I attended a great talk last week with a cooking demo given by America’s Grow-a-Row New Jersey and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The emphasis was on the role that minimally-processed foods play in our health, and as someone excited for any benefit we can get from exercise & nutrition, hearing that fruits and veggies can help in so many ways was wonderful.
It’s almost April – I love this time of year. There’s a good reason to be excited for the start of the growing season here in the Northern Hemisphere again – the ability to get locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and grains for our meals. As I learned, fiber factors mightily into anyone’s wellness practices (unless under doctor’s care for disorders that fiber could exacerbate) – that’s because fiber, along with the other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, feeds our microbiome, and our healthy microbiome takes care of us.
There are a number of benefits: you want detoxing? You get actual detoxing benefits by fiber helping to move any residual chemicals in your food out of your body faster, which is super important to help fight cancers. You want to damp down your blood sugar? Fiber forms a matrix that slows down the conversion of food into glucose. This also helps you avoid creating conditions favorable for cancers. Fiber helps prevent your body from utilizing all of the fats in your food, particularly LDL cholesterol (the bad one)…the bottom line is that there is just much to recommend it. The downsides are what you might expect: too much fiber – not a great idea, you may experience some…unpleasant side effects. You also should be careful with specific medications that might be absorbed or prevented from working well, so always check with your medical team/pharmacist. The recommended amount of fiber to target is between 25g-45g, and you can work up to it slowly, by adding 5g more as you find your body tolerates it.
Looking for sources that also fuel a great workout? BEANS! Very inexpensive, versatile, delicious – they have a lot going for them. I just found a recipe from Thrive Market for a black bean peanut butter brownie, if you can believe it. I’m going to give it a try & if it’s good, I’ll post the results. I think I can even get my boyfriend, who is not much of a veggies guy, to try a black bean brownie!
In other news, I’ve been sketching an outline for a program specifically geared to the needs of women who have had total breast cancer surgery without reconstruction (like me – this is called “flat closure”). I want to design a workout program just for us & will be looking for women to participate in its development. I’m pretty excited about it, and I’ll have more details soon!