Grains are not a food group

While you may be able to cook with grains, and eat them doused in milk, you wouldn't head out to the fields and gnaw on a wheat stem. And if you understood how grains react in your body, you might think twice about swallowing even one bite.

But it's a plant you say? Would you eat Poison Oak? Tree Bark? So why on earth would you grind up a wheat stalk and eat it. 

You need flour? Grind a nut. Pick one. They are all delicious, different flavors and textures to create different foods. Pecans are good but soft, not really the stuff a good bread is made of. Almonds are fabulous, but a bit dry, so adjust accordingly. Hazelnuts are about perfect.

So what's for breakfast if you take away the cereal and toast? Hmmm. 

How about a French Toast Pancake or an Omelette with a little bacon on the side? Or a Blueberry muffin and some fresh berries. Starting to sound like breakfast?

Wait! Did I say Muffin? I did. Just bake it with nut flour. The first week or two you may go a bit crazy trying to figure out what to eat. You'll hesitate on the amount of fat. You'll try to eat nuts but worry about overdoing it. Same with the cheese. You'll buy lean ground beef thinking it's a start.

But here's the thing. Protein is great, just don't overdo it or it will convert to sugar. Fat will never turn to sugar. It will be eventually used by your body for fuel when it runs out of sugar. So stop giving your body sugar fuel. Give it fat fuel. The "experts" answer to the low fat diet failure the past few years has been change your eating habits. Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day so you won't get hungry. I believed it. I did it faithfully. Never lost an ounce of weight, my cholesterol didn't budge. Then I wondered why I had to eat so frequently. That's not a solution, it's a bandaid that doesn't stick.

Eating fat takes away hunger. It's simple. Fat in your breakfast, along with protein, will keep you away from the kitchen until the middle of the day, at least. I've gone 6 hours without even thinking of food. All that required snacking? Bullshit. So what am I using for fuel all day? That fat and protein I ate for breakfast. Lasts a long long time. 

Great article on a new study (ahem) about sugar vs fat. Read all about it in the New York Times. Shockingly, it turns out obesity may be caused by too much sugar, and too many carbs, in our diet. Not fat. 

The rise of obesity and related diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, directly correlates to the original food pyramid, with all those grains listed in there as a food group. Science has been giving us data for years that clearly indicate grains have no place in that pyramid. So why isn't common knowledge? When you hear the phrase "healthy meal" do you conjure up images of a juicy steak or veggies smothered in cheese? Bet ya don't. Bet you imagine a nice leafy salad with a low fat dressing, some lean broiled fish and maybe a  steamed veggie on the side. Either way, you didn't picture pasta did you? So you know it's bad, right? But what about that bowl of oatmeal? Slice of Whole Grain Bread?

Grains are a kazillion dollar industry. Politically it would not be wise to take it on. So we get fatter and fatter. Then the health crisis begins and we don't have preventive medicine. Who wants to take on the health care industry? Again, politics. Obama did it and look how popular he is. In the end, it will be his legacy, like Roosevelt, to put people first and popularity second. Just has to endure the current backlash.

Back to food. I've been asked how I could possibly give up bread and pasta. I reply, they aren't foods. Pasta is just soft cardboard. It's what you put on it that makes it edible. Bread? I make bread. Nut breads. Zucchini Bread. I'm working on some others. But sandwiches? I just eat the stuff that goes in between the bread. That's the good stuff. And most importantly, I don't swear I'll never eat grains again. I'm sure I will have that slice of pizze every so often. Only it'll be really really good pizza. Pasta? Again, only if it's an integral part of something really delicious, like my own baked ziti. Once or twice a year.

So try something this holiday season. Eat the really good stuff. And walk past the ho hum. You might find the really good stuff isn't so bad for you after all.


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