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Volume 14 Issue 3
Sept/October 2008

The Little Kernel That Could: The Legacy of David Fife

Carbohydrates: The Real Story

Moving Towards Health with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Creating With Clay

Animal Partners–Healing People and Our World

Healing the Past, Changing the Future

Empowerment—The Story of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh


Carbohydrates: The Real Story
by Paulette Millis
Paulette Millis

The best quality carbohydrates (carbs) are those in their primary state—unprocessed and whole; whole grains, legumes (dried beans), nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Carbs are a source of energy, the main source of blood glucose, a major fuel for all of the body’s cells. They are essential to fighting infection, maintaining health and growth of bones, skin, nails, cartilage and tendons, and important in normal metabolism of fats. (1)
The recommended daily intake of carbohydrates for maintenance of weight is 55 to 150 grams (2). The minimum required per day is 35 grams. One serving is one small slice of bread,1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta.

Carbs are our source of dietary fibre, of great value in helping balance blood sugar, and necessary to regulate gastrointestinal transit time and facilitate efficient elimination.

The recommended daily allowance of fibre is 25 to 30 grams for women and 38 grams for men. (See chart below for some whole carbs and their carbohydrate and fibre content.)

Simple carbohydrates are simple sugars, for example fructose, sucrose, lactose, honey, and molasses. Fruits and berries are mainly simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates include fibre and starch and are found in veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, peas, legumes, and pulses (dried beans).

Refined carbohydrates are usually complex carbohydrates that have had much of their nutrition removed and usually have undesirable ingredients added to them, for example most flours, baked goods, desserts, and snacks.

The average diet contains bread, buns, bagels, pancakes, cereals, muffins, croissants, wraps, tacos, pizza, pasta, and more pasta, crackers, cakes, pies, baked desserts, cookies, ice cream, and candy. Generally, these purchased items are chock full of white flours, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, preservatives, and more.
The following is information on complex carbohydrates (grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds) in the primary state:

GRAINS—amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, kamut, millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, rye, spelt, teff, wheat, wild rice, and grain sprouts.

Whole grains in their unrefined state, with nothing removed and nothing added, are ideal and nutrient dense. They have been hulled but not further processed. They can be cracked as grits, or coarsely ground, or finely ground for flour. The bran (rich in fibre) and germ contain the most nutrients, and these remain intact in whole grains. When the bran is removed the product is often called pearled or polished. Grains that have been cut into smaller pieces are called steel cut or cracked. Rolled grains are often steamed to stabilize them for shelf life, and grits have been steamed and soaked, and have had the germ removed, (3) therefore it is best to buy whole grains and roll or crack them yourself. Sprouting grains improves their nutritional value, and these can easily be cooked, or added to bread dough or other baked goods.

General Cooking Tips
Soaking grains overnight before cooking reduces cooking time. Nutritional value of grains is increased by soaking because phytonutrients are activated as the germination process begins, even though the sprouts are not visible. Grains are cooked when they are no longer crunchy but not soggy. Undercooked grains are hard to digest. One cup of dry whole grains usually makes about four servings. Grains and water together should never fill a pot more than half full. Put grain and water in a pot, bring to a boil, and turn to simmer. Set timer. Never stir grains while cooking, as they could cake together. Add more water if necessary. Do NOT add salt to grains. Watch carefully, as some cook very quickly and the times given below may be too long.

Below is a chart for approximate cooking times for unsoaked grains.

Grains (1 cup): Water: Cooking Time:
Amaranth 2.5 - 3 cups 18 - 20 minutes
Barley 3 cups 60 minutes
Buckwheat 2 cups 20 - 30 minutes
Cornmeal 3 cups 10 - 15 minutes
Kamut 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes
Millet 2 cups 15 - 20 minutes
Oats 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes
Quinoa 2 cups 10 - 20 minutes
Rice, brown 2 cups 40 minutes
Rice, wild 2 cups 60 minutes
Rye 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes
Spelt 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes
Teff 4 cups 15 - 20 minutes
Triticale 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes
Wheat 2.5 cups 45 - 60 minutes

Whole grains will store well in airtight containers, preferably glass, in a cool dry place.

Whole grain breads, buns, pastas, crackers, and pancakes are best made with flour you grind yourself, preferably from organic whole grains, to preserve the vitamin and mineral content. If you do not have a flour mill, a blender will work for smaller amounts. Strain the flour to remove any little chunks of grains that did not blend and use these for cooked cereal. Use recipes that call for whole grain flours only, and add healthy and natural ingredients rather than sugars, fats, and other ingredients that do nothing to improve the health of the body. Make Blender Pancakes (see recipe below) for the highest quality fresh grain pancakes. By placing the whole grain (may use buckwheat for gluten free, or wheat, if desired) and the milk of choice in the blender, the batter is made in four minutes. These fluffy pancakes are a hit, hot or cold.

If you must buy flours, purchase whole grain only, from the fridge in the health food store, and store in the freezer or fridge to keep the vitamin E from going rancid.

Using Grains for Breakfast

  1. Use whole grains instead of cereals. Cook 3 or 4 separately, one after the other, and store them in the fridge. They will keep for 5 or more days. Reheat in minutes with a little water. To use as a cereal, add chopped dried fruits or raisins, dried cranberries, and raw nuts and seeds, then milk of choice and stevia or maple syrup for sweetener, if desired.
  2. Serve plain with a little butter and Celtic salt, along with your choice of protein.
  3. I like corn grits and eggs with tomato slices, cooked or raw, and some plain avocado for breakfast. Try Scrapple (see recipe in Eat Away Illness)—a dish made with corn grits, veggies, and lean meat, chilled and sautéed in the morning for breakfast.
  4. Grind several different grains, small amounts at a time, in a blender just until they are chopped up, and store in the fridge for cereals. Make cracked grain cereals with milk of choice. Optional additions: as in #1 above.
  5. A quick way to have whole grains or chopped grains for breakfast is to place 1 cup in a wide mouth thermos along with 2 cups of boiling water and whatever fruits, nuts, etc. that you wish, and leave it overnight. It will be ready to serve when you get up!
  6. Try making Blender Pancakes (recipe below) by blending whole grain and milk for 4 minutes to make the BEST, FLUFFIEST pancakes ever!
  7. Buy organic cracked or rolled cereals.

LEGUMES—adzuki beans, broad beans (fava), black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzos), cranberry beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils (green, red, and brown), lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, peanuts, pinto beans, split peas, whole dried peas, and bean sprouts.

Legumes could be called superfoods as they have been a main source of protein for much of the world for years. Legumes, such as dried beans, lentils, and peas are extremely nutritious, containing substantial amounts of protein, fibre, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Whole cooked dry beans are useful in soups, casseroles, salads, dips, spreads, and bean flours in baking; as well as sprouted beans in breads, stir fries, shakes, and salads. When adding beans to the diet begin slowly to allow the digestive system to become acclimatized, and gradually increase the intake. Beginners may need to use a digestive enzyme. Having cooked beans on hand is the ONLY way you will get in the habit of using them. Good quality canned beans without preservatives and additives are fine, but to have inexpensive, good quality beans on hand the best way is to cook them yourself and freeze them. When cooking beans (see basic bean recipe below) be sure to use sea veggies or a natural meat tenderizer like Indo to enhance the easy assimilation of legumes.

Basic Bean Cooking
Pick out any discoloured or unsuitable beans and discard. Wash well. Cover with water and soak overnight. Drain and cover with fresh water or vegetable stock and sprinkle Indo seasoning over beans. (Indo is a natural meat tenderizer which helps to break down the starch and remove gas.) A piece of kombu (sea vegetable) also works well. Simmer until tender, usually 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Test beans for doneness like you do for pasta, just bite into one. Garbanzos usually take a bit longer than lima, kidney, and navy beans, but cooking time depends on the age of the bean, the dryness of the year they were grown, and storage factors. Drain the beans and save the liquid for gravies and soups. I do not save kidney bean water as the colour is not appetizing. Split peas and lentils do not need soaking overnight, although it is okay to do so. They will cook from the dry state in 30–45 minutes, although long simmering, as in split pea soup, softens the legumes into almost a puree.

To save time and increase the likelihood of using beans regularly, soak and cook several kinds of beans in separate pots. Drain and place on cookie sheets and freeze. Put in separate zip lock bags for freezing and voila! ready for casseroles, salads, soups, stir fries, as well as mashed for dips, in burritos, and baked.

RAW NUTS AND SEEDS —almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, nut sprouts, chia seeds (salba is a form of chia), flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and seed sprouts.

Buy lots of raw nuts and seeds from the fridge at the health food store, and use plain for snacks, add to salads, make your own nut snacks, nut butters, nut milk, nut cheeses, and grind for baking.

Complex carbohydrates in a healthy state, nutrient dense, are any of the above ground or milled fresh, without adding anything or removing anything: whole grain flours, whole legume flours, and nut and seed flours. To make breads, baked goods, desserts, snacks, pancakes, crackers, or anything with the above, add whole and/or natural ingredients to maintain the nutrient density. Popcorn is also a complex carbohydrate.

When not able to use the grains and beans in their primary or whole state, make or purchase the following: whole grain pastas, 100% whole grain breads, whole grain crackers, and whole grain pancakes.

Following are common grains and beans and their fibre and carbohydrate content, according to the USDA. (4) For this information on other carbs check www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search.

All measures are 1 cup

Name Fibre Carbohydrates
chickpeas (garbanzos) 12.5 45
kidney 16.5 38.67
lima (baby) 14 42.42
cranberry beans 17.7 43.29
pinto 15.4 44.84
fava (broad) 9.2 33.4
split peas 16.3 41.36
peanuts 11.7 31.4
quinoa 5.2 39.41
buckwheat grouts 4.5 33.5
millet 5.4 43.52
brown rice long grain 3.5 44.7
barley 33.6 142.86
rye 24.7 117.89
oats 16.5 103.38
popcorn 1.2 6.23
wild rice 3 35
oatmeal 8.2 54.84
whole wheat 14.6 87.8


A Word About Vegetarian Protein

To ensure protein quality (balancing amino acids) without consuming animal products, you MUST combine legumes with grains, nuts, and seeds. For simplicity, remember this formula: 1/3 cup cooked beans and 2/3 cups cooked grain. Examples of this would be: baked beans with brown bread, whole grain tacos with refried beans, peanut butter on whole grain crackers, split pea soup with cornmeal muffins, hummus with whole grain pitas, dahl over quinoa, whole grain pancakes with peanut butter and fruit sauce, 5-bean salad and a whole grain muffin for dessert; or any legume and grain heated together and served with condiments of choice. These are not whole meal plans, just the balanced amino acids for complete protein necessary for healing to occur.

A common misconception women have is that a large vegetable sandwich or wrap with lots of sprouts and cucumbers, salad, and garlic toast, or pasta with garlic toast is a healthy lunch. That is not high quality or complete protein. You MUST add a legume (bean) to compliment the grain OR add animal protein such as cheese, eggs, chicken, fish, or beef.

Reducing the amount of carbs we consume, and replacing any carbs we do eat with complex carbs will help with weight loss, as well as with healing. When cutting back it is important to maintain a minimum of 2 servings of grains, cereals, beans, or other complex carbs daily.


Meatloaf (“A real hit!”)

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup whole hemp seeds
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup milk of choice (almond, rice, or nut for dairy-free)
1-1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt

1-1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
dash cayenne

Mix ground turkey, hemp seeds, 2 eggs, sage, onion, milk and 1-1/2 tsp salt.

Filling: in a separate bowl, mix rice, egg, sage, milk, salt, and a dash of cayenne.

Press half of the meat mixture in the bottom of an oiled loaf pan. Spread the rice mixture on top and top with the remaining meat. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. May be served with tomato sauce.
—From Cook Your Way to Health, Paulette Millis

Barley or Kamut Soup

1 cup hull-less barley or kamut (use brown rice or wild rice for gluten-free)
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup kernel corn
4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (for best flavour)
2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil, or butter or coconut oil
dash toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp dill
Celtic sea salt or herb seasoning to taste
10 cups chicken, bean, or vegetable soup stock

Bring the 10 cups of stock to a boil. Add the grain kernels and reduce to low heat and cook for 40 minutes or until grain is tender. Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, and corn in the oil. Add this mixture to the grain mixture and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with the dill and your favourite seasonings. Serve hot.
—From Cook Your Way to Health, Paulette Millis

Buckwheat Casserole

2 chopped onions
4 chopped carrots
1 minced garlic clove, or more to taste
2 cups buckwheat
pinch of Celtic sea salt
4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups pure water and 4 tsp chicken-like seasoning
2 tbsp butter, or ghee for dairy-free

Simmer onions and carrots in skillet with a bit of the butter, or ghee. Place all ingredients in oiled glass casserole, dot with butter, cover, and bake at 350 F about 1 hour or until done. Add a bit more broth if needed to finish cooking.
—From Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis

Yummy Kale Soup

4 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups pure water and 4 tsp chicken-like seasoning or 4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked beans of choice: lima, navy, cranberry, or chickpeas
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

Cook kale in a large saucepan of boiling water; drain and run cold water through to cool. Squeeze out excess moisture. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large saucepan in olive oil until onion is tender. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and kale and sauté 4 minutes or more. Add the chicken broth and the beans and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve.
—From Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis

Curried Chickpea Dip or Spread

2 tbsp butter, or ghee for dairy-free
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1-3 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
2-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1-1/2 cups water
lemon juice to taste

Sauté onion and garic in butter and oil until soft and golden. Over medium heat, add spices and stir constantly 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans and 1 cup water and simmer until combined. Puree to a slightly chunky puree, adding lemon juice and more water and spices, if necessary.
—From Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis

White Bean and Coloured Pepper Salad

6 cups cooked lima beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or savoury
2 tsp dried mustard, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper

Toss beans with lemon juice and salt. Toss periodically for 30 minutes. Toss in thyme, mustard, garlic, and oil. Remove seeds from peppers and cut into thin strips. Toss with beans. Let rest 30 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
—From Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis

Veggie Garden Loaf with Quick Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 cup sliced, steamed carrots
1 cup steamed broccoli flowerets
3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup cooked grain (millet, buckwheat)
3 tbsp oat bran
3/4 cup shredded cheese: cheddar, or vegan or soy for dairy-free
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup tomato sauce (for tomato-free recipe use broth with tamari or miso)
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (soy for dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small skillet heat olive oil and sauté onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. In large bowl combine zucchini, carrot, broccoli, oatmeal, grain, oat bran, cheese, and onions. In small bowl beat together tomato sauce, or broth mixture, egg and egg white, seasonings and parmesan. Combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly to mix. Turn mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan coated with lecithin coating. Bake 30–35 minutes, or until firm. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.

To make tomato sauce:
1 large tomato, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup chopped celery or green pepper
garlic powder, to taste
oregano, to taste
cumin powder, to taste
1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients in skillet with lecithin coating or a bit of butter or ghee. Saute over medium high heat until soft and mushy and the liquid has decreased. The mixture will thicken on its own. Blend if smooth sauce is desired.
—From Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis

References: (1) Nutrition Desk Reference, Garrison and Somer; (2) Protein Power, Michael Eades and Mary Dan Eade; (3) Whole Grains in Motion, Westpoint Distributors Ltd.; (4) www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search.

The above information regarding nutritious food is not intended to replace any instruction from medical or health professionals.

Paulette Millis is a speaker, author, and nutritional consultant. To contract her for speaking engagements call (306) 244-8890 in Saskatoon, or email eatingforhealth@sasktel.net. Website: www.healingwithnutrition.ca. Her books, Eat Away Illness and Cook Your Way to Health, are available at health food stores and at McNally Robinson Booksellers.


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