Written with love, by Jennifer Dene
Last week I wrote about why dieting is the worst thing a bride can do to reach and maintain her dream body. In that post, I got into the science-like-nuts-and-bolts of what dieting does to your metabolism, state of mind, and sense of self.
But there was one really important argument against dieting that I didn’t mention . . . it’s just plain boring!
If you told me that I could only eat chicken breast and broccoli for the rest of my days in order to maintain my ideal weight, I would throw in the towel then and there. As someone who has spent way too much time, money and energy going down the diet path I can tell you that it’s just not worth it.
What’s more, it’s not necessary. I lost 30 pounds and found my ideal weight after ditching the diet and eating foods that satisfied my cravings and nourished my body.
Today’s coconut quinoa porridge recipe is one of those meals.
As the days grow shorter and colder, my body starts to crave warm, hearty foods. During these months I swap my green smoothies for warming breakfasts that include healthy fats and slow-burning carbohydrates. There’s something wonderful about a bowl of creamy goodness to start the day.
Quinoa is a wonderful breakfast choice as it contains all nine essential amino acids. These particular amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) can’t be created by the body and must be delivered through your diet. They play these vital roles:
● Build and maintain muscle
● Metabolize fat
● Balance blood sugar levels
● Strengthen the immune system
● Produce essential chemical reactions that keep the body functioning
If you prefer to have a gluten-free or vegan diet, quinoa should be a staple on your shopping list. While quinoa looks like a grain, it’s actually a seed known as a pseudo-grain (amaranth and buckwheat are also in this family).
So what on earth is the difference between a grain and a pseudo-grain?
Well, biologically speaking, cereal grains (i.e. oats, rye, wheat) are the seeds of grasses, and belong to a group called monocots. Pseudo-grains, on the other hand, are the seeds of broadleaf plants, and belong to a group called dicots. Compared to gluten based grains, pseudo-grains contain significantly higher levels of B-vitamins and iron.
And, perhaps most importantly, quinoa porridge is easy to make and simply delicious to eat.
As I said, there is no room in a bridal routine for diets and deprivation. Instead of thinking about what you need to take out of your diet to reach your ideal, healthy weight (for the wedding and beyond), start to think about what foods you can add in that will nourish and delight.
I hope that you enjoy this Coconut Quinoa Porridge as much as I do, and I would love if you shared this recipe with your girlfriends!
1 cup uncooked quinoa (white or red)
1 cup full fat coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of your choice, plus extra to drizzle at serving if desired)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom (optional)
Step One: Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve under cold running water for a minute or two. This removes the bitter outer layer before cooking.
Step Two: Place the quinoa, coconut milk, water, sweetener and spices in small saucepan with a lid and bring to the boil over high heat.
Step Three: Turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for 14 minutes.
Step Four: Remove saucepan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, with the lid on.
Step Five: Serve with your choice of toppings such as nuts, fruit, coconut flakes and jus a little extra honey if desired.
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Note: Quinoa porridge can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for three days, so I usually make a double batch to keep things quick and easy during the week. Simply reheat with a little extra milk and then add your toppings. I think it’s particularly yummy with a drizzle of honey, walnuts and slithers of banana, but I would love to hear how you serve yours!