Monthly Archives: September 2012

Killer Bowl of Cereal

Hello friends,

I thought I was going to sit at the computer this morning and have total writer’s block. My sister came to my rescue with an early morning phone call. She wanted to know what “fortification” meant on her cereal box. As I explained what it meant (adding nutrients back to a product whether it was there before processing or not),  I of course, also mentioned how her cereal was made, how grains are NOT as healthy as we’ve been made to believe ( a topic for another day) and some breakfast alternatives. I’m going to have a similar discussion with you.

100% whole grain! No sugar added! High fiber! Gluten-Free! Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals! Is it any wonder that a trip down the cereal aisle with its colorful display of labels touting boundless energy and good nutrition is tempting and convenient? How about the ad suggesting you replace, oh dare we say a healthy meal like a veggie omelet or protein smoothie, with a bowl of their “special” cereal and you can fit into that dress in just two weeks! Sorry folks. There is no such thing as “healthy” cereal. Another oxymoron in the food world. Here’s one reason, how it’s made:

  1. Whole grains are crushed, ground and turned into a thin, sloppy, pulverized mixture.
  2. The slurry is cooked in a huge vat for several hours at high temperatures.
  3. It is transferred to a cooker/extruder and mixed with a variety of sugar, food coloring, oils, preservatives, vitamins and minerals and cooked longer.
  4. The slurry is then pressed forcefully to make squares and O’s and Fruity Pebbles.
  5. Other cereal grains are slightly dried before flattening into flakes and sprayed with food additives before further drying.

Here’s another reason. It’s in a box with a label that reads like a third-grade science project: High-fructose corn syrup (a cheap, highly processed food that is responsible for the rise in childhood diabetes and obesity), hydrogenated oils (trans fat that stiffens the arteries), Red # 40 (a known trigger for kids with ADHD), BHA and BHT  keeps the oils from turning rancid). Does that sound like something you want to feed yourself or your family? I know I don’t! I haven’t eaten a bowl of cereal in years and I used to LOVE cereal!  Well, packaged cereal that it. Steel cut oatmeal is my cereal of choice.

Funny thing about oatmeal. I went to look at the ingredient list on a Quaker Oats product and was dismayed to see 12 different options for something as simple as hot cereal. There was oatmeal for weight loss! Oatmeal with low sugar! Oatmeal high in fiber! Really? I’ve got a better idea. Buy a bag of steel cut oats. I get a 2 lb bag for about $3.79. Cook according to the instructions and the amount you want to make. I make mine with 1/2 water (clean and filtered, never tap…again, another topic!) and 1/2 dairy alternative (my family likes almond milk) and sweeten with stevia. I add some vanilla, cinnamon and dried fruit, we like blueberries or goji berries. I throw all this on low in the crock pot at bedtime. Viola! You awake to the glorious scent of breakfast wafting from the kitchen. A hot bowl of creamy deliciousness with a few added nuts beats a killer bowl of slurry any day!

                                                 

Bowl of Deliciousness!

Be Vibrant!

Tonya

Getting Started

Hello friends!

Thank you for reading my first ever blog! I am super excited and have lots of great information and personal insights to share with you. I was inspired to write by a few people: First and foremost, my always encouraging husband, who suggested a year ago that I have, and I quote,”Too much passion and knowledge in that pretty, little head of yours to keep it all to yourself”.  My baby sister, who for some crazy reason looks up to me and who has been listening to my “health nut talk” all this time but is now doing.  My oldest son, who has helped me to be a better person since the day he was born,  and has now decided that food matters. Happy day! This is also dedicated to a group of women who came to a class of mine the other night. They were sorority sisters from way back and far away, a little, bitty town an hour or so down the road. We shared an evening of learning and shopping.  As in all the classes I teach, the subject of GMO’s came up. Genetically modified organisms. Not one of these ladies had a clue. Never heard of it. I couldn’t help myself but I know my eyebrows shot up in disbelief! I wanted to cry out,”How do you not know? How have you not heard? Have you been living under a rock?”  That, of course, is the freak in me. The one who, if I could, would bend the ear of every passer-by on the street and shopper in WalMart.  Instead of scaring these lovely women with my freaky passion, I piqued their curiosity into learning more. They asked alot of questions and were eager for more information than I had time to give. Getting started. Where you are. Right now. That’s what they did. That’s what I’m doing. This blog is for those of you who want to take charge of your health but don’t know what to believe. I will tell you the truth. It may not be what you want to hear but it will be the truth as I know it.

Join me as I share “all that passion and knowledge in my pretty, little head”…

Be Vibrant!

Tonya