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Whole Grain Challenge

Posted Oct 25 2008 4:48pm

Better_rice This is Week 3 of Transitioning Tips, after a break for last week's "Holiday Recipes."  This is my Whole Grain Challenge. I encourage you to try adding whole grains to your diet once a day. Sound daunting? OK, then try three times a week for starters. I eat a whole grain two or three times a day.

Not quite sure what a whole grain is? You're not alone. According to the Guidelines of the USDA, the definition is:

Whole Grains — Foods made from the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel, which consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm. If the kernel has been cracked, crushed, or flaked, it must retain nearly the same relative proportions of bran, germ, and endosperm as the original grain in order to be called whole grain.

Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, millet, barley, quinoa, amaranth ... and there are many more. Go to your local health foods store or Whole Foods Market and take a look at the bulk whole grains. In the same aisles, you can usually find small packages of these grains that include cooking directions. This is a great way to try one (but it usually is more costly than buying bulk).

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates, as opposed to cakes and cookies (simple carbs, to avoid eating on a regular basis). Complex carbs give us lasting energy and are high in fiber so they fill us up and keep our blood sugar levels even, thus helping to curb cravings for simple carbs like the chips, crackers, cake, pies, cookies, etc.) I'm not saying never eat simple carbs (if you're healthy without serious illness), but don't make them a big part of your diet. Make them an occasional "treat" instead, or try better quality ... but, that's another blog post!

"What about cracked grains?" you ask. Cracked grains, like whole-grain breads, pastas and polenta, are also good food choices, but try adding some whole grains, too.

Some brown rice recipes from my previous posts are: Boiled Brown Rice, Brown Rice with Lentils, Tom's Fried Rice. So take the challenge ... and try something new! I'd be interested in hearing how you do. Any stories, tip, questions or comments are welcomed.

Note:Please remember to take small bites chew each mouthful well (15-50 times). More is better with chewing! Yes, you guessed it, it's a way to naturally process our food by creating our own digestive enzymes.

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