Wheat Elimination TipsSubmitted by Ed Ucation on Wed, 01/01/2014 - 17:35
Since many people on here are talking about eliminating wheat from their diet, I thought I would humbly offer what I have learned in my attempts. BTW, I should stress here that I do not try to follow a low carb diet, since I run. Low carb diets are not a good choice for me. If you are doing low carb, I think going wheat free becomes much easier, since you just eliminate starchy foods.
First, you need to decide if you are going wheat-free or gluten-free. By wheat-free, I mean that you don't mind small amounts of gluten in your diet, so that you can continue to eat items such as soy sauce and various sauces they you will find in restaurant dishes. Gluten free is much harder, as you find if you ever ask for the gluten-free menu in a restaurant. I am going to focus on just trying to follow a wheat-free diet.
And this bring us to the main challenge: eating out. If you eat out a great deal, this is going to be much harder. No bread, no pasta, no noodles, no breaded items, and very limited dessert options. Besides salads, which will not provide enough carbs for an active lifestyle, you fast food options are slim. My emergency stand-by has been the Chipotle burrito bowl. But you can only eat that so often before getting sick of it. Another option includes tacos or burrito wraps with corn tortillas. But these are harder to find, as many wraps use wheat tortillas. Sit down restaurants generally will have more choices, but your wheat-free starches will be limited to potatoes and rice.
I think that if you are going to get more serious about this, you are going to have to cook more. That's what I would like to focus on here. The main challenges for me are to replace bread, pasta, and sweets. I like to think in categories, so here goes.
1) First, if you must have bread, try the Bob's Red Mill Wonder Bread Mix (http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-homemade-wonderful-br...). This is the only gluten free bread mix that I found that does not taste like shit. Most health food stores will have it.
2) Use corn tortillas to convert sandwiches to wraps.
3) Use wheat-free chips and convert the "sandwich insides" into a dip. This works with tuna salad, salmon salad, guacamole, chilli, etc. You can also chop up ham-and-cheese insides, for example, into a dip. The options are endless. Many wheat-free chips are available, including corn tortilla chips, bean chips, wheat-free multigrain chips, etc. You have many options here.
Here, the idea is to use some kind of sauce over a bowl of grains or another starchy staple. I like to use the following:
1) a bowl of quinoa
2) colcannon - This has become a staple for me. You can live off this stuff indefinitely, if you had to. Colcannon is mashed potatoes with chopped up steamed kale. I like to use Yukon Gold, German Butterball, or other yellow potatoes. I mash and mix with some butter and milk, add the kale, and season with salt and pepper. You can generalize this to the following equation:
colcannon = mashed root veggies + butter/milk + steamed greens
For example, the last mix I had included potatoes mashed with cauliflower, along with chopped swiss chard. Another time I mashed potatoes with broccoli stems and added chopped kale. The possibilities are endless. If you want a sweet version, mash up squash with sweet potatoes.
3) Polenta - if you get the quick kind, this can be ready in minutes. Just top with your favorite sauce. Use polenta from heritage corn, if you can.
4) Kasha - this is mashed buckwheat and has a strong taste. Not for everyone.
As for the sauce, this can be anything you would pour over pasta. Here are some ideas: tomato-based sauces, cream-based sauces, stir-fried veggies, eggs scrambled with bacon and veggies, chilli, etc.
If you love pastries and cookies and such, this one is the hardest. Here are some ideas.
1) Wheat-free waffles. Check out this guy for many ideas: http://www.waffleizer.com/
2) Wheat-free pancakes. Many options here as well. The old paleo pancakes standby (coconut milk, eggs, almond flour) can be modified in many ways, and be topped off with chopped fruit or a blended fruit sause.
3) Flourless brownies - just make brownies without the flour or replace with nut flour. Warning - very calorie dense.
4) This is my favorite protein bar:
I might add to this later as I think of more stuff. This was just off the top of my head. Feel free to add ideas in the comments.