Tag Archive: healthy eating


We’ve all heard that a diet rich in fiber helps promote weight loss and fight disease such as cancer, but exactly how does fiber do that?

First of all, its important to understand that there are two different kinds of fiber—insoluble (dietary) and soluble. Insoluble fiber cannot be absorbed into the blood stream. Instead it promotes your digestive health by speeding up the removal of material in your digestive tract. By removing waste, insoluble fiber helps reduce the risk of such diseases as colon cancer and helps minimize discomfort from an unhealthy digestive system. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole grain cereals, wheat bran, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fiber is fiber that can be absorbed. This type of fiber has been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (which reduces your risk of heart disease) and helps with weight loss. This is because soluble fiber makes you feel fuller longer, causing you to eat less especially when paired with lean protein. Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, beans and legumes, oat bran, barley, and citrus.
Health professionals suggest that the average adult consume 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day. This goal can be met with a well-balanced, varied diet consisting of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and at least 3 servings of whole grains.  A serving of a fiber supplement such as Metamucil 30 minutes before each meal will also help you get enough fiber and curb your appetite so you can avoid binging during meals.

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Eating healthy when you’re busy is next to impossible, but if I could do it as a single parent and a full-time student and still lose weight, then so can you! In order to stay on track I had to rely on some quick staples and a few think ahead techniques.

Here is my list of healthy staples:

  1. Kashi: Kashi makes an amazing line of whole grain, low-sodium, low-sugar organic snacks. Every single item they make fits into the 10 ingredient rule and stores easily. They also have some healthy frozen meals to keep on hand for those days when you don’t have time to make lunch. Plus, their chewy oatmeal and dark chocolate cookies are awesome!
  2. Frozen fruit and veggies: Healthy meals are a snap with frozen goodies on stand by. You can get organic fruits and veggies in the frozen section of any grocery store. Use what you need when you need them and pair them with a sandwich, chicken breast, or make a light stir fry. Use low-fat greek yogurt and frozen fruit for a healthy, protein rich smoothie on the go. You can drink your breakfast on your way to work or school. **Tip: Get a single serve blender that doubles as a to-go cup. It’s quick and leaves you with less dishes to clean.
  3. Stretch Island Fruit: These tasty chewy treats equal 1/2 serving of fruit and are void of unnatural dyes and white sugars. Pair them with a granola bar, string cheese, or a handful of nuts for a quick snack. Plus, since they’re fruit leather they’ll keep well in the pantry or in your desk at work.
  4. V-8: Get a serving a vegetables fast by keeping V-8 on hand. The big jug is cheaper per serving, but the individual jars are handy for those crazy mornings. Of course, don’t forget to recycle your cans!

Take time once a week to prep your meals and snacks for the whole week. Here are a few make ahead ideas to get you started:

  1. On Sunday make a batch of quinoa, rice, or lentils that can be mixed and matched with different veggies and proteins throughout the week. Use the frozen veggies and precooked meats for super fast meals.
  2. Pre-pack veggies, fruits, and nuts into reusable 1/2 and 1 cup containers that you can grab and go. You can do the same thing with cottage cheese and yogurt. (Plus, by doling out single servings, you’re keeping your consumption in check).
  3. Invest in a crockpot and create healthy one-pot dinners like chili or a seasonal stew. Not only are they easy to make but they save energy (compared to the oven) and make enough servings for more than one meal.
  4. Precook a batch of turkey or chicken that can be used in sandwiches or stir fry or paired with veggies.
  5. Use low or no sodium added chicken, tuna, salmon packed in cans with water (no oils here) to make quick meals. Top on salads, pair with ezekiel bread/tortillas, or add them to casseroles.
  6. Boil a dozen eggs. They make great snacks, protein for salads, or pair them with avocado and ezekiel bread for a fast lunch.

The key is to have plenty of things on hand ready to go for those inevitable mornings when you’re running behind. A little prep work on Sunday, combined with some good ole stand-bys can make the difference to keeping you committed to eating healthy (and staying on budget).

Happy, healthy superheroes know that simple unprocessed foods are the way to go. Reading labels and carefully scrutinizing the ingredients is a great way to identify bad foods–especially those masquerading as “healthy.” Still, sometimes its hard to know if you’re buying the right things. That’s why I follow the 10 ingredient rule:

Only buy items with 10 ingredients or less

Spices don’t count–they’re freebies (except for salt of course) and keep it to ingredients you can pronounce. That’s the quick and dirty way to weed out the bad stuff. More than 10 ingredients and it’s becoming too processed. More than 10 syllables per ingredient and you’re in trouble.

10 fingers, 10 toes, 10 ingredients. It makes just makes sense. Happy eating!

Superheroes know organic is better for our bodies and for the planet, but most people believe organic foods are expensive, hard to find, and out of reach. Now, I’m a coupon clipping, budget conscious mom yet I’ve been able to easily integrate organic choices into my family’s diet. It just takes a little know how and a few tricks:

  1. Focus on the dirty dozen. Although 100% organic would be great, for some people its just not feasible. That’s why Environmental Working Group puts out an annual list of the dirty dozen–the top 12 fruits and vegetables known to have the highest and most harmful concentrations of pesticides and chemicals. If you can’t go 100% organic, focus on just replacing the dirty dozen with organic choices.
  2. Shop in season. The reason organic is sometimes more expensive is because, out of season, organic is more expensive to produce. In season, organic fruit and vegetables are considerably cheaper. One, because it has a shorter shelf life and needs to move quickly. Two, because organic produces abundant crops in season. Plus, focusing on seasonal choices forces you to add variety to your diet and to eat in a way that’s more in tune with your bodies natural processes.
  3. Shop local. Not only is it great to show support for your local farmers and ranchers, it’s cheaper too. You cut out the middle man and if you frequent the farmer’s markets and small outlets on a regular basis, you can develop a rapport with the producers–and get in on some good deals reserve for loyal customers.
  4. Shop like the Europeans do. One of the biggest issues is that many Americans end up throwing away huge amounts of food. We buy too much at a time, so the fruits and veggies go bad before we’ve had a chance to consume them. I’ve been guilty of it too and have to wrangle myself when I’m surrounded by sales and delicious looking fruit. Europeans don’t buy in bulk. They buy enough for a few days or a week maximum, especially for perishables.
  5. Go frozen. Frozen items such as meats, fruits, and vegetables keep longer and often have higher nutrient value than fresh. This is another great way to avoid the waste mentioned above.

Chain stores are also jumping on the organic trend, offering organic choices at competitive prices. As it becomes more popular and more people elect organic over conventional, availability will go up and the price will go down. It’s all part of that vote with your dollar concept I ranted about on Monday’s soapbox.