Three Weeks to a High-Fiber Diet

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Week 1: Build a Better Breakfast-Add Fiber!
Day 1: Starting today, drink eight cups of water daily. You need to drink plenty of fluids when you add fiber to your diet. Begin your morning with a cup of refreshing ice water or hot herb tea when you wake up.
Day 2: Choose a high-fiber cereal for breakfast. Look for one with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving (like bran flakes, shredded wheat, raisin bran, Grape Nuts, All Bran, oatmeal).
Day 3: Add 1/4 cup raisins (2 g fiber) to your high fiber cereal.
Day 4: Choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread for your toast (2-5 g fiber/slice). Spread on 1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (1 g fiber).
Day 5: Add a sliced medium banana to your high fiber cereal (2 g fiber).
Day 6: Mix 1/4 cup dry oatmeal with 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt and some fruit, such as a banana. Stir and enjoy (7 g fiber).
Day 7: Grab an orange as a mid-morning pick-me-up (3 g fiber).

Week 2: Join the High Fiber Lunch Bunch!
Day 1: Add a cup of black bean soup to your lunch (10 g fiber).
Day 2: Choose a baked potato (including the skin) instead of French fries (3 g fiber per 3 oz. potato).
Day 3: Add a sliced carrot (2 g fiber) and 1/2 cup chick-peas (3 g fiber) to your green salad.
Day 4: Heat up 1/2 cup vegetarian baked beans to go with your lunch (6 g fiber).
Day 5: Choose a green vegetable as a side dish, such as broccoli (2 g fiber per 1/2 cup) or Brussels sprouts (3 g fiber per 1/2 cup).
Day 6: Skip the vending machines for your afternoon snack. Bring a medium apple from home (3 g fiber with skin).
Day 7: For a quick after-school snack, mix 3/4 cup bran flakes (5 g fiber), 1/4 cup dried apricots
(2 g fiber), and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (2 g fiber). Eat it dry or mix with fat free yogurt.

Week 3: Supper is Super When You Add Fiber!
Day 1: Eat 1/2 cup peas with your evening meal (5 g fiber).
Day 2: Warm up with a cup of turkey chili with beans (5 g fiber). Add whole grain bread and a side salad to complete the meal.
Day 3: Wrap 1/2 cup fat-free refried beans (6 g fiber), chopped tomatoes, scallions, low-fat cheese, and shredded lettuce in a tortilla.
Day 4: Serve stir-fried chicken and vegetables over brown rice instead of white rice (2 g fiber per 1/2 cup cooked rice).
Day 5: Order a cup of minestrone soup as an appetizer (5 g fiber).
Day 6: Choose a medium pear for a sweet dessert (4 g fiber).
Day 7: Stir 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (3 g fiber) or blackberries (2.5 g fiber) into low fat yogurt or ice cream.

It’s easy to see that the foods you add to increase your fiber intake:?fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, are those that provide the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals required for good health. Follow these steps for Three Weeks to a High-Fiber Diet and you’ll be on your way to lifelong, healthful eating habits.
By H.B.

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