping back and if you're active in the warm summer weather it's important to pay close attention to hydration. What about hormones? It can be tough to keep weight off with crazy hormones. Eating balanced PFC meals and snacks is the first step to balancing out hormonal problems. The hormone insulin, which regulates your blood sugar, is also involved in the regulation of your other hormones including thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and progesterone. Since everyone’s hormonal balances are different, it’s helpful to work with a health coach to connect the hormonal dots and get things straightened out. In coaching sessions, we help clients balance their hormones to reach their health goals. Is it completely useless living the PFC lifestyle using regular grocery offerings if you can’t afford organic or higher quality? Absolutely not! This lifestyle can be a big shift, so it’s okay to simply start by implementing the PFC guidelines without stressing over food quality right away. Start where you are and do the best you can. Simply begin by choosing REAL foods instead of processed ones… load up on basics like vegetables, meats, fruits, and healthy fats like avocado, real butter and olive oil instead of grabbing frozen dinners or convenience foods. You might actually notice your grocery bill goes down when you bypass the cereal aisle. As you get used to eating this way and find more money in your ‘organic budget’ put it towards organic butter and better quality meats since you’ll get the most bang for your organic buck in that department. Shop around. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your town you can find good quality fats like Kerrygold grass fed butter and high quality, inexpensive coconut oil. Costco has good deals on organic produce and great prices on nuts. We save money by purchasing several shopping list items online, such as coffee, MCT oil and dried beef sticks. The more you keep your eyes open and make mental notes of where you find the deals, the more accessible this lifestyle becomes, no matter what your financial standing is. Check out this article on supermarket strategies for more helpful tips or schedule a grocery store tour with us! What if I’m still hungry? Then by all means, eat more! Our bodies work best when we provide them with what they need – when we restrict them of critical nutrients and vitamins and minerals, they slow down. You may find that if you drop your carbs or fat too low you are hungry shortly after your meals. Make sure to include some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, or carrots (1/2 cup serving) at your meals along with your non-starchy veggies and don’t forget the butter! Every one’s carbohydrate needs are different, so listen to your body and if you need help discovering the right amount for you, sign up for some personal coaching! How do you know if you’re eating too much? Side effects of eating too much include weight gain and feeling full all the time. Listen to you body. If you are stuffed, you probably ate too much. If you are hungry, you probably need a little more. Those are your top 10 PFC FAQs! In Part 3B we answer another set. For more on PFC eating, follow the hashtag #PFC on TwitterInstagram and Facebook and tag your own balanced meal photos. And as always, contact our team if you have personal questions or to sign up for coaching or a group class! Disclosure: One or more of the links posted on this page is an affiliate link. Please know, however, we wouldn't recommend a product that I don't personally use or believe in. :) Keep Calm and Eat PFC

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