Wednesday Wellness: The Importance of Fiber


That’s a potentially scary picture!

Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? How can you tell? What kind of fiber should you have?

These are good questions and I hope to give you some helpful information in this post so you can be confident that your body is getting what it needs.

As a Certified Health Coach, I have studied a variety of health related subjects, some more thoroughly than others and this one I believe is one of the most important! Many of our diseases, including heart disease, come as a result of an unhealthy gut. It is SO important to cleanse the gut with your daily fiber intake!

According to Everyday Health, “The national fiber recommendations are 30 to 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women between 18 and 50 years old, and 21 grams a day if a woman is 51 or older. Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet”

Medical News Today says “…most people in America do not meet this goal. The average fiber intake in the United States is 17 g, and only 5 percent of people meet the adequate daily intake.

People need to get both soluble and insoluble fiber from their diet. Eating a varied high-fiber diet means getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain”

Check out this link for a list of foods that are high in fiber.

If eating that much food to get your proper fiber intakes sounds overwhelming, another option is to take a fiber supplement. In our household, we have one of the best out there! It has 4X as much fiber as Metamucil – using 7 different sources of fiber, psyllium, soothing herbs and antioxidants. It’s amazing! I love it because it also promotes healthy weight loss and helps lower cholesterol! (Not to mention it tastes delicious in an Orange Julius!). Oh! And it’s gluten free!

One thing to keep in mind. Fiber and vitamins should not be taken at the same time. Taking them 1-2 hours apart will allow for maximum benefit from each one.

Monday Minute – Outdoor Hygge


I have blogged on this topic before.  It’s a favorite of mine!  It encompasses nearly every aspect of my life!  You can read that hygge article  here, where I define it and explain why I am so passionate about it.

Today I want to talk about creating a hygge outdoor space.

Where we live, summers are short, so it’s important to make every moment count!

The first step in creating your hygge space is to decide what you want it to be used for.  Will it be a quite place to read?  A place for the family to gather? Will you nap there?

After you have that part figured out, you can add the furniture.  I utilize local second- hand shops as much as I can.  There are many hidden treasures at great prices if you know where to look!  I highly recommend a hammock.  In my opinion it is one of the best outdoor luxuries and is very versatile.  I have two types.  One is the traditional long hammock, which I purchased in Panama.  Mine is tied to the railing on the front porch.

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The second one is an upright hammock, which I purchased at a local art/craft show.  It resides on the back patio.  There is nothing like a hammock and a refreshing iced drink on a hot summer day.

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I also recommend an outdoor fire pit.  Ours is in the corner here. We also want to get one for the back patio.  These can be purchased at Home Depot, Murdochs, or similar stores.  They create an atmosphere that draws people to sit down and chat.  It’s especially lovely if music is involved – guitar, fiddle, singing.  Add s’mores and it’s even better!

And my third recommendation is twinkle lights and sparkles.  I bought our copper-wired twinkle lights on Amazon.  You can buy the same type of solar powered twinkle lights here. ( I receive a tiny commission if you use this link – thank you!  😄)  The ones we have are solar powered.  They soak up the sun all day and shine all night.  I have them wrapped around the porch railing and leave them up all year round.  Also, if you look closely in the second photo up, there are some blue stones.  These are glow-in-the-dark stones that I have thrown on top of the gravel.  They aren’t super bright and I’m not sure how impressed I am with them, but they do glow a little bit.  On my list of things to get, is crushed glass.  The recycling plant used to sell it, but I’m not sure if they do anymore.  This glass is made from recycled glass and is crushed in a way that it sparkles and adds color, but does not cut.  I will also throw that in the gravel when I can locate a source.

What do you do to create a hygge (cozy) outdoor space at your house?  Comment below!

 

 

Clutter


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I know I have been very absent and I’m not going to address that right now.  I just want to talk about “stuff”.  Do you have it?  Lately I’ve been watching a lot of YouTubers who downsized to living in a Sprinter Van.  They sold or gave away nearly everything.  I admire that.  I thought I was ready to do something like that… and one day I do hope to be.

We recently moved from 10 acres, 3 outbuildings and a 1700sf house to a single garage and a 1200sf house.  We are getting ready to downsize again to a single garage and a 700sf condo.  I guess it is happening in stages.  But as we pack it is a bit overwhelming to look at all the stuff that owns us.  We still need to declutter! We have kitchen gadgets, one set of dishes plus 6 plates, a trunk and several boxes of memorabilia, only one bookcase of books, an upper coat-closet worth of games, 2 sets of sheets for each bed, etc.  I really thought we were living pretty simply.  But when I think about even living in an RV, I just don’t know how we would get rid of everything… Furniture, no problem.  I’m not attached.  Photos?  Old letters?  Not so much.  At least not yet.

Anyone else have these 1st world problems?  What helps you get rid of the clutter?  Comment below!

For the Love of Bread


In our family, we’ve had to deal with food sensitivities to eggs, dairy, gluten, and all other sorts of fun things.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to work through most of these through long-term healing diets and overall dietary changes and by keeping as much processed foods out of our diets as possible.  The last remaining sensitivity is gluten.  My daughter and I have been gluten free for a long time and recently started testing out using ancient grains to see if we can tolerate the gluten content in those grains.  So far, so good!

The thing we really missed is a good bread.  Gluten free breads really aren’t very nourishing.  Often, they’re made with high glycemic flours that equate to eating a bowl full of sugar…not exactly the best alternative!  Even when they’re homemade, they use a lot of starches to create a bread that is similar to the favorite conventional white bread.

Einkorn is our grain of choice to reintroduce gluten.  We’ve been culturing einkorn sourdough.  I was very excited to purchase a grain grinder recently so we can have a truly nutritious, fresh ground whole grain flour.  I’m loving working with the fresh ground flour and knowing I’m feeding my family the most nutritious food available.

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Happy Sourdough Starter

Here’s my happy little bubbly sourdough starter.  It takes about a week to nourish a true, healthy starter and I think she loves our house because we keep the wood stove going all winter long!  I feed the starter every 12 hours or so, throwing in about 3/8 c. einkorn flour and 1/4 c. water.  If I don’t have a need to build it, before each feeding, I dump off half so I’m not feeding so much, however we use it to make sourdough pancakes, bread, and all sorts of goodies, so I’m often building a larger starter batch.  It smells so fresh and good!  Mmmmm.

When grinding grains, it’s best to measure by weight for recipes instead of by cup because fresh ground grain is often fluffier than store-bought flour.  If I have extra flour, I just store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  This whole grain flour contains lots of fiber from the bran, as well as the healthy oils that grains naturally contain, and it’s naturally low-glycemic compared to white flours.  Store-bought flour also has to be specially processed to treat the oils because they go rancid very quickly (not healthy at all!)

I use a very easy no knead method of making sourdough bread with Einkorn.  This grain makes a very sticky dough, so the less you can touch it, the better!  Using the right tools is also really helpful!

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Shaggy Sourdough Ball

I weigh out 720g of flour, stir in about 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 c. starter, and 2 c. of warm water.  I just roughly mix these ingredients together using my favorite danish dough wisk, cover it with plastic wrap (so the top of the dough doesn’t dry and get a “crusty” layer on top), and let it sit and sour for about 8-12 hours until it’s risen some.  A true sourdough probably won’t double in size…mine usually grows by 2/3 or so.  Einkorn dough looks far more “golden” in color than traditional wheat.

After the dough rises, I liberally flour the counter and dump the dough out onto the floured surface.  A handy trick I’ve learned that really helps the sourdough action is to then sprinkle a tsp. of baking soda onto the dough.  Fold the dough over (with liberally floured hands) about 20 times or so to mix in the baking soda, adding more flour as needed.  The less folds, the better, but do thoroughly mix in the baking soda.  Wrap the dough in a floured linen couche (the stick dough doesn’t stick to this genius linen cloth!) and let rest for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and put your dutch oven into the oven to preheat as well.  After approximately 30 minutes, pull the dutch oven out, flour the bottom and plunk in your rested sourdough.  If desired, put slits in the top of your dough to give it a break point while it rises during baking.  Reduce the heat of the oven down to 425 degrees F.  Bake the loaf for 45min – 1 hour (longer for high elevations) or until the loaf is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  For a softer crust, wrap the loaf in a tea towel while it cools on a rack, but if your family prefers a crustier loaf, don’t wrap it.

The souring of the dough pre-digests the grains for you making them more nourishing to the body, not to mention that this bread tastes AMAZING!  It’s really simple to make and really doesn’t take much hands-on time…just a little planning ahead.  It’s soft and chewy and gives you all the nutrients of the whole grain.  Let me know if you try it out…and if you’re in the area…I’ve got plenty of starter to share so swing in for some toast and tea and starter to take home!

♥ Trish