So, you've decided to go grain-free. This is a great choice, and you'll definitely be feeling the benefits in no time. But, it can be hard to stick to a diet plan if you don't enjoy what you're eating. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious meals that can be eaten on the grain-free diet.
Cereal and oatmeal aren't the only breakfast meals, even if they typically come to mind first. Grain-free individuals can enjoy freshly cooked eggs with a side of bacon or ham, a nice juicy steak paired with hash browns or diced potatoes, or a Denver omelet with all the fixings.
If you prefer a lighter breakfast, you can have grain-free banana bread or pumpkin bread, made fresh at home or bought from a bakery. A simple parfait can be made with yogurt and whichever fruits you enjoy; blueberries, strawberries, and bananas are great toppings, especially when combined with nuts, giving you all the nutrients you need to start your morning. Grocery stores also sell a wide variety of grain-free breakfast bars, held together with egg whites and fruit, rather than oats or granola.
Mid-day is here, and you wanted a sandwich or a burger, but they both have a big grain-filled bun on top! Not a problem, you can have your burger wrapped in lettuce, rather than a hunk of bread. Same great taste of grilled beef and your favorite toppings, lacking just the bread. As for sandwiches, there are now more grain-free breads on the market than ever before. Some are made from Almond or Coconut flour, among other types. These can be hit or miss, depending on your preferences, but they are absolutely worth giving a try before just cutting out your favorite hoagie or club sandwich from your meals.
If you aren't in the mood for a sandwich, try cooking up some home-made fried chicken. This is where almond flour really comes in handy, because you don't have to sacrifice the breading. You end up with a great, crispy exterior with the same delicious herbs and spices as any other fried chicken, minus the grains and the issues that come with it. As a side note, vegetable and canola oil are also rough on the stomach, while avocado, grape seed, peanut, and sunflower oil are much easier on the digestive system.
There are countless great dinner meals that don't require grains at all. Even those that do contain grains can often be substituted without compromising flavor. Freshly seared salmon or any other type of fish, garnished with some lemon and rosemary, is healthy, flavorful, and doesn't contain one bit of grain.
Steak, grilled chicken, and salads are all wonderful meal ideas. The greatest benefit with salads are the seemingly limitless possibilities; Caesar, Cobb, Chicken, Chop, Mandarin, Tuna, Potato, and countless other variations of salads can be made and enjoyed. If you don't feel like cooking, there are restaurants everywhere that make extravagant salads; just order one, pick it up, and enjoy.
Lisa Ann de Garcia, MA, MEd.