Tag Archives: fiber

Reasons & Recipes To Make The Lowly Legume Your New BFF

18 Feb

ImageFunny sounding name, don’t you think? It always got more than a few snickers in grade school as our teacher robotically recited the food groups as part of the state mandated curriculum. We never really knew what it meant; in fact if you ask most adults, they are equally ignorant. Turns out one of every kids favorite dishes, baked beans, is actually the mysterious legume.

Fast forward to the Northeast Blackout of 2003, when the power-grid went down plunging several states and Canadian provinces into darkness for days, taking other utilities and gas stations down with it. Like many, I was sent home early from work and soon found myself at the local supermarket. Anything refrigerated or frozen had been sealed off from the panicked shoppers; a 30ish woman was running up and down the aisles wailing repeatedly “what will I feed my children?” At first I though she was a total idiot but then it occurred to me, she was of a generation that was raised on prepackaged processed microwavable food and she had no clue about nutrition, meal preparation or real food. Truth be told, other than canned tuna or peanut butter, I was at a bit of loss on how I would get protein in the uncertain days or weeks ahead. That’s when I rediscovered legumes.

Turns out legumes are a major component of everything from the hummus in your pita to the refried beans in your burrito, but there is a whole world of legumes out there. For those of you who wish to get your protein from places other than the fatty toxic mix of pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics infused meat of stressed-out diseased animals from factory farms; legumes provide a wonderful alternative. Legumes are also a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, cholesterol lowering fiber and slowly digestible carbohydrates, which are especially important if you are diabetic or at risk. See nutritional chart.

While legumes are available fresh, most people use the canned or dried form for convenience. Canned legumes have a shelf life of about 5 years & are packed in liquid, which make them the preferred staple for an emergency pantry when fresh water may not be available due to extreme weather conditions. Dried legumes are the least expensive, and are best for storage since they are less bulky and have a 10 year shelf life, while lacking the sodium, preservatives & chemicals used in the packaging of the canned variety. The best prices on dried legumes are usually found at Indian grocers. Dried legumes need to soak overnight and usually cooked for an hour; see cooking chart.

RECIPES

If you or your family is new to legumes, you may want to start out slowly. Here are some easy tasty recipes, one for each legume, that include something for everyone: dip, salad, crunchy snack, soup, side dish and main dish. Enjoy!

Make legumes your new BFF, and you will be trilled at how much it trims from your grocery bill as well as your waistline.

Good news readers, you can now follow me on Facebook! Simply visit Real Penny Wise and click LIKE. Be sure to SHARE with your friends too.

How Eating Fiber Will Save You Money

30 Jul

ImageAlthough any fiber will have an effect, the best fiber is from fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains that are whole and raw or minimally processed. I do not recommend fiber laxative and fiber added foods because they are processed and have all sorts of undesirable ingredients added, like sugar, plus they are expensive. Buy the real stuff, it’s cheaper and tastes much better.

Save on groceries. You can grow fruits and vegetables in your own yard or container garden for free. Meat and dairy are expensive and unless you buy truly organic, you are subjected to harmful substances such as hormones, carcinogens, antibiotics, and disease. Yum, right? Animal products contain no fiber (animals have bone, plants have fiber). But you need protein, right? No problem. Legumes are packed with fiber and protein, without all that fat and cholesterol, and are available very cheap, especially in dried form.

Save on weight loss remedies. You can lose pounds quickly just by just pooping. If you don’t have enough fiber you are literally carrying around extra pounds of poop (usually 5-25 lbs) constantly. Sexy, huh?  With less poop plugging up your intestine walls, nutrients can enter the blood stream and toxins can exit, giving you more energy for exercise. Fiber helps you feel full faster and longer which means less desire to snack or overeat.

Save on medical bills. Fiber can help prevent, control or reverse a number of expensive and debilitating diseases. The first and most obvious is relief of constipation and hemorrhoids by moving feces out of the body more quickly and easily. High cholesterol and resulting ailments like heart attack and stroke, benefit from fiber in much the same way by preventing and cleaning out build up in the circulatory system. Fiber helps control blood sugar levels which is critical in preventing, managing and even reversing Diabetes. Diabetes is a really expensive disease, not just for the medications and supplies needed for daily management, but for the complications caused by the progression of the disease. The disease can be completely cured in many with Type 2 by making lifestyle changes including diet. Gallstones and kidney stones can result the release of large amount of insulin in to the blood to cope with the sugar spikes; fiber slows digestion to prevent this. Fiber can help prevent or remedy infection, especially diverticular disease, by preventing and removing build up of toxins in the colon.

So which would you rather have: tasty natural inexpensive fiber, or debilitating conditions and expensive treatments? Seems like a no-brainer to me!

%d bloggers like this: