As delicious as rice is, it can sabotage your weight loss goals. I’ve overdone it with the starchy staple more times than I’m happy to admit. But if you’re a rice lover like me—A.K.A., Filipino—I’m pretty sure you can #relate. So, to get my diet back on track, I decided to replace my rice (gasp!) with quinoa for a week.
We’re all probably familiar with quinoa by now—and it’s no surprise. The seed is touted as the “perfect grain.” It’s jam-packed with protein, all nine essential amino acids, plus fiber, iron, and manganese. And unlike traditional rice, it’s a whole lot less fattening. But that’s only part of the reason why people love it so much. The other part? It’s incredibly versatile, too. With its subtly nutty flavor and chewy texture, it’s perfect for all different types of food. From a breakfast parfait to a hearty dinner bowl!
Despite all this, I was still a bit skeptical. Would it be possible to cook (and crave) quinoa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? And, more importantly, replace my beloved white rice?

HOW TO PREPARE QUINOA

But first things, first: preparing the quinoa. (Which, admittedly, was the easiest part!) Here’s exactly how I did it:

STEP 1: Wash half a cup of quinoa in cold water.

STEP 2: Pour a cup of water and the quinoa into a pan, and add a pinch of salt to taste. Leave it to boil for 15 minutes.

STEP 3: Turn the heat off and let it simmer.

STEP 4: Stir occasionally to fluff up and separate the grains or drain the excess water. This will be good for about 1 to 2 servings.

Now, onto the findings of my week-long experiment!

THE PROS

1. I felt full longer. Because quinoa is rich in both protein and fiber, I didn’t get hungry during the day—which meant less snacking!

2. I didn’t feel bloated. Eating rice tends to make me feel bloated right after. Surprisingly, I didn’t experience it with quinoa. In fact, I felt lighter, even if it was a hearty meal.

3. I ate less. This was probably because I wasn’t too familiar with the taste of quinoa. But don’t get me wrong: it was tasty. I just didn’t go overboard like I often do with rice.

4. It’s very versatile. Unlike other grains like oatmeal, quinoa is very diverse. It’s very easy to pair it with ulam I usually eat rice with, like chicken and beef. Bonus: it makes a great addition to salad, too!

THE CONS

1. You’ll have to shell out more. Quinoa is pricier than rice. However, with all the nutrients quinoa is packed with, it’s definitely something that offers more.

2. It’s just not rice. Perhaps it’s because I’m so accustomed to eating rice, I started to miss it towards the latter part of the week.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Quinoa is a healthier alternative for those on a diet with little time to meal prep. And since the quinoa craze isn’t new, I was able to try interesting quinoa recipes online.
But at the end of the day, I don’t think I’ll be able to quit rice forever. There are just some meals that aren’t the same without it, like my mom’s butter garlic shrimp! I do, however, want to incorporate quinoa more into my diet. Other than it being more nutritious, it’s also perfect for controlling my food intake and what I put in my body.

Question is, are you willing to do the same? Sound off in the comments section!

The Green Tummy Quinoa is available on BeautyMNL in 200g, 350g, 500g, and 1000g bags for P200, P360, P450, and P720 each. Shop them right here!

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