Category Archives: Newsletter

Beware Pseudo-Online Fitness Coaches

As the world has shut down over the last couple of weeks many industries have already been shaken to their cores. The fitness industry is one of them.

With studios being shut down most fitness people have scrambled to get online in order to keep their client bases during this time. I understand we all need to try and keep ourselves in business but for you, the consumer, there is more to think about.

I have seen some really scary stuff the last couple weeks as online training IS NOT the same as training in person. Exercise selection, programming, instructions, and pretty much everything else needs to be changed in order to deliver a safe and effective fitness program.

What I see instead, is a mass of quick high intensity workouts being haphazardly thrown together with no thought at all. Not just in the workout design but no thought as to who the workout is for and what long term strategy is being employed.

Especially at a time when physiotherapy, massage, and other health services are either closed or overwhelmed, now is NOT the time to hurt yourself.

Instead it is HIT challenges, burpees till you puke and a plethora of other fitness bullshit that should have died out 20 years ago. Literally, every social media platform is filled with workout after workout filled with the same stupid shit in a different combination. It’s scary.

Remember: the BEST fitness won’t leave you sore, hurt, and broken. The BEST fitness will leave you feeling awesome, moving well, and energized.

How can you tell the great from the crap if you are not already in my online platform? (<– see what I did there??)

Here are things that will tell you right away when you should run away. If you see any of these things…DO NOT DO THE PROGRAM OR WORKOUT!

#1 – Burpees

It is time for these things to die. Stop doing them.

For the vast majority of people, no matter how fit you are, the risk of poor form far outweighs any perceived benefit of this exercise. ANY fitness ‘professional’ who knows the slighted bit about what they are doing should be able to effectively build a program to target your whole body and your cardio system WITHOUT using burpees.

Programming a shit ton of burpees is lazy and stupid.

#2 – Dips

Bench dips are everywhere. They are terrible for you!!! PLEASE DON’T DO THEM!!!

On a bench, a chair, a stair or wherever else your insta-trainer is posting their FAT BLASTING sessions, doesn’t matter. This exercise puts your shoulder into a VERY precarious position and then ADDS load to it. It’s truly fucking stupid.

Don’t do these.

#3 – V-sits

The chance that you are maintaining good form on this exercise is around 0.01%. (No, not link to a study on that, just my 20 years of, you know, doing this day in and day out plus a master degree in human movement…).

You are going to put you back into poor position and that is why SO MANY PEOPLE complain about how much their back hurts during this movement.

Then every fitness ‘pro’ hands you a med ball (load) and tells you to tap it to the ground beside you (rotation) or has you pass it back and forth with a friend (again, rotation). When you add rotation to the lumbar spine when it is in a loaded and not properly positioned is a recipe for disaster.

#4 – Bicycles

This is hip flexors. It bends your spine the wrong way. It is the posture we lambaste constantly as we sit too much. There is nothing good about this and no benefit over 100 other exercises.

#5 – Ab Workouts

You should never, ever, ever, never do an abs only workout. Ever.

I know why you do it and why fitness peeps program them. Because deep down you all think that if you ‘blast your abs’ you will get a flat tummy and sculpted six-pack and everything in your life is going to be just so much better.

It won’t work. Flat tummies and six-packs have NOTHING to do with training the recuts abdominus (that is the muscle that makes the six-pack…) and is completely dependent on your level of body fat, which in turn, is completely dependent on your diet.

AGAIN! You spend enough time anteriorly flexed (hunched forward…think sitting…) and ab exercises exasperate this immensely. You need to train your posterior chain (your back) which might not have the same sex appeal but will keep you happier and healthier!

#6 – HIT Workouts

Look, when you’re fit and exercise regularly HIT workouts are awesome. But if you are new to training they are WAY too intense. And for EVERYONE right now, you need to be careful. When rehab services are closed and doctors are over-worked they don’t have time to deal with your strained back or tweeked shoulder. So why take the risk?

Train with an intensity appropriate to you and your level of fitness. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and steady work everyday will payoff in the long run!!!


Yes, I will plug me. I have been building an online platform for the last 3 years and have 20 years of experience. I am not the only one. There are good quality options out there.

How can you tell?

If the program or the coach includes any of the above listed items, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Staying active at home with little to no equipment is absolutely possible and when done right it is very effective! When done poorly, well, it is a disaster.

Be safe out there!

-Coach Taylor

What is Health?

I keep hammering on this question and have probably lost half of my audience because of it. I don’t care because the question is simply just too important.

What is health?

See, half the people reading just closed the window. Those who are still with me, however, are embarking on a journey that is going to, literally, change the rest of your life.

The question really should be: what is health, to you?

Culturally, a very fucked up definition of health exists both in scope and definition. The scope of what we perceive health to be is so narrow, so exclusive, and so wrong. Always, ALWAYS, health is equivocated to the appearance of a person’s body. How big we perceive it to be, how lean, how fat, how muscular, how skinny. The fact that this is a completely arbitrary observation and totally subjective to the viewer is irrelevant to everyone.

What a person looks like cannot tell you about their overall health. You getting skinnier does not mean you will be healthier. Just ask those who have suffered from anorexia. Oh, but that is too skinny you say, that isn’t your goal at all. Well, how do you know when you go from skinnier than you are now to too skinny?

Any definition of health is hard to discuss. I have been asking people for weeks to define what health is to them and I have received one response. It is good response and from of my favourite people.


To me, “health is true happiness and feeling your very best.”


I like it. There is truth in. But could this serve as a definition of health? I am not sure because how to define ‘feeling your very best?’ How do you define ‘true happiness?’ And without definable outcomes how can we ever answer the question, what is health?

Yet it is a course that must be pursued because without a greater understanding of what health actually is it will be impossible to ever help people move towards improving the quality of their health.

This is why it IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT that you ask yourself this question and spend time putting together an answer. The definition of what this means to you is what will guide and shape the future.

So let me take a stab at it. Let me share with you how I currently would answer this question. Note my use of the word ‘currently.’ Why that ambiguous little descriptor? Simply, because I believe that this is a subject and a topic that will be continually evolving with new information and the wisdom that only time can teach.

What is health to you, Coach Taylor?

Health is the ability to move well in order to do the things you dream of doing and to fuel yourself in a way to minimize the risks of chronic disease while maximizing the full potential of your body.

To be more concise: Health is the ability to move well, while you eat well.

Even this definition has a wide scope of what could be included. And this is precisely the point I am trying to make.

Health, and better health, doesn’t have a definition. It can only have a definition of what it means to you. This is why the topic so engrosses me.

What you probably think of as health right now is actually a culturally mediated image that has been rammed down your throat the majority of your life in a purposeful effort to keep you just unhappy enough to buy more products and buy into a fictionally created ideal. The supermodel and the rugged masculine athlete are not actual objects of health by all objective means.

I have watched real health for two decades with my clients. And guess what? Hitting a new one rep max or completing a marathon have never led to long term happiness, contentment, or good health for a single one of them. And I have trained thousands of people.

Those achievements improved their health for about as long as the last failed diet attempt. It was fleeting and in the long run left them with new feelings of stress as they compared their everyday abilities to the pinnacle of their abilities in the past.

Health is changing and evolving. It ebbs and flows as we age, as we deal with traumatic life events, or even as our personal goals change.

There are constants when it comes to our health, however, that are just behind everything else that we do in this unending quest to take care of ourselves as best we can.

How well can you move?

Without being able to move well everything becomes harder. Opening doors, shovelling snow, caring for a sick loved one, hiking on vacation, enjoying a day at the cottage, cooking a meal for your family, competing in a sports event, or playing with your grandchildren and all predicated on how well your body can move.

So why isn’t our fitness focus on improving peoples quality of movement?

I can tell you this very definitively: if you improve how well you can move you will improve a host of actual objective measures of the health of your physical body. And it isn’t just squatting, rolling, flexibility, and jumping when we talk about the quality of your movement. How well blood moves through your arteries and veins, how well your digestive system works, and how well your internal organs are able to function are part of your movement. I bet you never considered those aspects before when you thought about movement.

What about food and nutrition Coach Taylor? Aren’t they important to your health?

Absolutely. The quality of the food you eat is directly linked to the health of your body. And guess what? This can be seen in the quality of your movement. Eat a processed diet of pseudo-food that was packaged in a remote factory and has a shelf life of a decade and it will negatively affect your health. Your body’s tissues and function will be impaired.

I am not saying never again eat an Oreo or indulge in a bucket of Haagen-Dazs because if these things bring you pleasure then that is a component of maintaining good health. But ensuring that your body has access to high quality nutrition is vital to your health.

What is high quality nutrition? Yeah, you know. Vegetables. Fruits. Nuts. Seeds. Whole grains. Legumes. You know, stuff that grows in the ground and then you eat it. And when you eat it, it still kinda resembles the thing that grew in the garden. What about meat? For sure adding some animal protein in your diet can be healthy. Ethically raised farm animals, eggs, butter, and some cheese can all be included. Necessary? No. Nutritious? Yes.

That is high quality nutrition in a nutshell. As Michael Pollen succinctly stated: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

As you ponder this question of what health means to you, try and focus not on some audacious objective in the future. Think instead of your everyday. What would you like to feel like? What would you like to be able to do comfortably? What would you like to eat?

Once you know that you will find making decisions to serve your health becomes completely different.

-Coach Taylor

Sweet Potatoes or Potatoes: Which is Healthier?

This is a seemingly simple question and in reality it has a very simple answer, yet it is still a regular topic of discussion even amongst the more astute individuals who focus on their health and fitness.

I am not sure why this is, I mean, I know WHY it is a question in modern times, I am just not fully sure why this ever became a ‘thing’. What am I talking about?

The question of ‘what is healthier?” It is extraordinarily common in a myriad of forms in countless conversations every single day. Carrots or peas? White bread or whole wheat? Quick oats or steel cut oats? Apples or bananas?

Sweet potatoes or regular potatoes.

Often I am completely stymied by the magnitude of such perplexing questions and become unable to begin fathoming a retort. Not because I am unsure of an answer to the underlying nutritional science required to answer the questions but because I am unsure how these questions are even being asked in a time when most of our food comes delivered, pre-cooked, in nifty little packages.

Everyone has an opinion and is happy to espouse that opinion to you, particularly if you happen to be cooking or ingesting a succulent tuber. When we talk about the Dunning-Kreuger effect I don’t think there could be a better example than these conversations about what are the better options for human health. It can get quite heated with friendships on the line and family events often reduced to nuclear rubble before a dinner is even served.

As the debates rage on becoming more and more heated with the alcohol lowered inhibitions that often precede the jousting the infamous ‘they’ make an appearance. THEY say that sweet potatoes are better for you. THEY say that potatoes are too high in starch. They say this. They say that. Upon request to describe THEY stutters and blank stares ensue.

It is because THEY say it is.

What is the answer Coach Taylor?

What should I eat?

I love potatoes but sweet potatoes are so much healthier for you!

How can I have what I love and still take care of my health? Sweet potatoes are tasty but potatoes….oh….potatoes are just so good.

As readers of my material the answer I provide should really not be surprising. Alas, I know this is still an article that needed to be written.

The answer is that they are both healthy for you. Equally. As are carrots and peas, brown rice and white rice, whole wheat bread and white bread, apples and bananas.

How? How can this be Coach T?

The problem with our western diet is how processed a food it and not so much which food it is we are eating. A baked potato from your garden is far superior nutritionally than deep fried sweet potato fries at your local pub. That delicious sweet potato mash with maple syrup at holiday gatherings is healthy food, while that bag of crispy potato chips is literally taking you one step closer to your death.

These debates between the health benefits of real whole food are insane. Literally, insane. Especially as most of the people having the debates have no problem slamming back the booze as a side to their deep dish stuffed crust pizza. But yeah, don’t eat those potato’s because they are going to be the end of you.

Simple answer: all whole foods are good for you. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, eggs, and fish. There you go. Stop debating between them.

The real culprit destroying our health is what we manipulate these foods into. Chips, baked goods, deep fried who knows what’s, pastes, jellies, spreads, alphabets, and most of what is probably in your pantry right now. These aren’t food. They are gross manipulations of the things we were designed to ingest. The real debate should be about whether we should be living on processed diets consisting of items that you would be hard pressed to figure out the origins of.

Stop fretting over the minutia of difference between potato’s and sweet potato’s or any other real food that can easily be identified as a vegetable, fruit, plant, or animal. That is not the problem with your diet. Stop telling me carrots aren’t good for you while you scarf back a box of chocolates.

Focus on what is really important: eating a diet of whole food and avoiding the processed revolution as much as you can!

-Coach Taylor

The Greatest Training Tool on Earth

I know, it’s a bold statement, the GREATEST training tool on Earth. However, I do not jest! Diversity is uber important but that doesn’t mean there is not a place for consistency and focus, for taking the time to truly master something and to pursue advancement of your skills.

Kettlebells are literally just that awesome. Why? What would make me proclaim such a bold statement? In a word: versatility.

The pillars of your health are strength, cardio, stability, and mobility (I consider flexibility to be a primary component of mobility because in order to be mobile you must be adequately flexible). In order to adequately train each of these pillars has traditionally been considered a full-time job and I think this is what has caused people to shy away from fitness. It can be daunting to start exercising when you think you have to dedicate 2 hours a day in order to fit everything in!

The truth is that this is not necessary!

Enter the versatile kettlebell.

In a single training session, nay, in a single exercise flow, you can effectively target EVERY pillar of your health. You can build strength, increase cardiovascular ability, create stability, and improve your mobility. Additionally, kettlebells are cheap, take up almost no space, don’t require much space to use, and with the diversity of exercises possible they will last a lifetime.

Now exercise purists are going to say that this is not possible, that we must train each individual aspect of our health separately in order to maximize how well we can develop. If you are an Olympic or professional athlete I might agree. You are not. So there is no need to train that way.

The goal is to be strong, healthy, and fit to accomplish life. And that is truly where the kettlebell excels.

Strength

This is pretty simple actually. Make your body move heavy things and it will get stronger. Seriously, it is actually that simple.

The kettlebell very easily accomplishes this objective. They are heavy and can be made very very heavy! You move it around. Mission accomplished: you will build strength.

Crossfit Kettle Bell with chalk and hands

Oft forgotten is the versatility and variety of kettlebell movements. Dumbells and barbells stay in a very fixed position throughout movements and if you are training on exercises machines movements are completely fixed. With kettlebells you can perform these fixed position movements but you can also let things get really awesome and let the kettlebell do what it was meant to do: move!

The ability to swing the kettlebell through a variety of arcs means that you can really play with physics and give your body a far better workout than with traditional barbells and dumbells. Without getting too technical it is all about levers and moment arms. As the kettlebell moves around you the forces on the body are constantly changing which adds a huge amount of work to the body, the result? You get even stronger.

Cardio

You do not have to run or cycle to build cardiovascular health. In the research shows time and again that short bouts of high intensity exercise builds better cardiovascular health than long bouts of steady state exercise.

Get off the elliptical and start swinging a kettlebell.

Most ketllebell training is done in circuits, meaning you put multiple movements together to make an exercise vs. the traditional one movement training of dumbells, barbells, and machines. Add to that the fact that kettlebell work is best done in intervals as opposed to sets and reps and you have a cardio blasting machine.

If you have never done 5 minutes of kettlebell swings or 2 min intervals of kettlebell clean and press you don’t really know what cardio training is!

Stability

Our joints need to be stable and there are dedicated muscles surrounding each of them to provide this stability. There are two ways to train this stability, 1) isometric, and 2) resistive.

Isometric stability is stationary. Grab something heavy, stand up, and hold it overhead. Just stand there holding it until you are too tired to hold it anymore. THAT is isometric stability. You do this all the time carrying your child, or a purse, or groceries. A static position where your joints need muscular support to keep them healthy. Without this support the joints themselves take on the job and wear out faster.

Resistive stability (this is my own term FYI, scientifically it would be called proprioception) is joint stability during movement. When we walk, throw a ball, jump, pick up something or lift something heavy, we are thinking of the specific task at hand. Getting the ball across the field or picking up that box of supplies. You are not thinking about each and every joint and which muscles must turn on and work to make that movement happen.

You throw the ball but are not thinking about what your hip and ankle are doing!

Kettlebells create dynamic movement in a way that is much more similar to the things you do in daily life or during sports and physical activities. This in turn trains all of those ‘other’ things that you aren’t thinking about!

Mobility

How much range can you move through? Can you sit down on the floor and get back up? Can you reach overhead? Can you shoulder heck while you drive? Can you pick up your dog? Can you carry your dishes across the room and put them away?

This all requires mobility. Every joint you have has ranges of motion that they are designed to go through and kettlebells challenge them all! These ranges are dynamic and very rarely happen in exactly the same path twice. The nature of moving kettlbells aroud directly mimics this and keeps your body mobile and stable in much more natural movement patterns.

What about flexibility? If your joints are mobile enough then they are flexible enough. There is no need for a static stretching program when you are doing the right kettlebell movements. In fact, if you become flexible without developing the stability in those positions you can do far more harm than good!

We now know kettlebells are awesome. Here are my top kettlebell exercises that you SHOULD be doing regularly.

The Top Kettlebell Exercises

TGU

The Turkish getup. Literally a full body mobility and stability master. Do it with weight and you get strength, do it quickly and boost your cardio. There is no better all around exercise in the world than this!

Swings

The classic and most basic kettlebell exercise. Perfect the swing as it is both awesome and the base movement of many of the other to kettlebell movements.

Windmills

WAY harder than they look. A fantastic exercise to improve back mobility and shoulder stability at the same time. You NEED to do these properly and might have to do some work before attempting them if your back is not currently flexible!

Clean and Press

You want some serious strength? This is your jam! Either one side at a time or get crazy with a double clean and press, this is the exercise to really work at moving heavy loads! Master the swing first!

Snatch

A great combo of strength, cardio, and stability, with a side of coordination built in! This is an advanced exercise that will challenge every muscle and system in your body. Like the clean and press can be done one sided or two at a time!

Racked Squats and Lunges

Getting the legs working is important! Holding kettlebells in the racked position ensures that the core is challenged while you go through the movements. Don’t get stuck in one direction! The best way to leverage these exercises is by varying the direction, load, and depth on a regular basis!

Carries

Simple as the name sounds. Pick up kettlebells and carry them. Overhead (waiter), at your chest (racked), or by your side (farmer and suitcase), are the main ways to carry the ‘bells. Mix it up between one kettlebell and two kettlebells and don’t get stuck with boring walking. Go forward, backward, sideways, up and down stairs and hills, over obstacles, around obstacles, mix it up ALL the time!


I love kettlebells. You should too. They are awesome and they will take care of every aspect of your health and fitness.

Get a great coach to make sure you are doing it right and to build you some programs. Even better, join my online training platform where I have an entire kettlebell training program!

-Coach Taylor

Fit for the Holidays

I get it…the holidays are busy and for a lot of people very stressful. Add to this the plethora of indulgent food and you have a recipe for poor health choices and entering the new year worse off than you are right now.

Do you know what one of the best ways to combat stress is? Exercise!

For most of you finding the time is a huge challenge but do not fear! Coach Taylor has your back!

I will be publishing a Fit for the Holidays training program. A series of workouts designed to keep you strong, fit, at least partially sane for the month of December.

What: Workouts that can be done with minimal to no equipment that are 10-15 minutes long.

They will be all you need to keep strong, get a great cardiovascular workout, and de-stress!

You do not NEED equipment for these workouts, however, if you have a jump rope and a kettlebell you will really be able to maximize the program!

Where: All will be posted in my online training platform, www.evolutiononlinefitness.com

How: Signup for one month of my online platform and have full access to the Fit for the Holidays training program.

As an added bonus you will also get access to all of the other training programs I am currently running, so if you do have a day with a little bit more time you can give one of my full training sessions a go!

Want more information?

Contact me on Facebook, Instagram, or email me via my Evolution Online Fitness or Coach Taylor website!

Look forward to training you this holiday season!

Carbs Are Not the Enemy

Low carb dieting has become so ingrained into our culture that we rarely even question whether it is actually necessary or not. It has literally become normal and most diet trends are low carb focused (think Paleo, Keto, and Carnivore). Hearing a friend refuse food or adjust restaurant menu offerings to ‘lower the carbs’ doesn’t even make most of us bat an eye any longer even though a few years ago we would have rolled our eyes at this same comment the way we do today when our friends request the latest gluten free item. (Gluten free….pretty much just low carb in another guise).

The truth is that the human body is a carbohydrate loving machine and is literally built to use carbohydrates. This is isn’t what causes the problems with bodyfat and diabetes. Those issues stem from the type and quantity of carbohydrates consumed.

People have a lot of opinions about carbs yet don’t have a basic understanding of what they are and I have permanent scars on my tongue from biting it constantly listening to poorly informed idiots (sorry, I mean people) espouse whatever theory they have recently glommed on to from daytime talk TV shows or newsstand magazines and their favourite celebrity.

Facts: carbohydrates are good for you and your body functions best when it consumes them.

Your brain is a beautiful machine and prefers to eat glucose. In fact it eats somewhere between 25 and 30% of all the calories you eat in a day. A true monster! Glucose is its primary food source and when there isn’t enough glucose it will get slow and sluggish after starving the rest of the body of every ounce of glucose available. Your liver and all of your muscles act as a glucose repository to make sure there is always a plentiful supply on hand.

Should your body not get enough carbohydrate to fuel all of the glucose needs in your body it will eventually make ketones, which are essentially the safety net of your brain. That amazing organ has to stay alive so we have this emergency backup system. Ketones let you turn bodyfat into energy for your brain and while it isn’t what your brain prefers it can live off of them.

This is where the low carb diets come from. The idea that you can convert your body over to a fat burning machine causes most people to salivate more that that box of cookies over there does. Drop your carbs low enough and start getting all your energy from body fat. What could be better?

And it works! People drop fat when they witch to this approach. For a while. The credit goes to the low carb diet but for the vast majority of people the ketogenisis (switching over to burning ketones) never actually happens….



Carbohydrate amounts have to decrease to extremely low levels in order to have this process occur, like, really low amounts. Usually under 20 grams per day for men and under 10 grams per day for women! A single apple can have over 30 grams in it, one cup of broccoli has 7 grams of carbohydrate. Most people who ‘go low carb’ never get them low enough to switch to ketosis.

But they all lose weight!

Yes. Because they have gone on a diet and changed what they are eating. Instead of bags of chips, fast food, too many servings of bread, cookies, crackers, cereal, granola bars, juice, shakes, and a host of other carbohydrate rich foods, they eat more healthy food, which is lower in calories. It isn’t the lack of carbohydrate that is making the changes, rather it is the fact that they are eating less calories. The credit is always given to the removal of carbohydrate.

There is so much more to carbohydrates than people realize and this is where the issues come from. Maybe not right now or even a few months from now but over a longer time scale issues will arise.

Plants are mostly all carbohydrates. There are some that are higher in fats (like avocados and coconut) and some that are higher in protein (legumes and soy beans) but in general plants are mostly carbs. Grains, vegetables, fruits, grasses, nuts, seeds, and all plant sources are carbohydrate rich. That is their superpower!!! They turn sunlight, water, and soil into the very food that our brain, muscles, and organs want to eat! Fuck Ironman and Batman, plants are the true superheros.

It is not just the carbs that plants come with that we have to think about. It is the vitamins, minerals, and fibre they are packaged together with that are so very vital to our bodies. All of which cannot be garnered from animal sources. (NO I am not a vegan or vegetarian and I am not saying do not eat meat or animal products!).

The body of literature concerning the importance of the bacteria living in us and on use grows on a daily basis. As a culture we have finally realized that we NEED this community of bacteria, commonly referred to as our microbiome, to be healthy and to function optimally. These little organisms need fibre for food. It is all that they eat and when we curtail eating carbohydrates we deprive them of their only food source severely weakening this all important symbiotic relationship.

We need to eat fibre.

But ALL THAT SUGAR!!!

The other side of the lack of basic education people display when they discuss eating carbs is the concept of sugar. People are constantly talking about not eating sugar to better their health, usually as they down some packaged concoction that has removed added refined sugar and replaced it with whatever current chemical concoction tricks your body into tasting sweetness. I am not even going to get into that topic right now.

The facts are this: ALL carbohydrates are sugar. Sugar is just the scientific term for carbohydrate. Glucose, fructose, galactose, lactose, and a ton of other ‘oses’ are the names of various saccharides. Which is…the scientific term for carbohydrate!

ALL carbohydrates are sugars. There are more complex ones and there are less complex ones. It doesn’t matter what carbohydrate you eat it will eventually be broken down in the body into the simplest form of sugar. And what is that?

Glucose!

Remember that from before? It is your bodies preferred source of energy!

The above mentioned broccoli, bread, peppers, tofu, cereal, apples, pineapple, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, rice, corn, kale, spinach, potatoes, pasta, and every other plant based food you eat will be broken down into glucose.

Carbphobia tells us that we need to avoid the sugary carbs in favour of the less sugary ones and this is where the misunderstanding comes from. THEY ARE ALL SUGAR.

The difference comes down to packaging. Added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, cereals, and other highly processed foods are mostly broken down to their simpler constituent forms before you ever eat them. So your body doesn’t have to do much work to get that glucose where you need it to go. These simpler forms are also far easier to consume in mass quantities, as they don’t trigger satiation the same way more complex food does.

What does more complex food mean? When you eat white table sugar it is almost pure glucose. Simple. You eat it and your body very quickly gets it into the blood ready to put it to work.

When you eat a plate of broccoli everything is in its natural state. In one package there is glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose, and sucrose, in addition to fibre. When you eat it your body has some work to do. It has to unpackage all the constituent parts first. Then it has to break all of those different sugars down into the simplest form, glucose. The fibre it cannot break down so it lets it keep going through the digestive tract, where it is consumed by all the little microbes and bacteria living in your gut that are vital to health and only eat fibre.

This whole process is called….digestion!!!!

And this is the crux of the entire understanding of carbohydrate.

Carbs are not bad. We need them and we use them. Where the issue arises is when we eat too many carbohydrates that have been processed or broken down into the simple version of saccharides BEFORE we eat them.

Added glucose and other simple sugars into the foods that you eat is the problem. Your body doesn’t have to do anything to unpakage it or break it down so it gets over consumed and very quickly sent into the blood stream wreaking havoc on our hormone levels and providing far too many calories at a time. This is also why liquid sugars are even more problematic as there is even less digestive work for your body to do.

Simple refined sugars and highly processed foods are all absorbed to quickly, require minimal digestion, and are far more easily over-consumed.

The issue is not eating carbs it is WHAT carbs we are eating.

And the answer is actually quit simple.

Eat food in its most natural state. Whole vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grain rice, and fermented foods are what your body was designed to eat. You have to bite them and chew them to kickstart the incredible process known as digestion where your body will break everything down, convert it to fuel, and feed your microbiome.

Depriving your body of these foods and this nutrition is a really terrible idea.

But our bodies are absolutely incredible machines that can take a lot of hardship. People treat their bodies poorly but we have so many safety mechanisms in place it is hardly noticed in the short term letting people satisfy their immediate desires (lose weight) without suffering dire health consequences.

If we could only begin to think on a longer time scale, say in decades rather than weeks or months, we could begin to understand an appreciate the true ramifications to our health. And the truth is that your body was designed to eat carbohydrate rich foods, in fact, it needs them.

Carbs are not the enemy, highly processed foods ARE.

-Coach Taylor