Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ancient Grains

Disclaimer: What follows is my opinion. I am in no way trying to dissuade people from the low-carb movement.

I was reading my blogs this morning and I've come to realize that the low-carb movement is quite active. Being a vegetarian, you may have guessed that I am not a practitioner of this diet. I tried it a few times when I was young. My father took me to Dr's Quick Weight Loss Center. I believe he paid 400 dollars; I have such a good daddy. I'm sure they encouraged vegetables with pounds of fatty meats, but I was so excited to hear that I could lose weight eating burgers and cheese that I didn't hear it. I did lose 17 pounds the first two weeks. Excitement and smaller sizes followed then boredom and cravings. I never was a big pasta eater but I loved bread. As you might except the 'diet' stopped and the weight came on. People need carbs.

Success didn't happen until I found Fit for Life which encourages eating every food group(even meat) so long as it is unrefined. So when I talk about whole grains and how much of them I eat I am referring to something specific: Ancient Grains.

Ancient Grains are completely unrefined grains. Many have heard of Spelt and Quinoa(Keen-wa) plus they can be found in many mainstream grocery stores. Amaranth, Millet, and Kamut are known to the cruncy granola tree-huggers since they have not yet escape from the health food label. All these grains have large amounts of protein and require more energy from the body to digest. Hence you burn calories when you eat them. You wont melt fat just by eating these foods. Like anything, if they are overeaten they can be stored as lipids. I found them helpful before and after workouts. My L.A. doctor told me that you continue to burn fat after exercise.

I buy Spelt bread. It's so dense and filling one slice is enough. Ezekiel Bread or Bible bread is well known and can be found in grocery stores. The website does not include nutritional info but I recall the protein to be about 7-9grams and the calories 70 or 80 per slice.
Quinoa can be made like rice: 1 part grain to 2 parts water bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. I put mine in mushroom broth which gives it a nice moist fluffy texture.

When I started my journey The Whole Foods Bible served me well;it's like an encyclopedia of unrefined foods.

And I just found this book on Amazon for cooking the grains. I wish I had it back then, it would have saved me some trial and error.


amanda c said...

Hi Heather -- I just love your approach to eating for a healthful life. I always tell my friends I'm on the amazing "don't eat crap you know is bad for you" diet. They laugh, but it's true -- moderation and variety are the keys to not only weight loss, but a healthy life forever. Have you seen Bob Greene's "Best Life" diet stuff? Right along the same lines as "Fit for Life."

Heather Waghelstein said...

Yes, I did read Bob Green and I really enjoyed his approach. And I agree with your point on healthy eating for life. Thanks for your comment.