Saturday, July 24, 2010

So If I Can't Eat Flour, What the Heck Can I Eat??

So if you are like me after reading all my flour posts, you may come to the conclusion that flour and products made from flour are foods to limit. I am not totally anti flour, but through the course of my research, I have started to see that white flour is a pointless food for us to base our diet around (or even eat at all as it provides almost no nutrition beyond calories), and even whole wheat flour is not as good of a source of the nutrients that we need for optimal health as other foods. Of course whole wheat can be part of a balanced diet for sure, but we don't need to eat products made from wheat flour 3-4 times a day. Probably once day is enough, and if you could cut it out altogether you would not suffer. Remember I am NOT talking about CARBS here, just wheat flour.

But if I give up flour and bread, what the heck will I eat?? First of all, many of my insistent cravings die down when I eat less flour. So you might feel more satiated replacing flour with other whole foods. I do have some suggestions of some yummy food groups to eat for all meals....I believe that there is something here for everyone. **Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a dietitian or a nutritionist, nor am I suggesting that anyone limit their diet to the below only. What I have written are just some things that I like to eat regularly that do not contain flour. And as always, if you have any health issues, discuss dietary changes with a doctor.

Oatmeal (or other whole grain porridge, but oats are my favorite)-you can top it with dried fruit, milk, nuts, the sky is the limit. Steel cut oats or oat groats are a personal favorite
Yogurt-any kind of yogurt. It is good for your digestive track and like oatmeal, you can top it with anything
Fresh fruit
Eggs-anyway you like them! Do some reading on eggs and cholesterol. Most dietitians have recently given eggs a clean slate.
Cheese-omelet anyone?
Breakfast meats-lean ham or even turkey sausage can be a great way to start the day!

Lunch or dinner
I usually have a big salad. This ensures I can get all my fresh raw veggies in a given day. I make sure I have some full fat things in there like avocado or leftover salmon to keep me full. Beans and chicken or other meats and cheese are a great topping too. Think of it as a full meal rather than a bowl of veggies. The protein and healthy fats will keep you filled up all afternoon. A great easy homemade dressing will keep any pesky processed ingredients out of your nummies.
Tuna salad, or any fish
Any meat or eggs
Fresh fruit or veggies
Carbs-remember rice and potatoes, millet and quinoa and other grains? Don't forget all of these very satisfying carbs all are flourless and don't metabolize the way a piece of bread do. My stomach does not react to these types of carbs.
Beans and legumes! What a treasure-truly the unsung heroes of the food world.

Fruit, fresh or dried
Raw veggies
Yogurt or milk (a glass of milk is a great snack) Potato or corn chips are not that healthy, but they are flour free and could be eaten in moderation too. Just don't eat the whole bag-they won't fill you up.

My feeling for myself is that no one food should dominate your diet. I eat a lot of veggies, but I would not want to eat only carrots all day. That couldn't be good! I like a varied diet, many different fruits and veggies, different source of meat and fish and vegetable proteins, and I believe that is why I can eat some floury baked goods once a day and maintain my weight. It is hard to go without flour entirely and it takes time to cut things out. But the above can be a reminder of all the rich and varied things that can remain on your menu if you do decide to go flourless.

In the present day and age we have access to all the tools for optimal health, we just have to listen to our bodies and feed them accordingly. Different people are genetically predisposed to managing types of food differently. Some of us really can eat flour all day with no weight gain, while other people are totally gluten intolerant. I have no doubt that there will be people who read this and think I am crazy to criticize bread and flour when they have been around for so many centuries. But I did the research and I have even provided some links to information that is out there. After you do a little reading of your own, you may be on my side. Are you willing to read for yourself?

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