Fiber TMI

We all know fiber is good to "keep things moving" and this does help with weight loss, especially if you are carrying around a bunch of junk that calls for a colon cleanse. Along with water, the proper amount of fiber cleanses you and -- at least in my case -- helps me lose some of my belly fat, or at least the appearance of it.

Since I have started eating as much fruit as I encourage my children to eat as snacks instead of sugary ones (mid-day office slump anyone?), I have had a smaller muffin top. And better fitting work clothes, not to mention the occasional appreciative look from my boyfriend.  I just have to remember to rein in my enthusiasm for fruits and veggies. Some days I look like the Michelin Man -- all round and not at all the hour-glass shape I am striving for due to gas build-up. That's something you need to keep in mind if you are trying to up your fiber intake to the recommended 25-35 grams/day - increase gradually or you may give up due to discomfort.

Speaking of discomfort (here's the TMI part folks) - I suffer from IBS and at first was skeptical of adding more fiber to my diet. I have a love-hate relationship with being regular due to the severity of IBS flare-ups. Part of it is because I love high-fiber, gas producing foods like broccoli. BUT by adding more fiber rich foods like whole grain bread (instead of just wheat) my flare ups are fewer and not nearly as severe (some days I would be out of work for the whole day). Who knew?

But back to fitting fiber into the diet and feeling good about it. On the weekends we like a hot breakfast and I usually cook. It used to be the ritual to have pancakes or waffles. Recently we switched from Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix to Coach's Oats MultiGrain Pancake Mix. These are delicious with either pure maple syrup, boysenberry jam, or apple butter. I usually make enough to last the whole week. If they happen to run out I also have weight loss and regular (instant) oatmeal. You really can't go wrong with oatmeal and fiber is easiest for me to stomach in the morning. If I happen to be running really late there is always whole grain toast (again with boysenberry jam or orange marmalade).

Other ways that my family especially likes is baked sweet potatoes. During the holiday season we go through sweet potatoes like nobody's business. Baked, mashed, in a pie (for Thanksgiving and Christmas), sweet potatoes are a staple. I've also recently added butternut squash to the mix. So far the kids haven't complained too much.

*Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach's Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.