Saturday, August 18, 2012

Of Food and Fiber

If you want your nutrition strategy in a word, it's "fiber."

It's a veritable "silver bullet," guaranteed to reduce cravings, shed pounds; and clear your arteries, as well as your head.

To gain such impressive results, especially if you're dealing with any of those illnesses that result from inflammation in the body, you probably need to get at least 30 to 35 grams of fiber ~ ideally, closer to 40.

That said, eating well couldn't be simpler!

That's because you have to eat a lot to get that much fiber, and you won't find it in the bad stuff! It resides in the pulp and the skins and the sinew of fruits and vegetables. Nuts and beans are also good sources of fiber.

So it's not about "going without", because once you start making regular fiber deposits in your diet, your cravings for things like sugar, fat and salt won't be as great.

Not a small part of this journey is drinking water. It's the elixir of life!

They've been telling us to drink eight glasses of water a day for as long as I can remember (which is a very long time!). There's good reason. Water helps to flush out all the toxins that break loose from your liver as you eat these very cleansing foods.

The good news is you don't have to be a cook, or follow a bunch of recipes.

A meal can be as simple as cooking up some rice, and spooning some sauteed veggies over it. Or you can prepare a baked potato, but instead of adding butter and sour cream, top it with some steamed broccoli (diced), a little sauteed onion, some shredded cheddar cheese, and some black beans. Add a dollap of Greek yogurt, and you're ready to dine!

And you don't need much protein in the way of meat. A portion the size of a deck of cards is plenty, and you don't need to eat it every day.

Fiber is a great investment for your health. It's not expensive, and it can make a huge difference in how you feel.

Think of it as "affordable health care"!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Children Are Watching

Besides the benefits to my own health, probably the most unforeseen benefit of my efforts to eat well has been its effect on my granddaughters.

They've spent a lot of time with me since they were babies, and they've watched me as I've prepared food for the table. I guess I always heard that example was stronger than words, but now I know it.

(Had I "gotten it" earlier as a parent, I would have spent far less time preaching to my kids about how I thought things should be.)

My oldest granddaughter pays attention to what she eats. My daughter tells me when they visit Texas Roadhouse or a McDonald's, she's more apt to order a salad. Her younger sister, on the other hand, enjoys a wider range of foods, some good and some not so good, but at least she notices.

That's what mindful eating is all about. Just noticing.

So when you load up your grocery cart, consider what you're putting in there.

Your kids are watching.