Since I’ve already offered some tips on how to adjust your fitness routine with the change of seasons, I thought I’d shift gears slightly on this Motivation Monday to tell you about a new staple in my fall diet: farro.
I’m sure many of my fellow Italians are thinking “are you kidding, Laura? Italians have been cooking with farro for nearly 2,000 years!” Well, I might be a little late discovering this wonderful whole grain alternative to rice and pasta, but you know what they say, better late than never!
Farro (FAH-row) is a whole grain, but has a richer, almost nutty flavor compared to the somewhat bland brown rice. While it isn’t a complete source of protein, like quinoa, a cup of farro has about eight grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. It also contains minerals like magnesium, which is known to relieve tension and finally, it contains “smart carbs” that break down slowly and keep your energy levels stable.
For me, farro has become my go-to for adding a little “bulk” to dinner when that piece of grilled chicken or fish and a side of veggies just isn’t enough. This is especially true on my double-dose workout days of fasted cardio in the morning followed by a Physique57 or other group exercise class in the evening. A serving of farro satisfies my craving for “comfort food,” and the fiber content helps keep me feeling full for awhile.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m definitely not a cook. So the other thing I love about farro is how easy it is to prepare. (At least using the 10-minute version I buy at Trader Joe’s.) All I have to do is boil water, throw in a bag of farro, let it cook for 10 minutes, strain it, add some seasoning and maybe a few sprays of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” and that’s that. I put the leftovers in my fridge and nuke them throughout the week. (I usually get about 3-4 servings from out of one bag.) You can also add cold farro to salads for lunch and I’ve heard some people even like it hot for breakfast with some fruit as an alternative to oatmeal.
If you have any healthy farro recipes you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them! It’s always fun finding a new zero-guilt item to add to the pantry or fridge so you can give your body the fuel it needs and stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!