Some of you may be feeling disappointed or overwhelmed by the damning info I’ve posted about wheat. For a lot of you, it isn’t what you want to hear. I get it. I do. But, I’m not going to sugar-coat things. I’m going to be straight with you because I have your best interest at heart.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to suffer a life of deprivation, starvation, and misery. No, no NOOOO. If you live like that when it comes to food, then you will ultimately fail. Plain and simple.
My philosophy when I coach clients is to “replace, not erase.” What I mean by that is, don’t erase everything from your diet. Try to find healthy replacements for your unhealthy favorites. And please understand that you can reprogram your taste buds. You might not think so now, but try to remember, you are in the “rebuilding” stages. You are “under construction.” This is not how you’re going to be forever.
A lot of times, we look at the unhealthy things about us (like our taste buds), and we assume that’s “how we’re made.” We tell ourselves things like, “I’m just a carb addict.” Or “I’m just a glutton.” Or “I’m just a healthy eater.” But that’s not necessarily how we’re made, that’s just how we became after years of eating.
What you crave now does not have to be what you will crave for the rest of your life. Trust me. I’ve seen it time and time again with myself and many, many clients. For example, one client used to crave pastries nearly to the point of addiction. Now she craves things like lettuce and cucumbers. Another client didn’t think he could ever give up his bowl of late-night ice cream. Not only did he give it up, he now thinks ketchup is too sweet for his burger. YOUR TASTE BUDS CAN CHANGE—that is, if you give them a chance by exposing them to other things, eliminating the problem foods, and giving the body what it needs when you are craving something specific.
Now, let’s talk about healthy replacements. We already went over bread and choosing different grains. Now let’s discuss other types of carbs.
Most boxed pasta is made with “enriched” wheat flour (meaning it was stripped and then enriched later with vitamins to make up for what was lost). So how do you replace pasta? Start reading labels and search for one that is NOT enriched. Use the same strategy as you do when choosing grains: look for whole grain, organic, non-GMO, fiber, and protein.
Another (better) option is to use a vegetable spiralizer and make organic zucchini noodles. No, it’s not the same as wheat pasta. Yes, it has a different taste and texture. But it’s still very appetizing—and it’s a veggie, so it’s full of fiber, vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants that contribute positively to overall health. (This is the ultimate goal, after all, right?) Plus, if you want to reprogram your taste buds, you need to expose them to new things.
Another option is to switch to pasta made from non-grains such as spinach, chickpeas, black beans, and red lentils. But read the ingredients list to make sure it’s 100% non-grains. The first ingredient should not be enriched flour with non-grains listed lower on the label.
White rice has a high GI ranking of about 75. Not only that, white rice is milled, and the bran removed (making it a white color). This decreases the fiber content and nutritional value. So, does that mean you should switch to brown rice? Well, not necessarily. Brown rice has more nutrients and fiber, yes, but it is much higher in phytic acid as well as arsenic. (I will talk more about this in later chapters.)
I recommend replacing grain rice with cauli-rice! I take a head of cauliflower, break it apart, put it in a blender or food processor, and turn it on! Voila! Rice! You can sauté it with a tablespoon of butter (or a few beaten eggs if you want a thicker/chunkier consistency). And, yes, it tastes different than actual rice, but it’s very versatile, and the texture holds up well as a rice substitute in many recipes.
Some of you love your baked goods and can’t imagine living life without them… Yeah, I get it. That was me, too. The good news is you don’t have to. You just have to change the way you make them by substituting wheat flour for grain-free or gluten-free flours (like almond flour and coconut flour). The internet is full of very tasty recipes.
If you’re reading these replacement ideas and you’re thinking there is no possible way you’re going to like them, or if you’re not willing to even try them, then let me say this: you cannot continue to do the same things over and over again and expect different results. If you want to rebuild, to see and feel a change in your temple, then you have to be willing to change your diet.