FIBER...

Posted on May 14 by
in Blog

FIBER is the sensible shoes of good nutrition: boring, but necessary. For decades it was assumed to be useful simply for bulking up food waste and keeping the digestive tract tidy. Unlike nutrients with sexier reputations, it was never touted for its power to reduce stress, alleviate mental fog, or boost sleep until now.

As a dietitian, I’ve been yapping for 20 years about the importance of fiber to help curb unhealthy food cravings, lower cholesterol, and prevent diet-related cancer, but as scientists have begun taking a hard look at human gut microbes, fiber’s reputation has gotten even more of an upgrade.

You eat fiber when you eat plants. As the structural backbone of plants, fibers are stubborn carbohydrates that resist digestion and therefore aren’t counted as calories. The fibers that dissolve in liquids are soluble, the ones that don’t are insoluble. Another type, resistant starch, acts like a digestible carbohydrate when cooked and eaten warm but behaves like fiber when cooled. For most people, as long as you’re eating a lot of unprocessed plant food, it doesn’t matter which physical type of fiber you’re getting. Every plant is a combo of fibers tightly interwoven with other nutrients. This organic knitting helps you out first by slowing down how quickly food gets turned into blood sugar, then by ferrying other nutrients to specific destinations along your bowels. It’s on this journey through the lower digestive tract that fiber’s power gets turbocharged.

The beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract do with fiber what your upper digestive tract can’t: transform indigestible carbohydrates into fuel. A big nutrition reveal of the past few years has come from observing what happens when gut bacteria eat your fiber. By-products made from digesting microbial fiber positively impact health issues as wide ranging as anxiety, depression, insomnia, attention, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and much more.

If you’re thinking you can fertilize your gut bacteria with an over-the-counter fiber supplement instead of natural food, it won’t work well. You need to eat a wide variety of plant food to coax your bacteria into working hard. Getting your fiber from food is critical because the heartier your gut microbe population, the better your overall health.

Fiber in over-the-counter prebiotics may offer an additional advantage to what you’re getting from food. These supplements should be used in conjunction with a diverse plant-based diet.

Some of my clients use drinkable fiber supplements in an attempt to manipulate their bowels, usually for weight loss or constipation. For someone with a healthy GI tract, this can provide short-term success, but long-term improvement in weight management and bathroom habits result from better food and lifestyle choices, not an over-the-counter supplement. When it comes to IBS or other digestive diseases, I use extreme caution when prescribing probiotics and supplemental fibers because they can trigger increased irritation and pain in some people.

HLY-Fiber-1

Garlic Zucchini Noodles

Posted on May 09 by
in Blog
 
 
Ingredients:
 
2 medium zucchini
2 TBSP organic butter (can sub vegan butter)
3 large cloves garlic , minced (or to taste)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (can sub vegan parmesan cheese-- super yummy!)
Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
Black pepper , to taste
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
 
Instructions
 
Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.
Heat large pan on medium-high heat. Melt butter, then add garlic. Cook garlic until fragrant and translucent. Don't let the garlic burn.
Add zucchini noodles and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Zucchini noodles cook really fast, so taste a strand as you cook and decide how firm or "al-dente" you want the zucchini. Don't overcook the zucchini noodles or else they'll become mush.
Remove the pan from the heat, add parmesan cheese and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add chili flakes then serve warm.
You could add chicken, shrimp, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms... get creative!
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Tea...

Posted on May 07 by
in Blog

If you struggle with drinking water, try making iced tea with flavored herbal teas. My new favorite iced tea is blueberry lavender by The Republic of Tea.

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Endorphins....

Posted on May 06 by
in Blog

We can all get into slumps though out the year... the winter is too long, the summer is too hot and humid....

The very best way to elevate mood is to move your body. You can walk, bike, hike, swim, lift weights or dance away at a zumba class. Never underestimate the power of exercise to combat the blues, depression, anxiety and even brain fog.

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