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This is the first of my new series (which I hope to add to on a weekly basis).  The background of this “series” is based on questions that I have heard a great deal in the past year.  For example, why do you get your burger without the bun?  Why did you quit running, you used to do it all the time?  I could go on and on, but that is what the series is for! 🙂  If anyone has any other questions for me regarding my lifestyle, I would love to hear them!  And I would love to answer why I chose to live this way. 🙂  Not saying all these ideas are the best for everyone else, I just find them to be the best for me.

I decided to start this series by the question that I absolutely receive the most often.  Why don’t you eat bread?  Most of the time that comes along with a comment something like this, “are you crazy??  That’s the best part!!”  I must say that I 1,000% disagree, and here are the highlights on why:  (1) Bread, buns, tortillas, pizza crust, etc. are some of the most processed foods around today – and why would I want to eat unnaturally processed foods?  (2) After being 80% bread/wheat/grain free for over a year now, I feel absolutely HORRIBLE after eating the junk!  Seriously, I’m talking tummy aches, bloating, heart racing, it’s awful!  (3) Without even trying, seriously, I’ve lost 10-15 pounds and kept it off – relatively effortlessly!  (4) Grains weren’t meant to be eaten by humans (I’m going to defer to research on this one – but the more I read, the more it makes sense).  (5) It’s the biggest portion of the government’s food pyramid (at least the old one), and to be honest, I have little to no faith in our government (sorry…).  The reason being is that they are easily swayed by the cash money…and how does the food industry make money??  One hint, NOT on organic, natural products…that’s right, it’s on all the unnaturally processed crap that we buy … most of it containing some form of “whole wheat” item (because that’s the latest fad, of course).  I guess that goes way past the “bread” topic…but oh well. 🙂

Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.  What is bread/wheat/grain REALLY?  In my opinion, and feel free to disagree with me, I believe it’s a vehicle to get the delicious items we eat and love to our mouths.  For example, what is the best part of a sandwich, be honest with yourself!  I think it’s all that’s in between…like the meat, veggies, and condiments (have to be careful with those though…).  What’s the best part of pizza?  Some definitely may say the crust, but what has the most taste (to me) are the toppings and delicious sauce!  Oh!  My favorite one…which is better??  The dip or the cracker that delivers the savory dip to your mouth?  And let’s be honest (one more time), does pasta REALLY have any flavor, or is it the delicious sauce or whatever you mix in that you really crave?

All that being said, I have found it quite easy to get rid of these unnecessary mechanisms to get delicious food to my belly.  And here are a few examples:  (1) craving a sandwich?  Try lettuce wraps, they are JUST as easy to make, and you can pack them full of fantastic meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments!  (2) Have a hankering for some pizza?  Lord knows I ALWAYS do!  Try the Hybrid Crust recipe from http://stuffimakemyhusband.blogspot.com/2011/02/hybrid-pizza.html.  It combines cheese and cauliflower to make an amazing crust that honestly has MORE flavor than a dough crust.  (3) Oh dips…I can’t get enough of them.  And I can NEVER pass them up at a work pitch in, especially because they are all homemade!  So, I bring my own baggie of sliced cucumbers or “carrot chips” (just sliced carrots) along so that I can enjoy all of those dips, guilt free!  Sure people may make comments, but it’s worth it to me when I don’t feel guilty or sick afterwards.  Another idea Adam and I like is to make “cheese chips” by baking thinly sliced cheese in the oven on parchment paper.  They are crispy so you have the “crunch” you’re looking for, and can handle picking up chunky salsa or guacamole!  (4) The best pasta alternative we have found would absolutely be spaghetti squash (no brainer, huh?).  When you bake it in the oven with garlic, butter, salt, and pepper (and of course top it with homemade marinara or pesto sauce) there is NOTHING better!  Plus, it completely satisfies the pasta craving!  And who could skip breadsticks with pasta or pizza??  NOT ME!  Try this recipe out – it’s AMAZING!  http://www.lifeasaplate.com/2011/01/10/gluten-free-grain-free-italian-breadsticks/

The point of all of this “ranting” is that there really isn’t any excuse to eat bread, pasta, crackers, etc.  There are an incredible amount of tasty alternatives that you can try.  Sure, you may not like the first alternative, but it’s been really fun trying out all of these new recipes, and I’m sure you’ll find SOMETHING you like.  I am going to challenge everyone to try ONE alternative to bread this week.  I promise, it won’t kill you…you may even feel better for doing it!