Starting a grain-free diet can improve digestive functions and help fight against auto immune diseases. Many people often confuse grain-free with gluten-free, but they are not the same diet. A gluten-free diet will still contain grains since not all grains are processed with gluten. However, a grain-free diet cuts out all grains (including the ones that are gluten-free).
Just because you are cutting bread out of your diet, doesn't mean that you won't be enjoying what you eat! Here are some tips on what to eat when you are going grain-free with tips on ways to incorporate them into meals.
Eggs are a great protein to start your day with. A versatile food, you can make countless grain-free meals using eggs as a base. One of the best nutritious meals can simply be poached eggs on a bed of sautéed veggies with herbs. The result is tasty, full of color, and packed with good nutrients.
Buy yourself a blender and you'll quickly become a smoothie fanatic. Once you have a few recipes under your belt, this is a quick and easy fix to compliment a grain-free diet. A typical smoothie includes milk as the base, fruit, and protein (like peanut butter, flax seed, or protein powder.) What's nice about this meal is it often requires such few ingredients. Just throw coconut milk, a banana, chia seeds and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter into a blender and soon you'll be drinking a delicious lunch packed with energy to get you through the day.
If you're on a grain-free diet, you are going to find yourself eating lots of hearty salads. Salads are the best way to pack a meal with yummy protein, fresh veggies, and delicious herb dressings. This is a great habit to get into because it's an easy one to meal plan for. Simply prepare a protein (like roast chicken or baked salmon), cut up all your fresh veggies, and have your dressing handy to throw on top.
Unfortunately, most soups you find in restaurants and delis have a flour thickener and, thus, are not grain-free. However, making a delicious grain-free soup is easy to do (especially if you have a crock pot to let it simmer all day). Having homemade broth handy in your house is a must if you want every soup to be packed with savory flavor. Use the broth as a base for vegetable soups, beef stews, creamy potato leek, and any other recipe you desire. If you miss the crunchy toast that comes on the side of most soup, go for a different crunch and throw some roasted seeds or crispy parsnips on your soup.
5. Roast Dinners
On a grain-free diet, the oven is your friend. Roasting vegetables, meats, potatoes, and foods of your choice can turn out to be some of the best meals you've ever had. For an easy tasty roast dinner, find some acorn squash to bake and stuff it with sausage and mushrooms for a comforting but healthy dinner.
Lisa Ann de Garcia, MA, MEd.