No Fast Food Challenge Day #5 - Our Daily Green

Friday, February 1, 2013

No Fast Food Challenge Day #5

foods high in fiber
By Keith Weller, USDA ARS [Public domain],
 via Wikimedia Commons
We are at the mid-point of the No Fast Food Challenge. It's going well and I want to continue to share tidbits that help me avoid the dreaded drive-through window, as well as my personal downfall, frozen convenience foods.

Today's hint is about filling up on fiber. I am a huge fan of fiber, even without alliteration. The Mayo Clinic recommends 25 grams/daily for adult women and 38 grams/daily for adult men. Dietary fiber is found in plant based foods and is the part of the plant that the body cannot digest or absorb. Other food components such as fat, protein, or carbs is broken down and absorbed by the body. Fiber passes through your stomach and small intestine, and colon relatively intact.

Fast food contains little, if any fiber. Instead it is loaded with fat, carbs, and some protein. The body doesn't feel full from such foods. Fiber on the other hand, because it stays in the stomach, keeps the hunger pangs away. Foods that contain fiber also can be considered "fast", fresh fruit, nuts, canned beans, high fiber bread.

I keep an array of canned beans in my pantry at all times.
I want to share a favorite bean salad recipe, adapted from Real Simple magazine. This salad is great to keep on hand for a quick lunch on the go.

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper together. In a larger bowl, mix rest of the ingredients. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Tastes best after it marinates overnight.

The best way to avoid fast food is to have something ready to go and to know it will keep you full. A high fiber diet is your best defense against mindless and unhealthy munching.

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