Monday, February 26, 2007

Sprouted Grain Cereal???

Too cool!!!!!

And how ironic that I just posted about how much I hate traditional cereal in my last blog. I was at PCC today and much to my surprise, they carry Food For Life, Sprouted Grain cold cereal! I've bought this company's cinnamon raisin sprouted bread before and it's wonderful, but I had no idea they made cereal.

I have tried making sprouted cereal myself here at home and it turned out so-so. I sprouted some bulgar in a bowl of plain kefir for 24 hours and then slowly baked it. Then I added in some coconut shreds, Rapadura and raisins. It was ok, but it was a little chewey rather than crunchy because my oven can't heat it at a low enough temperature. It needs to bake, but not much above dehydration temperature.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Because the grains are sprouted, all of their nutrients are available and they're much easier to digest. Remember, sprouting grains neutralizes phytates and enzyme inhibitors that naturally occur in all grains. So I bought a box of the Cinnamon Raisin cereal (after the initial price and size of the box shock, LOL). It's not bad! Both of the girls had a bowl of it and if a 3 and 4 year old will eat it, that's saying a lot! It reminded me a little of Grape Nuts (which are not healthy, btw), but with a lot more depth and flavor. And it smelled good too!

It's definitely worth a taste and will satisfy that crunchy cereal craving we all have every now and then. ...or more often than we'd like to admit!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why I hate Cheerios - even the organic versions...

Or any other dry, mass-market cereal product out there.

Over the past few years since my little ones were born, I've been criticized (sometimes openly, sometimes silent eye rolls) for not feeding them Cheerios. Especially as babies since "every mother" gives their babies Cheerios as a first finger food, right? Well, every mother except me. Yes, I know. I'm a bit of a freak. :)


WARNING: My next paragraph may be very offensive because every parent tries to do their best and how we nourish our children is a touchy subject. Even I have fed my little ones cereal on occasion because it's easy (no one is perfect and I don't pretend to be), but I do try to avoid cereal just like I do candy and refined foods (aka, junk foods). You have been forewarned. This is MY OPINION and this is MY BLOG. *wink*

My original reason, before knowing much about nutrition, was the simple fact that they're empty calories. It's a sad way to amuse and distract a small child while adults do something else. It also acts as a babysitter when the child gets fussy. The bad part is, it fills them up with empty calories and then they don't eat as much at mealtime. Why not just teach the baby patience and to wait for dinner? Because that's harder to do. It's easier to slap down a hanfull of empty calories that will easily keep a 9-month-old baby happy for at least ten minutes.

Ok, enough of my opinion... moving on. The main reason why I avoid buying cereals is because nutritionally, they're toxic. It is well known that diets of puffed grain cause rapid death in test animals. Animals fed only the cardboard box that the creal came in lived longer than those fed the cereal. EEEK! So it's not just malnutrition, they're actually TOXIC.

Below are some excerpts from various authors that explain why. Enjoy!

Whole grains are very important, but there is an important way to eat them. Phosphorus is tied up in the whole grain in a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. Whole grains also naturally contain enzyme inhibitors, making digestion difficult. Soaking and sprouting grains neutralizes phytates and enzyme inhibitors.

Whole grains that have been processed by high heat and pressure (extrusion process) to produce puffed-wheat, oats and rice (typical cold cereals - organic or not) are actually quite toxic and have caused rapid death in test animals. Rice cakes are absolutely horrid. Breakfast cereals have been slurried and extruded at high temperatures and pressures to make little flakes and shapes should also be avoided. Most, if not all, nutrients are destroyed during processing, and they are very difficult to digest. Studies show that these "extruded" whole grain preparations (rice cakes, typical cereals, granola) can have even more adverse effects on the blood sugar than refined sugar and white flour! The process leaves phytic acid intact but destroys phytase, a natural enzyme that breaks down some of the phytic acid in the digestive tract. It also causes fragile oils to become rancid and renders certain proteins toxic.

-Sally Fallon - Nourishing Traditions

As for the process of making cereals which are shaped like little O's, crowns, moons and the like... The machine used for making shaped cereals, called an extruder, is a huge pump with a die at one end... The slurry (of grains) goes into the extruder, is heated to a very high temperature and pushed through the die at high pressure. A spinning blade slices off each littel crown or elephant, which is carried on a stream of hot air past nozzles which spray a coating of oil and/or sugar on each piece to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and give it crunch. This extrusion process destroys much of the nutrient content of the ingredients, even the artificial chemical vitamins (enriched). The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially ravaged by extrusion. Yet the only changes made in the dozens of variables in the extrusion process are those which will cut costs... regardless of how these changes will alter the nutritive value of the product.

-Paul Sitt - Fighting the Food Giants

Since World War II, the food industry has gone a long way toward ensuring that their customers (just about all of America's children, as well as a good proportion of the adults) do not have to chew breakfast. The bleached, gassed, and colored remnants of the life-giving grains are roasted, toasted, frosted with sugar, embalmed with chemical preservatives, and stuffed into a box much larger than its contents. Fantastic amounts of energy are wasted by sales and advertising departments to sell these half-empty boxes of dead food - money back coupons, whistles and toy guna re needed to induce refined women to lift these half-empty boxes off the supermarket shelves.

-William Dufty - Sugar Blues

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Green Republican: Nutrition and Sunburns

Green Republican: Nutrition and Sunburns

I finally found it! Back in 2006, I posted about sunscreen, nutrition and sunburns and couldn't find my source. This isn't the original article I read, but it's very similar. Mercola is saying if your body is high in certain vitamins, and with NORMAL sun exposure, you won't burn. Those certain vitamins can be supplemented or obtained from a whole foods, healthy, natural diet. But during the summer, if your diet isn't perfect, definitely supplement. However... it is BETTER to get your vitamin D naturally from the sun than from an oral source.

I'm not a huge fan of supplements because I think most of what we need can be obtained from a proper diet.

Anyway, sunscreens are loaded with nasty ingredients so going sunscreen free is a much better choice if possible. :) GET OUTSIDE!

Mercola has quite a few articles on this topic, but here is the newest one. Even funnier, he recommends tanning beds during the winter months for people who don't get enough sun exposure!!! That comment surprised me... But of course, he's VERY specific on the type of bed.

Mercola: The Sunshine Vitamin Repairs Your Skin and Boosts your Immune System

Monday, February 12, 2007

Green Solutions

I was reading my new Real Simple magazine this morning and am LOVING their latest website recommendation. It's a website called Solutions and they have TONS of "green" products! I could just get lost in a website like this.

I mean, how cool is this? Magnetic sustainable bamboo file boxes??? CUUUUUUTE!

This is one of those horrible websites where you go and say to yourself... "Oooooh, I could use that... and that... and that... and that..." EEEEEEK! I bought the Qwikie Paint Cups below. LOVE THEM!!!!!


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