Grains – the food group that plays an important role in the eating habits of millions of people around the world. Oatmeal, YUM! Crackers, YUM! Mashed potatoes, YUM! Toast, YUM! Cereal, YUM! Which grain is gluten-free? How do you go grain-free? It can be confusing for many to figure out. Living a grain-free life is easier than you think.
Sure, most people always tell us that we need to eat our veggies too, but most people also always serve some sort of grain for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks as well – so grains have to be just as important as meats, fruits and veggies, right?
But grains make up a hefty spot on the food pyramid so they must be healthy! Wrong, just because the government says it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it is. I can name you 14 foods off the top of my head that are banned in other countries but served here.
But I need the fiber! Um, sorry…wrong again. You can get it elsewhere, like in a myriad of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds – sources that don’t have all the other bad stuff in them like toxins.
So as you can see, the importance of grains in a diet is actually pretty much a tale spun by the American food industry and regurgitated by people around the world. That’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it?
Health advocates around the world, especially those who follow a grain-free lifestyle, understand that grains can actually pose great harm to your body, leading to illness, disease, and even death. I personally suffer from celiac disease, so I avoid all gluten-containing foods. Most grains that Americans tend to eat contain gluten. There are many non-gluten-containing grains, but I avoid those as well because I live a grain-free life.
However, grains are so ingrained (cute, huh?) in our lifestyle, that my clients and so many others can say they want to ditch the grains, but find it so difficult to actually do it. So I want to share with you some of my tips for going grain-free.
Don’t go cold turkey and ditch the grains all at once
Some can do this, but most people will quit all at once and then sabotage their efforts a few days later with a binge. To gradually incorporate this new lifestyle, you can first begin by ditching the unhealthiest grains (sugary cereal, fruit bars, rice, etc.) and instead opt for healthier versions (quinoa, brown rice, etc.) Once you’ve done that, gradually cut down your portions of grains meal by meal until none exists in your diet.
Fill up on proteins, veggies, and healthy fats
If you eat plenty of these items, you’re not going to crave the grains as much, because your nutrient needs will be satisfied, and you’ll feel fuller longer. For example, eat lots of fish, clean meats, and veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, etc. Also, don’t forget to add healthy fat to each meal – including avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butter, etc.
Don’t keep the grains in your house
As they say – out of sight is out of mind. This holds true for the grains. If you don’t keep them in your house (after they’re gone for good), you’ll be more likely not to eat them. This makes living a grain-free life easier.
Prepare meals in advance
This tip has saved me so much time, patience, and sanity when I decided to change my lifestyle. I always write a meal plan at the beginning of each week, and then shop, and prepare the food all on the same day. Prepping meals once a week prevents you from binging on grains when you’re hungry. Purchase glass containers and mason jars to store your food in the freezer after cooking, and then all you’ll have to do is pop your food in the microwave. There will be no time to reach for the granola bars. I wrote a great article on meal prepping when busy.
Indulge in scrumptious grain-free recipes
Another nuisance that could prevent you from experiencing success with your new lifestyle choice is boredom. If you’re making the same chicken and broccoli daily, you’re going to get bored and revert back to your old lifestyle. Therefore, it’s so important to try out new recipes all the time. On my website, you will find many mouthwatering, grain-free-approved recipes to enjoy. You can print out these recipes and then when you’re making your meal plan for the week, you can include various recipes each week.
Have you ever tried going grain-free before? What has your personal experience been? Did you follow a grain-free life because you are also avoiding gluten? Let me know in the comment section below. I also would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva