Recently, I interviewed Ms. Brenda Watson C.N.C. about her new book, the Fiber 35 Diet. She is a knowledgable individual with a tremendous background in Alternative Medicine.
KJ: Why did you write Fiber 35 Diet?
BW: Fiber 35 Diet is my 4th book. Prior to its publication I was a self-published author and particularly focused on digestive disorders with Dr. Leonard Smith.
I’ve always known about the benefit of fiber in diet. Between the age of 42 and 48 I gained weight, even though I was into naturopathy.
BW: Fiber rich diets have been found to be the best. I had eaten too much protein. So, I completed a large deal of research regarding fiber intake. People don’t count fiber. Dr. Dennis Burkett went to Africa to study the African diet, which includes 60-80g fiber a day. The indigenous people there are free from digestive problems, hemorrhoids, heart disease varicose veins, bowel disease, diverticulitis, diabetes…. Americans need to count their fiber intake.
BW: The average fiber supplement delivers 3-5g. I hadn’t been eating whole grains. So, I began to count the grams of fiber I ate.
You need 35g for good health. A study at the University of California showed that more CCK is produced after eating a high fiber meal, just like when eating a high fat meal.
My personal venture turned into the fiber flush effect. The fiber flush effect is based on an average of 7 calories being excreted for every gram of fiber consumed. The average American eats 10 to 12g of fiber a day, flushing approximately 70-84 calories. This needs to be increased to 35g of fiber daily. Less calories are absorbed this way.
BW: I also made the mistake of not weighing myself. It’s good to do this, once or twice a week.
KJ: I rarely do this myself.
BW: You need to get a baseline of calories per your body weight to have an idea of your needed caloric intake. You can follow a formula to determine your necessary caloric intake in the Fiber 35 Diet book. I also outline the necessary amount of daily exercise to burn calories. The main thing, however, is to count fiber grams not calories.
It also is extremely important to read the labels of food purchases. Do not buy anything under 3 grams of fiber per serving. For example, a whole wheat wrap should usually contain 3-7 grams of fiber. Multi-grain does not always mean whole grain.
KJ: Who do you perceive your typical reader to be?
BW: Women, aged 35 and up
KJ: What significant health problems do you believe Americans face due to their lack of fiber?
BW: $120 billion is spent on medical care for digestive problems each year.
Increased fiber means reduced: heart attacks, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux and GERD, to name a few.
KJ: You state in the introduction that 35g of fiber daily will help drop weight and reduce the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
Fiber 35–What does 35 grams of fiber a day look like?
Breakfast–7g orange, 8g steel cut oats rather than regular oats
Lunch– 10g salad of romaine, spinach, walnuts, chickpeas and chicken
Snack– 4g hummus (2T), with celery and carrots, or flax crackers
Dinner– salmon, 11g acorn squash and kale
The total is around 35g-40g of fiber.
KJ: That’s easy!
BW: People need options. A health food store will have shake drinks with fiber and protein in them and there are some good fiber bars too.
KJ: What are our best sources of fiber?
BW: Raw veggies and whole grains. Read the labels. People with digestive disorders made lightly steam their vegetables.
KJ: Which foods are our enemies?
BW: Sugar and processed foods.
KJ: Not long ago, cancer was the worst word I could hear on a daily basis. Today it is an everyday word. From your perspective, what are the top “to do” items for cancer avoidance?
BW: Detox and eat a plant-based organic diet. A specific program using herbs, detox, water, fiber, and infrared sauna should be followed. Infrared sauna is widely used by holistic doctors in clinics and is very safe. An infrared sauna produces radiant heat, and the heat creates sweating; the patient sweats out heavy metals and other toxins.
KJ: I understand that several years ago you yourself struggled with health issues.
BW: About 20 years ago. I became interested in naturopathy and became a colon hydrotherapist.
In 1990 I began a clinic apprenticeship, and from 1993-1998 I owned 5 holistic clinics.
KJ: I read that you are also a Naturopathic Doctor. How is naturopathy different from the mainstream medical establishment?
BW: Herbs are studied as well as neutriceuticals, ie. vitamins and antioxidants.
KJ: Are you part of alternative medicine?
BW: Yes, Dr. Leonard Smith, an associate professor at the University of Miami, and I have worked together during the holistic movement. We aim to educate the patient using a holistic approach.
KJ: Has alternative medicine gone mainstream?
BW: Yes, but the media is still behind in this. In New York City for example, there is a lack of awareness by the media in general.
KJ: Today’s consumer recognizes that organic foods are superior to those treated with pesticides. Some people cannot afford organics. Any recommendations for this group?
BW: Buy the washes for veggies for fruits; use natural home products like vinegar and baking soda.
A study called the Toxic Body Burden was completed using volunteers. The average toxins within each person was 91. Our bodies aren’t detoxing as well as we think they are.
Recently, a phasing out of the dry cleaning solvent perchloroethylene (perc) in California has been made law. The chemicals are known carcinogens and have been linked to bladder, esophageal and other cancers. Several people living in a building above a dry cleaning business had become ill, and an investigation was begun.
KJ: When you were writing the Fiber 35 Diet, how much research did you put into it?
BW: 2 years worth
KJ: The book states that an individual goes through 3 phases. Phase 1 and 2 shed pounds by eating fiber and exercising. Phase 3 is a lifetime maintenance program.
How long do Phases 1 and 2 take?
BW: Phase 1 lasts approximately 1-2 weeks and Phase 2 takes around 1 month.
No one is ever under 1200 calories.
KJ: Is a colon cleanse necessary? If so, why?
BW: Not always, this is only necessary when an individual is constipated. A person needs to move the bowels every day, and very well.
When constipation occurs, I recommend a 7 day or 14 day cleanse. Constipation effects the ability to lose weight. It slows the metabolic rate, which results in overeating and leads to autointoxication (self-poisoning).
KJ: In a nutshell, what is the difference between your diet book and the others?
BW: Fiber 35 Diet is well-rounded, is not a fad, involves sound research, and is simplistic. Most meals can be assembled in less than 30 minutes and I provide a once-a-week shopping list. It’s a no-brainer.
Lifestyle is important too as well as exercise.
On my PBS special I highlight a 20 minute upper and lower exercise DVD for a total body workout. The same routine is in the Fiber 35 Diet book. It utilizes resistance bands which can be used by anyone with neck and back issues.
KJ: Brenda, thank you, and much success with your new book, Fiber 35 Diet.
BW: Thank you.