?> Whole grains « Namaste Nutrition | Transformative Yoga, Private Yoga & Nutrition Services | Greater Boston.

Blog: Yoga, Nutrition & More

Posts Tagged ‘Whole grains’

Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Hearty Protein-Rich Meal

Hearty Protein-Rich Meal

Wonder what’s for dinner tonight? You probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry – canned black beans, quinoa, and spices. Purchase kale and avocado on your way home and you’re all set for a filling yet light evening meal.

Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups vegetable broth + 3 tablespoons vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Salt, to taste

6 cups chopped kale leaves, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 avocado, sliced

Additional lemon juice and seasonings, to taste


  1. Heat a saucepan. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and the garlic and toast it until almost dry. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl  whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons broth, flax seeds, chile powders, cumin, and salt.
  3. Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the dressing and massage it into the kale using a wringing motion until the kale is very tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the quinoa, black beans, carrot, and bell pepper, along with the remaining dressing. Mix well and allow to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  4. Add more lemon juice, chile powder, cumin, and salt as needed. Top with sliced avocado.


Red meat controversy

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Oh my, the researchers are at it again. Giving us conflicting information. About beef. No wonder folks have trouble with what to eat.

At Harvard School of Public Health, authors of one such recently published study takes a strong stand that red meat is bad for you. Period. End of sentence. They reviewed food records of subjects in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study for nearly 25 years. They found even a 3-ounce daily serving of red meat was associated with a 13% increased risk of dying during the study. Adding one serving of processed red meat, like hot dogs or bacon, led to another 20% increased risk of dying.

Curious, no one really knows why it’s so bad for you. Some say the iron and saturated fat contribute to heart disease and diabetes. There’s those nitrates for curing and high-temperature cooking that creates harmful cancer risk.

Scary. Lots of Americans eat this way. Bacon, eggs and toast in the morning, hamburger at lunch, and steak tips or roast for supper. Wonder why they don’t believe the research?

Maybe because of THIS study comparing DASH (voted #1 overall diet for any reason in America) to the BOLD diet - The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet. Note the word lean red meat. The DASH diet included lean red meat, white meat and animal protein in their diet but it’s main focus was fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low or no-fat dairy. BOLD’s primary source of protein was, you got it, lean red beef. Both diets reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) so BOLD is saying ‘eat lean red meat – it does a body good.’ And oh, tell those DASHers to eat more lean red meat!

Oh, guess who funded the BOLD trials? Yep, ding ding ding you won the door prize – America’s Beef Farmers and Ranchers through their Beef Checkoff Program. Well, don’t that beat all?

Who to believe? Well, studies need to be replicated – many times before their point becomes a sticking point. When that happens, we can usually take stock in the results. In the meantime, while someone’s out there replicating BOLD (and I hope it’s not the Beef Council), I know for sure that the ‘red meat is bad for you’ theme has held true over and over again.

If you want to believe that too, get your labs checked.

  • Start with substitutions for red meat, like fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Consider plant proteins like legumes, soy foods and seitan (wheat gluten).
  • Up the ante on whole grains like oats, quinoa, kamut, and wheat berries.
  • Lower the fat in dairy. Go easy on cheese.
  • Then, a year later, get your labs checked again. Call me and tell me what they tell you.

Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 12. Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from 2 prospective cohort studies.



Drop the diet – it’s the holidays!

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

It’s true. It’s a jolly, merry, robust time to indulge in sweets, treats, gravy-covered mashed potatoes and ham. Oh, and fudge, truffles, peanut brittle, divinity (oooooo, yummy melt-in-your-mouth egg whites and sugar) and Pfeffernüsse cookies (my German heritage peeking out). Then, egg nog, hot cocoa with those itty bitty marshmallows that send us tail-spinning to our childhood, warm and fuzzy memories of tinsel-clad trees, big, fat colored lights on the tree hovering over pounds of presents. And Mama had a hot toddy, too, made with apple juice and cinnamon.

NOT! OK, let’s think about this. If we do all this, we’ll end up with the usual 7-10 pound weight gain many achieve from Halloween to New Year’s Day. Let that not be you this year.

I hate that ‘drop the diet’ part because I don’t believe in diets. Well, not those achieving grandeur status at Amazon. The word “diet” comes of the Latin “deit” meaning “god (good).” That’s not how you look at it, though, is it? Hum, no, I didn’t think so.


Americans love variety

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

I’m not a movie goer and haven’t had time in years to read novels more than once a year.  So it took Sunday’s Parade magazine to enlighten me to the identity of Emma Watson, star of the Harry Potter movies.  Emma hails from the UK but decided to attend Brown University before continuing being a movie star. 

That’s her quote, her impression of Americans.  “Americans love variety; there’s so much choice, it’s overwhelming.”  She just found bagels and carbs out on blueberry, raisin and cinnamon bagels.  She says, “Luckily, I exercise a lot.”

Most Americans don’t.  Exercise, that is – drop the ‘a lot.’  Only 5% of Americans exercise on purpose.  But that’s not why I’m here today.

The variety in our diets has led, not single-handedly but led nonetheless, to the obesity and diabesity epidemics. We eat so many different tastes, textures, and spices, that we don’t get tired of food.  (more…)

Choose Living Food

Monday, September 13th, 2010

As individuals we have the choice of participating in our own health care. We can constantly discover new and healthy ways to nourish ourselves, connecting to our inner source of healing.
 We are more than just a physical body. Our body has an energy field of life force pulsing within and around it. Food gives us life so we need to eat foods that contain life as well. When we eat, we nourish ourselves to maintain our ‘life source,’ known in the East as Chi or Prana. When choosing food it is helpful to ask yourself the question “How close is this food to its original source of life?” In other words, how many processes has it passed through since it was harvested from a field? The more processed the food is, the less Prana, life force, it contains.

• A vegetable picked today is more nutritious than a vegetable picked months ago, as it is still filled with the life soaked up from the earth and the sun. A freshly cooked vegetable has more life energy then a canned vegetable, as it has avoided factory processing.

• However, a canned vegetable has far more life energy than a box of mac & cheese. Processed foods contain little or no energy. In fact they can cause more harm than good. 

• Whole grains are closer to their natural state then processed grains. For example brown rice is what white rice was prior to processing; therefore it is closer to the original state of growing in the fields.
• Whole grain products do not equal whole grains. A bowl of oatmeal or high quality granola is less processed and therefore contains more life than a box of “whole grain cereal.” Whole grain cereals may be made from whole grains but they are no longer whole grains. As a processed product, they act more like sugar in the body rather than like grain.
• Organic has more life energy than conventional, providing a higher content of vitamins and minerals due to factors such as the soil that is used.

Edamame Dip & Cumin Corn Chips

Making your own corn chips is easy. This way you get to use the highest quality oil as well as bake chips rather than frying.

Edamame are young soybeans. They are a good source of protein, are easy to digest and are exceptionally high in fiber. (more…)