Wholegrains are an essential and fundamental food for us. Nourishing us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.And yet they are beginning to get a bad name. More and more people are cutting them out with ideas that they will make us fat, cause problems with digestion and even claims that we were never as human beings meant to eat them in the first place.So I wanted to write this piece to bash some of these claims and myths and explain a little of the healing power of this beautiful grounding and nourishing food source, both from a Western Nutritional stand-point but also from a more Macrobiotic stand-point.Firstly, let me introduce you to all the Wholegrains.
WESTERN NUTRITIONAL FACTS:
Wholegrain are one of the few foods where the seed & the fruit are one, creating a wholeness both in structure and energetically.Physically they are full of concentrated slow releasing energy that lasts a long time. They contain enzymes that not only aid and stimulate digestion but also because they are so high in fibre they help to strengthen our intestinal walls and keep our intestines clean.They contain Vitamins B, E, A, Fats, Proteins, Minerals (mainly Iron) and are very low in fat. Also because they release sugars and energy so slowly into out blood stream they help to keep our blood sugar levels more balance and level which then keep our energy levels more balanced and level and therefore our emotions more calm and balanced. Very Very good for balancing out strong cravings, particularly sweet cravings.
WARNING MYTH BUSTER:
It is very very hard to get fat on wholegrains! (This is based on if you are eating in a balanced way, when you are hungry and stopping when full)
From a Macrobiotic perspective, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, wholegrains are known to promote clearer, more balanced mind & emotions.
Because they have such wholeness in their structure & energy, we then take in this energy when eat them which helps to give us a more whole holistic prospective on life and the world around us. Taking us out of so much black & white thinking. Being able to see there are many sides to one story.
They are also an incredible strong sustainable energy resource for our body. If you were to put a grain of brown rice on a kitchen counter next to a steak, which one of these do you think would rot first?
Yup! The steak…and relatively quickly.
Here’s an amazing fact – the grain of rice would last, unaffected and remaining whole in structure for HUNDREDS OF YEARS!
Amazing right?! So if you think about that kind of energy resource we are taking in when we eat them. Powerful!
MORE MYTH BUSTERS:
Every single one of us is different in size, shape and we all hold tension in different ways and parts of our body. Therefore the amount of wholegrains that works for each one of us in our diet will vary. Energetically wholegrains are more on the YANG side. Full of concentrated strong energy. So if we are already quite YANG in ourselves, working stressful jobs and holding a lot of tension in ourselves then it may feel better for us to eat small quantities of wholegrains.If you’re someone who feels more on the YIN side and need more grounding within yourself, you feel dreamy, foggy headed and over sensitive, then eating wholegrains regularly in every meal will help you feel much more grounded and rooted and focused.SO IT IS NOT THE WHOLEGRAIN THAT IS THE PROBLEM. IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHO IS EATING THEM AND HOW MUCH OF THEM WE AS INDIVIDUALS FEEL WORKS FOR US. It is the same with any food really!
ANOTHER MYTH BUSTER:
Some of the more robust wholegrains have a very hard outer shell protecting all the powerful energy within, so to aid digestion and to ensure that our body properly absorbs all the wonderful nutrients within this hard-shelled grain, soaking is absolutely essential. When we soak our grains we are leaving them to transform more into a plant. And more plant like they are more digestible.Therefore it is not the wholegrain that is the problem, it is how we prepare and cook them.
LAST MYTH BUSTER:
Wholegrains have a wonderful sweetness within them that we don’t normally get to experience or taste. Because often we do not chew much when we eat and swallow very quickly.When we chew slowly and for more times with each mouthful, we release lots of enzymes within our salvia that engage with the wholegrain, releasing a wonderful natural sweetness within. Aiding digestion, relaxing the stomach and helping to balance out sweet cravings.SO IT IS NOT THE WHOLEGRAIN THAT IS THE PROBLEM, it is how we are eating them. Below is a chart giving you directions for all the grains, explaining which ones need to be soaked, which ones don’t and how long to cook them for. Enjoy my loves. I hope you enjoy bringing some wholegrains into your diets and enjoying the calming, balanced and nourishing energy and properties they will give you. Particularly now during these colder, darker, winter days.
FOR POT BOILING:
| GRAIN|| PREP NEEDED|| WATER TO GRAIN RATIO|| BOIL TIME|
|Brown Rice||Soaking Preferred||1.5:1||50min|
|Whole Wheat||Soaking Needed||2:1||50-60min|
|Hato Mugi||Soaking Preferred||2:1||45min|
FOR PRESSURE COOKING:
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| GRAIN || PREP NEEDED|| WATER TO GRAIN RATIO|| PRESSURE COOKING TIME|
|Brown Rice||Soaking Preferred||1.5:1||50min|
|Whole Wheat||Soaking Needed||1.5:1||50min|
|Whole Oats||Soaking Needed||3:1||40-50min|
|Hato Mugi||Soaking Preferred||1.5:1||40min|