Did you learn anything new by reading through your labels last month? I sure did! Equally important, did you change anything? I know I'm much more aware of the kind of things that are allowed to go into my food, and how important it is for me to be aware of what I'm feeding my family. I'll be passing on the TBHQ and seriously limiting sodium benzoate. The enriched wheat flour I decided wasn't so scary, but best to stick with the more nutritious and filling whole grains.
Which leads me to my next point - February's challenge.
All of the grains you eat during the month of February should be whole grains.
If you want to go the extra mile with me, you could cook with only soaked, whole grains for the month of February. I'll still eat unsoaked, whole grains if I'm out to eat probably, but I'm going to try out soaking all of the grains I cook with. (More coming on this later.)
So, what does this mean?
It means you need to stock up on things like:
- brown rice
-whole wheat pasta (if you're not doing soaked grains only)
-100% whole wheat bread - check the ingredients list just to be sure. It shouldn't say "enriched wheat flour", "wheat flour" or "unbleached wheat flour". These all mean refined flour. Check for "whole wheat flour", "graham flour", "oat flour", etc.
-whole wheat flour - this way you can bake your own!
Watch out for sneaky things like:
What's the big deal about whole grains anyway?
I covered the benefits of whole grains vs. refined ones in my post about enriched wheat flour, but in case you are in a hurry, here is the gist of what I said:
White flour has been stripped of almost all of it's nutrient content, which is then replaced with inferior, manufactured vitamins. Our bodies also process it very quickly and it can spike blood sugar, causing it to plummet later. This can make us feel tired, and is hard on the adrenal glands. It's especially noticeable in hypoglycemics or people with diabetes. In addition, all fiber is removed from refined flour, so we don't feel full as long or get the cleansing effect of the fiber.
Whole grains, on the other hand, are processed more slowly, contain fiber to make us feel full longer and cleanse the body, and naturally contain all of the nutrients the good Lord put there to begin with.
So, are you up for it? Don't worry, I'm not asking you to give up donuts or fried chicken forever, just for 29 days. You may find at the end of this challenge that you actually prefer the whole grain options over the refined flour ones.
Soo...head on over to your pantry/fridge/freezer, gather up all of the foods you have containing refined grains, and either bag them up to pull out in a month, chuck them, or donate them to your local food pantry. If you don't have much willpower when it comes to resisting food, do yourself a favor and get the stuff out of the house! And don't forget this challenge applies when you're eating out!
Does this seem like a bit too much of a change for you right now? Try making it fit for you and your family. Maybe just switch to whole grain bread, brown rice, and/or whole wheat noodles for a month. I do encourage to you try taking it a little further, though. Just don't commit to something you're not ready for and set yourself up to fail. Remember, any little change is a step in the right direction, and can lead to more changes!
Tune back in on Wednesday, when I'll be sharing some tips on making the switch, as well as some more info on the soaking your grains.
Do YOU have any advice to share on switching to whole grains? Or questions I and fellow readers can help answer?