It’s Not Magic, It’s the 80/20 Rule!

You don’t have to agree with magical thinking. Double rainbows, pennies from heaven… I’m cool with that. But it adds to my day. It’s a plus!

I can tell you though, that the things I remove—the minuses—is equally beneficial and keeps me at my happiest and healthiest. “Ditching the Carbs” is not my personal phrase, but one I love. It’s how I found an overwhelming POSITIVE in my gluten free life.

I ditched the carbs by following the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“The principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes.”

The breakdown as it applies to diet is simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean whole foods like vegetables, low-sugar fruits and lean protein, and 20 percent is allowed for the occasional indulgence.

But the 80/20 principle is not a “diet”. It’s a lifestyle change about balance and moderation. When you practice 80/20, you have the space to go out socially and enjoy eating with friends, and most importantly, it makes a healthy gluten-free lifestyle feel doable.

The day I sent the majority of those carbs on their way was the beautiful beginning of an energy filled pep in my step and enerJETic existence! Eating too many carbs is like driving with an empty tank. You’re sputtering and running out of fuel. You just ate, but it can feel like the complete opposite. There are no reserves.

Even when I venture out of my routine (like trying the gluten-free English muffin from Denny’s) it doesn’t make me sick, but it doesn’t do one positive thing for me and I usually regret it. I’ll try a gluten free something once, but I want to feel the same every day. It’s fun and tasty when I introduce new foods and combinations to my diet, but now “new” has to include low or no carb. Fruits are carbs, but those don’t have the negative effects that refined gluten free breads and pastas do.

Refined gluten free replacements are made from carbohydrates that are processed and transformed. Tapioca starch, rice flour, xanthan gum and white sugar are refined. You can find a lot of these ingredients in breakfast cereals, breads, buns, pizza dough, crackers, white rice, white pasta and pretzels. In addition to not containing any important nutrients, refined carbs can lead to weight gain, low energy and brain fog.

If you eat 21 meals per week (3 meals a day x 7 days a week), then 4 of those meals can be your 20% for gluten-free replacements, celebratory cocktails, chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant, etc. 🙂

I find that 80/20 is the easiest to stick with, but you can do 5/95 or 10/90 instead. Whatever works for you! The proof is in the pudding.  And I’m stickin’ with my plan.