Brandi Mahan – Carbs and diets

It gives me great pleasure to present Brandi Mahan and her wealth of information about what sugar and carbs do to EACH of us individually.  If you have trouble with sticking to diets and they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing, this might be why!

I will be posting about Day 15 later! Until then…….


Man, there can be so much confusion around food; it can make your head spin. The topic of carbohydrates is one of the most contradicted topics in nutrition. There are diets such as the Paleo Diet that reduces your consumption of whole grains to virtually nothing and on the other side of the spectrum, there are diets such as Macrobiotics that require 30% of your calorie intake to be whole grains. Truth is, both the diets can work because they are whole foods based and processed/sugary foods are eliminated.  Here’s another anomaly in the nutrition world, what works for me, might not work the same for you, this is called Bioindividuality, meaning not everyone will experience the same results on the same diet plan.

About two months ago my wife and I decided that we needed a metabolic reboot, a dear friend of ours had told us of her experience on the 10 Day Blood Sugar Detox created by Dr. Mark Hymann. She said by day three her energy was off the hook, her skin was glowing, and her mood was fantastic. We eagerly got the book and began to plan our detox. The first couple of days left me in a haze but I staggered along in my zombie like state waiting for that big burst of energy our friend had told us about. I found it quite challenging as a Personal Trainer to show up in such a state to motivate my clients to move, let alone to do my own workouts. Within the first three minutes of a training session my arms and legs felt full of lactic acid and were fatigued as though I had just done a P90x workout. I wondered when I would get this burst of energy that our friend had been so excited by. I kept trudging through the week and before long I was at day 10 and had no such experience. My results were good, I lost 4lbs. and 6 inches, but man I felt terrible.  At this point I decided to eat some low glycemic fruit, I ate a pear. Bam! All of the sudden I had some useable energy. I began to integrate low glycemic foods back into my diet and my energy came back full throttle.

My friend had a completely different experience than I had eating the exact same diet plan, this is Bioindividuality. So, in a way I’m saying that how we react to different foods is as unique as you are. After my experience with the 10 Day Blood Sugar Detox I began to look at carbohydrates differently. I began to see them as my little energy friends who I needed to get through my own workouts and to train others. Here is what I have learned:

When to eat carbs and what kind:

In my experience the best time to eat some carbs is early in the day; this gives me the time to burn off the energy they give me so that my body doesn’t store it for later use as fat. So for breakfast I will have something like; two pieces of sprouted whole grain toast with eggs and veggies, yogurt with dried fruit and nuts, or occasionally a bowl of Steele cut oats with berries and nuts.

Lunch and dinner is when I become more Paleo oriented, eating carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, buck wheat groats, quinoa, millet, and black rice. These grains are much lower on the glycemic index and are loaded with fiber and nutrients. I also like to mix in root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, turnips, jicama, and beets because they are starchy and slightly sweet. Not only do root vegetables help lessen your cravings for sweets they are also known to be energetically grounding, helping you stay that way too. What’s more grounding than being grown in the dirt? If I mentioned some foods that you have yet to try I encourage you to get playful and experimental with new foods. You can always look up recipes for unique foods on the internet and learn how to make them delicious!

At least twice a week I have a group fitness class that I teach at 5:45 pm. This can be challenging for me after a full day of training clients. In the case of feeling sleepy or lethargic I will grab a few pieces of dried fruit with some cashews to help my energy level so that I can give my clients what they are looking for in a trainer; energy and enthusiasm. On these occasions I make sure to move my butt with them so that I can burn off the carbs I ate.

Dinner time is the best time to go without carbs, eating a protein dominate meal with lots of vegetables can help you have a full satisfied tummy before bed. Protein and fiber keep us fuller, longer. Eating carbs at night does not give us very much time to burn them off if at all, when we sleep on them, we are more likely to gain weight from them. Timing is everything.

You are probably going to hear me say this often, I encourage you to look to whole foods to heal your body, lose weight, and feel great. The closer it is to its natural state the better it is for you. There is no Cheetos tree or doughnut plant so this should make it easy for you to understand the difference between natural foods and something that was engineered to hit the craving center in your brain. I invite you to get playful and experimental with your food. Go to health food stores rather than mainstream grocery stores where 80% of the food is corn and sugar based. In San Diego we have Farmers Markets daily, The People’s Co-op in OB, and many Community Support Agriculture programs to support. I invite you to get in your kitchen and cook, it’s the only way you can control what goes into you. I encourage you to research our current food system online and watch movies such as Food Inc, Super Size Me, Sugar, and Fed Up so that you can deepen your understanding of food.

In conclusion I do eat carbs though I try to be as conscious about doing so as possible. Timing is everything. What is going to work best for you? There are hundreds of diet plans out there for you to try, experiment with them, and let your eating style do what works best for you evolve. Learn how to cook whole foods and take pride in your ability to cook from scratch, not everybody does. Listen to your body when you are craving food, what does it truly want? Learning how to eat in this day and age is not simple. Stay open to trying new things, the old things aren’t working for you, make new choices.

Thanks for taking the time to hear a little of my story. Please feel free to message me on Facebook any comments, questions, or inspirational shares. You can check out my website at  Follow me on Instagram BranditheTiger.

Want more? I am offering free 20 minute Health History Consultations, there is no obligation, the consultation is simply a tool to help you understand where to focus for positive change in your health.

Thank you so much!

Brandi Mahan – 619-756-2931


  1. Sophie says:

    Great post, enjoyed it a lot! So respectful of “what works for you – do that” approach. There’s too many people out there preaching their own thing as if it’s the only way. I’m the opposite of Brandi here – starting my day as low in carbs as possible, and I actually prefer having them for dinner; It helps me sleep better and I feel more energized in my early work-out the next day. There was a lot of trial and error before I settled on this, but in the end, this is what my body is telling me to do. We should all embrace our individuality, respect others, and realize that the best way to inspire others is to be a good example. Inspire others to listen to their body. It will guide the way. The only person anyone can actually help is themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Sophie! Brandi is so good at that! I love that about her and that is one of the MAIN reasons I had her as Featured Guest. A lot of people just give up because ONE thing doesn’t work for them, and then they think it’s “just them.” This could be further from the truth. I am striving to keep this open and available for trial and error for everyone. We are our own worst critics when it comes to ourselves and performance. We are a “results driven” society and we want it right now! Hopefully, our attitude around SugarSobriety will start to shift and that’s when the empowerment begins to happen! Thanks so much for following and participating. Feedback is really important and keeps us on the track of our followers being successful!

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