So what’s all the fuss about grain? It’s a common known fact that Americans are some of the least healthiest humans on the planet, which is illustrated by our high incidence of diabetes and chronic inflammatory disorders.
In fact, we do not even fall close to the top 10 healthiest countries in the world. But why? Our diet is a good place to start… The typical American diet consists largely of bread, pasta, and other grain-based foods and is also severely limited in diverse vegetables. A gluten-free diet is a great place to start, but the healthiest diet limits all grains, including gluten-free grains such as rice.
Shifting our diet can be challenging, particularly when we have a busy lifestyle and we are limited in time to prepare our food. For many of us, we wait until we are very sick and symptomatic before we commit to big changes in our diet and lifestyle.
But what if we didn’t wait until then? What if we made baby step changes now and kept building on them? Would this help to prevent a difficulty aging period in our later life? Would we be able to ‘grow old gracefully’ without chronic issues that plague so many Americans today? The research shows that a healthy and particularly anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is a huge component of developing but also maintaining health.
So where do we start? The simplest way is always the easiest! Begin by simplifying your meals… When you go to the store, think about combining a natural meat such as turkey or grass-fed beef or wild fish with a vegetable like broccoli or collard greens and a starchy root vegetable like sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
Be simple in your preparation. Simple does not have to mean boring. If you need more flavor, add more seasoning or make a sauce or dressing like tahini to pour over the food. Once you get the knack of combining three simple categories of protein, vegetable, and starchy vegetable, then you can start to experiment with combining those categories in a soup or stew or another type of creative dish.
Some light reading…
I love the title of Dr. Hyman’s new book! What the Heck Should I Eat? This is a question that plagues so many of us… is this food healthy or not? There is no question that each person benefits from a unique and customized diet and lifestyle, but there are definitely some common denominators that connect all of our ‘guts’!
In this book, Dr. Mark Hyman, our current day’s health guru, talks about how to eat for optimal health. He focuses a lot of the discussion on the dangers of excessive sugar in our food and how grain, particularly in the form of flour, acts like sugar in the body.
The book is written for the layperson and is very simple!
Muffins! or cake or banana bread or…
“So I’ve decided to avoid grain, but I want something nourishing (something that reminds me of bread!)…” Here is a fantastic (tried and true!) recipe to make a base for muffins, or cake, or banana bread (just add the mashed bananas!). I have used this recipe to make birthday cakes as well as other delicious confections!
3/4 cup cassava flour 1/3 cup tapioca starch 1/3 cup potato starch 1/2 cup ground flax 1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened hemp milk or coconut milk (or other milk substitute) 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce or 1 large mashed banana
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Great bread or cake pan or muffin tin (or use muffin cups- easier clean-up!).
3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
4. Mix all the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl.
5. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and mix in mixing bowl until combined.
6. Pour combined mixture into bread or cake pain or muffin tin. 7. Bake in oven until toothpick test comes out clean (stick tooth pick into baked good and when it comes out clean, it is ready)– muffins are usually ready at 23-25 minutes but check your oven periodically.