Friday, April 10, 2009

Obsession of the week: Fiber

I'm a health nut and a foodie...I think foodie entails health nut but anywoo, enough of the technicalities. As part of my foodie identity, I enjoy reading about food. But most of the time, what I read is not something new and exciting, but rather it is nutritional information I already know. Take my latest food obsession: Fiber. I had just settled in to my once monthly night on the sofa with my Glamour magazine (a small, shameful indulgence of mine) when I flipped first not to the fashion pages which were to tell me the best swim suit for my body type (which btw, never happens to be represented in the magazine...pear? nope. busty? neither. petite? Am of abnormal body type? This is why fashion magazines are shameful).

Nope, I flipped right to the largely unintelligent food and nutrition section which was going to tell me 7 healthy habits that'll help me lose weight. I wish the editors would have omitted the latter relative clause half of the title...why not simply healthy habits without the "you need to lose weight" tag line. One of the recommendations was fiber...get more of it, get 10-12 grams at breakfast to jump start your daily fiber goals.

It is recommended by various sources that we get 25-35 grams of fiber each day, and that most of us DONT get that much. I know this. Most of my fellow foodie nuts know this as well.

What else did I already know? Fiber helps us feel full, keeps us fuller longer, helps regulate us, takes longer to breakd own so we don't get spikes of sugar levels as we do when we eat sugar and products made with plain white flour, and is usually found in healthy, whole grain foods, legumes, nuts, fruits and veggies. All the good stuff.

So while I knew all these nutritional factoids, it got me thinking that the real value of reading and rehearing nutritional information, is to remind us to take inventory of certain aspects of our food intake, or eating habits, and make adjustments....who doesn't read something about the good-for-us digestive bacteria of plain yogurt and then pick up a tub of yogurt at the market on our next visit?

Thus, this has been a fiber filled few couple of days and I'm sharing some of my fiber filled breakfasts here for you to enjoy in case you need ideas.

1) Kashi Winter Wheat Cereal with Soy Milk, 1 tbs of ground flax and a few strawberries
2) 2 slices Ezekial raisin bread with 1 tbs peanut butter, a mandarin, and 5 medium strawberries
3) plain yogurt smoothie with 1 tbs ground flax, 1 apple (skin included), 1/2 cup frozen berries (i used blueberries), 1/2 banana, and a little soy milk to achieve desired thickness. (I sometimes omit the banana or just throw in whatever fruit I have on hand). Blend together and indulge!
4) 1 (or 2) corn tortilla with 3 tbs black beans, a 2-3 slivers of avocado, spoon of salsa and an optional scrambled egg.
5) 1/2 cup (dry) rolled oats with 1 tbs ground flax, 1 tbs. almonds (I prefer dry roasted almonds), a handful of frozen berries or 2 tbs dried raisins or other dried fruit or half a banana or some combo of these. Cook the oats and add the fixings in a couple of minutes before serving. Add a tsp of brown sugar or maple syrup if you desire more sweetness. Add a mandarin on the side if you'd like.

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