I know, not my normal type of post but it’s actually something I have been thinking about lately, especially with the holidays coming up and all those tempting
yummy fattening foods that will be cooked. I will be the first to admit my diet is not the greatest. I love carbs and have a sweet tooth. On the positive side I love salads and creating new one’s each time I make one is a very simple way to keep dishes exciting. Not many people think about fiber when they are picking out their meals to make but there are many benefits to having fiber as part of your diet.
One that I’m sure many of you have heard of is that it helps aid in weight loss. But it also helps lower blood cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels and helps maintain bowel integrity and the health of your bowel. The recommended daily amount for women is 25 grams (50 & younger) and for men it is 38 grams (50 & under). How do you incorporate fiber into your diet? Well it’s really pretty simple, here are a few ideas that I use to help you out.
- Grains and whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Some of my favorites:
- Substituting all pastas with whole wheat pasta
- Spinach (I saute garlic & onions and then add in the spinach but don’t cook more then a few minutes)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Cabbage (also great to add into salads)
- Fruit fruit & more fruit! The easiest way to get in your daily serving is to make a fruit smoothie with all of your favorite fruits. I usually use banana, blueberries, strawberries, orange, peaches, mango & pineapple along with a 100 pure juice, pomegranate cranberry taste great with the fruit combination
I make fruit smoothies about once a week because my kids love them and think it’s a special treat. I love that my kids gulp (yes they literally gulp it down) and ask for more. Knowing that I am giving them a healthy treat and one that is good for them on many levels is one of the reasons I make them so often.
The old saying breakfast is the most important meal of the day is very true. Making fruit smoothies is one of the ways I help kickstart our days for healthy eating it also provides energy to get you through the day. To keep going along those lines snacks are a big thing in our house. It seems no matter how big or small of a breakfast I make my kids are always hungry in between breakfast and lunch time. One snack that is easy and my kids enjoy is carrots and ranch. They will eat carrots without the ranch which I prefer but they sometimes request it. Also dried fruits such as dried apricots are a favorite in my house along with popcorn. Many people think popcorn is bad for you but if you eat it in moderation and if it is a low fat popcorn it helps you keep up with a high fiber diet.
You also have to remember not to overload on your amount of fiber intake. If you are planning on increasing your fiber intake do it slowly over a period of a few weeks and make sure you always drink plenty of fluids.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach’s Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.