Getting Healthy For Good: Fun with Fiber (the edible kind!)

By Laurie Marshall, friend to fiber

2_1_powders.jpgWhen I was a little girl, my grandmother filled an empty Metamucil container with my broken and peeled crayons and I pulled them out anytime I was at her house.

When I later learned what Metamucil was, I was kind of grossed out that grandma didn’t just buy me a pencil box to store my art supplies in. Now that I’m in my forties, like grandma was at the time, I’m kind of grossed out that she needed to add that nasty stuff to her drinks to get enough fiber in her diet. Believe me when I tell you, there’s a better way!!

There are a lot of diets out there that involve cutting calories and portion sizes. And while those are both vital components to a weight loss plan, if you’re like me, a few days of that and you’re blacking out and waking up to the kid at Shake’s asking if you want “the regular”. A better solution is to have some fiber-filled snacks on hand to munch on that will pump up your fiber intake and keep you fuller between meals. I know, a cup of carrots will never replace a chocolate malt, but we are intelligent women – we can outsmart our sweet tooth!

The American Dietetic Association recommends 25-35 grams of fiber per day, but the American Heart Association estimates that the average American only gets about 15 grams. With that in mind, here are some ideas that would make it easy to add 10 grams to our intake:

  • strawberry.jpgOne medium apple or pear  ….  4 grams
  • One medium (8”) banana  ….  3 grams
  • ½ cup carrots (raw or cooked)  ….  3.4 grams
  • 2/3 cup Bran Chex cereal …. 5 grams
  • ½ cup fresh sugar snap peas …. 2.1 grams
  • ½ cup green bell pepper  …. 2.4 grams
  • 1 cup strawberries …. 3 grams
  • ¾ cup of oatmeal  …. 7 grams

Yes, oatmeal… I know, it’s not my idea of a great replacement for peanut M&Ms either, but if you’re full when you leave the house, maybe you can ignore the M&Ms more easily? Something else to try is buying the fiber-loaded varieties of things you eat every day. Pasta, crackers, even frozen waffles and canned biscuits are now adding bran or whole wheat to their ingredient list. Isn’t it sweet of them to do that just for us?

In addition to adding fiber to my daily menus to help me reduce my calories and stay full between meals, I am also doing it to keep my bowels healthy. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and colon cancer will kill over 50,000 people this year.

One of the easiest things you can do to stay on the good side of your colon is to get plenty of fiber. Just remember to work your way up to the recommended amount gradually or your belly will NOT be happy with you. You’ll also want to be sure to take in plenty of fluids, for the same reason.

After a visit to the grocery store today, I can check off the “add fiber to my day” item on my to-do list… now, if it will stay nice out for longer than a day I’ll get that walking plan  going.

laurie-marshall.jpgLook for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at Or click on the word “comment” below and share your thoughts right now