21 Days of Healthy Holiday Habits–Focus on Fiber. Plus Warm Kohlrabi & Cabbage Salad Recipe!

Happy Monday guys!  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  I decided to try to keep my sitting time to a minimum today by combining my healthy habit of the day with a recipe.  As today’s tip stays in the realm of nutrition, why not add an example of how to incorporate it into your meal plan?

My focus of the day is encouraging you to eat more fiber!  So many times people get caught up in the macronutrients–your carbs, fats and proteins.  The problem with that is you sometimes only focus on the numbers instead of the quality of those nutrients.  A carbohydrate comes in many packages.  A processed pastry made with refined flours and sugars will be processed by your body much differently than a whole apple that contains vitamins, minerals and fiber.

The standard American diet is highly deficient in fiber.  I’m not talking about the fiber you get in a popular packaged bar or that you stir in water from a tub.  If you are eating sufficient quantities of whole fruits, vegetables, in-tact grains, legumes, nuts and seeds then you do not need fiber artificially added to anything.  The beautiful thing about a whole foods plant-based diet is that you will never lack in fiber.  Plant-based proteins are not only adequate in supplying your daily amino acids, but they also come packaged with fiber!

There are so many benefits to consuming plenty of fiber.  The two types are soluble (dissolves or swells in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water).  Both types are important and are found in different plant-based foods, so this is another reason why some diversity in your diet is a good thing.  One of the great things about fiber is that it adds bulk to your diet, but our bodies are incapable of digesting most of it so you do not really absorb any of the calories that would be contained in the matter.  Some of the big benefits are better digestion (including more regular bowel movements), improved insulin response as fiber delays the absorption of the other carbohydrates packaged with it, and it can also improve cholesterol numbers.  Since fibrous foods are also quite filling, eating more fiber can aid in fat loss as you can eat less while still feeling full.

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Kohlrabi from the farmers market.

As promised, below is a recipe that I made for us this week that has two vegetables that have really good fiber content.  Kohlrabi contains about 5 grams of fiber per cup (all for less than 40 calories), and green cabbage has about 2 grams in a cup of it chopped.  The current minimum recommendations for daily fiber intake is 30 grams for men and 25 grams for women, although many nutrition professionals would say that is quite a low goal.  Most healthy individuals can see an improvement in overall health by focusing on increasing their fiber intake.  However, if you have any kind of gastrointestinal disorder (IBS, Crohn’s, Chronic Colitis, etc.) make sure to work with a qualified professional to see what types of fiber you can tolerate.  If your diet is currently low in fiber, I would also suggest increasing in small amounts to avoid unwanted side effects. 😉

 

Warm Kohlrabi & Cabbage Salad

  • 2 shallots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 bulbs kohlrabi, peeled & thinly sliced (I used the food processor)
  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, cored & chopped
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (optional–add if you want a little extra protein)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 4 tablespoons whole grain or spicy brown mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste

Saute your shallots in a skillet over medium for a few minutes to start to soften. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients through the mustard to the pan. Stir together, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, or to your preferred texture. I wanted a little bit of crunch, but the cabbage slightly wilted. Remove from heat and stir in your apple cider vinegar. Taste and add salt or additional seasonings to your liking!

I served over additional greens to really pack in the nutrients!

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Author: plantstoplanks

Personal trainer, nutrition and wellness consultant, plant-based cook, avid runner and book-lover. :)

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