ask the nutritionist: day of whole grains

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most Americans are lacking in the whole-grain department. But it really isn’t that hard to fit whole grains in your diet! It is recommended that we should be eating at least 3 servings of whole grains/day. I say there’s no reason that most of your grains can’t be whole ones.

Whole grains are nutritionally superior to their white counterparts for a number of reasons: they are higher in fiber and contain more nutrients; they reduce the risks of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes; they can even help maintain weight among a number of other benefits.

Serving Sizes:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice or whole grain pasta
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole grain cereal
  • 1 small whole grain tortilla

A day of all whole grains may sound like a lot, but I promise you it isn’t! Start swapping whole grain bread for white; oats and whole grain cereals (like Barbara’s Shredded Oats and Kashi Go Lean) for sugary cereals and whole grain pasta for white. I know some of you aren’t “used” to whole grains, or may have spouses/kids who don’t “like” whole grains, but start incorporating them or using blends and before you know it, the swaps are painless! :)

While I eat mostly whole grains I still enjoy white baguettes, fresh white pasta and cookies from time to time. It’s all about what makes up most of your diet.  (For the record, I would never turn down fresh, homemade pasta.)

Here is what a days worth of whole grains looks like:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, prepared as directed. Try my apple cinnamon oats and get in a serving of fruits too! (1 serving)

Lunch: Brown rice – try my Brown Rice, BBQ Tofu & Kale (2 servings)

Dinner: Sesame Noodles (1 cup) with 2-3 cups mixed Asian veggies and 4 oz baked chicken. (2 servings)

Snack: Cheese and crackers. Mary’s Gone Crackers and Triscuits are two of my favorite 100% whole grain crackers! Paired with some cheese and you’ve got protein and fiber. My favorite food. :) (1 serving)

See, wasn’t that easy?

I’m a huge fan of mixing up the types of grains – so don’t limit yourself to wheat – try quinoa, sprouted breads, oats, millet, etc!  And there’s no issue in all of your carbohydrates/grains are “whole” ones. I do it all the time. :)

Visit the Whole Grains Council website for more information.

baked french toast

Sounds decadent, delicious and full of calories, right? Thankfully there is such a thing as healthy french toast. The Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread eliminates refined flours and extra sugars, and the eggs add an additional protein boost that is welcome in any of my breakfasts. It’s custardy and slightly sweet and can be made ahead for a quick and easy breakfast on the go.

Baked French Toast - 4 servings

  • 8 slices Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread (I use French Meadow)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk (I use no sugar, vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup + extra for drizzling
  • 6 eggs
  • cinnamon

Cube bread into 1″ pieces and put in 8″ square pan.

Whisk together almond milk, eggs and maple syrup.

Pour egg mixture over bread cubes, sprinkle with cinnamon and let soak for about 3 hours or overnight.

Bake at 375° for about 35-40 minutes, until eggs are set.

Cut into 4 pieces, drizzle with maple syrup and serve.

The portion size is huge and there are about 313 calories and 19 grams of protein per serving. Sure to be a filling breakfast and a break from the oatmeal and toast as of late. It makes waking up in the morning that much easier. :)

in my cupboard: brown rice noodles

With my recent interest (ok, borderline obsession) with all things Asian, rice noodles keep showing up in my meals. Whether it’s in pho or a bed for curry, I’m loving all things rice noodles.

Imagine my surprise when I recently found Brown Rice Noodles! I was beyond thrilled (as only a Nutritionist could be) and immediately put them in my cart, knowing I could certainly come up with a way to use them. Like Angharad’s authentic Pad Thai (seen above).

The main difference between the white and brown – besides one version being whole grain and one not –  is really the 4 grams of fiber. The white rice noodles don’t contain any fiber and almost everyone could use a little more fiber in life, so it’s an easy, natural swap. :) Even the pickiest of eaters won’t detect that it’s “healthy!”

The two varieties are Pad Thai (Fettucine) Brown Rice Noodles and Maifun (Angel Hair) Brown Rice Noodles and they are without a doubt, the newest pantry staple of mine!

review: amazing grass

(Hi! I have a more recent Amazing Grass review – read here!)

I’ve been a fan of Amazing Grass for quite some time now. You can read about the benefits of greens here but I honestly can’t think of a better way to start my day than a shot of greens. If I was hardcore I would mix it with water, but I’m not, so a little oj and water does the trick.

Amazing Grass recently sent me some of their products to review and graciously sent some amazing greens for our smoothie bar at Camp Endeavor. I was a little nervous that the kids would want nothing to do with anything that would turn their smoothies green, but surprisingly almost all of the girls tried it in their smoothie! It was definitely a proud moment for me. The boys weren’t as into it, but I’ll take a 65% approval rating as a success!

My favorite product is by far the Green Superfoods and always has been. I will say that I really rely on the packets of Green SuperFood while I’m traveling as well. As much as I might try to fit in as many vegetables while I’m on the road as I do at home, it never seems to be the same and those little packets make me feel like I’m making up for the lost vitamins, antioxidants, etc. a bit.

I love the idea of the Amazing Meal with a protein and greens mix, but unfortunately protein powder doesn’t always sit well with my stomach and I’ve always thought hemp protein powder was a bit grainy, even though I LOVE the nutritional stats of it. I’ll stick to my shot of greens ;)  Here is a recipe, if you are a fan of the Amazing Meal or interested in trying!

PB & Chocolate Green Smoothie - 1 serving

  • 1 packet Chocolate Amazing Meal
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Blend until smooth and drink while cold!

Buy Amazing Grass (affiliate!) here: