Psyllium is the seed husk of the plantago ovata plant, which originated in South Asia and Iran and has been long used as traditional herbal medicine.
Psyllium husk is a powerful plant: rich in viscous soluble fibre, it forms a gel, helping to hydrate the stools and making them easier to pass, while also binding up loose stools.
And unlike scratchy insoluble fibres from some vegetables and cereals, it won’t cause irritation in most people, even those with fussy guts like irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, psyllium is an evidence-based fibre for those with IBS!
It isn’t super fermentable, meaning that it won’t cause a lot of excess gas and bloating (although that is a risk when adding fibre for anyone with gut issues, particularly constipation)
But the really cool thing about psyllium is that it contains arabinoxylans, which promote the growth of butyrate-producing bacteria. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that is the primary energy source for the gut epithelial cell, meaning it’s critical for ensuring a healthy gut lining!
Research also suggests that short chain fatty acids like butyrate are supportive of the immune and nervous systems too.
Want to learn more about this super cool fibre? I have a very nerdy and in depth blog post, that details exactly how we use psyllium in our practice (including dosing and cautions) at www.desireerd.com or via the link in my bio.
If you want to crush an entire bunch of kale, make this 15 minute kale Caesar salad 🥗
A good kale Caesar salad is one of my absolute favourite things…and this one is just SO dang tasty and takes just 15 minutes to prepare (including the dressing!).
The secret to a killer kale salad? You’ve got to massage the leaves, which tenderizes them and reduces any bitterness.
My Caesar dressing is made from hemp hearts, so it’s got a ton of omega 3 fatty acids and even some protein, which I boost by panfrying up some smoked tofu.
This salad is incredibly satisfying, and makes it WAY yummier to get your greens in. Plus, it’s 100% plant-based, gluten free, nut free and even low FODMAP (with one tiny change to the dressing) so almost anyone can enjoy it.
Recipe is at www.desireerd.com or via the link in my bio…can I ask a favour??
If you try it, please leave a review or rating as it really helps the robots know that it’s a good one! It’s a totally free way to support my work, and takes just a minute! ✨
Our grocery budgets are getting squeezed right now: food prices were up more than 10% in Canada in 2022 according a recent report.
With a little flexibility – and some budget shopping skills – you can still enjoy fruits and vegetables and keep the budget intact.
So I’ve partnered with @halfyourplatecanada to show you what $20 can get you in the produce aisle…and the shopping strategies I used to buy all of these fruits and veggies for $18.79 at my local supermarket in East Vancouver (AD)
Try my dietitian-approved tips to save money on produce 🍎
🥬 Plan your meals around what’s on sale: Celery pricy this week? Skip it! Kale on sale? Yes please! If you have flexible meals like soups, stews, and bowls, you can simply swap in different veggies based on what you have on hand.
🍊 Eat seasonally: I scored these Minneola tangelos because it’s citrus season!
🥕 Watch out for prepared veggies, they’re usually pricier if not on sale. Field spinach typically costs less per bite than prewashed.
🥔 Waste less: I scrub instead of peel my carrots and potatoes. Skins contain fibre + nutrients! And if you’re making a smoothie, no need to throw out spinach stems. Just wash, trim ends and blend.
🧅 Don’t overlook basics like potatoes, carrots and onions. Eaten with the skin, potatoes are high in fibre and very filling! Onions aren’t just flavouring, they’re nutrient-dense veggies that have microbiome boosting FODMAPs and plenty of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
🥣 Check out the bargain bins: I scored these precooked beets for over 50% off because they were close to date. I ate them right away, so no problem!
✏️ Search out neighbourhood green grocers and discount retailers, as they often have very budget friendly produce.
What are your favourite budget shopping tips?
My friends @halfyourplatecanada have some great resources on their website too.
Here’s the thing about iron. It’s not as simple as eating enough. Or choosing haem iron over non-heme iron.
Because iron interacts with a lot of other nutrients, plant factors and yes, our body’s own stubborn ideas about how much – or how little – to absorb.
Which is why you can be anemic even if you eat red meat. And why it doesn’t always resolve when you supplement.
If you’re struggling, despite following your doctor’s orders to eat iron-rich foods and take your supps, here are a few growth hacks, plant-style:
1️⃣ Separate large doses of calcium (like a 500mg supp or a venti latte) as well as caffeine from your meals. Both can hinder absorption.
2️⃣ Add vitamin C to each meal, in the form of a ½ cup of orange juice, oranges, kiwis, strawberries or bell peppers. Vitamin C reduces ferric iron in plant foods to its ferrous form, which is better absorbed.
3️⃣ Enjoy more sprouted or soaked grains, legumes and nuts. Soaking and sprouting helps to reduce the hold that phytates and oxalates have on minerals, making them more bioavailable.
If your iron stores are good, no need to take these extra steps! Just continue to eat iron rich foods and do your thing.
What plant foods have the most iron? Go to http://www.desireerd.com and search iron for a VERY comprehensive list.
The information on this site is intended as educational only and cannot replace one-on-one consultation with a registered dietitian.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.