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Wheat Elimination Tips

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.

Bread Replacements

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.

Pasta Replacements

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.

Sweets Replacements

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.

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Paul 3V0L's picture

What about beer?

Does beer contain the wheat protein gliadin?

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Thanks for this post

I'm not at this point just yet but I can definitely see my diet adapting to this in relatively near future.

Btw, I don't love the idea of corn tortillas (or corn anything) as a wheat substitute considering that (from what I understand) basically all corn is GMO these days. Any other substitutes? Or do you go out of your way to find non-GMO corn?

the bread mix sure is

the bread mix sure is expensive, how many loafs does that make?

Wheat Addiction

I never even suspected I had a wheat addiction until I decided to give it up, and the cravings really kicked in for about 3-4 weeks, then ended abruptly.

I had already given up corn (blood-type diet for blood-type B). All my life I ate wheat several times a day.

When I stopped the wheat, I ate chocolate, rice, potatoes, wheat-free toaster waffles (Trader Joe's) with real maple syrup, and cheddar cheese on rice cakes, instead. One day, I was walking down the aisle at the store and realized I didn't want any of the substitutes anymore; the cravings were gone.

It proved to me that my substitutes were not addictive, the wheat had been. It wasn't until I had a bit of bread or cake and my post-nasal congestion came back that I realized my sinuses had also cleared up when the wheat was gone.

My advice is, go ahead and substitute chocolate or rice if you need to to quit the wheat; it's only temporary. (White potatoes are not advised for O's and A's.)

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks for the thread, Ed

I just wanted to say that. I was at the movie theater yesterday (Wolf of Wall St).

It wasn't the best of days in terms of diet. I went to the first matinee at noon. Got up late, so I had popcorn for breakfast, a chocolate bar, and a cup of coffee during the movie.

The movie was long: three hours. A little too long, but it was a good movie. Entertaining.

Afterwards, we went to a Chinese restaurant for an early dinner: Fried rice, fish soup and these delicious chicken wraps (iceberg lettuce was the wrap medium).

Overall, it was a terrible day of crappy eating. I hardly ever eat that crappy.


No wheat. And for that, I was happy. January 5th. Five days so far, and not so much as a temptation.

Thanks again for the thread, Ed.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness

Just one addition......most corn or corn-related products are GMO. I noticed that Costco has "organic" corn but don't buy it unless it states NON-GMO.

BUY ALL ORGANIC VEGETABLES, and especially it's critical on white potatoes and sweet potatoes.

onions, too

A good rule of thumb is, if it was in the ground, buy it organic.

As for non-GMO corn, as someone below pointed out, the Bob's Red Mill masa harina is non-GMO.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

Michael Nystrom's picture

Another rule of thumb

If it is big and leafy, buy organic. Spinach, kale, lettuce, brocolli - better to buy organic, imho.

yeaaa i agree

gmo corn is pretty horrid to eat. heres an elimination tip that just has 1 step. dont eat grain. BAM! makes it a lot easier to shop and cook. go paleo diet!


paleo doesn't work for active lifestyles

It doesn't provide enough carbs.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

mega BS

ultra mega supernova bs.


Wow, I am awed

by your awesome powers of persuasion. Teach me, o great one, how to change the world using this technique.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut


how about this review?

"Most disappointingly, this book is standard high-carb advice for runners. A majority of its content is indistinguishable from any other guide to endurance nutrition. So, basically, you are advised to eat x grams of low glycemic carbs x hours before a race, and x grams of higher glycemic carbs as you approach race time. In fact, there is little in this book with regard to true paleo diet metabolism or low carb/high fat fueling and how that diet effects running. Perhaps the argument there is that one cannot be an endurance athlete while truly paleo. Touche. But don't write a book called "The Paleo Diet for Athletes."

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

How about it?

The writer of it clearly does not understand the Paleo diet.

Seems that you, like the writer of that review, are stuck on the low carb aspect of Paleo for average people, and not grasping the elimination of certain foods across the board for everyone, average or athlete.

Regardless of whether it's for the average person or athlete, Paleo eliminates anti-nutrient foods such as grains and legumes, along with other problematic foods such as dairy and sugar. That athletes need to eat more of the allowable foods that contain carbohydrates means that Paleo works great for athletes.

Put another way, the carb intake with Paleo varies by individual. People who need to lose weight are advised to stay away from allowable higher carb foods. Those who are fine weight wise, or are athletes will consume varying amounts of allowable high carb foods like fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice, sweet potatoes, yams, plantains, kassava, wild rice, and possibly some of the other pseudo grains, depending on their activity levels.

There are many athletes that rock on Paleo. This gal is one of many I have seen.



This gal is an endurance athlete.





jovial makes an awesome

jovial makes an awesome tagliatelle with brown rice flour, eggs and water...delish. right from italy.

If you walk blindly through life, you will run into a lot of walls.

I would be watching the soy

I would be watching the soy protein isolate and other soy ingredients in those protein bars. Soy is not good. They also have canola oil. There are healthier options out there. peace.

If you walk blindly through life, you will run into a lot of walls.

I use the same Red Mill gluen free

except I like the Hearty Whole grain (love the seeds). For me going gluten free was very easy since I eat at home nearly all the time and I love this bread (not good for sandwiches though). I use Quinoa all the time, organic at Costco.

Here is a great 10 minute Chocolate Bar recipe
1/2 C coconut oil (melted)
1/2 C Agave or Honey
mix in
1C plus 2 TBL organic cocoa
put in refer to firm up.

To this I add different things; nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and last time I found some Hemp hearts to put in.

Going off sugar is very hard, but since I started using the above it is easier. Made an Apple pie for kids for Christmas and it was way too sweet for me.
Thanks for posting and look forward to more info.

when we tried to do 'paleo'--

we both lost too much weight, since we'd already dropped sugar.

Now we just use the gluten-free grains.

Cooking from 'scratch' is time-consuming, but it's the only way--

I recommend millet and brown rice as flours. Quinoa is very expensive, but it's good and nutritious.

There are rice pastas, and I find them really delicious.

But I recommend flours made from millet and brown rice, especially short grain, as replacements in everything but bread.

Bread? Ha--

not so easy; a local bakery makes an organic, gluten-free bread; it smells 'eggy', but it tastes great once it's toasted.

I've done better without wheat, much better. Feel better.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

the paleo diet

sounds like a meat and vegetable diet; similar to Atkins diet and candida diet. I have used that when I need to lose a few pounds because you eat very few carbs which is where you gain weight. Where in the paleo diet do you get carbs? I hike a lot and I have to make sure I have some carbs before going on a hike and I also take a carb snack with me. Without the carbs it is possible to deplete your energy before the hike is over and then you can be in trouble. I had that happen a couple of times before I figured it out. Anyway, the paleo diet sounds like a good diet for losing weight but you really need to be careful about eliminating all carbs.

Look into the books on Paleo

Look into the books on Paleo and Primal for athletes. It is widely known that athletes doing Paleo need more carbs than others.


Thanks - good list

Thanks - good list

allegory - ˈalɪg(ə)ri/ - noun - 1. a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.


I will. Just wondering where they are recommending athletes get their carbs?

There are "good" carbs

#1: Vegetables

#2: Fruit

#3: Sweet potato

#4: Wild Rice

"Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society."

— Henry St. John

I agree

but I think the paleo eliminates high carb vegies like carrots and potatoes. Fruit is a problem for me because of candida and also dried fruit amounts to eating pure sugar. Rice is good. Sweet potato is good. When I looked up the paleo diet for athletes it suggested dried fruit and nuts for a carbo snack. Dried fruit is concentrated sugar and nuts are full of fats and calories. So, to each his own. I think the paleo diet is good unless you are already thin enough.

Also things like tapioca and

Also things like tapioca and plantains.

reedr3v's picture

Anyone interested in the

science foundation of gluten-free (and most grain-free) eating, very good and thorough information is here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/
You can also find out about "safe" starches and carbs.

There are many more good information sites, but if you have a serious interest, you'll easily find links through the site above.

Pasta substitute - try Shirataki Noodles

Usually found in the grocery where they keep the tofu. Use them any way you'd use pasta. Brand names I've seen: Miracle Noodles, Pasta Zero, and Shirataki Tofu Noodles. It comes in the form of angel hair, spaghetti, fettucini and even rice. One year shelf life in the fridge.

No fat, zero net carbs, very low calorie, no sugar, no gluten, high in fiber.

It's made from the konjac yam.

Night before last I made it with garlic basil chicken meatballs and marinara. Deee-licious!

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

great tip!

Another one I just thought of is using spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut