Balancing Grains, Seeds, Nuts & Oils for Stamina & Energy

Written by Lori Nichols Davies.

To fight your fatigue and stress, soak your whole grains overnight.

Our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrial peoples soaked or fermented their grains overnight before cooking to release the digestive enzymes. Many of our senior citizens remember that in earlier times the instructions on the oatmeal box called for an overnight soaking.

Sally Fallon-Merrill, Weston A. Price Foundation


All grains contain phytic acid, (an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound) in the bran of whole grains, which must be destroyed by soaking, fermentation or sprouting in order to increase absorption of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper from 40% to 80% for greater energy.

How much whole grain do you need per day?

To prevent diabetes, the fiber of whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as nut and seed oils regulate blood sugar, especially when whole grains with nuts and seeds are eaten at breakfast. Learning to soak the whole grains overnight will reduce cooking time to 10 minutes in the morning.

The Naturopathic Community of Canada advises a reduction in volume of whole grains to be the size of the palm of the hands. This would mean a mere quarter-cup of cooked whole grains, or one slice of bread or toast for breakfast, with butter for balanced carbs and fat for stamina up to four hours.

Adults who weight up to 140 pounds wouldn't eat more that three quarter-cup servings of grain a day, as advised by the Canadian Diabetic Food Guide. On the other hand, adults over 170 pounds would need three half-cup servings of grain over the day. This contrasts with the Canada Food Guide that says five servings of grain a day for smaller adults, and up to twelve servings of grain for the largest of adults.

How many carbohydrates do you need per day?

Make sense of the new labels on packaged foods, by relating to them with more intelligence by using a Portion Control Guideline I developed at the Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada with the help of Dr. Larry McCuaig, Ph.D. nutrition, dietitians, and Sam Graci, founder of Greens Plus. You will find this chart in all holistic cooking classes.

Starting in Ottawa in 2000, we will have holistic teaching chefs in six cities in Ontario by September 2010, including Toronto, Markham, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Barrie, Bowmanville, Brampton, and Cobourg; by 2012 it will be in Edmonton, Calgary, the Caribou Valley, and St. John's Nfld. Use this chart as an ideal reference. Know where to stop with carbohydrates. We all need to know our limits. The smallest of woman would never exceed 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal in the typical sedentary lifestyle lived in our Information Age.

Vegetables are the first choice for carbohydrate. Grain servings are optional when meat is served. Vegetables are half the plate whether meat is chosen or beans and grains are chosen as the entree.

Lori Nichols Davies is a Natural Health Consultant, who owns the Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada. You can view her website at: www.holistic-cooking.com.

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