Whole Wheat—in Disguise

If you want your family to start eating foods made from wheat flour, you may have to reeducate their taste buds. Most of the foods our society prepares for us are made from white flour, so it is normal to think of whole-wheat flour as tasting “a little funny.” Since your family is more likely to accept whole wheat if you ease it into their diet gradually, try some of the following cooking tricks.

Start by using whole-wheat flour in desserts. After all, who can turn down a cookie? Then move on to other recipes your family likes. The transition is easier when foods are not totally unfamiliar. Don’t feel that you have to use all whole-wheat flour in a recipe, either. Using half white and half whole-wheat flour gives excellent results in most baked goods. If your family is extra fussy, include one tablespoon of whole-wheat flour in each cup (eight ounces; four ounces, British measure) of white flour, then increase the amount each time you make the recipe.

Since whole-wheat flour is brown in color, it is less noticeable when you use it in recipes with brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, or fruit or vegetables (bananas, applesauce, carrots, or zucchini).

Whole-wheat flour is heavier than white flour, so to make sure foods maintain their normal textures, you’ll need to increase the leavening (baking powder and yeast) in a recipe when you substitute whole-wheat flour for white. In yeast breads, use half again as much yeast and allow the dough to rise a little longer.

In recipes that use baking powder, increase baking powder by one teaspoon for each three cups (twenty-four ounces; twelve ounces, British) of flour. Recipes using baking soda need not be adjusted.

For baked goods that use eggs, separate the eggs, stir yolks in with ingredients, beat whites until stiff, then fold whites into batter just before baking. For extra lightness, add an extra whipped egg white.Rosalie Farnbach, San Diego, California

Write It ’n’ Read It

When I finish writing in my journal at bedtime, I occasionally leaf back through a few pages to read what I’ve recorded. That’s all it takes—I’m hooked. A half hour later, I’m still reading. I usually come away with positive feelings and conclusions about myself, my life, and my growth. And when I can see significant spiritual growth, I am really excited.

I’m always writing in my journal, but I have found it’s just as important to take something back from what I’ve recorded. Here are some of the times when reading my journal has inspired, comforted, strengthened, and encouraged me.

  1. 1.

    When I’m depressed. My journal often helps me recognize how I’ve grown and improved. It helps me remember times when my prayers were answered. I can read about the love and support I get from family and friends. I may also see times when my testimony helped me to be courageous.

  2. 2.

    At the beginning of a new year. A few years ago, my husband and I began staying home alone on New Year’s Eve. One thing we do is read our journals; they help us reminisce, show us our progress and triumphs in the past year, and help us decide on our goals for the future.

  3. 3.

    On birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, baptismal days. It’s fun to read about special days from the past. Children especially love to hear about the day they were born, started school, or were injured and had to go to the hospital emergency room. What better bedtime story than one in which the child himself is the main character?

  4. 4.

    When I have a problem. It helps to read about how I dealt with a similar problem—or even a very different one. Knowing I coped with a difficult situation helps me make it through another. Time changes my perspective and understanding. I can see growth following hardship and adversity, and I come to appreciate what I gained from the experience.

  5. 5.

    When I need ideas or examples for a lesson or a talk. I also find that reading my journal inspires me before fast and testimony meeting.

  6. 6.

    When I’m lonely. To give me a rest after the birth of a new baby, my husband took the other children with him on a trip to his mother’s house for family business. While the baby slept, I read my journal. It was comforting when I began to miss my family.

  7. 7.

    To remember events I’ve forgotten. Many times I’ll go back through my journal and say, “Oh, yes, now I remember that!” If I hadn’t recorded that experience, I might not have recalled it.

  8. 8.

    For a special home evening. We like to take out our journals and read what happened one, two, or five years ago on that exact date. We’ve spent happy, close times sharing feelings and experiences from our journals.

  9. 9.

    To feel closer to my husband. We read each others’ journals or go through one together. I love to read my husband’s; he doesn’t mind if I look without asking first. He’s constantly writing how much he loves me and how important I am to him. It makes me feel loved, accepted, needed, and appreciated.

  10. 10.

    To remind me to set a positive example for my children and spouse. Knowing that I will be writing that night makes me more aware of my actions. I want to feel good about what I’ve recorded, because my journal will be around for a long time!

Reading my journal has become just as important to me as writing in it. Reading it reminds me of my goals, helps me see my progress, and keeps me on the gospel path.Janet L. Brodie, Kendall Park, New Jersey

Walk for Your Life!

At age seventy-seven, Beth suffered a heart attack and had to undergo a coronary bypass operation. After she was released from the hospital, she was frightened of overexerting herself, so she seldom left home, and she stopped almost all physical activity. Soon she became so weak that she was unable to prepare meals or to dress herself. Her condition continued to deteriorate.

One day, her neighbor Lisa came by to visit, “Are you just going to sit there and wait to die?” Lisa asked. “Or are you going to do something to help yourself feel better? Come walking with me.”

Beth was startled—but she listened. That day she got out of bed and dressed herself. After a week she was able to walk to the door. After three weeks she made it to the mailbox. Within a few months, she could walk all the way around her block. During this time, Beth also began to prepare meals, do her laundry, and attend church again. Now she looks forward to her daily walk and says that she feels better than ever.

Beth’s experience isn’t unique to the elderly. Almost anyone, of any age, would benefit from a consistent walking program.

Why Walk?

Research has shown that a simple daily walking program can make a significant difference in our overall well-being. Those who walk consistently are ill less frequently, and their bodies age more slowly. Walking invigorates cardiovascular functioning, which normally declines with age. Walking also slows bone demineralization, especially in the legs, 1 and it serves as a deterrent to increased fat storage; increases circulation, which reduces joint inflammation and pain in people who suffer from arthritis 2 ; and improves all factors (except age, heredity, and smoking) that are linked to cardiovascular disease.

Before You Begin

With all of walking’s potential benefits, it is hard to find a valid reason not to be involved in some type of walking program. There is, however, one stipulation: You must be free from any health problems that may be worsened by exercise. Ask yourself, “Do I have any concerns about my current health?” If you do, obtain a physical examination from your doctor and ask him if you can safely start a walking program.

For your walking, wear a pair of shoes that fits well and has a cushioned sole. Running shoes and the new athletic walking shoes are designed to be comfortable and to lessen shock.

In order to walk at the right pace, you need to know your Target Heart Rate (THR). Your THR is the most effective training pulse for maximum cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits given your age and current fitness level. Using your THR ensures that you do not exert yourself too much or too little.

To figure your THR, subtract your age from 220, then multiply this number by .75. During a brisk walk, your heart rate per minute should be near your calculated THR. (To monitor your heart rate, find your pulse by placing your first two fingers on the thumb side of the opposite wrist. Count your pulse for ten seconds, then multiply this number by six. This is your heart rate per minute.) If your heart rate is above your THR, slow down a little and check it again after a few minutes. If your heart rate is below your THR, try to walk a little faster.

Ready, Set, Walk!

For a few minutes before you start walking, loosen up by stretching. Concentrate on your legs, calves, and trunk. This prepares your muscles and joints for exercise. Then warm up by walking normally for five minutes to increase your heart rate slowly. For the next twenty to forty-five minutes, walk briskly, taking full strides and swinging your arms. During the first few minutes of your brisk walking, pause for ten seconds and count your pulse, then adjust your pace accordingly. Before you completely stop, cool down by walking slowly for five minutes to allow your pulse to lower gradually and safely. Stretch for a few minutes when you are finished to prevent stiffness and to increase flexibility.

For maximum benefit, you should walk three to five times a week for twenty to forty-five minutes. But programs can be tailored to fit any individual and any schedule. By adjusting the length, pace, and frequency of walks, anyone can participate. By walking only a few minutes a day, a previously sedentary adult can, over time, progress to a brisk forty-five-minute walk over hilly terrain.

Make Walking Interesting

Many business people walk during their lunch breaks. Some like to include colleagues or clients and discuss business matters. Members of one Relief Society presidency walk together every morning and talk about the needs of the sisters in their ward. Husbands and wives can converse about daily happenings as they exercise. And parents can really work up a sweat if they take small children along in strollers.

A good walking program can be an important part of a balanced life. It can improve your life physically, and since spiritual sensitivity increases when one is unhampered by physical concerns, it can improve your life spiritually as well. So what are you waiting for? Take a walk!Steven G. Aldana, Tempe, Arizona


  •   1.

    V. Brewer, et al., “Role of Exercise in Prevention of Involutional Bone Loss,” in Medical Science of Sports Exercise, 15:445–49.

  •   2.

    E. A. Chapman, et al., “Joint Stiffness: Effects of Exercise on Young and Old Men,” in Journal of Gerontology, 27:218–21.

  • [illustrations] Illustrated by Scott Greer