Are grains an evil substance placed on Earth to make us fat and unhealthy? I'm not that extreme in my paleo-friendly views; I simply try to fuel my body with the best nutritional options. Is a whole wheat dinner roll better for me than a cup of broccoli? No. Is whole wheat pasta better for me than a serving of green beans cooked up with some almonds? No. Is steamed brown rice better for me than a large leafy green salad? No. I want to be inclusive. I want everyone to be able to pick up and use some of this knowledge. I want you to share your knowledge with me. Even if you never embark on this journey at the very least you will think twice about stuffing your face with empty calories that may actually be doing some harm to your body. What kind of harm? This is just one example: a leaky gut http://www.womentowomen.com/digestionandgihealth/leakygutsyndrome-intestinalpermeability-page2.aspx . There are many viable food alternatives out there that are equally as delicious (if not more because you know you're fueling your body responsibly) as the traditional staples in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Below I've included a homemade protein bar recipe as just one little example.
Grains are a sensitive topic. If you have celiac disease (an immune reaction in the small intestines that causes damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients) eliminating the gluten found in grains is vital to your survival. Most of us do not live with such a severe reason to give up eating pizza, but through this blog I plan to offer you a few examples of how becoming FUELED BY NATURE has made my life better. Most importantly, however, is the positive changes I have seen in my children. By taking grain options out of their daily lives (don't let me fool you they love soccer and T-ball season for all of the snacks) they are open to trying new foods and eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. I can't wait to share with you some of our snack ideas! They too are FUELED BY NATURE, and are extremely happy, healthy children. Mind you- I still order them pizza and cheesy bread from Naked Pizza (it is mostly organic with probiotic crust...check them out online) on "pizza Fridays"!
I modified this recipe from Jamie Eason, a fitness model/writer and spokesperson for BodyBuilding.com, and made it paleo-friendly.
Carrot Cake Protein Bars
1 C Almond Flour (1/4 C= 160 cal; 14 g fat; 6 carb; 6 protein)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use Jay Robb brand)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp all spice
3 whole eggs (as a lower calorie option her recipe calls for egg whites)
2 four ounce jars of organic baby food carrots (sounds scary but works so well)
1/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1/4 C raw honey or maple syrup (the real deal variety not the sugary crap). You can also sweeten the bars with 1/8 C powdered Stevia (expensive) but add a bit more almond milk to keep the consistency like pancake batter or just add a few drops of liquid Stevia. http://www.stevia.net/. Truvia is another option, but I haven't researched it much. I like the taste of Truvia, but there isn't a ton of research on Rubiana and Erythritol (two ingredients in Truvia). I do know that Splenda can be a controversial sweetener. Sucrolose (brand name Splenda) gives me wicked headaches. Probably not a good sign, so I don't feel comfortable recommending this sweetener. Plus anything 600 times as sweet as table sugar can't be good for your blood sugar levels. Poor body must get confused!
Bake your bars at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (or until your knife comes out clean)
These are delicious!!! Where can you find Almond Flour??? Little Bridgey found hers at the local commissary! Stevia and Truvia are located in the sugar aisle of your grocery store.
I understand most people are not going to completely eliminate rice and grains from their diets. My husband, Shane, is one of those people! He eats what I cook and enjoys my cooking, so by proxy the man eats a 65-75% primal oriented diet. Shane supports my paleo endevours with the children, because he has witnessed an incredible improvement in their attitudes towards healthy food, (Brenden, my six year old son, is always giving us warnings about fats, oils and sweets), but he is not ready and may never be ready to commit to a primal lifestyle. I'm fine with that! But,,, I do insist that he eats "clean" carbohydrates. I don't purchase grains very often, but I do keep one loaf of bread in the freezer for Shane. It is Ezekiel Bread http://www.foodforlife.com/. Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted whole grains. Bodybuilders often incorporate Ezekiel bread into their diets because the Food For Life company claims their bread has all 9 essential amino acids. Are you paying attention vegetarians??? Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. This bread claims to contain 18 amino acids of which 9 are essential! Sounds way better for you than a piece of pretend wheat bread loaded with hidden sugars. This bread is located in the freezer section of your grocery store.
If you're going to eat grains, make them clean! Tosca Reno has an entire line of "clean eating" cookbooks available. Be careful if you're looking to cut fat. . . _some_ of her recipes are heavy on on the carbs, but I own a few of her cookbooks and feel comfortable recommending them to individuals. You might also like her story; she reinvented herself "later" in life.
Thanks for reading!