One of the best things I’ve done for my health recently is to remove grains and other starchy carbs from my diet again….again you ask?
Well I’ve done it before but it’s just so easy to relax the rules and eat the donut or croissant or something from the sandwich platter. This is called living. All of a sudden I’m having a beer and eating a pastry or GF pizza or finishing the kids meal almost everyday – it’s become a thing again and I need to make the effort to stop the cycle!
“WHY?!” Everyone asks?
“They fill you up”
“You need the fibre”
“Full of nutrients”
“the Mediterranean diet!”
Well, it’s true, they do fill you up. I do need the fibre. When you feel hungry your body is craving nutrients. Italians do eat pasta…but I prefer to fill up on quality protein and fats and loads of nutrient dense veggies. All full of fibre, nutrients, goodness and won’t leave me feeling bloated, hungry 15 minutes later and sluggish or ready for a nap.
For me, the questions stop when I look at a slice of white bread. What’s actually in it? Bleached, processed wheat flour, numbers, yeast, water and sugar. Yes it fills you up but you’re gonna be hungry again in 45 minutes ‘cos the sugar spiked your insulin, got stored as fat and fired up the hungry hormones all over again.
Hello sugar cravings!!
How do you get off this up and down roller coaster of cravings, highs, lows and bloating?
Ditch the grains altogether! And while you’re at it ditch the sugar too – neither are helping you to live your best.
Here’s my top 10 strategies to get off the sugar and grain train, lose the bloating, increase your energy and benefit from more nutrient dense foods every time you sit down to eat.
- Use vegetable alternatives to swap out your old favourite starchy, grainy dishes. Zucchini Noodles – be careful not to overcook them (if you must cook them at all – I don’t), Cauliflower Rice, Broccoli tabouli, even Quinoa is great in small quantities although still high in carbohydrate.
- Add a variety of vegetables to your meal at every opportunity to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. If you can, buy organic and in season.
- Get yourself a great, natural probiotic supplement from a local health store to promote good gut health. A healthy gut absorbs all of the nutrients you give it and can handle a little abuse better when you slip up or make a mistake.
- Make mistakes! Enjoy life, have a treat but make sure you enjoy it & make sure you deserve it. Try to get a good couple of days in – even just a couple of meals or at least get some exercise in before you treat yourself.
- Most importantly, make sure you recognise how you feel based on what you ate most recently. Keeping a diary is a great idea. I found very quickly that my stomach reduced in size, skin cleared up, I slept & breathed better (sinus problems begone!) and clothes all fit better without the grains…yes, beer is made from grains! Leave it in the fridge for a week and see how it feels without drinking it.
- Where you would once have filled your plate with rice, pasta, bread or potatoes, substitute with veg, veg and more veg! Could be in the form of zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, roasted pumpkin, beetroot, cauliflower, wilted spinach leaves etc etc
- Cook extra! Time is short, when you are cooking a meal or trying out a new recipe – double it! Then you have leftovers for lunch, the freezer, dinner again or after dinner seconds when the hunger and cravings often creep up on you.
- Remove temptation from the house. If you can do it, so can the rest of the family! Give it a week and discuss how you all feel around a Sunday roast
- Up the protein and healthy fat in your meals to keep you full and satisfied longer. Use coconut oil, avocado, eggs (including their yolks) organic butter, eat the chicken skin, pork crackle and bacon fat. (This is my favourite bit)
- Bread? Make your own grain free version if you must have it. You don’t need it – it’s the sugar you miss not the sandwich!
I could go on. I do love eating and cooking this way. I went on holiday to Italy and ate pasta and pastries and gnocchi. I came home and ditched them again. Once you experience how good you are supposed to feel, it gets easier and easier to choose what to eat and when.
Got any helpful tips? Let me know in the comments below!
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