Monday, 20 January 2014

Wholegrain goodness challenge

It's a usual cliche that little things can make a big difference. This blog is about a journey that started with a small thing like taking a whole grain goodness challenge that made a big difference to our life in a way of healthy eating.

We started the whole grain goodness challenge today,basically it's about incorporating atleast one whole meal meal or snack per day in the family's daily diet over a period of two weeks. This initiative is started jointly by whole grain goodness a mumsnet. Many enthusiastic mothers are taking this challenge and mumsnet provided with a 10 pound supermarket voucher for 100 official challenge takers( I am lucky to be selected as one of them). My daughter was more excited than me when the supermarket voucher arrived by post. I took her to the shop to purchase some child friendly whole grain goodies.Over the next two weeks I would keep you all posted how we are getting on.
With the end of festive month , no holidays in sight and ongoing struggle to keep up with the new year`s resolution January is undeniebley the toughest month of the year .Thanks for the wholegrain challenge which came as a resolution recue and gave us a motivation to make a miserable month better by healthy eating.

Being a medic I could not refrain myself from lecturing about whole grain goodness.Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. Whole grain foods have a lot of fibre and a higher saity index, it makes us feel fuller for longer.The message: every whole grain in your diet helps!


I usually include wholegrain in my daily diet ,the toughest part is to make my fussy eating five year old and thirty five year old(my husband)incorporate the whole grain in thier diet.

Day 1:
My first purchase for the challenge was a wholegrain cereal  fortified with vitamin D which I trade in for  breakfast today and it worked out well.Lets` see how it goes on for the next two weeks.I  also replaced my cooking oil with rapeseed oil for that added wholegrain zing in my diet.Rapesead oil is a monounsaturated fatty oil and it helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

The evenings closing in and temperature dropping down,I made an extra spicy chicken curry and brown rice for dinner,they are a perfect antidote for the freezing weather and replacing brown rice in the place of white rice is a healthy choice.

Day 2:
In our family we never miss out on breakfast because we strongly believe eating first thing helps to stabilise blood sugar levels which regulate appetite and energy levels.On the day 2 of whole grain challenge day I made a bowl of chocolate and banana porridge to start the day with a bang.
I got the recipie from a fitness magazine.
Recipie: Simply heat the whole oats and skimmed milk in a microwave for 2 minutes and then add 2 tsp of 70 percent cocoa powder and chopped banana.oats are a great source of cholesterol friendly beta glucan fibre and will set you up for a day.I also added some griddled tomatoes for a heart friendly lycopene boast.

Lunch:

Toasted whole grain bread with mushroom omelet :

Eggs are so versatile and create a healthy meal packed full of essential proteins and vitamins.combing a whole grain toast with an omelette is a very tasty and satisfying combination that would keep you filled in all day long.

Day 3:

Changing your life for the better is not always easy.There may be some deep seated negative beliefs buried within and unless we root them out and shake them off they will continue to sabotage the fitness attempts.Healing starts from within and I am one of those people who use food as an avoidance strategy for stress.So started using my mindfulness techniques today,so I paused for a moment before cooking white rice briyani for dinner today and skillfully succeeded in making a brown rice briyani.

Also when my hand reached for the choclate biscuit I skillfully replaced it with a whole grain biscuit with a hummus dip.

Day 4:

To stay with a plan can sometimes feel as elusive as chasing a retreating wave of cloud shadow across a summer's sun kissed lawn.today is one such tricky day with guest coming over for dinner , we initially planned to give our whole grain dinner plan a miss,but the endeavor in my stayed strong and we made a lovely oat coated makeral fish and sweet potato wedges for dinner.The guests were also very much impressed by the taste.


Day 5:

It's day five of my whole grain challenge and Friday my favourite day of the week.so I decided to add some reward to my family.Giving rewards now and then boast our inspiration to stay on track.I made some strawberry cupcakes from whole grain flour to treat my family and had a luxury manicure to treat myself.

Today's breakfast is a home made whole grain muesli topped up with berries and a dallop of Greek yoghurt.Adding berries to our breakfast gives an antioxidant boast.

Day 6 and 7- A zesty weekend treat

I usually plan in advance for weekend meals so that we don't reach for an unhealthy cholesterol laden snaks and crisps.I prepared the following foods in advance to fuel our weekend with zest and deliciousness.

1. Whole grain muffin,muesli with berries for breakfast

2.roasted nuts,bananas and Greek yoghurt for that lazy mid morning/ mid after noon snacks.

3.chicken stir fry,basmati rice,prawn gravey,mixed vegetable curry,quinoa which can be mixed and match for lunch and dinner.

I also did a fun filled activity with my arty crafty daughter to keep her motivated with eating whole grain food.

We took few plain white papers and collected few magazines , the activity is to identify the whole grain food , recipies from the magazine, paste them on the paper and arrange into a pretty recipie folder.It was a nice little crafty way to entertain a five year old.

Week two:

Well it's week two. My grocery delivery for this week arrived bang on time. This time around there were many whole grain materials in the delivery list.

There were moments in the journey when we felt like giving up but whenever those downward spiral hits we remembered the reason why we started this challenge in the first place- we wanted a better health and well being for our family, this thought helped us to keep going.

The the challenge appears easy it was challenging to keep on track at times. We decided to do it gradually by introducing one wholegrain meal a day  and divided it into easily digestable chunks( no pun intended).

When an action is repeated again and again it becomes a habit. Having atleast one whole grain meal or snack has become a habit for my family that we decided to contine this journey for the rest of our life.

What started as a simple fun filled challenge is now become a rewarding habit. All thanks to mumsnet and whole grain goodness for helping us to embark on such a fruitful delicious culinary journey.

The two weeks was exciting fun filled learning quirky wholegrain receipies and helping each other to stay on track. Though we did not shed pounds of weight in the two weeks I am sure this habit would definitely lead to betterment of health in long term.I am pleased to note my five year old carefully reaching for wholegrain bread in supermarket .



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