Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Whole grains and legumes like beans are the unsung heroes of a healthy diet.
They may not have the great appeal of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, the hearty sizzle of a steak, or the rich texture of salmon, but they’re versatile, inexpensive, easy to prepare – and packed with both flavor and lots of health benefits.
Whole grains have gotten a bad rap in recent years because diet fads have swung away from carbohydrates in general.
It’s true refined carbohydrates – like white bread, pasta, potatoes, and pastries – can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike quickly, which can lead to weight gain and even metabolic disorders.
But your body relies on stored carbohydrate, called glycogen, to build and repair muscle.
Without it, your body burns stored fat, beginning a process called ketosis, which can stress your kidneys and liver.
Not only does your body need the carbohydrates in whole grains for energy, but grains also have powerful nutrients and antioxidants to bolster immunity, help prevent cancer and heart disease, and slow aging.
Whole grains are nutritious because, unlike refined grains, all parts of the plant have been left intact, including the fiber-rich outer layer of the kernel, called the bran, and the vitamin-rich seed, called the germ.
Refining and processing often remove these two crucial parts of the grain, leaving only the largest part, the endosperm, which has protein and carbohydrate.
The more highly refined the grain, the higher the percentage of simple carbohydrate remaining – simple carbohydrate rapidly converts to blood sugar, or glucose.
For example, whole wheat flour contains 13.3% protein and 71% carbohydrate, while refined and milled cake flour has 7.5% protein and 79.4% carbohydrate.
But the world of whole grains goes beyond bakery goods and pastas made from whole wheat flour.
Grains like barley, bulgur, quinoa, polenta, and brown and wild rice give unique textures and flavors to recipes and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Recipe of the Day: Fire-Roasted Chili
When the weather turns cool, who doesn’t love curling up with a warm bowl of chili?
This recipe freezes well and makes a large batch – enough for family dinners throughout the week.
If you have just a cup or so leftover, you can use it as a topping for your favorite baked chips for an instant, healthy nacho snack.
Makes 9 (1-cup) servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1-1/4 pounds (20 ounces) extra-lean ground turkey or beef
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and diced
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 (16-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced pitted prunes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 teaspoons chipotle puree or red chile flakes (optional)
Salt to taste
*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer; don’t brown the garlic.
Add the turkey or beef and cook until no longer pink.
Add the roasted peppers, chili powder, cumin, coriander, mustard, and oregano.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
Stir in the beans, prunes, and cilantro.
Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes or until just heated through.
Season with chipotle puree and salt, if desired.
Per serving: 190 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated), 25 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 21 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars), 5 g fiber, 19 g protein.
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from Flavor First by Cheryl Forberg, RD