Monday, April 30, 2012

Berry Cobbler News and Tips

Good Morning!! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend.

I am so excited about the recent interest in my Berry Cobbler recipe. If you have not tried this recipe, click here to check it out. This is such an easy recipe to put together and only requires three ingredients!

Ingredients for my Berry Cobbler recipe

Thank you to all of you who have taken time to comment on my Recipe Review: Berry Cobbler blog post. I love hearing about how much you enjoy this recipe and ways that you have adapted it to work better for yourself and your family!

A common issue for many of us, is that we have had problems with dry/powdery areas. Look at the picture below to see what I am talking about, because I had this problem the first time I made this too.

Berry Cobbler with some dry areas.
Thankfully, an Anonymous commenter shared an idea with me that I could not resist sharing with all of you. They said, "I love this recipe and have been making it for years. To avoid any "dry" areas I actually to mix the cake mix and can of diet pop in a bowl, then pour it over the frozen berries. Serve it with some FF whipped topping and it's the goods!"

Thank you so much Anonymous for the wonderful tip! The next time I make this, I am going to take this advice and mix the cake mix and can of diet pop in a bowl, then pour it over the frozen berries! I hope you find this comment as helpful as I did! Hopefully, from now on we can avoid those dry spots that bother us so much!

There is some other exciting news about my Berry Cobbler recipe. Last week, I found out that It Sux To Be Fat wrote a blog post called, Berry-licious Cobbler - Recipe about my Berry Cobbler recipe. I have never had anyone use my recipe in a blog post other than me. However, I thought it was really exciting!

Finally, this weekend, I got some exciting news via Twitter. Melissa who writes the Weight Watchers Daily, shared with me that my Berry Cobbler recipe was in the most current edition!! It is so exciting to be able to share with recipe with so many people!

I hope that you all continue to enjoy this recipe!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: High Blood Pressure

July 2008 - Jon and I visiting family and friends in Portland, OR
Sometimes it is good to look bad and remember just how far you have come, which is exactly what I want to do this morning!

On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, I went to the doctor for my 22 week pregnancy appointment. Doctor's appointments have become a part of my monthly routine over the last 22 weeks. At each appointment the nurse weighs me on the scale and takes my blood pressure. I am nosy and so I always ask the nurse if my numbers are good or bad.

This month my nurse explained that my blood pressure was low. She told me that the doctor was not worried about my low blood pressure, because it has been low every time I have been in over the last 22 weeks I could not believe what she was saying!

What!? My blood pressure is low!?

After my nurse left, I began to think back to my life before Weight Watchers. In October 2008, I sat in a doctor's office and listened as he explained to me that I had high blood pressure and border line high cholesterol. He told me that I could try dieting and exercising for three months, but after that he would need to put me on medicine to controls these problems.

It was that doctor's appointment in 2008 that forced me to give in and join Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers gave me the tools I needed to change my life. Not only did I lose 90 pounds, but I also was able to correct my high blood pressure and border line high cholesterol without any medication!

It is so overwhelming to know that I am healthy!! I might be gaining weight right now, because I am pregnant. However, I am still maintaining a healthy lifestyle; which is obvious by the low blood pressure numbers my nurse gets from me each month.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not trying to toot my own horn this morning. It is my desire to be able to encourage those who are struggling on this journey called weight loss. I am here to tell you to keep going!! Change is hard, but in the end it will be worth all the hard work, sweat, and tears you put into it.

I would love to celebrate with you as you are making changes, no matter how small it is. 

What are some changes that you have made so far?

Visit Jen for more flashbacks.
Flashback Friday

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Lunch Sandwich Deconstructed

My Lunch Sandwich

I am going to be honest and confess to you all that I am a creature of habit! I pretty much eat the same thing over and over again. One of the main reasons I do this is because I know the PointsPlus+ values of the foods I eat everyday. I do not have to spend time everyday calculating the PointsPlus+ values for my foods, because I already know them. Another reason I eat the same thing over and over is that I shop in bulk, because it's cheap. I'm not saying that you should all be like me. I am simply saying that this is how I am.

Last week on my Facebook page, Living a Changed Life, I posted a picture of my lunch sandwich (you can see the picture I posted above). Today, I thought it would be fun to break down my sandwich and show you what I eat for lunch almost everyday. My lunch sandwich is made of up Oscar Mayer Turkey, Laughing Cow Cheese, Cole Slaw Mix, and a Nature's Own Sandwich Round. All together my sandwich only costs me 4 PointsPlus+, but keep me very full throughout the afternoon.

In case you are wondering, I use the Cole Slaw Mix because I am not a big fan of lettuce. However, the Cole Slaw still provides the crisp crunch I need to satisfy me. Also, I want you to know that Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds are the only ones I have found that are 2 PointsPlus+. All of the other rounds and thins are 3 PointsPlus. Always, make sure you check the nutritional facts before buying anything. 

{Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds}
Serving Size: 1 round
  2 pointsplus+

{Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Shaved}
Serving Size: 6 slices
  1 pointsplus+

{The Laughing Cow Wedges Light Garlic and Herb}
Serving Size: 1 wedge
  1 pointsplus+

{Dole Cole Slaw Mix}
Serving Size: 1 handful
  0 pointsplus+

I told you what I eat for lunch everyday. Now it's your turn! 
What have you been eating for lunch this week?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Exercise


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recipe Review: Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest awhile back and  have not been able to try it until just recently. This was such an easy dinner to make for my husband and me. The Archer Farms Hawaiian-Style Barbecue Sauce gives the chicken an incredible flavor! Jon asked me what spices I put in the dish, because it was so good! I had to confess that I had not added anything other than the sauce and pineapple. You see the sauce is so good that it doesn't need anything else with it! We enjoyed this dish and I hope you will too!

The Ingredients

I got this bottle of Archer Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce from Target.

Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.

Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top.

Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.

The final product! We cut our chicken into cubes, but you can shred your with two forks if you prefer.

. . . . . . . . . .
Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
Source: Six Sisters' Stuff

4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (mine were still frozen!)
1 Bottle Archer Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup! Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over rice.

*Sometimes I also throw in a chopped up green pepper and chopped onion . . . it tastes good with or without it.

Serves 8; 6 PointsPlus per serving

Monday, April 23, 2012

Taste the Rainbow

This morning, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

One of the most colorful and interesting sections of the grocery store is the produce department. Here you'll find bright green lettuce and broccoli, vivid red beets and tomatoes and vibrant yellow squash and citrus fruit.

God wasn't just creating a visual delight when he added color to these edibles: Intense colors indicate that fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Different colors indicate different good-for-you benefits. These foods will not only add beauty to your plate, but they'll benefit your health in countless ways as well.

Deciphering the color code
You already know that food variety is a great way to keep your eating plan fresh, and satisfying. Because each food has a special blend of nutrients, eating a range of foods each day is a great way to get all the important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Here's what the colors of fruits and vegetables can mean for your health:

Many red foods contain lycopene, which prevents diseases such as prostate cancer and are rich in vitamin C. Anthocyanin provides a rich reddish color and promotes a healthy heart.

Red foods: tomatoes, watermelon, beets, cranberries, apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, spaghetti sauce, red beans, radishes, red carrots, red-skinned potatoes, red peppers, grapefruit, guava, blood oranges, red onions, pomegranates, rhubarb, red pears

Orange foods contain Vitamins A and C and are rich in beta carotene which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer; maintain good vision; and boost the immune system.

Orange foods: cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, butternut squash, peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes

Yellow lentils are packed-full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, Vitamin C and Potassium.

Yellow foods: butternut squash, mangos, peaches, sweet potatoes

Greens are packed full of magnesium, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, which strengthen your blood and respiratory systems. Don’t limit yourself to boring and nearly non-nutritive iceberg lettuce, be adventurous! Branch out to kale, red cabbage, mustard greens, and collard greens. Most green vegetables contain both beta carotene and lutein, which help to maintain good vision, reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and prevent cataracts and colon cancer.

Look at all these green foods: Leeks, Lettuce, Green onion, Okra, Peas, Green pepper, Snow Peas, Honeydew, Kiwi, Limes, apples, Green grapes, Green pears, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, Green beans, Green cabbage, Celery, Chayote, Cucumbers, Endive, Leafy greens, Sugar snap peas, Spinach, Watercress, Zucchini, Avocado, and my personal favorite, Kale.

Blueberries contain a variety of anthocyanins, which fight oxidation and them that unique blue color which is rarely found in nature.

Blue foods: blueberries.

Purple fruits and vegetables contain healthy antioxidants which have anti-aging benefits.

Purple foods: grapes, eggplant, plums, prunes, raisins, Purple figs, Purple cabbage, Purple grapes, Purple asparagus, Purple carrots

Yes, some white-colored foods are healthy. Some white vegetables contain phytochemicals including allicin, found in the garlic and onion family and may help with the cardiovascular system. The mineral selenium is found in white mushrooms.

White foods: Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, White nectarines, White peaches, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes (white fleshed), Shallots, Turnips, White Corn, Radishes

No, Skittles don’t count. And there’s no such thing as blue raspberry… 

So eat more colors, feel more full, and burn more fat.

I really liked the following visual. It puts things into perspective, if we want to look healthier we have to start eating healthier!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recipe Review: Orange Jello Salad

I am so excited to share this recipe review with you today! This recipe is a family favorite that was passed down to me from my Grandma Bartholomew. My Mom and Grandma would make this recipe each holiday. Orange Jello Salad reminds me of home and holds a very special place in my heart! I hope your family will enjoy this as much as mine does.
This is the recipe card that my Mom gave me, so that I could always make Orange Jello Salad. As you can see, my Mother always doubled this recipe!

Here are the ingredients.

First, you will want to mix together your Cool Whip and sour cream.

Next, pour the dry jello packet into the bowl and mix together with the Cool Whip and sour cream.

Make sure you really mix together the Jello, Cool Whip, and sour cream.

Next, drain your pineapple and add it to the bowl. I prefer to make this with pineapple tidbits. However, you could also make it with pineapple chunks instead.

Finally, drain the mandarin oranges and add them to the bowl.

Be sure to mix everything together really well. Then, let this chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

After it has chilled, everything will come together and look like this!

Grab a spoon and enjoy!!

. . . . . . . . . .
Orange Jello Salad
Source: Vivian Bartholomew

3 oz Jello Sugar-Free Orange Package, dry
8 oz Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping, room temperature
4 oz fat-free sour cream
16 oz canned pineapple, drained
8 oz canned mandarin oranges, drained

Mix together Cool whip and sour cream. Then add the dry jello packet. Then mix in drained pineapples and mandarin oranges.

Chill - 3 hours Servings 6; 4 PointsPlus per serving

Please note: My Mom always doubles this recipe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: It's Worth It

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have You Got a Plan B?


This morning, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

It’s so funny how we never miss a meal, but we are so ready to miss a scheduled workout when plans fall through. Below are some great tips from Sally Bevan to help you stay in the game!

Never Miss a Workout Again 
10 ways to excuse-proof your workout
Article By: Sally Bevan

 Isn't it funny that the moment you decide to exercise, something always gets in the way? Mom stops by. That report is suddenly urgent. The dog ate your running shoes. Maybe it's time to organize your exercise?

Make life easy for yourself 
Plan a regimen that fits your lifestyle. If you work irregular hours, for example, don't sign up for classes that start at the same time each week. Instead, choose activities that can be easily slotted into your day: Walk the kids to school or run errands on foot during your lunch hour.

Draw up a weekly timetable 
To help you organize your time properly, draw up a weekly timetable of planned exercise and activities. This will also help you see how much activity you're getting. Try to do something for at least 20 or 30 minutes each day, even if it's just yard work or going on a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

Attach exercise to a treat
Give yourself a reward for scheduling in fitness. Buy flowers once a week for completing all of the workouts you scheduled. You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, such as playing with your kids in the park or catching up with a friend on a walk.

Get everyone else on board
Make sure your family and friends know when and where you plan to exercise. This way you shouldn't get any unwelcome interruptions. If you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, make sure you arrange this well in advance; don't rely on last-minute favors.

Anticipate motivational dips 
Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time, preparing for these feelings can go a long way to combating them. For instance, if you sometimes struggle to go to your aerobics class, get a friend to call you to make sure you're not still sitting on the sofa.

Avoid danger zones 
Many things can distract even the most hardened of exercisers: your favorite TV show, the lure of a night on the town with friends, or a neighbor popping in for an impromptu chat. Learn to recognize your particular "danger zones" and take steps to negotiate your way around them.

Buy figure-flattering workout clothing 
You don't want to look like a sack of potatoes when you're exercising. Spend a little money on well-designed, flattering and supportive gym clothes; you'll be more motivated to work out.

Have a specially designated drawer for fitness gear
When you're in hurry, the last thing you want is to be hunting around for your gym socks. Keep all your exercise clothes in a special drawer so you can find them quickly.

Leave your gym bag by the door
Leaving your gym bag by the door serves two purposes: you always know where it is; and it serves as a gentle reminder that an exercise session might be due.

Put your gym clothes straight into the wash
And last but not least, when you get back from the gym or pool, put your dirty clothes straight in the washer. Nothing is guaranteed to put you off exercising more than having to rummage around in the laundry basket for the least-funky pair of gym socks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Feature: Printer Friendly & PDF Button

Thanks for Pinterest I have had a lot more people visiting my blog for recipes!! It's so exciting to be able to get to know more people out there in the blogging world!!

This weekend, I received an email from Judy through my blog's Facebook page, Living a Changed Life. Judy wanted to know how to print my recipes from my blog. At the time, I did not have anything in place to print recipes directly from my blog.

So, I recently added a new feature to Living a Changed Life that I hope you all love and definitely make use of. It's the little green Print Friendly button on the bottom of each post, and I think you are going to love it!


This print friendly button allows you to make a printable copy of a post and omit anything you don't want to print (pictures, extra text, etc.). You may also turn a post into a PDF. Finally, you can email a post to a friend and omit the images or extra text that you want.

I think that this is going to be a great option for you as you desire to keep recipes that you find on my blog! It is also nice that you can omit pictures, because there might be quite a few pictures that you do not necessarily need to print.

Happy Printing!!

Interested in getting this plugin for your own blog? You can get the Printer Friendly & PDF button right here for free!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Perfect Pair

A few weeks ago Weight Watchers introduced their NEW Pinch of Pepper Pretzel Thin Baked Snack. Weight Watchers offered free samples of this new baked snack this week in the meeting room.

To be completely honest, I was not very excited about this new baked snack. I had heard that we were getting these new pretzel thins at our Weight Watchers store, but I it was not something I overly excited about.

I am here to tell you that I completely underestimated these new baked snacks! I tried these pretzel thins a few weeks ago with Laughing Cow cheese and they were so good! These snacks have come together to create one of my new favorite pairs! I prefer the garlic & herb flavored cheese, but I am sure that this snack would be good with any flavor of Laughing Cow cheese. This snack combination is only 4 pointsplus+!

{Weight Watchers Pinch of Pepper Pretzel Thins} 
Serving Size: 1 bag
  3 pointsplus

 {Laughing Cow Cheese}
Serving Size: 1 wedge
  1 pointsplus+

What are some of your favorite snack combinations right now?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back to Basics


I try not to blog too much about my pregnancy on my weight loss blog, but I could not help myself this time. Part of me almost didn’t even want to post this, because my problems feel so minor compared to what other people are facing. I am simply trying to get some things off my mind, so please bear with me. 

This week I reached the halfway point in my pregnancy!! That's right I am officially 20 weeks!! I cannot wait for our little Olivia to be here with us!! As I look back over the last 20 weeks, they have been extremely so amazing and at the same time very challenging. Please do not misunderstand me, my pregnancy is going VERY well. I love being pregnant and to be honest I have had nothing to complain about so far. I am extremely blessed.

The most challenging part of being pregnant for me has been gaining my pregnancy weight. Gaining my baby weight has been very mentally and emotionally challenging for me.  I know that I need to gain this weight for Olivia and I am willing to do that. However, I want to be able to gain this weight in a healthy way.

Over the last 20 weeks, I have not been gaining my weight while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As a result, I have gained more weight than I wanted to in these last 20 weeks. If I had gained this weight while maintaining a healthy lifestyle that would have been one thing. However, over the last couple of weeks I have felt myself letting go and allowing myself to have foods that I have not eaten in years.

So, this week, I have decided to go back to the basics that I learned while I was on Weight Watchers. I am not doing this to lose weight. Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to me, but I have not been doing that very well over the last few weeks. I've been so caught up in my pregnancy weight gain and the number on the scale. As a result, I have forgotten the things that are most important to me. When all is said and done and Olivia is with us, I want to know that I lead the healthiest lifestyle possible while I was pregnant.

Here are some of the basics that I am going back to this week.

1. Weighing and Measuring my Foods - I do not think you can lead a healthy lifestyle without knowing how much you are eating and putting into your body. I want to know how much I have eaten, so that I do not go overboard.

2. Tracking - I LOVE tracking. This is one of the main reasons that I was able to lose my weight in 2009. I want to write down everything that goes into my body and continue to remain in control of my food choices.

3. Exercise - I have been faithful to walk throughout my pregnancy and I want to continue to do this for the next 20 weeks.

4. Making Meals at Home - In the last few months we have eaten out a lot. Part of the reason for this is that I have been too tired to cook. Hence the reason for the lack of recipe review blog posts. However, I want to be able to plan out our menu for the week and stick to it. I want to make sure that we eat at home as much as possible, because I know how my food is prepared and how many pointsplus+ it is.

5. Practicing Self-Control - This is an art form that I had down before I become pregnant. However, I've been saying yes to so my foods that I have not been able to say no and stop myself from eating too much. I want to remember to listen to my hunger signals and eat until I am satisfied. This will require me to being to practice self-control again.

Are you struggling in your weight loss journey? Maybe it's time for you to join me and go back to the basics too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Food


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Anchors a weigh


This morning, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Tools for Living - Anchoring 

When sticking to the plan is tough, that's when you need Anchoring, a process for creating cues and triggers to remind yourself of your weight goal and the inner resources you have to achieve it.

You use Anchoring every day. When you hear a song that makes you smile because you associate it with a certain memory, that's an anchor to that memory.

Anchoring can help you achieve your Winning Outcome by reminding you of a particular inner resource you may need to connect to when you're having a hard time.

Ann's Anchor
When Ann needs to be reminded of her strongest inner resource, she anchors herself to the day her son was born. She reconnects to that day because it reminds her of the love she felt for herself and the pride she felt in her future. To help get back to those feelings, she keeps her son's diaper pin attached to her daily planner. Ann touches it or looks at it whenever she's hit a rough patch in her plan.

Now create your own anchor with these steps:
1. Identify the inner resource you need to respond the way you want.

2. Remember a time when you had that inner resource. Think about the circumstances that surrounded you. See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt at that time.

3. Choose an anchor that will bring you back to that time in an instant — a mental picture, a word, a gesture or an object.

4. Then, remember again that time when you had that strong inner resource. When the feeling you had then is strong within you, connect it to your Anchor.

5. Use your Anchor by itself. Did it work? Are you in touch with your resource? If not, keep repeating Step 4 until your Anchor grounds you when times are rough.

Common anchors include, belts, old pairs of “before” pants, skinny/heavy old pictures, your 10% keychain, maybe even your collarbone (who knew that thing was there?)

Here are some great sayings to keep posted around or to recite for encouragement. These were shared by online members of the etools community!

“Steady and slow, learn as you go. Lose too fast, it may not last.” — Louise F
“It matters not how slowly you go, only that you do not stop.” — Julia B
“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping the [person] sitting on the couch.” — Stephanie H
“I may not be where I want to be, but I’m better than where I was.” — Heather J
“You don’t drown from falling in the water, you only drown if you stay there.” — Barb L
“Success requires backbone, not wishbone.” —Debbie S
“If we defend our habits, we have no intentions of breaking them.” — Judy P
“Life has no remote…YOU have to get up and change it yourself!” — Tracy S
“The weight didn’t arrive from the Fat Fairy last night, and the Skinny Fairy isn’t coming tonight, either.” — Miscelena1
“Instead of a plate, reach for your mate!” — Frank E
“What you eat in private shows up in public!” — NicoleJuner1
“I’ve come too far to take orders from a cookie.” — Gina L
“If you kinda do it, it kinda works. If you really do it, it really works.” — Andrea G., Carol T
“If you’re driving and you get a flat tire, do you get out of the car and slash the other three? No, you fix it and get back on the road.” — Tanya S
“The scale is a weight loss tool – not a judge, jury and executioner.” — Brenda T
“Keep tracking, stop slacking!” — Holly L

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Weekend


Good Morning! I do not know about you, but I am so excited that I do not have to work tomorrow! I am thankful to work at a place that gives me time off for Good Friday. I am doing my best to avoid the Easter treats that are in our break room. 

I wanted to let you know, in advance, that I will not be blogging tomorrow, because I am also going to be busy working at my garage sale.

This year, Jon will be traveling on Easter, so we have decided to keep everything very low key. We will not be able to enjoy our Easter meal together on Sunday. However, we have decided to postpone our Easter dinner until a time when we can both be together.

Every year for Easter, I make Crockpot Maple Ham and this year is no exception! If you would like the recipe, please click here. I also found a new recipe on Pinterest for Resurrection Rolls that I thought would be fun to try. Just to let you know the rolls are not Weight Watchers friendly. I will also make some rice and corn as side dishes to go with our ham. I'm making myself hungry just writing about it!

What are you having for Easter lunch/dinner? How are you going to stay on plan this weekend?

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!! Try not to get caught up in the holiday rush. Slow down and take some time to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. If you do not know about what Jesus did on the cross for you, please click here to read more.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Exercise Now


Monday, April 2, 2012

Facts on Fiber

This morning, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, March 31, 2012.

Although fiber is an essential component of our diets, most Americans only get half the daily recommendation.

The recommended daily intake of fiber for men is 38g and it is 25g for women. 

What is fiber?
A variety of definitions of fiber exist. In an attempt to develop one definition of fiber that everyone can use, the Food and Nutrition Board assembled a panel that came up with the following definitions:

Dietary fiber consists of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. This includes plant nonstarch polysaccharides (for example, cellulose, pectin, gums, hemicellulose, and fibers contained in oat and wheat bran), oligosaccharides, lignin, and some resistant starch.
Functional fiber consists of isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. This includes nondigestible plant (for example, resistant starch, pectin, and gums), chitin, chitosan, or commercially produced (for example, resistant starch, polydextrose, inulin, and indigestible dextrins) carbohydrates.
Total fiber is the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber. It's not important to differentiate between which forms of each of these fibers you are getting in your diet. Your total fiber is what matters.

You may also hear fiber referred to as bulk or roughage. Call it what you want, but always remember that fiber is an essential part of everyone's diet. While fiber does fall under the category of carbohydrates, in comparison, it does not provide the same number of calories, nor is it processed the way that other sources of carbohydrates are.

This difference can be seen among the two categories that fiber is divided into: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. Sources of soluble fiber are oats, legumes (beans, peas, and soybeans), apples, bananas, berries, barely, some vegetables, and psylluim.
Insoluble fiber increases the movement of material through your digestive tract and increases your stool bulk. Sources of insoluble fiber are whole wheat foods, bran, nuts, seeds, and the skin of some fruits and vegetables.

Fiber is proven to help with weight control, controlling diabetes, preventing heart disease, helping with bowel disorders, and preventing/treating constipation.

There's a reason we made all fruits and most veggies Power Foods – and 0 PointsPlus® values: They're a fabulous tool for weight loss. But if you're like many people, you may find it hard to fit five servings of fruits and vegetables into your menu each day. It's a big adjustment at first, but it's an important part of the Plan, so do what you can to make the change. It's worth it. In addition to all fresh fruits and most vegetables having zero PointsPlus values, fruits and veggies offer the following perks:
• They make you feel fuller
• They're rich sources of disease-fighting antioxidants
• They reduce the risk of heart disease
• They provide folic acid, vitamins and minerals
• They increase energy, fight infection, improve regularity, keep skin healthy, promote normal blood clotting and build bones

Some helpful hints about fiber 
1. Increase slowly: The best way to begin is to figure out how much fiber you are currently eating each day. Once you know your number, you can begin to slowly increase how much you are eating until you reach your recommended amount. Increasing too quickly can lead to gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea.

2. Add the fluids: If you do not have enough fluids (preferably water) with your high-fiber diet, you may end with the problem that you are trying to avoid: constipation. Get into the habit of drinking a minimum of 2 cups of a calorie-free beverage between each meal and you will avoid any unwanted problems.

3. Don't go overboard: More is not always better, so try not to eat more fiber than your body can comfortably handle. There is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) set for fiber, which means that there is no cap on how high you can go before it causes any damage. Pay attention to how your bowel movements are responding to your fiber intake, and speak with your physician if you have any questions.

4. Little here, little there: You don't need to get all of your fiber in one meal. Be creative, and have sources of fiber throughout the day. Here are some ways to do this:
o Add flaxseeds, seeds, or nuts to your salad, soup, cereal, or yogurt.
o Keep frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries in your freezer to add to cereal, dessert, shakes, or yogurt.
o Have cut-up veggies in small baggies available to take with you. Use them with a meal or as a snack.
o Choose cereal with a minimum of 4 grams of fiber in each serving; you can have it as a meal, alone as a snack, or with some yogurt.
o Beans and peas go with everything; put them in your salad, soup, or have them with your meals or snacks. o Go for products with whole wheat flour. It may take a little while to get used to the taste, so be prepared to experiment with different products until you find the one that you like.
o Have veggies with your meals whenever possible. Anything that you add will count. The more variety, the more we eat, so have as many different veggies at one meal as you can.
o Use fruit with, or in between, your meals. Set a minimum number of servings to have each day and be sure to reach it. Always go for the fruit with the skin and/or seeds for the fiber.

5. Be no gas: If you tend to get bloated or gassy from raw veggies and/or beans, take Beano with your meal. It will greatly reduce these side effects and make eating much more pleasurable. Be sure to check the ingredients to see if it's okay for you to take.

There is nothing easy about developing new eating habits. It will take time and practice, so be patient as you learn to incorporate these suggestions into your diet. Use the information in this article to remind you of why these changes are worth the effort. If we are what we eat, it's time we become high-fiber people!


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