Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beat The White Flour Blues

If you need a jack for your eyelids in the morning or at any other time of the day, perhaps you have the sugar blues! No? Ever heard of the white flour blues?

If you are sleepy and able, catch a quick snore (10-20 minutes should do the trick) and then when the munchies hit, have a healthy snack ready and waiting: fruit, trail mix, carrot sticks, water with lemon, nuts, or chomp on some gum if it's the oral fixation you're after. I couldn't resist posting this incredible painting. It resonated a little too well with me--being that white flour makes me sleepy. It is rare that I eat it, but when I do, my eyelids get heavy and my mind gets mushy. For me, there is no good reason to eat white flour, not even convenience. I HATE being tired!!

An FYI about wheat: "Today, though, most wheat is processed and refined. The milling process first cracks the wheat grains, then pulverizes them with a series of rollers. In this way the starchy carbohydrate-rich center, called the endosperm, is separated from both the dark fibrous bran and the wheat embryo, called the wheat germ. At each stage of milling, something is lost. Removing the wheat germ pulls out vitamins and unsaturated fats. Whacking away the branny outer layer removes fiber, magnesium, and more vitamins. By the time whole-wheat grains have been turned into white flour, the final product is a pale shadow of the original, literally and nutritionally.

Even if whole-grain and high-fiber foods have no effect on cancer, their impact on heart disease and diabetes is reason enough to eat grains in this form instead of their stripped-down counterparts.....The fiber in whole grains delays absorption of glucose and eases the workload for the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood......The bran layer of many grains contains essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium, copper, and manganese that may be important in reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes." -Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating by Walter C. Willett, M.D. pgs. 110, 113

Having a hard time switching from white flour to whole grains? Here are some suggestions from Eat, Drink and Be Healthy:

"Start slowly and add new grains or products as your appetite grows for these tasty foods:
  • Eat whole grains for breakfast
  • Discover whole-grain breads
  • Forget the French fries-Instead of potatoes or white rice, cook up some brown rice to accompany a meal. Or get really adventurous and try some "newer" grains like kasha, bulgur, oat groats, wheat berries or cracked wheat, millet, quinoa, or hulled barley.
  • Whole-wheat pasta can be a delicious alternative (I have to agree! It's my new favorite!)
  • Bake with whole-wheat flour (Beware, sometimes if you switch out whole wheat for white entirely, the results can be devastating. Apparently, making pasta from scratch requires you to follow the recipe exactly. My whole wheat ravioli were as hard as rocks. Find a tried and true recipe or you may end up wasting ingredients like I do!)
  • Pester your grocery store's manager or the chefs of your favorite restaurants" -(pgs.115-116)
For those of you who aren't familiar with Bob's Red Mill, check out the website and order virtually any grain in existance. This has to be one of my favorite things about Portland.

Have a wonderful day and please share with me any and all whole grain recipes you might have.

1 comment:

Tobias Davis said...

I think I would take whole wheat in something over white flour any day! Noodles, pancakes, anything! I suppose it would be hard for angel food cake, but...