Recently I discovered two terrific organizations - Oldways and the Whole Grains Council. Both offer outstanding information for everyone that wants to enjoy beautiful, delicious, and healthy food. You have probably already seen the Whole Grains Council seal of approval on a variety of products, but may not have paid much attention to it. Here it is:
The seal tells you what percentage of the product is whole grain and the number of grams offered in a serving. Ideally half or more of the grains we eat should be whole grains. I doubt if many of us even reach 10% of the recommended grams.
Eating enough whole grains has been shown to be an aid in attaining a healthy weight because they fill you up for fewer calories, keep you fuller longer than refined grains, and provides more nutrition which the body uses to burn off excess fat. As losing weight is one of my personal goals, it is a no brainer to include more whole grains with each meal. Just have to love a diet tweak that has you eating more food!
On September 1st, I was delighted to discover that the Whole Grains Council has declared September Whole Grains Month! Found that out because I Liked both organization's pages on FB. Go Like them yourself!
A quick look through my pantry revealed several items that had the seal, such as the Uncle Ben's. Win! However, I also noticed that I had several packaged foods that were made from mostly refined products. This means that the healthiest part of the grain has been removed. The tasteless remains are then "enhanced" with "natural" flavor and vitamins. This does not sound like the description of any beautiful, delicious, or healthy glorious food. So, in honor of Whole Grains Month, my goal is to replace as many of these foods as possible with an equivalent product that, preferably, has been given the WGC seal of approval. Can I make more permanent, healthier, and tastier changes in my diet without extending the amount of preparation time? Can I do it and keep my focus on the beauty and delicousness of each meal? I do work a day job so time for cooking is restricted.
First up for a change are a couple packaged rice and vege side dishes. I'll look for an equivalent that has the seal - or at the very least indicate that they are whole grain. However, my first thought here is, the UB brown rice takes 10 minutes to prepare. 10 minutes. I can thaw out some frozen peas, or saute some onion, garlic, and sweet red pepper, or nuke any number of veges while the rice cooks and then mix them together with a little olive oil and maybe a seasoning or two. It will take no longer than boiling the dried out veges in hope that they will form some approximation of their original plumpness. It will certainly taste better.
Going shopping tomorrow and will report back on items that I find in the store with the seal.