Eat Fiber for Better Digestion and Brain Function

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. It passes through your digestive system relatively intact, providing numerous benefits along the way.

  • fiber slows down digestion and helps keep you full
  • aids in weight management
  • helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream
  • promotes healthy cholesterol levels
  • nourishes your microbiome, serving as fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms
  • adds bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass through the digestive tract and reducing constipation and the risk of conditions like diverticulitis

By eating fiber-rich foods regularly, you are providing essential nutrients for the growth and diversity of your gut microbiota. This diverse community of bacteria aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, and influences aspects of your immune system.

How fiber improves brain function

A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better cognitive function, mood regulation, and reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Because fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels – which is essential for maintaining steady energy levels throughout the day – this stable energy supply to your brain supports optimal cognitive performance, concentration, and memory retention.

Because fiber reduces inflammation in the body, it has a protective effect. Chronic inflammation is associated with cognitive decline and various neurological disorders. By consuming fiber regularly, you can help protect your brain from inflammatory damage.

Fiber-rich Foods

Incorporating more fiber into your daily diet is a fantastic way to boost your overall health and well-being.

Fiber rich foods are nutrient dense foods and include:

  • Leafy greens: arugula, kale, lettuces, collard greens, mustard greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage
  • Root vegetables: beets (tops too!), carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, rutabaga, turnips
  • Beans and legumes: chickpeas(garbanzo, black bean, red bean, all beans, lentils, peas
  • Whole grains: barley, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice

What to do

  • 🌿 Start Your Day with Fiber: Kickstart your morning with a high-fiber breakfast such as chia pudding or protein oatmeal, topped nuts and fruits. This will set a healthy tone for the rest of the day.
  • 🌿 Bulk Up Your Meals: Add beans, lentils, chickpeas, or quinoa to soups, salads, and stir-fries to increase the fiber content of your meals without compromising on taste.
  • 🌿 Choose Whole Grains: Swap refined grains (pasta and white rice) for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, , and barley to increase your fiber intake while enjoying delicious meals.
  • 🌿 Get Creative with Vegetables: Experiment with different vegetables in your dishes – spiralize zucchini for “zoodles,” roast cauliflower as a tasty side dish, or blend spinach into smoothies for an added nutrient boost.
  • 🌿 Snack Smart: Instead of reaching for processed snacks, opt for fiber-rich options like raw veggies with hummus, apple and cheese, celery and almond butter

By incorporating these practical tips into your daily routine  you can easily elevate the fiber and nutrient density of your meals while tantalizing your taste buds at the same time!

A well-balanced lifestyle rich in fiber is key to supporting optimal digestive function and overall wellness.

Note: If you are not currently practicing a high fiber lifestyle, it’s important to gradually increase your fiber intake and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help prevent any discomfort or bloating that may occur when increasing fiber consumption.

Delicious, Nutritious Fiber Rich Recipes and Resources

High Protein Overnight Oats – Haute and Healthy Living

Chia Pudding Meal Prep – Downshiftology

4 Nutrient Dense Coleslaws

10 Ways to Boost Your Mood and Immune System with Leafy Greens

One Pot of Black Beans for Four Meals

Flavored Hummus – Love Eat Learn

Avocado Hummus Snack Jars – The Girl on Bloor


4 Anytime Dips and Spreads

These beautiful, delicious, nutritious dips are rich in brain essential nutrients: minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and fiber oh my!
Make a weekly batch through the holiday season to use as an
appetizer or side dish for holiday meals, for an easy nourishing lunch or yummy, healthy snack .

Are You Digesting Your Food? 4 Tips to Improve Your Digestion

Improving digestion is a vital for good health. By eating mindfully, incorporating fiber-rich foods, chewing thoroughly, and managing stress you can support your digestive system and enhance your overall well-being.

Change Your Carbs to Boost Mental Health

Did you know carbohydrates are found predominantly in plant foods?

  • leafy greens
  • vegetables
  • tubers (root vegetables)
  • legumes
  • fruits
  • grains

These are the carbs humans ate for tens of thousands of years.

Refined carbs – pasta, bread, processed foods, even ground grains (flour) – are a relatively recent food development.

Consuming refined carbohydrates is linked to inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to physical and mental ill-health.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Leslie Korn, MD” source_title=”Nutritional Essentials for Mental Health” full_quote=”Chronic low-level inflammation contributes to depression and cognitive decline.” ” short_quote=”Chronic low-level inflammation contributes to depression “]

By choosing carbohydrates from nature instead of refined human-made carbohydrates, you will

  • reduce inflammation
  • give your body and your brain more essential micronutrients
  • consume fewer calories

Combine those plant carbs with protein and good fats from nature for stable energy, help your body absorb vital minerals and vitamins, and produce neurotransmitters- chemical messengers in your body. They enable your brain to provide a variety of functions.

Additional benefits:

Stable blood sugar
Blood sugar regulation is your body’s priority for stable energy and for optimal brain function.
Refined carbs cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. This can deplete important neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that carry signals between neuron). Erratic blood sugar can also lead to degeneration of the brain.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”David Perlmutter, MD” source_title=”Brain Maker” full_quote=”Surges in blood sugar have direct negative effects on the brain, effects that cause more inflammation. Blood sugar increases lead to a depletion of important neurotransmitters, including serotonin, epinephrine, GABA, and dopamine. Materials needed to make these neurotransmitters, such as B vitamins, also get used up. High blood sugar also causes magnesium levels to dwindle, impairing your nervous system. More important, high blood sugar sparks a biological process whereby sugar molecules bind to proteins and certain fats that contribute to the degeneration of the brain and its functioning.” short_quote=”Surges in blood sugar have direct negative effects on the brain”]

These foods are rich in fiber. Fiber slows down glucose absorption and controls the rate of digestion. This helps stabilize your blood sugar.
Your microbiome (the trillions of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract) influences your mental health. Fiber-rich plant foods feeds the good gut bacteria. A healthy gut is linked to a healthy brain.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Drew Ramsey” source_title=”Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety” full_quote=”When it comes to depression and anxiety, the microbiome matters – and matter greatly. By improving the microbiome, we may have another way to fight mental health issues. Maintaining a healthy mood is having g a lot of different types of good bugs hanging out in your GI tract. Most serotonin neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and learning are in the gut, not the brain. There is a lot of information zooming back and forth between the gut and the brain that helps keep us healthy, and scientists are only beginning to understand all the ways that the microbiome can affect brain functions through the gut-brain axis. What’s become utterly clear is that a healthy gut is a prerequisite for a healthy brain” short_quote=”By improving the microbiome, we may have another way to fight mental health issues”]

Rainbow phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and DNA-enhancing compounds in plants. Every color represents a different family of plant compounds.

Your brain consumes twenty percent of everything you eat. By choosing plant foods as your carbs, you are getting essential micronutrients to produce and support each element of your brain, especially critical neurotransmitters. You will be better able to prevent and manage mood and anxiety disorders.

What to Do?
Instead of worrying about carbohydrates calories, aim for greens and rainbow plant foods to be make up the main part of your meals. There are so many ways to eat the rainbow¡

Have fun exploring and find the way that works best for you.

Here are a some delicious, nutritious options:

Quinoa Tabbuleh

Grain Pilafs – mix different grains like brown rice and quinoa, add herbs and veggies, and/or chopped nuts

4 Delicious, Nutritious Potato Salads

Roasted sheet pan veggies like Roasted Red Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts



Good Mood Orange Foods: 8 Sweet Potato Recipes

Did you know sweet potatoes have more potassium than bananas? Sweet potatoes are an easy way to boost your overall health, and are loaded with good mood nutrients.


  • High in vitamins A, C and E – one sweet potato has 5x the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A
  • Essential minerals magnesium and potassium. Potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure
  • Carotenoids. These powerful phytochemicals protect against oxidative stress and facilitate communication between your cells. Beta carotene is good for your brain. It is also strong immune enhancer (boosts your immune system)

Fiber Rich
Fiber swerves two functions in your digestive tract which aid mood balance

  • Helps with digestion and feeds “good” gut bacteria
  • Removes toxins and waste from your body

You can get two meals out of one effort. Just double the amount of sweet potato you cook

  • Roasted – use the additional sweet potato for breakfast, use as the base for leftover chili or bolognaise for twice-baked potatoes
  • Pureed –turn into a Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie or use for breakfast in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, or muffins
  • Steamed – use in breakfast hash or add to salads

Sweet potato can be substituted for pumpkin. I’ve certainly done that a number of times. Especially in oatmeal, smoothies and pureed soups.

NOTE: A yam is NOT a sweet potato. Nutrient-rich sweet potatoes are a native plant of the Americas. Yams are a starchy root that originated in Africa and Asia.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas – Weelicious

I add either chopped kale or spinach.

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Puree as a side to meatloaf or pork tenderloin. Re-purpose into Sweet Potato Shepard Pie

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
So many options online! Choose recipes that include all macronutrients (protein, healthy fats) and have micronutrient diversity (multiple veggies). Add spices and herbs to boost the nutrient content – and flavor.

Here a couple of my favorites:

Chickpea and Spinach – The Last Ingredient

Use this as a base recipe. Add additional veggies:

  • Red bell peppers or poblano peppers
  • Broccoli or shredded Brussels sprouts

Add fish or meats

  • Shrimp, or salmon (canned or leftover roasted salmon)
  • Leftover ground beef/turkey or chicken

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Simply Quinoa

Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Cookin Canuk
Add more veggies — . It’s a great ways to use leftover roasted vegetables!

Sweet Potato Shrimp Hash – Babaganosh

Make a double recipe. Re-purpose into another meal

  • Make into a wrap with guacamole and greens
  • Toss with leafy greens and cilantro into a salad. Add chopped veggies like bell peppers, celery and tomato.

Meal Salads

Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad – NY Times Cooking
Enjoy as a side dish with roasted fish, meatloaf or pork tenderloin.
Re-purpose into a meal by mixing with greens (arugula, spinach, shredded kale or green leafy mix) tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
You can use canned beans (black, white or kidney beans) instead of lentils

Roasted Beet and Butternut Salad – Girl Heart Food
LOVE this! The colors are glorious, the flavor delicious. Use as a side with dinner; pairs nicely with pork tenderloin. Make extra to turn into into lunch the next day:

  • Toss with greens
  • Add roasted pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts (almond, pecan, walnut)

What to Do?

Eating orange foods has never been so easy 😁

Good Mood Orange Foods

Pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato oh my! Boost your mood, feed your brain. Eat more orange foods, here’s why.

Rich in magnesium essential for mental fitness and brain health
This macromineral is required for the proper function of nerve and brain cells. It’s a vital ingredient for your brain’s chemistry. It directly stimulates brain growth. Magnesium has a role in hundreds of different chemical reactions that occur in a healthy body. Yet, more than fifty percent of people in the U.S. are deficient in magnesium.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Drew Ramsey, MD” source_title=”Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety” full_quote=”I think of it as a way to flow energy from the sun all the way to your brain; it’s the mineral at the center of photosynthesis. Magnesium is one of the very first nutrients shown to help depression. Numerous studies have identified a connection between magnesium deficiency and poor mood.” ” short_quote=”Magnesium is one of the very first nutrients shown to help depression”]

Carotenoids for better cognitive performance and brain health
Carotenoids are deep orange, yellow or red colored compounds plants use as protective mechanisms. They also help plants attract birds and insects for pollination. Higher carotenoid consumption is linked to better cognitive performance and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In your body, carotenoids enhance cell-to-cell communication. and play innumerous functions helping prevent cancer and protecting your skin and eyes from damaging effects of ultraviolet light. More than 600 carotenoids have been identified. Two are particularly potent in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties:

  1. Beta-carotene can help repair damaged DNA and prevents the oxidization of cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol that builds up in blood vessel walls and contributes to the risk of brain strokes and heart attacks. Getting extra beta-carotene in your diet may help to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis, cognitive decline and heart-disease.
  2. Alpha-carotene protects against cancer and is linked to biological aging. As your body ages, it loses its ability to fight the effect of free radicals. Oxidative stress due to free radicals impacts the central nervous system and can lead diseases such as Alzheimer and dementia. The more alpha-carotene you eat, the slower your body shows signs of aging.

High in fiber crucial for a healthy brain
Fiber helps control cholesterol and blood sugar. This can help reduce the amount of artery-clogging plaque in your brain’s blood vessels. High-fiber diets may also lower blood pressure which reduces the risk of brain bleeds.
High fiber intake increases healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (gut), while decreasing the unhealthy bacteria. Gut health is linked to brain health.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Leslie Korn, MD” source_title=”Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health” full_quote=”Fiber has no calories or food energy, yet it is essential to a healthy colon and to mental health. It slows down digestion which also slows the down the absorption of glucose. It provides the soil for the microbiome garden and allows healthy bacteria to grow. ” short_quote=”Fiber provides the soil for the microbiome garden and allows healthy bacteria to grow”]

What to Do?

  1. For one week track many orange foods you eat
  2. Aim to increase by at least 1 -2 each week
  3. Try new/different orange fruits and vegetables. There is a wonderful variety of winter squashes waiting to be discovered!

🍊 🍊 🍊 Fruits 🍊 🍊 🍊

 🥕 🥕 🥕  Vegetables  🥕 🥕 🥕

Yellow and orange bell peppers
Sweet potato
Winter squash: pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata, kabocha and spaghetti squash

Bean Salads that Beat Brain Fog

Did you know that beans are loaded with brain-healthy nutrients?

  • Essential minerals associated with preventing cognitive decline: iron (one of the most common nutritional deficiencies) calcium, potassium and magnesium that helps regulate important neurotransmitters, including those that facilitate mood. Magnesium also helps sleep quality, which helps brain function. Lentils also have zinc which helps regulate brain signaling and neuroplasticity
  • B vitamins: B5 has key role in converting food you eat into energy. It literally makes neurotransmitters (like serotonin) that influence mood. B1 (thiamine) and B6 that help provide more focus and energy Low B6 can cause trouble concentrating. Vitamin B9 (folate) has shown to boost scores on cognitive tests folate and helps keep your mind sharp as you
  • Phytochemicals (protective natural chemical compounds in plants)
  • Plant proteins
  • Fiber feeds the “good bugs” that live in your gut (gastrointestinal tract). A healthy gut bacteria is linked to a healthy brain
[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Rebecca Katz” source_title=”The Healthy Mind Cookbook” full_quote=”Regular consumption of beans, peas and lentils will help keep your brain sharp and healthy. Legumes are also loaded with B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. These have been linked with sharper mental focus, less fatigue and better memory. Legumes are also rich in key minerals that can help keep the mind sharp and the brain healthy.” short_quote=”Regular consumption of beans will help keep your brain sharp and healthy”]

Combine nutrient-dense beans with colorful vegetables, spices and herbs and you have a superfood combination on your plate.

  • Remember every color of vegetables represents a family of powerful plant compounds
  • Spices contain the highest amounts of antioxidants per ounce compared with any other food and are excellent at supporting the brain’s innate detox system

These salads are an effective, delicious way to increase intake of plant food to boost brain health.  Aim for 2 – 3 colors +  herbs and spices at each meal and 8 servings each day.

Serve the bean salad on a bed of leafy greens which contain a ton of antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin E and beta-carotene – all nutrients that support brain health

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Drew Ramsey, MD” source_title=”Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety” full_quote=”To stay healthy, you want a diverse microbiome, with a variety of good bugs known as probiotics. These good bugs not only help us digest our food but also send important messages to the brain. When you don’t have these important bacteria in the gut, brain function – and mental health – suffer. One of the easiest ways to up the diversity in your own microbiome is to eat foods that promote good bugs. This includes fiber, from veggies, to feed those bugs, as well as fermented foods to repopulate different strains of healthy bacteria directly to your gut.” short_quote=”To stay healthy, you want a diverse microbiome, with a variety of good bugs “]

Here are couple of my favorite recipes. Double the recipe to get a second meal, and even leftovers for lunch. Here’s how:

  1. Bean salad as a side dish + grilled chicken/fish or roasted pork tenderloin + hefty green salad
  2. Bean salad + cooked grains (quinoa or brown rice are my staples) + leafy greens + guacamole / tzatziki / tahini topping
  3. Bean salad + wraps (whole-wheat tortilla, kale leaves, red cabbage leaf) + toppings (guacamole / tzatziki / tahini topping)

Southwest Black Bean Salad

  • Cumin: rich source of iron, calcium and magnesium
  • Cilantro: vitamins K and minerals linked to healthier brain function

Outrageous Herbacious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Food Crush

  • Parsley has a powerful phytochemical (luteolin) that is linked with memory improvements. Also rich in vitamin A – helps boost learning skills, and vitamin K – helps overall brain health.

Lentil Tabouli Salad – Feasting At Home

A feast for your taste buds!

Allspice: rich in vitamins C and B9 which improve brain functioning as you get older.

Mint: Good source of vitamin A which can help boost learning skills and increase neuroplasticity, and vitamin C which helps protect against cognitive decline


  • With or without quinoa
  • Add goat cheese
  • Top with chopped walnuts (they’re linked to improved levels of concentration and mental energy)

White Bean and Tuna Salad – Simply Recipes

This is great “dinner-in-a-pinch” recipe.  White beans (cannellini or Great Northern) and canned fish (salmon or sardines usually) are some of my pantry staples.

Variations: Use this recipe as a base and add:

  • Additional veggies: asparagus, bell peppers, celery, chopped broccoli, leafy greens (arugula is especially delicious here). Add olives (green or black), or sun-dried tomatoes
  • Herbs: fresh basil, or parsley or mint
  • Add steamed or boiled, diced potatoes for a more robust meal

For more spectacularly delicious, nutritious lentil salad recipes check out

Feasting at Home

Do you have a favorite bean salad recipe?

Fiber for Health’s Sake!

Summarized from my notes on fiber from the books Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD and How to Not Die, by Michael Greger MD.

Did you know that fiber is a critical nutrient? That people who eat the most high-fiber foods are the healthiest?

  • Fiber aids our body in absorbing nutrients from food
  • Fiber slows down glucose (blood sugar) absorption
  • It controls the rate of digestion
  • It lowers cholesterol
  • It feeds the healthy bacteria in our gut
  • Fiber is also nature’s “broom”. It passes through our digestive system taking with it toxins, waste, unhealthy fat and cholesterol particles out of our body
  • Fiber intake from food is a good marker of disease risk.

Fiber is naturally concentrated in only one place: whole plant foods. When we eat mostly natural plant foods (beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seeds) we get large amounts of different fiber.

Fiber and brain health

Fiber helps control cholesterol and blood sugar. This reduces the amount of artery-clogging plaque in our brain’s blood vessels. High-fiber diets may also lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of brain bleeds.

Though stroke is considered an older person’s disease, risk factors may begin accumulating in childhood. It is SO important to teach our children to eat more plant foods!

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Michael Greger, MD” source_title=”How to Not Die” full_quote=”Low fiber intake early on is associated with stiffening of the arteries leading to the brain – a key risk factor for stroke. One more apple, an extra quarter cup of broccoli, or just two tablespoons of beans a day during childhood could translate into a meaningful effect on artery health later in life.” short_quote=”Low fiber intake early on is associated with stiffening of the arteries leading to the brain”]

Fiber and heart health

High fiber foods help reduce inflammation, blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

By preventing the buildup of cholesterol in our bloodstream, we can help prevent atherosclerosis in our coronary arteries—the leading cause of death in the United States.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, MD” source_title=”Eat to Live” full_quote=”High-fiber foods offer significant protection against both cancer and heart disease. I didn’t say fiber; I said high fiber foods. It has been adequately demonstrated in hundreds of observational studies that diet does offer protection from cancer at multiple sites, including the colon. A high-fiber intake is a marker of many anti-cancer properties of natural foods, especially phytochemicals.” short_quote=”High-fiber foods offer significant protection against both cancer and heart disease.”]

Fiber and Cancer

High fiber intake appears to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and breast, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and premature death in general.

The standard American diet is dangerously deficient in fiber. Americans currently consume about 25% of calories from animal foods and another 62% from highly processed refined carbohydrates. Fiber deficiency can lead to many health problems such as hemorrhoids, constipation, varicose veins, and diabetes. It is also a cause of cancer. Less than 3% of Americans meet the minimum daily recommendation for fiber.

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Michael Greger, MD” source_title=”How to Not Die” full_quote=”Analysis of a dozen beast cancer control studies found lower breast cancer risk associated with indicators of fruit and vegetable intake and high breast cancer risk associated with high saturated-fat intake. According to these studies, the more whole plant foods you eat, the better it is for your health. Every twenty grams of fiber intake per day was associated with 15 percent lower risk of breast cancer. A compilation of ten cohort studies on breast cancer and fiber intake came up with similar results, a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer risk for every twenty grams of fiber intake per day.” short_quote=”Every twenty grams of fiber intake per day was associated with 15 percent lower risk of breast cancer, the more whole plant foods you eat, the better it is for your health”]

There are two different kinds of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble.

  • Soluble fiber slows down digestion by attracting water and forming a gel-like substance once digested. It’s found in foods like oats, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables like berries and carrots. Soluble fiber helps with weight loss because it slows the process of food emptying from our stomach and makes us feel full for longer after eating.
  • Insoluble fiber tends to speed up digestion by adding bulk tostool (basically helping relieve constipation and allowing easy bowl movements). It’s found in whole grains and most vegetables.

What to Do?

Eat a wide variety plant foods (beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seeds)

For More Empowerment

Why Is Fiber Good For You? And How To Get Enough Fiber!

9 Tips You Can Begin Using Today to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

Are You Eating a High-Fiber Diet?

20 Ultimate High-Fiber Foods + the Benefits of Each

34 High Fiber Foods

One Pot of Black Beans for Four Meals

I usually anchor my weekly meals on one key Sunday meal: meatloaf, whole-roasted chicken or a pork tenderloin. But I had a big bag of black beans winking at me every time I opened the pantry and it didn’t want to wait any longer.

Beans you say? An odd departure from anchoring on sustainably-sourced animal protein. But oh so nutrient-dense!

Beans are rich source of:

  • Water-soluble vitamins, especially B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folacin.
  • Phytonutrients (plant chemicals essential for health)
  • Essential minerals including magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc that strengthen our immune system and protect us from disease
  • Dietary fiber which lower cholesterol keeps blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal

Black beans

Here’s why we should Eat More Beans

So how do I turn a pot of beans into meals for the week?

[su_expanding_quote_without_link alignment=”right” source=”Joel Fuhrman, MD, Eat to Live” full_quote=”Beans and legumes are among the world’s most perfect foods. They stabilize blood sugar, and the blunt the desire for sweets. Beans and greens are the foods most closely linked in the scientific literature with protection against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and dementia.” short_quote=”Beans and legumes are among the world’s most perfect foods. They stabilize blood sugar, “]

Meatless Monday

Black Bean Quinoa Chili

Tuesday Dinner

Cajun Shrimp Sweet Potato Hash. This is a great versatile recipe. Add poblano pepper, red bell pepper, mix in spinach or chopped kale. Top with avocado or salsa or toasted pumpkin seeds or Greek yogurt and chopped jalapeños.

Make extra a lunch or two

  1. Toss with greens and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette, top with toasted pumpkin seeds
  2. Make a wrap with mashed avocado, a dollop of whole-milk Greek yogurt and chopped jalapenos

Wednesday Dinner

Zucchini “boats” with leftover Black Bean Quinoa Chili. Cut zucchini in half, scoop it out, mix the scooped-out-part into chili. Fill the “boats” top with cheese and back in oven preheated to 350 for 25 – 30 minutes.

You can also use baked sweet potatoes. Scoop out half mix in into the chili and stuff the sweet potatoe. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese if desired and broil.


Black Bean Hummus – use this base recipe. Add black olives and fresh basil.

  1. For breakfast: Spread it on whole wheat toast with avocado slices. Optional, add a poached egg on top
  2. For lunch: Make a wrap with spinach, avocado, chopped veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, celery, carrots – whatever you have)
  3. Anytime: with celery, snap peas, carrots or crackers hummus-style; or on rice cakes with some salsa on top

And even Dessert!

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies (I reduce the sugar by half)



National Library of Medicine. (2022). Potential anti-inflammatory effects of legumes. Retrieved from

Medical News Today. (2018). Everything you need to know about black beans. Retrieved from

Medical News Today. (2020). What are the health benefits of black beans. Retrieved from

Week of Healthy Breakfast for December

December is here, bringing in the most overindulgent, sugar-laden season of the year with overwhelming food temptations at every turn. How to manage healthy eating?

For me it starts by doubling down on my breakfast plan, starting the day with a full tummy reduces the chances of eating willy nilly all the holidays treats that may come my way throughout the morning.

Here’s my plan for the first week. Does it sound like something you can do?

Used the weekend to make

  1. Double batch of almond joy granola from Minimalist Baker; without the chocolate and I skipped the added sugar
  2. Batch of  blender muffins, I used the basic recipe and added cranberries
  3. Double batch of Healthy Quinoa Porridge   — if short on time Monday morning, make it the night before. To warm up, put in sauce pan and add milk until it has the desired consistency


  • Tangerine cuties
  • Warm up half of the Healthy Quinoa Porridge — mix in pureed pumpkin and chopped pecans



  • Warm up remaining Healthy Quinoa Porridge, add sliced bananas and cranberry orange sauce


  • Granola with almond milk, topped with chopped fresh pear


  • Sweet Pear Smoothie from Simple Green Smoothies
  • Avocado toast: Mash an avocado, spread onto toast, sprinkle sunflower or pumpkin seeds on top