069 Q&A: Can Fiber be Harmful? Cooked vs Raw? Expectations for Yourself & the Family Sabotage…

Q&A Time!
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You asked, I answered…

What We Talk About: 

 1. Fiber supplements: There are a lot on the market and most seem like they are full of chemicals. Do you know of any that are easily added to a smoothie or coffee and are beneficial? [Submitted by Heidi] 

  • I recommend Acacia Fiber, but not very often and not for everyone
  • Here are some reasons why: The Dangers of Fiber
  • Read this fantastic article from Mark’s Daily Apple and this one from Paleo Leap before you opt for supplements. Excerpt:
    • “The upshot of all this is that fiber-rich foods are healthy and nutritious, but the benefit doesn’t necessarily extend to fiber as a processed, purified supplement taken on its own. Soluble fiber supplements are fine for most people (although anyone with bacterial overgrowth problems should be cautious with them), but insoluble fiber is unnecessary and even harmful to supplement. This should be unsurprising: humans were designed to eat food, not Metamucil. That kind of concentrated dose of insoluble fiber isn’t available anywhere in nature, and for good reason: it’s just too much for our digestive systems to process regularly.”
  • Many digestive experts do not recommend chicory root or psyllium husk natural fiber supplements because they can be very hard on the gut, and I caution against all commercial fiber supplements at the big box stores
  • So what does this mean for our own consumption of fiber?
    Per Chris Kresser in this great article, it’s crucial to start with a very low dose of prebiotic or soluble fiber and build up slowly over time. This will minimize any potential adverse reaction that can occur with significant changes (even positive changes) to the gut microbiome. For Organic Acacia Fiber, he suggests starting with only 1/4 of a tsp. once per day and build slowly from there. Here’s the brand in my pantry:

 2. Are we killing and denaturing our vegetables when we cook them? Raw foodies will say you’re killing your food. I want to get the most out of my food as possible.  [Submitted by Aileen]

  • Read about the science of the raw vs cooked debate
  • There are some cases where cooking releases more nutrition – such as the lycopene content of tomatoes and beta-carotene in carrots. But it’s also true that cooking your food, especially at high temperatures, destroys naturally occurring enzymes. 
  • But there are a lot of misconceptions about the “danger” of cooking your food, and we should employ a balanced approach here 
  • I like to juice to get my raw veggies in, and I eat mostly cooked veggies (I love roasted, grilled, sautéed – you name it)
  • Lightly cooking certain types of veggies (like kale and spinach) food is helpful according to the Bulletproof Executive:
    • “Lightly steaming kale and other cruciferous vegetables for up to 30 minutes (far less helps) also significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles.6 Reducing goitrogens in your kale reduces the likelihood of disruption to your thyroid and risk of thyroid cancer.Lightly cooking vegetables also helps break down the cellular structures to increase the digestibility and nutrient absorption of nutrients in the vegetables. Nutrient absorption is also important in terms of the amount of energy your body is actually getting from the food you eat. Studies also show that women who predominantly eat raw food have lower energy intake and higher rates menstrual irregularities than those eating predominantly cooked food.”
  • Want more? You can listen to this podcast episode by Chris Kresser on raw vegetables and thyroid health  
  • Here’s the activated charcoal that I mention that I take after a heavy restaurant meal, alcohol or charred food (great for travel, too!)

 3. Can you discuss how to eat healthy when other people bring unhealthy foods into the house? I do the grocery shopping, but that doesn’t stop my husband from bringing in tempting foods that I don’t want to eat. Plus there’s all the candy the grandparents load my kids with every holiday except Columbus Day. I hide it in the kitchen cabinet (out of sight, out of mind – for them, not me).   [Submitted by “Sara”]  

  • Tips we share:
    • Make delicious, healthful food – start with dessert 🙂
    • Watch movies together – Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; Food Inc, etc
    • The candy – give it away! 
    • Make sure you have your food always plentiful
    • Share your WHY with your spouse, your family
    • Set SOME boundaries (it’s YOUR house!)
    • SHOW DON’T TELL. Lead by example.

 4. How do you develop the patience with yourself to keep working hard if you know you will never see the end result? In the pool, in the classroom, in my job, the harder I work, the sooner I see results. It’s a different story when it comes to being your best self. [Submitted by Erica]  

  • Who is your best self? How do you want to show up in the world? What do you want your money to be spent on? What do you want your time to be spent on? How do you want to make people FEEL? What do you want to CREATE?
  • My best self is someone who cares less about what I want, look like, need, and is more focused on CREATING value in this world and with the people that I love and/or want to serve, but…
  • Stop thinking of yourself as a project – it’s not about working HARD. It’s more about knowing who you want to be and showing up every single day and just trying. 
  • There’s no prize! There’s no “end result” to the things that truly matter – like love, family, friendship and love again. 🙂

Now, send me YOUR questions. I love to hear from you. 

You can connect with me right here.

xxoo

Ella

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2 Comments

  1. I eat a lot of seeds and nuts which have fiber, so it doesn t have to be all from fruit, veggies and pills. Wonder if this changes things a little?

    • Ella
      Ella

      Thurman – we mention nuts and seeds as a great source of fiber. And, whole foods are always the better choice over supplements 🙂