What's up with Good Food's new Low Carb Crusade?

And a crusade it is, indeed. We are outright card-carrying low carb missionaries, out to change the world one afternoon of stable blood sugars at a time.

You may be wondering why the food cart menus and catering menus look so different all of a sudden. And you may be wondering why you can't order your old favorite (like the Sweet Thai Chili) anymore.

Why did we just scrap our popular food cart menu... and start over from scratch?

Why are we so gung-ho about low carb now?

Believe me, we didn't make this decision lightly. It's not easy to take away my customers' favorite menu items - it's terrifying. On a daily basis now I am fearful we may lose it all because of this decision. I hope you keep returning to the carts to order up your NEW favorites, but I know I have really disappointed some loyal customers. I apologize for that.

But. We have to do this. We're on a mission. Because I'm just learning how bad sugar really is.

Good Food is getting back in touch with our roots and why I started this business in the first place: to offer a delicious menu filled with good nutrition and real foods. To do this, to serve up a menu of good nutrition, the sugar has got to go. Now!

Our country is shockingly sick and getting sicker. Obesity and chronic illnesses are on the rise. The number of Americans who have Pre-Diabetes is approaching 40%. There's a good chance that YOU might be pre diabetic right now and not know it. The increasing incidence of diabetes is dramatic. 68.8% of American adults are overweight or obese. I could go on and on and this is probably nothing new to you.

What's going on? I suspect that the biggest cause of our problems is tied to the 300 pounds of combined sugar and flour the average American consumes EACH YEAR. Our ancestors evolved eating about 22 teaspoons of sugar per year. We've gone from 22 teaspoons - that's like the amount in one Frappuccino -- to 300 pounds?! I suspect we're not built for processing such large volumes of sugary garbage. (Also, I suspect we ARE built for processing large amounts of proteins, fats & cholesterol. But for so long we've been told not to. It was only very recently that the AMA removed cholesterol from the list of nutrients we should be worried about over-consuming.)

So! We're on a mission to cut the sugar and extra carbs. We're going to offer menu items that don't send your blood sugar through the roof. We're re-vamping our entire menu to cut out added sugars, grains and gluten*, starchy veggies, bad fats like highly processed vegetable oils, and the sweetest fruits, like pineapple and mango.

*We will still offer our low carb wheat wrap tortilla option (24g carbs per full 12” tortilla.) This will be the only grain and the only gluten on our menu.

So why the sudden change? What happened? Well, since late 2015, Low Carb has been a life-changer for me, Melanie Nelson, the creator of Good Food, and for my fiance, Kory Seder. If you want to hear about how awesome Low Carb has been for me personally in terms of weight loss, clearing up my acne, and reversing my pre-diabetes... keep reading.

Note: This tell-all, however brief, is hard for me to do. I don't love talking about myself for the whole world to see and keep record of. But I think my story is too powerful not to share. And I think we owe you a good explanation for the dramatic menu changes. So here we go:

I, Melanie, created Good Food to serve healthy and delicious real, fresh foods in 2010. Back then, my idea of healthy foods was: “all of the veggies, all of the fruits, greens, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, minimal fats and minimal sweets”… I think about foods a little differently now. Specifically I don’t think of most fruits and whole grains as “health foods” anymore, and I certainly don’t think trying to minimize fat intake does anybody any good!

the original Good Food Cart, 2010

So it was 2015 and I thought I was eating reasonably well. My weight was in the normal range (though the upper end of that range I’ll admit), and I was running 4-5 miles after work a few times a week, mostly to “burn off” however many cookies I might’ve just had to have that day at work… I didn’t beat myself up too bad about my food choices, and I justified my diet to myself with phrases like “Everything in Moderation” and “Life is too short to NOT eat delicious cookies when I want to, right?”

I also didn’t see any harm in eating, oh, 3 apples a day, and some days I did that. I thought, it’s ok, fruits are healthy!… And bowls of whole grain cereals with milk… and bowls of fruit (because Weight Watchers says fruit is 0 points! Not that I was on WW, I just happened to know that…) …and a little sugar in my salad dressings and sauces and coffee creamer (that’s too little to matter!)… and maybe a little agave on this or that… and maybe some fig spread on some crackers, because, um, SO delicious. Overall I still thought my diet wasn’t too bad… But yeah, I certainly wasn't eating LOW carb...

Like I said, my weight was in the upper-normal range for my height… I was running pretty often and thought I was reasonably fit… but honestly, I was never really happy with my body since the age of about age 16, and I’d wanted to lose a little weight - maybe 10 pounds - for what seemed like my whole life.

Right before I met Kory - my now soon-to-be husband - my weight was actually on a surprisingly fast upward trajectory. In a matter of just a few months it just started surging. I wasn’t sure what was happening. From my normal 153-155 pounds I’d managed to maintain since high school, my weight shot up to 164-168 in just a couple months, seemingly out of nowhere. What the HECK?! I really couldn’t figure it out. I was growing more & more obsessed with the scale and more and more desperate.

And as my weight shot upward, I cut the fat out of my diet more and more, thinking that would help get it under control. So long, peanut butter.

Yeah, that didn't work.

The night I went on my first date with Kory (where he cooked me scallops fried in lots of olive oil, plus sausage and cauliflower stuffed bell peppers)… I weighed myself at the gym before our date that night: 164 lbs. I didn’t feel great about that. I was feeling pretty crappy. No, I wasn’t obese, but uncontrollable weight gain is not fun.

So Kory - a nutrition counselor when I met him - he and I fell in love anyway, despite my body woes which I did my best to conceal, and he started converting me to low carb on night one. You see, Kory was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after age 30, like half of all type 1 diabetics now are, and he discovered that a low carb way of eating was the only way to control his blood sugar levels. The average type 1 diabetic lives 11-13 years less than the rest of us, and he wasn’t going to let diabetic complications from “roller coaster” blood sugar levels steal his vision, his weight control, his hands, his feet, or years from his life. He realized that the ADA dietary advice was causing his blood sugar to go up & down, and to maintain any control he had to dramatically cut out the carbs.

I was skeptical, but I eventually converted to a low carb lifestyle as well, and I’m glad I did.

After going low carb, I lost 20 pounds without really trying, certainly without “portion control”, without exercising more, and without ever feeling hungry.

I fit into my size 6 jeans again. Down from size 10-12. I didn't think that would ever happen.

I reversed my pre-diabetes (that I didn’t even know I had before I met Kory and started testing my blood sugar and hemoglobin a1c.) My fasting blood sugar used to be over 100. (Not good.) My A1c - basically an averaged measure of blood sugar levels from the previous 3 months - that went from 5.8 (pre diabetic) to 5.1 (awesome) with low carb.

…and I ran the Madison Marathon on Nov 13, 2016 without “carb-loading” … this all happened in 2016.

Best year ever!!

I did it!

Best of all: hunger doesn’t rule my life any more. I don't get "hangry" anymore. My cravings for crackers with fig spread that literally kept me going back to the kitchen every two hours before!! Omg! Those cravings are gone. Finally.

Mmmm tasty salads

Another observation, while I’m telling all: The acne that had plagued my face and back for about 15 years - It seemed like at any given moment I always had some blemish or a patch of blemishes, somewhere. In late 2015 I remember how bumpy my cheeks were. I never used to get acne on my cheeks! Why am I developing acne on my cheeks at age 30?! When I upped my fat intake and cut the carbs, all that cleared up. I've gotten used to looking at an acne-free face in the mirror now. I wondered if I ever would. I won’t say I never get a spot anymore, but all that nonsense really cleared up. Finally.

So, after 2016 , my best year ever, a year filled with delicious, satisfying, nutritious high fat and low carb eating, losing 20 pounds, reversing my pre-diabetes, clearing up my skin, fitting into the jeans I was ready to donate, getting engaged (oh yeah that happened too!), getting on the cover of Brava (oh yeah that happened too!), and running my first marathon… I’m excited to align my business with my personal values, and offer the world some good. low carb. real. healthy. FOOD!

Oh yeah, making the July 2016 cover of Brava was pretty sweet too!

And there you have it. I went low carb. Life got really good. All the extra sugar has got to go. Let it go!

I sincerely hope you give low carb a try for yourself and see what it can do for you. Your precious health (and your family's) is worth you giving it a try. And even if you don't make a lifestyle shift to a low carb way of eating, you can still enjoy DELICIOUS menu items from our Good Food carts and catering menu. Hopefully you'll find a new favorite, and then you can enjoy steady blood sugars for hours afterward as the "cherry" on top. :)

Wishing you great health,