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What Food is Healthy? And a Whole Grain, Wholly Amazing Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway!

Alexandra Williams, MA

“What food is healthy?” This is a question we are asked quite frequently, mostly by our university students, but also by our 60- and 70-year-old students.

bean flourThe answer is quite simple at first glance, yet in practice deceptively difficult. For years I’ve told my students “the closer to the ground the better,” yet many of them found this answer confusing, and over the years it’s required more explanation (yes, kind of sad).

First off, I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian (although I can spell “dietitian” without looking it up). What I am is a good researcher and writer, including this list of articles about food and health that I’ve written. I’m also a good eater and all-around healthy person.

I’m tempted to say that the answer to the healthy food question is, “It depends,” but that’s probably due to my counseling studies, when I learned that it’s the answer to most questions! My new response is to answer with my own question: “Does it (the food) help or harm your body?” For example, I have a friend right now who’s pregnant and dealing with gastroparesis. She cannot eat veggies without getting quite ill. She can, however, keep down sno-cones and pierogies. For her, leafy veggies are unhealthy.

For my sister, it’s possible that she is now allergic to some foods that were perfectly fine for her for decades. As identical twins, we are usually quite similar in our medical issues, so I’m curious to see what she discovers as she eliminates, then reintroduces, certain foods. Kind of a canary in the coal mine thing. She is the canary in this scenario. At present, she is testing out a wheat-free diet. We wrote about some of the research for and against in our post “Is Wheat-Free Better for You.” Bottom line: Eat whole grains. Stay away from genetically modified organisms.Wheat silo

For many of my women friends, a glass of red wine in the evening is possibly a heart-healthy dose of resveratrol. But for me, it’s just a drink that makes me turn red and get a headache. Other friends need to live by a gluten-free diet, while some thrive on organic whole grains.

Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, GF, clean eating, pescatarian, omnivore, high-carb, low-carb, restricted-calorie, intuitive, timed – the list of eating categories goes on and on. And every single one of these eating styles is healthy – for someone.

So I think my new answer is a good one. If it helps your body (chemical cravings for Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” don’t count), then it’s probably healthy for you. If it harms, then why would you eat it? Rather than give advice, I’ll share what works for me.

* Whole grains
* Organic or at least pesticide-free
* Cooking & baking from scratch
* Few processed, packaged foods
* No soda, energy drinks, or high-sugar drinks
* No meat
* All ingredients are recognizable and pronounceable
* If it shouldn’t go in my (or my kids’) mouth, it doesn’t come into the house
* Reading research and books. At present I am reading “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and I love anything by Michael Pollan (did you know he’s Michael J. Fox’s bro-in-law?)

Bob's Red Mill Gift CardIn a further spirit of sharing, I’m also going to give away a $100 gift card from Bob’s Red Mill. I wholeheartedly endorse their tagline “Whole Grain Foods for Every Meal of the Day.”

Reasons you should love this company:

* Their mission is to bring good, healthy foods to as many people as possible
* They have given millions of dollars to support healthy nutrition and wellness, and address the issue of pediatric obesity
* Owners Bob and Charlee Moore gave the company to the employees in 2010
* They sell a complete range of whole-grain food products (not foodlike substances), including organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and kosher
* Their prices are extremely fair (example: $5.79 for 5 pounds of organic white whole wheat flour, compared to $8.95 from their closest competitor)
* The food is delicious

Grains, Beans & Seeds: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, fava bean, kamut, quinoa, spelt, sorghum, teff, triticale, farro, kamut, and way more!

Grains, Beans & Seeds: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, fava bean, kamut, quinoa, spelt, sorghum, teff, triticale, farro, kamut, and way more!

So what will you choose if you win the $100 gift card?
* Flours & Meals
* Grains, Beans & Seeds
* Cereals
* Gluten Free
* Mixes
* Baking Aids
* Oats
* Books
* Entrees

The SuperFine print: This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Yes, my Canadian friends, you are included!!!! That is just how generous Bob’s Red Mill is. The winner will be chosen on Monday, August 5th at midnight PST. We will notify the winner via email and other social media forums. If that person doesn’t respond within 48 hours, we will choose another winner.

This is a truly amazing gift, so you will want to do all the amazing entry options.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Got an event needing edu-taining speakers? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email

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Photo credits:  Grain & Silo –  Frank Kehren; all others – Bob’s Red Mill

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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51 Responses to What Food is Healthy? And a Whole Grain, Wholly Amazing Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway!

  1. Sara Beth July 22, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I heart Bob’s so much. Having a fair price on an awesome product puts them at the top of my list. I had no idea they gave their company to their employees… thanks for teaching me something today!
    Sara Beth recently posted..Steps to Prevent Food Borne IllnessesMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit July 22, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Well, Sara Beth, many people don’t even know that Bob is actually a real person. We’ve met him several times at the Natural Products Expo. One more reason they should send you there!!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..How to Choose the Right Sports BraMy Profile

  2. Poppy July 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Steel Cut Oats, baby.

  3. Kristine July 22, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    I have been a fan of Bob’s for a while, but haven’t used very many of their products yet. So I would certainly get a sampling of things including polenta and multi grain combos to try out some healthy bread recipes. These would be great fodder for inventing healthy recipes for my site, too! I also love that they are local to me (near Portland). GREAT contest opportunity, ladies :)
    Kristine recently posted..instagram: this is me, lapping the Ticket to Ride board to win with 208 points!! woo! #boardgamegeekMy Profile

  4. Kat July 22, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I LOVE BRM products! The gluten free brownie and cookie mixes are my fave!
    Kat recently posted..Motivational Monday – Featured Sneakers #35My Profile

  5. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean July 22, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    i love their garbanzo bean flour!

  6. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf July 22, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I love their coconut flour!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..All-night Walk Under the MoonlightMy Profile

  7. Evelyn July 22, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Nice giveaway!

    I didn’t know about T. Collin Campbell’s book. I definitely add that to my list of books to read.

    There is so much on the list that I’d like to try. I’m leaning toward grains, beans and seeds.

    Bob’s is pretty good, too.
    Evelyn recently posted..Guard Your Heart, No Matter What Happens In Your LifeMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit July 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      I am really enjoying the book Evelyn. I like writers who are experts in their subjects and share their opinions/ biases. That makes it easier for me to make my own decisions.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Running in Place: Do’s and Don’tsMy Profile

      • Evelyn July 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

        Cool! I can’t wait to read it. I also like writers who are experts because it helps me make better decisions. Currently I am reading, Dr. McDougall’s, Starch Solution. I was reluctant to purchase because of the title, but I am glad I did, because I am learning a lot from the information.

        Take care,


  8. Holly Wert July 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm #


  9. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    First of all, I did not know that about Michael Pollan (though I did know that Michael Fox was married to Tracy Pollan, just didn’t know the relationship).

    Second, great post. It is such a confusing subject and difficult to explain to people who want to do it right, and are inundated with way too much information. No wonder people go for quick fixes!

    Third and the answer to the question you asked, I love Bob’s Red Mill, and most frequently buy the Vital Wheat Gluten (I love my seitan). I could really stock up if I win!
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..No More PRs: 6 Ways to Hold Off the Inevitable (no matter your age)My Profile

  10. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta July 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    By the way, the link for Bob’s Instagram is wrong. There is and extra .com after the name.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..No More PRs: 6 Ways to Hold Off the Inevitable (no matter your age)My Profile

  11. Sheena July 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I should be healthy and say something like oatmeal, but let’s be honest: BROWNIE MIX!!
    Sheena recently posted..Products I loveMy Profile

  12. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I usually get spelt flour and graham flour from Bob’s. Great quality.
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal recently posted..A colorful Saturday morning – Color Me Rad 5K ChicagoMy Profile

  13. Haralee July 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    I live up the street, well about 2 miles, from Bob’s so I frequent the store often. I love their couscous, quinoa and I also buy un-sweetened coconut from them. All the local quality bakeries buy their flours. We are lucky to have them in the area!
    Haralee recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

  14. Alyssa July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    They have an amazing 9-bean soup that I love! :)
    Alyssa recently posted..FitBloggin’ Swag GiveawayMy Profile

  15. Coco July 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I love Bob’s products and they have so many I haven’t tried yet!
    Coco recently posted..A Peek Inside My PurseMy Profile

  16. Jillian July 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    I don’t know if I could choose just one. But the Brownie Mix is definitely on the list…
    Jillian recently posted..Portland BoundMy Profile

  17. Jody - Fit at 55 July 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    I want everything!!!! Love their products!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Things to ComeMy Profile

  18. Wild Orchid July 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I love their coconut flour.
    Entered the rafflecopter as “Wild orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  19. william colquhoun July 22, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Potato Bread or the gluten free wheat bread mix.

  20. Alicia at Poise in Parma July 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I would buy ALL OF THE GLUTEN FREE PANCAKE MIX. I’m a bit obsessed. And currently out.
    Alicia at Poise in Parma recently posted..“the power that can be released in us is anything but small”My Profile

  21. Jacob LaFountaine July 23, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    I like the regular rolled oats

  22. Pamela Hernandez July 23, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    Lol, the “it depends” answer always frustrates my clients. There is so much gray area because we are all different.
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted..BetterU Success Story – Meet ErinMy Profile

  23. Mary McManus July 23, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    What an awesome giveaway – thanks K & A — so for us it’s the steel cut oats hands down!

  24. Kelster July 23, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    I love their 5 Grain Oats. I eat it everyday.

  25. Sarah @ The Fit Cookie July 23, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I love the Bob’s Red Mill Teff grain! It makes a great porridge (and it’s gluten free!)
    Sarah @ The Fit Cookie recently posted..Fitness Fashion – I’m Entering the Ellie Design Contest!My Profile

  26. Jessica @ OrganicallYou July 23, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    I love Bob’s whole wheat pastry flour!

  27. Rosie July 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Apple Strawberry granola!

  28. Brittany @ Barr & Table July 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Lately I’ve been loving the TVP in my oats!
    Brittany @ Barr & Table recently posted..Meet Up Success & Link LoveMy Profile

  29. GiGi Eats Celebrities July 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Good ol’ Bob has been a lot of people’s saving grace!!!! He knows what’s up and I give him lots of kudos!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..An Australian Get Away, Thanks To Teas’ TeaMy Profile

  30. Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit July 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Love their flours! I’d also love to try their meals since my new thing is trying out raw desserts. :)
    Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit recently posted..I’ve Discovered A Little {Delicious!} Thing Called…My Profile

  31. Amy July 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Bob’s cornmeal is the best! I love it for polenta and for cornbread.

  32. Calla Gold July 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    It totally depends! One thing about us humans is that we are unique in our needs. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone else, but I’ve learned to listen to my body and only give it what it likes and wants and needs. What makes my body happy might not work for someone else. The only real constant, I’d say, is that the more real and whole and natural, the better, across the board be you a red meat and potato person or a vegan and everyone in between.

    And that is quite the contest!
    Calla Gold recently posted..Ashton Kutcher and His Rhodium Wedding BandMy Profile

  33. Angie @ Losing It and Loving It July 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Favorite is the flax seed but then again I haven’t tried anything else. I would love to try the flours, oat bran cereal, pizza crust mix and the list goes on and on.
    Angie @ Losing It and Loving It recently posted..Greek Yogurt With Fruit: Frozen!My Profile

  34. Renee M July 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Healthy is hard to wrap your head around, especially with so much conflicting information, expert opinions, studies, and commercialization of health crazes. Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you, so “It depends…” is a pretty accurate answer.

  35. Micheline July 24, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I can’t even tell you how much I love their steel cut oats. I never knew oatmeal could be so good until I found theirs!

  36. Romina July 26, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    I like the hemp seeds. I’ve never tried the steel cut oats, but now totally want to after reading everyone’s comment.
    Romina recently posted..BODIES…The Exhibition & Titanic The Experience Preview (Giveaway)My Profile

  37. Kelly July 26, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Definitely their steel cut oats!

  38. Megan (The Lyons' Share) July 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I love so many of Bob’s Red Mill products! The oats, polenta, various flours, chia seeds… the list goes on!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted..Healthy Cauliflower Chicken “Fried Rice”My Profile

  39. Alicia H. July 29, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I love bob’s quinoa!

  40. Melanie July 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    I love all the flours!
    Melanie recently posted..Enjoying Dessert at RamekinMy Profile

  41. Karen Peterson July 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    So far, my favorite Bob’s Red Mill product is the chocolate chip cookie mix. It is to die for!
    Karen Peterson recently posted..Premier Exhibitions–Bodies the Exhibition, and Titanic the Experience, but not Bodies from the Titanic because that would be creepyMy Profile

  42. Bev July 30, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    I would buy grains and flours as I love to bake healthy breakfast bars and treats. Yum!

  43. kolpin August 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    i’d enjoy their apple blueberry granola for breakfast

    rafflecopter: daniel

  44. Gretchen U. Aguirre August 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    The healthiest kinds of grains are whole grains. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. Chances are you eat lots of grains already. But are they whole grains? If you’re like most, you’re not getting enough whole grains in your diet. See how to make whole grains a part of your healthy diet.
    Gretchen U. Aguirre recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

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