National Nutrition Month® is kicking off!

I know.  There’s a month for everything.  According to one website I looked at, January alone has 18 different things it’s the month for.  Crucial things we couldn’t possibly live without celebrating such as “National Prune Breakfast Month” and “National Mail Order Gardening Month”.

(I had an 8th grade health teacher who I’m pretty sure must have been one of the founding members of National Prune Breakfast Month)

If we’re going to take the time to celebrate something, why not take the time to make a month for something that affects us all and can help determine the quality of our lives?  Why not celebrate National Nutrition Month®?  The folks at eatright.org, the website for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics felt the same way.

It started out as National Nutrition Week in March of 1973 and got its own month in 1980.

According to the academy’s website, “The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits”.

Take the challenge.  Decide that for the month of March you will pay more attention to what you are eating and why.  Don’t eat french fries, ice cream, oatmeal, or broccoli until you’ve made a conscious decision to do so and understand what you are eating and why.

Then take it a step further and see if there is a healthier decision you can make that can lead to “developing sound eating…habits”.

Commit to doing it for the month of March.  After that, its ho-hos and ding-dongs all you want.  No, of course not.  But maybe after committing to it for one month it can build habits that will help along to the next step.  Little by little we can all build better habits.

I don’t remember a lot of what my dad has tried to teach me but one thing I can’t forget is that he has always said, “We are creatures of habit”.  He nailed it on that one.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

What’s the big deal with whole grains?

Everybody is talking about it!  Whole grains are splattered all over our favorite food’s packaging, they’re on the news, they’re even in my blog!  I’m just waiting for someone to create a California Raisins version of the whole grain…please let me know if someone has and I somehow missed out.

Last year the USDA made changes to dietary guidelines asking Americans to include more whole grains in their diet.  As of July 2012, school lunches in the USA will have to include more whole grains.  Bloggers, news agencies, marketing companies; everyone seems to be touting the benefits of whole grains.  They’ve even created a Whole Grains Council!  (It’s a fantastic resource, by the way.)

Dee’s Cereal has been promoting whole grains since day one.  We’ve made it easy to add solid whole grains to your diet by not including a single refined grain in Dee’s Cereal.

So what’s the big deal?

Let’s start off with what a whole grain is.  We have to thank the fantastic Whole Grains Council and USDA for some of the information we’re using.

There are 3 main parts to a grain: bran, endosperm and germ.

Bran: This is the outer layer which helps protect the grain.  It has antioxidants, B vitamins and more fiber than the other two parts.

Endosperm: This supplies food to the plant so it can grow.  It’s the biggest part of the grain.  It also contains the biggest portion of starchy carbohydrates, some protein, some fiber and a few minerals and vitamins.

Germ: This is the part of the plant that, if fertilized, will grow into a new plant.  It has some fiber as well as B vitamins, protein, and other vitamins and minerals.

A whole grain has all 3 parts.  Refined grains typically only have the endosperm left.

Removing the bran and the germ removes lots of protein, fiber and important nutrients.  We’ve said for years that too many grains we eat nowadays are first killed (refined) and then resurrected (enriched). Keeping the grain in its natural, whole state is the best way to go.

The Whole Grains Council has compiled many studies that show health benefits from eating whole grains.  Little things, such as:

  • Risk of stroke reduced 30 – 36%
  • Risk of type 2 diabetes reduced 21 – 30%
  • Risk of heart disease reduced 25 – 28%
  • Better weight control

Right, like I said, little things (hopefully my sarcasm is obvious).  Its amazing that a simple thing like eating grains in their natural state can cause such a huge impact on our health.

The biggest benefits came to those eating 3 servings or more per day (16 g per serving) but some benefits have been shown with only 1 serving per day.

Every 54g serving of Dee’s Cereal contains an astounding 34g of whole grains!  That means that by simply eating one serving of Dee’s Cereal each day you already have 2/3 of the whole grain that showed such amazing benefits in these research studies.  Not to mention the benefits I’ll be discussing later such as omega fats, high-caliber plant-based proteins, no sodium, and great vitamins and minerals.

There may not be a magic pill for health, but nature has provided a pretty good option in whole grains. Dee’s Cereal is an easy, fast, healthy way to incorporate whole grains into your diet.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Dee’s Story Part 2

Read this if you missed part 1.

And now on to part 2:

Dee started making changes to his diet a little at a time.  One of the things he tried was eating a healthier breakfast.  He experimented with various combinations but always felt hungry soon after eating.  He just wasn’t getting the energy he needed to carry him through his daily walks.

With the help of his family, he researched and developed a number of cereal combinations until he hit upon one that kept him energized all morning and that he actually enjoyed eating.  He found that, with his body properly fueled, he felt better during exercise and even had enough left in the tank that he wasn’t dying of starvation after a long walk.  He kept eating the cereal while working on losing weight and often ate it more than once a day.

Within a year of that fateful doctor’s visit, Dee had dropped 80 pounds and no longer needed to take insulin.  His cholesterol level had been cut in half and normalized.  His blood pressure was finally at a healthy level and his eyesight began improving.  Feeling even slowly returned to his hands and feet.

As you can imagine, those who knew Dee during those years of disease saw a dramatic improvement.  Some of his friends were curious what he was doing that made such a difference.  Dee explained that he had finally started exercising daily and was watching what he ate more closely.  He also offered them the recipe to the cereal he ate each day.  Some of the friends realized how much effort would go into buying, grinding and mixing the cereal on their own so they offered to buy it from Dee if he would make it.

Dee knew that there were many other people who could avoid painful doctor’s visits like his if they just had something healthy, fast and delicious to eat each day.  He pursued the opportunity and soon began selling Dee’s Cereal in local stores.

Today, you can find Dee’s Cereal in many of the local stores that originally carried it as well as Associated Food Stores, Whole Foods Markets in Utah and Colorado, and other health food stores.  Of course, you can always find it at deescereal.com as well.

People all over the country have been able to live a better life thanks to eating a great breakfast.  We have heard stories of weight loss, of illnesses averted, and of athletes feeling more energized.  What started as an alarming diagnosis for one man and his family has led to helping hundreds of people live healthier lives.

Have a Dee’s Cereal story to share?  Find us on Facebook, send us a tweet, or post your comments by clicking the bubble to the right of the blog title.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Dee’s Story Part 1

“You’ve got 6 months”

Those are the words Dee Jardine’s doctor was forced to use during Dee’s 1998 check-up.

At  the age of 66 Dee was about 80 lbs overweight (and had been for some time), he had high cholesterol, and was losing feeling in his hands and feet.  His vision was failing and routine activities like walking up the stairs were a challenge.  He had been taking multiple insulin shots each day for years and diabetes had ravaged his body to the point where his doctor literally feared he would be dead in just a few months.

Dee’s doctor was forced to slap him with a dose of reality, hoping Dee would understand that a change needed to happen immediately.

He got the hint.

In an effort to lose weight, he began walking.  He could barely make it to the end of the cul-de-sac without getting winded.  With the support of his family, he kept it up and soon could walk longer distances.  Walking eventually became a habit and he would walk a few miles each day.

As has been proven time and time again, if we are truly to make a healthy impact on our bodies we can’t rely on diet or exercise alone.  We have to make physical activity a daily priority AND we have to improve the caliber of foods we put into our bodies.

<cue dramatic music>

Come back in a few days to read part 2 of Dee’s story.

In the meantime, tell us what changes you have made in an effort to improve your health.  Visit us on Facebook, send us a tweet or post your comments by clicking the bubble to the right of the blog title.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live