Grains have been a hotly contested topic lately.
Between Paleo supporters and gluten-free advocates, there is a lot of scrutiny around these carbs.
I still believe there is a place in every diet for healthy grains.
However, what I have noticed is the older I get, the harder it is for me to process things like pasta. I feel like I am in a coma.
Truth be told, I have been moderately gluten-free because my daughter is. I don’t notice any difference when I eat gluten or when I don’t. My daughter swears going off gluten has stopped her migraines.
It works for her.
I am not a huge fan of eating Paleo because I find it really restrictive. I don’t work well with restrictions, and history has taught me that when you aren’t allowed to eat something, you want it even more.
But, there are some great Paleo recipes that are worth trying.
When it comes to weight loss, carbs like pasta, rice and potatoes can be scale busters, because these are the foods that most people will overeat; and they create a sugar response in the body.
For this reason, I suggest my clients leave the grains/potatoes out at dinner.
Since dinner should be your lightest meal of the day, it makes sense.
However, during these cold winter months there are still those who like a little starch to feel satiated. I get it.
Here are a few starchy substitutions that I have found that don’t cause me to overeat, have fewer calories, and give me that “cozy” feeling:
Beans (not the baked beans variety). Canned beans like cannellini, small white and chick peas mix really well with greens like escarole, spinach and even broccoli.
Squash. Spaghetti squash is delish with tomato sauce. Butternut works really well as a filler in soups and stews in place of potatoes.
Eggplant. Try some eggplant lasagna. You won’t even miss the pasta.
Cauliflower. Mild tasting and slightly starchy, I find it mixes well with any vegetable (my personal fave is with eggplant and sauce). Cauliflower can also be used to make pizza crust or tortillas.
You may be skeptical.
To prove that these substitutions are as tasty as your go-to grains, I discovered this Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe that you would swear is the real thing. It totally blew my mind!
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself.
Here is the recipe I followed: The only thing I left out were the peas, because I didn’t have any in the house.
So my take away is this; pull back on the grains a little. And yes, you absolutely can find lighter, healthier substitutions to satisfy your taste buds while trying to lose weight.
I suggest you check out some Paleo, gluten-free or vegetarian blogs to get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen.
Maybe you already have some fun substitutions that you are making. I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment below