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New to Paleo... Could I alter it to include rice, or is that frowned upon?


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As a half-Chinese girl who eats, sleeps and breathes rice, I don't know what to do! I'm starting the Paleo diet, as well as beginner weight training. I'm not overweight, but I'm also not in shape. So I'm not trying to lose any weight, I'm just trying to get in the habit of a more active lifestyle, and build some new muscle.


I already cut white rice from my diet a long time ago and switched to parboiled and brown rice instead. (It's healthier, has more nutrients, and isn't bleached.) I'd like to, well, keep eating it.


I know it's a grain, but it's also part of my culture, and I find that if I don't eat rice for 'extended' periods of time (about 3 days), my, erm, digestion is all messed up.


So, NerdFitness community, what's your thoughts on it? Can I include a small amount of rice per day (say 1/4 to 1/2 cup) and add it to my Paleo diet? Or would that make me a cheater, defeating the purpose of following Paleo, and out-casting me from society forever? You decide my fate!


...And the fate of the 20-pound bag of rice I've still got under the counter. I bought it before I started the Paleo diet, DON'T JUDGE ME



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My thinking would be that if rice is an absolute staple for you (and a really enjoyable one) then cutting it completley will make you more likely to not stick to the diet.

I don't eat strictly paleo because I can't do without my milk, but I'm ok with that.


If you want to remove it I'd say do it slowly, a little less each day then only every second day etc. at least that way you could work you're way through the bag you have and then decide if you want to buy another bag.

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From some of the things I have read about Paleo, white rice is actually better for you, because it is the bran that has the lectins that cause digestive issues. White rice has almost all of those removed with the bran polished off. Rice is essentially little more than sugar when you get down to it, but Paleo is actually carb neutral, insofar is it is not a "low carb" diet. People who are a healthy weight and highly active can eat more carbs from things like sweet potatoes, white potatoes with no skin, and white rice to get the carbs they need to fuel their activities. People who are overweight should avoid these though, as the extra carbs can cause weight gain.

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald


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That's a bit misleading. Carbs do not cause weight gain by themselves, aside from (potentially) some water weight. "Extra" carbs will cause weight gain, but so will "extra" anything else. The actual concern is that carbs tend to have a low satiety rating, meaning you get hungry again sooner than from eating fats and proteins. Ultimately, of course, overeating is up to you. OP is not overweight, and is already familiar with eating rice and any effect it may have on her appetite, so there isn't really cause for concern.


In fact DevPug, carbs like rice will be beneficial to you in gaining muscle. That being said, rice is really only good for carb calories, and you might find equally tasty subsitutes with higher nutrient content (like sweet potatoes!) but that's really up to you.

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Haha... I love milk too, but I'm serious about a healthy lifestyle. I had to ask because grocery day is tomorrow, so it was time to make up my mind about the rice, because the decision would affect my shopping list. I did some research and yeah, rice IS good for muscle building.


So I'll stick to parboiled rice, then... It's the middle ground between brown and white rice, and I just can't live without it. But, I'll hunt around for a milk substitute of some sort (I drink a lot of it!) and maybe throw some sweet potatoes in my basket in place of McCain fries. And I think I'll at least control my rice portions from now on - half a cup maximum per day, I think that's reasonable.


To Vian, I guess white rice might be more 'Paleo' if you think of it that way, but it's not very 'primal' if you consider that it's been processed and bleached. I don't think there's that much difference between white rice and brown rice, and it's a lot fluffier so I like it as a treat (when I'm cooking 'pretend restaurant food' for a dinner party or something). Also, I grew up eating nothing but white rice. A couple years ago, I bought the wrong bag (a mountain of parboiled) and realized I loved it, though. Parboiled rice is really delicious and very fluffy!


...Just don't put too much water in it. I use a rice cooker, and my parboiled bag says put two cups of water per one cup of dry rice into the cooker. It's a lie. One cup of parboiled = 1.5 cups of water, otherwise you will get a disgusting soup.

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this one addresses dairy and bit re: rice (not much) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/guest-post-robb-wolf-answers-your-paleo-diet-questions/#axzz2Ii8O1xZU


this is a great one on rice: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-rice-unhealthy/#axzz2Ii8O1xZU


For me, the key is why would I add in white rice when it's got almost no nutritional value when I could add in a bit of sweet potato, chestnuts, etc. 

I AM going the distance


'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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ooh! the coconut water sounds like an awesome idea.


I was going to say that paleo isn't really a set of strict rules, but take them more as guidelines.  I did.  I have milk and cheese, but don't eat grains.  Well, once in a blue moon I'll make rice when I'm making a curry or something like that.  Everything else for me is veggies (and some meat).

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Coconut water! Why didn't I think of that? I sometimes use chicken broth in place of the water. I don't know if that's healthier, my mom told me to... :P


I was going to try being "all out Paleo" or something, but then I realized, if I'm trying to build muscle too, I should put that first and Paleo second. (Like, the diet should support the exercise.) So I'm enforcing my own set of Paleo-guided rules. Generally:


1. I can have milk and cheese products in my fridge, but I can only use them for cooking. I can't drink plain milk; if I want a glass, I can use almond or coconut milk. (Or soy? I know nothing.)


2. I'm avoiding grains, but I'm allowed pasta so long as it's 'real' and not processed (so, no Kraft Dinner). Also, I can have up to 1/2 cup of rice per day.


3. I'm not especially concerned about grain-fed vs. grass-fed meat, but I'll try for organic when possible (or affordable).


Those are my basic mandatory rules for myself. I won't worry about breaking my diet, but I'll definitely try and stick to these three rules. I think I can handle that! I've got some nice pasta cooking now, and I'm kind of excited. I haven't cooked a proper meal in a long time. (Mostly Kraft Dinner, pizza rolls, frozen dinners, canned food, etc.) Tomorrow I'm putting up a whiteboard with a meal plan all laid out.


My boyfriend is getting dragged into this. Ohoho.

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I was going to say that paleo isn't really a set of strict rules, but take them more as guidelines.  I did.  I have milk and cheese, but don't eat grains.  Well, once in a blue moon I'll make rice when I'm making a curry or something like that.  Everything else for me is veggies (and some meat).


100% agreed with the part in bold.  There are no awards for being "perfect" at paleo.  It's more important to understand the arguments for eating in a paleo style and why certain foods may or may not work for you.


Even by paleo standards, rice is probably the best of the grains - and there are some "paleo-ish" diets that incorporate rice moderate amounts.  In fact, this is pretty much what I do - most days/meals I do paleo as a baseline, but with occasional legumes, and rice as one of my post-workout carb sources.  I also do dairy when I'm in weight-gain mode.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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When I do eat rice, I add coconut oil to the water for added awesomeness.

We do this too - we also usually squeeze a little lime juice, and add some red pepper garlic sauce (the asian kind that comes in a small jar). Fiance eats it more than I do, but it makes it hard to say no to a little bit of it when he does it this way!

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"Could I alter it to include rice, or is that frowned upon?"


The answer is yes. In paleo, rice is frowned upon, but it also doesn't mean you cannot include it.


Like everyone else has reiterated, you have to find what works for you.


The only thing I suggest is doing a full 30 days under complete 100% paleo and then reintroduce foods (like rice) to see how you do. :)

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I like rice too, but I don't eat it much anymore.


I've heard really good things about Haiga rice, which is supposedly all the goodliness of brown (which I can't stand) with the texture of white! Amazon Link.


"Seize the moment, cause tomorrow you might be dead!" - Buffy Summers 

level 1 Orc Warrior at heart, training with the Adventurers
STR 2 | DEX 1 | STA 1 | CON 2 | WIS 5 | CHA 4

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From a paleo point of view, brown is not seen as healthy. Actually, regular white rice is much better.



From a paleo point of view, rice wouldn't be eaten at all, if you really want to be nitpicky. :P 


I know primal folk who swear by Haiga, as I mentioned I don't eat rice (least of all brown because, ew) but since the OP does want to eat rice... /shrug. 


"Seize the moment, cause tomorrow you might be dead!" - Buffy Summers 

level 1 Orc Warrior at heart, training with the Adventurers
STR 2 | DEX 1 | STA 1 | CON 2 | WIS 5 | CHA 4

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Hahaha. I'm TRYING to be as Paleo as possible, although I've decided to include a bit of rice, corn, and beans. So far, this week has been a cooking adventure! I'm not stopping myself from eating at all, but I do keep a limit to how much 'non-paleo' food I eat. So, I'm not counting calories or anything, but if I'm eating something considered less Paleoish, I make sure to stop myself after a point.

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