In grains part 1 we concluded by asking the following questions: What is a staff? What is its purpose? What is its most healthful relationship to herbs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and animal-based foods? How is grain best prepared for our healthful use? If we prepare it correctly, how much of it should be prudently included in our diets and how much is too much? How is it commonly used today that causes problems? What are the most common problems associated with grain usage among animals and man and can they be avoided? Can grain play a faithful and important role in diet for a lifetime, or will it eventually lead to intolerances?
When God's health teachings do not sustain good health, it is up to us to ask why, to then seek solutions, and to continue knocking until God's full truth of the matter is revealed to us. By so doing we set the stage to receive the blessings associated with his promises. Let's seek to more fully address some of these questions.
What is a Staff?
God is intentional in word usage, therefore ask yourself what a staff is and what its rightful purpose is. Does it replace your legs as you move about? In diet can the Staff of Life replace herbs, fruits, and vegetables? What happens if we lean too heavily upon the staff and do not balance its use with adequate consumption of those foods that alone can meet certain important metabolic needs? Ordinarily a staff is used to lean on as needed, to displace burdens. Grains possess certain nutritional qualities that enable them to easily meet many important functions in the body. They can be leaned upon as good intestinal sweepers that move other foods along. They offer certain vitamins and minerals that are used in metabolic chemical reactions within the body. They provide glucose and fructose that can be converted to energy. Per calorie they provide a balance of nutrients, roughage or fiber, and energy potential that is unique to all foods. When they are not used to excess they become the perfect compliment to a well-balanced meal. However, in both man and beasts, grains are too often over consumed, leading to detrimental health consequences. We therefore must develop eating habits that appropriately lean on grains, rather than overuse grains. The herbs and vegetables are critical for our nature and constitution; when they become the bulky centerpiece of our diets, grains may be added to them to compliment them and to add additional calories that are required to sustain energy production without wasting muscular and organ tissues.
Weight-loss Versus Maintenance of Body Weight
People who carry too much fat on their bodies can eliminate the use of grain during weight loss, so long as they consume 1200+ calories from other food sources per day during the weight loss. Inadequate calorie consumption during weight loss leads to the wasting of flesh. A very effective strategy that can be employed to achieve ideal body weight is to consume living fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that are complimented with an animal source of food, such as organic, non-paseurized yogurt or kefir, organic eggs, or wild Salmon. The centerpiece of this weight-loss strategy are living fruits and vegetables that are complimented with a sparing use of soaked nuts, seeds, and an animal-based food choice each day. However, once weight-loss is achieved, muscle and organ tissues will begin to waste away if grain is not added back into the diet to compensate for energy production that was fueled by fat stores during weight loss.
Common Problems with Grain Usage
- First, most grain consumed today has been processed and refined. it's germ and fiber has been stripped from it and all that remains is starch (sugar) and man-made "enriched nutrients" that we now know are damaging to health. Such foods are fake foods that cause unhealthful imbalances and that lead to myriad health issues. There should be no place in your diet for such foods. By comparisons, whole grains, beans, lentils, miso and other properly prepared soy products are wholesome foods that lead to wholesome balance in our diets.
- Second, commercially baked breads, even whole-grain commercially baked breads that do not employ natural leavening processes cause grain intolerances to many people. Imagine smoking a few cigarettes per day. Many people can handle bringing a certain toxic load into the body each day through cigarettes, but for some it leads to cancer and other health problems. Grains that are not properly prepared also introduce toxic elements that are as harmful as the accumulating toxic elements associated with cigarettes. Overtime the continued subjection to these toxic elements lead to allergies and even to worse. If you suffer from grain intolerances and want to eat bread but cannot buy naturally leavened breads, learn to make them yourself or pay someone else to make them for you. Otherwise eliminate bread from your diet completely and use other forms of whole grains, such as rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, popcorn, tef, wild rice, and quinoa. Buy a good book on fermenting grains and beans and then master some of the popular healthful dishes from around the world that are successfully enjoyed in other cultures.
- Third, grains are rich in carbohydrates and calories, which is why they are used to fatten up livestock. Too often grains are used as the centerpiece of a diet, along with animal-based food products. This has led to the overconsumption of grain. The affect for humans is mirrored at any agricultural feedlot where cattle are fattened for market with grain. The overconsumption of grain is directly linked with obesity, allergies, arthritis, bone diseases, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Autoimmune diseases, cancer, and to gas, bloating and fairly serious digestive issues. If you are fat, you are probably consuming too much grain, among other things in your diet. Grain is energy dense and should be used to compliment vegetables and fruits, rather than have vegetables and fruits compliment grains. It's a matter of focus that leads to proper volumes. For example, if you create a vegetable stir-fry, it will be loaded with nutrients and volume, but will lack necessary calories unless you compliment it with a little rice. Adding rice to the stir-fry and eating primarily vegetables maintains an appropriate calorie balance. However, if you load your plate up with rice and then top it with vegetables, such a habit will lead to obesity. Asians add rice to a predominantly vegetable dish; by comparison, Americans add a few vegetables to a predominantly rice dish, and then we call it Chinese food! When asked about his diet, the longest living Japanese recently said, "I eat mostly vegetables." Two of my children have worked in a Chinese restaurant that is owned by Chinese. They tell me that after the restaurant closes and the employees sit down for a bite to eat, the food that roles out of the kitchen looks nothing like what is being served to customers. Rather, it includes large vegetable dishes that are merely complimented with a little rice. We should do likewise.
It is no wonder that doctors who treat symptoms and diseases that are directly linked to the improper role and preparation of grains in our diet often state rather authoritatively that grains are bad foods unfit for human consumption. From their unique perspective, they are correct in their assessments; however, they are incorrect based upon a more global perspective.
Tonight try the following simple recipe in order to gain a better appreciation regarding the balance that ought to be achieved between vegetables and grains:
2 Tbsp water
1-2 large tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
3 or 4 mushrooms, diced
1 large handful of fresh green beens cut to desired lengths
1 large handful of chopped spinach
1 Tbsp white miso
3.5 oz. Wild Salmon
1/2 to 1 cup cooked rice
Add all but the cooked rice and chopped spinach to sauce pan and heat until vegetables are almost tender; then add the rice and spinach, thoroughly mix, and remove from heat when vegetables are tender.
As you eat this dish, consider the above discussions and recognize how a little rice goes a long ways when the right balance can be achieved.
All My Best!
James D. Simmons