Whole Grains vs MADE with Whole Grains

Bread

This bread looks so yummy, doesn’t it?!?!  I can almost smell it and taste it!!  Bread is a common staple in most American households.  The average American eats about 53 lbs of bread per year!!  That’s a lot of bread!!  If you look at the packaging of your bread at home, there’s a decent chance that it says, “made with whole grains”.  Not all bread packages say this, but a lot do.  But the question is, is this bread a whole grain?

 

Cheerios

What about these Cheerios?  These are another yummy staple in most American households.   I don’t know if I know a kid who wasn’t fed Cheerios as a snack when they were little!  It’s one of the easiest snacks, right up there with Goldfish!  I know we gave our kiddos both.  According to the packaging and commercials, Cheerios are heart healthy and made with whole grain oats.  So the question is, are they a whole grain?

Packaging and commercials would lead you to believe that a lot of foods made with grains are a whole grain.  It can be very confusing and it’s no fault of your own.  But the easiest way to know whether you are getting a whole grain or something that’s MADE from a whole grain is to ask yourself, did this come straight from a plant?  So, those Cheerios, can we grow them?  Do you see them in the fields that you drive by in the country?  Do they come straight from a plant?  No – of course you don’t see them growing in the ground!  So they aren’t a whole grain.

Here’s why it matters.  Foods that are made with whole grains have gone through some sort of processing and most likely, other, not-so-nutritious ingredients, have been added.  Whenever processing takes place, you lose some, or a lot of, the original nutritional value of the grain.  The added ingredients that you typically get are salt, sugar, GMO ingredients, and a lot of the “what-the-heck-is-this” ingredients.  A lot of times, those can be the hardest ingredients because most of us don’t know what they are.  And unfortunately, we tend to trust the FDA and what they allow, so we assume these ingredients are safe for consumption.  Often times, they are not.  (A different blog for a different day.)

So what could you have instead of the bowl of Cheerios?  You can have a bowl of oat groats and add your favorite berries.  You avoid the processing of the oat without having added corn starch, sugar, salt, and tripotassium phosphate, which is a questionable ingredient.  (These are the ingredients of the original Cheerios – other versions of Cheerios come with even more ingredients and contain GMO’s). Yes, berries themselves contain sugar, but this isn’t a white sugar that has no nutritional value.  Berries have wonderful antioxidants, contain much-needed fiber, and contain many vitamins and minerals, none of which sugar contains.

Millet

My point to all of this is when your doctor, trainer, or health coach encourages you to eat whole grains, they mean grains like the millet above, or the quinoa below.  They can be an important part of your diet, if you are a healthy person with no gut issues, autoimmune conditions, or a gluten intolerance…. cause of course, that’s another story.  🙂

Quinoa

For more information on whole grains and whether they should be a part of your diet, feel free to contact me.  I would love to support you on your health journey!

Experimenting for Paisley’s Elimination Diet & Props to Some Companies

My eight year old, Paisley, has started an elimination diet. 😩😩😩 (This is where I try not to blame myself for the genetics that I seem to have passed on 🙄🔫) She has a couple different kinds of rashes, gets sick fairly easy (as in the throw-up kind of sick 😷 🤢) and has been dealing with acid reflux since she was a baby. Her doctor has ran some labs but because her immune system is so hyped up and completely focused on something else going on in her body, her labs came back almost spotless. We already know that she has issues with dairy and we’re pretty positive that she has an egg allergy. So for those things to come back spotless, we knew it wasn’t right. So… Welcome to the wonderful world of an elimination diet. 😭

I knew that we were going to have to do this so around the holidays I tried to start pulling out some of the foods that are on the common allergens list. Those are gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, oranges, and bananas. Basically anything that a kid wants to shove in their mouth has at least one of these ingredients! (I was so surprised by oranges and bananas!! Who knew?!?!) We are choosing to allow her nuts for now. The only exception is peanuts because most children who have an egg allergy are also allergic to peanuts. We’re not 100% sure she has an egg allergy but we are pretty positive. So for precautions, we are avoiding peanuts. We don’t think she has an allergy to any other nuts but more importantly, all the things I want to make her that will help her feel somewhat normal, seem to include almond flour.

When the holidays were here, I knew treats were going to be involved. So I decided to try to make a cookie. I also wanted to make it be a little bit better for you so that I wouldn’t feel so guilty eating it myself or allowing my kids to eat it.

Now keep in mind, I never encourage anyone to eat a bunch of sugary treats. Even though these cookies are a little better, they are still full of sugar so they’re still not something that I would encourage anyone to over eat on.

At Christmas, the peanut butter blossom cookies are one of my absolute favorite. I wanted to make them this year so I decided to experiment. I made a batch following the exact recipe (for those who have no dietary restrictions) and I made a batch that had better ingredients. These are the regular recipe.

Sooooooo good!!!!

But for Paisley’s dietary restrictions, I changed out several ingredients. I swapped out white flour with cassava flour (my new favorite), applesauce for the egg, coconut sugar for granulated, almond butter for peanut, almond milk for milk, and sea salt for salt. Only thing I might try next time is butter for shortening or Nutiva’s shortening made with palm fruit oil and virgin coconut oil. Unfortunately, I did not have either on hand. These turned out pretty amazing and you wouldn’t know the difference by looking at them!

But because Paisley isn’t able to have the Hershey kisses, I substituted those with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. These turned out pretty well too and Paisley approved!

Before I move on, I have to give some props to a particular company, SIMPLE MILLS! I cannot tell you how much easier it’s been to do this diet because of them. I love that there are only a few ingredients in each item they sell, and more importantly, you know what every ingredient is. There’s nothing that you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list and I absolutely love that! They make their foods with none of the common allergens (with the exceptions of almond flour, of course) and that has been huge for us! When you are someone that is used to eating grains, it’s very hard to remove them cold turkey. Simple Mills has made this process so much easier!!

Their company sells things like muffins, pizza dough, cookies, pancake and waffle mix, crackers, etc. All things that typically you would have to give up on an elimination diet. But this brand has been huge in helping me substitute some of the items Paisley was having on a regular basis.

Bob’s Red Mill…another company that I should give props too. We use their almond flour, coconut flour, pizza crust mix, pancake mix, and the best, their egg replacer. There are some recipes that I just can’t find the right substitute for eggs and their egg replacer is my saving grace! Another thing that we’ve experimented with is pancakes. Both of my girls love them so figuring out a way to make them without gluten and eggs was a must. I’ve used both Simple Mills and Bob’s Red Mill and truly have enjoyed them both.

This particular time, I used Bob’s for my pancake mix. I used coconut oil for my oil, added a little vanilla, and for the eggs, I used a combination of things. I used the entire mix so it called for multiple eggs. For half of the eggs, I used applesauce. Because we were out of actual applesauce, I used my kids applesauce pouches and they worked just fine! For the other half of eggs, I used 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per egg.

My girls like chocolate chip pancakes so I opted for the Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Enjoy Life also makes their products with none of the common allergens… Which makes this mom super excited! For syrup, I would love it if my girls would use 100% pure maple syrup but, of course, they have to be picky and won’t eat it. So, I use the Log Cabin brand and use their all natural table syrup. It tastes like pancake syrup but does not contain any corn syrup. The pancakes turned out great and we all love them!

I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge of making things that Paisley can eat that aren’t made with any allergens. It’s forced me to be a little more creative than normal and I actually get excited when I make something and it turns out! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I would prefer that she eat lean meats, nuts, vegetables, and berries and then cooking would not really be required (except for the meat, of course). 😬 However, she is an American kid raised in the American culture and we definitely have not enforced good eating habits. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ I am hoping that we can continue to work on better food choices but in the meantime, finding substitutes for the common allergens, and choosing better ingredients for the treats that she likes, will help us continue to make steps in that direction.

Until next time…

Morning Coffee ☕️

I love coffee. I mean I really LOVE coffee. So when I felt like my morning cup of joe was potentially a driving factor for my anxiety, and after a couple of years fighting myself on it, I gave up and decided to stop drinking I️t.

Not drinking coffee only lasted for a few days. I literally found myself walking in circles not knowing what to do because my coffee, and my morning routine, was gone. At that point I decided I wasn’t giving I️t up.

So I started drinking my coffee again, but I opted for decaf instead of caffeinated. I cannot begin to even tell you how much this helped my anxiety from day 1 of giving up the caffeine! I️t was crazy! Yes, I miss the boost in the morning (but I️ don’t miss the crash after) and sometimes I will have a half-caf in the afternoon, but how much less anxiety I have makes I️t completely worth I️t! ** So giving up caffeine was half my battle. The other half has been decreasing my sugar intake as well. And one of the places I was getting excess sugar was in my creamer. So lately, I’ve been doing my own version of Bulletproof coffee. *** I️ call I️t Bulletproof coffee but I️t really isn’t all that close. 😂 I thought I would share my version of this because I know lots of people who have a hard time giving up their lattes and their creamers. I️ love sugar so if I feel this is sweet enough, I promise I️t is!

My recipe:

I️ love a lot of coffee, I’m not going to lie. So I make about 20 oz of coffee. I fill my Yeti up and then have some left for a cup. My Yeti stays perfectly hot while I drink my first cup. 😊 But you can make this for any amount of coffee. Speaking of, as far as coffee goes, picking an organic, whole bean is best. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time (or the patience), so we have ground coffee and a Keurig. After my coffee is brewed, I put I️t in a blender. I use a Vitamix and to be honest, I could write a whole blog on my Vitamix and what I do with I️t! And yes, before you ask, I️t has to be blended, not just stirred. That’s what helps to give I️t it’s “frothiness”.

Once I have my coffee in the blender, I add a tsp of coconut oil. I usually use Nutiva coconut oil. You want to make sure you use virgin or unrefined, cold-pressed. You can add up to 1 Tbsp, which I would much prefer, but as I said, I do count my macros so I keep an eye on my fats. Plus, adding much more than my 1 tsp would prevent me from wanting to eat (fat helps with satiety), and food is fuel! As you see above, I also put in a half scoop of PlantFusion chocolate protein. I always feared plant-based proteins because I thought they would taste “grassy” but this doesn’t at all! I️t actually is really good.

Once I have both those added to my coffee, I blend I️t on high for about :30. As it’s blending, I add a little bit of almond milk to it (I used to love lattes and this make me think of a latte). I don’t have an exact amount, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s about 1/4 of a cup. Turn the blender off after about :30 and you got yourself a fabulous cup of morning coffee!

Let me know if you try this or what your version of Bulletproof looks like! My next version, I will be adding Young Living’s peppermint oil to make a peppermint mocha! I can’t wait to try this for Christmas!!

** I should mention that coffee wasn’t the only thing that I changed. I also reached out to MacrosLab to change my nutrition. That also had a powerful affect on how I fueled my body creating more energy. Reach out to http://www.macroslab.com for more information and ask for Coach Stacy

*** For the actual recipe for Bulletproof coffee, click this link https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/