Plantain: my favorite breakfast carb

I LOVE fried plantain with breakfast, but they also go awesome with spicy cuban black beans and some brown or wild rice.

According to info I found while following nutrition guru Isabel De Los Rios, a post-workout meal should contain carbohydrates so that muscles can heal and the process of weight loss can take place. I usually mix it up between quinoa or a smashed yam with coconut oil, sea salt and seasoning. My favorite though has to be fried plantains.

With just the right amount of sweetness and delicious with coconut oil fried eggs and turkey bacon, plantain is a low Glycemic Index carbohydrate meaning it takes a while to digest, absorb into the blood stream, and gradually raises blood sugar. For my body type, this is awesome because I get hungry quickly, especially after a workout. The plantain keeps me feeling satisfied and helps my body utilize calories I already have stored. 

Plantain is also high in potassium, magnesium, and phosphate and contains vitamins A, B6, and C which are good for vision, healthy skin, and building immunity against diseases.

The green, unripe plantain is low in sugar and good for diabetics. But the ripe, yellow, or brown plantain is very sweet. I like to chose something in-between. The green plantains don’t taste good to me at all and seem much harder to cook while the yellow or brown plantain fry great and taste awesome. In between is where you find a cool amount of sugar for taste, but a good amount of nutrition for the purpose of rejuvenation and nourishment.

Here’s how I get down with the plantain:

What You’ll Need: 

  • 2 to 6 yellow to brown plantains – softer, darker plantains are sweetest while green ones are hard to peel and ideal as a starch like a potato
  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

What to Do: 

  • Wash plantain with a small dollop of soap or you can go the organic route and make a vinegar, banking soda, and water mix to rinse your plantain in 
  • Cut the plantain peeling down the middle of the plantain and peel away from the meat of the fruit like a jacket
  • Cut plantain into rounds. I usually cut down the middle lengthwise and then cut thick pieces diagonally.
  • Put approximately a tablespoon of coconut oil in the frying pan and medium heat until it coats the pan
  • Place plantain in the medium heat pan and cover; check every few minutes for sweating. I’ve found that plantains are ready to turn when they are sweating and the meat has a darker yellow tan. Or you can check for how brown you want it. 
  • Flip plantain over and fry on the other side.
  • Remove from heat and cool.

It’s actually a pretty simple process and really simple recipe. I usually fry 6 plantains at the beginning of the week and eat off of that.

Preventable disease? Not I!

Preventable diseases caused by poor habits

African Americans are more likely to die from preventable diseases, one of the leading causes being heart disease via hypertension, or high blood pressure. My family has been no exception. I’ve lost uncles and aunties to strokes, heart disease, and kidney failure. My dad’s side of the family, although rarely overweight, often suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes.  In my mom’s side of the family, where obesity is a problem, diagnoses of high blood pressure are common and expected after fifty.

My mom was just diagnosed with high blood pressure and this diagnosis troubled me because of her dedication to health and working out. This dedication, however, has not necessarily translated into a healthy weight. My mom is overweight and has been battling obesity for a majority of her life. She’ll lose weight and gain weight. Dedicate herself to healthy habits and then fall off the bandwagon into mindless eating and limited activity.  This cycle has also been the story of my life.

High blood pressure plagues the African American community

My goal is to break the pattern of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in my family. Plus, it seems silly to me to be diagnosed with a preventable disease: key word being PREVENTABLE.  Meaning this is a disease that does not have to be had. I refuse. My brother has also refused when he lost 80 pounds. I refused when I dropped 80 pounds and continue to refuse today as I work out and eat right.

I also refuse to be a damn statistic. I might be black, but I won’t be getting any high blood pressure or diabetes in my lifetime.  I also refuse to suffer with lung cancer and high cholesterol. Which is simple because all that means is avoiding the activities that cause them. So, I’ve quit smoking and now I eat correctly and workout. As simple as that. I think.

One woman over 200 pounds and another at normal weight. Notice the strain on organs, bones and muscles.

At the tender age of twenty-six, I might be speaking ignorantly optimistic. But armed with this knowledge in wholesome eating and the power of eating real foods, I might have a pretty high chance at achieving this goal.