Okay, I did NOT expect my random post on Shreddies to create the response it did:
50% “phew! I’m gonna buy it/I already love it” 50% “but isn’t that too much sugar/carbs”
So I want to follow up with a few very nuanced thoughts here:
🌾 In Canada, we don’t highlight added sugars vs naturally occurring so the sugars tab on the panel can’t discern between sugar from fruit vs actual sugar, but here it’s clear, 9g is coming from added sugars
🥣 A common recommendation is to look for cereals that have 6g or less per serving…this isn’t that much more and equates to approximately 2 tsp of sugar
🌾Recommendations from the American Heart Association suggest that women consume no more than 24g added sugars a day and men 36g (based on body size/activity levels). There is NO recommended limit on naturally occurring sugars in fruit, veg and dairy
🍬 You can think of added sugars as a “budget”: don’t want to spend it on Shreddies? No problem! Oatmeal has no added sugars (well, I’m gonna add it ha) and Shredded Wheat doesn’t either
🥣 But the sugar level doesn’t make this cereal “unhealthy” - that’s straight-up nutrient-dense whole wheat you’re putting into your bod with fibre, protein and vitamins and minerals. Sugar doesn’t cancel that out ✏️
🩸 and how foods affect our blood sugar is nuanced. When you add some unsweetened soy milk and some blueberries the extra fat, protein and fibre will further temper the glycemic impact. Plus, we all have different carbohydrate tolerance. Some folks will have a nice modest bump in blood sugars eating this and others will experience high blood sugar.
Yep, this 💩 is complicated.
TLDR: your body needs nutrients. Whole grain breakfast cereals can provide them. And they’re convenient. Of course I encourage you to eat mostly whole plant foods.
And if eating Shreddies means A) you’ll eat breakfast and B) avoid the takeout trap, it’s a damn fine choice.
Having a good poop every day is a good idea for most of us…it will help to minimize bloating and ensure you’re getting that waste out of you in a timely fashion.
What’s a “good poop”?
💩 it should feel satisfyingly complete
💩 you shouldn’t have to strain to get it out
💩 it should look like a snake, not pellets and not mush
It’s totally normal to get constipated every once in a while, like when you travel, or if you are stressed and eating differently for a few weeks.
But in general, you want to be going most days. And if you’re not?
First things first: talk to your doc 🏥
If you’re chronically constipated, particularly if you rarely go more than 2-3 times a week, get a thorough checkup with your doc as there could be underlying medical issues like IBS, or medications side effects.
For those of you who go more often, but feel like things could be better, a few things you can try.
1. Eating 2 kiwis a day 🥝
Seems random…but it’s research! Kiwis are rich in fibre (4g per 2 fruit) as well as compounds like actinidin that are thought to help encourage motility. So enjoy them as a snack or pop them into salads, oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies.
2. Psyllium 🧽
Yep, you know how much I love psyllium…it’s a low fermentation (AKA low gas) fibre that helps regulate elimination from constipation to diarrhea. There’s a lot to say here so if you’re curious about trying it, head to desireerd.com and search psyllium for an in-depth blog.
3. Drinking more water 💧
Eating fibre and drinking water go hand in hand, because fibre needs water to do it’s job. And when the body is dehydrated, it will pull extra water from stool making it harder to poop.
The basics of better gut health? Move your body. Drink your water. Eat your plants.
And if you want to dive deep, my book Good For Your Gut has ~100 pages of education along with 90+ gut-friendly plant-based recipes (including low FODMAP!). Grab your copy at the link in my profile.
Whip up this cheesy black bean dip in 15 minutes 🪄
Now that it’s dark at 5PM all I wanna do at night is curl up on the couch. And sometimes, even cooking seems like a Herculean effort…so this black bean dip is just what the doctor ordered. 🛋️
It’s creamy and surprisingly light in texture because I blend in a fresh tomato and a bit of the aquafaba from the black beans. All you have to do is toss everything in the food processor and then warm under the broiler for a few minutes. You can even boost the veggie content by topping it with some cilantro and chopped avocado.
Serve with whole grain crackers and chips and yep, it’s a complete and nutrient-dense meal that’s also comforting as hell.
Full recipe at desireerd.com or click the link in my profile
There are a lot of new friends around here…so I thought I would say hello and properly introduce myself
👋 My name is Desiree, and I’m a plant-based dietitian with 15 years of experience in digestive health, inflammatory disease and plant-based nutrition
👋 I’m also the author of two 🇨🇦 bestselling (and @tastecanadaawards winning!) books Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut. GFYG also just won an @iacppix award 🤯
👋 I host an evidence-informed food and wellness podcast called @theallsortspod where I’ve been wildly fortunate to interview some really cool folks like @theguthealthmd @plantyou @eds_bred @gutbliss @hotthaikitchen
👋 this is a firmly weight-neutral, non-diet space where we recognize that food is not the only determinant of health…and that food is more than just nutrition. It’s culture, connection and pleasure.
👋 what you’ll find here: a slow drip of positive nutrition content and recipes. I don’t do a ton of debunking posts because they invite so much negativity…but I know how much you love them so I will pepper in the occasional truth bomb 💣
👋 if you want more in-depth nerdy content on nutrition, definitely check out my blog DesireeRD.com and podcast
👋 I’d love to know more about you and what you’d like to see more of here so feel free to introduce yourself in the comments!
Before I go any further, I have to say this: this info is intended for the general population. Yes, I know that if you’re on thyroid meds, you have to watch soy.
Similarly, I also know that our excessive use of hyper-processed foods is partly to blame for our chronic disease epidemic. There is nuance here!
Buuuut….you know where there is zero nuance?
Carnivore diets. They are dangerous, full stop. Remember the so-called Liver King? You might think as a vegan that this is some kind of bias but it’s not. All eaters – meat eaters included – will be healthiest eating mostly plants. If you choose to eat meat, that’s your deal. Just don’t eat only, or mostly, meat.
Next up, soy. The idea that soy is bad for you has been remarkably sticky, despite very strong evidence to the contrary.
No, it won’t harm your thyroid (PMID: 30859697) nor will it affect male reproductive hormones (PMID: 33383165) but you know what it will do?
Provide valuable protein, iron, and calcium while lowering your risk of breast cancer, heart disease and even death (PMID: 35241506 31278047)
And finally, let’s stop demonizing processed foods, okay? Processed foods provide nutrition, pleasure, and…affordability. Canned beans are processed. So is yogurt. And dried fruit. Yes, Oreos and fast food are hyper-processed but they can fit in a healthy life too.
Wellness has a weird purity complex where they demonize an Oreo but exalt an organic protein powder. It doesn’t actually make sense. When you eat mostly plants, the rest is up to you. You’ll be FINE.
The easiest (and most delicious!) spaghetti squash dinner you’ll ever make 🌟
I don’t know about you but I’m firmly in comfort food mode right now…and I’m also not feeling a lot of effort…especially since getting over a bought of food poisoning argh.
I love having recipes in my back pocket that will help me avoid another takeout order and this nourishing spaghetti squash dinner comes together in just 15 minutes of hands on time without a lot of chopping so it’s definitely weeknight doable.
🧂 All you need on your grocery list is 4 ingredients, assuming you have oil, salt and pepper at home.
Full recipe is at desireerd.com/recipes or via the link in my bio ⬆️ Take good care of your hearts this week, friends…
Wow. Wellness on the internet is actually giving us the opposite of what we need…
Our blood pressure is out of control??? Sure, let’s sell people MORE sodium.
Decades of research confirm that excess sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure, which a whopping half of Americans have.
And no, under normal circumstances you don’t need electrolytes to absorb water. You already get electrolytes – sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium - from your food. Unless you’re doing a super sweaty workout over an hour, or you’re an athlete, skip the electrolytes.
Oh, and the hate on oats is one of the best examples of influencers distorting science I’ve ever seen. Oats are one of the best researched plant foods on the planet. They contain beta-glucan, a very special soluble fibre that helps lower cholesterol, support the gut microbiome and may even improve immune function in addition to a host of other valuable nutrients like iron and folate.
What’s more, they don’t actually cause the dreaded “glucose spike”: traditional rolled oats have a GI just barely above the cut off for low GI and as soon as you add some extra fat or fibre, like peanut butter or berries, the glycemic effect will decrease. Rolled oats are actually associated with lower risk of chronic disease!
And finally, the scourge of GI doctors and dietitians everywhere: the colonic. Yes, getting all that poop out of your body will make you feel lighter. But you can also perforate your bowel and end up in the ER if it’s not done properly. And even if it does go off without a hitch, you’re disrupting the gut microbiome and the gut barrier…all that “mucus” they say is coming out of you? That’s mucus that PROTECTS your gut lining. You’re not supposed to mess with it.
Eat more plants. Move your body. Sleep well…if you want to get healthier, that’s how to do it. Ignore people who try and tell you otherwise.
Creamy, filling and affordable PB + 🍌 Overnight Oats
WAY too many of us are skipping breakfast: And I get it: mornings are chaotic. This morning, I had 90 minutes to feed two kids, pack their lunches, help with homework and do my kid’s hair. All BEFORE coffee.
You (I!) don’t want to have to think about one more thing before the work day starts 🤪
But, um, how are you supposed to crush it if you’re running on empty? And by crush it, I mean hold on for dear life…As much as we’d like to pretend we have evolved to a state of pure digital consciousness, we actually have physical bodies and bodies need nutrients to survive.
What’s the big deal? Well, if you’re down to just 2 meals a day, here’s what can happen:
💡 You’re going to make it nearly impossible to get the nutrition you need in a day: folks who routinely skip breakfast tend to consume less folate, iron, calcium and B vitamins.
😴 You’re going to feel sluggish and hangry and crave more…so you’re probably going to eat way more snacks that are likely hyper-processed and not as nutrient-dense as whole foods and feel even more fatigued.
Overnight oats are a big win…and I needed a new flavour in my rotation. These have the perfect porridge consistency, taste like a PB + B sandwich and have enough protein and fibre to keep you feeling full.
Google Peanut Butter Overnight Oats + Desiree or hit the link in my profile 👋
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.