Congratulations to Jenny S.
for winning a FREE run or swim clinic at TriMania Boston! We hope that you enjoy your clinic, and come visit us at the expo afterward!
If you're new to our blog, read more about TriMania
, an amazing event for triathletes taking place in March in Cambridge, MA.
And if you didn't win, try entering another giveaway on our page! We are currently running a giveaway for a free copy of the book "Stop Dieting and Lose Weight"
- a great easy read with practical tips you can start to implement today. We'll draw a winner for that giveaway on 3/1, so enter today!
Thanks to everyone for your great blog comments on our Bob's Red Mill giveaway. Congrats to Emily as our randomly selected winner in this giveaway! We hope she will enjoy her gift card to stock up on some great products.
Also, for those of you who didn't get a chance to read the comments, I wanted to share some of these great ideas posted by readers for utilizing healthy grains and other Bob's Red Mill products in your diet...
- "I love their coconut for my yogurt..."
- "I utilize Bob's Red Mill Flax Seed in my morning smoothies."
- "I love Bob's Red Mill whole grain bulgur."
- "I use their flax seed meal to add to our muffin recipes."
- "I love using bob's coconut flour to make "coco-meal" (thats oatmeal, but with coconut flour instead of oats)."
- "I love their products, the quinoa is best I've found so far."
Thanks readers for sharing your awesome ideas! And congrats again to Emily for winning our giveaway.
For full disclosure, Bob's Red Mill provided this gift card for me to use in this giveaway. I received no other compensation for this post or the previous post. And as always, I only do giveaways with companies/products I believe in.
Grains get a bad reputation – people claim they’re filled with “unhealthy” carbohydrates, and they’re often the first thing people cut out when they start dieting. But grains have an essential spot in our diet. Yes, they provide carbs – a word that has a bad connotation in much of the dieting world – but carbohydrate is our body’s preferred source of energy, and it’s where the majority (40-65%) of our calories should come from. We of course want to make sure these carbohydrates are coming from healthy choices like fruits, veggies, and grains.
The key when choosing grains is to select whole grains- those made from the entire kernel of the grain. And what better time to talk about these than Whole Grains Month, which happens every September!
Here’s the deal on whole grains – they contain all three parts of the grain kernel. This includes the:
- Bran – This outer layer surrounds the grain and protects it. It provides fiber, B-vitamins, and minerals
- Germ – This is where a lot of nutrients are stored, including antioxidants, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and healthy fats.
- Endosperm – This is the largest part of the grain kernel and contains carbohydrates as well as protein.
Because all the parts of the grain kernel are used, we’re given an extra boost of fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system – I always tell the kids I teach that “it helps us poop!” and hear the class break out in “ewwww!”. But it’s the truth, and it’s important that we get enough fiber each day for that reason. Fiber is important in other ways, too – for example, it helps regulate blood sugar better than when we eat foods lacking fiber. One type of fiber, soluble fiber, can also help to lower cholesterol.
A refined grain product is typically only made from the endosperm portion – so it provides carbohydrates, but lacks a lot of other nutrients. Some of these lost nutrients are added back in during processing (through enrichment and fortification) but not
to the same nutritional profile of the original whole grain.
So how do you spot the whole grains? It (unfortunately) isn’t as simple as you might think! There are tons of breads out there that look like they should be whole grain – they’re a brown color – and some even say “wheat bread” or “multigrain” in the name of the product. But to truly identify if you’re eating a whole grain, you’ll need to flip the package over and take a look at the ingredient list. The very first ingredient should say “whole wheat,” “whole grain oat flour,” “brown rice,” or a similar term (for other types of grains) indicating it is the unrefined form. If it’s a multigrain product, look at the different types of grain in the label to see if they are all whole grains. If you see “enriched wheat flour” as the first ingredient, that’s just another term for white flour, aka a refined grain product.
Sometimes people look at the nutrition facts to check the amount of fiber, and purchase products based on this amount. This can be deceiving, though, since manufacturers have jumped on the fiber bandwagon and have been adding isolated fibers to foods. These boost the grams of fiber without adding whole grain, so they can be added to refined products to make them seem like a healthier choice. Scientifically, though, we’re not sure if these isolated fibers have the same impact as regular fiber on your body. Your best bet is to read the ingredients and select items that are truly a whole grain.
Want to experiment with some new whole grains, or stock up on your favorites? Would a $25 Bob’s Red Mill gift card
help you with that?
Well perfect, because we are going to give one away!
Simply make a comment below on this blog post by 10/4/12
and be entered into a raffle to win a $25 gift card to use in their online store
. Bob’s Red Mill makes great products, including different flours, oat products, barley, and other grains. My favorite product is there whole wheat pastry flour, which I use for all my baking needs.
Terms: You must be at least 18 years old to win this giveaway. Upon winning, we will contact you via email and you must reply with your mailing address within 3 days or we will choose another winner.Good luck!
Denise K! Denise will receive a OXO Good Grips 5 pound food scale – the same type and style that was discussed in our blog post. Congratulations to Denise!
Thank you everyone for entering. I hope you’ll continue to follow our blog for many healthy eating tips, recipes, and exercise suggestions. And we’ll have another great giveaway coming up in early April – stay tuned!
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to take a look at the website and blog over the last few days. The winner of our blog kick-off promotion is….(drumroll please)…..Patti! Congrats to Patti who will be receiving a $10 grocery store gift card. To everyone else, I appreciate all the comments and hope you’ll stick around and continue reading the blog (and don’t worry, I promise there will be more giveaways)!
My first marathon was not in New York, but was actually in Maui! I did it as part of the Train to End Stroke program, which was a fantastic experience. I was able to help fundraise money to support stroke research and education while completing a life-long goal – not to mention being able to see a beautiful new location. The photo below was along the marathon course – 17 miles of which were oceanfront.
Swimming is my strongest discipline in triathlon, and I love it. I’m not the fastest swimmer, but I can keep up with it for a long time. I love going to Walden Pond in the summer – swimming out and back is roughly a mile. And it’s a great workout – if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll burn approximately 500 to 600 calories per hour swimming freestyle at a moderate pace!
I actually took belly dancing lessons for several years, and performed in a solo performance back in college. It’s a great workout, and I found it to be an exercise that is great at boosting confidence in your body.And I did help run an afterschool running club. It was awesome to see the kids have fun being active and improve over the 10 week program. We were able to get race medals donated from local runners, and gave each child a real race medal at the end of the program – they loved it!
So thank you for being here and getting to know a little more about me. Looking forward to getting to know more about you too – feel free to leave a comment if there is a nutrition question you are dying to ask, an exercise you want to know more about, or anything else that comes to mind!
That's me, Chrissy - sure to be your favorite blogging dietitian on the web very soon. I'm excited to have you here, whether you are just checking out the site for the first time, are a client with Inspired Wellness Solutions, or are a friend who is just pumped about the start of this blog.
Each day or two, I'll be here with something new to say. You'll find nutrition information, workout routines, eating tips, recipes, local race highlights, and some of my personal stories along the way (they'll either inspire you or make you laugh hysterically, and hopefully both). And of course, a few contests - who doesn't love free stuff?
So let's kick off the start of this blog right with just that - participate in this contest, and you have a shot at winning a $10 gift card to your choice of Stop and Shop, Shaws, or Whole Foods. And since this post has been a way for you to get to know a little more about me, let's stick with that theme...
Only one of the statements below about me is false, and it's up to you to decide what it is. Leave your answer in the comments before Monday, 10/24/11, and the people who guess correctly will be entered into a random drawing for the gift card. Be sure to check back on Monday to see if your the winner!
- Swimming is my strongest discipline in triathlon.
- I ran my first marathon in New York.
- I have performed a solo in a bellydancing recital.
- I helped run an afterschool running club for inner city children.