PEPTalks About Super Foods for Superior Health: Quinoa

Quinoa Feta Salad

First things first.  It’s pronounced “KEEN-wa”, not “kwin-oh-a” or “kwin-wa”.  Don’t feel bad though, because EVERYbody, including this motivational speaker on health and wellness, mispronounced this ancient Incan grain incorrectly the first time.  It’s kind of a Right of Passage into the world of whole grain eating.  Now you get to be smug as you correct others who say it incorrectly.

But along with your superior pronunciation, be sure to inform the grain novice what the big deal is about Quinoa (translated to mean “mother grain”)- and it IS a big deal, in my opinion.  White rice doesn’t even begin to hold a candle to this list!


  • Unlike most grains, quinoa is considered a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids in a nearly perfect balance.
  • It’s actually a seed, not a grain, in the same botanical family as beets and spinach
  • 11 grams of protein per 1/2 cup
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • Magnesium and potassium, zinc, vitamin E, riboflavin, copper and more iron than true grains
  • Easy to digest
  • Low glycemic index, meaning its sugars are released into the bloodstream slowly, allowing it to provide sustained energy over nay hours
  • Tan version has a delicate nutty flavor when cooked, while red quinoa tastes somewhat like roasted walnuts and is crunchier in texture

My favorite lunch is 1 cup of leftover quinoa as an excellent basis for a quick main dish salad.  Just add chopped fresh veggies, a cooked protein (beans, tofu, chicken), fresh herbs if available), and your favorite salad dressing. This is a light but nutritious meal that can keep you going for hours!

Very quick cooking and versatile; within only 15 minutes, it can be transformed into an outstanding entree or side dish, a hot breakfast cereal, salad or even a dessert.  If you are brand new to cooking quinoa, buy it packaged with basic cooking instructions on the back of the box.  It’s available in almost every supermarket nowadays.  So simple, so delicious, so quick!

Trust me!

From your grain-totin’, quinoa-munchin’ motivational speaker, Polly Pitchford


Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. I LOVE quinoa, Polly!  LOVE it!!!  And for any of you reading this who have never tried it, oh you don’t know what you are missing.  It’s FABULOUS!!!
    So thank you for the reminder, Polly.  It’s a VERY easy grain to forget about just because I’m so wired for brown rice – or NO grains at all.  But this one is exceptionally different.  I’m going to make some for dinner tonight!  YAY! 

  2. Awesome! I want to try this! Can we get it at a regular grocery store? Bill – are you listening? Let’s get some. Can’t remember the last time we ate white rice or white pasta. 

  3. Just made some Quinoa with coconut milk the other day and it was nummy! It’s our latest g0-to given it’s speed and flexibility. Thanks for reminding this motivational speaker the benefits of our choices!

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