Health starts in your Gut

There are lots of factors that play a role in losing weight and keeping it off. One of them has to do with the friendly bacteria in your gut! These microscopic guys are essential for proper digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. When we eat highly processed, nutritionally deficient and chemically-laden foods we destroy the environment in our digestive system! And we gain weight, find it hard to lose weight and feel groggy, tired and irritable. A healthy gut also helps keep our skin clear and glow-y. I have seen this time and again with myself and my clients. For myself, when I slack on my daily probiotic regimen I start getting irregular, bloated and my skin starts to look less vibrant. That’s when I know I have to get right back on the proverbial horse! And I do. Health and wellbeing is process and your daily health regimen is what makes it happen.

Some benefits of daily probiotic use:

  • Boosts your immune system (and wards off infections)

  • Improves women’s vaginal health - like the gut bacteria, balance is key to the health of our lady parts.

  • Improves gastrointestinal health - a healthy balance of gut bacteria is essential for the proper breakdown and absorption of the foods we eat. Healthy gut bacteria can also help with IBS, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, etc.

  • Maintains urinary tract health

  • Obesity - yes that too! Preliminary research has shown that probiotics can help obese people maintain weight loss after weight loss surgery and Stanford researchers have found that obese people have different gut bacteria than normal weight people.  

What to look for?? You want high CFUs (Colony Forming Units) because this tells you how rich in probiotics a food actually is, unpasteurized or fermented foods.

Unpasteurized probiotic-rich foods:

  • Kefir

  • Miso

  • Tempeh

  • Blue Algae (can be bought refrigerated and you can add it to your morning smoothies)

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha Tea

  • Sauerkraut - make sure this is raw, organic

  • Pickles - again, raw & organic

  • Plain, unflavored, organic yogurt

  • Fresh, refrigerated probiotic supplements

When buying probiotic food products make sure you read your ingredient labels! Make sure that the sugar and fat content is within reason. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar. Look for it to be organic too! You don’t want your healthy probiotics to be laced with toxins. Kinda defeats the purpose no?? I do my best to take 1 high quality probiotic supplement, drink 1 organic goat milk kefir  and/or 1 raw kombucha tea every day. I notice that when I do at least 2 of these my tummy is happy (and not bloated) and my skin looks great! Every system in your body is interrelated and interconnected so help your body out and nourish it with high quality foods!

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Rejuvenate your Skin with Berries

Ah Berries… It is Springtime and soon summer will be here and berries will be all over! Not that we can’t get berries at any time of year but it is always better to eat foods that are in season. Did you know that berries are at least 85% water?? Makes sense when you think of how juicy they are huh? They are loaded with water and fiber as well as many antioxidants. The fiber in berries help fill you up and, along with the water in them, help you get into that bikini!

  • Raspberries

  • Boysenberries

  • Blackberries

  • Blueberries

  • Cranberries

  • Strawberries

The antioxidants these little guys contain allow your body to fight off and repair DNA damage and inflammation, that over time can lead to major illnesses. Anthocyanins (give berries their rich, vibrant color), quercetin and vitamin C are a few of the powerful antioxidants in berries. Anthocyanins reduce inflammation in the body and may help prevent and relieve pain from arthritis. Berries can also help slow age-related memory loss as the anthocyanins and quercetin found in them work together to make this happen. Quercetin is another powerful anti-inflammatory; it can help people with conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Vitamin C helps promote the health of the collagen in our skin and aids in maintaining cartilage stores and joint flexibility. The vitamin C in berries keeps our skin clear and luminous and our hair full and healthy. The fiber in berries help our bodies release excess weight and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Folate supports our bodies in producing serotonin, it may also help stabilize our mood and ward off depression.     

It is very important to be aware that most commercially produced berries are loaded with pesticides and fungicides (Strawberries are #2 on the latest Dirty Dozen list) and these chemicals really mess with our bodies by disrupting our hormones and often get stored in our fat cells. So, get your berries from organic sources or visit your Farmer’s Markets and talk to the farmers about their methods for growing your berries.  Be sure to eat your berries and enjoy the benefits of improved health, a slimmer waistline and great skin and hair!

Strawberry Superfood Smoothie

1 ½ - 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (rice/flax milk are options)

1 ½ cups organic strawberries, frozen/fresh

1 organic banana, fresh

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp hemp, cacao , maca superfood powder (this is the one I have)

1 tbsp organic chia seeds

½ cup ice cubes

**Blend and enjoy!

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