Post 180: September 1, 2015 #1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Plan: grains with lentils-My Breakfast Canvas

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! This is the first blog for my September MOFO.

Plan: glutens within limits: There is a movement away from eating whole grains – and that may shock you.

Examples of whole grains include:

  • whole cornmeal
  • oatmeal
  • bulgur or cracked wheat
  • whole-wheat flour

 I will supply you with breakfast combinations that pack a punch. Bet that you wouldn’t think of lentils for breakfast? My last blog Blog Post 210 or 30 MOFO will also consist of lentils without glutens as a lunch of dinner dish.

We’ll become acquainted with grains

We have been given the gift of three grains native to the Andes (kaniwa, kiwicha, and quinoa). They are broad-leafed plants rather than grasses such as corn, rice, and wheat.

Cereal grains

Cereal grain seeds from left to right:wheat, spelt, barley, oat.

All cereal crops are members of the grass family. Cereal grains contain a substantial amount of starch, a carbohydrate that provides dietary energy.

Rye grains.

Rice grains

Pseudocereal grains

Starchy grains from broadleaf (dicot) plant families:

Grain legumes or pulse-many of these can be ground into a flour.

Members of the pea family. Pulses have higher protein than most other plant foods. They may also contain starch or oil.


Grains grown primarily for the extraction of their edible oil. Vegetable oils provide dietary energy and some essential fatty acids. They can be used as fuel or lubricants.

Mustard family

Aster family

Other families

Since I am focusing on preparing breakfast for a diabetic, I will use starchy grains from broadleaf (dicot) plant families: Amaranth, and quinoa and the grains limited to barley and millet. I will also use grain legumes or pulses such as lentils which provide protein.

A mixture with red lentils. After cooking the lentils blend in with the other ingredients.

The quinoa seeds look closed. After cooking they will open slightly but they will not be mushy.. As you can see, the mixture falls away nicely from the sides and bottom of the pressure cooker, making it a synch to clean..

Breakfast without a recipe. You can substitute equal quantities of lentil/barley if you are a diabetic or millet/barley if you are not diabetic.

I like to make unusual breakfast combinations according to the season. Shying away from hot food in the summer is a typical response of many, but I like a hot breakfast:

For eight to ten servings:

Breakfast 1: Use any lentil in your pantry:

1 1/4 cups water/vegetable broth, plus 2 cups water

1 cup lentils

1 cup barley

1 cup amaranth

1/2 cup quinoa light

1/2 cup quinoa red or black

flax, hemp, chia seed, coconut ( or leave out and add later to your liking:

You can start this in the morning and leave it to exercise and come back. You will have two utensils to wash, but water will get out all and you’ll be making enough to freeze or keep for several days.

This is a staged recipe:

Utensils: smooth surface stainless steel pan and pressure cooker:

1)Rinse the heavier components, the barley and lentils or millet if you choose it and drain.

2)Using a very smooth large surface pan, toast the rinsed components for 10-15 minutes. I like to use a silicon spatula to be sure that there is no sticking. You can walk away for a few minutes. The idea is to prevent lumps.

3) Scrape this into your pressure cooker.

4) Add the remaining ingredients and any more needed additional fluid. Basically I add a cup of fluid for every cup of added dry ingredients.The fluid should just reach the top. Pack it down slightly and look around the edges of the surface. The contents should just spring back slightly, with liquid peeping around the outside.

5) Bring contents up to below simmering, cover and bring to high pressure. This should take only a minute or two, your floater will jiggle. I have lost mine so I use the top of a saltshaker. When I hear that, I remove the pressure cooker and place a simmering ring under it.

6) Here’s where you can leave the dish and leave the house. Cooking time remaining: 15 minutes.

7) Then turn off heat and allow the pressure to drop. The quinoa in this dish remains crunchy. As the pot cools down the mixture cools, but the cooking will have continued and the mixture will be softer, ready for many dishes. As you can see from the photo, the result is a rice-like texture, and this mixture can be the basis of patties, or quiches. Top can be remover after 30 minutes.

Serve immediately with chopped pistachios, or any other chopped nut, and figs, or cooked fruit over top.


We have found that grains can deplete nutrients, cause weight gain and infertility, but don’t they still have nutrients? Unfortunately, grains do not have the nutritional profile that all the granola-pushing commercials of late make them out to have. It makes much more sense to get your nutrients from foods like vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats, which offer much higher nutrient profiles without the drawbacks.

Back to the insulin equation for a second… It is no secret that the United States is facing a very real epidemic of insulin sensitivity, Type 2 Diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity. If the corresponding rates of disease and weight gain with grain consumption over the last 130 years aren’t enough to convince you, consider this: when ground into flour, the surface area of a grain is increased to 10,000 times the surface area of the grain itself. The resulting high-starch food is biologically similar to consuming pure table sugar. Consider the fact that flour is often mixed with sugar to create recipes (or used to make wall-paper paste, your choice) and you have a virtual diabetic coma in a bowl (or can).

Sounds bad enough to me, but there are still a few villains left in this mystery story! Behold gluten and lectins! These two are the Bonnie and Clyde of digestive health.

Gluten is a sticky, water soluble protein that is found in your favorite grains (wheat, rye, barley, etc). Grains like corn, rice and oats have similar proteins that cause problems over time. Gluten and similar grain-based proteins work to break down the microvilli in your small intestine, eventually letting particles of your food leech into your blood stream (a lovely term called “leaky gut syndrome”) causing allergies, digestive disturbances or autoimmune problems.

Gluten’s sidekicks, the posse of  Lectins, are mild toxins the inhibit the repair of the GI track. Lectins are not broken down in the digestive process and bind to receptors in the intestine, allowing them and other food particles to leech into your bloodstream. Nothing like pre-digested food circulating the blood stream! The body views these lectins and the food they bring with them as dangerous invaders and initiates an immune response to get rid of them. This immune response to particles of common foods explains the allergy creating potential of grains.

Gluten and Lectin now move their destructive dance to the gallbladder. The Gall bladder releases bile salts that help break down and properly digest foods. When the intestines are damaged, the chemical responsible for starting this bile secretion is not released. Bile backs up in the gall bladder, and cholesterol that is left there crystallizes into little “stones” that are usually surgically removed with the rest of the gall bladder. Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face!

These chain-reactions created by grain

consumption are shown to increase your risk of:

  • Various cancers including, drumroll please: pancreatic, colon, stomach and lymphoma
  • Autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Infertility
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Depression, Anxiety and Schizophrenia
  • Allergies

It all boils down to this: Grains are not healthy and they are toxic to the body. That is the way they were designed. The non-digestible proteins that wreak havoc in our system allow grains to pass un-harmed through the intestines of animals and emerge victorious and in a pile of fertilizer at the other end. Good for the grains-bad for us! Studies have shown, and I have seen in my own work with clients, that a no-grain diet can lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, alleviate dermatitis or acne, end digestive disturbances like heart disease,  increase fertility and dramatically improve  energy levels.

Did she just say no-grain? That means pasta, bread, pastries, desserts, rolls, crackers, etc! (I would actually add white potatoes, corn, and any forms of “whole grains” to that list.) Say it isn’t so!

Trust me, I like them too and used to live on them! From personal experience I can tell you that there is no comparison between how you feel when you don’t eat grains and when you do. I realize that you like grains, probably a lot, and that your doctor probably even encourages you to eat them. I understand that the idea of giving them up might sound absurd, even impossible. I also know that giving up the grains is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Do you want to lose weight, or do you suffer from any of those medical conditions above? You can continue on the high insulin, pre-diabetes and cancer roller coaster, or you could try cutting the grains for a couple months and let your body tell you what it thinks. (Important Note: Even a little exposure to grains every couple weeks can keep the intestines damaged, so to see improvements, you will have to completely cut grains like wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye, millet, corn etc. and it also helps to limit beans and legumes)

Try it for 90 days! If you hate it, you can always go back to your carb consuming ways and live the rest of your life in bagel paradise. Instead, you might discover that you feel better than you ever have, have more energy than you did as a kid and don’t even want the grains anymore.

Breakfast 2: Try your combination and write back! Try this with toasted buckwheat in the winter.


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