"I Don't Want To Be Skinny; I Just Want To Shop At The Gap": How Whole Grains Get You There

The hussy is a woman of her word, and has successfully made the Bulgur and Lamb meatballs and the Shrimp Quinoa.

She liked them. Her husband Larry (who does not eat vegetables) cleaned his plate. And yet, when Heather sees a whole grain, her first thought is: "I know I'm not going to like you."

Sorta being rough on the little guys, aren't you, Heather? We discussed ways to wrap whole grains like quinoa in another flavor, like a drizzle of her favorite vinaigrette or pesto, and using the dressed grain as part of a salad.

But the key question for Heather is this: Why eat whole grains?

Health is something that is important to Heather. She is vibrant and enthusiastic, but she finds herself getting tired very easily. A newlywed, Heather's life priorities are shifting away from partying with the girls, and moving toward setting up home and enjoying gardening and other outdoor activities with her husband.

But these days, after gardening for an hour, or even taking a walk, she is exhausted and feels like she needs a nap. "I'd like not to be tired," says Heather.

At 5'5", Heather is 240 pounds. Though there are other issues that may be contributing to her fatigue, Heather knows that shedding pounds could only be a good thing.

A few years ago, Heather worked hard to lose 60 pounds, then put them back on quickly and was left frustrated by the experience. "I was working out 5 days a week and eating nothing." Though her approach to weight loss was effective, she focused on what she couldn't eat, which did not work for the long term. She was grumpy and frustrated.

Here's where the Healthy Habits come in. By adding good habits to your routine, you'll soon find that you don't have as much space for the bad ones. Heather has replaced her morning cinnamon bun with some whole-grain toast and eggs. A much better choice; it keeps her energy up. Plus, she's not focusing on what she's losing (bun), she's focusing on what she's gaining (whole grains).

Experts say it takes 28 days to change a habit. If you follow Healthy Habits, and incorporate one new habit each month (Shauna is now up to one HOUR of exercise three times a week), you'll be in a much better place. And we're not talking aggressive weight loss (and inevitable gain), we're talking about LIFE CHANGES.

I know, that's a hokey term: life changes. Blech. So how about a few less fuzzy facts (from our "Dish Up Whole Grains" post):

-Three or more servings of whole grains daily could significantly reduce the risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, two precursors to type 2 diabetes.

- "They may also cut your risk of colon cancer by almost a third," according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

-Women who consume more whole grains weigh less than those who don't.

Well then, Heather; looks like whole grains are an ally after all. You're the best kind of weight-loss candidate: you're not looking to get scrawny, you're looking to be healthy. As you said, "I don't want to be skinny; I just want to be a size 14 so I can shop at the Gap."

You want to be out in the garden, enjoying life, not taking a nap because you're exhausted. You want it; we want it for you.

So next time you see those whole grains, don't look at them like they're out to get you. They're your friend. They're rooting for you. Smile and treat 'em nice.

This week, Heather heads to NYC for a business trip. Do you have any ideas for helping Heather get whole grains into her diet while she's traveling?