Thursday, January 28, 2016

Simple Living : Grains on my Brains!

"True Genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous and conflicting information and making the right decisions" 
                                                                      Winston Churchill
So my head is reeling with information - I just finished a book Grain Brain - net of the book is Grains damage the brains - even healthy grains. I found the book a little one-dimensional and almost fanatical in expounding the virtues of a high fat ketogenic diet (made my head hurt!). I am not sold on the idea of giving up all healthy carbs  as they lead to Type-2 diabetes and heart diseases (its partial truth) ...I believe there needs to be balance. I sincerely believe animal protein causes inflammation and the book Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman has played a very critical role in shaping this belief in my mind. 

So here's how I have broken down all this conflicting information in my head - 
  1. Understand your diet. Log your current habits in an app - I have been religiously using MyFitness Pal ( came to the conclusion that I needed to add more protein to my diet and opted for plant based protein sources)
  2. Our ancestors probably ate some grains so why not us - so focus on the real nutritious grains aka ancient grains - in India it was Amaranth, Ragi (Finger Millet), in South America it was Quinoa, in Africa it was Teff,  in Americas it was Barley. Let's follow our ancestors and get a little adventurous
  3. Eliminate the White - yes, yes I know white flour, white rice is amazing to the taste - you are talking to someone for whom White Rice felt like go to meal is thayir sadam with avvaka pickle ( curd rice and mango pickle). I have weaned myself 98% off "white" - why 98% - when I go to a friend's or to India and the only option is rice - I will take a spoonful and relish it ;-)
  4. Grains are the environmentally sound decision - compared to the meats we spend one tenth the energy growing these whole grains - so this might be an irrelevant offshoot - but it is critical factor if this matters to you.
  5. Moderation is key - our Indian palate makes the carbs (rice, roti) the center or mainstay of the meal - flipping the plate to make the rajma or the choley and the veggies the mainstay of the meal is critical to helping us obtain balance. I highly recommend reading Dr. Ron Sinha's book "The South Asian Health Solution"
Here's one of my favorite porridge made with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes (find the recipe here, that was a staple for son's evening meals growing up. 

On the days that we decide to eat meat, we opt for fish (wild caught salmon, sustainable cod) and pair it up with a lot of green leafy vegetables like this...

So do you have grains on your brain too :-)

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