For many people, shifting from a grain based diet to a grain free one is a pretty daunting task. This is because most would think that this diet (sometimes called a Paleo diet) means giving up all the best-loved comfort foods of a lifetime: bread, pastries, rice, cereals. Actually, it does mean giving up some of those things but the outlook is not as bleak as others would paint it. Those who do look at the grain free diet as depressingly boring simply have not explored all the possible ways to follow a grain free eating plan.
The first thing you need to do when you do decide to follow a grain free eating plan is to make a menu good for a whole week. Here are a few tips for making a menu that will help you go through an important phase in your new diet:
1. Make a complete menu including snacks, extra munchies and extra dishes. The reason for doing this is that it helps you build a food schedule based on what you want to eat - not one based merely on what is available.
2. Plan a menu with variety. This will make sure that you have your food is never boring. There is nothing as bad for motivation as being bored and feeling dread at the thought of facing a week of broccoli. Remember the only thing you are removing from your diet is grains – there is no need to punish yourself with the poor carrot ten times a week.
3. Include the quantity you need for the food you will prepare. This is to make sure that when you shop you are able to purchase just the right quantity. The thing is, when people buy a big bundle of asparagus they will either try to consume it during the week or leave a lot of it untouched in the refrigerator to harden and wilt. Neither is good for motivation.
Decide which foods you can buy wholesale. Keep in mind that the usual pantry is full of grain based food – all of which you will be getting rid of. Grains act as fillers for the grain based diet. When you give grains up, your body’s demand for foods to make up for this will increase. You will be needing a good supply of your new staple foods. Here are some of the things you should have a lot of:
1. Keep a good supply of the basics. Make sure you have your sweeteners. Basically, this means honey and, if you use artificial sweeteners, that too. Have your sea salt, your baking soda, baking powder, olive oil, vinegars and spices available too.
2. If you intend to bake then make sure you have almond flour to take the place of wheat flour and arrowroot powder to use as thickener for sauces instead of cornstarch.
3. Have beans ready. These are a good source of protein and do not stimulate a craving for grains.
4. Keep a good supply of your new snack foods. This means having a lot of nuts handy for snacking, along with dried fruit, jerky and seeds (sunflower, squash, watermelon). Keep your nut butter and spreads on hand too but make sure you have some non wheat bread to spread them on.
Grain free recipes will be your best buddies when you try to follow a grain free diet without feeling deprived. There are many sources of grain free recipes today - you can get hard copy cookbooks or download scrumptious treats from the internet. Steak, potatoes and green beans are delicious but you can’t eat this all the time so go ahead and look over some cookbooks.
Many of the best dishes cooked with grains can actually converted into grain free creations. This can be done with the use of alternative flours and the use of grain free products. Even pasta is now manufactured grain free by some companies. Arrowroot powder can be used as a binder for meatballs and thickener for sauces. Tomato sauce? Learn to make your own so you are sure it is grain free; make it in bulk and freeze the excess.
Following a grain free eating plan need not be a tremendous sacrifice. You can explore all the ways possible to go grain free and still dine well. This way, you can be sure sticking to this new diet will be easier and more doable for your household.