Pass The Carbs, Please!

Earlier this week in our private Clean Food Mama Facebook group, I shared one of my favorite lunches to make.  It was a clean eating plant-based sandwich made using Ezekiel Flax Seed Bread, 365 Dijon Mustard, Avocado, Broccoli, Sprouts, Broccoli Slaw, Onions, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers.  

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Just last year, I most likely would not have posted a picture of a sandwich. Want to know why? Not because I don’t love sandwiches (trust me I love a good whole wheat bread), but because honestly, as of this spring it had been years since I ever brought bread into our home.

Over the years, I was told by healthy lifestyle medical professionals that limiting carbohydrate intake was better for us.

But you know what? Between learning more through my husband’s wonderful doctor at the VA about plant-based eating and the nutrition education that I learned in school, it was never the complex carbs that gave bread and potatoes their infamous name, it was the processed carbs that did.

And yes, I have had to re-learn that. I even catch myself when my boys ask for potatoes to not say but “why don’t you try some veggies instead.” What! Potatoes are vegetables. But over the years, those healthy lifestyle programs we have been through taught us they are to be labeled as starches and not vegetables.

To think of all the vitamins, minerals we were missing out on by looking at them as a starch and not what they actually are a nutritious complex carbohydrate filled with fiber and protein that our bodies need.

So you know while we as a family are learning to re-think how we looked at clean eating plant-based foods like peas, corn, butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes, we are enjoying them in our meals each week.

And to be honest, we are feeling better than ever. Not only are those foods contributing to teaching my kids that every vegetable deserves to be labeled as a vegetable and not a starch and should be part of a healthy lifestyle, but they have contributed to helping my husband reverse his diabetes, helped us gain energy, and in the process has helped us lose weight as a family.

Some other complex carbs that we enjoy include:

Green beans


Kidney Beans

Brown Rice

and Quinoa

I tell you this because I know there are other people out there like me that have avoided complex carbs thinking they caused weight gain or should not be part of a healthy lifestyle. So many diets and programs out there have labeled them as something we should keep at a minimum. I say the most important thing you can do for yourself is to EAT REAL FOODS and that includes complex carbs too.

What are some of your favorite complex carb foods?



Stephanie Collazo, MS, CHC is the founder of Clean Food Mama, to help you get more plants into your diet. She shed 165 lbs by incorporating a whole foods plant-based diet and loves empowering other women to create healthy habits for themselves and their families.

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