Eating Made Simple – Carbs

by James Kerrison on April 22, 2009

Carbs, carbs, carbs. Good for you one minute, bad for you the next. Part of one fad diet and left out of another.

If you have spoken to me about food, you will know I have some pretty simple rules to follow. Now generally speaking, if it comes in a bag, box or can then it’s not going to be too good for you. The less processed a food is, the less preservatives it contains, the closer it is to the way nature intended it to be, the better it will be for you.

Take a look at the list below, each food has a serving amount beside it. Print it out if you want to, it can be very handy when preparing your meals.


  • Beans 1.25 cups
  • Beetroot 3/4 cup
  • Broccoli 2 cups
  • Cabbage (shredded) 2 cups
  • Brussels sprouts 5 sprouts
  • Carrots 3/4 cup
  • Chick peas 3 tbsp
  • Celery 3 cups
  • Cauliflower 1.5 cups
  • Chinese cabbage 6 cups
  • Kidney beans 1/4 cup
  • Cucumber (sliced) 3 cups
  • Leeks 2/3 cup
  • Lentils, raw 1 tbsp
  • Capsicum (chopped) 1 1/2 cups
  • Hummus 3 tbsp
  • Pumpkin (cubed) 1 cup
  • Pumpkin (mashed) 1/2 cup
  • Lettuce, Mixed (chopped) 6 cups
  • Mushrooms (chopped) 3 cups
  • Snow peas 30 pods
  • Onions (chopped) 1 cup
  • Spaghetti squash (cooked) 1 cup
  • Salsa 1/2 cup
  • Spinach 4 cups
  • Tomato (chopped) 1 cup


  • Apple (medium/large) 1/2
  • Apple (small) 1
  • Banana 1/3
  • Blackberries 2/3 cup
  • Blueberries 1/2 cup
  • Cantaloupe (cubed) 3/4 cup
  • Cherries 1/3 cup
  • Grapefruit 1/2
  • Grapes 1/2 cup
  • Honeydew 1/2 cup
  • Kiwi 1
  • Mango 1/3 cup
  • Nectarine 1/2
  • Orange 1/2
  • Peach 1/2 large
  • Pear 1/3
  • Pineapple (cubes) 1/2 cup
  • Pineapple (rings) 1
  • Plum 1
  • Raisins 1 tbsp
  • Raspberries 2/3 cup
  • Strawberries 3/4 cup
  • Tangerines, small 1
  • Watermelon (cubed) 1/2 cup

Here’s the good stuff. I know you probably looked through the list above and wondered ‘where’s the bread, potatoes and rice?’ Well never fear, you can eat some of these. In fact they could also help you lose some extra belly fat by doing so. But make sure you read this through before you go stuffing your face with these starchy carbs and singing ‘James said it was ok!’
The best time to be eating the foods on the list below is after an intense fat burning workout. This is a fair dinkum, wish it would end soon type of workout, not a walk around the block or a few light weights, swim and a spa. If you have earnt it, feel free to eat between two and four serves listed below afterwards, or split it up and have half either side of the  workout.

Starchy Foods

  • Bread, whole grain 1/2 slice
  • Couscous 1/2 oz
  • Gatorade/Powerade (powder) 1/4 cup
  • Oat bran (dry) 2 tbsp
  • Oatmeal (cooked) 1/3 cup
  • Oatmeal (dry) 3 tbsp
  • Orange juice 1/3 cup
  • Potato (mashed) 1/3 cup
  • Rice, brown (cooked) 1/4 cup
  • Rice, white (cooked) 1/4 cup
  • Sweet potato 1/3
  • Sweet potato (mashed) 1/4 cup
  • Tortilla, corn 1
  • Tortilla, flour (whole grain) 1/2

The absolute key here is timing. If you can’t stomach food that close before a workout, opt for the juice or sports drink. Instead of having to cook afterwards, have the starchy carb of choice cooked and ready to go in a Tupperware container or the like.

Stick to these foods in the most natural form possible and both your health and your waistline will thank you.

If your favorite food isn’t listed above, and you truly think it deserves to be, then leave a comment below. I am more than happy to add to this list if warranted.

Next time we will look at another controversial food subject – FAT.

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