Roughin’ It

food fiber roughage

As a diet nerd, I pride myself on stellar digestion.

Prepare yourself to join my husband in declaring that you know more than is perhaps necessary about the phenomenon that is my healthy bowels.

While I’m not of the caliber of Mary Roach when it comes to knowing about the workings of human intake and output, I do consider myself well aware of how they operate, and, more importantly, what affects them. Over the past three years, as I’ve moved from meat eater to vegetarian to pescetarian, I’ve also changed my habits regarding the things I do eat. Namely, getting a wide variety of whole grains, reducing dairy intake, cutting sugar and salt and processed foods and trying to eat local/organic/sustainable.

In all of this, I’ve become dependent on roughage. I’m talking about the raw, rough, colorful foods that people have been finding on the ground for tens of thousands of years. Brown grains, green leaves, pink roots and blue berries make it easy to eat the rainbow, and taste great both cooked and uncooked, depending.

On those weekend, holiday and other occasions, in which I veer from the roughage script, I sense a difference. Nothing is as… efficient, shall we say? I’d probably never notice, were it not for the amazingness of my usual routine. I set the bar very high when it comes to my digestive process and habits, and have no one to blame but myself (and that taunting cheese pizza) when they cease to astound.

Even Facebook has heard about it:

“Of the things we can really count on in life, I put a lot of stock in apples and oatmeal. Also, I wonder what my younger self would have thought at my delight in half a grapefruit and a sardine sandwich. How food tastes do change…”

Apparently, I really do eat like a horse. I discovered the importance of apples and oatmeal while pregnant, and still eat both every week day. Satiating, cheap, healthy, fiber-filled and tasty, organic apples and plain oatmeal (sweetened with fruit or savory with seasoning) are the magic combination for rock star daily digesting.

Ok. That’s enough about my intestines. But the thing is, you have intestines too, and I want you to take care of them. And if you’re over 49, or have a family history of digestive diseases, get screened. I’m telling you, those colonoscopy drugs are fabulous, and the pictures are great. Well worth it.

Now go eat colorful roughage!

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