By Olga Pena

Killeen Daily Herald

If it's white, it's yummy. If it's brown, it's yucky.

Well, maybe not in so many words, but you get the jist.

I hear it all the time. Many people assume that brown bread, pasta, rice and tortillas, to name a few, just don't taste good.

I myself thought much the same way.

I'm a Latin woman raised on rice that at least started out white before all kinds of "sofrito," "sazon Goya," "Adobo" and other spices and seasonings changed the color of the dinner-time staple.

The first time I tasted brown rice, I thought, "No way. Not gonna do it."

However, a few months ago I got on a health kick. I suddenly decided being overweight, sluggish and dying early were no longer options for me.

I started eating right.

My pantry currently holds packages of whole wheat bread (to include hot dog and hamburger buns), wheat pasta, whole grain cereals of all sorts and my personal favorite, wheat pancakes.

Ya, that's right, wheat pancakes!

Here's the neat thing. If and when for some reason my children bite into a white bread sandwich of some sort, they are quick to spit it our or make a comment along that lines of ... "That doesn't taste right. It's yucky."

My children are only 4 and 5 and yet they enjoy wheat products.

Well, they really don't know the difference. We enjoy whole wheat pancakes every Saturday morning (with sugar free maple syrup) and no one is the wiser.

As a matter of fact, I bet I could whip up several such wheat meals and most of my house guests wouldn't know the difference.

I actually have a point here.

Taste buds are trained. You can get your body used to a certain taste. I would suggest trying to train those buds into liking the taste of wheat. Your body will thank you for it later.


Sure, you'll lose weight by avoiding white starch, but also you'll feel better. Trust me.

Besides, wheat does taste good.

I ordered wheat pizza the other day... grrrreat! I actually like the taste of that pizza over the regular more fatty meal.

I sincerely love the taste of whole wheat bread and so do my toddlers.

We also thoroughly enjoy wheat snacks such as Wheat Thins and Sun Chips... I don't keep those bags in my pantry because I'll scarf a bag down in one sitting.

I've become so accustomed to the wheat yumminess that now, if I bite into a burrito made with regular white tortillas, I make the yuck faces my kiddos do.

As for rice, I don't eat it at all and it's the one "white" starch I feed my children.

Sure, I probably haven't figured out how to cook it, but I still don't carry the brown alternative in my pantry.

Nope, not gonna do it.

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