Whether you are trying to ditch the wheat or just switch up your diet a bit, I think that it is a great idea to explore other grain options. We do rely too heavily on processed foods – especially those made with modern wheat.
Think about your past couple of meals or snacks. What were they? Bread, cereal, crackers, pretzels, a muffin or bagel? What about the soup you had? Did you know that wheat is commonly used as a thickener in prepared soups, not to mention the appalling use of MSG? As you can see, before you even realize it, you’ve had more wheat in your day than any other food.
What is the problem with wheat consumption? According to William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, “…what we are eating, cleverly disguised as a bran muffin or onion ciabatta, is not really wheat at all but the transformed product of genetic research conducted during the latter half of the twentieth century. Modern wheat is no more real wheat that a chimpanzee is an approximation of a human.” He goes on to share how ancient wheat has been manipulated into modern wheat. The intentions were noble, feed the poor and malnourished by making wheat grow faster and produce more yield. Unfortunately, a side effect of this human intervention is a wheat field that cannot grow without human assistance as it did in times gone by. The very DNA structure has been altered and we are having a tough time with digestion, diabetes and obesity rates are on the rise.
Whether you have a sensitivity or not, it is best to add some variety to your grain consumption. Items like brown rice, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and oats are great to add into the regular rotation, assuming that you don’t have gluten sensitivity. Speaking of gluten – are you confused about the whole topic? I’ll be tackling gluten in the near future! Quinoa and lentils are great options for taking the place of a typical grain dish such as pasta. While it is important to focus on the variety in your grains, I think the most important component to going wheat free is to add more veggies, fruit, healthy protein and fat sources to your diet. Great ways to incorporate more of these items is to make a morning fruit smoothie with added spinach, guacamole with veggies for dipping, and stir fries. Try to make the habit of taking less rice or pasta with dinner and more veggies. Better yet, experiment with a grain free dinner every once in awhile!
Need help getting out of your rut? Contact me for a nutrition consultation and I’ll help you get on the right track. Until then, here is one of my favourite recipes that incorporate some of my most favourite nutrient recommendations.
Quick and Easy Butter Chicken
Adapted from Canadian Family Magazine
Prep time: 5 minutes, in the slow cooker: 5 hours on low or 2 1/2 hours on high
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2-3 tbsp yellow or red curry paste – look for mild if you don’t like spicy food
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 8 skinless, bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs (approx. 3 lbs)
Melt butter and pour in slow cooker. Stir in all ingredients except chicken.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to sauce. Turn chicken to coat.
Cook on high setting for 2 1/2 hours or low for 5 hours.