Paleo approved grains?! Seriously the whole business of eating healthy and leading a mostly paleo lifestyle can get a little (or a lot) #confusing.
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Advice, opinions and information flying at us from all directions… right? Then there’s the whole fact that we’re all different. This means there will NEVER EVER be a one size fits all with best diet approach.
Then (yes there’s another then) we need to remember that we’re always changing… so how we eat for health NOW is going to be different in 1, 5, 10 years time.
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The moral to our little story is… let’s all give up and eat all the sugar, croissants, lollies, mars bars and soft drink (ahh sorry, we kid… that’s just Emma’s bad sarcasm).
We’ve already talked confusion with natural sweetener and why we’ve decided to decrease natural sweeteners like honey, stevia, maple and rice malt syrup in our lives (you can checkout that blog post here). But what about the paleo approved grains?
Say whaaaat?! Grains… they’re not paleo! Oh don’t you worry, we know!
This is a fun game we’re we take a good hard look at the confusion that surrounds paleo and grains… and we laugh.
We 100% won’t give you any science to back it up BUT we will give you some awesome links to do your own research.
Let’s start with our favourite ‘paleo approved grain’… quinoa! But wait, quinoa is a seed so there’s no question, it’s totally fine to eat when following a paleo lifestyle!
Actually, quinoa is also referred to as a pseudograin (what the hell?!) so it’s 100% gluten free but (there’s always a freakin’ but!) it’s got lectins and phytic acid and it’s fairly high in carbs. So to eat psuedograins (that’s a fun word) you need to soak and sprout them.
Ahhh… really? But (don’t worry, it’s a good ‘but’) it’s worth it because quinoa is so yum and it’s a complete protein with all the essential amino acids.
Boomshakalaka quinoa is merrymaker approved (once a week anyway, especially in this pumpkin and quinoa salad!).
This salad is SO good that we featured it in our book: Make It Merry! Filled with over 70 nutritious, quick and easy recipes to make you FEEL and LOOK your best! Available in eBook AND hardcopy! Check it out HERE!
Time to have a looksey at the other pseudograins. Yes there are more!
Everyone meet amaranth. It’s like quinoa but not as tasty (well we reckon). It’s been used for 1000s of years in South and Central America, the Aztecs used to do funky ceremonial stuff with it… then someone went and banned it.
The point is Mark Sisson says… Being a seed that acts like a grain, amaranth is fairly carb-dense – about 65 grams per 100 grams serving of dry grain. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium, protein, and calcium.
Oh and to eat it we have to soak and sprout. So we’ll probably not be eating amaranth, mainly because we like quinoa more.
Our last pseudograin is buckwheat. Can we just say why did they have to go and put ‘wheat’ in the name?!
Of course we thought it was packed with gluten with a name like that!
Anywho, it’s yum and makes great pancakes, baked goods and the BEST salted caramel porridge and THE BEST sprouted bread.
However, it’s high in carbs and still has the lectin, phytic acid thing going on. So again, we have to soak and sprout and activate! We just bought ours from Loving Earth (oh we love convenience!).
It looks like a grainy cereal, it sounds like some kind of wheat – but surprisingly enough, buckwheat is none of those. It is actually the seed of a fruit. In fact, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all, it comes from the sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb family. Loving Earth
Since we’re on the subject of soaking, sprouting aka activating. We want to quickly mention that we also need to activate all nuts except macadamia nuts (because they’re low in the bad stuff)… read all about HOW and WHY to activate here.
And yes, to be honest, activating grains, seeds and nuts is a complete pain in the butt! It’s also one of the reasons why we now mostly eat macadamia nuts and don’t eat a lot of pseudograins.
We need to activate them because the lectins and phytic acids impact our gut health and leads to leaky gut (we want healthy guts with no leaks… please and thank you!).
Final verdict for us is that we’re actually ok with these pseudograins, just not every day.
We definitely enjoy a couple slices of our delicious sprouted quinoa, buckwheat and linseed bread every week or 2… and feel good (it especially seems to help our digestion out!). Oh and don’t even get us started on that salted caramel porridge!
What do you think? Do you enjoy pseudograin? Do you eat quinoa? Do you activate? Let’s get the convo rolling… leave us a comment yeah!
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Emma + Carla
Featured image found via photopin