Evie's tips to success! - April




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Did you know?  What are whole grains?


Whole grain kernels have three parts:

  • Bran: This is the hard, outer shell. It contains fibre, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Endosperm: The middle layer of the grain is mostly made up of carbs.
  • Germ: This inner layer has vitamins, minerals, protein and plant compounds.

Grains can be rolled, crushed or cracked, but as long as these three parts are still present in their original proportion, they’re considered whole grains.


Refined grains such as white rice, have had the germ and bran removed, leaving only the endosperm.


When buying wholegrains look for the word whole. Either whole grain or whole wheat.  Also make sure the grain is one of the first three ingredients listed on the label. Whole grains are high in nutrients and fibre. They can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity Type 2 Diabetes and cancer.


Whole grains deliver many important nutrients. Here are some of the key nutrients found in whole grains:

  • Fibre: The bran provides most of the fibre in whole grains.
  • Vitamins: Whole grains are particularly high in B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin and folate.
  • Minerals: They also contain a good amount of minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.
  • Protein: Whole grains provide several grams of protein per serving.
  • Antioxidants: Several compounds in whole grains act as antioxidants. These include phytic acid, lignin and sulfur compounds.
  • Plant compounds: Whole grains deliver many types of plant compounds that play a role in preventing disease.

Here are some different ideas for adding a variety of whole grains to your diet:

  • Make a cooked porridge out of oatmeal or other grains.
  • Sprinkle toasted buckwheat groats on cereal or yogurt.
  • Use chia seeds, teff, flaxseeds or oats in smoothies.
  • Snack on air popped popcorn.
  • Make polenta out of whole grain cornmeal.
  • Swap out white rice for brown rice, or for a different whole grain, like quinoa.
  • Add barley to vegetable soups.
  • If you bake, try using whole grain flours, such as whole-wheat pastry flour.
  • Use stone-ground corn tortillas, rather than white tortillas.


Extra info…Healthiest grains to choose from.


The following grains I have listed are the healthiest grains, meaning they are nutrient dense. These grains help in all the ways listed above and in other ways mentioned below.

  1. Teff; Teff might be the next superfood.  It was first domesticated in Ethiopia more than 3,000 years ago and it’s the smallest grain in the world. With eight different amino acids, including a slightly rare one called lysine, it also contains calcium and a wide range of minerals and nutrients.
  2. Chia seeds; Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. These tiny seeds are loaded with nutrients proven to energize, satiate, are high in calcium, protein and they are packed with fibre; one tablespoon provides you with 5g of fibre.
  3. Whole Rye; This cereal grain has more nutrients per 100-calorie serving than any other whole grain. It has four times more fibre than whole wheat and 50 percent of the daily recommended amount of iron.
  4. Quinoa; Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, but it’s widely considered a grain, so I will include in the list. It is super nutritious, especially for vegans because it is a complete protein. It is also high in vitamin E and calcium, low in fat and gluten free.
  5. Oats; Oats help enhance immune response to infection and stabilize blood sugar. Oats are also gluten free.
  6. Barley; Barley is a great source of fibre, selenium, phosphorous, copper and manganese.
  7. Millet; This grain is a good source of manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. It helps with the development and repair of body tissue, helps prevent gallstones and protects against breast cancer.
  8. Brown Rice; Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese, selenium and magnesium. It’s also high in fibre, rich in antioxidants and helps stabilize blood sugar.
  9. Buckwheat; Also not a grain; it’s technically a fruit seed, but it is used like one in cooking, and it’s a good substitute for grains because it is gluten free. Also helps control blood sugar and helps prevent gallstones.
  10. Spelt; This grain does not seem to cause sensitivities in many people who are intolerant of wheat. It is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of protein, copper and zinc.
  11. Corn; Corn is high in antioxidants and is a good source of fibre. It also helps with blood sugar control.
  12. Whole wheat; This popular grain is rich in B vitamins and vitamin E. It’s also low in fat.
  13. Amaranth; This tiny-but-powerful food has some similarities to quinoa, both are good protein sources and are naturally gluten-free. It contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. One cup of uncooked amaranth has 31 percent of the RDA for calcium, 14 percent for vitamin C, 26 grams of protein and a whopping 82 percent for iron.


Quote of the month: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quite voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow!


So there you have it guys,  hope you found this information useful.


Take control of your diet and your life. rock on!


Till next month..


Evie - Director of Total Fitness Training



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