Branning it Up!!!

Amidst all the carrot soup, zucchini and salads, who doesn’t want a little treat? Well, here’s a perk of moist deliciousness which can accompany a healthy meal and bring along its own virtues as well!

Rich with dietary fiber, potassium, iron, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, wheat bran is a great way to satiate and satisfy. As a fiber powersource, wheat bran aids digestion and has been found to regulate blood sugar, beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes.

So, without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients ~~~

– 3 cups unprocessed wheat bran (I usually use Hodgson Mill)                                              – 1 cup boiling water                                                                                                                 – 1 cup brown sugar                                                                                                                 – 1/2 cup butter                                                                                                                         – 2 & 1/2 cups flour (use whole wheat if you can!)                                                                  – 2 tsp. baking soda                                                                                                                  – 1 tsp. salt                                                                                                                               – 2 eggs, beaten                                                                                                                       – 2 cups buttermilk                                                                                                                   – raisins! (as many as suit your fancy – I would highly recommend them)

Mixing dry bran with other ingredients...

Mixed ingredients

Mix 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran.              In a separate bowl blend sugar and butter.                                                                             Measure and combine flour, baking soda and salt.                                                                Combine the moist bran with beaten eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, blended sugar-butter mixture, and flour, soda and salt mixture.                                            Stir well until blended. (Wisking is always enjoyable!)

When preparing to bake, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).                                                  Stir batter well and spoon into prepared (buttered – this makes the muffins easier to take out once they’re done) muffin tins.                                                                                    Bake 15 minutes.                                                                                                                     Serve and enjoy!! (I, personally, love to cut them through their middle and sandwich a thin piece of melting butter in between.)

(Yield – 2 dozen muffins)

Fibrous delectability!

Since you do want them warm, fortunately the batter is refridgerate-able for up to about a week, so just seal it in an airtight container and keep it safe.

Recipe taken from the back of a Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran (Millers Bran) box! (Read boxes, you might find treasures…)

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Cutting ↓ Puts You a Cut ↑

Having previously gotten into a discussion with a fellow blogger, Pursue Natural, on the importance of moderation, I decided to make a post on this topic in which I will include some great cultural sayings which promote this vital health practice.

So, cutting down puts you a cut above! Yes, it is true that eating too little or dieting (which can sometimes be an abandonment of food altogether) is certainly unhealthy and not advisable! However, it is important for us to listen to the biological signs of our bodies and recognize when we are no longer hungry. In chapter 46 of journalist Michael Pollan‘s Food Rules, I found quite a few cultural sayings like “You need to tie off the sack before it gets completely full,” (German) and “hara hachi bu” – (Japanese for “people should stop eating when they are 80% full”) which advise us to quit the downing when our stomachs are no longer growling.

A few other examples: “The Ayurvedic tradition in India advises eating until you are 75% full; the Chinese specify 70% percent, and the prophet Muhammad described a full belly as one that contains 1/3 food and 1/3 liquid–and 1/3 air, i.e., nothing.” (quoted from Pollan’s Food Rules) Like the French, the Spanish also say “Tengo hambre” (“I have hunger”) and “Ya no tengo hambre” (“I no longer have hunger”) to express “I’m hungry” and “I’m full.” So maybe this is a good way to think of it; after all, we feel less inhibited by a content stomach than an overloaded one.

Ellie Krieger also explores some great tips in an article called Get Wise About Serving Size which include using smaller plates–making us cut down without even realizing it; maximizing our veggies–which fill our stomachs more than meats and oils do, especially with healthy nutrients; and “going easy on the helpings.” A family tradition which I also find very beneficial (and which I was happily surprised to find among Krieger’s tips) is a first course of vegetable purée soup. Just cook some cut-up vegetables in a little olive oil, water, and broth (bouillion works as well) and purée them in a blender/Thermomix/Vitamix. The soup tastes great and lets you go lighter on the main meal! (Some of my favorites are zucchini-squash-basil, carrot-ginger, and asparagus-almond.)

Not only is cutting down a simple way of moderating our quantities to what we actually need, but it also allows us to spend wisely on more quality and less quantity. As the French say, the best bite is the first!

Diet, the noun, not the verb!

In a sense, dieting is like bad meditation. In meditation, if we attempt to think of nothing by telling ourselves, “Don’t think about that paperwork, forget about that e-mail, stop pondering that argument!” there’s no way we will get anywhere near forgetting any of those things. Similarly, when we diet, all we do is think about the junk we need to not eat. What kind of methodology is that!?

Instead of focusing on the bad, why not focus on the goodGive to yourself. Be generous to your body. Let your mind wander to the aisles of baby squash and broccoli. Delicious apples and rutabaga. Try something new everytime and indulge yourself to a tasty meal, both for your tongue and the rest of your body!

In other words, embrace a healthy diet (the noun), don’t diet (the verb).

(Picture taken from Spiritual Enthusiast Cosmic Journal blog)