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Lifestyle Challenge Week 2: No White Flour

Polly Pitchford - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's everywhere you turn!  Refined, processed white flour makes up the foods we've loved our whole lives: bread, pasta, crackers, cakes, cookies, cereals, fried foods, pastries, pretzels, ice cream cones, I could go on and on!  If we are on a quest for optimum health, then it's necessary to eliminate this refined food because it is VOID of nutrients, and FULL of calories.  The only benefit we get from white flour products is that it gives us "energy" because it's a carbohydrate.  BUT very few of us are active enough during the day to burn off the calories (a.k.a. energy) that we consume from these white flour products.  So you know what the body does with extra calories, right?  Of course you do:  STORES THEM AS FAT for when you might need the extra energy!  Brilliant plan!  But guess what, we never give our bodies the chance to tap into those energy stores because we wake up the next day and start all over again with eating refined white flour bagels for breakfast, refined white flour bread for our lunch sandwich, refined white flour cracker with cheese as a snack, refined white flour pasta and bread for dinner, topped off with refined white flour cookies for dessert.  Did you run a marathon today?  I didn't. My body is going to store this day's extra carbohydrates in MORE fat cells for later use.  WE NEVER USE UP THE STORED FAT (energy)!!!  GET IT???

So, here's what you do for the first 2 days:  Recognize every food you typically eat that is made from white flour.  Put it down.  Make a shopping list of its whole grain alternative (listed below), and set yourself up for the rest of the week with these nutrient-dense whole grain carbohydrates.  Oh, and by the way, this rant also includes white rice...same thing.

Note: Read the ingredient list on all of these Whole Grain products to be sure there's no "enriched flour" included; that's the same thing as white flour.

Bread - Whole wheat bread (must have the word "whole" in the description)

Pasta - Whole wheat pasta, Quinoa pasta, 

Crackers - Ryvita, Wasa, Corn chips, whole wheat crackers

Cookies and Cakes - Tough one:  some Spelt flour cookies available in health food stores

I'm sure you won't love all of these healthier alternatives as much as you love the white flour traditionals, BUT REMEMBER, this is just for 1 WEEK!  It's a chance to open your eyes to how to eat a more nutrient-dense, healthy, vital, energy diet!  Give it your best shot, journal how you feel, what you like that might stay a part of your eating habits from now on, what products WON'T stay, etc.  

And by the way, I hope your Week 1 Water Challenge went well!  I encourage you to keep that challenge in place while you add the new challenge of omitting white flour BUT you do have the option of just focusing on Week 2 and letting the other slide (although I highly discourage it!)  Build back your health 1 healthy challenge at a time and you are guaranteed to feel the positive effects by the end of our session!!!

Good Luck!

In Health,

Polly

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