Most people are familiar with the word probiotics. After all, gut health has become an interesting topic these days and more people are learning about their benefits. However, navigating the world of probiotics can be a confusing one.
If you're confused about the myriad articles on the web telling you to eat tons of fiber, tons of grains, dairy etc. Please be skeptical. Always question, who is funding the online sources that are publishing these articles. Is it a big Agra company that has interest in making people buy their products? Dairy companies touting their fat free yogurts as sustainable energy sources or metabolism boosting? Just because it's written in an article does not make it true or accurate. Always do your own research
"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world" - E. Hemingway. This is one of my favorite quotes and I whole heartedly agree. I view wine as multilayered, complex and incredibly intriguing. To me wine represents more than just a bottle of red, white, pink or bubbly. Making a bottle of wine from beginning to end, is simply an art in my book.
When I posted the article on gluten, I received a response which stopped me in my track. The title of my post was "Could it be gluten"? and I received a reply from a former class mate that stated: "No, it's glyphosate". This got me thinking...
When I used to hear the word collagen, typically skin care and face creams would pop into my head. And if you're not deeply entrenched in the gut healing world you may not know that collagen is actually very beneficial for healing the gut. If you've been following me for a bit, you've noticed that I try to incorporate collagen whenever possible.
I touched on this a little in various posts but haven't really gone into detail about how this site even came to be. So without boring you to tears, I'll just recap a little of what I've gone through to get to this point.
Let's go all the way back. Romania back. I grew up eating real food....not necessarily by choice but because that's how things were done. I don't recall stepping foot in a grocery store in my entire young life as most super markets were deserted and bare. This was communist Romania after all.
Okay the reality is, if you're one of the unfortunate ones to suffer from Leaky Gut, IBS or any other GI issues, chances are you're probably half looking forward to vacation. And if you're like me, you're not cooking nutritious meals while away, but relying on someone else to prepare them for you. After all, it is vacation. So you order your first meal and since it looks pretty clean on paper, you think it's safe only to find yourself in agony one hour later.
I know, it's a bold statement to make but hear me out. Sleep affects every area of our life. Again, I'll repeat - every area of our life. We've all heard the saying, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" It's safe to say that the very endpoint may come sooner than expected if we continue skimping on sleep. We put a price on being able to get more done and sleep less.
Beets have been getting a bad reputation for some time. Because of their high sugar content (highest of all vegetables) beets have been used in the production of refined beet sugar. This way of processing beets completely strips them of all nutrients. Evaporated cane juice is also used in a variety of processed foods. Those are not the beets I'm talking about. Real beets come in whole form, leafy greens and all.
Salmon is truly one of the most nutrient dense foods we could eat but not just any salmon; it has to be wild caught in order to reap the benefits of this wonder food.
Salmon has been a staple in my household for a long time. I make it at least once a week in some form or another and actually notice a difference in the way I feel if a week has gone by and I haven't eaten it.
Last week, I couldn't get enough chocolate. I found myself constantly playing around with some sort of variation of food involving chocolate. I also wanted something fast, I mean under 10 minutes fast and no cooking involved. So I raided my pantry for exactly 6 ingredients and got to work.
Now as I've mentioned in a previous post, nutrient density is always important to me so even sweet treats have to have some nutritional benefit if my family is going to be eating them.
By now it's no surprise that my focus when it comes to health and well being revolves around gut health. I've written about this in other posts.
For my body composition, I find that I function optimally on food that's mostly cooked and consuming only some of it raw. This changes according to seasons, but even on mild days, my body craves light soups. On wet, spring days, I especially want something warming.
Like every busy mother with a full-time job and small children, I used to run to the grocery store every Saturday morning. You know, throw the kid or kids in the cart and maneuver through the store for an hour or so, wait in long lines and quickly rush home to get to the next thing.
But in the last few months, things have shifted drastically for my family and me. I've always eaten in a fairly healthy way but always felt as though I was rushing in the way I shopped and cooked and everything always felt like I was on my way somewhere.
Olive oil, oh olive oil. I just can't say enough about one of my favorite foods. I use it every day in salads of every kind, for veggies and in cooking...BUT the more research I've been doing, the more I realize that perhaps olive oil should stay on my salad more so than in my frying pan.
When thinking about healthy food and gut health, jello may not be the first thing one thinks about. But this jello is different. The main ingredient in it is gelatin (I know so obvious). Not many people think of gelatin as a super food but in my opinion it is that and more.
Those of us who hear the word smoothie, generally think of bright colorful fruit and some sort of yogurt, milk, or maybe water. For some courageous types, maybe a little spinach may make it green. This smoothie is a bit different. It provides a jolt of energy that not even coffee can match. I find it's an amazing pick me up any time of the day. No caffeine of any kind, just all of nature's goodness.
Recently I've discovered a wonderful beverage, called water kefir. I've been a kombucha drinker for years, but wanted to dabble with making my own water kefir as an alternative. The name and process may sound intimidating, but I assure you it's easy and fun to make. You can get creative with the flavor and it's actually quite inexpensive. The result is a fruity, bubbly probiotic drink, that's perfect for the warm summer months (or anytime). It's also a great option for those who cannot tolerate caffeine that's often found in kombucha. Additionally, it's a great substitute if you're dairy free and cannot consume milk kefir.
Curry is by far one of the meals I make the most in our house with numerous variations. It's hearty, filling and satisfying. Since I have small children, I like to keep the spices on the mild side so everyone is sure to enjoy it.
As a mom of two small kids with a very busy schedule, I don't always have time to make elaborate meals, as much as I would love to. Amid a screaming preschooler and a teething whiny baby, I often have to whip something up quick.
I like fat! I did not always say or believe this. As many of us have, I followed the rule that fat was bad. Everything had to be either fat free or low fat. The idea of eating a burger from time to time felt sacrilegious. However, my relationship to fat, particularly saturated fat changed once I started cooking back in 2007 but completely shifted recently when I started eating whole foods and high quality animal products and never looked back.
We all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Same breakfast, same lunches and a few dinners that are on rotation from week to week. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating the same thing, but our bodies very much benefit from variety. Aside from just the basic nutrients that our bodies receive from eating a wide array of foods, our guts are the ones that require it in order to do their job properly. As we've come to understand, we're actually feeding our gut and in particular the bacteria residing in it. These little bacteria basically dictate our health and well being.
"Beef - it's what's for dinner". A catchy phrase which was introduced in the early 90s in order to drive up the sales of beef. And it worked. However the increased demand came with a price and that price was paid not only by the animals that were kept in deplorable conditions but also by the people who consumed them.
I'm sure if you're at all into healthy eating and gut health, you've probably been hearing a lot about bone broth. Truth be told, I didn't know what the hype was about until I had to make some significant changes in my diet due to food sensitivity and decided to incorporate bone broth in my life.
The idea of making it myself seemed a little daunting since the proper way to make bone broth is to let it simmer for 12-24 hours (or more) on really low heat but decided to give it a shot.
To soak or not to soak? That is the question. Most people know that including nuts and seeds in their diet is extremely beneficial. They provide a great source of plant based protein, are rich in vitamin E and contain omega 3 fatty acids. Though almonds contain a plethora of nutrients, the skins contain enzyme inhibitors, which stop the body from properly absorbing key nutrients.
Butter has not always been my first love. I just never really cared for it. Olive oil, yes, I need it like I need air! But certain dishes are completely lifeless without butter. Since I'm not eating dairy of any kind it's been challenging having to whip up delicious scallops and using olive oil or making a scrumptious risotto sans butter. So, the solution has been ghee!
For my first post, I wanted to talk about fermenting food and present in an easy approachable way, that any beginner will be able to do right now...get your jars ready!
Growing up in Romania, my family always shopped at the local farmers market and ate seasonally. In preparation for cold, long winters, my grandparents would ferment large quantities of vegetables, which we would actually eat year around. Little did I know back then how beneficial fermented vegetables really were.