Grain. Less.

About 30 days ago I removed most of the grain I was eating from my diet. Not all. I agree with research “Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.” We need some. Whole. Everything whole seems to be ok. But we don’t need a carbohydrate addict’s amount. 

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What defines a carb addict? Like any addiction I would expect. The more you have, the more you want. You are not fulfilled. It always seems to be things we shouldn’t have too much of that we want. When I have as many fresh strawberries as I want, it is just enough. I don’t want to buy another carton.

Things I can’t tolerate have seemed to justify my need to have some of America’s finest creations to the consumer movement in [insert problem ingredient here]-free diet! 

  • Gluten intolerant (caused by genetics in combination with stress.) 
  • Lactose intolerant (caused by the gluten intolerance.) 
  • Soy intolerant (caused by the saturation of soy in everything GF.) 
  • Fructose intolerant (caused by the saturation of high fructose sweeteners – NOT ALL ARE FROM CORN, some are from agave, honey and fruits – into GF foods so kids will eat garbanzo bean flour.)

So….when I can eat something and it falls in the pizza, dinner roll, toasted bread, grilled sandwich, soda cracker, cinnamon roll category, I most certainly justify it going into my mouth and system. However, I have replaced my happy gluten eating (and drinking) days with different carbohydrates. Thanks in a significant part to our innovative, consumer-driven food economy. 

Gluten-free foods typically have higher carbs than not. Rice for sure. Others maybe not so different. But the added sweeteners and starches make up the difference typically 2-3 fold. If something isn’t sticky and doesn’t rise, add sugar!

A friend of mine from Oregon shared about a grain free diet her health-astute mother was trying. I decided that maybe I would take it on to see if I could. Of course, with a transitional period. 

For one month I have been grain-less. So has my husband. By  his choice to join me. We decided lunch is the only time grain will be consumed. That means no rice (Indian!) or corn (Mexican!) or pasta (Italian!) meals for dinner. It seems my ranch-life menus are coming in handy! Meat. Potatoes. Vegetable. Check. 

This means meat and fruits for breakfast. I cannot do eggs (except baked in.) I am not intolerant physically, I am intolerant mentally (Jimmy Fallon ‘EW’!) It would be SO much easier on me if I did eggs. It means meat and vegetables for dinner. Many times salad and beans. Potato chips are OK. Lunch can include a very treasured gluten free bread ham and cheese (aged cheddar is free of lactose!) and a lemon wow-brand cookie or some sort of Mexican corn-flour centered meal. See some menus below.

What has this changed:

  • little to no sleepiness mid-morning (=productivity increase, quality increase),
  • reduction of weight by 3 lbs,
  • almost – key descriptor – no cravings; week 2 I could have eaten a whole loaf of GF bread (and I did eat more than a good share of GF pizza during a lunch that weekend),
  • a reasonable appreciation for grain-based products; they are fillers and they stay around if you know what I mean. 

Typical Menus: 

Breakfast: uncured bacon (Trader Joes or Costco have the best quality+price) cooked in the oven (cook the whole pack to almost done and then finish what you want each morning) + banana, strawberry, tangerine or pear or combo (all are low’ish fructose), sometimes a smoothie with coconut milk (unsweetened!, plus cocoa), 

Lunch: GF sandwich (uncured ham with aged cheddar, tunafish with canola mayo)+ chips+ lots of veggies (celery, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers, broccoli are all low in fructose) OR tostadas, nachos (aged cheese) or some asian meal if I am in the city. 

Dinner: any meat grilled or broiled (sirloin, chicken, pork tenderloin) or marinated in Sriracha sort of marinate, green beans, corn (not great on the fructose level) and sometimes a potato (boiled and then fried, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and pepper) plus fresh veggies. 

So now, I think I’ll try to reduce potatoes and maybe go ½ grain at lunch. 

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