Sunday, 22 April 2012

Grainy goodness

Something I've been waiting for for a long time has finally happened and I'm very excited about it ...

Waitrose now stocks gluten-free sandwiches!

I appreciate that to those of you who are wheat eaters this may not seem important, but I've been waiting 8 years to be able to buy a gluten free sandwich, so it's pretty exciting.

Not only is it convenient to be able to buy one, but it signifies that the number of gluten free individuals in the UK has reached the critical mass needed to accept gluten free as a normal eating habit ... The only frontier left for me is to be able to buy a gluten free pizza in a restaurant (waitrose already sell gluten free pizza bases so you can make your own).

Anyway back to my daily food checklist and talking of bread brings me onto wholegrains.

A wholegrain is one which hasn't been processed so the fibre/husk hasn't been removed. This is good news for your health not just due to fibre content but the fibrous parts of the husk contain the grain's B vitamins which are vital vitamins important for numerous functions. Two of which are energy production and coping with stress.

If you're under stress your body prioritizes the use of B vitamins in the stress response and so energy levels drop, which is why everyone feels tired after a stressful day and also why most city folk need more B vitamins in their diets.

So on top of 1.5litres water, 5 veggies, 2 fruit and a daily portion of pulses I'm adding two portions of wholegrains to my daily food checklist.

This is pretty easy to achieve:
Start your day with an oat based breakfast such as muesli or porridge made with whole oats (for gluten free porridge use brown rice or quinoa flakes and add extra rice bran).

If you're more of a toast person have wholegrain toast, preferably wheat free such as rye or spelt which is still wheat but lower gluten. If you're gluten free you want a bread with added rice bran or whole millet/buckwheat flakes. I like warburtons wholegrain rolls or dietary specials ciabatta rolls. Alternatively use these wholegrain breads to make a lunchtime sandwich.

For dinner brown rice should be top of the list and is good with a stirfry, casserole or fish dish otherwise have barley or quinoa, or if you're having soup have some german rye bread to dip into it ... simples!

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