Have you heard about going gluten free and grain free? The grain-free lifestyle is gaining more exposure every day, and more people are looking to cut grains and gluten from their diet. However, this can be an incredible challenge for most folks! After all, many of us can’t imagine a life without pasta, pizza, rice, bread, rolls, and that morning bowl of oatmeal.
As a holistic health coach, I believe in the concept of bio-individuality. This means that there is no one “perfect” diet that works for every person, because each body is different. Over the years I’ve tried a variety of eating habits, and have adapted my diet as my body’s needs have changed.
I spent almost seven years eating exclusively plant-based, which included a variety of plant-based proteins, local vegetables, whole grains, and no animal products. However, I started to notice a variety of physical issues over the years, so I began making some changes to my diet, including removing grains and gluten. As I embraced a gluten- and grain-free lifestyle, I noticed my body felt more energetic, I experienced fewer digestive issues, and I had fewer sugar cravings.
I can only share my personal experience, and I can’t tell you what's right for your body, but I always encourage folks to experiment with their diets and try different ways of eating to find out what works best for them. After all, you can’t know until you try it!
If you’ve been thinking about going gluten and grain free, here are three easy ways to help you get started!
1. Use greens for a healthy wrap.
Oh bread, how I love thee. One of my biggest fears about embracing a grain-free lifestyle was that it meant giving up bread. No more sandwiches, wraps, buns … what was I to do?!
Ending my relationship with bread made me feel like I was breaking up with my longtime best friend, and I mourned the fact that I would never be able to hold a sandwich again. Well, that was until I realized that lettuce and greens make the easiest (and most delicious!) wrap. Yum!
Instead of opting for bread, buns, or a tortilla, choose whole leaves of romaine lettuce, kale, or collard greens to wrap sandwiches and burgers. Dark, leafy greens are also amazing superfoods, so you’ll be getting a mega dose of nutrients in your meal.
2. Serve your entree over a baked sweet potato.
Rice is one of the most popular grains and is typically used create a more filling meal. One of my favorite grain-free tricks is to serve my entree over a baked sweet potato instead of rice. This works wonders for curries, soups, and entrees with sauces. Sweet potatoes can usually take close to an hour to bake, so if you’re in a hurry, a simple side of steamed carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower can also do the trick!
3. Sub spaghetti squash for your favorite pasta.
Pasta is one of everyone’s favorite comfort foods, and I know it can feel overwhelming to think about giving it up. Don’t worry, though, nature’s got you covered, because spaghetti squash makes a fabulous grain-free pasta alternative that's easy to prepare!
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