Frequently Asked Questions
Questions answered below.
We now offer our Full Plate Living Membership with self-guided online courses available at no cost.
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First, make sure you have signed up for the Full Plate Living Membership because that’s who receives the Member Emails. You can click “sign up” at fullplateliving.org.
Second, when you signed up you were asked to mark a box to receive emails from us. You can check to see if you are subscribed to receive emails in your account under “settings.”
Third, check to see if our emails have been filed in your junk or spam folder by your email service provider. One way to help emails show up in your inbox is by adding our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list.
The self-guided FPL resources help you take steps towards eating meals filled with yummy fiber foods. This is not a marathon or overnight overhaul of your plate. Small changes lead to lasting changes and success towards your health goals.
Take the first step with these 3 resources:
If you haven’t set up your free Full Plate Living account for access to these resources yet, you can do so by clicking Sign Up at FullPlateLiving.org
At Full Plate Living we recognize and celebrate each person’s individuality. We understand that taste buds play a large role in that individuality. Each person likes certain foods and not others, enjoys certain textures while staying away from others, and looks forward to certain flavors while avoiding others.
Full PLate Living does not have prescribed meal plans. Instead, we teach you the principles you need to add more fiber foods to what you are already eating. In essence, we give you the freedom to create the meals you and your family already enjoy, while reaping the health benefits of eating a high- fiber diet.
Our Full Plate Weight Loss Program lessons focus on how to add more fiber foods to breakfast, lunch, dinner and while eating out. You can access the program within the free membership.
Our weekly Member Email also features 5 high-fiber recipes and meal ideas you can adopt to your meal planning if they sound like something your family would enjoy. The email is also a feature of the free membership.
Having diabetes can often turn mealtimes into a frustrating experience. It’s important to work with your physician when changing your habits, especially those involving food, so they can closely monitor your blood sugar levels.
The good news is that high-fiber foods are often the best foods for normalizing your blood sugars. Check out these posts for topics to help you. If you want to learn and start taking steps to add more fiber foods to your plate, sign up at Full Plate Living.
The body needs the right carbohydrates to function optimally. Full Plate Living promotes choosing complex whole carb foods such as fruits, veggies, beans and cooked whole grains.
We aim to help you learn to recognize and choose the best carbohydrates, so you can minimize the amount of refined carbs in your diet.
If you’re not used to eating a diet high in fiber foods, you may experience gas and bloating if you try to add too much fiber all at once.
We recommend adding fiber foods slowly, over a longer period of time, rather than jumping to 40g of fiber right away.
In this video, our PhD nutritionist, Dr Diana Fleming, shares 3 tips on minimizing gas as you add more fiber to your diet.
No. It can be if you want it to be. But you’ll also run into people who eat meat, people who follow a paleo diet, people who are trying keto, people who are gluten-free, people who are restricted by food allergies and people eating a regular diet.
Our goal is to help individuals of all backgrounds embrace and benefit from consuming a diet high in natural fiber-rich foods. We recommend everyone fill 75% of their plates with natural fiber foods. The remaining 25%? That’s up to each individual. Of course, more nutritious 25% choices will be more health promoting.
Deprivation and restriction make it tough for people to change their lifestyle, especially if they want the change to be sustainable. That is why we’re so flexible with the 25% part of the plate.
Remember, our goal is to help you fill 75% of your plate with natural whole fiber foods – fruits vegetables, beans and cooked whole grains. The other 25% is really up to you.
The 25% food items can be anything from whole wheat bread, chips, pasta, an egg, cheese, your favorite drink, grilled chicken, fish, milk or meat. But it can also be ice cream, cookies, cake, muffins, and tofu. Choose just a single serving. If you want more than one 25% plate food, choose smaller amounts so it can still stay in just 25% of your plate.
Of course, you can choose a healthy choice for your 25%. You may actually find that over time you’ll gravitate towards more nutritious options even for your 25% portion of the plate.
There are many companies that have free trackers with a much better database than we could imagine having. Here’s an article on two apps we like: A Tool to Help You Calculate Your Daily Fiber Intake
Another option is to write your food down in a notebook and look up nutritional data online, but that is a little more tedious.
First, we refer to bean pastas as a 75% food when the only ingredient is the bean. The ingredient list may say something like: “chickpeas” or “chickpea flour.”
Beans stay in their whole form with about equal parts of fiber, protein, and starch, no matter if you blend them or eat them whole. So, pastas made with just beans is like eating whole beans, which we think is pretty awesome. Due to the higher amounts of fiber and protein, bean pastas do not spike blood sugar levels like typical grain based pastas do. This makes them a better choice for blood sugar control and weight loss.
On the other hand, 100% whole wheat pastas are only about 10% fiber and 5% protein. They’re mostly starch. This more concentrated starch is rapidly digested because it’s processed into flour, which causes blood sugars to spike and stay high. In turn, this increases inflammation and makes weight loss more difficult. For this reason, all other pastas, including whole wheat pastas, are considered 25% plate foods.
Read our article The Scoop on Bean Pastas to learn more and see products we enjoy eating.
If the ingredients are mostly 75% plate foods, like a vegetable soup, the recipe is a choice for the 75% part of the plate.
If it is mostly made from 25% plate foods, like lasagna, the recipe is a 25% plate food choice.
Of course, you'll come across recipes and dishes that have a mixture of both 75% and 25% plate foods. For those, consider the recipe or dish to take up a section of your 75% part of the plate and all of your 25% part of the plate at that meal.
The simplest advice is to be mindful and do your best to keep those 25% plate items in that allotted space. If you’re in doubt, treat the recipe as a 25% plate choice and fill up the remainder of your plate with 75% food choices. When you do that you know you’ll be making the healthiest choices.
Most fried foods are deep-fried foods cooked by immersing them in fats like oil and butter - think French fries, battered fish, fried chicken, fried green beans, donuts, and even fried pies.
Cooking food in a lot of oil triples the amount of calories. Studies have shown that regularly eating fried foods is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, and an increased risk of early death for heavy eaters (1-2 servings a day).
Additionally, fried restaurant foods use partially hydrogenated oil which adds trans fat to the fried food. Any amount of trans fat is harmful, increasing risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and depression.
Healthier ways of preparing foods include baking, boiling, steaming, sautéing, stewing, roasting and grilling. An air fryer is a great way to get the texture and flavor of fried foods by using minimal or no oil at all.
The only way to know if you’re suffering from deficiencies or have extra supplemental needs is to have your doctor run the appropriate blood work. At Full Plate Living we recommend working with your physician anytime you have concerns regarding supplementation.
Of course, there are a variety of over-the-counter supplements you can choose. Please educate yourself and look for evidence-based recommendations before making any choices.
Fiber supplements contain different kinds of isolated fibers that have beneficial physiological effects, including lowering fasting and postprandial (after meal) blood sugars, insulin, HbA1c and cholesterol levels, as well as helping normalize stools and aid in weight loss. However, not all fiber supplements have the same beneficial effects. If you use a fiber supplement, soluble, gel-forming fiber has been proven to be the most effective, like psyllium fiber supplements.
While fiber supplements can make up for some of the lack of dietary fiber from whole foods, you do miss out on the health benefits derived from eating whole, unprocessed fiber foods. That’s because they are just isolated fibers, lacking the powerful health-promoting synergy derived from the full array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, healthy fats and protein found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
Before you take fiber supplements, consult with your healthcare provider.
The majority of the high-fiber foods we encourage you to fill your plate with are gluten-free – beans, fruits, veggies and some whole grains. The only food group that contains some gluten is whole grains, but there are many whole grains that are gluten-free like quinoa, oats, and buckwheat.
Enjoy eating more of the foods that are gluten-free and Full Plate approved. Exchange grains you want to avoid with grains you can eat. Recipes are guides, so modify to fit your dietary needs.
Yes, beans have a reputation as a gas-causing food that can lead to bloating and discomfort if your body isn’t used to them. But if you do two things you can greatly reduce and even eliminate gas altogether.
#1 - Dump the complex sugars in beans that cause gas. If you’re eating canned beans, simply drain and rinse until you get a clear liquid. When cooking dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight. It’s crucial to toss the soaking water before cooking, because that’s where a lot of those gas-causing sugars are. Boil beans in fresh water until tender - when beans easily squish between two fingers.
Here is a great article on cooking with dry beans.
#2 - Add beans gradually. If you currently aren’t eating any beans, start out with just ½ a cup each day at your biggest meal. When you are comfortable, add another ½ a cup at a different meal.
The good news is that your body gets used to beans in about 4 weeks if they become a part of your regular diet.
There are several key concepts that when put in place really help the weight come off.
These are outlined in the free online course, The Full Plate Weight Loss Program. This is a free program as part of our Full Plate Living Membership.
If you haven’t joined the free membership yet, sign up now.
You will find the online PDF version of The Full Plate Diet book in your account at fullplateliving.org. If you haven’t created an account yet, click here to set up your free membership account with resources to help you eat more fiber.
You can also purchase a hard copy of the Full Plate Diet book.
If you're trying to watch the program videos at work, most likely there's a video block. You can contact your IT department to see if there's something they can do. If not, try a different internet connection or browser to see if it will allow you to watch the videos.
You don’t have to have Facebook to be a member. You can access everything about the membership in your account at fullplateliving.org and in the weekly email we send you. The only things we do interactively on Facebook are the community challenges. For example, we may do a Fiber Find challenge for members to share what fiber foods they've found at the grocery store or restaurant. It’s completely optional. You could still do it for yourself as a personal focus.
That’s ok! Pears work just as well. And there are quite a variety to choose
from. And if you don’t like pears, choose another high-fiber food to start your meals.
Variety is the spice of life, so don’t hesitate to mix it up for this challenge.
Recipes are guides, which means they can be modified to fit your dietary needs. If a certain food makes you ill, or if you simply do not like it, leave it out. Exchange high-fiber foods you can eat for those that you cannot eat. Here is a list of fiber foods to inspire you.
When you watch the last last lesson of a program, we will send you an email to the address associated with your account.
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