Guys, here’s the thing.
Like, the real thing.
The thing is: I just don’t believe I MUST have grains to have a balanced diet. I am open to being told I’m wrong, but I have done not a small amount of sleuthing on the subject and here’s what I’ve learned:
1. All the “YES EAT GRAINS” people indicate that grain is a necessary thing, because of its fiber content. On the flip side of the equation, many others wrote that I can get all the fiber I need day to day from my fruit and vegetable intake, which is significant. I don’t mess around with my veggies.
2. Yes, some grains are very filling and pack much more protein than, say, white rice. Meanwhile, they still don’t pack as much protein as, say, my protein shake in the morning or my greek yogurt at lunch.
3. YES, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, I AM AWARE THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROCESSED CARBS AND WHOLE GRAINS. YES I KNOW. YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL ME. YOU DO NOT NEED TO MANSPLAIN. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONDESCEND. I GET IT. That being said, I know there’s some grains that are far better than others — but they’re still quite a bit of points for not all that much punch, compared to my other alternatives. So why would I eat them? Isn’t that counter-intuitive if my fiber content is already high?
This is a serious quandry for me. I don’t believe in diets that are so restrictive that entire food groups are missing. I also don’t believe in weight loss that isn’t sustainable. I also want to make sure my body has every single thing it needs to be healthy, happy and strong. So I’m not trying to be ignorant, here, or obstinate.
But my thinking is this: If a cup of bulgur, cooked with some alfalfa sprouts and spinach, is 4 to 6 PP and leaves me feeling semi-hungry, was it worth all that hassle? Especially when a greek yogurt gives me more protein, and once I add flax seed, some Omega-3’s to boot?
Further — I’ve really taken a shine to that crock pot oatmeal I posted about. However, that gives me WAY less protein and nutrients than my breakfast shake, which contains protein powder, spinach, kale stems, flax, banana, and almond milk. So sure, I got some godforsaken grains in. But I didn’t get all that other stuff. And isn’t that other stuff more important than grains?
ANOTHER key point — I’m aware that not all grains are wheat-based; I know it’s possible to eat “gluten free” without eating “grain free,” and I am not confusing the points. Certain types of whole grain do not have gluten. And I cannot stress enough that NONE of my dietary concerns are about what gluten-free or grain-free means — but I want to add, also, that people survive JUST FINE without grains on many grain-free diets. If I’m very conscious about my veggies, fiber and nutrients otherwise, why must I have grains?
I’m saying this as someone who LIKES grains — who enjoys quinoa, who made bulgur for the first time today (that’s a post for another day though), who misses her breads and pastas. I have nothing taste-wise against them; quite the contrary.
But as someone on WW who gets a specific amount of cash to throw around, so to speak, is it really worth it to cash in entirely on stuff like oatmeal and forego my spinach smoothie?
NOTE: I can’t fit everything into a day and still lose weight. I can’t have the smoothie AND the oatmeal AND the yogurt, etc. I can’t. I am ALWAYS looking for smart ways to use my points so I’m not lying and flailing like Kim Kardashian when confronted by her failing career. I’m not making an excuse. I can’t have 6 points of oatmeal, 5 points of smoothie, and four points of yogurt and still have enough flexibility left to have dinner. Cannot. So don’t come at me all D0 b0tH GrrRRrLllL itZ fiNeeeee! Because I can’t — and it isn’t — or maybe it is.
I’m trying hard to figure out the best way to eat and the best way to keep losing weight. I’m working out regularly – 4 to 5 times a week. I’m eating right. And this past week, I only lost 0.5 lbs — which isn’t acceptable, to me. I had eaten more grains last week, and now I’m concerned they’ve had something to do with it.
Do I really need grains to be well? Or can I carry on with my whey protein shake, my yogurt, my bread-free soups/dinners and my healthy oil intake and still be just fine?