Call it whatever you like, low-carb, paleo, primal, ancestral eating – going grain-free can bring immense benefits to your body, apart from just helping you lose weight. You improve your blood chemistry, boost your insulin sensitivity, increase your metabolism and energy levels, you sleep better, work out efficiently and much more. However, after having grains as a staple in your diet for so many years, going grain-free may be easier said than done. Here are some tips that can help you ease into the diet without failing:
1. Get used to reading labels
Packaged products often have an allergen labeling, so you’ll be able to determine whether the item has gluten. In most cases, specific grains will be listed, so keep your eyes open for any type of grain, especially, wheat, barley, rye, spelt oats, Kamut etc.
2. Skip the traditional cereal
And have eggs instead. Eggs are incredibly versatile. From a basic sunny side up to a classic frittata, which can contain anything from green leafy vegetables and mushrooms to chicken bits, you can have a filling and heart-healthy breakfast by just being a little creative with eggs.
3. Replace rice with cauliflower
As odd as it may sound, cauliflower makes a fantastic addition to any meal and it can even replace your steamed rice. Either have grated cauliflower as rice with a side dish or curry of your choice or add it to your stir fries and curries, making them super healthy and satiating.
4. Make wraps with lettuce instead of bread
Iceberg lettuce makes a fabulous wrap. It’s crunchy and tastes delicious with patties and kebabs. Just make a healthy version of your regular sandwich or burger filling and wrap a lettuce around it. If you’re using patties, you may have increase your serving amount to make the meal more filling as lettuce doesn’t have the same amount of mass as a bun or slice of bread.
5. Have omelet pizzas
Life can be tough without pizza so instead of having your regular white bread crust, try putting all your pizza toppings on an egg omelet. It’s similar to a cheese omelet but with meat, onions and other elements you top your pizzas with. You can even replace the omelet with ground beef.
6. Skip sandwiches and have soups and salads
If you’re used to having sandwiches as quick and healthy lunch options, try switching to soups and salads. Soups can be made in advance and heated in a microwave and salads are easy to make by default. Who doesn’t love the sound of chopping crunchy greens anyway?
7. Use healthy sweet alternatives for sugar
If you have a serious sweet tooth, avoiding cakes and pies may sound like torture. However, there are so many healthier dessert options you are yet to try, such as bananas with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips or strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate. Yogurt with honey, nuts and berries tastes fantastic too. Use ingredients such as banana, berries, strawberries, honey, agave and cinnamon to naturally sweeten and enhance the flavor of your sweet treats.