[WEEK THREE – WHOLE GRAINS]
All grains this week must be 100% whole grain. No refined grains.
Whole grains are just that, whole. They contain health-promoting vitamins, minerals and fiber. Refined grains, in contrast to whole grains, are grains that have been processed to remove the fibrous + nutritious bran and germ, leaving only the non-nutritious endosperm. Refined grains are missing fiber and key nutrients that whole grains contain and are quickly broken down into sugar in your bloodstream. They should be avoided in your diet this week.
Avoid these Refined Grains:
- Grains without the word “whole” in front of it
- Wheat flour
- White flour
- Bleached or enriched flours
- White rice
- Most processed foods such as: crackers, cookies, pasta, bread
Choose these grains instead. The following popular grain products are Whole Grains:
- Whole wheat
- Whole ________ [name of grain]
- Oats, oatmeal, steel cut oats [no prepackaged flavored oatmeals]
- Brown rice, wild rice, black rice
- Popcorn [homemade only]
Many people’s diets contain far too many refined grains in the form of crackers, chips, pasta, bread, cookies, fast food, processed food, etc. You may not even realize just how much of your diet contains refined grains until you start paying more attention. As I stated above, whole grains are nutritious and provide a healthy dose of fiber and nutrients in your diet. Whole grains are filling and satisfying in fairly small amounts, too. The opposite of whole grains are refined grains. I like to have my clients think of refined, white grains just as they would sugar, because essentially they are the same thing. Because refined grains are stripped off all their nutrients and natural goodness, what’s left are just simple carbohydrates which are readily broken down into sugar in your bloodstream. We want to avoid blood sugar spikes because they can eventually lead to increased food/sugar cravings, irritability, overeating, weight gain, diabetes and hormonal changes.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR SWAPPING REFINED GRAINS FOR WHOLE GRAINS:
- Avoid anything white or processed
- Cook a batch of brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal at the beginning of the week and use as needed
- Snack on whole foods like fruit, veggies and raw nuts instead of crackers and chips
- Find a whole grain pasta that you and your family like, or try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead!
- Be willing to try whole grains you’ve never tried before like quinoa, buckwheat or millet
- Choose brown rice over white rice
- When eating out: choose a whole grain bun/bread if you have the option, opt for a lettuce wrapped burger, avoid pasta dishes [the serving size is usually huge, too!], skip the bread for appetizers, choose corn over flour tortillas, and ask for extra veggies instead of a refined grain
Here are some of my favorite whole grain products:
- Dave’s Killer Bread®
- Food For Life® Ezekiel Sprouted Bread
- Food For Life® Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Tortillas
- Simple Truth Organic® Whole Wheat Pasta [Fred Meyer brand]
- Eden Foods® Soba Buckwheat Noodles
- Bob’s Red Mill® Organic Buckwheat Groats
- Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten Free Whole Grain Oats
- Lundberg® Organic Sprouted Brown Rice
- Ancient Harvest® Organic Red or Traditional Quinoa
RECIPES WITH WHOLE GRAINS –
For even more recipes head on over to the blog.
To take this challenge a step further, focus on keeping your whole grains to one serving per meal. A serving of cooked grains is ½ cup. A serving of whole grain bread would be one slice.
GOOD LUCK THIS WEEK!
I want to see how you’re doing this week, so be sure to post pictures of your meals on Facebook or Instagram. Use the hashtag #fabulousyoufallchallenge or #nutritiouslyrooted. I can’t wait to see them!
Much love to you all! I sincerely thank you for being a part of the Nutritiously Rooted community
live happily + healthfully,
Foodie + Health Enthusiast