Extreme wave-like energy levels can be very upsetting to your exercise plans, when you have too little energy to work your body out and procrastinate, putting on fat right after all the hard work to get rid of it. Likewise when you have too much of an energy burst, people tend to overextend themselves and that is when injuries or long disruptive recovery periods occur.
In many cases unstable energy levels can affect recovery. Another factor that stumps recovery or even causes you to be sick and too uncomfortable to exercise is inflammation.
Over the years, while researching on several sources, listening to the experiences of many active people and drawing on my own experience, I figured out that replacing white rice with other options of carbohydrates can solve the issue of inflammation and irregular energy levels.
Food is easy to eat and enjoy, but what happens inside our body afterwards is complicated. People who are content with being flabby or are fine with eating carelessly can neglect the science of digestion, the same cannot be said for those who have health and fitness goals.
What do I replace white rice with? I have several options. When I am having a Chinese meal, I replace white rice with millets, brown rice, wheat porridge, egg noodles, wheat noodles or buckwheat noodles. Or I can simply replace the grain food with sweet potato, yam, lotus root or pumpkin. If I am not having a Chinese meal, I have the choice of rolled oats or potato. These foods already make cooking and dining a more interesting experience, and they come with some savory taste on their own. The energy that they contain is being released at a more gradual rate, over a span of 3 or 4 hours, compared to thirty minutes. This is beneficial for diabetics as well.
Since I do my own cooking sometimes, the experience of controlling the ratio of ingredients plays a lot of having the right mindset to eat clean and efficient. People who only know to eat but not to cook, are hardly aware of the usage of artificial flavoring or natural ingredients in the cooking process.
When we queue up for food at the hawker, we can see the cooking process. Even so, many of their ingredients are already prepared before the stall is opened, we cannot be certain how much msg or salt is put into it, or how long ago was the vegetables harvested and the meat slaughtered. On top of not cooking themselves, most Singaporeans actually stay at home or in the office while they send a ‘representative’ to buy meals back in plastic packaging. This gives them a lesser sense of quality of the nutritional contents they ingest into their system.
As white rice was a recent invention, it became the food of the rich, which every Chinese wanted to eat. And now they have it, the culture of eating white rice spread to the whole of East Asia and South Asia.
White rice production became so cheap and ubiquitous that most Asians chose white rice over brown rice due to price. White rice has greater global demand and its longer shelf life generates higher profit.
Contrary to reality, some Asians believe that eating brown rice is a sign of poverty. Especially the generation born in the mid 20th century, they have been conditioned to believe that wealthy people eat white rice, while the peasants eat brown rice.
An issue I always had with white rice is that it has no taste and that makes no sense. It is actually okay to eat two bowls of white rice a meal if you are a farmer slogging the whole day in the fields in rural China. If an office worker who only sits in front of the computer screen whole day tries to do the same, he or she is bound to get ‘wealth sickness’, 富贵病, for something that has no taste and is cheap, does it makes sense?
Have you eaten rice in Malaysia, Thailand or China? Did you realize that the rice served in Singapore is hard and dry while those in other China and Thailand roadside stalls are soft and chewy? This is because Singapore imports cheap Thai white rice that are kept in storage for a long time
White rice lasts longer in storage than brown rice or other forms of grain. The essential fatty acids found in brown rice usually begin to go bad after 6 to 12 months of storage. For white rice, the essential fats in the hulls of brown rice are lost when they are being polished down; this allows white rice to last longer than brown rice.
Many Asians prefer white rice because it’s easy to chew and digest. Brown rice requires effort to chew with the teeth to allow proper digestion. To us, chewing is in fact good because the action is a form of exercise for the facial muscles and the cheek, which are connected to our gut. Chewing is a signal from the mouth to activate the gut, allowing more stomach activity, which means more calories expended to digest the food, more complete digestion and smoother bowels.
Many people like to ‘wolf down’ their meal in less than 5 minutes. White rice serves this purpose especially well, although this spells incomplete activation of the gut; it will leave unprocessed food in the gut that will eventually turn into waste toxins that makes you sick and make you grow old faster. Talk about patience and refinement…
Today is the 21st Century, the days of the Opium War are long over. We are smart thinking metropolitan Asians, no longer do we memorize and duplicate what our parents do without thinking if it is beneficial for us all. Many wealthy Singaporeans are in fact more educated and know the importance of a balanced diet suited for their lifestyle. They are also disciplined enough to stay away from the temptation of social norms
In Chinese Medicinal terms, starch can nourish the spleen in moderation but if taken in excess it will lead to imbalance, by creating damp-phelgm that goes around the stomach and intestinal linings, as well as the lungs and windpipe. It is the substance that causes constipation and runny nose or blocked nose. White rice by itself causes oxidative stress by inducing a quick spike in blood glucose levels, thus doctors always advise diabetics to switch completely to wholemeal grains and other options
The independent and educated city man and woman does their own grocery shopping, fully aware of what they buy to meet their health and fitness goals. With a cleaner bloodstream, unobstructed digestive tract and steady energy output, a healthy and alert appearance is within reach.
Article By Leroy Kwok