Conscious Cook: Feeling fabulous with fiber

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” — Charles Spurgeon
Feeling fabulous is a dedicated pursuit for conscious cooks. In a world full of stress and strain, feeding the body with nurturing and nutritious options will coax body and soul into a state of happiness. One of the most effective ways of keeping the body functioning at an optimal health level is to incorporate plenty of high fiber foods.
High fiber, plant-based foods are a powerful source of naturally enhancing nutrition. Both dietary fiber (also known as soluble fiber) and crude fiber (also known as insoluble fiber) are capable of providing complete cleansing for the body.
Soluble fiber is extremely effective at lowering LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol which can block arteries and contribute to heart disease. Soluble fiber can also assist in regulating blood sugar and lessen the risk of developing diabetes. Insoluble fiber can be a warrior for the digestive system, whisking away waste, thereby eliminating constipation, bloating and discomfort. Inviting more insoluble fiber into the system may help reduce the risk of diverticulitis and create a stable environment in the body so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.
If you have a fairly low-fiber diet, add more high-fiber choices gradually and consume plenty of water during the transition. There are so many delicious foods that are a supreme source of high fiber. These foods are satiating, keeping you feeling full longer, which makes them an effective weight-loss aid.
Delectable raspberries, sweet pears, crisp, crunchy apples, bright green broccoli, hearty oatmeal, nuts such as almonds and walnuts and artichokes are all excellent selections for higher fiber intake. Choose organic for optimal cleanliness and flavor. A particularly easy way to invite more fiber into the diet is to enjoy lentils and beans.
Beans, including black beans, red kidney beans, white northern or cannellini beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are inexpensive, versatile and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. If using canned beans, rinse them well to eliminate excess sodium, then add to soup, stew, salads, dips, rice dishes, casseroles, burritos, enchiladas or puree with garlic and herbs for crostini.
Make happiness as you prepare your delicious life with high fiber foods!
Happiness Salsa
Serves 4
2 cans organic black beans, rinsed and well drained
1 bag frozen baby corn, defrosted
2 nicely ripe avocados, well washed, peeled, pitted and diced
1 sweet pepper, any color, washed and diced
A dash of hot sauce of your choice
1 minced jalapeno (optional)
6 scallions, washed, trimmed and chopped
½ cup washed and chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup washed and chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 finely minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix juices, olive oil, garlic, salt and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix gently until well coated with oil and seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips, or try with quesadillas, on top of grilled chicken or fish or on a baked sweet potato.
Robin Glowa , HHC, AADP, “The Conscious Cook,” writes about preparing a delicious life and presents healthy food workshops throughout New England. She is a professional cook, organic gardener, and a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.