Why I opted out of rice

First of all: allow me to restate that I’m on a journey towards health, not towards any weight loss goal. In this process, via baby-steps, I have introduced many – MANY – changes in my eating habits.

At about the same time I started withdrawing pasta from my eating habits (you can read about that in my Refined Flour Isn’t Cool post), I also began removing rice consumption. Why?
The more information I collect, the more sure I am that I want to eat food that has been as little tampered with as possible. And now you say “heelloooo? Rice is a cereal! It’s natural food.” And you are not entirely wrong. However, the rice that we get at the supermarket has been refined and, often, bleached.


“It’s refined, so what?” Well, the bran is usually where most nutrients and fibre are located, and we are removing it. Also white rice has a higher glycemic index (if you haven’t yet, I suggest you do some research on glycemic index, blood glucose levels and how our bodies respond to it). Also, in 2010, Harvard researchers associated white rice with a higher risk of diabetes. Here’s that article:

White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women

I found a lot of contradicting stances about rice. A lot of people stand by white rice as perfectly healthy, others look at it as a health hazard. The exact same bipolarism applies to brown rice, as many people defend that the bran layer contains more phytic acid – which prevents nutrient absorption – , can contain arsenic, and can be harder to digest. To be fair, here’s also a post in favour of white rice:

Why I started to eat white rice

Personally, I am more prone to stand for brown rice. BUT it takes a lot longer to cook than white rice, so I have ended up pretty much removing rice from my eating habits. Obviously if I’m at a restaurant or at someone’s home, I’ll gladly eat rice, but on my daily routine I’m perfectly happy with my beans, collard, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc etc etc. as side dish.

Lastly, I want to say that I’m a firm believer that everyone should come to their own decisions about which nutritional habits are best for them.

The feeling of belonging

I can’t quite pin point when the switch happened, because I only realized it recently, but for a while now I feel like I belong at the gym. This may seem irrelevant, but to me it truly isn’t, because I used to avoid gyms like the plague.

Like with most people, when I started going to the gym there was a strong feeling of strangeness. Strange people, strange machines, strange grunting sounds from the weightlifters, strange music (the music played at the gym is a long stretch away from what I usually listen to), strange locker-rooms, strange equipment… strange everything.

I looked in awe at the regular class goers, executing the fitness classes with precision, fluidity and a touch of effortlessness. Useless to say I was the precise opposite.

Fighting the discomfort, on I went. Regularly attending and struggling on until the end of each class. After a while people started greeting me, from the security guards, to the instructors, and even the regular class goers who I admired. I grew accustomed to the movements, to the equipment and to the overall gym ambiance. The regular class goers and the instructors started talking to me, inviting me to events, and I ended up engulfed in the overall group of friends.

As I’ve talked about before, I ended up enjoying working out, and look at gym time as a high point of my day. Feeling welcomed, being cheerfully smiled at and greeted by everyone who works there and knowing I’ll get to catch up with my buddies plays a major role in feeling like the gym is a second home. This, in turn, gives me the confidence to try different things, to push harder, because I truly feel the support of my peers. The gym became the place where I overcome my limits, where I socialize, where I get my fix of endorphins,etc. In short: it became a place where I WANT to go.

And here’s a, very truthful, revelation:

fit people