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Summer Challenge: Nutrition Week 2

Posted Jun 22 2013 8:35am

Eliminate grains from breakfast AND lunch.

Now that you have a week of adjusting to breakfast without grains, it’s time to eliminate grains from lunch also. Have you ever had grilled chicken on a salad, soup & salad combo, or a few slices of deli meat rolled up with a piece of fruit? Good, you’ve had a “paleo” lunch before!

If you are reading this and are confused as to why grains are being gradually eliminated from your diet, then I encourage you to read my previous post where I talk about gut health and how grains and legumes damage our lining.  You can also read more about why grains are unhealthy here at Mark’s Daily Apple. The gist of Mark’s post is that almost all living things have a natural defense against predation; they don’t want to be eaten because that really puts a damper on survival of the species and procreation. Skunks spray to protect themselves and porcupines have needle-like quills to cause injury to prey.  So when we think about what the survival mechanism is for grains it boils down to one concept: anti-nutrients such as gluten, phytates, and lectins. Yup, you read that correctly, anti-nutrients as in substances that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. So basically it can be summarized into these 2 concepts:

  • Grains are nutritionally inferior to vegetables and fruits.
  • Grains have anti-nutrients that get in the way of nutrient absorption.

I’ll share with you exactly how I explain this concept to my 7th grade students. If in one hand I have a bowl of the healthiest pasta you can think of. Let’s say I went to Whole Paycheck and picked up some of their “organic multi-grain & spinach ziti imported from Italy.” In my other hand I have a bowl of spring mix lettuce with spinach and kale topped with all your favorite vegetables. Which bowl would you say offers the most nutrition? I don’t know about you, but in the 200+ 7th graders I taught this past year, not one of them could argue with me that the salad would be the more nutritious choice.

So as you plan your week of grain-free breakfast & now grain-free lunches, here are some of my go-to recipes. Don’t forget that the beauty of opening up your palate to non-traditional meals for breakfast (meal 1) means that you can apply this same concept to lunch (meal 2). I am a BIG fan of leftovers :-)

My favorite taco salad.

My favorite taco salad.

Beef and bacon sweet potato soup -easy to make and it freezes well.

Taco salad-get creative here! If you would put in a shell or in a wrap, throw it on top of salad greens.

Paleo chicken tenders or coconut crusted chicken nuggets -make a big batch and free the leftovers for a quick & tasty protein. Bonus: the kids will LOVE them!

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Nut-Free Coconut Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Nut-Free Coconut Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Meat lovers chili - basically throw ingredients into a slow cooker and that’s it.

Deli roll-ups-take your favorite deli meat and fill it with avocado, shredded carrots, olives, whatever you like.  Nom Nom Paleo did an entire post on creative ideas for school lunches , but the ideas can be used for grown-up lunches as well.

deli roll nomnompaleo

deli roll-ups: photo courtesy of

I am also a huge fan of Pinterest. Search “paleo lunches” and a lot of great ideas pop up. Get creative and have fun with it. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck to you in week 2!


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