Keeping it “Clean”
With the goal of achieving a high insulin spike, high GI carbs are an easy, and delicious go-to. The problem is that the selection of Paleo/primal friendly carbs are somewhat limited and therefore it may be more challenging to achieve a high enough insulin spike to reap the benefits of Carb Nite. I can understand and sympathize with those who want to keep things “clean” and avoid junkie carbs. We often opt for simple dinner choices like a side of white rice or sweet potato chips/fries and these can definitely be great choices.
Here’s a sample list of generally approved whole food choices for your Carb Nites:
– For the full of approved fruits list please refer to page 185 of The Carb Nite Solution®
♦ Bananas/banana chips
♦ Figs, dried
♦ Honeydew Melon
♦ Potatoes (sweet, white, purple or whatever color your heart desires, this may also include potato starch if you’d like to bake something)
♦ White rice (if you can tolerate it)
♦ Tapioca starch
♦ Lotus root
♦ Taro Root
♦ Maple syrup
♦ Coconut/Palm Sugar
♦ Cane Sugar
“Sugar” Replacements to AVOID due to high fructose content:
♦ Any of the listed “Sugar” Replacements that are made in bulk due to the additives.
Finding the Right Hi-GI Food Choices for You and Your Goals
Like I mentioned earlier, it is possible to eat the starchier foods listed and NOT achieve a high enough insulin spike to reap the benefits of a proper Carb Nite. This is one reason that I included a list of “sugar” replacements that are often used in Paleo “treats”. If you want to do this right and get the full benefit of your weekly carb feed I recommend experimenting with different combinations of the items listed above. I am by no means advocating that you squeeze a bottle of raw honey in your mouth (although that would be tasty), I’m merely suggesting that some experimentation may be needed to find the right Hi-GI food choices for you and your goals. While Carb Nite is not meant to be a “cheat night”, mostly because we’re suppose to enjoy it along with all the benefits it provides, one could technically “cheat” on their paleo/primal lifestyle on this night. Perhaps you want to indulge in something non-paleo occasionally, or you’re attending an event where you might not be as in control of your food choices. This may be the perfect night to indulge in something “off” plan (even though it’s technically allowed on the Carb Nite plan).
Ease into it and Enjoy!
If you do choose to venture away from your paleo-roots on a Carb Nite I recommend easing into it. So in other words, don’t go eat a whole pizza if you haven’t had bread or gluten in a long time. That sounds more like a recipe for disaster than it does an enjoyable evening. I remember the first time I had an ice cream cone after having gone without dairy for nearly six months. The ice cream was delicious for the 2.5 seconds it was in my mouth and then I proceeded to hate every minute of the next 6 hours as my body attempted to digest it. I’m happy to report that I can enjoy ice cream again (and do on most of my Carb Nites), without any problems. Sometimes we just need to reintroduce things slowly. But again, if you have a serious gluten intolerance or food allergy, then introducing any amount of those foods is not advisable. Just like anything else new, there will be some trial and error along the way. Use this opportunity to experiment with your carb choices and really listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel during your Carb Nites and for the first few days post-CN. For us, Carb Nite is fun. We get a kick out of trying new things and seeing how we respond to the carby foods we enjoy so much. If you’re not so adventurous, that’s just fine. Keep it simple, don’t over-complicate things and enjoy your food choices!