Secrets from My Macrobiotic Kitchen with Julie S. Ong

Eat better. Live better. Love better.

Are you ready to take the 7 Day Whole Grain Challenge?

Not eating enough whole grains? Incorporating whole grains into your diet can be challenging when you have a busy schedule and no time to cook. Because they contain intact fiber, whole grains provide complex carbohydrates for energy while keeping blood glucose levels steady throughout the day.

Polished grains, like white rice, are digested very quickly and absorbed immediately into the bloodstream, spiking your blood glucose level, which then falls suddenly, leading to a “crash.” These erratic highs and lows of blood glucose levels contribute to diabetes, weight gain, depression, and a host of other conditions.

Traditional cultures used healing whole grains everyday in stews, soups, and salads. You can balance your diet by adding whole grains to your recipes in one week with the 7 Day Whole Grain Challenge.

Day 1: Shopping Day

Choose 2-3 whole grain recipes, make a list of ingredients, and shop! When you get home, soak grains overnight as prep for the next day’s recipe. Experiment with a variety of grains besides the staple brown rice: barley, quinoa, oat groats, amaranth, etc.

Day 2: Prep ‘n Cook Day

Cook grains and chop veggies while grains are cooking. Boil water and blanch veggies for a quick meal.

Day 3: Leftovers

Want an easy way to eat whole grains at work? Turn leftover grain into a delicious grain salad. Stir in umeboshi vinegar, olive oil, chopped scallions, and grated carrot. Take your salad to work for a healthy lunch. Before you leave, prepare another grain for soaking while you are at work. When you return home, your grain is ready to be cooked.

Day 4: Whole Grains on the Go

No time to make a whole grain lunch? Find Asian restaurants near your work and call to see which one serves brown rice. Order a delicious lunch of brown rice and sautéed veggies…and ta da! A fast and easy way to have a whole grain lunch.

Day 5: Quick Cooking Quinoa

Quick-cooking, protein-packed quinoa takes 15 minutes to cook. Keep in the fridge and mix with chopped blanched veggies for easy lunches and dinners (cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water or broth, season with shoyu soy sauce).

Day 6: Traveling Food

Want to take whole grains on trips? Make your own healthy “happy” meals! Stuff nori sheets with seasoned grains and blanched veggies and roll up to make sushi. Or roll seasoned grains into balls, stuff with a little umeboshi plum, and cover with nori sheets.

Day 7: Chewing Experiment

Have a sweet tooth? Chew each bite at least 20 times. You’ll be surprised at how sweet your whole grains become. Added benefits include better digestion and a relaxing and satisfying feeling!

Healthy Relationship Tip

Widen your definition of food. Think about this: Food includes more than just what you eat. Loving relationships, satisfying careers, spiritual growth, and exercise feed you in more ways than whole grains and veggies alone. This wholistic way of living is your primary food.

Author: Julie S. Ong

Julie S. Ong is the author of The Everything® Guide to Macrobiotics (Adams Media, 2010), which helps men and women of all ages discover the healing and wellness powers of macrobiotics. To find out how to take your health to the next level, visit her site at In her spiritual blog, called The Art of Being Love, Julie channels Spirit and writes Spirit Insights, one minute readings that bring spiritual awareness to your daily life. Follow her at

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