If your family is anything like mine, I’d venture to guess that during holiday meals, the meals where the entire family is seated around three tables shoved together, somebody inevitably brings up digestive problems.
It’s usually Great Aunt Sally who starts this talk, but everyone over the age of 50 brightens with animated conversation centered around bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea. Heaven forbid anyone have an upcoming colonoscopy scheduled!
I end up feeling like we should be shooting a commercial for Pepto-Bismol. Similar conversations are going on in the adjacent room at the kid’s table. The only difference is that the kids are laughing hysterically and using words like ‘poop’, ‘pee’, and ‘farts’.
Today I’m here to tell you that there’s hope for hemorrhoids, NOT that I have a hemorrhoid problem! Just wanted to clear that up.
The key to many stomach problems is eating adequate amounts fiber. The average American diet doesn’t provide enough fiber. Let’s face it, McDonald’s quarter pounders don’t pack a nutritional punch.
Consider Ronald McDonald…
Perhaps his freakish look comes from prolonged constipation?
About six years ago FringeMan became quite sick. He had a fever and stabbing stomach pains. The doctor sent him for a ct-scan and it was quickly determined that he had diverticulitis. Antibiotics cured the infection, but we had to make some serious changes in our diet. The main thing we had to incorporate was FIBER.
After walking around the hospital in a gown and cowboy boots, enduring much shame, and experiencing the crazy sensations that come from drinking poisonous liquid that makes you glow in the dark, FringeMan was ready for change.
(It’s not necessary to mention to FringeMan that I’ve shared his bowel problems with the world. Just saying…)
Today I will share with you a few easy ways to incorporate fiber into your diet.
* Eat wraps instead of bread. The wraps labeled “low carb” are packed full of fiber. One Mission brand carb balance wrap has 21 grams of dietary fiber. That’s a lot of fiber!
You’d have to eat an entire cardboard box to get that much fiber and the wraps taste much better. Trust me.
* Use Wheat Germ.
Wheat germ is available in regular flavor or honey crunch. You can spread the original flavor on high fiber cereal (hot or cold), throw some on your salad, or hide it in meatballs and meatloaf. Be creative, you’ll think of a hundred ways to add this to your meals.
I love to use the honey crunch wheat germ to bread fish or chicken and then bake to a crisp in the oven.
Click HERE for the nutritional value of Wheat Germ. This stuff is good for you!
* Purchase a bag of ground flaxseed. You can add flaxseed to many foods. My favorite way to use ground flaxseed is in pancakes. I load the pancakes with seeds and my kids love them. I also hide ground flax seeds in my chocolate chip cookies. Again it’s about being slightly creative and adding fiber to things you normally enjoy. You can throw a few tablespoons into a muffin mix and add lots of nutritional value. I’ve even added ground flaxseed to my pizza dough.
For flaxseed’s nutritional information, click HERE.
* Snack on sunflower seeds. They taste great and are nutritionally wonderful. A tiny sunflower seed has tons of fiber. Check out their nutritional information HERE.
* Change to whole wheat pasta. You can start slowly by mixing your pasta 50/50 until you develop a taste for the wheat pasta.
* Use brown rice instead of white rice. The only drawback is that brown rice takes a long time to cook, about 45 minutes.
I haven’t mentioned fruits, vegetables, and salads because they are obvious. I’ve tried to focus on the foods that are less obvious.
If you hate all these ideas and are unwilling to try natural forms of fiber, there are always those awful thick drinks. I’ve got one word for them, YUCK.
Wait, one more word, GAG.
I hope your day flows smoothly.
Anytime you’d like to spend a holiday meal with my family, just let me know. I serve antacids for dessert.
I’M UPDATING THIS POST TO PLAY ALONG WITH “MAKING YOUR HOME SING MONDAY”.