Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It’s true.  My total coffee intake for the past 9 days has been one cup.  This came about in an odd way.  You see, the day before Thanksgiving I went to a Nutritionist.  But let me back up a bit…..

My family is prone to problems with both cholesterol and Type II diabetes and I’ve been somewhat laxidasical (sp?) about keeping my cholesterol numbers where they should be, but not so high as to warrant an alert from my doctor.  (* Note: my “good” cholesterol number is extremely good and my triglycerides are great.  It’s the Total and the “bad” that need fixing.)  So I asked for a reference to a Nutritionist.

We had an excellent conversation and she answered as many of my questions as time allowed, never dismissing my queries.  I asked about all the healthy “hints” we find on the internet.  She was knowledgeable about them and explained why I should or should not believe each one.  But the reason I immediately put my trust in her came about when I asked her to explain how these problems start in the human body, what is actually going on in there, and she did so in full.  I am one of those people who need to understand the situation.  Just telling me to put my foot on the clutch then move the shifter doesn’t work.  I want to know what the clutch does.  Once I know that, it all makes sense.
Anyway, she’s a believer that folks should follow a more vegetarian diet by eating more grains, legumes, and deeply colored veggies.  I’ve already been eating quinoa and I love my morning oatmeal, but she explained the benefits of barley.  Barley has a unique quality (from beta-glucan) of pulling some of the cholesterol from your digestive system with it as it passes through.  There are several sites about this on the internet.

In my entire adult life I’ve eaten barley perhaps ten times, always in a soup.  I didn’t know how it could be prepared.  But I left that meeting, bought some dehulled barley (her preferred option because the hull optimizes the benefits), and found some recipes online.  The first one I tried – Carrot Barley Stew – was a winner.  I’ve made it twice and love the flavors.  And it’s very satisfying.  Next I’m even going to try using the grain as porridge.
But, stumbling around the ‘net I found that roasted barley has been used around the world to make a hot beverage similar to coffee.  Postum (from roasted grains) was popular in the US and just stopped production a few years ago.  I actually remember seeing the jar in the coffee aisle of the grocery stores.  Those of you who have known me for a while know that I stopped brewing coffee last winter in my efforts to cut back on electrical usage.  (There’s a post on that back here.)  So my one or two cups of cold-brew and occasional cup from the quick stop were no big deal, but I was fascinated about this new revelation.  Then I found this.  I ordered some from online and I’ve been enjoying my cup of Kaffree Roma every morning.  I even keep a small container in my desk at work.  But wait….there’s more!

I’ve found instructions for roasting barley to grind for use in an automatic coffeemaker!  And if that isn’t enough……there’s RoBarr, the creation of a very smart woman.  Imagine!  I can stop drinking coffee, a drink that is imported and has all those bad connotations, and switch to something from right here in the US.  (Picture me doing a Happy Dance:)

So….I’ve switched out a lot of my diet with foods that are very nourishing and satisfying.  I’ve learned a lot.  And I’ve made another Small Change by reducing my consumption of coffee!
I’ll do the study and let you know in a few months what the effect is on my lab blood work.

* * Please talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet. * *

On another note....we may see some snow mixed in with this rain by tomorrow morning……

Have a terrific Thursday!


Brad K. said...

When looking for healthy food, you might stumble over Pumpernickel bread, especially as prepared at an artisan bakery (the commercial loaves have more market appeal and little health benefit).

Made with a combination of rye flour and rye meal or whole berries, pumpernickel is said to contain resistant starch that reduces impact on blood sugar, making it pertinent for diabetic type diets.

On the other hand, there is the social issue. I pronounce it Poom'-per-ni-kle. It translates pretty directly from "farting Nicky". Perhaps if you serve it with baked beans, no one will notice. Or cabbage, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts. High fiber diets tend toward the 'windy' effect.

So what did the nutritionist say about yogurt and other sources of acidophiles?


Maria said...

I had never heard of any of these drinks (Postum, Kaffree Roma, Robarr). Very interesting. I am going to do some research now....Thank you!!!

4BushelFarmgal said...

Hi Brad,
I had to laught about the Poom-per-ni-kle :)
That's cute!
But seriously, I haven't had it in years...I might just pick up a loaf this weekend. (Keep in mind that my blood sugar isn't bad. I'm just trying to keep it where it should be :)

She favors the Greek yogurts, but mostly as a "good" carb choice. We didn't go deep into the subject. I will try to remember this question for the next time I see her.

It's all so very interesting!

4BushelFarmgal said...

Hi Maria,
I really enjoy my cuppa barley. I'm going to try roasting some on Sunday....let me know if you can smell the aroma up your way ;)

I'll post afterwards with the results.