Heather U., AKA Red Feather or OG has logged 86 workouts on BTWB in the past 5 months. She is our most committed athlete! Nice job Heather!
For the past few Foodie Friday posts I have been focused on what you can eat. For the next few Foodie Friday posts I'll address the foods I want you to eliminate.
As you recall, our nutrition plan is to eat meat, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. This is our basic Paleo eating plan and the major food groups we are eliminating are grains, dairy, dried legumes and of course sugar.
Now, before you get all uppity and argue that whole grains are good for you and are an important source of fiber. I challenge you to show me a side by side comparison of brown rice versus cauliflower rice. Oh wait! I'll do it for you.
Most people eat grains because of convenience, not for the "amazing" nutritional properties of grains. Grains have supplanted vegetables for many folks. When you replace that space on your plate with rice instead of actual plant vegetables, you're leaving a lot of good nutrients off the table. Let's take a look.
The recommended serving size of cooked rice (white or brown) is 1/3 cup, that looks like this. It's about the size of a cupcake wrapper. Not very much, huh? How easy is it to pile more on your plate?
The recommended serving size for cauliflower rice is 1 cup, that looks like this. A one cup serving is about the size of a baseball. As a hungry CrossFitter I'm happier already. I get to EAT MORE!
Here's the nutrient breakdown
As you can see, one serving of cauliflower rice is half the calories, more than double the fiber, and not nearly the carbohydrate load as brown or white rice. So why would you ever eat rice? Like I said, it's a convenience food. Not to mention cauliflower is loaded with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, thiamine, and the list goes on. Rice does not have any thing close to the nutrient load of cauliflower.
Want another good reason to eat cauliflower rice instead of brown or white rice? When you're still hungry you can eat more! It takes a boatload of cauliflower rice to equal the caloric load of 1 cup of cooked white rice.
The final reason we want to eliminate grains and replace them with vegetable is the impact of grains on our insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that controls carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Insulin has two important roles, it removes excess glucose from the blood, which otherwise would be toxic; and when blood glucose levels fall below a certain level, insulin triggers the body to use stored sugar (glycogen) as an energy source by turning it into glucose.
Insulin sensitivity is the optimal condition where our bodies require very little insulin to stimulate release of glucose into our blood stream. Not only do we require little insulin to release glucose, but the glucose comes from our cells, not our liver. This is an incredibly important metabolic shift. We want to achieve this so that we don't become insulin resistant.
Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder where the body is no longer sensitive to insulin's signals. A common symptom of insulin resistance is abdominal fat. Insulin is the hormone that regulates fat accumulation at the waist.
The glycemic index is a way of measuring how fast a particular food is digested and the effect that it has on your blood sugar levels, and consequently on your insulin production. Let's compare our three rice types based on their glycemic index.
It should be no surprise that cauliflower rice is the clear winner. Some estimates of the glycemic index for cauliflower are between 0-15. It's affect on your insulin production is negligible. You can eat as much cauliflower rice as you like.
Please enjoy this week's Foodie Friday recipe for roasted cauliflower rice with garlic and lemon from Skinny Taste. Click on the image for the recipe.
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