However, even though gluten-free options for breads, noodles, and other grain favorites line the shelves, they’re often still heavily processed.
They’re also usually packed with non-gluten grains that contain hefty amounts of simple carbs (aka sugars) and empty calories.
The Benefits of Whole Food Alternatives
Making food swaps in favor of whole food-based alternatives has several benefits. Check them out below.
Unlike the processed “gluten-free” options in stores, vegetables offer tons of nutrition for very few carbs and calories. This opens up more room in our diets for nutrient-dense foods while also upping our micronutrient intake.
Low Glycemic Index
Unfortunately, most grains and gluten-free packaged products still contain large amounts of carbohydrates. While moderate carb intake is fine on a Paleo diet, you really want to get your carbs from whole food, nutrient-dense sources such as beets and squashes, which have a low glycemic index, rather than from empty simple sugars. This will help keep your blood sugar stable while also possibly improving mood and lowering inflammation (1, 2).
Vegetables add tons of volume to dishes for very few calories. For example, one cup of broccoli contains only 31 calories and six grams of carbs, while just one slice of gluten-free bread contains roughly 60-70 calories and 15 grams of carbs a slice (3, 4). This is why you may also experience weight loss when making a food swap in favor of veggie alternatives.
10 Gluten-Free Food Swaps
Now, on to the good stuff. Below are some ingenious ways to create wraps, buns, noodles, and more, all using whole, grain-free foods:
1. Swiss Chard Tortillas
While gluten-free, most tortillas on the market still contain a hefty dose of carbohydrates and processed grains. Various lettuces sometimes make decent alternatives, but it can be hard to find one that holds together well enough to qualify as a tortilla or wrap.
Enter Swiss chard. Its leaves are sturdy enough to hold and wrap various meats and veggies (plus the genius “rice” alternative found below) and can be dipped into homemade sauces without crumbling. Plus, they contain only seven grams of carbs per cup and are high in vitamin K, A, C, as well as an array of essential minerals (5).
2. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a life-saver for Paleo folks looking to add “bulk” to a meal without adding carbohydrate-dense grains. It can be made into a fried rice dish by sautéing with meats and veggies, or even used in Paleo sushi rolls in place of high-carb sticky rice.
3. Zucchini Lasagna
Many of us crave comfort food without the uncomfortable effects of eating grains. Slicing zucchini into sheets that mimic pasta layers saves you the discomfort that can result from grain-based versions.
4. Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes
Cauliflower steps in once again to remind us that indulging in comfort food can be perfectly Paleo. Here, instead of mashing high-carb, high-calorie potatoes with butter at Thanksgiving (or any day of the week, really), we can boil or steam cauliflower and mash it up with a dash of olive oil or coconut spread.
5. Portobello Mushroom Buns
Many struggle trying to enjoy hamburgers without the bun. Lettuce is okay, but tends to lack the thickness associated with grain-based buns. Even the gluten-free varieties contain high amounts of grain-based carbs (roughly 15 a slice) and calories (12).
Portobello mushroom caps alleviate bun deprivation by providing a sturdy place to rest your burgers. They’re also a great source of B vitamins and a range of minerals as well as being low in carbs and calories (13).
6. Zucchini Pasta
A single zucchini and a spiralizer can bring pasta back into your diet in as little as 10 minutes. These “noodles” hold together well, and can be eaten raw in a light “pasta” salad or sautéed and covered in marinara for a comforting bowl of Paleo spaghetti.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to make thicker noodles, beets are another pasta alternative. While beets are slightly starchy, they’re also packed with phytonutrients, folate, manganese, potassium, and copper (16).
Simply run slices through a spiralizer and sauté with veggies and ground beef, or use them in a noodle soup.
7. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
While spaghetti squash has earned its reputation as a low-carb spaghetti alternative, it also works wonders as a hash brown substitute. You can easily fill the hash brown vacancy alongside your eggs and bacon by forming baked squash “patties” and cooking them in coconut oil over medium heat until brown on both sides. Add a little salt and you’ll quickly forget about the heavily processed version.
8. Almond Meal Breadcrumbs
It’s taken a while to find a breadcrumb alternative for the simple fact that, well, bread is bread and it’s not Paleo. Now, however, the days of breadcrumb-free casseroles are over: almond meal makes a hearty and, when toasted, crunchy breadcrumb alternative without the gluten or grains. It also gives you a nice dose of healthy fats, vitamin E, plant protein, and only 10 grams of carbs per half cup (19).
9. Baked Zucchini Fries
Fries are the quintessential burger side. And, as Paleo foodies agree, we eat a lot of grass-fed burgers. Swapping out potato fries—which are often fried in highly inflammatory vegetable oils —with baked zucchini fries as a side will save you calories, carbs, and inflammation (20, 21).
Simply preheat your oven to 425ºF, slice zucchini and remove the seeds, toss with a dash of olive or coconut oil and almond meal breadcrumbs, and bake until golden for 15 minutes.
10. Apple Chips and Nachos
Dehydrating apple slices to make chips will spare you calories and inflammatory vegetable oils, while also curbing even the strongest crunch craving.
The versatility of apples doesn’t stop there, however. Try making apple “nachos” using horizontally sliced apple slices topped with almond butter, dark chocolate chips, and coconut shreds for a sweet movie snack.
Swapping grain-based breads, wraps, and pastas for vegetable alternatives can save you dollars, excess carbs, calories, and inflammation, while also upping your nutrient intake. Not to mention, they’ll surely have you fantasizing about tortillas and pasta without guilt.
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
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Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
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Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.