♥ Daily Dose | How to Shop for Whole Grains

Is this a whole grain?
Is this a whole grain?

Following an eating plan that centers around whole-grain foods versus refined grains can help you reduce belly fat and other health risks.  See Eat Your Way to a Trimmer Waist. But shopping for whole grains can be confusing with all the varying descriptors. So here’s a guide to help you decipher what’s whole grain and what’s not.

To qualify as a whole grain, 100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present. All grains start out whole, but during the refining process, the bran and germ are removed. As a general rule, look for the key word “whole”, such as “whole grain”, “100% whole grain”, or “whole wheat” when shopping for a whole-grain product and see that it’s listed as the first ingredient on the food label.

Watch for These Words

Beware of the following product ingredient descriptions as they MAY NOT be whole grain:   Continue reading “♥ Daily Dose | How to Shop for Whole Grains”

Quick Quinoa with Wasabi Arugula and Shrimp

Quick QuinoaNeed some healthy fast food? Here’s a high-protein, high fiber dish that you can enjoy as a side, salad or to-go lunch. Why quinoa? It’s protein dense, rich in B vitamins and omega-3 fats which means it’s not only healthy for your heart, but nourishing for your bones and skin. It’s also gluten-free if you’re sensitive to wheat. The frozen red quinoa and brown rice combo is already cooked which makes preparing this power salad simple and quick!   Continue reading “Quick Quinoa with Wasabi Arugula and Shrimp”

Gluten-Free for Getting Fit

291961-New_certified_gluten_free_label_has_stringent_audit_and_review_processMore and more gluten-free products are taking up valuable real estate on grocery and health food store shelves. This is great news for people who suffer from celiac disease and cannot eat foods that contain gluten. But many people who do not have the disease perceive a gluten-free diet as healthier and for that reason, gluten-free diets have become a growing lifestyle trend.

Why Go Gluten Free

This diet excludes all foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts, and triticale. The G-free up side is that this diet is essential for people with celiac disease or a gluten allergy or sensitivity. By eliminating gluten from the diet, many popular processed snack foods, cookies and cakes that are high in calories and void of nutrients are off limits. Note that opting to drop junk food from your diet alone can make your feel better, but it’s not necessarily because you’ve eliminated gluten.   Continue reading “Gluten-Free for Getting Fit”

Toasted Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Edamame

Toasted Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and EdamameAs a follow-up to the Southwestern-style Quinoa and Black Beans, here’s a nutrient-dense, protein-packed salad to try. It’s fresh in taste, texture and color with a hint of Asian flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, frozen or fresh (41-50 shrimp/pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen edamame, shelled
  • 1 c. scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 tsp. tamari (or soy sauce), reduced-sodium and gluten-free
  • 1 tsp. Aji-Mirin (sweet cooking rice seasoning) – can be found in the Asian foods of the supermarket with the rice wine vinegars
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste (optional)

PREPARATION:
1. Place in a mesh strainer and rinse well with water:

  • 1 1/2 c. quinoa, uncooked

2. Toss in medium bowl. Set aside and let marinate.

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa seedsQuinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) has gained recognition and popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative and valuable vegetarian source of protein. As a breakfast, side dish, salad, or dessert, quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various cuisines.

Quinoa is rich in B vitamins like other grains, but it’s actually an edible seed and a relative to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Quinoa is unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete (whole) protein. This protein-dense food originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and was a sacred staple in the diet of the ancient Incan culture.

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, here’s a great recipe to try for your first experience!   This dish travels well and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy it as a side or wrap it in a warm tortilla with avocado and shredded raw cabbage or lettuce for a satisfying meal. Continue reading “Quinoa and Black Beans”