Mermaid Wellness

Where Holistic Health meets Urban Homesteading

Hi Beautiful bookworm! Want to know my number one way to de-stress? I’ll give you a hint: it has a front and back and lots of pages in between.  Continue Reading

Hi beautiful, today’s post is all about fiber and poop and guts… One of my favorite topics. I often speak about eating well to improve health (I think I always speak of it, are you sick of hearing it yet) and today’s post, 6 Ways to Eat More Fiber:Soul Hugger Style is not any different. Well there is a big difference. I did not write it. I am turning today’s important topic over to fellow holistic pharmacist all the way from Canada: Julie – The Soul Hugger. Take it away Julie! 

how to eat more fiberThanks Melissa for sharing your blog with me today. I am happy to be here sharing my post on fiber with you.

I often joke that one of the reasons I applied to a nutrition program after having studied Pharmacy was that I was tired of telling constipated patients to “eat more fiber” without being able to give them concrete examples. Aside from “replace white bread by whole grain”, I wasn’t of much help to my patients who just wanted to go to the loo.

 

HOW MUCH FIBER YOU SHOULD BE EATING

Jokes asides, fiber is essential for proper gut health and lowering your risks of chronic diseases. Men and women under the age of 50 need to consume 38g and 25g of fiber daily respectively.1 Unfortunately, the average daily intake of US adults is 15 to 19g,1 meaning we’re falling 10-23 g short of reaching our goals.

However, don’t despair! Eating more fiber can easily be achieved by making small but impactful changes to your diet. In the article below, I share with you 6 practical tips to increase your daily intake of fiber that go beyond the “switch to whole grain” advice.

 

TIPS FOR EATING MORE FIBER

1) CHOOSE BEANS AS A SOURCE OF PROTEIN

Although a rich source of protein, animal products contain 0 g of fiber. If you aren’t vegan or following a plant-based diet, try replacing meat by beans several times per week. A cup of cooked lentils contains an impressive 16 g of fiber!2 In addition, it’s rich in iron, zinc and contains zero cholesterol.  Beans taste great in chilis, curries, hummus and topped over salads.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Another fun way of incorporating beans to your diet is using legume pasta. As mentioned in my Vegan Grocery List, I love the variety offered by Chickapea pasta. Each serving (85g, about 1/3 of the box) contains 11g of fiber, 23 g of protein, 40% of your iron daily intake and 30% of your daily zinc needs.

If you’re new to beans, start with lentils which are easy to digest and cause less gas and bloating.

 

2) FOLLOW THE CARB TO FIBER RATIO OF 5 OR LESS

This advice comes from Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die (I always found this title to be a little off-putting!). Many processed items such as bread, crackers or cereal are marketed as high in fiber, but this claim isn’t regulated in Canada nor the US. So, it’s up to us to be savvy consumers in order not to fall for marketing hogwash!

To ensure you aren’t eating empty carbs, one tip is to make sure the carbohydrate to fiber ratio of the product is below 5. Using the example of my favorite Finn Crisp crackers, a serving of two crackers contains 17g of carbohydrates and 4g of fiber. The carbs to fiber ratio is 4.25, and therefore passes the test. As I usually eat around 6 crackers as a snack, I’m getting around 12g of fiber with little effort!

Once I became familiar with this tip, I noticed that several crackers in the health food stores have a ratio ranging from 10 to 20 (you’re getting very little bang for your buck). Like I said, it’s up to us to read the labels.

While I don’t think there’s any scientific data behind this ratio, it common sense that you would want to eat a nutrient-dense source of carbohydrates to contribute to your daily fiber needs.

 

3) SNEAK VEGGIES IN ERRTHANG

Aside from filling up half of your plates with vegetables, consider sneaking them into your smoothies or your pastry recipes. Think zucchini banana breads and beet fudge muffins! You may be skeptical, but adding a zucchini or beets to your recipe can add tons of moisture and reduce the need for butter without overpowering the taste. As for the smoothies, I like to throw in baby spinach to my berry smoothies or simply make a green smoothie with leftover veggies.

Here are some recipes from my favorite Minimalist Baker to inspire you:

 

4) CHOOSE SEEDS OVER OIL

While hemp, walnut and flaxseed oil are an important source of omega-3, they contain 0g of fibers. Therefore, if the recipe allows for it, substitute the oils by the whole seeds or nuts.

For example, I used to add flaxseed oil to my smoothies to increase the absorption of my liposoluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Nowadays, I put 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in my smoothies and they taste just as good as before (they’re simply a little thicker). As for hemps seeds and walnut, they make delicious toppings for morning oats or on top of savoury dishes.

 

5) CHOOSE SMOOTHIES OVER PRESSED JUICES

Here’s an easy tip that needs little explanation. While fleshly cold-pressed juices are rich in vitamins, virtually all the fiber has been removed. Therefore, a simple switch would be to favour smoothies, which contain the whole fruit or vegetable.

 

6) LEAVE THE PEEL ON

Often, half of the fruit and vegetable’s fiber is contained in the peel. For example, one small apple with the skin contains 3 g of fiber3, while a peeled small apple contains 1.4g4. Thus, leave the peel on and buy organic (to avoid pesticides that can be found on the peel) when possible.

 

BONUS TIPS

TAKE IT SLOW

If you suspect you’re on the lower spectrum of fiber intake, I recommend you start increasing your daily fiber SLOWLY. This will help avoid upsetting your gastrointestinal system which could result in you feeling bloated, gassy or experiencing diarrhea. For example, implement one new strategy from the list above every 2-3 days and see how your body reacts to it.

 

HYDRATE YOURSELF

If you have constipation, it is important to increase your fluid intake when you eat more fiber.


I hope this article was helpful to you! If you’re a healthcare professional, these are simple and practical tips you can give to your patients. As usual, if you think this article could help someone, please share it with them!

Much love and hugs,
Jules xo

the soul hugger

Julie Doan – The Soulhugger

 

References cited in this article:

1) Dunford M and Doyle J. A. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, Third Edition. Cengage Learning, 2015. P. 135
2) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2
3) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2
4) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1810/2

And there you have it folks all the way from Canada! And FYI, I made the sweet potato black bean burgers – my fingers are currently to my lips pursed in a kiss in the Italian gesture of yummmm. So yea it was delicious. Check out Julie and her blog The Soul Hugger! She has some great meditations on there – another thing I am always going on about right? Have you done yours today? I am off right now to do mine, I am on day 6 of Gratitude. Great Stuff 

Peace and Love,

Melissa

Sauteeed Veggies

 Arm yourself

Achoooo, are you armed you beautiful red nosed thing you? Cold and flu season is here in full force.  I am putting on my pharmacist’s hat for this post right on top of my holistic hat. Continue Reading

homemade granola

*Sorry for the first email – it’s my first video upload and I am trying to figure it all out (:  Let’s try something different here.So for about eight months now, I have been making videos for Burnalong. Check out the banner at the top of my page. They are an extremely cool and innovative on line fitness platform. I do most of my workouts right in my basement on Burnalong. I particularly love MBS fitness labs and Monte and his crew and I love the Barre videos especially Beach Barre body. I make educational videos, holistic in nature, for their site.  I am sharing one of my first videos with you right now!

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Feng Shui

https://www.olymel.com/en/blog/well-living/the-feng-shui-kitchen/

Hiya popsicles or is it just me freezing my tush off here in Maryland? Well freezing aside, have you ever had a health condition you couldn’t treat with modern medicine? Anything like depression, headaches, anxiety, pain, poor digestion…Do you want to stop taking so many pills for it? Yes? Then let’s go back 5,000 years. I’m on pins and needles here, how about you?

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stress picture Tap Tap Tap your way to health and wellness now! Hiya sweetness, how are you feeling about now? Have the holidays got you a little stressed out? Are your relatives staying just a little too long? Have you gone off the rails with your indulging in, well, everything? Or are the bills from all your shopping sprees starting to come due? Continue Reading

Expo east living wallThe holidays are coming, the holidays are coming. Faster than you can pull out the ugly holiday sweaters, decorate your house and start the eating and drinking frenzy, sure enough it’s that time of year. Which, by the way, beautiful, I LOVE! But this time of year brings many ofus stress about all that food. How do you enjoy the holidays and still be mindful? *For those of you who read Ho Ho Ho God Part Deux, yes this is the same post – it got confused with the newsletter for many so I wanted to be sure everyone reads this!! Not only is there good info here, there are recipes, and links and great cheat sheets…So with out further ado
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