Woman raising spoonful from bowl of grains

Part Three: Lift Your Spirit — Support Healthy Aging By Adding More Whole Grains To Your Plate — Try Quinoa

In our ongoing Purposeful Nutrition Series, we’ve been providing tips on how to harness the energy of nature, draw it into our daily lives, and become one with it as we age. One of the best ways to do this is by eating more plant-based foods.

Make every cell in your body glow with the divine energy offered by fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Whole grains are key to a healthy diet. Try to limit your intake of refined, colorless grains like white flour, white rice and white bread. This also includes reducing your servings of cakes, pies, cookies…you got the picture? Instead, opt for whole grains that are nutrient dense and chock-full of fiber, vitamins B and E, protein, antioxidants, and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and more.

Experts recommend approximately six servings of whole grains daily.
For example, one-half cup of cooked oatmeal or one small corn tortilla equals one serving.

Are you getting enough whole grains in your diet?
Here’s a list of whole grains to add to your menu this week: barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, millet, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye, teff, amaranth, corn, bulgur and more…

Top benefits of whole grains:
--Support healthy digestion
--Lower risks of cancer
--Lower risks of heart disease
--Lower risks of type 2 diabetes
--Lower risks of obesity
--High in nutrients and fiber

Feature Focus: Quinoa
I am gluten intolerant, and quinoa is one of my favorite whole grains because it is gluten-free, tasty and versatile. On certain mornings, mix things up a bit by eating quinoa instead of oatmeal. You boil it like you do oatmeal, and it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Whatever you add to your oatmeal, you can add to your quinoa: Berries, chopped nuts, etc. Also, try chopping up some celery, carrot and parsley, and add to your cooked quinoa for a great side dish. You can even include quinoa flakes in your muffin recipes.

You may be surprised to know that quinoa is a good source of high-quality protein. In fact, it is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Just one-half cup of cooked quinoa serves up four grams of protein.

What are your favorite whole grains? How can you creatively add more choices from our list to your weekly menu? Don’t forget that a conscious meal plan should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Trying new grains or any new food, can be unfamiliar territory. But it can also be a fun adventure. You’ve often heard me speak about the importance of continuous learning and moving out of your comfort zone. This advice is in line with cooking, as well. (There’s seeking out recipes, figuring out how you’ll incorporate them into your meals, discovering what you like, etc.)

Remember: Health is an action — we must practice mindful living in order to reach mastery.

Many people mindlessly reach for quick and convenient food because they’re hungry or because it temporarily satisfies a craving. While hunger and flavors influence our munching behavior, consider shifting your mindset so you’re eating to support your higher purpose in life.

I continue to encourage you to establish a deeper spiritual connection with your food. Nature offers a huge selection of delicious whole grains for you to enjoy. Know the nutritional value of nature’s fresh bounty. And notice how you feel after savoring your favorites. Love yourself enough to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Consider This
Who is a grain harvester’s favorite musical artist? Hall’N Oates! Ha!

Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to add whole grains to your plate this week.
• Begin by selecting the whole grains you like, and then try some that are new to you.
• How will including more whole grains to your menu improve the quality of your life?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.  

Need help with meal planning?

It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own.  My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life.  Click here for more.

In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,

T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Motivational Speaker
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Lifestyle120.com

When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.