Contributed by RL

[caption id="attachment_1781" align="alignleft" width="160"] hard red wheat[/caption]

With the beginning of the New Year we are all gung ho for living the dream and keeping all of those new goals that we made for the coming year. The reality is it all starts now.

So with the early dawn we begin and as we open the door for that early morning running that we committed to do and that sub-zero temperature hits us square in the face catching the breath from us. Wow, that we did not count on, do we really want to do this? Summoning all of our will power, and not wanting to look like wimps in front of the family, we venture out into the predawn to be greeted by ice crystals falling from the clear sky. While the stars dance overhead, brilliant and sharp as only the cold can magnify those points of light, their beauty unfolds to us. The road is slippery in spots so we try avoiding those areas, we don’t want to break something, or have to explain to our spouse why we just “had” to go running this morning.

When we come back through the door, our faces red from the cold with frost on our stocking caps and coat collars, we feel good. But we sure hope it warms up for tomorrow's run. Hopefully we can keep this up and increase the distance we can run and maybe even enter one of those fun runs that is the rage of the healthy. (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/running-and-jogging-health-benefits)

Now that we are back in our homes we feel the warmth that greets us and gives that all is well feeling, looking at the time we need to get the day started, and what better way to do that than with a good breakfast. Realizing that one of our goals for the coming year is to eat more like our age and be healthy.

One of the best ways to eat healthy is to add more fiber to our diets. Wheat is one of those food items having plenty of fiber and nutrients for our bodies.  Foods with soluble fiber, such as white bread, bagels, and pasta may help to lower cholesterol. While foods with insoluble fiber, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes can help our digestive system; with the added bonus of fiber-rich foods helping in the control of weight when substituted for high fat foods. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983)

Those whole grains have 3 to 5 times the vitamins and minerals that are found in refined grains. With only needing 16 grams of whole grain ingredients to add up to a serving you can get a great meal started with 100% whole grains like: ½ cup pasta, ½ cup rice or other grains, 1 slice bread, 1 cup of cold cereal, ½ cup hot cereal and 1 bagel or muffin. Wheat also is a great source to get prebiotics into your diet.

Where does all of this lead us? Breakfast, I hope, I am starving after the run in that cold air outside. One of those stay with you meals I enjoy is whole wheat pancakes which is very easy to change up for whatever mood or taste you have a craving for in the day. All you need is 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, 1 large egg, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 1/3 cups buttermilk powder, ¼ teaspoon real salt, 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon baking soda. This gives you a base that you can add some freeze dried blueberries, blackberries, apples, raspberries or bananas to get some special flavors to melt into your mouth.

Of course there are many recipes that calls for whole grains that will enrich our lives without sacrificing flavor in our health. (https://wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes) Wheat grinders can enhance the freshness of your whole wheat taste when the grain is ground just before using the flour in you’re cooking thus providing more flavor for us to enjoy in our cooking.

Now all I need to do is work on my running in that cold weather and get better distance, maybe a new pair of running shoes? Well one thing I know is that it is recommended to have lots of liquid to hydrate before one goes on those long runs. It is always best to be prepared for those long runs and when running by yourself you need to let someone know where you are heading and when you will be back. That just in case thing which right now is only in the road in front of the house but as the snows melt away I hope to extend to the foothills nearby to get ready for those longer runs. Maybe my doctor who loves running as well will join me on a run. It’s hard to believe that I use to watch him and our children run when they were in high school. Now he watches over us. ‘Till next time RL