Smoothie of the Week: Belly Soother

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After a few weeks of heavy eating and drinking (I’m assuming here) give your belly a real probiotic and enzyme boost with this delicious, creamy smoothie. The coconut yogurt provides healthy fats and god bacteria to help restore your gut flora. And papaya is famous for it’s potent enzymes that aid in digestion. 

Drink up for you belly! 

Belly Soother

1 cup papaya

1 cup coconut kefir, yogurt ( aka cultured coconut milk)

juice from ½ lime

1 tbsp raw honey

Blend it all up and sip it slow. 

Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!
If you’re participating in a feast of some kind, here are some helpful tips to get you through the day without weight gain, indigestion and drama… 

1.    Hydrate: You know what’s coming so start preparing early! Start your day with two big glasses of water with some lemon juice. We often misinterpret thirst for hunger so make sure you stay hydrated to currb those cravings. Also - alcohol is dehydrating so fend of that hangover before it even happens. Prevention is so much better than patching up.
    2.    Eat Breakfast: Start your day with a delicious and hearty breakfast. Make a delicious hot porridge with your favorite grains and almond milk, have a bowl of granola or oatmeal or a delicious omelet! Getting your metabolism going, stabilizing your blood sugar and especially avoiding sitting down at the Thanksgiving meal famished will help prevent over eating!
    3.    Fruit First: Try eating a piece of fruit 30 minutes BEFORE the big meal! It will hydrate you, give you plenty of good enzymes to help you digest the meal and again make sure you’re not starving as you sit down to eat and enjoy a slow food feast!
    4.    Loads of Veggies: Load up your plate with all those delicious sides! Go for the Brussels Sprouts, roasted root vegetables, green beans and fresh salad and eat as much as you want! Then have a smaller portion of the turkey and stuffing and still feel super satisfied. And may I suggest bringing a jar of sauerkraut as a hostess gift? Those probiotics will help you all digest the meal so much better!

Sauerkraut packed with probiotics

    5.    No Deprivation: Please have the foods that you love! Don’t sit there and stare at your moms amazing pie, have some! One piece of pie made with love and shared in good company is all good!
    6.    Chew: I know - duh, right? Well - let me just remind you; digestion begins in the mouth! Chew your food well and you will be less likely to get digestive discomfort, you’ll have more energy to play when your body’s not busy trying to grind up your food for you and you’ll improve the nutrient absorption. Even better, you’ll slow down and notice when you’re actually full. It’s a win win all around!
    7.    Breath: The big family gatherings can be stressful for all, even in the happiest of circumstances. Make sure to take a few deep belly breaths and relax BEFORE you dig in. A tight and stress stomach does not digest the food very well and you’re more likely to feel stuffed and uncomfortable.
Can you find a sense of calm
amongst all the crazy of the Holiday season?

Meditation in Northern California

    8.    Laugh: Deep belly laughter is the best therapy! Enjoy time with your family and friends and practice gratitude and humor. Who cares if the turkey got burnt or your aunt commented on your outfit again? Laugh it off, laugh at yourself and focus on the good stuff!
    9.    Move: Instead of parking in front of the TV after a big meal ( I know there’s supposedly a big game on that day?!?) - get moving! Arrange a family game on the lawn, get out the Wii and get competitive, play with the dogs or the kids or go for a long walk while the Turkey is roasting!
    10.    Clean Up: Offer your help to the host! They’ll be so grateful for your help, you’ll feel good about helping out, you can all gossip in the kitchen and you’ll get up from your chair and move after the big meal!

Did you know that most of us should be refilling our good bacteria reservoir regularly? Probiotics are crucial for a good digestion, our immune system, beating candida and yeast infections as well as proper nutrient absorption. These good bacteria even play a role in reducing inflammation both in the gastrointestinal tract and in other areas of the body and can help reduce food sensitivities. And what people don’t know is that good bacteria in the gut can actually influence your behavior and even affect your mood. Wow!

So now, how do we make sure we have enough of these friendly friends in our system? Yes – you can take supplements – but even better and more effective – get it through your food!

Read the full article on MindBodyGreen

Wonderfood: Apple Cider Vinegar

When the weather gets warmer cooling, raw salads are great and usually what I crave! All those raw greens make us cool down and helps the body detox. But then there’s the question of what to put on that salad. Sure, you can ask for the dressing on the side and all that - but that’s not really the main issue… It’s what’s IN the dressing.

Studies have shown that vinegar, or actually the acetic acid in vinegar, suppresses the body’s fat accumulation - and for most of us - that’s a great thing! But, unfortunetly, not all vinegars are created equal! The white vinegars you get at the supermarket are very refined and also acid forming in the body.

Instead, turn to raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar!

  • This is actually a living, fermented food - a prebiotic - that feeds the probiotics helping reestablish your intestinal flora.
  • It boosts the metabolism and cleanses the liver.
  • It  helps stimulate your stomach acids, and therefore helps with acid reflux and in digestion of proteins and fat.
  • It also stabilizes the PH in your blood - this is great since we know disease such as cancer thrives in acidic conditions.
  • It helps fight germs, bacteria and infections in the body and aids the body in fighting  candida overgrowth.
  • And… amazingly, it stops sugar cravings! Try drinking a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water (and feel free to squeeze lemon and stevia in there too!) next time you’re going for the cookie jar and see if it stops the urge.

So, incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into your everyday life:

  • Drink it diluted in water to curb sugar cravings
  •  Use it instead of other vinegars in your salad dressings.

    My favorite recipe is just a mix of flax seed oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs (what ever I have around) sea salt and fresh pepper!

  • Also, use it externally. It disinfects skin wounds and is an awesome hair conditioner! It is great for your scalp, especially if you have dandruff…

Eat Your Probiotic’s: Cultured Vegetables

Probiotics seems to be one of the hottest trends in nutritionism and food marketing right now. We know that the good, beneficial bacteria help us digest our food better, rebuilds our crucial bacterial flora and immune system (especially after an antibiotic cure) and increases nutrient absorbtion. These living creatures are our friends. The food corporations now add these good bacteria to sweet yogurts and promise digestive miracles!

Well, there is a much better, cheaper and healthier way to feed your gut the good stuff. Make your own raw, cultured vegtables! 

I made a big batch yesterday and have put it aside to do it’s goodness over the next week. Fermentation is a magical thing.

Here’s what I put in my “kraut”:

1. Vegetable mix: Cabbage, Carrots, Daikon, Burdock, Beets, Cilantro and Ginger.

2. Finely chop or slice all your vegetables and mix them together in a large bowl.

3. Brine: one apple, cellery and two cups of the vegetable mix + filtered water. Put the brine ingredients in a VitaMix or strong blender and add water until it’s 3/4 full. Blend! Add one package of culture starter to the brine.

4. Pack clean glass jars with the vegetable mixture. Make sure to really pack it tightly to avoid any oxygen being captured between them. Add a dash of the brine. Roll a big cabbage leaf and place it on top of the vegetables in the jar and close it up. Leave it in room temperature for 4 + days and digg in (I put my jars in the microwave that I never use!) 

For more info on beneficial bacteria and cultured vegetable recipes visit Body Ecology.

Reek the benefits!