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Help me quit grains!

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  • Help me quit grains!

    Hi everybody, I'm Natalia, and I discovered the Primal Lifestyle about 6 months ago but have yet to take the plunge. I've always been a healthy weight but I often feel sick, so I'd love to see how the Primal diet affects my body. That said, I didn't find the Primal Lifestyle appealing because of health reasons, but because of evolutionary cultural reasons. I'm just a sucker for the "good old days". The thing is, I don't like food. I know--you think something's wrong with me. But I really just don't enjoy it, and that's why this is so hard. My favorite foods (besides yogurt) are grain-based because they're bland and I can tolerate bland foods much better than flavorful ones. I've learned to like fruit and vegetables, but it's going to be a real chore to get me to like the taste of meat.

    This next month of school is the hardest stretch of the year--intense studying for AP exams--so I don't feel comfortable going primal until the second week of May when I can slack off and go through the carb-withdrawal. But I want to be prepared, which means finding Primal foods I like to eat and getting used to them before the big event.

    I don't think I can get through it without something that at least looks like bread or pasta, so I'm hoping someone could share some grain-free alternative recipes with me! I've heard of coconut flour and almond flour, and I think it's time I learn to like them.

    What's your favorite grain-free grain-imposter?

  • #2
    FWIW, although I did well in law school, I wish I knew about primal diet back then. I think I would have done even better. I have so much more focus and concentration now.


    • #3
      I don't think you'll have a big withdrawal if you keep your carbs at the recommended maintainance level (100-150g), eating only meat, fruits, veggies, and dairy. Try it out next weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun), see how you feel Mon morn.

      I don't think it's the grain that causes carb flu. I think it's cutting actual carbs from what a person is used to. For example, I didn't really have carb flu during my first 2 weeks of Primal. I had a little headache, and needed a nap, and that was about it. Before Primal, I was already eating about 150g carb/day, so cutting down to 50-100 was no big deal. However, I started Whole 30 on the 1st, as well as a meat only experiment for 2 weeks. I haven't had any carbs in a couple of days now, and I think I'm feeling what everyone is talking about. I've got a headache, the sweats, and I just want a @#$%^ tub of Fage!
      --Trish (Bork)


      • #4
        Yes, I'll admit I do think not liking food is weird . But that could yet turn out to be one of the things that changes for you on Primal. All kinds of unexpected things change.

        Meanwhile, relatively bland foods... steamed white fish, chicken, root veg, cauliflower...

        Grain substitutes? I'm not so good at those; I never ate much bread, and just pour pasta sauces over vegetables instead of pasta. (Maybe you could start out with gluten-free pasta and gradually use less of that and more vegetables? There's no rule says you have to change everything at once.) Almond flour pancakes are OK, though very very filling, and there's a recipe for sandwich bread here:


        • #5
          Spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti. Broccoli slaw with chicken stir fry instead of lo mein or rice. Both delish.
          --Trish (Bork)

          FOOD PORN BLOG!


          • #6
            I used to look for substitutes until I read this Panu post on smoking candy cigarettes: PaNu - P Once I stopped obsessing over "paleo-cookies" or "paleo-crackers" or "paleo pancakes", etc...things got a LOT easier in the compliance department. I had to shift the way I thought about food and meal planning.

            I like spaghetti squash, not because it's an imposter for noodles (I don't think it's a good one anyway b/c the texture is totally different), but because I just like spaghetti squash.

            If you like bland food, it doesn't get much blander than plain chicken breast.
            Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


            • #7
              I agree with everyone above and add, the biggest challenge for me was to quit thinking I was deprived of anything, and focus on all the excellent, delicious, and extremely healthy (especially brain healthy) foods I can eat.
              Go and grain no more
              This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

              Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
              Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


              • #8
                If you overcook your steak a bit it will be more bland (what is wrong with you!? RARE IS BEST!). Also buy a nonstick pan and avoid putting butter or seasonings on it.
                Is this an april fool's joke?
                In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.


                • #9
                  I swear grains mess with your taste buds. Since quitting grains, food just tastes so darned good. Prior to the switch, I preferred bland foods and ate a lot of them. Now I crave taste and bland stuff seems pointless.

                  So rather than finding bland stuff to fill the void, just quit the grains and see what happens. Once you accept that grains are simply bad for you, it's surprisingly easy. (And I'm a former pasta/bread lover!)

                  Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                  Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


                  • #10
                    All great advice and information in the response posts. But ultimately, we can't really help you. You own what you eat! Whether you think you are deprived or not, you are right because it is a state of mind. You have to do this yourself. So put your big girl panties on and do what you know is best for you!
                    Beware of fake meat.


                    • #11
                      Full-fat Cottage cheese, string cheese, white fish, etc can help you while you transition. Best to avoid the grain "substitutes".
                      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                      • #12
                        All of you have brought up a good point--the "smoking candy cigarettes" reference, especially.
                        Thank you guys for mentioning foods like cottage cheese, fish, cauliflower, spaghetti squash.... I'd forgotten that there are so many interesting things to eat that aren't grain-based. Thank you all!