Easy Ways to Reduce Grain Consumption

This past summer I did a bit of reading that got me thinking that maybe grains, even whole grains, aren’t as healthy as conventional wisdom leads us to believe.  In June, I decided to try to reduce my grain consumption in hopes of improving my health and increasing my fertility.  I continued to each plenty of potatoes and other starchy vegetables, so this was not a low-carb eating plan by any means.  I’m still not pregnant, but I did lose nearly 15 pounds over 3-4 months.  Surprise side effect!  Before our wedding, I busted my butt at the gym 4-5 days a week for four months and only lost 2 pounds.  This time it was so easy which makes me think that my body likes this new lifestyle.

Lately, I’ve found more grains slipping back into my diet, so I intend to re-focus and get back on track.  Here are some easy ways I found to eat fewer grains without feeling deprived.

1. Substitute greens for pasta.

I know the typical suggestion is to use spaghetti squash in place of pasta.  I tried this but the squash was mushy and lacking in texture.  It really didn’t satisfy my craving for the bite and chewiness of pasta.  Instead I like to substitute steamed kale for part or all of the pasta.  I’ve tried this with both bolognese sauce and cream sauce, and I enjoyed it both ways.  The kale has a certain chewiness that reminds me of pasta, and it’s mild flavor does not overwhelm the sauce.

2. Pick one meal each day to make completely grain-free.

I find it easiest to avoid grains at breakfast time, so 95% of the time I start the day with a grain-free meal.  My standby has been a fried egg on a bed of sauteed spinach or kale, but I’m finding that I need to switch things up.  I’m currently experimenting with some new recipes that I will post soon.

3. Use lettuce wraps.

Most sandwiches can be reinvented by wrapping the filling (burger, hot dog, cold cuts, taco meat, etc) in a large piece of lettuce.  The lettuce wrap keeps things from getting too messy and allows you to keep your finger foods utensil-free.

4. Turn your sandwich or wrap into a salad.

When my husband has tacos, I have taco salad.  When he has falafel gyros, I have falafel salad.  You can keep all the great flavors and toppings without the grains.

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2 Responses to Easy Ways to Reduce Grain Consumption

  1. chiotsrun says:

    It’s amazing how reducing grains can really help with weight loss. We don’t eat a ton of grains, any that we do are fermented or soaked to improve digestability. We follow the Weston A Price way of eating including tons and tons of healthy fats (amazingly about 50% of our diet comes from fat) and we’ve lost weight since we started doing it, without even trying! When we stop to listen to our bodies and eat healthfully our weights will naturally level out to what our bodies want/need to be at.

    Best of luck conceiving!

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