For a couple of years now, "clean" eating for me has involved cutting most grains from my diet. No pasta, rice, bread, tortillas, breakfast cereals, or crackers. (None of the sweet stuff -- pastries, cake, cookies, quick breads, etc -- either, but that almost goes without saying.) I also don't eat a lot of beans and legumes, but that's mostly because I didn't eat a lot of them before.
I honestly and truly don't miss grains or products made from them. Well, except Triscuits. I miss Triscuits. I get plenty of fiber from fruits and vegetables, and plenty of carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
For me, the choice to give up grains was primarily calorie driven. I looked at where I was getting the least nutritional bang for the caloric buck, and breads and pasta were, hands down, the biggest losers. Out they went.
It turns out that I stumbled onto what is essentially a primal diet. It isn't low-carb, except in comparison to the usual crap American diet. Or, worse still, the usual crap American dieter's diet: low fat, low protein, high carbs from highly processed "low-fat" and "diet" foods. A true low-carb diet would allow somewhere between 0-50g of carbs per day; without making a big fuss about carbs, I eat 100-150g per day.
Do I feel 10 bazillion times better when I don't eat grains than when I do, assuming the same caloric intake? No, but I feel good, and have plenty of energy throughout the day.
Has a lite version of the primal diet cured me of diabetes, alzheimers, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, arthritis, IBS, and every other disease or discomfort known to mankind? No, but I didn't have these to begin with.
Does it work for my goal of losing fat? YES. For me, it's a painless way to cut calories, get as much protein as I'd like, and still eat real food. (Including bacon: how cool is that?) When I cut calories by cutting fat and protein, I was constantly hungry, and although I eventually lost weight, a distressing proportion of it was muscle mass.
Yeah, eschewing grains can be socially awkward. I can't help but feel self-conscious when, at the end of a working lunch with the provost and a bunch of other mucky-mucks, my plate is mounded with the detritus of three deconstructed sandwiches. But, I'm getting over it.
primal good. grunt.