In my college years, I had a bout of colitis. I was in the hospital for three days, receiving an IV drip as my potassium level was dangerously low. One of the doctors told me to eat only whole-grain breads from then on, or I could die from colon cancer. Maybe he was too blunt, but the advice was sound. I rarely eat white bread products, and I’ve rarely suffered from constipation, abdominal cramps, or digestive problems. I almost never feel the need to take antacids.

Recently I underwent a routine colonoscopy, and was told that my colon was in perfect health. Of course, too much of anything is not good for your diet, and thus my weight problem. I need to cut down on the quantity of whole-grain products I consume. If you don’t already eat whole grain products, consider switching now.

Switch to whole wheat flour

Wheat berries have three parts: the fiber-rich bran (outer part), the nutrient-rich germ (inner part) and the endosperm (the starchy part in between). White flour throws away the bran and germ and refines only the endosperm. White flour discards all the fiber, essential fatty acids, and most of the vitamins and minerals. Then “enriched” white flour adds back in five nutrients. That’s about like a schoolteacher throwing away all the textbooks, library books, science journals and encyclopedias, then adding a few comic books and calling it educational.

A Diet Rich in Fiber Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

In a 10-year Harvard study, women who ate high-fiber breads were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease. There isn’t some magic ingredient in whole grains. It’s the whole package that works this miracle. The soluble fiber lowers bad cholesterol. The insoluble fiber moves waste through the digestive track. The fiber helps prevent the formation of blood clots – the cause of heart attacks and stroke. The many essential minerals in whole grains further lowers your risk of heart attack and diabetes.

How to Cook with Whole Grain Flour

White flour wasn’t just created to make us sick. It keeps better. By removing the oily germ, flour has a longer shelf-life. Whole grain flours should be refrigerated, as they will turn rancid and develop an off-flavor. If you’ve never cooked with whole wheat flour, then it is commonly advised that you switch over gradually. Start substituting half of the white flour called for in your favorite recipes with whole wheat flour. Gradually increase the amount of whole wheat flour until you no longer buy the refined white product.

Whole wheat flour is heavier. Foods made with whole wheat flour will be heavier. Slice your breads smaller. Add an extra egg or a bit more liquid (milk, water, wine – what ever is called for in your recipe) when using all whole-wheat flour.

If you don’t bake much, then switching from white to whole wheat is as simple as buying whole wheat bread. Just be sure that the bread you buy is really whole-wheat, and not just white bread with caramel coloring added. Look for the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain”… not just “wheat bread”. Even white bread is wheat bread.

Remember, moderation! Too much of even healthy whole-wheat bread is not good for your diet. Try to eat it without butter or added fats. Raw almond butter is a tasty, nutritious spread.

Today’s Menu:

  1. whole grain nut bread – a holiday gift. Probably not low-calorie, but I allowed myself two slices, with a banana and a glass of water.
  2. apple slices
  3. lentil salad (See recipe on Day 19)
  4. clementines
  5. vegetable soup, celery, carrots, cucumber slices, and whole grain crackers

Today’s Exercise Plan:

A stiff walk through crowded stores to finish up shopping! I learned from approaching fitness that it is vital to keep moving to keep my muscle lose weight plus keep it off, so I have made it apart of my routine. I’ll walk the dogs, too. I need to do some Pilates work with the DVD, as I haven’t done that in a while.

Good luck with your own diet progress! Drop a comment to share your successes, or any new recipes you might have discovered.

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