I’m learning to eat again!! Not the chewing and swallowing part, but the 65 years of putting the wrong foods into my body part. My always-slender mother thought butter and chocolate were food groups – so do I – but I have my grandfather’s stocky frame that just loves to be soft and padded.
For the last year, I’ve experienced increasingly more irritating intestinal difficulties that culminated in having 10 inches of my lower intestine removed last month. One of the causes of the difficulties was my crummy non-fibrous diet. Fiber – yuck! Twigs and seeds and leaves! And beans – I didn’t grow up eating them and really am not at all fond of bean dishes – baked, stewed or souped.
However, 40 staples in my middle and eight days in the hospital convinced me that just perhaps I should take another look at fiber – including beans. And you know what? It’s not half bad!
The experts recommend 25 grams or more of fiber a day – I was probably eating 10 grams on a very good day. The first thing I checked out was cereal since I like to have cereal for breakfast. Certainly cereal, made from grains, would have lots of fiber – wrong! Many cereals have only 2 grams of fiber per serving – a couple had none! But I discovered Fiber One, which not only has 13 grams of fiber per serving but tastes good too – not at all like twigs and leaves. So – a great beginning to the day.
Now I look at each meal and ask if I’ve included any fiber. I’d say I’m hitting about 80 percent. Not bad! But the best part is I’m learning to eat beans. Not lots and lots, but enough to make a huge difference in how my digestive system works. And as Martha says, “This is a good thing!” I have a recipe from a neighbor for a while chili soup that is excellent, I can enjoy baked beans from one restaurant in town and refried beans have always been on my OK list. I’m going to spend some time perusing cookbooks to find more tasty soup recipes that include beans of some kind.
The bottom line is that I feel better than I have in many years. I had no idea that a smoothly running system could have such a positive effect on my daily life. I guess it’s like so many things in life – you get out of it what you put into it! And I’m putting in fiber.
This post is in conjunction with Blog Action Day, Sunday October 16, 2011.
Heidi Hunt is an Assistant Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. She has been on the editorial staff since 2001 when Ogden Publications acquired the magazine. Heidi especially enjoys interacting with readers and answering the myriad of questions they throw her way. You can also follow Heidi on Google+.