T Nation

Counting Veggies and Flax

I’m unsure how to count veggies and whole flax seeds in my diet.

For veggies…I eat a LOT of them. So I count the cals and carbs. For example, if I’m shooting for 30 g. carbs in my second post workout meal I will sometimes just have raspberries (10 g. carbs) and omlet with 1/2 onions (7 carbs) and then like 3 cups of green beans (20 carbs or so). Is there something intrinsic about veggies carbs that makes them not ideal?

Then I also sometimes munch on whole flax seeds. They taste great. Am I not getting the calories from them since they are not ground?


Good questions, Sarah!

I wish more people ate fibrous green veggies!!! You really can’t eat too many. They health benefits and body composition benefits are huge!!! They can be consumed at all meals. The one exception is your PWO meal, where it benefits you to eat carbs a bit starchier in nature (though still with health benefits!) because they elicit a little bit more of an insulin response. Even then, they should be consumed in a measured amount (twice the number of grams of carbs for the protein you take in).

All carbs are not created equal. As an example fruit tends to be high(er) in fructose, which is a sugar/carb that can only be processed (and stored!) in the liver. Fructose will refill liver glycogen, but isn’t able to refill muscle glycogen. Since the goal PWO is to refill muscle glycogen, you need to eat carbs in that meal that will do so. And don’t get me wrong, fruit is healthy, and I actually factor it into people’s diets because I want them eating it … just not as your sole carb source PWO.

In your PWO meal I’d like to see your drawing on starchy carbs – oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yams, whole wheat pasta, amaranth, quinoa, brown rice.

This may sound odd, but I generally tell people to not count their fibrous green veggie carbs. They do not need to be restricted, measured or monitored. You can’t overeat 'em. As an example, compare 25g of Net Carbs (Net Carbs = Total Carbs minus Fiber Carbs) in the form of white rice and 25g of Net Carbs in the form of broccoli. In the former you have to eat 1/2 cup. If we’re talking broccoli, you’d have to eat over 2 pounds!!!

As far as flaxseed to, it does add a few carbs, but treat it as a fat source.

Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any other questions, Sarah!

Nice post, Tampa-Terry


Thanks so much for the response. I just am wondering about my diet right now. I am trying to do carb cycling - shooting for 60 g. or so on low low days, 120 ish on moderate, up to maybe 170-200 on high days.

However, I’m getting probably 50% of my carbs from veggies…I started using FitDay a while ago and boy…the veggies really add up. I snack on them all day long. I can seriously consume a LOT of veggies. They add up to probably 1/6 of my daily calories.

I also wonder about the fruit. Right now pre-workout I have a banana. I find it gives me super energy. Yet from the nutrition standpoint you’re saying it can’t really be used for energy in my muscles? So is that a poor choice? Why is it giving me energy, or is it just mental. If I workout 1 hr. after waking what should I eat…and what about if I workout only 40 min after waking? I use Surge after.

After HIIT I usually just have an apple and whey. How should I treat HIIT?