Need some tips for going grain free? It might seem impossible at first. Fortunately, there are a ton of options, substitutions, and advice to make the transition smooth and easy. Going grain free doesn’t mean you need to miss out on special events or occasions. Just keep these seven tips for going grain free in mind!
1. Expect Withdrawal
If you’ve been eating starches like pasta and bread for practically your whole life, then expect some withdrawal when going grain free. Not only will you experience physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue, but you could also experience intense cravings. Realize that this is only for a short period of time, and within a few days you should be feeling much better. This is one of the best tips for going grain free.
2. Try Grain Substitutes
One of the best foods I discovered after giving up grains and gluten was millet bread. Instead of being made from a grain like wheat, millet bread is made from a seed. When I was transitioning to a grain-free lifestyle but still craved toast in the morning or a sandwich at lunch, millet bread was my savior. Use grain substitutes as a great transition into a grain-free lifestyle.
3. But Don’t Lean on These Substitutes for Too Long
Why shouldn’t you eat these substitutes for too long? Because often times they’re loaded with partially hydrogenated oils, added sugar, and other additives you don’t want in your body. Sure, these products might be grain and gluten-free, but ultimately they’re still heavily processed. Eventually, you’ll enjoy your grain free lifestyle so much you won’t even miss the sandwiches and spaghetti.
4. Look into Ancient Seeds
Ancient seeds make a fantastic and natural substitution for starches like pasta and oatmeal. Ancient seeds like millet and teff can actually be prepared in both sweet and savory dishes. These seeds have a much lower glycemic index than other grains. They also have a ton of fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote weight loss!
5. Befriend Root Vegetables
There was a time where white potatoes were the death of mankind. But now we’re realizing that potatoes—even white potatoes—actually pose all sorts of benefits. White potatoes actually contain a high amount of vitamin C and sweet potatoes have a ton of vitamin A. Root vegetables like potatoes and beets are great starches and substitutes for grains.
6. Get Back in Touch with Legumes and Beans
Beans and legumes make another great alternative to grains. They’re full of protein, hence why so many vegetarians and vegans turn to them as a source of energy and fuel. Don’t be afraid to get creative with beans and legumes either. You can easily make a chickpea curry, a black bean hummus, and a rich and hearty chili all in one day.
7. It’s Okay to Have a Setback
Sometimes, you’re going to go out with your friends and eat a cheeseburger. Other times you’ll be at a restaurant and accidentally eat something with wheat, rye, or some other grain you can no longer eat. Realize that sometimes you’re going to have a moment of weakness or a moment when you simply don’t care about your diet. Take these moments in stride and use them as tools to prevent future setbacks.
Going grain free isn’t easy by any means, especially when so much of our food is based on grains like wheat. But if you take things slowly, you’ll definitely see that going grain free is possible and actually enjoyable! Did you experience difficulty when first eliminating grains from your diet?