MORE Fiber, Fermentation, and Shojin Ryori

Well, my little experiment was a complete success. The low-fiber diet did exactly what I wanted it to do on the GI front, which was pretty darned enlightening, and now that I’ve gone back to my old diet and seen how quickly I go back to chronic upset, it would be ridiculous for me to say that fiber is a good thing for me to be eating as much as I typically do.

Unfortunately, my IBS was the only thing that was helped by eating low-fiber. My adrenal fatigue took a bad blow, and because of my lack of calories (being vegetarian and all), I was frequently low on energy. Unfortunately, plant-based sources of protein and calories often also tend to be sources of unacceptably high levels of fiber unless I go the processed route.

The fact of the matter is, though, that I can’t keep eating upwards of 40 or 50 grams of fiber a day. (And maybe you shouldn’t either – read the links in the previous post.) My goal from now on it to keep it under 15 grams daily; I was doing well under 10 during my fiber fast, and while my bowels were super happy, my appetite… wasn’t. I was eating white rice, tofu, miso, eggs, ramen, and not too much else, and the blandness was driving me crazy. And I’m definitely not alone in feeling this way about low-fiber foods. Moreover these complaints come from people who eat meat too – I don’t even have that much!

Over the course of the next week I’ll be doing more research on low-fiber diets and writing up some recipes for things that I’ve tried and love, and things that I think would love to try when I get the chance. Check out the link in the last paragraph: there are some good ideas to start with there, and the savory bread pudding is something that a vegetarian or vegan could definitely make. Just avoid “healthy” bread – plain white is all that’s allowed.

So to start, I’ll remind everyone of this plain white bread recipe. It’s not “sandwich” bread, but it is hella easy, it counts as unprocessed white bread, and you can make it from your favorite brand of all-purpose white flour. Win-win!

No-Knead Crusty Bread

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. water (or enough to make it floppy and sticky)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  1. Incorporate all ingredients in a large bowl until consistently mixed. Let sit for anywhere between 8-18 hours at room temperature.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450F with your baking vessel – a dutch oven or similar lidded pot – inside so that it can heat up too.
  3. Dump out the risen glob of dough onto a liberally floured work surface with liberally floured hands. Work the dough into a ball shape if you want. Amorphous blobs turn out just fine too.
  4. Take the pot out of the oven and deposit the dough into it, covering with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes or so, then take the lid off and bake for however long until the outside gets brown and crusty – about 10-15 minutes.