5 Quick and Easy Fiber Fixes


Whole, fibrous foods are a weight loss favorite because they are good for the pocketbook, waistline, and your body. Whole foods that are packed with fiber are less expensive when compared with their fortified food counterparts. For example, a cooked cup of barley costs pennies per serving and has 6 grams of fiber. In contrast, the leading fiber-filled granola bar can cost about 60 cents apiece and have 9 grams of fiber. Not only is the granola bar more expensive, gram for gram, but that bar is merely a snack whereas the barley is half a meal. As a bonus, the whole grain barley is also packed with phytochemicals, fiber, and protein.

This is where your waistline and health come into play. Foods higher in fiber make you feel fuller on fewer calories. Whole foods such as beans, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of healthy calories and fiber.


Fiber also works as a scrub brush to clear out natural byproducts of our body’s metabolic process and unneeded cholesterol in our blood. Fiber adds bulk to our poop thus helping dispose all the toxins and dead cells from the colon. For various (and more technical) reasons, eating more fiber has shown to help decrease the chances of colon cancer.  How much fiber do we need to consume in a day to enjoy the full range of benefits? It is recommended that men need 30-38 grams a day, and women need 21-25 grams a day.


An easy step to increase your fiber intake is to focus on getting 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables a day in your diet. Here are a few more quick swaps and additions you can make to your daily diet to increase your fiber:


  1. Flax and Chia seeds: Great to add to any breakfast cereal. If the nutty flavor of flax is not your favorite try chia. Chia is more gelatinous so adding it to oatmeal is a good fit. Chia can also go undetected for children as it blends so well with the oatmeal! Three Tbsp of chia contains 14 grams of fiber and that is more than the average American eats in a day (12 grams).
  2. Beans and legumes: Wash-off dry beans, place in a slow cooker, and cover with 2 inches of water or vegetable broth. Add seasonings as desired. I like the seasonings from Chef  Paul Prudhomme  or Mrs. Dash because they are quick salt-free spice mixes. Cook on low for 8 hours and have bean soup served with/over whole grain or corn bread. A cup of black beans will add 15 grams of fiber to your day.
  3. Wheat berries: Eat hot or cold. This is a wheat product that has a clean nutty flavor. Eat as a side salad (hyperlink to
    http://nourishnetwork.com/2009/08/25/get-a-new-grain-wheat-berries/) or alone in place of rice. A half a cup serving has 4 grams of fiber.
  4. Bulgur: Meat is void of fiber so add some to your dish! Add cooked bulgur to your meat loaf. Try adding dry bulgur your taco mix when you add your water and seasoning. Bulgur picks up any flavor you combine it with and has a similar texture to the ground beef.  Add a cup of bulgur to dinner and this will add 8 grams of fiber.
  5. Amaranth- Pop like old-fashioned popcorn on the stovetop. I recommend to only popping 3-4 Tablespoons at a time. It will “pop” and turn from the light brown color to white. Eat as a snack or sprinkle on your salad to add a fibrous crunch. A nice sprinkle of about 4 Tbsp of popped amaranth to your salad will offer about 5 grams of fiber to your meal.



15 Foods You Don’t Have to Buy Organic for the Holidays


Healthy eating is no longer a crazy fad but a widespread movement that reaches far beyond the social borders of hippies, locavores and their ilk. But those of us who weren’t raised perusing the incense-infused aisles of the local health food store for fructose-sweetened knock-offs of the diabetes-inducing cereals all the other kids were eating need a little help. With Thanksgiving coming up, there is no better time to try out delicious recipes that will weigh lightly on your conscience (if not on your scale).



Starting with the basics, a good beginner’s guide to pair with your holiday grocery list is The Clean 15, a guide to 15 fruits and vegetables whose non-organic options are low enough in harmful pesticides to greatly reduce your risk of growing a third eye (save that for yoga class). Sadly many of the fruits and veggies involved in classic family dinner dishes, such as the apples in your favorite pie, are often full of pesticide residue if they’re not certified organic. But fear not, the Clean 15 has plenty of yummy choices like the ones used in these recipes that are worth giving thanks for.


1. Asparagus with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

This Huffington Post slideshow features 25 photos of different preparations for this member of the Clean 15. Steamed asparagus is a good, green substitute for green bean casserole, and with its creamy but light sauce you won’t even miss the Cream of Mushroom soup.


2. Eggplant Gratin

This luxurious dish is a fine replacement for scalloped potatoes, with all the cheese, much higher nutritional value and much lower risk of ingesting pesticides.


3. Honey Grapefruit Salad

Pie is a traditional staple in most any holiday-geared household, but let’s be honest, who ever has room for it? This traditional French dessert is light, full of Clean 15-approved grapefruit, and spiked with a little Grand Marnier to make things interesting. Follow the link for the original recipe in French from Le Figaro, or reference the English translation below.


2 red grapefruits, 1 grapefruit, 3 oranges, 4 tablespoons of honey, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier, 2 sprigs of fresh mint


Wash the fruit and zest one orange and the lime. Juice the oranges and the lime and pour it into a pot with the zest. Add the honey and one sprig of mint. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove the mint and set your sauce aside.

Peel the grapefruit, cut them into quarters and put them in a large bowl. Add the sauce and the Grand Marnier. Refrigerate and serve decorated with mint leaves.


4 & 5. Sweet Creamed Corn and Sweet Potato Casserole  

These are two favorites for which there is no need to turn organic- sweet corn and sweet potatoes are both Clean 15 cardholders.


Author:  Emily Johnson


Just Say No to these 5 Diet Strategies


It’s not always easy to decide which diet tips to follow. And there are a lot of tips out there, but here are five common weight loss strategies that you should really avoid.


Missing Meals 

If you are skipping meals because you think it is a good way to reduce calories, think again. Cutting calories is definitely key to weight loss, but missing out on meals can mess with your metabolism. When you wait too long to eat, your body reacts by slowing down your metabolism and halt weight loss. If your schedule is the issue and you’re simply too busy to sit down and eat a full meal, store small snacks in your purse, desk or car to eat throughout the day so that you can keep your metabolism moving.


Saying Goodbye to Entire Food Groups

Giving up entire food groups can lead to nutrient deficiencies, and can also trigger cravings for whatever food has been cut out. So for example, rather than eliminating all carbohydrates focus on quality carbs like whole grains. And remember to watch your portions. It’s usually the serving size that adds to your weight gain, not the bread or pasta.



All Cardio, All the Time 

If you live on the treadmill, elliptical, or in a spin class, but never pick up a weight, you’re missing out on an important piece of the fitness puzzle. Not only does weight training build and tone muscles, it also strengthens the joints and increases metabolic rate. And thanks to a revved up metabolism, you’ll keep burning calories even after you’ve slipped off your sneakers.


Exercising on Empty

When you work out on an empty stomach, you burn calories from muscle, not fat. It’s important to fuel your body before exercising, because you will avoid losing that oh-so important muscle, and you’ll have more energy to push yourself through your workout at a more intense rate. End result — you get a better workout and burn more fat calories. Just choose your pre-workout meal wisely.


Skimping on Sleep 

This one may be the hardest one. Making time to exercise can mean less time for sleep, but it’s important to get that shut-eye when you’re trying to lose weight. You need extra energy to keep up with your exercise routine, and skimping on sleep can actually affect your body’s ability to control appetite. Too little sleep increases an appetite-stimulating hormone, so when you don’t get enough ZZZZs, it may be easier to be tempted and overindulge.






Due to all the “carb jargon” it is really difficult to place a value on unhealthy versus healthy carbs in today’s food choices.


It is probably the most common question we hear in nutrition. Due to all the “carb jargon” it is really difficult to place a value on unhealthy versus healthy carbs in today’s food choices. It’s confusing because we always hear good carbs versus bad carbs - yadda yadda . . . cha, cha, cha! So let’s break it down, starting with what a Healthy Carb is:


GOOD CARB = Carb-ilicious (4 calories per gram) Carbs provide ENERGY required to build new muscle and to workout while keeping your body systems running. Carbs also assist in protein transportation to the muscles. Your body needs Healthy Carbs:
  • Complex Carbs = Natural Whole Grains, Pastas, Breads, Potatoes (Limited shelf life)
  • Simple Carbs = Natural Fruits (Limited Shelf Life)
  • Fibrous Carbs = Natural Vegetables (Limited Shelf Life)
Simple Carbs provide healthy natural sugars which the body can regulate over time to provide a steady flow of sugar in the system versus the sugar high/slump we experience with refined, processed sugars. Carb-iliciousness has a shelf life because it is ALIVE and alive foods get processed easier in the body because the body wants to feed the ALIVE mass, not storage units.


BAD CARB = Vicious (EMPTY CALORIES) Your body can’t utilize = Fat Storage. It feels like these should be called Carb-ilicious because they taste so good, but in reality they are Vicious because they are loaded with extras/emptiness for storage!


  • Complex Carbs = HIGHLY processed/refined grains, pastas, breads, potatoes, ANY manufactured, highly processed crackers, snacks, bakery goods, boxed dinners, frozen dinners, most boxed cereals (highly refined, highly manufactured and are full of saturated fats and sugar) Almost anything carb with a long shelf life = highly processed. If it can sit on the shelf for a long time – it can sit in your body for a long time too.
  • Simple Carbs = Canned Fruits, Canned Jam, Jelly, Highly processed Fruit “Products”
  • Fibrous Carbs = Canned Vegetables, Vegetable Sauces/Mixes/Dressings, Highly processed Vegetable “Products”
What do Unhealthy Carbs have in common?  EXTRA SUGAR +/or EXTRA FAT = Empty Calories. The goal is to limit our added sugars.  For women, this means no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars (6 teaspoons) and for men no more than 150 calories per day (9 teaspoons).  For example, a 12-ounce can of regular soda has 8 to10 teaspoons of added sugar and a serving of a standard breakfast cereal has about 4 teaspoons. What happens when we eat unhealthy carbs?  Our bodies store them as fat! Our bodies are machines and we can’t trick them! It takes a lot of energy and effort to pull those EMPTY(Vicious) calories back out of storage and burn them off.


When we don’t get enough HEALTHY(Carb-ilicious) carbs, our bodies will tire quickly and will eventually look to muscle tissue for energy. We could begin to eat our muscle mass (or eat our workouts back on). The key is to replace Vicious carbs with Carb-ilicious ones! To have live, healthy bodies we have to feed them live, healthy foods.
Power Thought: “If you’ve been addressing the problem and it’s not working, then address the solution!” ~ Sherry Derossett CNC.CPT



What is Addiction to Food and How Does it Affect our Health and Relationships


Without air we survive a minute, perhaps 2. Without water we last a few days and without food we will last weeks before we die. That is true of all of us, air, water; food in that order. Food is a foundation of life. But when does a normal physical response to replenish the body’s fuel supply, maintain health and prevent starvation tip over into a food addiction?


How can a foundation of life become both a cure and a curse, from maintaining our bodies to causing problems with self image and relationships?

Often our perceptions about what food can do to us and for us, can lead us to invest too much in its magical qualities. For example, people who have a problem with food often feel that their lives would be so much better if they could just lose weight. They would get a girlfriend or their marriage would improve and they would get that promotion at work. They would look great and feel great. Food is the cause of all this distress so logically denial of it must also be the answer right? Not so simple.


Accepting you may have a problem with food means re-evaluating your entire life, changing the language you use to describe how you eat and what you eat, and the relationships you have.


Firstly, resist using the negative language around food. It is not healthy to think about diets and denial; you are setting yourself up to fail. Better to think about food as a positive experience, giving your body what it needs to survive by avoiding unhealthy choices. Decide to eat only what is ‘healthy and nutritious,’ educate yourself as to what that is, read about food and learn to love the types food that will make you feel and look better.


Secondly, look at your environment and your relationships. Just as food alone can’t make you happy, it can’t make you unhappy, other factors may be feeding your problem. By concentrating only on food and diets the problem becomes too narrow. Set goals outside of food, so that if you do have a cream cake it is not the end of the world; be bolstered by a success in another area of your life.


Thirdly, ask yourself, do you live in a hostile or un-loving environment? Are there factors in your relationships or at work which are making you unhappy? What could you do to change these? Once you have identified what is holding you back, set a realistic goal to improve your life to break the magical ‘cure or curse’ spell food has over you. Food will then become a smaller part of your life, which with the greater attention you are giving it will become rich with new experiences, some successes and some failures.


Creating a healthy environment or getting that promotion still may not make you happy but it will mean you have more time to invest in your relationships and motivate you to stay healthy.

Source: The Couple Connection provides online support to help you identify what is addiction and how it affects your relationships. The Couple Connection provides relationship advice and support to help couples through a library of relationship articles, exercises.



Beating the Bulge for Beginners – Starting Gently


If you have committed yourself to making a change in your lifestyle that is going to help you lose weight and live longer, congratulations! The major areas that you are going to have to adjust involve your diet, and the amount of physical activity that you have to do on a daily basis.


But don’t despair, the words diet and exercise don’t have to mean suffering and pain. Remember that you are changing your lifestyle for the better, and because this is a lengthy, life-long process, you can start with baby steps that will make you feel great and get you on the road to where you need to be.

Understanding Food

The best way to understand food is as fuel for your body, which functions as a machine. If you don’t have enough fuel in your machine to get you through the activities of the day, you get hungry. Your body tells you that you need food. However, if you put too much fuel into the machine, it gets stored for later use. Your body is smart enough to convert the excess into fuel for later, but the problem is that your body converts this excess food into fat. It’s trying to help you to survive, but you end up overweight and unhealthy. You need to get the balance between fuel intake (food) and burning (exercise) correct, so that your body functions as well as it can.



You may have heard health experts talk about calorie consumption. A calorie is a unit of energy that your body uses as fuel to get through the day. Every day, whether you are awake, sleeping, walking, running, or even eating, your body is burning up energy. The thing is that many unhealthy, popular foods are very high in calories, and your body doesn’t get a chance to burn all this energy off. SO you end up taking in significantly more fuel than you can burn fat faster, and you end up gaining wait. The average person requires between 1800 and 2400 calories per day. If you want to lose weight at a rate of approximately 1kg per week, you need to cut your daily calorie intake by about 500 a day.

Glycaemic Index

It seems logical that if you have to drop your calorie intake, then you can simply eat less, but this isn’t the case. You have to eat foods that keep you feeling full, and release energy slowly throughout the day so that you always have just enough fuel to get you through the day.
Foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates give you energy immediately, so your body feels full when you eat, but the machine burns it quickly and you need to refuel again soon. In this manner you end up taking in extra calories. You need a healthy diet with foods that release energy all day, and leave you feeling full all the time. The rate at which your body burns up food is called the foods’ glyceamic index. The lower, the better. Aim at foods that are low on the glyceamic index, and you will lose weight, feel full, and always have the energy you need.

This guest post was written by freelance writer Victoria. She is currently learning about small business website builder




Why Restrictive Diets Flop (And What to Do About it)


Do you spend more time thinking about what to eat or about what not to eat?


Constantly focusing on what not to eat starts your brain down that negative path, and it’s much easier to feel deprived if you are constantly focusing on what you can’t have. If you are constantly thinking about all the pizza, ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc. that you can’t have, then it’s possible you will end up wanting it even more because of all your focus is on those specific foods.

Of course you still need to pay some attention to what not to eat, but make sure you are not neglecting what you do need to eat to fuel a healthy body. Put your thoughts and energy into making sure you are getting enough of the good stuff (and by good, I mean healthy). It’s fairly common for adults to be lacking in protein, vegetable, and good fats.


  • The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight per day.
  • Most experts recommend a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables with the emphasis on vegetables.


How will you divide up protein and fruits and veggies between your meals and snacks? Chances are if you don’t plan it out ahead of time, you will fall short of the minimums.


  • Good fats (fatty fish, fish oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, flax seed oil, olives, and avocados) are essential to a complete and healthy diet. Focus on getting fats into your diet. Even saturated fat from pasture-raised animals (grass fed beef for example) falls into the good category.  Fats to avoid are the trans fats. Trans fats raise your LDL cholesterol level and lower your HDL cholesterol level which is the exact combination that increases your risk of heart disease.

Think hydrogenated (made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil). They are found in commercially baked goods, doughnuts, French fries, shortening, margarine and other highly processed foods.


To help avoid trans fats check the labels for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” and for shortening.


[Also Read:  What is Addiction to Food and How Does it Affect our Health and Relationships]

As you will probably guess, focusing on what to eat does take some energy and thought. But when all that thought and energy goes towards the positive, it makes a big difference (instead of always focusing on what you can’t have)!





Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Meal Planning

 No matter what your form of exercise, Strength Training or Cardio Training & Conditioning, you always want to “Feed Your Need”! Without the proper fuel, all your fitness efforts (hours in the gym) can become pointless when you don’t feed your tool (the body) properly to match your performance on a daily basis!

AM Workout Meal Plan

Pre-workout meal if you can eat early: 1protien, 1 complex carb, 1 simple carb, 16oz water
If you can’t eat early: choose 1 c sports drink, or 8-16oz of caffeinated tea or coffee. Sip water on your way to the gym and continue to drink through your workout.

For optimal recovery: have 1-2 c of sports drink or high-carb recovery drink with 20-30gr of protein powder added immediately after your workout.
Post-workout meal: 1 or 2 complex carbs, 1 protein, 1 simple carb, 16oz water
After an intense workout session = 3:1 ration of carbs to protein to replace depleted glycogen stores and to provide amino acids for muscle repair

Midday Workout Meal Plan

Pre-workout snack is essential 1-2 hours before training: 1 simple carb and 1 protein (Supplement Shake)
For Optimal Recovery: have 1-2c of sports drink or high carb recovery drink with 206-30gr of protein powder added immediately after workout
Post workout meal: 1protein, 1 complex carb, protein drink, 16 oz water
To gain mass: pre-workout snack = carb grams = to 1/2 your body weight
After an intense workout session: 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein to replace depleted glycogen stores and to provide amino acids for muscle repair


PM Workout Meal Plan

Pre-workout snack is essential 1-2 hours before training: 1 simple carb, 1 protein (Supplement Shake), and 16oz of water
For optimal recovery: have 1-2c sports drink or high carb recovery drink with 20-30 gr of protein poweder added immediately after workout
Post workout Meal: 4-8oz protein, 2c pasta or rice, 1 fibrous car, 16oz water
To gain mass, pre-workout snack: grab grams = 1/2 of your body weight
• Even if you limit your carb intake at night, you still need a carb infusion after training. If you choose a high protein, low-carb post workout meal, you might as well say goodbye to your muscle gains!


EMPOWER THOUGHT: “Learn how to Feed your Need! Learn how to Fuel your Tool!” ~ Sherry Derossett CNC-CPT

Other Articles You May Enjoy:

Top 4 Healthy Diets


25 Quick Tips to Smart Dieting


It’s the little things that can make all the difference when dieting, and the little things can be easy to change without feeling taste deprived.

Here are 25 quick tips to dieting that will help you succeed while teaching you how to diet smarter not harder. By making small tweaks to your food choices you don’t have to sacrifice flavor, but you can cut a calories, fats, and sugar to help slim down your waistline and achieve your perfect weight. Increase your vegetables and whole grains, but decrease the fat, salt and sugar. If you’re really serious about changing your family’s diet, print this page and post it on your refrigerator as a daily reminder for everyone.



1.  Learn to properly steam vegetables.
2.  Decrease the meat and increase the vegetables called for in stews and casseroles.
3.  Add grated carrots, zucchini or cabbage to chili and meatloaf.
4.  Offer washed and trimmed carrot and celery sticks for snacking.
5.  Add finely grated carrots, pumpkin, or zucchini to baked breads and cakes.


6.  Substitute whole-wheat flour for bleached white flour when you bake.
7.  Top casseroles with wheat germ or whole-wheat bread crumbs.
8.   Serve bran-based cereals, or those made from shredded wheat.
9.   Serve imaginative whole-grain side dishes (bulgur, kasha, etc.) instead of egg noodles.
10. Offer crackers and corn chips containing whole grains.


11.   Cook with less fat by using non-stick skillets.
12.   Blot all fried meats on paper towels.
13.   Add a spoon of water or broth as needed instead of more fat when sautéing onions and vegetables.
14.   Substitute low-fat yogurt for mayonnaise.
15.   Substitute ground turkey for ground beef.


16.   Substitute lemon juice or herbs for salt when cooking pasta or grains.
17.   Avoid cooking with soy or Worcestershire sauce.
18.   Substitute garlic or onion powder for garlic or onion salt.
19.   Avoid using products that contain monosodium glutamate.
20.   Use unsalted or low-salt vegetable broths and products.


21.   Choose canned fruits packed in water instead of heavy syrup.
22.   Use only fresh-frozen fruit without added sugar if fresh is unavailable.
23.   Cut the sugar called for in most recipes by one-third to one-half.
24.   Sweeten waffles and quick breads with cinnamon and vanilla or almond extracts.
25.   Add pureed banana to baked goods and reduce the sugar or applesauce to reduce the fat (oil/butter)




Poor Eating Habits Make Bad Food too Easy to Swallow


Would you eat food you didn’t like? You might try it, but would you continue to eat it? How about if it was a food that you normally liked but it was stale? If you are like most people, you are sitting there wondering why anyone would eat something they didn’t like or continue to eat any stale food. You would if your brain associated that food with a particular place.


Environmental cues can be so deeply ingrained that the experiment done by the author demonstrates that movies and popcorn are so connected that people were willing to eat stale popcorn, if they had that association. For those that didn’t eat popcorn at the movies, stale popcorn didn’t work for them. They are probably the candy eaters!


Our environment is so critical in our success when we initially change our poor eating habits that ridding our cabinets, fridge and freezer of all junk is essential if you want to eat healthy. Our brain cannot make the connection of cabinet and cookies if your cabinet is now stocked with other healthy goodies.


We do not eat just for taste. Triggers start the cycle many times. What are your triggers?