We work out hard at Gumsaba, so its important to feed your body right in order to sustain and build off the stress of the workouts. I would go so far as to say that fueling the body properly is the secret to success and longevity in fitness  – and in life! You can’t go running low grade fuel in a jet engine and expect a smooth ride, right?!

When we ease the load on our digestive system by replacing calorically rich foods with nutrient rich foods, we eat well and plenty without missing key nutrients. Chad and I make our meals 2/3 veggies most of the time,  and notice a big difference when we stray away from the good stuff.  Eating plenty of vegetables, expecially non starchy ones, will increase hydration, improve recovery time and increase metabolism. In order to lose weight while working out hard like we do,  you need to increase your nutrient intake and reduce calories. Vegetable dishes are a wonderful way to fill up without all the extra stuff you really don’t need.

Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are healthy options.  Nonstarchy, fibrous vegetables have more benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Foods like corn, white and sweet potatoes, lima and dried beans, and peas are starchy vegetables because of their high carbohydrate concentration. The glycemic load of starchy vegetables is high because they contain simple sugars and are rapidly digested. Nonstarchy vegetables have a low glycemic load. Foods with lower glycemic loads are associated with better blood sugar control and lower cholesterol levels.


Good vegetables for substitution


A lack of knowing what to eat in place of starchy food is often an issue, but there are a rainbow of tasty vegetables to play with. Think past carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and corn and explore the world of color that is non starchys and gain some great benefits.

The following is a list of common non-starchy vegetables and some thoughts I had on them. Work them in to your daily routine on your next shopping trip – pick one veggie you haven’t ever tried, and make a dish from it. Feel free to add your thoughts on them in the comments!


Amaranth or Chinese spinach has high nutritional values, which contains Vitamin A, B2, B6, C, K, minerals such as folate, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese and etc. Helps with growth of teeth and bones, prevention of muscle cramps, increase red blood cells and improve capacity of oxygen.


Asparagus Besides being a non-starchy veggie, asparagus is related to a litany of benefits. It is high in folate, fiber, Vitamin K and is a natural diuretic. It even helps to rid your body of warts. This heart healthy vegetable only has 27 calories in a one cup serving.

Bamboo shoots

Bean sprouts These crisp sprouts are loaded with water, which increases the nutrient and vitamin levels in comparison to dried beans. Although bean sprouts can be purchased in farmers markets and grocery stores, sprouts can also be grown right in your own home.



Broccoli – Here’s another reason to eat your greens. As well as helping to prevent cancer, broccoli may also help the immune system to clean harmful bacteria from the lungs. A compound found in the vegetable is now being trialled as a treatment for people with lung disease.

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage has a crisp, spicy taste and can replace your rice for stir-fry meals or is a tasty side dish. It also adds a crunch to salads. You don’t like green cabbage? Try Bok-Choy, Chinese or snow cabbage for a change to your diet.



Celery – calorically negative food!

Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)

Daikon Radish!


Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip) super nutrient rich!

Green Beans Green beans come in several variations, and have an impressive antioxidant capacity. Green beans, wax beans and Italian green beans can be added to your plate or to your salads.

Hearts of palm – so good on salad

Jicama – with lime… refreshing summer snack.

Kohlrabi – try in stir fry

Leeks – makes great soup!

Mushrooms – you know how i feel about mushrooms – live on them!

Okra – try this Indian recipe spice it up! ( I use earth balance butter and 2/3 what is called for)


Peppers  eat a whole rainbow of colors!

Radishes – the best bang for the buck as far as nutrients go


Salad greens Although Iceberg lettuce is cheap, opt for other salad greens such as arugula, chicory, endive, escarole, romaine, spinach, radicchio and watercress. These are all very distinct in taste, and several are negative calorie foods!


Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, zucchini)

Sugar snap peas

Swiss chard

Tomatos This vegetable/fruit offers many benefits, but is well known for its lycopene content. Lycopene is a powerful anti-oxidant that is linked to the prevention of cancer. There are many types of tomatoes such as Beefsteak, Brandywine, Heirloom, Ugly, Roma, Green Zebras and more to enjoy in a myriad of ways!


Water chestnuts

Yard-long beans