Rice and lots of good reasons to have it
Today I would like to talk about rice, an ingredient that has become essential to my diet since recovering from bulimia and struggling to maintain my ideal weight…
Let me take a minute to say f*ck bulimia. As I explained in my story, it ruined my teeth and my digestive system as well as my relationships and my finances. As a consequence, I seem to react to certain ingredients, still unsure which, but I have found that some changes in my diet have been quite helpful. I now avoid tomatoes, white bread, butter, milk chocolate and anything that seems to have more ingredients than necessary. I also have IBS, according to my GP but I don’t really believe him as I know other people with IBS and their symptoms are very different from mine.
Anyway, long story short, I used to get some *inconvenience* due to not taking care of myself properly. I saw GPs, nurses, reflexologists and I talked to people who had similar problems and followed their advice. I also looked online. But more importantly I started to listen to my body. I quickly realized that my body didn’t mind rice. I could have lots of it without any problem.
Since then rice has become my companion, my must have. I always arrange to have at least a pack in the kitchen, just in case.
I use it as an alternative to medication: whenever I feel a little bit sick I run straight to the kitchen to prepare a pot of plain rice for my next meal.
Because it is a natural remedy that won’t cause upset to my stomach.
I have been told it is not healthy to eat lots of rice. If so, why do the Japanese live longer than us? They even have a saying that can be roughly translated as follows: a meal without rice is no meal.
As you will see there are many reasons to choose rice!
A healthy ingredient
Rice is healthy. It is a cereal. It is therefore natural, unlike bread, for instance, which contains cereals as well as water and additives. More importantly, my stomach does feel better every time. I have the luck (or misfortune!) to now have a very sensitive system. I still have a lot to learn in this regards. What I have noticed is that I don’t do very well with products which contain gluten and I can feel rough after eating products which contain lots of additives.
Rice is the perfect antidote! I can have it in salads, with fish or meat, as biscuits and in one of my favorite snacks – baozi.
What are the benefits of rice?
Rice is low in fat, which is always a bonus. It also contains lots of carbs, which give you energy. Because rice contains thiamin (a.k.a. vitamin B1), it facilitates your digestion process. This is why I use it every time I feel a bit nauseous.
Due to being bland plain rice is the perfect remedy in case of gastroenteritis.
Other benefits include improving your blood circulation and the prevention of cancer. It is fat free and gluten free so it’s also perfect if you are trying to lose weight or have a gluten intolerance.
It might be better to use brown rice (unrefined) if you plan to eat rice on a regular basis. As mentioned above, rice contains lots of carbs that be dangerous if you have lots of sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks and do not exercise. Eating more rice will require that you make some changes and give up or at least reduce the amount of sweet food you have. If your diet is balanced and you hit the gym on a regular basis, you shouldn’t have to worry.
Let’s be creative!
You may think that plain rice is boring and I agree! See, the good thing with rice is that it doesn’t have to be plain. There are countless dishes, snacks and desserts to choose from.
Chili con carne
Sweet and sour chicken
Nearly any Asian dish – korma, curry, etc
Egg fried rice
Rice noodles with whatever you fancy, scrambled eggs for instance.
Baozi also known as bao buns
Once again, rice cakes
Rice pudding with custard
There are too many recipes to choose from. Jamie Oliver, for instance, has 45 ideas on how to use rice.
As you can see there are many excuses to integrate rice to your healthy diet.
I will give you some extra information here. It seems that rice doesn’t make you gain weight. My reflexologist told me that some foods require quite a lot of effort for the stomach to digest them and rice is among them. As the stomach works harder to process rice, more energy is required. I found it quite surprising since I had always thought that rice was easy to digest – that’s what most sites tell you. What I know is that I can maintain my size 12 with rice so my reflexologist is at least right about something.
A bowl of rice a day keeps the doctor away.