Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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The Grain Lovers Diet….WIAW

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Hey Friends!

OMG I GET TO BLOG!

Oh how I have missed you so.

Transitioning back into school life and managing to keep everything I’m used to together has been a bit tougher than I thought and time doesn’t seem to be on my blogging self’s side lately. More on that later, but I’m glad to be chattering with you today in my spare time…cough..which I should technically be using to work on my assignments that are due this week but meh they will will get done. Zee blogging itch must be scratched!

Fall into Good Habits: WIAWSo I’m jumping back into Jen’s What I Ate Wednesday this week to give you another installment of “What I Would Eat If I Was….” and this one is a new one, even for me, so lets jump right in shall we?

Grains have been on the chopping block a lot lately and I can’t say that I’m ignoring all of the research that is surrounding these pesky lil carbs but hey, as a food blogger and a future RD in the making, I have to keep my mind open to hear about different dietary philosophies. Plus, I find it fun to poke around and learn more about those random lil dietary lifestyles you don’t hear too much about.

So whats a dietary lifestyle that focuses on grains you ask?

What diet was thought to be beneficial to cancer patients?

What diet doesn’t support the consumption of animal products but is less strict in that regard (most of the time) than a vegetarian?

Gwyneth Paltrow sported this lifestyle for years and the entertainment world has buzzed the idea that this diet is a diet that legit works!

But before I get into all that, what is it you ask?

Basically this diet is kinda like vegetarianism in the sense that you don’t eat animal products (including things like eggs and dairy, which are recommended to avoid unless absolutely required during the transition period), but the main focus here is on eating a diet that is full of whole grains, particularly those that are well chewed like brown rice and cereal grains (buckwheat, millet, etc) and supplementing your lifestyle with raw and cooked vegetables, fermented soybean foods, soups, seaweed and other sea veggies and the occasional (a few times a week) addition of nuts and seeds, fish (in less rigid lifestyles), sweeteners and fruit.

Another big focus in this lifestyle is avoidance of processed foods. Similar to some of the other approaches I have mentioned in previous posts, one is supposed to be eating those things that are as minimally processed as possible. It also looks at really taking a deep look into how food makes you feel. This stems from the original Japanese philosophies that a diet such as this has healing properties and that because you are avoiding loading your body with toxins that promote inflammation through the ingestion of commercial products.

One individual in general who really began this movement (if you want to call it that) was George Ohsawa who presented the backbone of this lifestyle through his universal principles. Check out those principles here [link].

Yes, this is not just a diet but an entire lifestyle approach. Of course, for WIAW purposes, I’m just focusing in on the diet.

His philosophy goes into a lot of details so I will lead you to his foundation’s main site so you can learn more about his beliefs and how that began to build this dietary lifestyle and why every component is important.

One thing I did find interesting and wanted to share was the yin and yang portion that is mentioned quite a bit in his theories…macrobiotic-principles-2013As you can see, balance is the key. Being too extreme on either side wouldn’t be optimal, but having both maintains healthy life. As an example related to food, meals should have a balance of some yin and some yang and I will show you all that in just a sec with the day of eats portion.

The last thing that I wanted to mention about this diet is that it was thought or advertised at one point, that it was the ‘cure and an/or prevent cancer diet.’ Newer research however doesn’t necessarily show this [check out this article]. There really hasn’t been evidence to support the idea that this diet has specific advantages in patients post cancer treatment or those with a poorer prognosis. Instead, this dietary lifestyle is more of a general, ‘you should eat more like this’ type of diet due to some of it’s components. This is not to say that everyone needs to be a vegetarian to be healthy, but instead, just like many others, the focus is to eat less processed and mo thangs green.

 As a final note (I swear last thing!), there are a few things to watch out for if adopting such a lifestyle.

  • Make sure you are eating enough calories. Similar to vegans, very strict macrobiotic diets can be void in healthy fats and calories in general which can lead to a whole host of food related deficiencies, low energy levels and poor general health.
  • Once again, be on top of your vitamin game as removing foods from the diet can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin B12 may be the only one you really need to supplement if you’re on top of your diet (if you choose not to eat fish. If you do, you are getting a natural source there). Other potential issues if you’re not careful could be Vitamin D, iron, zinc, omega fatty acids and all of your essential amino acids.
  • Along similar lines to the first point, this diet has been attacked for issues related to malnutrition. Specifically it has been argued that due to such a heavy emphasis on rice, a person could end up become malnourished due to lack of variety. This has been observed in some very strict (no animal products at all) macrobiotic diets and was once big incentive for doctors to advise cancer patients to NOT use this as a aid or type of treatment for their illness.
  • Children and pregnant women should also be very cautious on a diet such as this to ensure they are getting everything they need for their growth and changing bodies.

So what do you think?

Are you a brown rice-a-tarian?

Still not sure how a day in the life would look like, here let me show ya! Time for the foodzzzz

So I had mentioned that I was new to this dietary lifestyle too, so this is what I put together based on what I learned.

Breakfast.

Creamy Pumpkin Buckwheat Groats via Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

Because it’s fall ya know, had to throw in something festive and although I’m not a huge pumpkin flavour person, fruits are placed on the ‘eat occasionally’ list SO veggies it is. But hey, most people love punkin amirite?

Now, I broke the rule a wee bit as there is banana (sweetness and a creamier texture) in there BUT you could remove it if you’re feeling real strict. Adding more pumpkin puree may make up for some of the creaminess, but not really the same sweetness factor.

Yin Factors: Rich in potassium, Less dry, Sweet, Vegetables, Fruit

Yang Factors: Whole grains, Longer cooking time, Orange colour, Below ground growth, Heavy in Carbohydrates

So in and amongst your yin’in and yang’in, your tummy grumbles

Time for..

Lunch.

Since you didn’t have brown rice for breakfast, you naughty lil person you, I order you to have it for lunch. Here ya go..

Just kidding. I assume the diet’s not that bad. They do really emphasize brown rice so I figured I would put it somewhere BUT lets make it more fun shall we?

Sushi Rice Salad via Triumph Wellness (her inspiration came from this recipe).

Most people lerve sushi amirite? Well here ya go, sushi without the rolling. Sushi you can still eat with chopsticks. Sushi that, with a few tweaks, is totally macrobiotic diet friendly!

The tweaks are things that are on the occasional list once again, so you aren’t going completely off the rails if you leave them in.

  • Corn
  • Natural sweetener (for the sauce)
  • Cucumber (replace with zucchini)

Yin Factors: Less dry, Sweet, Vegetables, Sea Vegetables

Yang Factors: Whole grains, Longer cooking time, Lighter Colours, Heavy in Complex Carbohydrates, Salty

Finally you have ended your meditation practice and righting down you top ten list of things you’re grateful for in life. You can now sit down to a nice and light….

Dinner.

Squash and Arame Soup via The Macrobiotic Association of Great Britain

Soothing, nourishing and warm, this miso based soup is super simple to make and full of ‘good for you’ whole ingredients. I would add some protein to this if it was me. Also, because it’s me, that protein would be seafood. Man, I’m just livin wild on the ‘occasionally only’ list ain’t I?

Yin Factors: Less dry, Rich in Potassium, Vegetables, Sea Vegetables, Softer

Yang Factors: Grown More in the Winter, Miso, Heavy in Complex Carbohydrates, Salty

Okay Okay I confess, I shnacked. I shnacked hard on a few of these babies

Snack.

5 Minute + 5 Ingredient No Bake Almond Butter Chews via Oh She Glows

Brown rice strikes again! In ball form. In puffed form. Bam.

Yin Factors: Higher in Fat, Sweet, Sweeteners

Yang Factors: Whole Food, More Dry, Smaller, Darker Colours, Whole Grains.

So what do you think?

Are you a grain lover?

What’s you’re favourite brown rice dish?

Don’t forget to check out Miss Jen’s page for all the other noms of the week here 😀

-Chelsea

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12 thoughts on “The Grain Lovers Diet….WIAW

  1. I’m SO SO SO glad you’re back- I missed you! I actually found myself like a creep checking back almost daily to hear an update from you. What I love is how much time and effort you clearly put into these posts. Quality over quantity at it’s finest. Wishing you the best!

    • Awww thanks! I’m happy to pop back in when I have the chance I really do miss it! I will have to agree that I would much rather put out something with some though then a random post so unfort that takes me a wee bit more time 😊 thanks for your support!

  2. Nice post Chelsea! What helped most for me was eating for my health rather than some preconveived idea of what I had to eat so I could look a certain way. I love to workout, but I take a rest day and just enjoy a nice walk if I feel I need it. I regulary have the things I love – like wine or chocolate without guilt too.

  3. I am a carbo-holic, but do not think I could adhere to this lifestyle. While I’d love to eat grains and rice 3 times a day (and on my ‘off’/naughtier days I do), to do this religiously cannot be healthy.

  4. What I’d love to take away from this post is eating only 100 percent natural foods that haven’t been processed at all. I bet it is very hard to do so, but I do think that is a great way to live. Of course, I cannot go without my pasta or almond milk or even my little Lara/Kind bars

    • Yes I never preach to go extreme and follow one style of eating perfectly because that rarely works for everyone. Eating wholesome and real food is the best thing you can do for your body so you are right on point!

  5. Hi Chelsea, thanks for coming back to us- I bet all readers/fans, like I missed you.

  6. I think I’d actually love this diet. I absolutely adore grain bowls.

  7. Hi Chelsea, I know you are very busy and such. However, I’ve become very interested in macro counting, especially since it’s surged in popularity on Instagram and this is what you follow (I believe). No pressure or anything, but if and when you ever do another one of these posts, I was wondering if you could maybe describe this approach etc.

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