Monday, May 31, 2010

The Whole Grain Truth- Part 1

We see it every day we go to the grocery store, on crackers and cereal, even chips: "Made with Whole Grain". And we buy it, because it's healthier- hey, I'm part of the same crowd! I buy the cereal, and the crackers because I figure, if it's made with whole grain, it's healthier. It's brilliant marketing- and it helps us feel good about the things we are buying to keep our families (and ourselves) healthy.
But, unfortunately, they are not as healthy as they profess to be. Some crackers and cereals (most, generally) undergo complex processes to complete the final, tasty product. Some even contain ingredients like "partially hydrogenated oil", which totally cancels out any nutritional value it had going for itself in the first place! So, the next time you buy something made with whole grain consider this:
The definition of a whole grain is any cereal grain which contains bran and germ, as well as endosperm. Refined grains contain only the endosperm. All grains start out as a whole grain- a grain in its natural state, and remains a whole grain when, after milling, retains all 3 components of the grain. So, if the FIRST ingredient on the package of your crackers is "whole grain ____", you've made a healthy step in the right direction!

Now that we know the definition of whole grain, what are whole grains, you might ask?
When Sam and I were first married, our meals included some sort of meat, and rice or pasta, and a vegetable on the side. It was pretty habitual... for a while.
I don't know how or when it began, but slowly I began to experiment with grains. There are some grains I have yet to taste, but my palate, and enjoyment of food has increased much thanks to the wide variety of whole grains we have readily available to us now- most of us just don't know it. Here's a list of whole grains- see how many you have eaten, or might know of:
Amaranth
Barley
Buckwheat
Bulgur
Corn
Farro
Grano
Kamut
Millet
Oats
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa)
Rice
Sorghum/ Milo
Spelt
Teff
Triticale
Wheat
Wild Rice
How did you do? I would say, if you are familiar with or have tried at least half of the grains on this list, you are doing well! Now, if you want to know more about each of these grains, here's a summary of each grain listed. There are also some recipes posted under the recipes link (thank you Malissa!). Enjoy discovering a new grain this week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Be Thankful

Because we are just as much a spiritual being as we are a physical being, our spiritual health is just as important (and even connected)! So here are my spiritual thoughts on health today.

Yesterday morning I spent some time enjoying yoga outside in the yard. It was nice weather, but the most enjoyable thing was the sounds of the wind rustling the leaves, and the sounds of the birds and animals in the trees. After a while, I realized that there was more to enjoy than just what I saw with my eyes, and what I taste with my mouth. Too often I get caught up in what I'm GOING to do in the next moments, not what's happening in THIS moment. I almost lost that feeling when I came back in and found myself drifting mindlessly toward the pantry, but I caught myself, and enjoyed time with my family that didn't only involve food.

This is something I'm working on, something I struggle with, but I'm getting better. "Arouse your faculties"; a statement made by Alma in the Book of Mormon. Pay attention to everything around you, and just be thankful. Think about why you are doing what you are doing, and be thankful for everything you eat, everything you smell, see and feel- and maybe we'll begin to be content with what we have rather than thinking we need more, and then food won't be an obsession; it will be a gift.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

You, Me, We

There are so many things I want to share, and so many of you that I want to share my passion with, and so it begins.

This is all about health! Your health, you family's health, and the things we can do to help the country improve its health: spiritual, mental, and physical!
But here's my Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I certified in nutrition, I simply love sharing what I know.

On Thursday night I made a presentation about portion sizes, healthy substitutes, and reading food labels, but there was so much information I wanted to share, that I thought this would be the best way to do it. Enjoy reading- and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to let me know! I would love to discuss more of it with you! You'll find the information from Thursday on the pages "Recipes from Stephanie Henderson", and "Helpful tips for healthy habits".

Last thing- this blog is "healthy me, healthy we", because your health (and your family's health) begins with you; begins with us. So, we make individual choices, take responsibility for who we want to become, and then we find each other, and help one another along the way. So, thank you- because I know inevitably that you will help me as much as I hope to help you.
Here's to a wonderful new week!

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One Step at a Time

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson