52 CAN-DOs TIP Week #9 Use the “Top 5 Technique”

Part 1 of 2

One of the most important habits to form on the path to wellness is the tendency to read and most importantly understand what is in an ingredient label.  I have 2 rules:  One, if a 5 year old can pronounce it, it’s probably fine.  Two, the first 5 ingredients on the label will usually give a good indication of the nutritional value of the product.

Let’s take a look at bread. Once viewed as a symbol of comfort, healing and nourishment; these days careful inspection of the ingredient label for the average loaf of bread you’ll find: (1) Enriched flour, (2) high fructose corn syrup, (3) wheat gluten, (4) dough conditioners, and (5) soybean oil. How about a slice of flour and corn syrup? Seriously, whatever happened to just flour, water, honey, yeast, salt. Note: Dough conditioners like Azodicarbonamide (banned in Europe) is any ingredient or chemical added to bread dough to increase shelf life and make it easier to process.

A healthier brand of bread that contains sprouted grains is Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread. The first 5 ingredients include (1) Organic Sprouted Wheat, (2) Filtered Water, (3) Organic sprouted barley, (4) Organic Sprouted Millet, (5) Organic Malted Barley. Sprouted grains have been associated with increased digestibility, vitamin and mineral absorption. For those that are gluten sensitive, this bread is not gluten free.

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day is supposed to get us off to a good start. But when BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is added “to preserve freshness” in many cereals -- the question becomes how good of a start can we get in the morning with a chemical that has been associated with its’ use in “jet fuel and embalming fluid” and listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2005 as “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen (substance that causes cancer)”.

Although there are a few (not many) safer cereals on the market, though I must admit I enjoy my own homemade cereal the best. I call it my “Breakfast Buddy” cereal and it’s featured along with other recipe ideas in my video Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow (www.bedaerobics.fitness). This cereal is crunchy, it’s filling, nutritious and simply delicious!

Monifa Maat’s Breakfast Buddy Cereal

½ cup Old fashioned rolled oats (organic if possible)

2 tbsp. crushed walnuts or any nuts of your choice

1 tbsp. coconut flakes (unsweetened)

1 tsp. ground flaxseed

1 tbsp. chia seeds

½ apple cut in small cubes, skin optional (organic if possible)

Cinnamon powder (to taste)

Nutmeg powder (to taste)

1 cup cold almond milk (I use Silk original – no carrageenan in the ingredient label)


Cocoa nibs

Ginger powder

For added sweetness you can use 1 tbsp. dried cranberries, 2 pitted dates chopped or 1 tsp. raw honey


Toss everything together. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt to bring out all the flavors. This breakfast is like an energy packed power smoothie but you don’t drink it, you eat it!