Going vegan is hard enough, but going grain free? Here’s a nifty guide on how to survive grain free vegan.
Grain Free Vegan – Who Does That?!
Being vegan AND grain-free?! How in the world is that possible? It means giving up on meats, dairy and all grains including rice and wheat, the most highly consumed staple carbohydrates in the world.
Giving up meats and dairy? All vegans do that. Not only are they cruel to animals, but they are also highly inflammatory, cancer-causing foods.
But what about grains? The paleo diet is the one that’s notoriously famous for foregoing all types of grains. They claim that all grains are bad, especially modern wheat. Grains have phytates, gluten and lectin; which hinder nutrient absorption, cause inflammation and aggravate autoimmune conditions.
Why would you want to do this? Those suffering from autoimmune conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s, psoriasis and more can try the grain free vegan diet. Those on an elimination diet can go vegan, grain-free. Other disease healing diets like the candida diet are pretty much grain free vegan diets too.
Note: The grain free vegan diet is not a permanent diet. Do it as a weekly cleanse once or twice a week, or do it as a 3 week diet, as always after consulting with your doctor.
How to Survive Grain Free Vegan
Okay, let’s get straight into it. This is how I personally survive restrictive diets like the vegan grain free. In this post I’ll only be sharing tips on how to survive this diet for 1 – 3 weeks without caving in. If you want the recipes I use, please comment below and I’ll do a separate post with meal pictures for you.
1. Keep Your Goal in Mind Always
Why are you going vegan grain-free? Is it to heal autoimmune? Is it to detox and get healthier? Write down your goal in big bold letters and remind yourself constantly. This is the most important step that will help you stay on track.
2. Meal Planning
Meal planning is so important. I always make sure I plan for the next 3 days. That’s because I go grocery shopping every 3 days. If you grocery shop only once every week, then you should have a 1 week meal plan. Decide on your main meals, snacks and drinks and shop accordingly. If you don’t meal plan, you probably won’t be able to stick to the diet, or you’ll starve and feel miserable, or you’ll obviously get too hungry and eat grains.
3. Address Cravings
I’m sure that 99% of people reading this, have cravings. Most people crave for unhealthy stuff. That’s just how things are in today’s world.
Everyone is different. So write down a list of all the stuff that you crave. For me personally, I crave soda at around noon, coffee or tea at around 4 – 5pm, and bread and chocolate pretty much all round the clock. For each of your cravings, write down a healthy food that you’ll turn to instead. By the way, cravings actually signal an underlying nutrient requirement. Craving chocolate means you need magnesium, craving coffee means you need iron and craving meat means you need iron. Google for more, if you need to.
So for me, I decided every time I crave soft drinks, I’ll drink homemade lemonade instead. I’m also taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to address any possible calcium deficiency. This was prescribed by my doctor. By the way, I make both sweet and savory lemonade versions, if you want recipe, please ask.
Whenever I crave chocolate, I’ll instead eat dates. Some varieties of dates like medjool actually taste like chocolate if you stretch your imagination a little bit!
For snacks, I always have boiled or roasted savory garbanzo meals almost every day. It really sorts out my bread cravings for some reason!
4. Make Sure You Are Eating Nutritious Meals
The meals you eat have to be nutritious and filling! Grains aren’t allowed but lentils sure are! I love lentil soup and I have my foolproof recipe that I cook on a daily basis (bulk cook for 3 days and store in the fridge). I eat this with a large salad bowl and it keeps me satisfied for hours.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
I love hot water! Stay away from cold water because it diminishes the digestive fire and slows down your digestion. Stick to room temperature water or warm/hot water. I fill up my flask with hot water daily and sometimes I add herbs like lemon grass to my hot water for easy herbal tea!
I’ve also recently started adding sole water to my daily diet. If you suffer from any sort of autoimmune condition, I highly recommend trying out sole water. Sole water is nothing more than an infusion of Himalayan salt and water. It has really helped me overcome caffeine withdrawal headaches that I struggled with for so long. Here is my DIY Sole Water Recipe.
6. Start Small (Have Support)
First try and do it for one day. Then step up to 3 days per week. Finally work your way up to 1 week straight. Always do this with guidance from your holistic health care practitioner. I stress on this point because there will be so many times during your journey where you may feel weak and start doubting yourself. Having a holistic health care practitioner to give you that support is vital. Luckily nowadays no matter where you live in the world, you can always consult a certified holistic health care practitioner via Skype.
Do you have any tips on how to survive grain free vegan?