Friday, March 6, 2015

Carbs under the microscope plus low carb moon pie

The Sawtooth Mountain Range
I recently enjoyed a winter hiking trip to the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. Stanley, Idaho, population 63, is nestled at the base of this awesome mountain range. It wasn't exactly a typical late February for this normally coldest location in the state. This year's temps were in the mid-30s with sunny skies. Snow was marginal. We took snowshoes but never used them because you could hike easily without them.

Nothing has been typical this winter as I have been recovering from a fractured wrist and associated fibro and stomach flare-ups. Fortunately, I have gotten a lot of those problems under control "again"and could enjoy lots of great hiking with the snow pups.

Nika, Bailey and Misha frolick in the snow
My trials and tribulations with my resurgence of fibro this winter have taught me to never take anything for granted. An accident like mine or an illness can throw anyone for a loop but especially if you have a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia. But don't throw in the towel. Pretty soon, you'll be out enjoying the things you love.

Because fibro sufferers have messed up guts, you need to put carbs under the microscope. (I wrote about this earlier in this post: We often don't have the digestive enzymes needed to deal with these guys. And often, we have bacterial overgrowth in the digestive system. Because of this, it's not just calories in, calories out; or eat lots of organic, whole foods. It's way more complicated.

I have relied heavily on my digestive enzymes and HCL supplements but also on the principles of counting the amount and kinds of natural sugar in all carbohydrates. The book, Fast Tract Digestion, by Norman Robillard, outlines a diet that encourages you to eat carbs low in fermentation potential.

Recently, I read a similar book, The Skinny Gut Diet, by Brenda Watson. The similarity is that you must count the amount of natural and types of sugar in all carbs. Watson's eating plan is less restrictive, helps balance out gut bacteria, control IBS symptoms and promote healthy weight loss.  It is not suitable for me because I have bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine not just the large intestine.

Under Watson's plan, you must stay within 8-10 teaspoons of sugar (natural, not added) daily while in the GET LEAN PHASE. You figure your teaspoons of sugar by using this formula: Total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber divided by 5 equals teaspoons of sugar. For instance, quinoa has about 34 grams of carbohydrates in a serving minus approx. 4 grams of fiber equals 6 teaspoons of sugar. Answer: no, you cannot eat this.

Low FP "moon pie"
On Robillard's plan, you count fermentation potential (FP) of carbs which means how fast your system can process it. His formula is more complicated. You need to know the serving size, total amount of net carbs (NC), dietary fiber (DF) and sugar alcohols (SA) and the glycemic index (GI) for a food. The formula is: FP equals 100 minus GI times NC plus DF plus SA divided by 100. But you can use the resources in his book to help you keep your total fermentation potential around 25.

 I thought it would be interesting to compare a recipe on Watson's plan versus Robillard's plan. I packed a "Low FP" moon pie along on my hikes while in the Sawtooths. It has ingredients that normally need refrigeration but it was cold enough I didn't worry.

You need for three moon pies:

1 organic egg
1 T. organic cocoa powder
1 T. farmer's cheese (lactose free)
1/2 T. seed or nut butter of your choice
Note: you can make this dairy-free by omitting the farmer's cheese and using 3 T. of seed or nut butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. raw vanilla powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 T. plain yogurt of your choice per pie
1 tsp. additional seed or nut butter per pie


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spritz the paper with olive oil. Mix the ingredients for the moon pies in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Divide the mixture into six discs on the parchment paper. Bake about 10-12 minutes. Allow to rest and cool before filling with your choice of seed or nut butter and yogurt.

Moon pie ready to be packed in your lunch or backpack
FP of one moon pie is approximately 4 depending on type of yogurt used. Teaspoons of sugar on Skinny Gut plan is 2-3 depending again on type of yogurt used (mainly whether it is lactose free or not).

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Good said...

this dietary stuff is most interesting. love the photos of the moon pie. I am currently doing the FODMAP for my digestive issues recommended by my liver specialist. Good luck with what you are trying. Have a great weekend.

Sheree Welshimer said...

Thank you for leaving a comment. Good luck with the FODMAPs. Hope you got some ideas from my post.