There is a difference between cutting out gluten and cutting out grains. They are different and can easily be done at the same time or in phases or baby steps. If you want to know more about gluten you can read this article. It is more common now for gluten to be understood and hopefully you are ready and working on removing it out from your diet. That is a huge step and take time now (and daily) to celebrate this huge milestone that you are doing right now. If you are new to cutting out gluten know that this post on grains may be more advanced than you are at now. That’s ok, read it and bookmark it to learn and apply at another time. If you have been gluten free for sometime now your next step is going to be cutting grains out in your diet.
Grains include: rice (brown or white), quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, gluten-free oats. This list also includes gluten grains: barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt.
Starches: Some people’s bodies and guts will see starches in the same way as a grain while healing. Starches include corn, potato (and sometimes sweet potato for some people), tapioca, arrowroot, yucca, cassava.
I believe that for many peoples digestive systems grains are one of the most important things to remove. Gluten makes a big difference, but often times only solves a small piece of the puzzle. I have seen very often that gluten free products on the market may contain more sugar and starches than their gluten alternatives. Just because something is gluten free doesn’t mean it’s healthy or something that should ever be consumed.
Taking our diet to the next level is by removing grains. Grains can be extremely inflammatory to our cells and digestive systems. We hear a lot about sugar being the big culprit for inflammation, and I agree. But there is a part of grains that is often overlooked as causes of inflammation. Grains in general whether or not they contain gluten are a macronutrient that our bodies don’t need. They are unnecessary and any nutrient that a grain may contain can be easily attained/ sourced from another food, like a vegetable.
Grains are actually super sugars. They start to turn to sugar within 4-8 seconds of being in your mouth. In simple, our body isn’t going to notice a major difference between a sugar and grain. Let this sink in for a second, this is a big huge piece of information.
I have noticed that many people cut out sugar and feel a little better but don’t noticie a significant difference in their symptoms and health until the grains are eliminated from your diet.
Popular grain-free diets are Paleo, Primal, GAPS (Gut and Physiology Syndrome), SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet).
You may be wondering what a grain free diet even looks like. It is hard to follow?
A grain free diet eliminates gluten containing grains and non-gluten containing grains. You will eliminate the gluten grains, which is barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt. The non-gluten grains are amaranth, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, rice (brown and white). Starches have the potential to turn into sugar, especially in people with more severe gut symptoms. (Starches include potatoes, corn, peas, yucca, cassava, tapioca and arrowroot). Not everyone needs to cut out the starches in their diet to heal a gut or even to notice symptom improvement. If you are curious and already going to take out grains it’s worth going the next step to eat a low starch diet too. Starches don’t necessarily need to be eliminated long term, but can give your body a better baseline for how you should feel and when you choose to bring back in starches you will know what your body is able to handle: very few or able to eat more and still feel well.
To start the process of eliminating grains there are two ways to start.
Cold turkey or step by step?
Knowing how to cut out grains is something you are going to have to decide on your own what is best for you. I will give you my thoughts on both of them. If you are really symptomatic and ready for a change, it’s good to just cut out the grains right after you know enough about a grain free lifestyle and plan and prepare enough to be successful. This is a way to cut down on food cravings fast. I see, at times, when people want to decrease the cravings by taking baby steps can struggle because you don’t eliminate enough of the problem food so you don’t eliminate cravings. This can be a hindrance to forward moving progress. Some people can take the baby steps and do it very well. Start with a goal in mind of the amount of time you want to take to fully eliminate grains. Is it 2 weeks or 4? Do you cut 50% of grains out now and in the next 30 days bring that to 10%? Giving yourself a time frame will help you properly prepare and set the steps in place to get you to your goal. No time frame lets you push it out farther and farther and let’s just be honest, it probably means that it won’t get done. And I want you to see success in healing your cut and making the proper nutritional choices first and foremost. Set a time frame and work backwards to plan what you have to do and how to do it over your time frame.
What do I eat?
The obvious is no grains. But I say that a little tongue and cheek. Of course there is no grains in the no grain lifestyle. The obvious things to eat are meat, eggs, and vegetables. Although you can do a lot of amazing things with meat and veggies and make it very flavorful you get a little sick of them all the time. Where’s the fun foods and treat foods? We miss those. Both in our minds and because there are temptations all around us in our day to day life. Think about it, at the grocery store, coffee shop, restaurant, after church, at our friends and family’s house, at every kind of party or get together. You see where I’m coming from? Treats are everywhere. And coming from a former sugar (and grain) addict, I believe that we need some treats that are healthy in our lives to allow us to feel like we can follow this nutrition plan for life and also feel filled and satisfied with the foods we are eating. If I told you that you can never have a treat again then you’re only going to crave all foods and all treats. But healthy treats can be a really good thing.
In addition to real food like protein and veggies you can also eat coconut, nuts and seeds and cocoa and chocolate. You can create so many amazing things with these ingredients. There are coconut flour and almond flour where you can make almost any kind of treat; cookie, cake, brownie or bar grain free that you’re normally used to made with grains.
This website is FULL of over 100 recipes that are grain-free and many dairy free too. They are meant to add variety to your diet and allow you to have some FUN with recipes and foods. Healthy food can be fun, it can be flavorful, it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours in the kitchen every day and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are some of my favorite recipes to make that are grain free. Looking for more? Just search the recipes found on the recipe tab of my website. The recipes are for you to make, enjoy and make your life a little easier.
Coconut Flour Crepes
I believe that a grain free diet is key in healing a sick and symptomatic digestive system. Our gut has no nerve endings so our body can’t send pain signals from the gut to the brain to say something is wrong. If you’re often bloated or feel gassy or have indigestion, that’s your gut telling you something is wrong. Following a grain free diet is the first step in healing the gut. But diet alone can’t heal the gut. If you need to find the root cause of your digestive system upset and heal your gut for good please contact me for more information.
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