I’ve been doing more reading than writing lately, life has been all over the map. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Now that my detox is over, I admit, I’ve lost some momentum. Forgive me?
I was reading an article summarizing some findings of a study done in the UK about the health of vegetarians versus meat eaters. If you’re interested, the article is located at theatlantic.com , if you’d like to take a look. Basically it tells us that vegetarians have a lower risk of many health issues.
“RESULTS: The self-proclaimed vegetarians had a 32 percent reduced risk of both fatal and non-fatal heart disease, accompanied by lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels, as compared to non-vegetarians. They consumed, on average, more cheese, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less milk. ” – theatlantic.com
I tried to gain access to the study itself because I had a nagging question, however the journal in which it was published wanted me to pay $40 USD for temporary access. As much as I want to inform myself and all my readers…$40 USD? Ya, I don’t think so.
My question was this, did the authors of the study take into account that part of this correlation may simply be due to the fact that vegetarians tend to be more conscious of their health overall? Think about it. The vegetarians that I know, most of them anyway, are much more concerned with having a balanced diet. They actually need to make sure they are getting the proteins that they require for their bodies to survive. It’s not like McDonald’s is serving lentils with fries, so if they eat fast food, they’ve often lost the opportunity to feed their need for non-meat proteins.
I completely agree that for the most part, especially in North America, we eat a LOT more meat than we need to. Absolutely. I’m sure the UK also has their fair share of over indulgent carnivores. However, I wonder if they re-did the study with more attention to the type of meat eaters they selected and the type vegetarians they selected, if they would find the same results. For example, what if they screened participants to find meat eaters that ate lots of vegetables and had similar physical activity habits to the vegetarians. Wouldn’t that be more informative? Their group participation size is impressive, certainly, but often I find the quality of study participants more impressive than the quantity.
Just a little food for thought.
Having said all this, I do believe that a diet rich in vegetables and non-animal protein is very healthy. Vegetarian or not, you can reduce your risks of many ailments by upping these enzyme-rich parts of your diet. If you choose your meat from places that don’t use antibiotics or hormones and you don’t overdo it, it’s my opinion that the health disparity shown in this study would shrink dramatically.
Wow! A whole year of detox, completed! I couldn’t even fathom this moment when I started last year. Twelve months seemed like an eternity, yet here we are. I will be updating the blog with the quantitative measures of my success once I get results back from my doctor. However, as we head in to 2013, I wanted to share what I believe to be the top 12 steps you can take in bettering yourself and your health this coming year. Now that all the Christmas cookies have been eaten and you’ve had your fill of libations for awhile, let’s get back on track. Twelve months of detox has taught me many things, but here are what I feel are the twelve most important things, in no particular order.
1. Drink more water
Sure, sure. Everyone always says to me, I drink so much water. I thought I did, too. Until I kept better track of it and found out I was embellishing a tiny bit. Apart from the air we breathe, there is nothing more important to our survival than water. The more, the better! Most of us are walking around dehydrated like crazy! Dehydration can cause some scary things…trust me. If you make only one change in your life this year, let drinking more water be it.
2. Move your body
I am, by nature, a very sedentary person. I find no issues sitting and watching movies all day. After making movement more important in my life, I found it became something I craved. I no longer wanted to sit all day. Even now when I have a ‘veg’ day, I get up and stretch every hour or so. Your body was made to move, especially since you need movement for your lymphatic system to function. Even if it’s walking to the corner store a few times a week, or some yoga for ten minutes in the morning. Every little bit helps!
3. Eat more raw food
I find this especially hard to do in a Canadian winter. My body wants foods that will warm me from the inside out. Now that I’ve incorporated more raw foods into my diet as a whole, I really feel a difference when I go more than a day or two without having any. Your body needs enzymes that are found mostly in raw foods because it can only produce some of them itself. Do yourself a favour and have a salad before your hearty beef stew, even if it’s a cold night.
4. Find out what your vitamin/mineral deficiencies are and take supplements
The reason I don’t blanket statement this suggestion by telling you to take a multivitamin is because, depending on your personal factors, you may only be lacking a few things from your diet. Go, see your doctor and ask them to run some blood tests to see where you are low in or high in for that matter. Once you have a clearer picture of your health, then you can start taking the right supplements. You may be suffering from a deficiency that you aren’t even aware of. Catch it now and turn your health around!
5. Learn the different names for ‘sugar’ and read those labels
Sounds so simple, so hard to do! As I discovered during my detox, sugar is lurking in many different places under many different names. If you learn them and check your labels, you have won half the battle. The other half is your will power and only you can choose victory. Educate yourself about the products you are buying and you will be a smarter, healthier consumer!
6. Buy organic…REAL organic
Yes, it is more expensive but it is so worth it. This past summer, we bought organic berries and the taste alone was worth the extra bit of money. Just watch out for ‘greenwashing’. As buying organic becomes more and more popular, companies are finding ways to dupe consumers into spending more money on products that appear more natural. Using the colour green or having the word ‘organic’ in the name are just some of the ways that shoppers are being tricked. Check the labels, find out if they are truly living up to their image.
7. Clean with vinegar
Yes, there are hundreds of different cleaners out there. Many make claims of being environmentally friendly, but I have yet to find a single product as environmentally friendly and versatile as good, ol’ vinegar. Not only that, but it is incredibly cheap as well! Save your cleaning product money and buy more organic foods!
8. Chew your food MORE
Yes, we all chew our food to some degree but many of us hoover down our meals without enough breakdown. Your mouth is a vital part of your digestive process. Give your saliva time to help with the breakdown and your whole gastrointestinal tract will thank you for it!
9. Take an omega supplement
I know I said to get tested for what supplements you are lacking in before setting up your vitamin regime, but this is one of the ‘gimmies’. Omegas are powerful anti-inflammatory supplements and rather than tell you all the foods you should be avoiding in order to cut down your inflammation, I would rather you add this to your regime. Especially if you don’t eat a lot of fish!
10. Stay away from products with added ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfumes’
I could write hundreds of tips for what to avoid when putting things on your body, but if I tell you just one, stay away from scented products. Unless the label clearly states that they’ve used no added fragrance or only fragrances from essential oils, there could be many different chemicals lurking under that name.
11. Try juicing
Juicing isn’t for everyone and it is hard to do in the colder months, but there is no better way to get those nutrients in such a bio-available format. If juicing seems like a huge effort, at least try to buy your juices from the refrigerated section of the store. They are less likely to have added sugars and preservatives. Also, the enzyme content will be higher.
12. Write affirmations
Affirmations are a great way to attract the things you want into your life. Whether it’s a state of being or a physical thing, affirmations are a very effective way to reach those goals.
As you head into a new year, turn over to a new chapter in your life. One in which you are healthy and happy. Not only will you be benefiting yourself, but all those around you.
Do you have any suggestions for 2013 that will help people better there lives? Have you tried them? Are you planning on trying them this year?
Happy New Year everyone!
When we hear the term ‘processed foods’, a little, red flag goes up in our brains that reminds us that we’ve heard those things are unhealthy. Most of us, myself included, don’t often take that extra step to say that refined grains are a part of that group. Processed foods provide empty calories and have been through lots of processing, go figure, which has removed much of the food’s original, nutritional value. The food gets refined and bleached so that most of what is left is starch. That starch is then mixed with sugars and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (we’ve talked about why THOSE are bad) to form a big mess for your body to try and digest.
On some level, the food production companies know this and enrich their products with vitamins and minerals that may have been there in the first place to make you feel better about what you’re eating. You might be eating white bread, but it’s enriched so it must be good for you on some level, right? I’m not too sure about that. For one, their effect on your blood sugar and C-reactive proteins is almost the same as pure sugar. Yep, you’re practically wrapping your ‘healthy’ tuna sandwich in some sugar. Also, wheat and rice contain a family of proteins called lectins. Lectins are known to interfere with your absorption of vitamins and minerals. So, even though your bread is enriched, the lectins may be stopping you from absorbing the added nutrition. Lectins may also be the source of some of the inflammation itself, as some research points to them as a factor in rheumatoid arthritis.
After reading this, you may say that you are glad that you have switched to a whole grain bread in your diet. While there are some advantages to this, they are still a major source of starch. If you are overweight and eating whole grain breads, you are not doing yourself any favours. Even whole grain breads are processed to some degree. I’m not suggesting you cut them out of your diet completely if weight loss is the only thing that you are looking for, but consider doing so if reduction of inflammation is something you are striving to achieve. Some of you, like my dad, may be inflamed because of an overabundance of yeast in your system. Some of you may have mild gluten intolerances, which are causing you to swell up. That is a whole other article on its own, so I’ll leave it at that. These breads, whole or not, have an affect on your blood sugar. Losing weight while battling against your blood sugar issues (ones you may not even be aware of) is nearly impossible.
Have you ever cut refined grains out of your diet? What differences did you notice?
- Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, Multigrain: What’s the Difference? – Learn the Label (thekitchn.com)
- Bit of a shocker about grains (biosil.wordpress.com)
- Small Changes: Switch to Whole Grains from Refined Grains (sheerbalance.com)
So, as I’ve said previously, inflammation is a good thing. It is the body’s way of dealing with injuries, infections and other attacks on the body. The problem is, too much of a good thing, becomes a bad thing. In North American society, also quickly spreading around the world, our diets are so high in foods that promote inflammation that our bodies balloon up and don’t come back down. Highly processed foods are low in the nutrients that prevent inflammation and high in the ones that promote it. When we have too many dietary triggers for inflammation and not enough levelers, we suffer from chronic inflammation.
When we think of going on a diet to lose weight or to get healthy, the first thing we think of is cutting fat. That is why we’re ‘fat’, right? Wrong. It is over-consumption of fats and of the wrong kinds of fats that have that negative effect on our bodies. Our bodies need fats, but in the right ratios. There are many different types of fats, some healthy ones that reduce inflammation and some unhealthy that promote inflammation.
Trans fatty acids – We’ve heard of this one before, it’s been getting a lot of deserved, bad press lately. Sometimes, they are hidden in products using the term ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils‘. Sounds relatively harmless, especially with the word vegetable in there. Trans fats are bad enough on their own, but when they are ‘partially hydrogenated”, they take on the characteristics of saturated fats. There’s a whole whack of science to understand this part of it, but I think the basic points here are that they promote inflammation in the body, raise your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol).
Sometimes Pro-Inflammatory fats:
Omega 6 family – Omega 6 fatty acids supply the building blocks for many inflammation causing substances including prostaglandin E2 and leukotrin B4, but also supplies is with blocks to build gamma-linolenic acid which is anti-inflammatory. The catch with this fat is that the ‘parent molecule’ for Omega 6s is linoleic acid, which is essential for our health. Remember that “too much of a good thing” statement I made earlier? This is exactly what I was talking about. Think of it like a family with some fantastic people as parents, but they just keep having kids. Some kids are helpful and caring, like our little gammas but many are destructive and violent. They may be able to control one or two of them, but they keep having more and more. Eventually they destroy the entire community. Now think of that community as your body. You wanna keep those fantastic people, but make sure they don’t have too many kids in your community. The local ‘inflammatory’ law enforcement can only handle so many peter prostaglandin E2s and lucy leukotrin B4s.
Wow, that was like an ‘after school special’ explanation, but I love it!
Omega 3 family – Much like our parents that have a mix of rotten egg and angel children in the Omega 6 family, the Omega 3 family provides the building blocks for a whole family of powerful, anti-inflammatory substances. The difference is, their children are all little angels, as far as our body is concerned. The most potent omega 3s are found in coldwater fish, so if you are not a big fan of sea food, it is time to start taking an omega 3 supplement derived from the fishies. Along with all of their angelic offspring, omega 3s also remind our body to turn off the inflammation process when it is no longer needed.
GLA or gamma-linolenic acid – As mentioned before, GLA is technically an omega 6 fatty acid, but even the worst family has a few good eggs. GLA behaves more like its omega 3 cousins, suppressing inflammation
Omega 9 family – This family is found mostly in olive oil, avocados and macadamia nuts. The omega 9s are always working with the omega 3 family to create anti-inflammatory substances to help your body.
Now that you have a better idea of what the fats do, you may be wondering why it is now becoming such a rampant problem. We never had to worry about this before, simply because we ate better. Omega 6s are not bad for us if they are balanced with omega 3s. The issues is that they are not balanced in the average person’s diet. Whereas people used to consume roughly equal amounts of omega 3s and 6s, they now consume twenty to thirty times more omega 6s. That is an astronomical number! On top of that, the quality of the omega 6s are often low. No wonder we are so inflamed! All the people walking around with a condition that ends in ‘-itis’, take note. You could be perpetuating that condition every time you eat a meal if you’re not careful.
Do you have an inflammatory condition? Have you tried the use of omega 3 supplements?
- Vitamin C, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids may help asthma (foodconsumer.org)
- Value of Omega-3s: Not Up for Debate (health.usnews.com)
- 5 Secrets To Omega 6:Omega 3 Balance (valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com)
- Omega-3 fatty acids help advanced lung cancer patients (foodconsumer.org)
I just happened to stumble on to this article this morning and realized immediately…I am a food porn offender. In fact, so is my husband. For those of you who live in Ontario, you know that if you visit an LCBO (our liquor commission) that every quarter they release a magazine called “Food & Drink”. It is a fantastic little publication that pairs the liquor they have with fantastic recipes. Ones that make you drool uncontrollably and your eyes roll back into your head. We sat on our bed last night and leafed through the latest edition. I have to say, I love their fall pubs, they make me feel all cozy inside! However, after reading this article, I’m not sure that I should look at these magazines ever again…ever. It talks about the ghrelin production that occurs just from looking at these pictures. They are made to stimulate that part of our brain that used to keep us alive as humans thousands of years ago. All that shiny, fatty, dessert goodness. That gorgeous glaze for meats. We are wired to think, “YUM!”
I’ve heard people joke about porn being the major use for the Internet, but I never thought it would include food porn! They have some suggestions about how to control the problem, including cooking at home. That way you can control what you are putting into your food and the portion size. That’s great, but I’m sure my Food & Drink isn’t the best thing to be selecting recipes from. I don’t often pick up my heart healthy cook book and have to wipe down the pages from all the drool falling onto them. Maybe they need to take sexier food photos…hm. All these cues, driving your dopamine levels up. You start imagining the taste in your mouth, that savory sensation. My mouth is watering just writing about it. The article suggests that really great pictures taken of healthy foods may be able to do the same thing but I’m not convinced. See the brussel sprout shot? Not super sexy.
I sort of have issue with the idea that I should take my inspiration from food porn and cook at home in order to avoid added calories and over-consumption. Have they ever actually observed someone cooking tasty desserts? I, personally, end up snacking on ingredients while I do so. Licking the spoon is a baking tradition! This is why I’ve avoided baking altogether recently. I mean, why put my will power under even greater strain. Maybe after I’m done cooking and to the serving part I eat more mindfully, but the during is so hard to resist.
How about you, are you a food porn offender? What techniques do you feel would work best for you?
By Theresa O’Rourke
“It’s your classic money shot, the camera tight to reveal every detail of steamy cinnamon buns drizzled just so. Jam-glazed pork falling off the bone. A slice of buttery-crusted apple pie letting it all hang out. Sweet or savory, slow baked or flash fried, it’s food porn–and experts say it’s whetting our appetites in ways we never imagined. “Like the sexual kind, food porn allows us to lust after taboo things,” says psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of Eating Mindfully. “And now it’s on our terms: We can search for exactly what turns us on, enlarge the images, and linger for as long as we want.”
Just a few short years ago, food sites were predominantly recipe-driven. Now, a growing number shamelessly flaunt the fact that few people visit for the articles. FoodPornDaily.com (tagline: Click, drool, repeat.) stripped away recipes altogether in favour of luscious panned-in shots. Food images are also the fastest-growing category on the hugely popular inspiration-board site Pinterest, where they generate 50 percent more re-pins than fashion and style photos. If you don’t find anything that turns you on there, you can log on to Flickr’s Food Porn Group. Boasting nearly 600,000 images, it’s one of the most active categories on the photo-sharing site. (Search: Food photography)
Problem is, that Flickr group isn’t the only thing that’s growing. Photos seem harmless, but they provoke a real emotional and physical hunger response that can be tough to control, says neuroscientist Laura Martin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center who studies how we respond to food. And straight out of the insult-meet-injury department: Those who are overweight appear to be more sensitive to the effect of viewing irresistible food. Does that mean you can never ogle your cake without eating it too? Not necessarily. There are savvy ways to curb your appetite–online and in real life.
Eating with Our Eyes
The best food porn plays on the fact that the more indulgent a photo appears, the more likely it will trigger our instinct to eat. “Food porn relies on a phenomenon called supernormal stimuli, which exaggerates qualities we’re already hardwired to love,” says Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program and author of Waistland: The Revolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. Usually, that translates to visual cues that a food is high in calories–things like pooling oils and the sheen of sugar–which were coveted assets back in hunter-gatherer days, when calories (particularly the gooey, fatty ones) were harder to come by, says Barrett. That might explain why, according to a recent study from 360i, a marketing firm that studies online trends, pictures of desserts are the most likely to be shared online. Cheesy, oozy comfort foods also get favourited more frequently on sites like Food Gawker.”
To continue reading this article, go to the original posting at http://fitbie.ca.msn.com/eat-right/food-porn-problem
You know how things come into your life at the time you need them most? Well, it just so happens that all my research about diets and inflammation, as well as the rest of my Year of the Detox is coming in really handy right now. My dad
has been having osteoarthritis problems in his wrists lately. Really, really bad ones. His left wrist was swollen, almost to the point of not being able to move the fingers. Painkillers weren’t helping and the pressure cuff he was wearing made it only marginally better. I made an appointment for him with my integrational therapist, Adele. She identified the source of the inflammation as there being too much yeast in his system. Now, I don’t mean to ‘get down’ on the medical system, but every doctor he had been to see just wrote him a prescription for stronger drugs. Now he has been slowly eliminating foods that feed yeast from his diet and has already, in just two weeks, started to see a marked improvement. Adele said with the overabundance of yeast that he has, it will take months to get him back to normal. But the fact that we are now treating the cause and not just trying to control the symptoms is a fantastic start.
The reason I added ‘rant’ to this blog title is because I am not really quoting anything I’ve researched, just listing off my opinion. As I read more and more about the inflammation connection to many of the diseases our bodies suffer, I really think people should start being more educated about what their diet could be doing to them. Many people don’t have a clue what is healthy and what isn’t. I was at the mall the other day trying to eat healthy while out, getting some greek food. Over near the A&W stand, I overheard a grandmother talking to her grandson saying that he had to choose something ‘healthy’ to drink with his meal. “Pop isn’t healthy.” , she said knowingly. “Fruitopia!”, He yelled. To which his grandmother responded, “Okay, that’s healthy.” Now, I don’t think A&W has fruitopia, but I didn’t stay long enough to find out what the end choice was. The point is, Fruitopia, while it sounds like it might be healthy is not really a “healthy” choice. Just because it has the word fruit in it. Fact is, it has 32g of sugar (8 tablespoons) in one can. The only health benefit it has is vitamin C. Healthy, grandma? Healthy? You’re at A&W for crying out loud! If you want your grandson to eat healthy, taking him to a fast food restaurant is your first fail. Your second fail comes as you convince not just him, but yourself that something like Fruitopia is a healthy choice for a child. Your third fail comes from the mixed messages you send to him, allowing him to eat french fries or whatever else, then acting like it is balanced by the fact that he is drinking a healthy drink. I’m not saying kids should never be allowed fast food. I think that occasionally it is fine, as long as it’s kept in strict moderation. The problem that I see here is the mixed messages that parents/grandparents are sending their kids when it comes to nutrition.
The major problem with calling out this issue is that, let’s face it, the average person has limited understanding when it comes to nutrition. Things are categorized by good or bad. Companies take advantage of this by naming products with health buzzwords like the ‘fruit’ in Fruitopia. Now, I’m not putting all the onus on companies either. We as consumers should educate ourselves if our health is important to us. As shows like Dr. Oz play, more books get published and the Internet is updated with health news on a daily basis, we have no excuse NOT to inform ourselves.
The other problem I see is the medical system. Though I’ve never attended medical school, I also think nutrition and its effects on the body should be more of an in depth study for all doctors. The doctors I’ve had experience with know little about nutrition past the Canada Food Guide. The ones that do have done their own research into the matter. It’s true that we have other health care providers that are more informed on these matters, such as naturopaths, nutritionists, dieticians etc. But it is rare I hear, “My doctor referred me to this nutritionist for my…” unless it has something to do with their weight or dietary deficiencies. My dad had been taking pills and pills, the more he hurt, the higher the dose he was given. They were treating the symptom, not the cause. I don’t blame the doctors, they are just working with what they were taught. The medical education system should really pay more attention to the health wisdom that has been around for years that revolves around nutrition.
And that is my rant for today. Wow, I had more to say than I thought I did! How about you? Anything to say on the matter? Any personal stories you’d like to share?
- Arthritis Diet Plans (answers.com)
- Chronic Inflammation Causes Virtually All Leading Diseases (naturalsociety.com)
- Why Inflammation Is So Harmful to Diabetics (doctorshealthpress.com)
- Inflammation and food (therealfoodchannel.com)
- Managing Joint Pain Through Nutrition (observer.org.sz)
When you see the word inflammation, what images come up for you? Most people, including myself, would say they see puffy, red and angry looking wounds. Or maybe just swollen ankles or wrists. Inflammation is an essential part of your body’s defenses. When you cut yourself, your body inflames in order to get your immune system up and running on the issue. The area around your wound swells allowing multiple white blood cells to arrive on scene. The same thing goes for if you strain a muscle. Your body inflames so that fresh, oxygen rich blood can get to those muscles to protect and heal. This is a true definition of inflammation, but inflammation also happens to be inside your body in places that you can’t see. The inflammation that I am talking about is bodily inflammation that is caused not by wounds or muscle strains, but by the diets now prevalent in North American society.
A lot of people are walking around, right now as you read, with inflammation and they don’t even know it. Inflammation is somewhat handily categorized and hidden in medical terms that end with ‘-itis’. Arthritis, rhinitis and diverticulitis, just to name a few. They are inflammations of a certain area of the body, my examples being joints, nasal passages and intestines, respectively. Although there are many drugs out there to deal with the symptoms of these diagnoses, few medical practitioners look at treating the cause. In this case, the cause often being diet. People are unique in this situation as far as dietary allergens or stressors, so I cannot claim to have the one, cure-all answer to get rid of your inflammation. However, I can give you a place to start.
The rules for this month are:
1. Avoid all dairy products.
2. Eat 2 servings of cold water fish every week.
3. Avoid refined grains.
4. Snack on raw nuts and seeds.
Dairy products and refined grains are common digestive stressors that lead to inflammation. Cold water fish and raw nuts or seeds help combat inflammation. As we go through the month, I’ll be writing about these things in a more detailed way, but for now, I just wanted to get these down so you can start your month with me.
If you’ve ever gone on a diet to reduce inflammation, I would love to hear your story! Please, do share.
- Targeting inflammation to treat depression (scienceblog.com)
- Eric Hunter – Inflammation is a major reason why you can’t lose weight (prn.fm)
- Arthritis Diet Plans (answers.com)
Fiber, or ‘roughage, is a buzz word for many people. We all know we need it, but not everyone knows why. Fiber is made up of the part of plant foods that are indigestible. Well, if it’s indigestible, then why on earth would we want to eat it? Fiber has an important role to play in our digestive tract. It helps to feed you gut flora, which promotes healthy bowel movements. Fiber also helps to maintain good movement, or ‘peristalsis’ in your gut. If you remember earlier I spoke of the problems that happen when your poop doesn’t get out of your system fast enough. We don’t want any fecal stagnation to occur! Without enough fiber, we are constipated and become at risk for all sorts of gut related diseases. Sadly, with the diet that most North Americans consume, we are lacking in fiber quite frequently.
Fiber is traditionally put into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber means fiber that can be broken down by the gut to a certain extent. It ferments and feeds the flora in your system. Insoluble fiber is just as important. Although it isn’t broken down, it still moves along your digestive tract, absorbing water as it passes and cleaning your ‘walls’, making it easier for you when you head to the washroom. Both are present in plants, though one is usually more present than the other.
Now that you know what fiber is and why it is important, you know that you NEED to incorporate more into your diet if you can. The daily recommendation for fiber is 25 grams for women under 50 and 38 grams for men under 50, so it isn’t too hard to incorporate. Here are some helpful and easy ways to do so!
1. Have a fruit salad for dessert
When I think dessert, I think sugar and chocolate, but I also think sweet. Fruit salad is a great way to subdue that sweet craving and get a lot more fiber into your diet. Fruits like apples and pears are loaded with soluble fiber, while the skins have insoluble. I’m talking fresh fruit salad, with the skins of the fruits on. A half cup of fruit salad can get you anywhere from 2-4 grams, so dig in!
2. Go green!
Among the vegetables with the highest amounts of fiber are spinach (8g for 10 oz.) , brocoli (5.1 g for 1 cup ) and avocadoes with a whopping 10-13 g per medium sized veggie. Just one serving of ‘green’ can make up over a fifth of your daily fiber intake.
3. A serving of raspberries a day keeps the doctor away
Raspberries are the fruit with the highest amount of fiber, 11 grams per serving! They might not keep all doctors away, but they might help you to keep the GI specialist away!
4. Get on the ‘Bran-wagon’
Bran is incredibly rich in fiber, it is the main ingredient in those fiber one bars you see advertised. There are different ways to incorporate bran into your diet, so you can pick the one that suits you most.
5. Go nuts!
Nuts and seeds often have quite a bit of fiber, especially almonds (4g per 1 oz.) and flaxseeds (8g per 1 oz.). I already snack on almonds frequently, they are delicious! You can also sprinkle flax into your salads, baking, cereals and more.
There are many other ways to add fiber into your diet. Many people choose to take a fiber supplement as well, but I think if you can get it from the source, you are much better off. On a personal, caveat note, I would suggest that if you are already constipated, drink lots and lots of water before you start to add more fiber to your diet. Otherwise, you will just end up constipating yourself even further.
What are some of your favourite ways to add fiber to your diet?
And so begins Month 8 of my Year of the Detox. I’ve already talked about and done a lot as far as helping my digestive system, but the things I’ve done have been to better overall health. This month the things I’ll be doing focus specifically on the health of my digestive tract…from start to finish.
Drinking lots of water helps your digestive system, as does eating foods with lots of enzymes. Exercise helps to massage the organs and I had already added a probiotic course in month 4, but it is worth doing again. As you can see, I’ve already been nice to my digestive tract, but I can do much better.
The rules for this month are:
1. Chew every mouthful at LEAST 20 times before swallowing.
Digestion starts in the mouth with the enzymes that breakdown your food in preparation for the stomach. The more you chew, the easier you make it on your digestive system.
2. Take a probiotic every day.
Good intestinal flora is essential to your gut health, so I will help mine along.
3. Add fiber to your diet, every day.
This can be a tricky one. Everyone already tells you to add fiber to your diet, but if you are constipated already, this will make it worse. I’m going to be tracking my bowel transit at the beginning and end of the month, I suggest you do the same. (More on that, and other semi-gross things to come!)
4. Follow the ‘poop rules’:
- Go as soon as nature calls you
- don’t treat your bathroom like a public library
- use a ‘stool’ stool to get in optimum position to go
So, you may be confused by what a ‘stool’ stool is. Humans were designed to squat when we go and our modern toilets don’t exactly have that as an option. By putting a little stool to raise up our legs a few inches, we help our bowels release as they were meant to.
What do you think? Are these rules doable for the month?
I’ve also planned on getting a colonics session done this month, closer to the end. I didn’t make that a rule because I know that colonics is not in everyone’s comfort zone. I’ve had it done before…it IS uncomfortable, but so is a facial or a bikini wax. I’d rather look great on the inside and outside than just the latter. Wish me luck!
I know, I’m a few days late in posting this, but my husband and I have been trying to enjoy a bit of a staycation. We don’t really have the budget or the time to take a get away, so I thought that a staycation would be in order and so far it has been great. On Monday, we went to the Nordik Spa to relax followed by some sushi. Not organic but not too bad. Yesterday we took in the Mayan exhibit at the Museum of Civilization as well as an IMAX film. It has been great! Whenever we’ve eaten at home in the past few days, we’ve done our best to eat organic.
Now, this can seem like a tall order, especially if you are on a budget. Believe me, I know. That is why I do have a list that I got from Jillian Michaels‘ ‘Master Your Metabolism‘ book to share with you. It will help you to know what the most important organic purchases are. I’m sure different sources have different recommendations, but I have to start somewhere, don’t I?
Always organic foods include:
- meat, dairy and eggs
- peaches and nectarines
- bell peppers
- any foods that you eat a lot of (for me, this is my rice and almond milks, rice and quinoa)
Sometimes buy organic:
- processed foods
Don’t bother buying organic:
- water (I have to admit I’ve never seen organic water!)
- foods you don’t eat that often
Toxins and pesticides permeate our foods, especially the non-organic ones. So if I’m trying to detoxify myself, I will have to cut these out at the place I eat from the most, my home.
Wish me and my bank account luck!