When juggling a busy schedule, sandwiches, pasta, and rice casseroles are easy go-to meals. There is so much you can put on a sandwich and so many different pasta sauces you can make. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are a real crowd pleaser in my house and probably yours too. However, in order to get the most nutrient dense foods into your family, you are going to have to make the switch to whole grains.
This week I challenge you to dump your white bread, rice and pasta and switch to whole grains. Don’t panic! This one should be easy. Whole grains are delicious and there are so many to choose from. If you have already given up white bread, I challenge you to try a new whole grain. You can find Whole Grains from A to Z here. I’ve rediscovered oats and found a new favorite in quinoa since I made the switch to whole grains. Millet is a good substitute for rice because it has a similar texture. Farro has a bit of a nutty flavor with the texture of rice. Try it in a grain bowl topped with a bit of diced barbecue chicken.
Dump The Processed White Bread, Rice and Pasta.
Eat Whole Grains Instead.
So, what’s the problem with processed flour and grains? Quite simply, you are missing important nutrition. Whole grains contain 3 parts…..the germ, endosperm, and bran. When processed into white flour or white rice, the germ and bran are stripped away. Again……….so why does that matter? It matters because these are the parts of the grain that carry the bulk of the nutrition. The endosperm is actually primarily starch which is high in calories and low in nutrition.
Part of my real food journey (and maybe yours) has been getting my head straight. Food is delicious. Food can be comforting. Ice cream tastes really good after a bad day. It also tastes really good when there is something to celebrate. Lots of us think about food only in relation to how it tastes. What we need to start doing is thinking about food as nutrition. Our bodies are machines and they need nutrition to fuel us properly and prevent disease. Every meal is a choice. You can choose to fill your body with processed foods that do not provide nutrition or you can choose foods that provide are nutrient dense and provide “almost magical” qualities. I define “magic” as regulating the bodies systems, providing energy to make it through busy days, and fighting chronic illness. Nutrition can’t fix everything, but it sure does help with obesity, heart disease, and cancer. I’m not going into lots of detail here, but I just want you to know that the research that I have read is staggering. Google diet-related diseases and start reading. That is how I started turning my thoughts of food from taste alone to nutrition.
OK……..let’s start looking for whole grains at the grocery store. I can’t wait to hear about your progress. Let us know what questions you have and I’ll be back later this week with some additional support. There is a lot of confusing information out there. I’ll help you weed through the confusion and make informed decisions about your food purchases.
Last week we talked about eating more fruit and veggies with each meal. This is the second step of your real food journey if you are participating in The Real Food Experience Challenges. Keep eating your fruits and veggies while working on this new challenge. Join us over at our Real Food Experience Challenge Facebook group. We are sharing lots of recipes, tips, and encouragement.
Do you have a favorite whole grain? Have you found it difficult to make the change to whole grains? What advice would you offer to other folks who are making the change to whole grains for the first time?