Eat, Live, Kombucha for Gut Health

Eat, Live, Kombucha for Gut Health

This looks like something out of Young Frankenstein with the “Scobys” in the jar.  These are the good bacteria packs that helps put your gut back into digestion alignment.  I don’t make my own kombuca, I buy it.  When I reach ‘optimal’ health, I will probably do this along with adding a water filter to my home, changing out my makeup to organic/all-natural and not getting mani/pedis anymore, but for now I just buy this yummy concoction.  It’s fermented, but it won’t get you drunk.  I can’t get my husband to drink it yet.

Why do I like it so much?  It helped me decrease my alcohol consumption and increased my fat burning to come down from 42% body fat (Parillo 9 Point Fat Test) to 22% and still losing.  Alcohol will stop the fat production for a day or two so you’re really losing a lot of ground unless you give it up for an extended period.  Period.  Stop consuming alcohol if you want to lose fat pounds.

Another reason to sip on Kombucha is because it’s a fizzy alternative to soda – need I get on my soap box about the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners too?!  I like to drink it on my way to a business meeting to fill my tummy and to aid the digestion process before a luncheon.

I don’t add it to anything, I just sip on it as I would a soda – except in smaller sips and in smaller quantities.  I was up to a six pack of diet cola a day!!!  It was my go-to drink when I was on a diet.  Now I don’t diet and I don’t do diet sodas.  Or diet anything.  I just eat healthy veggies and keep my gut bacteria healthy.

How do you know when you have enough healthy bacteria in your tummy?  You get the runs.  Sorry, but it’s true.  I drink 2-3 a week plus I take a live probiotic nightly and occasionally some kefir (no sugar, plain).  I don’t have any problems; in the beginning my stomach rebelled and I had diarrhea but I kept eating healthy and skipped a day, then went back to it.  It’s just part of my foodstyle management now.

How do you know if you need it:

  • bloating, gassy by end of day
  • not sleeping at night
  • bowel movements every other day (not good)
  • irritability

But remember – this is just one small part of your foodstyle makeover.  Healthy isn’t just taking a pill or adding broccoli to your diet; it’s about making WHOLE life and food changes.

I go to a chiropractor weekly, I take probiotics, a handful of supplements, go to grocery store weekly for fresh veggies, I pre-cook (prep) my foods for a few days and am usually aware of my food intake.  There’s the occasional decadent dessert or the imbibing of wine but the next day I’m always back on track.

FYI – if you do drink wine, have a kale shake next morning to clean out your liver and get the fat burning going again.

Seedy Characters and Crackers

Seedy Characters and Crackers

Seed crackers are good for you.  Seedy characters may not be.

When I started my health journey I was looking for food substitutes for the old staples that I would buy like potato chips and Ritz crackers.  My health coach recommended Mary’s Gone Crackers brand of seedy crackers. Now you don’t eat them like potato chips – handful after handful – mostly because you are satiated sooner and don’t feel the need to ingest truckfuls of these yummy crackers.

If you go to parties where there will be cheese and crackers, just bring a box of these along with you to munch on.  Minimize the cheese (and wine) intake because during this health journey, you will need to decrease your dairy (and alcohol) intake.  BUT with these crackers, since they don’t have sugar in them, you won’t be craving more of the stuff that goes on top of them.

Google some recipes on seed crackers and find one that doesn’t have any honey, sugar or syrups.  The ones I’ve seen use chia and flax soaked in water for a bit which will be your binder.

FYI – Whole Foods gives case discounts on 12 of these at a time.  If you get a coupon (or 12) for Mary’s Crackers, get them!!  They freeze and thaw well.  My husband and daughter like these too *gasp*

For eating suggestions:

  • with thinly sliced cucumber and avocado mayo (just a tiny bit for sticking power) and dill
  • dipped in almond butter
  • dipped in guacamole or just avocado spread
  • with raw cheese (make sure it doesn’t say “pasteurized milk”)

Hope you enjoy them.  Please share your recipes or ideas below.  This is a good beginner health hack.

Fishy Yet Critical for Your Health

Fishy Yet Critical for Your Health

Yes, fish can really stink up your home – if you don’t like fish.  It’s not stinky to me; it’s yummy!  To save cooking time,  cook more than one helping and prep for the rest of the week!!

Cold salmon, or briefly heated in frying pan, is great on salads. (microwave will make it gummy I think)  You can use all types of seasonings on fish!!  Seasoning I use”

  • Trader Joes, Chili Lime ($1.99)
  • Lemon Lime (with no filler)
  • Fresh squeezed lemon
  • Basil/Garlic (fresh basil from garden is the best!)
  • Rosemary/Garlic

Buy only the wild caught (not farm-raised) cold water fish.

When I’m done cooking the fish, I turn on my essential oils diffuser upstairs so it filters down; plus a few candles here and there.  This way I don’t have to hear my family complain about the smell.

Fish, in a nutshell, is good brain food.  If you’re not eating fish or have an aversion to it, put yourself on Omega-3s.  I buy only from or Nordic Naturals on Amazon.

ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar

What?! It’s just vinegar – what’s the big deal?  Just Google it.  I’ll bet when you type in ‘apple’, Google will prefill ‘cider vinegar’ as a top choice.  It’s all the rage these days.  You can do everything from clean to ingest this stuff, but let’s stick with just the basics.

You need to add this to your grocery staples list.  You will use this for beet salad recipes, lettuce topping (when you get tired of balsamic), soaking your oatmeal… yes I said it “soaking your oatmeal”.  Also recommended to drink 1/2tsp 3x a day – optimally; I drink it once a day when I remember, but it’s also in my salads that I eat daily.  Remember! Salad doesn’t mean just lettuce!!  AND it doesn’t mean anything with mayonnaise!!!!!

It’s pretty strong by itself and some health advocates like the Food Babe drink it daily in the morning.  I tried it and it was just too strong for me. I prefer it in dressings.  Here are some recipes to try out because those creamy, oil-based dressing HAVE GOT TO GO!

Tahini Dressing – by Food Babe

Detox Drink – by Dr. Axe

This of ACV as your medicine for the day; it helps with sinus issues, allergies, constipation and other remedies I have not empirically tested, but swear by it.  Good spices to add to a warm ACV drink are ground ginger (or slice of some root), cayenne pepper, cinnamon.  And remember, since we are pre-diabetic, no honey, syrup or artificial sweeteners, only stevia!


Give Zing to Your Water

Give Zing to Your Water

Drink your water. 8 cups a day. Sheesh! I’m lucky if I drink 4-5 a day, but then again, I sit a lot all day in front of a computer for my day job. When I work out, yeah, I’m up there in glass count, but doesn’t it get boring? I need zing (taste and variety) to get my drink count up there!

I’ve been buying those huge jugs of lemon juice from Costco and making pitchers of lemon juice mostly because I’m lazy.  Ok – so I’m a prepper, I confess.  I make ice tea and lemonade by the pitcher a couple of times a week.  Lemon is SO good for your gut and it aids in hydration.  Here’s an article if you want to read about the benefits of lemons – I don’t need to repeat it.

My suggestion is to pre-fill your water containers so you can just grab one on the go – on the way to work, running errands, etc.  This way you won’t be tempted to snag a soft drink (or “pop” if you’re from the Northeast) or over-sugared coffee drink at a drive through.

I like my lemonade with stevia but lately, I’ve been craving is sans sweetness.  I prefer sour drinks over sweet these days.  Your taste buds DO change over time as you convert your body to a healthy, nutrient dense, vehicle of energy.

You can also add these to water:

  • slices of cucumber, lime, lemon
  • strawberries (organic because it has a thin skin) and lemons
  • lime and mint sprigs

The strawberry will get soggy, so be sure to remove it after a day – freeze them and put them in your morning protein smoothie.

THIS JUST IN:  heard this morning from a co-workerouter: chilled Organic Mint Tea with Lime and liquid stevia = Mohito Tea!!!!!

Beets Me, What Do You Think

Beets Me, What Do You Think

If there were just one veggie I would say to add to your foodstyle today, I would say “Beets Baby!”.

When you juice them (remember to definitely go organic if juicing) they will taste a little ‘greeny’, but your taste buds will become more familiar with them as you drink them more often.  It actually adds a sweetness to your drinks and gives them more ‘body’.

Note: I haven’t had good luck with the yellow beets – they tasted too much like grass to me.

Whether juicing beets or roasting, you must remove the peel and stems first.  I suggest peeling them under running water to avoid the deep red juice from getting all over your counter.  It will stay in your fridge for approximately 7-9 days so you can have it throughout the week.

Keep an eye on your – um – bathroom remnants – you will see a change in color, but don’t be alarmed, its just the betanin in them.  Just like anything in life – moderation.  Take a couple of shots a day for good health.

Here are some ways I use beets, let me know what you think (share recipes please!):

  • juicing with celery, cucumbers, 1/2 to 1 (taste it) seeded green apple, small carrot
  • dice into 1/2″ squares and roast at 350 degrees for 30mins with a sprinkling of Himalayan salt and coconut oil
  • spiralize them into a large container (raw) and soak in 1:1 ratio of olive oil and apple cider vinegar (ACV) – season to taste
  • make a mustard spread by roasting, pureeing and adding olive oil, salt, pepper and seedy mustard – haven’t tried this yet, but I printed the recipe