The Grain-free List

Recently, I started a grain-free lifestyle. I honestly wasn't certain if this was do-able. Taking bread out of my diet didn't even seem possible two months ago, but I decided to take it on as a challenge. 

The Result: I've experienced amazing side effects (aka: an indigestion issue that went away + more energy + more vibrant/younger-looking skin + weight loss). 

I've recently received emails and texts asking about my specific choices. I'm including them below with the understanding that I'm not a nutritionist. These are my choices based on journalistic research, and trial and error.  Your food choices might be completely different. You have to tune in to your own body, and see how your system reacts.

My Grain-free Guidelines:

  • If it can sit on a shelf and not rot or wilt, don't you dare put that in your mouth. 
  • Opt for organic, ALWAYS!
  • No soy. 
  • No wheat, oats, rice, corn, barley, buckwheat


  • Eggs (Two a day)
  • Wild fish (like Salmon)
  • Shellfish
  • Grass-fed/hormone-free meats (opt for white meats)
  • Legumes/beans (Opt for organic and low-sodium. I only eat beans once to twice a week.)
  • Quick & Sassy Fix: Applegate sausage (organic). Pop it in the toaster for a quick protein on salads.

Healthy fats: (Fats keep your face plump and your hair & skin soft)

  • Extra virgin olive oil (for salads)
  • Coconut oil
  • Grape seed oil (ideal for sautéing)
  • Organic or pasture-fed butter
  • Almond milk
  • Avocado (half per day)
  • Coconut milk or flakes
  • Olives
  • Organic nuts and nut butters (About 12 to 15 whole nuts per day)
  • Seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds)

Veggies/Fruits: (Here you go hog wild! In fact, try to add as much color as you can to your meals. Just always choose organic...)

  • Kale, arugula, or any green lettuce you'd like
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower (will save you-- get Trader's Joes's cauliflower rice)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Artichoke
  • Green beans
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Peppers
  • Peaches (up to one per day)
  • Berries (up to two handfuls per day - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Bananas (great for a number of recipes and after workouts)
  • Apples
  • Mango 
  • Watermelon 
  • Sweet potato or baking potato (only once to twice a week)
  • Citrus (Grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons)

Condiments and such:

  • Feta cheese/goat cheese (Use sparingly. Dairy is clearly grain-free, but highly caloric. Again, this was my preference, so decide if you want to go partially or fully dairy-free.)
  • Mustard
  • Braggs Amino Acid (instead of soy sauce)
  • Tapenade
  • Salsa
  • Lemon and Lime Juice (A great substitute for salad dressing)


Coffee - Yes, I still drink it. I usually go for a decaf with almond milk.

Tea - Try herbal tea during that 3PM hour when you think you need a cup of coffee.

Alcohol - I drank wine when I first started this, and I still saw results. I'm now going wine-free. I'm opting for organic tequila with soda water and juice from a whole lime. It's refreshing!

Water - Yes! Add fruits, citrus or mint leaves for flavor. Drink as much water as you can per day. Usually we think we are hungry, and we are just thirsty.

Sweeteners - I use stevia in place of sugar. I also use organic/local honey on the rare occasion. 

Desserts - I still have dark chocolate on most days. I just buy organic semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and eat about 15 of them. 

Some thoughts:

It's important to understand how many calories you need to consume per day to either maintain, lose, or gain weight. I use the Lose It! app. I use at times to track my consumption (about 1,400 calories per day to lose one 1lb per week for my weight/height), but once you have developed regular meal plans that work for you, you won't have to track. Also, most experts will advise not to go below 1,200 calories per day. Aim to lose 1 to 2 lbs a week (this is healthy weight loss).

Take baby steps. People have a tendency to take on too much at once, and then they feel overwhelmed and give up. Start by taking a few things out of your diet and add on. Make it do-able. And DECIDE to do it. Seriously, make it a challenge for 10 days or 30 days, and hold yourself accountable. Take action!!!

And when you need more motivation, watch this video. I kind of love this sh*t. 


Ms. Cole