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Thread: Her: "What can I eat instead of grains?" Me: "Uh...lemme look online..." page

  1. #1
    oneninetyseven's Avatar
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    Her: "What can I eat instead of grains?" Me: "Uh...lemme look online..."

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    Hello everyone,

    My girlfriend's older than I am. She'd like to lose weight. I don't know how much she'd like to lose, but she says she has gained around 30 lbs. over the years. She used to do a raw vegan diet, years ago; she told me that during that time she was much thinner (to the point that people were getting concerned) and had lots of energy - but was always cold.

    I've been popping onto this site periodically since at least last year. I'm:

    a) Male
    b)Just under 30
    c) Mostly Primal in how I eat (lots of grassfed beef, wild fish, butter, nuts, veggies, fruit, seldom any grain or legume unless I'm eating with someone and I can't say no)

    Nowadays, she's got a sedentary job, affording little time for exercise. Over time, she's gone through stages of eating more grains, sometimes other junky stuff like cookies, croissants, etc. She likes legumes, too.

    Now, my health isn't perfect; despite my diet, I still deal with some fatigue and sensitivities, and have been blessed with joints that could be better (so clearly I've got some other issues to deal with); but weight-wise and body composition-wise, I've put on decent muscle over the years (for an ectomorph) and think I have a pretty good physique for someone who only does isometric exercises and visualized resistance. My muscles didn't really start growing until I incorporated more fat and protein into my diet and cut out grains and beans.

    I've been trying to convince her to go grain and bean free to hasten her weight loss. Last night, she even brought home another article from...what was it, Maclean's Magazine...talking about the dangers of wheat, and its affect on weight gain. So we were going over the article again and she said, yet again, "What can I eat instead of grains?"

    (Here's the article:On the evils of wheat - The Interview - Macleans.ca)

    Personally, I'd have expanded it to cover all grains, but it's still impressive to see...

    Anyway, for all that I do know, I was stumped about what to tell her. I eat about a pound or more of grassfed beef a day (in the form of jerky, which she likes a lot); maybe 4 free range (truly free range) eggs, a can of wild salmon, maybe some nuts, I use olive and coconut oil, some days I'll have 1 to 3 apples, or some berries, other days no fruit at all...might have a salad or some other vegetables...maybe a square of dark chocolate...

    She might have in a day:

    -A pound of grassfed beef (this is very recent)
    -3 free range eggs with veggies in them for breakfast
    -A whole wheat Pita with butter and peanut butter
    -A smoothie with yogurt, berries, sprouted flax, a scoop of hemp protein and applesauce
    -A square of dark chocolate
    -Salad

    Though other days I know she's gone on little more than a Pita sandwich; sometimes she gets baked snacks; buys spelt bread, etc. Has bought bags of chocolate chip cookies, etc...she likes lentils, etc.

    I know it's probably harder for her to lose weight and tone up than it is for me (I have a naturally fast metabolism, am a fair bit younger and male), but I think that the regular consumption of grains/legumes/junky stuff over the years and the sedentary job have added up and slowed her metabolism/caused weight gain/diminished muscle tone.

    So - what can we/she do? Let's say she wants to lose...10 lbs.? 20 lbs.?

    We try n' work out together regularly enough - mostly isometrics. Weight training doesn't really work for either of us (joint issues).

    For her, the thought of going with bread is difficult to fathom. For me, I had to give it up (I can't take much gluten; daily sandwiches gave me psoriasis). For her, she loves beans; for me, I can take 'em or leave 'em; too many make me bloated. For her, she seems to be able to combine just about any food; for me, I mix too many of the wrong things and I get skin rashes.

    Any suggestions as to "meal plan" would be very much appreciated. Or snacks that can satisfy her when she'd be tempted to make up a sandwich.

    Other questions:

    -She asked "What about if I buy sprouted bread?" Would sprouted grains be "better" for her? I suspect they'd have a similar impact on weight gain, but someone correct me if I'm wrong...

    -What about soaked/sprouted beans? Any "better" as far as weight gain/loss is concerned?

    -What about "food combining"? I know that I feel better if I don't combine certain foods (doing so can cause bloating, headaches, skin irritations, etc., but I seem to have a more sensitive constitution - or a leaky gut); she, on the other hand, doesn't seem to experience this...but can combining certain foods lead to "hidden" reactions, like weight gain?

    -Finally, what about her raw-vegan diet? I know it's not "Primal", but it sounds like it was what helped her be at her slenderest. Could that be because she's more "suited" to it; or was it a lack of calories? (Think big salads and lots of sprouted stuff.)

    Sorry for the gigantic first post. Nice to be here, and we appreciate your responses!

  2. #2
    namelesswonder's Avatar
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    If she's trying to find alternatives, it's not going to work. If you're always looking for the replacement, I don't think you can truly commit and eat the way that will help you.

    Vegetables. Lots of meat, fat & vegetables. That's all it is (to simplify paleo-life a LOT). Make sure she understands the value of healthy fats. I think you're making this a bit more complicated than it actually is. The best way to avoid snacking is to make sure you eat plenty at each meal. If you/she haven't read a book on this (Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint", for example), you/she should definitely do that. If you find the right ratio for you, of carbs to protein to fats, you won't be hungry between meals and over time you will be less tempted to snack from habit.

    Asking why an old diet worked is always tricky. It really depends on a lot of thing, but mostly the person. She could be able to stand more carbs than your average paleo-ite, or maybe it was just the lack of calories. If you really want to know, you'd have to analyze exactly what she ate.

    And the answer to most of your questions is going to be: try it and see what works. There's nothing written in stone about this, except for no grains, no legumes and no processed crap (and no sugar).
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  3. #3
    Leida's Avatar
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    I gradually evolved my eating style to paleo. First, I switched from CW (toast, veggies, yogurts, a bit of chicken and oranges) to whole food diet, eating only real whole grains (no bread/pastas, just real stuff, like millet and buckwheat and quinoa) and legumes. Then I only had the grains/starches once a day after workout. Then I eliminated them altogether, then dropped dairy, now I dropped nuts as well.

    The next day after I stopped eating bread & switched to the real grains, I stopped experiencing voracious hunger. Honestly, I think small quantities of properly prepared grains and beans post-workout could be actually beneficial to active individuals.

    As for sedentary job, I get up at 4, cook husband's breakfast, pakc backpacks, get to the office by 6, leave at 11:15, get to the bus station at noon, pick and drop my child at kindergarden at 12:30; telecommute from 1 to 3, then pick the child up at 3:20, either drop her back to teh day care or entertain her till it is time to go to her evening class, come home, prep dinner and lunches for everyone.... and I still manage to put in 1 to 2 hours of activity daily, including 3 lifting sessions a week. Oh, and I now work standing in the office. I am 36 ypo and have a 5 yo child, that landed me 30 lbs over what I was since my teens. I lost it and kept it off. Now I fight to get BF% a bit.

    For my husband, what made sense was when I told him: grains are starvation food, meant for empty calories, you get little to no nutrients with a huge load of calories. It is best suited to feed a lot of hungry people, a sopposite to someone who is trying to lose weight & get healthy. For thsi individual, vegetables, non-processed meats and fruit are the best bung for your buck.
    Last edited by Leida; 10-06-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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  4. #4
    DaisyEater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    If she's trying to find alternatives, it's not going to work. If you're always looking for the replacement, I don't think you can truly commit and eat the way that will help you.

    Vegetables. Lots of meat, fat & vegetables. That's all it is (to simplify paleo-life a LOT). Make sure she understands the value of healthy fats. I think you're making this a bit more complicated than it actually is. The best way to avoid snacking is to make sure you eat plenty at each meal. If you/she haven't read a book on this (Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint", for example), you/she should definitely do that. If you find the right ratio for you, of carbs to protein to fats, you won't be hungry between meals and over time you will be less tempted to snack from habit.

    Asking why an old diet worked is always tricky. It really depends on a lot of thing, but mostly the person. She could be able to stand more carbs than your average paleo-ite, or maybe it was just the lack of calories. If you really want to know, you'd have to analyze exactly what she ate.

    And the answer to most of your questions is going to be: try it and see what works. There's nothing written in stone about this, except for no grains, no legumes and no processed crap (and no sugar).
    +1. Another thing about her previous diet: Just because it worked for her then, doesn't mean it will work for her now. When I was 30, I ate your typical CW diet with plenty of "healthy whole grains", watched my calories, and was very slender. I didn't develop a sensitivity to certain foods until my mid 30s. Now I have an autoimmune thyroid condition (which is massively common by the way and often missed by physicians) and the only way I've found to get my metabolism back on track was giving up grains and legumes. After my thyroid tanked, cutting calories just made me get colder and colder. My metabolism was lowering to compensate. Thyroid hormone replacement helped me stop the weight gain but nothing but a lower carb primal diet has helped me actually lose fat.

    She might have an autoimmune thing. She also may have a leptin signaling or insulin sensitivity thing now that she didn't have when she was younger. These sorts of chronic conditions typically start to present when were 35, 40 and so on.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    If she's trying to find alternatives, it's not going to work. If you're always looking for the replacement, I don't think you can truly commit and eat the way that will help you.
    *snip*
    +1 for this. It's too easy to switch over to processed gluten-free products or treats that spike your insulin just as much, or contain soy, or something else that isn't helping you achieve your goals.

  6. #6
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    Diet sounds dubious. Need to eat piles of vegetables. Not seeing that in your daily menu. Bad news for your body. Cook them most of the time to destroy oxalates, eat them raw sometimes for the raw nutrients. I like organic veggie blends, pesticide free frozen spinach, etc. Just put 'em in the frying pan with some tallow on medium and put a lid on it for about ten/fifteen minutes. Season to taste, enjoy. Best replacement for pasts around. Also, mountains of mushrooms eat like pasta.


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    Sorry -- there is no such thing as a meat donut-equivalent

    I would suggest you buy two books -- the Primal Blueprint and the Primal cookbook (both can be purchased on this site, or on Amazon.) Both of you read them. Pick out some great-looking recipes and make a 1 week meal plan you can repeat 4 times. Then commit to one month of Primal eating, and maybe even some primal exercise. See how you both feel. If you feel better, Repeat.
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