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Cleanse: Day 17 - Fiber

Psyllium - photo courtesy of Herbs Hands Healing

You knew it was coming.  What’s a series about a cleanse without at least one post about fiber?!

With only one solid meal a day, it’s nearly impossible to get all the fiber you need to help your digestive tract push out all the toxins it has collected.  And… without being too graphic here… I’ll just say it gets increasingly imperative to take fiber as the cleanse progresses (both for the constipation factor and the increased amount of toxins being eliminated).

What Fiber Has Worked For Me?

  • In the first few days, I added course ground flax to my smoothies, and that helped.
  • But pretty soon that wasn’t enough.  So I learned I needed olive oil.  I started with one tablespoon, and a few days later upped it to two.
  • That worked for a bit, but somewhere toward the middle of week 2, I needed more.  I picked up an herbal supplement called “Cleanse More.”  It helped a bit, but not enough.
  • So a couple days ago, I began taking psyllium seed husks.  (We lovingly nicknamed it “colon blow” – oh yes.)

What works?  All of them together.  By the end of week 3, I suspect I’ll need psyllium seed husks twice a day.

Psyllium Husks - photo courtesy of Aatish Industries

A Few Words About Psyllium Seed Husks

First of all, I stayed clear of it for a while because I thought it was wheat.  I was totally wrong.  It’s a completely and utterly different plant, so those of us who are gluten free are a-ok.

Second, when the package says “Mix with 8 oz of water, and drink immediately” – it means immediately!  I mean, down that glass in one fell swoop.  A wee bit of psyllium husks will turn into a glass full of less than savory muck if you wait very long.

But it really, really works.  I was dubious in the beginning, but now I feel the love for psyllium seed husks.

Gardeners, if you want to try growing psyllium, check out Purdue’s website to learn more, and Reimer to buy the seed.

What Does Fiber Do?

Fiber…

  1. Improves the absorption of minerals, especially calcium.
  2. Reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  3. Reduces your risk for heart disease.
  4. Lowers cholesterol levels
  5. Reduces your absorption of sugar.
  6. Adds bulk and softens your stool.
  7. Binds to toxins and helps you eliminate them, rather than allowing them to reabsorb in the body.

(Anyone more knowledgeable than I, please chime in!)

Day 17

Blueberry Smoothie for breakfast.

Lunch and Dinner… sigh… see below!

Well Being Meter

A client who hadn’t seen me in over a month, walked into the door and said, “Wow, you’re glowing, you look really happy!” That was pretty darn awesome.

On the flip side, our clients are in town for all-day meetings today and tomorrow.  They are very social clients to boot, so I felt pretty strongly that I needed to eat with them.

For lunch, we got the closest thing I could get to the elimination diet:  Indian food.  I ate white rice (gasp!), spinach, lentils, chickpeas in tomato sauce, veggies (with tomatoes), eggplant, and a couple bites of fish.  There were several rules I broke. I didn’t have naan – do I get special points for that??  I suppose not.

For dinner, I had salmon with fennel and blood oranges.  And water with lemon.  The only rule I broke was the oranges.  Oh, and the whole two meals a day instead of one!

How did I fare?  It was the first cloudy-headed day I’ve had since the beginning of the cleanse.  I felt bloated, and like I’d regained half the weight (maybe a slight exaggeration).  I had a mild headache in the afternoon (though fortunately not a migraine).  I was tired, and wanted coffee to get me through the day – the first time that’s happened since I began the cleanse.  Overall, I felt a bit… blecky.

I don’t know what gave me those symptoms:  the dairy it was all cooked in?  The nightshade vegetables – tomatoes or eggplant?  The white rice shooting up (and then down) my blood sugar?  When I reintroduce foods at the end of the cleanse, I will have to pay particular attention to these.

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8 comments to Cleanse: Day 17 – Fiber

  • Huh, the ability to reintroduce and monitor reactions to specific foods is the first thing that got me seriously interested in a cleanse. There’s so much that my fiance and I will eat, and have an uncomfortable tummy afterwards and wonder “Hmm… now what caused that? Oh well…”

    This requires more thought (and will require MUCH PERSUASION for the mister), but I’ve really appreciated you tracing your steps on your cleanse.

    • Dea-chan – good luck convincing the other half! It might be less of a lifestyle change to try going on the Elimination Diet for a few weeks – that would also give you the ability to reintroduce and monitor. Basically it would be 3 solid meals a day, but just on a restricted diet.

  • You definitely get special points for the Naan. If you had it then experienced those symptoms you would have written them off as your wheat sensitivity. This way means that you had the opportunity to see that something unknown has made your body respond.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

  • Kat

    I saw your gasp about white rice, and once upon a time, I would have gasped with you. But now, after learning more about the phytate debate, I suppose I’m slightly less prone to proclaiming one version of the grain as “safer” or “healthier” than the other–what I’ve come to accept is that they both have their pros and cons, and because of that, I’ve been more accommodating of incorporating white rice into my diet at times (I’m gluten free). You can spend hours reading about phytic acids in foods. What I mainly take away from the nutrition debates, including the new USDA recommendations, is that the ol’ rainbow collection of vegetables is really the safest focal point for our diets, and everything else should be an accessory to them. Here’s a link about how to reduce the nutrient-zapping phytates in your preferred brown rice–there’s a pretty simple solution, albeit only a partial solution: http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/blog/2007/05/rice_and_phytic_acid.html

    I’m enjoying reading your posts, keep up the good work!

    • Kat – interesting information about rice. I will read more about it. This first time around, we’re staying pretty close to the “Clean” guidelines. Next time we’ll probably do some more research and test out some new things.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my posts! Thanks for your comment.

  • [...] Psyllium husks are my friend – they’re both helping to push things out, and they are giving me some bulk in my stomach.  Taking it twice a day. [...]

  • ParisParis

    No two people are the same, but I’ve always had a sensitive stomach and have never had any problems taking The Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse over the last few months. I initially purchased a bottle as part of a new fitness regimen, and my results were regular and … voluminous. (The first few days were particularly … productive.) Never any diarrhea, never any bloating. Just the best digestive health and regularity of my life, though keep in mind I’m pairing its use with better diet and regular exercise. Can’t recommend this stuff highly enough.

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