Sunday, October 31, 2010

Festive Fitness Challenge Day -1

Well one more day until my house starts the festive fitness challenge. It is Halloween and our house is overflowing with candy. That means tonight is going to end with a stomach ache and tomorrow will start with a sugar hangover. We took most of the day to hang out; we did lunch, groceries and a movie. Now we are just waiting for the first bunch of kids to show up for the junk.

For our dietary challenge we will be giving up junk, as usual. This means no chocolate, candy or chips. It is funny, we are both very healthy eaters by day, however, when 8pm hits all bets are off. I will also be giving up processed grains. This will be challenge but I hope to explore the world of whole grain options while I do it. I believe whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet so I hope to find some new recipes.

So far I have picked up the following: steal cut oats, bulgar, millet, barely, long grain rice, kasha (buckwheat), and quinoa.

Whole Grain Facts:
What is the deal with whole grains anyways?
A whole grain consists of three parts: the endosperm, the bran and the germ. Whole grains are beneficial to your health because they are high in fibre, nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals. So why give up processed grains? When processing grains part of the endosperm, bran and germ are taken out. In Canada, manufacturers must fortify grains with vitamins and minerals if they refine them. Having said that, the fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals in these products are lost. Fibre is a major player in decreasing our risk of disease; fibre maintains healthy digestion, aids in lowering our cholesterol and helps us feel fuller, longer. When consuming grains one should try to ingest half of their grains from whole grain sources. In order to get the most benefit out of your grains I recommend consuming them in their unprocessed, unrefined form.
So what should I look for?
In Canada and the United States you should look for the word "whole grain" on the label and in the ingredient list. Just because something says it is "whole wheat" or "multi grain" does not mean that it is whole grain. Also keep in mind ingredients are listed from greatest in quantity to least. If you are picking a product that has whole grain as one of the last ingredients you might want to choose again. There are no regulations on using the word "multigrain" so seeing this on the label has no bearing on whole grain content.
Types of whole grains:
Brown Rice

Alright all, signing off for the night. Good luck in the upcoming days and remember the beginning of a new dietary change is always the hardest. Stay strong!

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