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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | September 30

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Prairie Mountain Health is located on the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, and Dakota peoples and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Prairie Mountain Health has committed to begin the work of reconciliation with the Indigenous people and communities in our region.

Many generations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forcibly placed in more than 130 residential schools in a calculated effort to eradicate Indigenous languages and cultures from the 1870s to 1996.

On the northwest side of Brandon was the Brandon Residential School, which operated from 1895 to 1972. The legacy of the residential school era continues today and impacts us all.

In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to recognize the past harms and wrongs inflicted on Indigenous children in residential schools by making it a federal statutory holiday.

September 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day, acknowledges Phyllis Webstad’s story that started the movement.

To commemorate the children who never returned home, survivors of residential schools, and those impacted by this legacy, WEAR ORANGE to show your commitment to reconciliation. 

Take a moment to reflect on what reconciliation means to you and how you can advance reconciliation in the workplace and in your community. 

Reconciliation is inevitable, though it is how we choose to make the relationship with Indigenous people that matters.  

Nellie KopitzRegional Manager of Indigenous Health, Prairie Mountain Health

Events Throughout Our Region

This is a small list of many events happening within within our region. We encourage you to participate in events in your community. If you are an event organizer, please email [email protected] to have your event added to this list.

  • Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation – The 2023 Reconciliation Run will take place on September 30th. The run will start at 8:00am at the ruins of the original former Birtle Residential School, and conclude on Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation. Once all participants have made it back to Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation, community members, volunteers, and participants are invited to a community gathering/feast.  Learn more.
  • Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council – Tuesday, September 26 to Sunday, October 1.  All events will take place on the grounds of the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon, except the flag raising ceremony will be held Tuesday morning at City Hall.  Visit the BUAPC Facebook page to stay up to date and see the full schedule.
  • Dauphin – September 30, 220 Whitmore Ave (Parkland Crossing) at 11:00 am.  Please join us as we take time on this day to commemorate the tragic and painful history as well as the ongoing impacts of residential schools. Cultural entertainment will follow. 
  • Swan River – Join in on September 30th for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation walk.  Beginning at 11am, Elbert Chartrand Friendship Centre (1413 Main Street E)  Free lunch to follow.


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Government of

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

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Do you say to-MAH-to or to-MAY-to?

Whichever way you pronounce the name of this heat-loving plant, summer is their time to shine! This flavorful ingredient is chalked full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C & K, potassium and folate; as well as antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. Not only are they a great source of nutrition, but tomatoes are extremely versatile, ranging in size, color and flavor profile. While there exist many different varietals of tomatoes in this article we’ll cover some of the more popular ones as well as some delicious recipe ideas.

Starting out with one of the smallest varieties, we have cherry tomatoes. Like the name indicates, these little guys are the size of cherries, are typically sweet, have a thicker skin than larger tomatoes and come in a variety of colors: orange, yellow, bright red and slightly mauve.  Although their size makes them perfect for snacking on their own, they are also great for adding a pop of color and a touch of sweetness to any dish. Try chopping them up with cucumbers, red onion, feta, olives and bell pepper to create a fiber rich salad that stores well in the fridge (Greek Salad Recipe – Love and Lemons). Pair it with some quinoa and chickpeas to create a balanced meal or have it as a side to your next BBQ.

Next, we have a popular tomato, well-known to Italian cuisine: the roma tomato. These medium-sized, oval shaped fruits are bursting with a rich tangy tomato flavor. Due to their strong taste, they work great in any dish to which you want to impart a slightly acidic and sweet tomato taste. For that reason, they are typically used in sauces, stews and even concentrated into tomato paste.  To intensify the tomato flavor and bring out it’s natural sweetness, try roasting the tomatoes beforehand. This recipe: Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce | The Frayed Apron is perfect for your next pasta night, if you’re looking for a sweet and zippy tomato sauce!

Lastly, one of the largest tomatoes are called beefsteak tomatoes; big, round, and mild in flavor. Compared to their smaller counterparts, they are a lot meatier and juicier; making them ideal for fresh sauces and salsas.  Try making this quick and simple salsa (Homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes – Chatelaine) for your next ‘Taco Tuesday’. Or make a show-stopping appetizer to impress your guest with these ‘Burrata stuffed tomatoes’ (Creamy Burrata Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe – La Cucina Italiana). Both recipes are no-cook dishes, ideal for any hot night where you simply don’t want to turn on the oven! 

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World Suicide Prevention Day | September 10

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. Across the Prairie Mountain Health region, numerous activities are planned for the week of September 10 to recognize the importance of suicide prevention strategies and remember those lost by suicide. The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is Creating Hope Through Action, as outlined by the International Association for Suicide Prevention.1

One in every 100 deaths worldwide is a result of suicide, and the impact of a person’s death by suicide can be devastating and felt deeply by their support network. World Suicide Prevention Day is a chance to talk about suicide and realize that each of us can play a valuable part in preventing suicide, whether our actions are big or small. 2. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business.

The power of coming together and reaching out is immeasurable. Often, we fear that intervening when someone else is struggling and asking about suicide will put the idea of suicide in someone’s head. This is a myth.

Talking about suicide is difficult, but there are things you can do. You can listen to people with a non-judgmental ear and remind the person you care for them. You can check in with people regularly to see how they are doing and listen supportively. You do not need to have all the answers. You can let others know they are not alone. You can be aware of resources in your area and introduce people to those resources.

Some activities you can participate in:

  • Light a candle in your window to remember someone lost by suicide at 8 pm on September 10.
  • Chalk your sidewalk with hopeful messages, walk down these sidewalks with someone, and talk about mental wellness.
  • Take part in an awareness walk in your area.
  • Attend mental wellness education that could help you learn more about preventing suicide.

Events happening in some PMH rural and northern communities:

  • Chalk the Walk– happening in Ste. Rose, Swan River, Dauphin, and Roblin. Community members or businesses interested in participating can pick chalk up from their local HERO Club or Community Health office in Swan River, Roblin and Dauphin, and the Community Health office in Ste. Rose. Chalk the Walk does not have a set date and will run from September 4 to 11th in these communities.
  • Awareness Walks– happening in Swan River and Roblin. The Walk in Swan River will start and end at Co-op and occur between Noon – 1 pm on September 8. Roblin’s Awareness Walk will start and end at the Roblin HERO Club (146 Main Street West) and run from 1 pm – 2 pm on September 11.
  • SafeTalk-workshops – happening in Roblin, Ste. Rose and Swan River on September 11. SafeTalk workshops in Swan River and Ste. Rose are from 1 pm – 5 pm and in Roblin from 9 am – Noon. If you are interested in registering, contact Lana Parker at [email protected] or phone 204-638-2118 ext. 1713. The cost to participate is $20.

Events happening in the Brandon Area:

The Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN) will host several initiatives from September 4 to 11th. SPIN will acknowledge World Suicide Prevention Day on September 8, 2023. Please follow SPIN on social media for event updates.

  • Chalk the Walk – SPIN hopes businesses and support services around Brandon will partner with SPIN in this campaign. If interested in participating, SPIN will provide chalk and corresponding marketing materials. SPIN asks that each organization start the initiative on their sidewalk with their message of hope, tagging @spin_brandon and encouraging clients/individuals within your business to participate. SPIN will re-share your posts to recognize your support. Please contact [email protected]  to make arrangements to pick up chalk. 
  • Clothing fundraiser – new SPIN signature sweaters and a special World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt will be available. Funds raised will go towards providing Suicide Alertness training for the community. Please email [email protected] for more information or check SPIN social media for details.
  • FREE 3-hour safeTALK training – Thursday, September 7, from 5 pm -8 pm. This educational opportunity will help you to be ready to reach out to someone thinking about suicide, overcome attitudes that act as barriers to help, talk openly about suicide and identify and connect people to resources in your area. SPACE is limited; register by emailing [email protected]
  • Community lunch/recognition event – Friday, September 8 at Princess Park, Brandon, from Noon- 1 pm. Tables and displays will be set up to acknowledge individuals and organizations working towards suicide prevention and life promotion in our community. You can also pick up chalk at this event.
  • Candlelight vigil – SPIN encourages people to participate in a candlelight vigil on Sunday, September 10, at 8 pm to honor loved ones who have died by suicide or been impacted by suicide. Pick up a candle and care package on September 8 at Princess Park between Noon-1 pm.

For more information on these or other regional events, please contact SPIN at 204-578-2599 or email [email protected].

If you are struggling or concerned about someone else’s suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line at 1-877-435-7170, a crisis line available 24 hours per day. A trained crisis worker will listen to you and direct you to the needed resources.

PMH Resources contact Westman Crisis Services at 204-725-4411 or 1-888-379-7699 in the Brandon Area or 1-866-332-3030 for PMH-North- Call 911 or contact a local hospital or health office.

COMING SOON:   On November 30, 2023, the 988-suicide crisis line will be available to all Canadians in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services by trained crisis responders by phone or text.

Prairie Mountain Health- North Mental Wellness and Crisis Resources


Manitoba Suicide Line1-877-435-7170
Sexual Assault Crisis Line1-888-292-7565
Klinic Crisis Line1-866-367-3276
Manitoba Farm & Rural Stress Line1-888-322-3019
Manitoba Addictions Help Line1-855-662-6605
Kids Help Phone1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line1-855-242-3310
Reason to

1 International Association for Suicide Prevention. (2023). World suicide prevention day 2023.

2 International Association for Suicide Prevention. (2023). Resources: World suicide prevention day banners.

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Back to School

The one chore many parents/caregivers hate about back to school is packing lunches. Its so easy to get into the habit of the same old same old. If you have sent the same apple to school multiple times a week and ended up just bringing it to work in your lunch on Friday, you are not alone.

Here are some tips for great lunches

  • Get help from your child. Children who help make lunches are more likely to eat it. Younger children can help choose between a couple fruit, veggies, or crackers that they would prefer. If you are running out of ideas they might have an idea for something different.
  • Stock up. Have easy to pack items on hand for those extra busy days. Keep stocked pantry items such as canned fruit, granola bars, canned fish, canned beans/chickpeas, whole grain crackers, and dried fruit and fridge items such as cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, cut up veggies and fruit, yogurt etc. It helps to have a designated area in the cupboard and fridge for lunch items.
  • Keep lunch bags and containers in one area. Make packing quick and easy by designating a portion of a cupboard and or drawer for lunch items such as containers, lunch kits, thermos’ and water bottles.
  • If your children don’t have access to a microwave or time to reheat leftovers at school ,consider investing in a thermos. Heat it up by adding boiling water, cover and let stand for 2 minutes, dump out the water then put the hot food in. It stays warm until lunchtime. This is great for curries, soups, and stews.

Try these quick and healthy ideas

  • Cold cereal, milk or soy drink and berries
  • Freeze leftover burritos in single servings all ready to pack. Try different fillings such as scrambled egg, veggie, beef or chicken. 
  • Make a power bowl. All you need is a grain, protein, veggies and sauce/flavour (try – rice, beans, and peppers with salsa, or leftover chicken, pasta, tomatoes and pesto)
  • Boiled egg, snap peas and carrots, crackers, yogurt.
  • Muffin, cheese stick, cucumber and an orange.

Broccoli Cheese Muffins (from Guelph Family Health Study, Snack Healthy, Snack Happy Cookbook)

  • 2 cups (500 mL) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) onion powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ (60 mL) cup bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup (310 mL) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) butter or margarine melted
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) broccoli, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins with paper cups
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, onion powder, salt, bell pepper and cheddar cheese.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk egg, butter, milk and green onions together.
  4. Stir in broccoli and fold in dry ingredients.
  5. Scoop into muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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It’s Zucchini Season!

Zucchini is a resourceful vegetable that can be enjoyed on its own or added as an ingredient in dishes. It is mild in flavor. It does not overpower other tastes and makes a great addition in spaghetti sauce and stir fries. Zucchini is known for its high moisture content and it is a star ingredient in baking such as zucchini bread and cake.        

Fresh zucchini can be frozen to use at a later time. Check out Getty Stewart’s website for tips on freezing zucchini  

Have you been gifted a zucchini from a neighbor or have an overstock of zucchinis from your own garden? If so, give this recipe a try!

Zucchini Bread

This zucchini bread makes 2 loaves so you can eat one now and freeze the other one for up to 3 months in the freezer.


  • To add more moisture to the bread you can add another ½ cup grated zucchini and/or add 2 heaping tablespoons of low-fat sour cream.
  • If you like a sweeter loaf, use 1 and ¼ cups of lightly packed brown sugar. If you enjoy a less sweet bread, use ¾ cup sugar.
  • You can jazz up the zucchini bread with nuts, chocolate chips or even blueberries. 


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ – 1 ¼  cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups packed grated zucchini (do not drain)
  • ½ cup grated zucchini (optional)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons low fat sour cream (optional)
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts or ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C). Generously grease two 8×4-inch pans.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and sour cream together in a separate large bowl until mixed
  4. Stir in zucchini.
  5. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir just until combined (batter will be thick).
  6. Add walnuts or chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges to loosen. Remove loaves from pans onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Submitted by Vanessa Hamilton, Registered Dietitian/Healthy Living Facilitator

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Day |September 9

Every year, on September 9th, International FASD Awareness Day is observed. People worldwide gather for events to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). This is an opportunity to spread awareness of FASD, diagnosis, strategies, and prevention. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term that describes the range of effects that may result when prenatal alcohol exposure occurs. These lifelong effects include physical, behavioural, and emotional difficulties and learning disabilities. It is estimated that 4% of Canadians have FASD. The Brandon and Area FASD Coalition will distribute 700 children’s books for FASD Day! These will be available to program participants at The Brandon Friendship Centre, Westman Christmas Cheer, Prairie Mountain Health and Westman Regional Library.

Prairie Mountain Health FASD Program

In Manitoba, all assessments for children/youth to diagnose FASD are done by the Manitoba FASD Centre in coordination with the Manitoba FASD Network. The Prairie Mountain Health FASD Diagnostic Coordinator in Brandon at 204-578-2487 or the FASD Diagnostic Coordinator in Dauphin at 204-622-6223.

There are a number of programs available that can support individuals with FASD.

SOS CAMP at Brandon Friendship Centre

Day respite camps for children 6-12 years of age with FASD. Camps run one Saturday each month, along with some weekday skill development. The SOS MB program is designed to provide children a fun, safe day to learn and practice social skills, self-regulation, and fine and large motor skills. Call 204- 571-0670 for more information about the Brandon Camp.

Life’s Journey Inc.

Life’s Journey is a not-for-profit agency supporting individuals with neurodevelopment and co-occurring disorders. Life’s Journey helps people with diverse abilities living in Manitoba. Life’s Journey includes traditional Indigenous healing as a significant component of their clinical services.

This agency strives to provide clinically informed, culturally relevant, wellness oriented, relationship and strengths-based services.

Westman Services

Westman Services is located in Brandon and provides services to individuals eligible for funding through Community Living Disability Services. Individualized services include:

  • outreach support and mentorship
  • family support
  • supported independent living
  • cluster housing
  • homeshare (foster)
  • shift-staffed residences
  • day program

Westman Services offers various clinical services, including psychology, occupational therapy, addiction support, and access to a Nurse Practitioner. All services are voluntary.

Rural Connections Program

The Rural Connections program provides individualized services for transitional youth and adults impacted by FASD and ineligible for other government support programs. Individuals must be ineligible for funding through Community Living Disability Services, Provincial Alternative Support Services and Community Mental Health. The program is available within the Brandon and Steinbach regions. Rural Connections offers outreach support and mentorship..

For more information on Life’s Journey, Westman Services or the Rural Connections Program call 204-772-1591.

If you are interested in joining the  Brandon and Area FASD Coalition, please call 204-578-2487.

For more information visit the Manitoba FASD Coalition

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Stay Safe This Harvest Season

Harvest is just around the corner in our prairie region.  We encourage everyone (farmers and the public) to take precautions and stay safe this harvest season.

On the Road

  • Take precautions when driving past or near slow-moving farm equipment.
  • Ensure all lights including brakes and turn signals are working and properly adjusted before moving farm equipment on public roads.
  • Keep mirrors and windows clean both in and out of the field.
  • Be aware of height, length and weight restrictions on farm vehicles and when permits may be required.

In the field

  • Inspect equipment regularly and ensure everything is in good working condition.
  • Ensure guards and shields are in place on all equipment.
  • Ensure first aid kits/fire extinguishers are stocked/full and in good working condition.
  • Clear plugged equipment after the power is turned off and keys removed.
  • Never trust hydraulic systems when working under a machine. Always use a safety prop if you must work under a header or other heavy machinery.
  • Check your tow ropes and chains when pulling out stuck equipment – try to use tow ropes in good condition instead of chains.
  • Have operational fire extinguishers mounted on equipment and everyone trained to use them. (recommended to have one in cab and one accessible from ground)
  • Have a shovel accessible on farm equipment for fires.

In the yard

  • Create a safe, separate and supervised play area for children on the farm.
  • Before moving a piece of machinery, do a walk around check to ensure no one is near the equipment and warn anyone in the immediate area that the machinery will be moving.

Do not ignore your health during the harvest season. It is important to try to get adequate sleep which will help you rejuvenate from a hard day and prepare you for the next busy day.  Stay alert and take breaks! Take a break to eat your meals, even a short one.  Get out of the cab and walk around every few hours. 

If harvest becomes stressful for producers and their families, free confidential support is available through Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services at 1-866-367-3276 (toll-free) or online at

Discover numerous videos on farm safety here.

Resources: Iowa State University

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Swan River area residents receive update on CT Scanner project

Provincial officials provided an update August 1 on the CT Scanner project for Swan Valley Health Centre. Health Minister Audrey Gordon informed local representatives that the CT scanner is expected to be in service next summer. The Minister noted a location within the facility has now been selected, the scanner has been ordered and staff have begun training so they will be qualified to operate the new equipment.

The Manitoba government is investing $2 million while community groups have contributed $1 million toward the project, which includes equipment, installation and renovation of the space at the Swan Valley Health Centre.

“Investing in a new CT scanner in the Swan Valley region will significantly reduce travel time for residents in Swan River and the surrounding communities while building overall provincial capacity for the service,” stated Health Minister Audrey Gordon. We thank the Town of Swan River and the surrounding Swan Valley communities for their contributions and persistence in helping to bring this project forward.”

The Minister noted that the new scanner will help to reduce ambulance inter-facility transfer costs, while also improving the work environment for health-care providers at Swan Valley Health Centre by providing an additional diagnostic tool to enable treatment decisions.

“We thank the Manitoba government for recognizing the importance in investing in health care in the Swan River Valley,” said Mayor Lance Jacobson, Town of Swan River. “This CT scanner will save lives in the Swan River Valley and benefit our medical professional recruitment and retention efforts.”

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August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day

Purple chairs from around the region in 2022

This annual worldwide campaign to end overdose aims to remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

In 2022 some Prairie Mountain Health staff joined in the efforts to acknowledge and support people in their communities, raise awareness about the hidden impacts of overdose, and reduce stigma by creating purple chairs and placing them in visible locations with an explanation of their purpose. Community partners were invited to join in and bring this topic to light in our communities.

The 2023 theme for International Overdose Awareness Day is “Recognizing those people who go unseen,”: aiming to honour the people whose lives have been altered by overdose. They are the family and friends grieving the loss of a loved one, workers in healthcare and support services extending strength and compassion or spontaneous first responders who selflessly assume the role of a lifesaver.

Join us in continuing to be a part of the change. Get Involved – International Overdose Awareness Day ( has other options for getting involved, resources, and campaign materials available if you’d like to host an event in your community. Help bring awareness to the Purple Chair Campaign. Print this poster and display it in your community. If you decide to paint a purple chair or do another campaign, let us know; we would love to see all the efforts made. Email Ashley Vandepoele at [email protected] and let her know about it!

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Grill Up Some Cauliflower

Did you know? Cauliflower is part of the mustard family, as well as being a cruciferous vegetable along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale. The white part of the cauliflower, sometimes called the “curd” due to the resemblance of cheese curds, is the edible part of the plant. There are about 80 different varieties of cauliflower in North America, including green, yellow, and purple varieties.

Raw cauliflower is roughly 92% water, with a small amount of carbohydrates and protein. Cauliflower is considered high in Vitamin C, with moderate levels of B Vitamins and Vitamin K and a good source of fiber. Cauliflower is a very delicous and versatile plant that can be roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw. In recent years cauliflower-based product consumption increased by 71% in the United States as cauliflower started being used as a low carbohydrate and gluten free alternative to grains.

Before you go loading up on cauliflower it’s important to know that eating cruciferous vegetables may cause gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort. This is due to the high fiber content as well as raffinose, a complex carbohydrate that ferments in the gut. When increasing your fiber intake, it’s important to drink plenty of water, increase the fiber intake gradually, as well as chew food well to decrease those side effects. Over the counter gas reducing products can help break down those complex carbohydrates like raffinose. Since cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables have moderate to high levels of Vitamin K, people that take blood thinning medication like warfarin need to be mindful that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables can impact the efficacy of these medications.

Check out these delicious ways to enjoy cauliflower:

Bang Bang Cauliflower Best Bang Bang Cauliflower Recipe – How to Make Bang Bang Cauliflower (

Loaded Grilled Cauliflower Best Grilled Cauliflower Recipe – How to Make Grilled Cauliflower (

Roasted Cauliflower Roasted Cauliflower – 4 ways

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