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3 MORE Flat Belly Food Swaps

Posted by Joel Marion

The other week I posted the original 3 Flat Belly Food Swaps article, and due to its extreme popularity, I’m back with three more!

#1 – Swap OUT brown rice, Swap IN quinoa

While brown rice is thought to be the healthy grain, there’s one even better, and that’s quinoa.

Quinoa is a gluten free grain that contains double the protein of brown rice along with greater fiber content and a lower glycemic load.

Not only that, but quinoa is the ONLY grain to contain complete protein and the full spectrum of amino acids.  It comes in several varieties, including “oatmeal-like” flakes and it’s wholegrain rice-like form.

Enjoy it as an oatmeal substitute for breakfast, in salads or casseroles, or as a wholesome whole-grain, high protein side item to any lunch or dinner meal.

#2 – Swap OUT bran flakes, Swap IN Ezekial Golden Flax Cereal

In the original Flat Belly Food Swaps article I exposed the benefits of sprouted grain Ezekial bread over 100% whole wheat, and today I’m here to fill you in on another great Ezekial product, Golden Flax Cereal.

Golden Flax contains 8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving, along with plenty of fiber and EFAs making it far superior to Bran Flakes or any other “whole grain” cereal.

#3 – Swap OUT ground beef, Swap IN ground bison

Truthfully, I’m not against beef or ground beef for that matter, but if you’re looking for a leaner, more nutritious alternative to beef (especially for those Protein and Carb meals), look no further than Bison (buffalo).

Bison is generally 60-80% leaner than beef while containing nearly 30% more protein per ounce.  It’s great for burgers and steaks alike and is a great substitute for any recipe calling for beef to add variety and nutrition to your weekly diet.

Want to up your nutrition IQ even more?  Watch this video from my good friend Isabel where she reveals 4 other “healthly” foods that you should NEVER eat, along with her TOP 5 foods for a flat belly:

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25 comments - add yours
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great list!

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I love Quinoa; it has a really interesting and distinctive texture and is a great alternative to rice. I find that rice tends to leave me bloated, where Quinoa does not. I like to cook the Quinoa in chicken stock to give some added flavour.

The Ezekiel products are not something I’ve come across in the supermarkets in the UK, I’ll need to have a look at what’s available over here.

How does the taste of Bison compare to Beef?

I’ve been substituting Ground Turkey or Pork (we call it mince in Scotland) for Beef and have been pleased with the change.

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Can we get Ezekial products in Australia do you know?!

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Hi Joel

Thanks for the tips. Not living in the US getting Bison meat is difficult. Another beef substitute I have used is ostrich meat. This again low fat and high protein and is great on its own or in a meat based recipe. Also is there any other breads you recommend as a swap for wholegrain?



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Here in South Africa we don’t get bison meat but ostrich is becoming increasingly popular and I read that ostrich meat has the highest protein content per ounce of any meat.

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@ David:
Bison is delicious! It is comparable to beef in flavor, so you might not even notice the difference if you’re not told it’s bison, depending on how sensitive your tastebuds are. I have had bison burgers and I much prefer them to beef, however.

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Joel, it also depends on where you get your ground beef. My dad has a small cattle operation and we are not the only ones who have noticed that there is a dramatic difference in fat content in the beef we get from him — it is noticeably leaner than even the extra lean ground beef at the grocery store, and cheaper. Getting your food from farmer’s markets and other local, small/family operations (who don’t inject hormones and who feed their animals grass, hay, and grains without animal meal) usually is a better choice, both health-wise and environmentally. My husband also has a co-worker who was providing us with eggs from his chickens and you can actually see the difference in the yolks between those and the commercial eggs — and of course, who wants to eat eggs from big commercial operations now?

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Thanks for the advice Joel, I actually do find bison meat in all grocery stores now, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know how the bison is actually raised though, does it really make a difference? Anyways thanks again for the info, and keep it coming.


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In australia the beef that is raised for local consumption is very lean (as opposed to the beef that is raised for those export markets that prefer beef with a higher fat content – farmers in Aust will tell you that the local market prefers their meat very lean and they raise it differently to the meat that they sell for overseas consumption).

However, kangaroo is the leanest meat available in Aust – and not only is it highly nutrtitious, it is also better for the environment – kangaroos don’t produce methane and their feet aren’t cloven, so they don’t contribute to greenhouse gas or soil erosion. So that makes it a doubley good choice!

Re the brand “Ezekial 4:9” – I believe that if the grains are “sprouted” then the product wouldn’t be allowed through quarantine – they need to be iradiated (ie: deadened) first. However, some health food shops sell locally made Ezekial bread (try the brand “food for life” – frozen section of health food stores). Or try making it yourself:

590 ml wheat berries
180 g spelt flour
90 g barley
100 g millet
50 g dry green lentils
25 g dry great Northern beans
25 g dry kidney beans
25 g dried pinto beans
950 ml warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
235 ml honey
120 ml olive oil
14 g active dry yeast
35 g salt

1. Measure the water, honey, olive oil, and yeast into a large bowl. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Stir all of the grains and beans together until well mixed. Grind in a flour mill. Add fresh milled flour and salt to the yeast mixture; stir until well mixed, about 10 minutes. The dough will be like that of a batter bread. Pour dough into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
3. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until dough has reached the top of the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown.

It’s a very dense and filling bread – you won’t need to have much!


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What kind of grain is Quinoa? Anyone know? I’m very allergic to rice, even a trace of it and I get ill (so isn’t it great that it’s snuck into many suppliments unlisted!). Is quinoa related to rice or a completely different grain?

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Hey! I buy quinoa from NutsOnline, and they tell me it’s a nut, not a grain. Wikipedia says… it’s a grain-like crop related to beets and spinach.

I know that’s nit picking, but I thought it was interesting. It’s not my intent to be critical.

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@ Debs:

Quinoa is a seed. It comes from a plant that is very closely related to lamb’s quarters, so seeds from that plant (most people consider it a weed!) are comparable if you want to harvest them yourself.

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Interesting article just wondering if related to USA, bison meat not here in UK hopefully we can find Quinoa here, will have to look around for it.

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@ Mike (Panther Fitness):

don’t know about bison, but quinoa is available in lots of places. every suppermarket has it.

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@ Mike (Panther Fitness):
in the UK I mean!

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Bison can be found in the U.K. but not in supermarkets. Google it and you will find places that deliver grass fed bison.@ Mike (Panther Fitness):

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@ Debs:

Quinoa is not a grain – it’s a seed. Its a pseudo-cereal that’s related to spinach and beets.

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Excellent flat belly swaps. To those who live in the UK, if you go to Holland & Barrett you can buy Linwoods’ Milled flaxseed, Almonds, Brazils & Q10, which can be used in the same way as Ezekiel Flax cereal. 6.6g protein per 30g.

You can purchase quinoa in most supermarkets but ground bison is more hard to find. If you want to get hold of ground bison you can purchase it online from http://www.efoodies.co.uk

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I just purchased a rice cooker/steamer/ slow cooker, and have made brown rice 2 -3 times; do you know if one can cook quinoa in a rice cooker with the same results? I was also given a smaller rice cooker over the week-end, and same question applies……… thanks for any help.( If it matters, both rice cookers are
“Aroma” brand.)

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Thanks for these excellent swaps Joel! Elk and deer meat are probably comparable to Bison. I LOVE elk meat…very lean and delicious. Wildcraft organic! There are lots of hunters here where I live in northern Arizona…they will often share or barter elk meat…they can’t legally sell it…even though they legally hunted and killed it.
I eat one Ezekiel 4:9 tortilla per day…and at my other meal, I have the Ezekiel 4:9 bread and Genesis 1:29 bread every day…YUM!!!…and SO nutritious!

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love the food swaps, any chance they will come out in one list for easy printing/reference????

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