Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Facts on Fiber and other things...

This is one of the first times I have attempted to make healthy changes and have had little problems sticking with it. I think it is because of 2 main reasons:
1. I have the logic to go along with the decision - or in other words, I am doing this because I understand it, not just because "it's the right thing to do", although I have no clue why. Knowledge fuels true change because when you know something to be true it is alot easier to adjust and align yourself with that truth. Knowing that the way we were eating was literally dangerous and knowing why it was has helped me transition to a healthier lifestyle.
2. I am taking it slowly and not going totally radical - I didn't throw out every thing in the house and go on a huge shopping spree for all organic and free range foods. We are basically eliminating things as they run out and replacing them with healthier choices. This is easier on the budget and on each one of us as well. I also have not restricted myself. Although I have only had 1 cup of coffee in over a week, I tell myself each morning - "Go ahead and make some if you want". Then I make a smoothie and forget about it. Anytime I've restricted myself in the past, that desire has grown stronger just out of sheer rebellion.

A good quote in the beginning of chapter 4 sums it up like this, "Add the good things you are missing, and let go of the others that have become harmfully habitual. Soon you'll realize that your eating habits have been transformed."
I am seeing this reality already in my own life. As we went to a church function tonight, our choices of food were salad, fruit, and fried chicken. Jason and I both got a plate of salad and fruit and I had no desire for the chicken at all...okay, well maybe that 1 second when I first smelled it, but after looking at it and thinking about what it really is, the desire was gone!

So, what does all of that have to do with fiber? Nothing! But I thought you might wanna know how things are going for me and if I'm standing in the kitchen eating choc chip cookie dough by now or sticking with it. I assure you, I'm sticking to it and not begrudgingly at all!

Now, onto the fiber and the main points from Ch. 4:
If you are like me, you have always heard that you should eat a good amount of fiber. Since I was a little girl watching daytime television at my Granny's I have seen the Metamucil commercials and all the other fiber-pushing advertisements and concluded that the were for old people. I mean, why else are old people the ones in the commercials? You don't see young, tan, scantily clad women downing Metamucil, do you? No, that's only the toothpaste and shampoo commercials!
Anyways, I now understand why fiber should be on my mind as well, thanks to Dr. Colbert.
You see, fiber does this amazing job of binding cancer causing chemicals and helping our bodies to eliminate them. Not only that, but fiber also binds estrogen and helps pass it out of the body as well. (If you've read my earlier posts, you'll understand why this is important.) Another really important thing that fiber does is that it increases the bulk in your stool (gross, I know!), which speeds up the elimination process. This is important because the quicker things pass, the less amount of time toxins are in contact with the lining of your colon. Most of us realize by now that what our bodies don't need is what is eliminated and alot of that is toxic stuff.
Jason and I were really interested in this because of the amount of colon cancer he has seen in the last year in young men his age. It reinforced what we already believe - foods can be dangerous and what we eat may be killing us!
Here are seven sources of fiber to get you started:
*Bran (muffins, cereals, etc...)
*Cellulose - outer layers of veg and fruits. (Make sure to wash them well.)
*Gum - guar gum. (Not sure what this is yet, but planning on looking it up.)
*Hemicellulose - apples, bananas, corn, beans, beets, peppers, whole-bran cereals.
*Lignin - Brazil nuts, carrots, green beans, peas, peaches, potatoes, strawberries.
*Mucilages - chickweed, comfrey, mullein, flaxseed, okra.
*Pectin - apples, cabbage, okra, carrots, beets.

Make a list of the ones you like and try to start eating more of it.

2 things to note: always take fiber separately from other supplements so as not to weaken the fiber absorption and rotate these fiber sources as they each have a different function. The encouraging thing is that many of these are likable foods and very do-able for most of us. Other than the mucilages, each category has at least one thing I like and do not mind eating. I did, though, buy some flaxseed and I do intend on grinding it up in my coffee grinder to add into some of my foods. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Then my mucilages category will be covered as well - not that I actually know what a mucilage is!

The rest of this chapter dealt with important supplements and minerals that you may also want to consider, so I will briefly list these and their benefits.
*Glutamine - an amino acid that is easily absorbed, increases natural killer cell activity, and inhibits PGE2 (that dangerous hormone we don't like). You can take this as a supplement (1000 milligrams 30 min before each meal) or eat it in spinach and parsley.
*Folic acid - the most impt B vitamin in the fight against cancer. Repairs DNA.
*Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, and Vitamin A
(A good multi-vitamin will have most of this in it.)
*Calcium - like fiber, it binds toxic acids and removes them from the body. Get your calcium from fat-free skim milk or skim milk and skim milk cheese.
*Herbs such as Rosemary, Curcumin, and Milk Thistle. I have a wonderful recipe for Rosemary Lime Chicken that will make that Rosemary even more enjoyable!

I know this is alot of information, but try to find a few things that resonate with you and implement those things. For me, it is that I am increasing my fiber intake, continuing to stick with the fruits and veggies, and taking a daily multi-vitamin, even after pregnancy. The good thing about healthy eating is that alot of it overlaps. If I am eating enough fruits and veggies, I am taking in fiber already. Same with whole wheats and bran cereals. The benefits cover numerous categories and so I don't have to feel like I need a 2 page list of what I need to eat every day to be healthy. The important thing is to find things you enjoy eating, remind yourself of the benefits, and gradually let go of those things that are not beneficial to your health. Slowly, but surely you'll feel better and enjoy what you are eating!


Lynn said...

One important thought, if you increase your fiber intake substantially and quickly it can have the opposite effect. It can bind you up and it can cause lots of gas. Drink plenty of water as you increase your fiber and do it gradually-not 5 bran muffins and 70 prunes today. Just thought you'd appreciate this little tip. lol

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