Give it up for fat!

With so much media attention on fat, it concerns me a little how we seem to forget the importance of fat in our diets.  Fat has been made out to be the bad guy quite a bit lately. Because of that, I’ve been considering writing a post discussing the difference between good and bad fats as well as the importance of including fats in our diet.

In looking up some information to refresh my memory of all those physiology and nutrition classes I took once upon a time, I came across a great article that I decided to send you to instead.  With so much great information already included in one place, I don’t see a need to duplicate it.  The people on this site essentially did everything that I wanted to (and much more) and they did it much more concisely than I could have.

My favorite part is where they give guidelines for choosing healthy fats:

“With so many different sources of dietary fat—some good and some bad—the choices can get confusing. But the bottom line is simple: don’t go no-fat, go good fat.

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.”

I would add, if you are concerned about your weight, pay more attention to how many calories you’re eating compared to how many calories you are expending than to whether or not you’re eating fat-free.

Anyway, I’ll stop typing so you can read what these smarter people say.  Its good stuff.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live.

The problem with pancakes

I love pancakes.  My wife loves pancakes.  My kids love pancakes.

Pancakes are a problem.

The problem with pancakes is that they just don’t fill me up very quickly.  They become a vehicle for whatever variety of syrup we’ve got around that day.  I know it doesn’t sound like much of a problem but because I love them, I’m weak-willed, I drown them in syrup, and they don’t fill me up very quickly, I end up eating way more than I need to.

The solution?

Dee’s Cereal Whole Grain Pancakes!

Super yummy, full of all the goodness found in Dee’s Cereal, and they will actually fill you up and keep you going.  They’re not much more time consuming to make than regular pancakes either.  Alright, they’re harder than pouring water on a mix of Krusteaz but I’m talking about making pancakes the awesome way; from scratch.

Try out the recipe and let us know what you think.  You can also find this recipe along with other ways to eat better and enjoy Dee’s Cereal at deescereal.com in the recipes link.

DEE’S CEREAL WHOLE GRAIN PANCAKES

  • ½ Cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ Cup Dee’s Cereal
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (or Sucanat)
  • ¼ tsp. salt (or sea salt)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (or coconut butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine flour, cereal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Combine egg and brown sugar.  Beat with fork until sugar is mostly dissolved.  Add milk and vanilla. Stir.
  3. Add melted margarine as you stir the liquid mixture.  Hint: Melt the margarine in the skillet you intend to use to cook the pancakes.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir gently until blended.  Let stand 3-5 minutes.
  5. Ladle onto a preheated non-stick skillet or griddle.  Cook until lightly browned on each side, turning only once.
  6. Top with syrup, fruit spread or fresh fruit of your choice.  Applesauce is especially good.

Servings: 3 to 6 pancakes.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Corn. Yeah, it really is that good.

Poor corn.  So faithful.  So forgotten.

For generations, corn has been a staple for whole civilizations of people.  Today, however, not many people toot its horn.  Let me change that for just a minute.

One of the most well-known benefits of corn is its huge fiber content.  It has so much fiber that it is really difficult to digest.  A single ear of corn (medium size, about 7″ long) has 3g of dietary fiber.  One cup of corn has 14.3% of the daily needs of fiber.  The insoluble fiber found in corn is great for working on (and preventing) digestive issues like constipation and hemorrhoids.

Anyone who has eaten corn knows how hard it is to digest and has experienced its benefits but did you know that corn also has the following benefits?

  • Corn is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese.  These are both well-know antioxidants that help protect many of the body’s systems and its cells.
  • More recently, corn’s phytonutrients have been documented to be good antioxidants and also to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Some of the phytonutrients found in corn include beta-carotene and lutein, both of which help keep our eyes healthy.
  • Corn is a low-calorie food that still has enough fiber to actually makes you feel full.  One ear of corn has only 77 calories.
  • Corn is also a good source of folic acid.  The importance of folic acid (especially for pregnant women) was discussed in more detail in a previous post.
  • Surprisingly, there is a decent amount of protein found in corn, with a single ear having 3g.  The best part of the protein found in corn is that it is high quality with a great amino acid score of 83.
    • Let’s see if I can explain the amino acid score without putting anyone to sleep.
    • Protein is made up of amino acids.  The body breaks protein down into its amino acids in order to use them.  There are 9 essential amino acids, or amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own so we have to get them from our diet.
    • Amino acids can only be used by our bodies in specific proportions.  If you have 100% of 8 amino acids but only have 50% of the 9th, the body will only use 50% of each of the amino acids.  This is a simplification, I’m sure, but you get the point.
    • The amino acid score is a number (from 0 – 100) that tells you how proportionately balanced the amino acid in that food is.  By comparison, a sirloin, which is considered a great protein source, has an amino acid score of 94.
    • In other words, corn is a good source of good protein.
  • The high fiber and good protein quality in corn help regulate how quickly it passes through the digestive system.  This benefits blood sugar by regulating the uptake of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream.  This makes corn great for diabetics and anyone trying to control blood sugar.
  • Corn just tastes good.

There are many reasons corn is a great staple for our dinner tables.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating some delicious corn lately, look up your favorite recipe and have some tonight.

And, of course, with so many amazing health benefits, you know you can find corn in Dee’s Cereal.  You can read a little more about corn and the rest of the ingredients found in Dee’s Cereal on our nutrition page at http://deescereal.com/nutrition/.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Sources that weren’t knowledge gained from classes, past reading, and life experience: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90http://home.howstuffworks.com/corn3.htmhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/

 

Dee’s Banana Nut Muffins ARE GREAT!

It turns out Gaylene doesn’t just do a great job answering phones and taking care of customers around here.  She also has the incredible talent of being able to whip up delicious Dee’s Cereal recipes.
A while back we were looking for something we could use during the in-store demos we do at many of the locations that carry Dee’s Cereal and Gaylene came up with a couple of delectable muffin recipes.  Below is the recipe for my favorite, the banana nut muffin.  You can find this and other recipes on our website under the recipes tab.
You’ll notice Gaylene even put in different sweetener options (honey, sugar, agave, juice concentrate).  You can use any of these depending on your sweetener of choice.  The juice concentrate combination is especially good if you’re watching your sugar intake (such as if you’re baking for someone with diabetes).
This recipe will make 12 regular-size muffins or 48 mini muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, whole wheat (White wheat works best for baking but may be harder to find.  Red wheat will make the muffins too dry.)
  • 3/4 cups Dee’s Cereal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey, OR 2/3 cup sugar, OR 1/2 cup agave, OR 1/4 cup frozen concentrate pineapple juice and 1/4 cup frozen concentrate apple juice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce unsweetened or, if unsweetened isn’t available, lightly sweetened is OK
  • 1/2 cup puréed white beans (purée the canned beans with their juice – consistency should be like thick paste)
  • 3/4 cup ripe bananas, mashed

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, Dee’s Cereal, baking soda, baking powder, and if you are using sugar as the sweetener, add it to the flour mixture now.
  2. In a separate bowl combine egg whites, milk, olive oil, applesauce, puréed white beans, and, if you are using one of the other sweeteners add it to the wet mixture now.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once.
  4. Stir just until moist, batter will be lumpy.
  5. Fold in nuts.
  6. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups or spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Fill 2/3 full.
  8. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes for regular-size muffins or 350 for 10 minutes for mini muffins.

Makes 12 regular muffins or 48 mini muffins.  Serve warm from the oven or make a double batch and freeze some for future use.  Enjoy!

I told you she was good!  These are some of my very favorite muffins.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.  And hopefully they help lead to healthier snacking and baking options for you and yours.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Garbanzo beans?! In my cereal?! Oh yeah!

I talk to a lot of people about the awesomeness of Dee’s Cereal.  It’s what I do.  Over the years, I’ve heard all sorts of comments and fielded too many questions to number.  Invariably, though, the weirdest looks come when I tell people that Dee’s Cereal has garbanzo beans.  It may sound weird, but garbanzo beans are one of the reasons Dee’s Cereal has helped so many people.

Check out these nutrition facts found at nutritiondata.com to see for yourself.  (Chickpeas is just another name for garbanzo beans)

You can see there that garbanzo beans are well-balanced in macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein). Recommendations vary on what that balance should be but 68% carbohydrates, 14% fat and 18% protein is a great balance for a healthy diet.

Garbanzo beans are also one of the best protein sources found in the plant world.  Along with quinoa and amaranth, garbanzo beans are one of the reasons you are able to get such great protein from Dee’s Cereal.  The best part is that Dee’s Cereal provides the great protein you would normally have to find in meat without adding all the extra solid fats.

The “Amino Acid Score” tells how well-balanced the essential amino acids are in a food.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; they are what protein is made up of.  Essential amino acids are the amino acids our body needs but can’t produce on its own.  There are 9 of them and the only way we can get them is by eating foods that contain them.  The body can only use essential amino acids proportionately.  For example, if a food contains 100% of 8 of the amino acids but only has 50% of the 9th, then the body can only use 50% of the essential amino acids found in that food.

A score of 106 shows that the amino acids in the protein derived from chickpeas has a complete amount of each essential amino acid.  This is what is meant by a food being a “complete protein”.  This is one of the best reasons for including garbanzo beans in a food like Dee’s Cereal.  That protein balance helps the body get the nutrients it needs.  It also makes it so the feeling of being full lasts longer because there is a better balance between carbs, proteins and fats.  This is one reason why eating Dee’s Cereal keeps you full longer than eating oatmeal or boxed cereals.

Garbanzo beans also help in maintaining your energy when you eat Dee’s Cereal because they are high in dietary fiber.  Fiber is basically everything in plants that our body can’t absorb.   This means that when we eat fiber, we give the body something to clean its insides with as it works through the digestive system.  It also gives us the feeling of being full that lasts longer than when we eat refined grains or sugars.  It has also been shown to help balance blood sugar and reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

If you scroll to the bottom of the nutritiondata.com page I linked to above you can see more of the amazingness found in garbanzo beans.  They are a good source of folate and manganese, a decent source of copper, iron and phosphorous, as well as containing other minerals and vitamins in a low-fat food.

So, yeah, it may sound funny to have garbanzo beans in your cereal but thank goodness they’re in there.  They are one of the fantastic ingredients that make Dee’s Cereal such a unique, nutritious and delicious meal.

And, yes, awesomeness and amazingness are words…at least they are now.

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