28 Day Grain-Free Challenge: Week Two

gluten free, wheat free, grain free

We are mid way through the challenge and I don’t know about you, but I’m over the hump. I do not crave starches as much, at this point. I have not cheated at all with any grains, but I do like some fruit in the evening. How do I handle the carb cravings? I’ll tell you…

The starchiest food I eat right now is butternut squash. Any winter squash will do, but I like butternut the best. Sometimes you get a very dry and “starchy” one that is very much like potato. Potatoes are actually allowed on this challenge, but I am restricting them as well because I am trying to go low starch. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg and you have a fabulous and easy to digest side dish.

When trying to restrict foods in a diet it is important to face the cravings you may have. Since this grain-free challenge is restricting most starches, you can’t just replace wheat with rice. This is a lot harder than going gluten-free, and more effective for healing for the reasons outlined in my previous post from week one.

Focusing on behavior modification is helpful. I try to keep busy with tasks to keep my mind off the food (although when writing a food blog it is surely hard to keep my mind off food!) When I feel a craving, I try to distract myself. I’ll get up from the computer or walk out of the kitchen for a moment and involve myself in something else. Usually the craving goes away.

I also find that restricting eating to the kitchen or dining room is helpful in a program such as this. Bad habits like eating at the computer or in from of the TV are things that must be changed. It is easy to engage in mindless eating when involved in other tasks like computer work, homework or watching TV.

Additionally, I would create another rule that says no eating while standing up. I was surprised when a person I was counseling, asked me why standing while eating was not good. Sorry, standing at the sink gauging yourself indicates a step in the wrong direction of self control and planned meals.

Reinforcing this behavior also “trains” you to expect to eat while doing these other tasks and this makes avoiding certain foods or losing weight much more difficult. It is more important to eliminate the behavior entirely rather than just substitute veges or grain-free items in front of the TV, computer or at the sink. Like Pavlov’s dog was conditioned to salivate in readiness to eat when hearing the bell, habitually eating while performing another task will condition you to always want to eat while at that other task. There has to be a lifestyle change of this behavior.

What changes have you made over the past two weeks? Please leave a comment and let me know!

This post is linked to: Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday.Living Well Blog Hop, Fight back Friday, Friday Food, Sugar-free Sunday, Monday Mania, Real Food 101, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wedensday, Gluten-Free Wednesday,Healthy 2Day Wednesday

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Leave a Comment

  • Andrea October 20, 2011, 2:09 am

    I’ve been grain-free for over a year now but I started the Whole 30 Program on October 3 to see how my body responds without dairy…amazing the difference in just two weeks.

    • Jill October 20, 2011, 9:54 am

      Hi Andrea,
      Yes, conventional pasteurized dairy is the most allergenic food of all!

      • Andrea October 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

        Well, I was using mostly raw milk dairy products with an occasional organic greek yogurt or grass-fed butter… I am considering experimenting with the raw milk dairy again sometime in the future…maybe.

  • Susie October 20, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I like the look of a full plate at dinner. So I am more vegetables! Last night, for instance, I had put up a seasoned pastured chicken to ‘roast’ in the crockpot. My oven was freed to bake some butternut squash, and the stovetop was available to make cooked red cabbage with bacon and onions. So the plate was colorful with the orange squash, red cabbage, and the seasoned chicken. Yum!

    My health is so precarious that I don’t have too much trouble craving grains. My big downfall is nibbling mindlessly in the evening, so I’ve changed my habit to sipping calming herbal teas. That seems to do the trick. If I am really hungry, I will eat some sardines.

    • Jill October 20, 2011, 1:20 pm

      Hi Susie,
      What a great picture that would make! So great that you changed the nibbling habit to a relaxing cup of tea! Thanks for sharing.

  • JanaC2 October 20, 2011, 4:46 pm

    I had 12″ of my colon removed nearly 15 years ago and have struggled w/digestive issues all my life. After my last “attack” in September, I gave up gluten, but quickly realized that gluten-free flours and grains were equally (if not more) damaging to my intestinal tract. So, this week, I completely gave up grains. I feel considerably better, but still have some issues that I recognize are related to dairy, eggs and nuts. Because of my limited budget and the fact that I have two children with severe food allergies and distinct preferences, I have little time (or money) to prepare the foods that I need to satiate myself. It has been a struggle, but I look forward to reading through the past posts on this topic and the support gleaned from the challenge!

    • Jill October 20, 2011, 11:57 pm

      Hi JanaC2,
      Thanks for sharing. I so agree that gluten-free just does not cut it for many people. All the substitute “other” flours are just as bad. Some of the flours are made from beans and you can be sure they are not soaked. That is really difficult to digest! It’s actually worse than the gluten flours. I’m glad you are following grain-free and I wish you better health!

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