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Substitutes for grains


Senior Member
For gluten-free? I use Pamela's brand. Very good mix, use it for pancakes. You can use it for pizza/pie crusts, cookies, bread, etc...


Senior Member
Excellent topic Cort! I'm also looking for grain substitutes.

I personnaly find rice is easy on the gut. I also think (haven't tried) about roots of plants.

Anyway there's this guy named Doug Kauffman, tv host of Know The Cause, who thinks almost all diseases are based on fungus and he has developed a phase one diet. This diet is free of sugars and grains, which he believes are commonly contaminated with fungal metabolites (also supported by a certain study). Now i wonder if anyone tried this Phase One diet. You can read about it in his books, website and hear about it on his TV show. http://www.knowthecause.com



Phoenix Rising Founder
The first Dr. I saw - an allergist - was all over mold's and fungii. She removed the skins from fruits, etc. it didn't really help me but it sure did help some other people.

I think I'm one of the few who can't tolerate Rice anymore - makes me cramp up oddly enough and its always made me tired - worse then wheat actually. :(


Senior Member
Western Washington
Hi Cort!

Rice has been a problem for me most of my life up till recently. I was actually told by an allergist that I was allergic to it after a scratch skin test when I was young. Once I was in my teens and early 20's I ended up noticing that it wasn't always a problem for me - only sometimes. And when it was a problem, oh my the cramps it would cause.

For some odd reason, last fall I tried some organic, white basmati rice. Its a long grain which has a different nutritional make up than short grains. If I am remembering right, it has to do with the starch? Not sure on that one, but it was something major in it. Also, found out that all white rice comes with talc powder on it due to the manufacturing of it. It is used to polish the grain.

In a little trail and error, its looking like I am good with this white rice (haven't tried other forms long grain, white) but that anything at all with the rice bran/germ is very problematic for me. Even rice powder in supplements.

To prepare the rice, we have to rinse it thoroughly 15-20 times with water, warmer working better than cold water. Soak it for 30 min, then rinse 2-3 more times in water. Much less than this and it is back to cramping for me.

Don't know if any of this will help you out, but it might be worth trying different types of rice (long vs short, brown vs white) and try more rinsing/soaking. :)

Lisa :)

p.s. Be careful when eating prepackaged 'health' type foods. Vast majority of things that claim to be healthy eating or vegetarian contain brown rice syrup, puffed rice, or rice flour in them. It is a very prolific ingredient.


Senior Member
Melbourne, Australia

I rarely eat grains.

I do eat a rice-based breakfast cereal.

As I live in Australia, the cereal name won't be much help to you in the US. It's gluten free & relatively low in sugar (compared to some other health cereals - it's made by Freedom Foods and is called "Rice Flakes with Psyllium" You might like to do a search on the Company & download the ingredients & see if you can replicate it in the US).

This product is about the only grain (with good fibre) that really provides a feeling of fullness & doesn't exacerbate my symptoms.

It contains psyllium husks (which expand with liquid & give great fibre, but no diarrhea or constipation or bowel pain).

I also add a rounded tablespoon of psyllium husks on top, together with freshly ground flaxseeds & organic rice milk. I decided to try rice milk a couple of months ago (instead of soy milk & I think I like it better). My Mother gets hiccoups from rice (funnily enough).

It's very filling & I feel really satisfied til lunch time at work.

So, don't give up on rice. Just try a few different ones, especially organic, if you can get it. The rare times I eat plain cooked rice, I eat basmati rice (lower on the glycemic index). I always wash it several times to remove dust or whatever.

High protein is very filling, but needs to be the right kind (not excessive amounts of red meat).

Meat should always be eaten with something else to balance the acid load on your liver.

I think I wrote in a previous post, that 100% dairy free/grain free diet in 2005 (for 3 months) made me feel the best I have been in 25 years. It's really, really hard to stick to after about 3-4 months though. That seems to be the longest I can last doing it 100% of the time. Other times, including 2009 I stick to it about 97%.

Don't worry about finding "substutes" for grains - forget what the nutritionists/dietitions say - IBS sufferers cannot tolerate grains. And I think, going by the posts on this site, there are many of us who have a reduction in symptoms following a high protein/low carb diet. Many people (like me) are not diagnosed cealiacs or lactose intolerant, but DO have "food sensitivities". I'm amazed how many improve on changing their diet.

Once or twice when I've been hungry after dinner, I've had a bowl of this cereal to fill me up.

My home computer arrives this weekend & when I get the internet connected I will write at length on the subject of grain/dairy free, high protein/low carb which is one of my best treatments for pain/fatigue (in my experience - it may not suit everyone).

My brother who is lending it to me has to go interstate, so it will probably be the end of September before it gets connected to the internet.

(And of course, you can then expect that Aromatherapy article I promised, more "helpful books" for the books blog & so on).



I do better off grains. Sometimes I eat white rice pasta. Cort, you can also get mung bean noodles (asian) that are cheap if you have a yen for non grain noodles. Potatoes and beans help with the starch craving. I'm not sure what the problem is with grains--maybe the way they're processed, they are full of mycotoxins.


Senior Member

I'm exactly the opposite. I tend to drop weight fast if I go off of grains or lower my carb intake (everything complex, except for white rice a couple times a week), but after reading about Mike's 4-steak-a-day weight gain...I'm reconsidering. :)

Wondering if soaking the grains overnight, and rinsing them several times would make a difference when it comes to H2S/d-lactate production?

Should note however that I've read that some rice may contain arsenic...depending on where it was grown. Apparently arsenic was used big time during the cotton-planting days in the south, and now that land is used a lot for growing rice. (and it's also used in chicken feed!)

Regarding potatoes, which is often an ingredient in some of the gluten-free flours -- it's a nightshade vegetable. Of course most people can eat them with no problem, but some find that removing nightshade veggies (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, green/red/yellow bell peppers, etc.) can make a huge difference with their muscle pain and/or joint problems.

If I add too much fat, then my heart skips a beat. And not in a good way.

But this whole H2S / d-lactate theory is very interesting, so will definitely be considering changes.

Great to hear everyone's input...


Anybody having trouble digesting grains should definately try soaking, sprouting or fermenting them first. Most traditional societies treated their grains in this way, it's only a relatively new thing to just eat them straight (and boy doesn't it show with the rates of grain intolerances!)

I do better off gluten but will occasionally (a few times a year) eat fermented oats, sprouted spelt bread or sourdough spelt/rye. These processes actually reduce the gluten content... not great for full blown Coelics, but can be all that's needed for gluten intolerance of lesser severity.

For gluten free grains I eat quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet. I cannot eat rice, gives me gut issues and is mostly starch and not much nutrition anyway. I make a bread by freshly cracking quinoa, buckwheat and amarath and then add warm water and whey and ferment the flour mix over a day or two. Improves the nutrition and the digestability.

Coconut flour is also an alternative to use. It is basically 90% fibre or so, and can mimic grains. However I don't do too great with this and most ME patients will probably find that the huge amount of fibre and small traces of leftover fructose (naturally occuring in coconut) will result in gut disturbance. But if you can tolerate it it's a good filling grain free low carb alternative.

Honestly though, the whole grain things is just 'feedlot' nutrition aka. the food pyramid. There's nothing you're going to get from grains that you couldn't get from meats, organ meats, dairy, eggs, vegetables etc. It's more a cultural thing and what you're used to. Overall I think reducing grain intake is the best idea. You don't have to eliminate them entirely, but one serving a day max.... start deconstructing the idea that a grain is part of almost every meal.

Also as Danny said - people who are slim and ill should not go low carb. High protein/high fat and low carb diets are great for healthy people, overweight people, or average weight people, but people who are slim AND sick will find that without the extra fat buffer that eating carbs gives, they will only waste away their muscle tissue under stress/infection. It's not safe.

So the diet for weight loss = no refined sugars what so ever. 5-7 pieces of fruit a week. No more than one serving of grain/legume a day. Limit starchy vegetables to 1-2 servings a week. Liberal amounts of high quality meats, eggs, dairy, non-starchy vegetables etc.

For weight gain, people want to be consuming very high quality proteins and optimise the absorption by not drinking water for 30 mins before and 90 mins afterward (small sips okay). Hydrocloric acid supplements or digestive enzymes can help. Or you can consume herbal bitters, or any kind of food that increases bile production, 15 minutes before your big protein meals. This is all for muscle growth. For fat growth (important for very sick and slim people, you need a buffer... something for your body to eat away before your muscle in event of bodily stress). Starchy vegetables are incredibly helpful in this scenario - sweet potatoes, potatoes etc. They should be eaten with liberal amounts of high quality butter, extra virgin olive oil, cheese, cream, coconut cream etc (your choice) to slow down sugar absorbtion though. You want them to make you gain fat but not cause you daily trouble by destabilising your blood sugar levels.

People who need to gain some fat can also have smoothies with raw honey, and lots of bananas and cream (or coconut cream).

I support low carb eating on the whole however in the special circumstance of people with low muscle mass and very low body fat, starches, natural sugars and some grains are important to include. They DO cause fat gain which is desirable and healthy for some people. :)


Phoenix Rising Founder
Mung bean noodles - I like that! And buckwheat. Millet just wipes me out - I love the taste - but it puts me to sleep. Grains in general just slow me down - immediately. I've always noticed that - I feel like falling asleep (or do fall asleep) and then at some point I'm up again. They also mess with me cognitively; again its not a wipeout but I'm thinking that doing many little things correctly may add up to a big thing.

I like the idea of soaking/fermenting them. Thanks for the tip Euroka and all the good advice. :)


Senior Member
Tasmania, Australia
Euroka I mainly agree...

I follow the Weston Price Foundation diet which is based on Traditional diets from centuries past. Yes -soaking, sprouting and fermenting makes grains much more digestible. Although, I have eliminated grains/dairy/fructose as I had severe gastro issues last year.

I am quite slim, have a fast metabolism and have had weight loss issues due to this disease. I have successfully managed to put on weight that I lost by following this low carb way of eating for the 8 months. I include moderate amounts of protein and as much fat as I can tolerate. I especially am quite liberal with cold pressed virgin coconut oil (eat it by the spoonful) and snack on sprouted/dehyrated nuts. Once or twice a month I may now have small amounts quinoa, millet, rice or amaranth but always with some fat.

So, in my case, this low carb way of eating has actually been beneficial and not at all unsafe. I think the key is to make sure you consume enough fats with your meals. I realise for some with liver/gall bladder issues this could be a problem, as it was with me - in this case I concentrated mainly on consuming coconut oil as I found it easily digestible. There is no doubt I have found this diet rather hard work but it has been very worthwhile.

I am quite pleased with the way my gastro issues have almost resolved through this diet, enzymes, probiotics and other supplements. :)




I like quinoa in my customized versions of tabbouleh. Don't ask. I eat a lot of things no one else would eat, lol.

but now I have to ask bluebird - what's your recipe? I love tabbouleh and usually use quinoa in mine + mint, parsley, lemon, tomato, cucumber and olive oil (plus am a bit of a kitchen sink chef so if there are peppers, red or green onion.........)