Dressings and dips have the magical ability to take a bunch of mixed ingredients thrown together, into a cohesive plate of goodness.
These dips and dressings go especially well if you like to meal plan where neutral flavored ingredients can be jazzed up with different flavor profiles. Simply place on top or mix into your favorite meals.
Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
Hummus with an antioxidant twist. This roasted butternut squash hummus is incredibly creamy and brings together all kinds of dishes. Pile it high on top of grain bowls, dip into it with fresh carrots and roasted beets or even eat by the spoonful. This is a hummus well worth making in big batches to have throughout the week or to share with friends and family during special gatherings.
- 700 grams butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
- 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 roasted garlic cloves
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Place your squash cubes in a roasting tray and mix with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast your squash for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft. The smaller your cubes, the faster they will cook.
- Once your squash is cooked, allow to cool.
- Place your squash and remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste and gives you a savory option to get your probiotics in. This dressing keeps well in the fridge and is fantastic at bringing in an Asian pallet to your dishes. Swirl it into buckwheat noodles and sautéed vegetables, mix into grain bowls with roasted meat and vegetables, or toss into fresh salad greens.
- 4 tablespoons brown miso paste
- Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2-inch knob of ginger, grated
- In a blender, blitz all the ingredients together. If you find the mixture thick, you can add hot water till you reach your desired consistency.
This garlic cream is so delicious and adds a savory and flavorful punch to anything you top it with. It can be completely vegan by using your choice of plant-based milk. Dollop generous servings on foods like falafels, meatballs, burger patties and baked potatoes.
- 100 grams raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 10 tablespoons milk of choice (dairy or plant based and unsweetened)
- 4 roasted garlic cloves
- Squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice
- Place in the ingredients in a food processor and pulse with salt and pepper until smooth.
Minty Yogurt Dressing
This dressing is inspired from the flavors of Greece and bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors. This dressing is creamy and cooling thanks to the yogurt and mint and can balance out spicier dishes. Dollop on top of curries and dahls, serve as a dip for roasted potatoes, or go classic and use it as a dip for fresh and crisp cucumbers and carrots.
- 100 grams plain full fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 1 handful of mint, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- Simply stir all the ingredients together into your favorite bowl and store in the refrigerator when not in use.
Protein Avocado Dip
This hearty dip covers all your healthy fat and plant protein needs. Inspired from guacamole, pesto, and hummus, this ‘tribrid’ dip goes great with tortillas, crunchy pita, potato chips, toasted bread, or roasted veggies like broccoli and courgette.
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly mashed
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 4 large roasted garlic cloves
- 1 handful of basil, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach you desired consistency of creaminess or chunkiness.
Peanut Butter Dressing
Peanut butter is a culinary staple, both for sweet and savory dishes. Use the lovely creamy flavor of peanuts beyond your regular PB&J as the star ingredient in this delicious dressing. To use, simply toss this dressing into salads with heartier ingredients such as shredded cabbage and roasted vegetables, dip roasted sweet potatoes into, or toss in with your favorite noodle dish.
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter, unsweetened
- Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Whisk all the ingredients into your favorite bowl. If you find the dressing too thick, you can thin out the consistency with some warm water.
Did you know that dressings and dips are not only made to be delicious and to pair well with most dishes? Adding dips and dressings to your meals provides an addition of healthy fats to help your body better absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A,D,E and K. Optimize your body’s ability to absorb nutrients with healthy fats and compliment them with Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes to make the most of your meals.
Meal prepping is easy and isn’t quite the culinary obstacle course people make it out to be. Perhaps the only reason people feel daunted by it is the end result, when we see it done by others, ends up looking like so much effort and kitchen prowess is needed to meal prep. The truth is though, all it takes is time and little bit of planning.
With that said, you’re not alone with the challenges of meal prepping. If you have a busy schedule, don’t enjoy thinking of what to cook everyday for every meal, use this meal prepping basics guide to help ensure that you always have healthy and delicious food on hand.
1. Before you meal prep
Get ready for your kitchen to turn into a major food production. You’ll be bringing out a variety of fresh ingredients, prepping them to be washed, chopped, flavored and cooked. To help things run more efficiently, prep for meal prep by:
- Gathering all the ingredients you plan to use, including your flavorings such as spices, to help give you a clearer view of what you have to work with.
- Having clean cooking utensils at the ready (bowls, pots, chopping boards, knives, storage containers etc.)
- Make space in your freezer as you’ll be storing many ingredients here.
- Cook at the same time. While meal prepping, start with the ingredients that take the longest to cook but need minimal supervision (beans, grains, legumes) and prep other ingredients such as washing and chopping vegetables.
2. Start with a base
A base is usually the fiber in your meal which consists of whole grains, and provide a nutritious yet neutral tasting ingredient that you can easily change up with spices or sauces. Choose to rotate 2-3 bases throughout the week so that you don’t get tired of the same whole grain.
Some healthy bases include:
- Brown Rice
Not only are these grains filled with fiber, they also contain protein, are rich in B-Vitamins and each grain has their own unique texture to help bring alive any dish. To incorporate them into your meal prepping, choose at least 2 grains, and cook them simultaneously according to their package instructions.
All these grains require for cooking is a pot and filtered water and their good to go, allowing you to get on with the other ingredients in your kitchen.
3. Get Your Protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient that provides the building blocks for our muscles and tissues, gives us a full a satisfied feeling, helps to reduce cravings, and helps our body to repair itself from the wear and tear of everyday life and physical exertion. Meal prepping protein will be the ingredient that is most likely to ensure that you keep to your healthy diet as it will ensure you’re satisfied with your meal.
Whether you’re plant based, vegan, or have no dietary restrictions, here are excellent protein sources that you can meal prep with:
- Non GMO Firm Tofu: Marinated in soy sauce, crushed garlic, and chili flakes and pan fried.
- Beans such as white, black and kidney beans, which you can cook alongside your grains.
- Peas: steamed
- Chicken breast: Marinated with lemon, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and cracked pepper and baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until well cooked
- Pork chops: Marinated in lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper, baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until well cooked.
- Tenderloin Beef, cubed: Marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper, sautéed until you reach how well you like your beef cooked.
When it comes to protein, the idea is to marinate or rub them well with flavors that you enjoy. A simply savory mix of garlic, salt and pepper can liven up any ingredient, and we find this one of the easier yet delicious ways to prep protein.
Once cooled, protein, especially animal protein, can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days so we suggest picking 2-3 protein sources on rotation throughout the week, and putting the rest in the freezer. Simply bring out the night before and place in your fridge to defrost and have ready for the next day.
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, vegetables are vital to your good health and should bulk up the majority of your meals. Fortunately, there are hundreds of vegetables for you to choose from that will make ‘eating the rainbow’ especially easy when meal prepping as you’ll have plenty of variety to choose from.
Take your pick from crisp salad greens like romaine and arugula, to heartier nightshades like courgettis, bell peppers, and aubergines, to earthy roots like sweet potatoes and beets. Denser greens like spinach and kale work great raw or cooked, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli are versatile and filling.
On top of eating fresh vegetables raw, try a mixture of one tray oven baking and one pot steaming vegetables to bring out their flavor.
For oven baking, chop and cube your vegetables in even sizes so they cook evenly.
- Sweet potatoes: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and thyme
- Potatoes: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary
- Broccoli and Cauliflower: mix with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Courgetti: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano
For one-pot steaming, chop your vegetables in similar sizes as well for even cooking and simply pull out vegetables that are already cooked while waiting for the rest.
- Green beans
- French Beans
- For washing and drying:
- Romaine lettuce
- Kale, destemmed
Mix and Match:
When you’ve meal prepped, the idea is to simply mix and match your macros. Get your protein, fat and carbs on one plate for each meal of the day. Some great combinations include:
- Roasted broccoli and steamed beans with baked chicken breast and Farro
- White Bean, Arugula salad with baked pork chops and baked sweet potato
- Asian pea, tofu and beef bowl on brown rice
- Roasted vegetable salad with quinoa
A healthy and wholefood diet is well worth the effort that your body will thank you for. Make sure you’re getting the most of your food by digesting them properly and absorbing their nutrients. Have our Digestive Enzymes and Probiotic supplements before meals to ensure your digest your food properly and get the nutrients you need.
Beauty is more than skin deep and where nutrition is concerned, beauty is an inside job. Think that lit from within, radiant and youthful glow of health and vitality; that’s all attributed to a high quality and nutrient dense diet that even the most luxurious jar of cream can’t compete with.
With that said, eating and drinking yourself pretty doesn’t have to be a culinary obstacle course. Mindfully choosing simple and wholefood ingredients will have a beautifying effect that will get you looking amazing from the inside out.
What counts as a beauty food?
1. They’re delicious
Beauty foods are food that tastes good. That will vary among individuals. A good trick with eating beautifying foods is finding healthy foods that you naturally enjoy, and learning to cook with them as this will ensure you can easily commit to a healthy and beautifying lifestyle of eating.
2. They’re whole food ingredients
Food is best cooked in their most natural state as nature intended them to be. Refined and processed versions are more likely to make you overeat empty calories, spiking up your blood sugar and inflammation.
Whole foods on the other hand are nutrient dense and carry the most benefits and bioavailability of nutrients. Where eating for beauty is concerned, ensure you get a balanced amount of all your macronutrients for adequate nourishment and substantial satiety.
3. They don’t cause inflammation or allergies
Food is fuel, and everybody has a different reaction to different kinds of foods. Beautifying foods are the kind that don’t give you, as an individual, any type of inflammation or allergies, which can really make you looking worse for wear due to the various forms of inflammation it can cause.
For instance, where a slice of egg and avocado toast on sourdough bread may make the perfect beautifying meal for one person, somebody with a gluten intolerance or egg allergy is better off choosing avocado toast on gluten-free bread with roasted chickpeas instead.
Beautifying foods should work with your body’s natural chemistry.
Try this full days worth of beautifying recipes
Breakfast: Overnight Chia and Oat pudding
This breakfast can be made the night before, all you have to do is garnish! Break your fast by giving your body all the macronutrients it needs to stay energized for the day ahead with extra attention to antioxidants and fiber.
- 4 tablespoons quick oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup coconut milk or plant-based milk of choice
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
- ½ mango, sliced into cubes
- The night before, mix your oats, chia seeds and maple syrup in coconut oil until well incorporated in a mason jar
- Seal and place in the fridge
- Pop your pudding out of the fridge during breakfast time and top with freshly sliced mango and toasted walnuts
Lunch: Lentil and Tomato Spaghetti
This lentil and tomato spaghetti is hearty, plant-based and full of amazing flavor. It’s got the indulgence factor of a rich bolognese sauce with the benefits of a vegetarian meal.
- 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 250 grams red lentils
- 2 400 gram cans of chopped tomatoes
- 250 ml water
- 250 grams brown rice spaghetti or any spaghetti variant to suit your dietary needs
- 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cheese garnish of choice (nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese, vegan cheese etc)
- In a cooking pot over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, carrots and salt in olive oil until soft.
- Add in the paprika and cumin and cook until well incorporated, then add in the tomato puree, canned tomatoes, water and lentils.
- Allow to cook and simmer on low heat for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the red lentils have softened.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions.
- Once the pasta and sauce are ready, drain the pasta then mix in the pasta sauce.
- Serve in a large plate and garnish with your choice of cheese.
Dinner: Green and Broccoli Soup with a Basil Yogurt Chicken Wrap
This filling dinner is surprisingly light. We go lighter on the carbs and heavier on the greens and lean protein to end your day on a healthy and satisfying note.
For the Chicken Wrap
- ½ pound chicken breast, steamed and shredded
- Lolo rosso lettuce, washed and dried
- Alfalfa sprouts, washed and dried
- Tomatoes, washed and sliced
- Whole wheat pita bread
- 1 large handful basil, washed and dried
- 1 clove of garlic
- 125 grams plain yogurt, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a blender, blitz the basil, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste
Mix the shredded chicken in the basil yogurt
Arrange your pita and top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts, and roll.
For the Soup
- 1 head broccoli
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken stock
- Extra virgin olive oil and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Steam your broccoli and peas until soft.
- In a pot, place the brocoli, peas, coconut milk and chicken stock and gently heat.
- Once warmed, blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency.
- Garnish with a swirl of olive oil and sprinkling of sunflower seeds
Post dinner, ease your body into relaxation with a calming supplement to promote restful and restorative sleep.
With the growing concern and spread of the Coronavirus, watch out for these overlooked places that you commonly touch to help prevent spreading disease-causing germs onto yourself and others.
1. The remote control:
The remote control may seemingly be innocent, but with frequent use and being touched by so many hands (especially if you have guests over) be vigilant in wiping down this commonly held item with alcohol. If being held frequently isn’t enough, the remote control also tends to be wedged in between couch cushions or even on the floor where bacteria can thrive.
2. Your cellphone:
Your mobile phone can be the common culprit for carrying germs and potentially disease. Clean your phone regularly as you would with washing your hands. Whatever your hands touch, your cellphone likely does too. This is doubly important as the common tendency is to rest your cellphone on public surfaces such as restroom counters, restaurant tables etc.
3. Your laptop:
If you’re the office type or work from your laptop or computer, mind the cleanliness of your keyboard. It’s most likely covered in germs as it’s accumulated throughout the long hours you spend on it. Keep germs and disease at bay by taking the extra precaution to wipe down your keyboard regularly with alcohol. This is especially true if you like to work in public places such as cafes where you rest your laptop on a table.
4. Door knobs and entryways:
If you employ a no-shoes rule in your home, good! Removing shoes at home helps to prevent the spread of countless germs like e-coli that you may have picked up while walking on the street. Make the most of this good habit by keeping door knobs clean and sterilized regularly as well. Also, entryways where you remove your shoes, should be kept extra clean as well.
5. Kitchen Sponge:
Did you know that the very sponge you use to wash your dishes is likely one of the dirtiest things in your home? This is hardly a surprise as it’s wet, is exposed to food scraps and is highly absorbent. Be diligent with replacing your kitchen sponge to prevent literally rubbing disease into your home.
6. Your hand towel:
It’s quite unsettling to think that your hand towel, which ideally dries already clean hands has the potential to house salmonella and fecal bacteria. Keep things clean and avoid contracting disease from your own home by regularly replacing your hand towels. A simple way to tell is by smelling your hand towel. If it doesn’t smell clean, then replace it. Obviously!
7. Your grocery cart:
It’s no surprise that the handle of your grocery cart can host all kinds of germs and bacteria. Take a moment to wipe down the handle with alcohol or immediately wash your hands after using it to prevent the spread of bacteria. With the current spread of Coronavirus as well, we recommend skipping placing your child in the cart as well.
8. Your handbag and wallet:
The usual tendency with handbags and wallets is to set them on surfaces close to us. Whether this is at a table at a restaurant, on the bathroom counter as we wash our hands, on a chair during a meeting etc, the point is your bag and wallet tend to get as much exposure to germs from public places as you do. Keep in mind, where you go, your bad and wallet do too, so be vigilant in keeping them clean.
9. Your bed and sofa:
Your bed may be in the safety of your home, but it’s often an overlooked place to hold germs especially when you sit or lie down on your bed after a day out. Think of all the places you’ve sat on and walked through, germs could easily accumulate on your clothes which can also transfer to your bed and sofa. Keep things clean and err on the side of caution by regularly cleaning your sofa and using your bed when you’re clean and with a fresh change of clothes.
10. The ATM machine:
Think of all the countless hands that have touched the ATM machine buttons. Microbes, bacteria, and even viruses could easily be transmitted from the ATM machine to you, not to mention the money being dispensed that have been through countless hands as well. Wash or sanitize your hands immediately after using the ATM machine.
Regardless of the Coronavirus, keeping your immunity strong should be a top priority as the world is full of disease causing germs, no matter how vigilant you are at keeping things clean. Incorporate quality supplements into your diet to better protect yourself. Supplements like Turmeric, Probiotics, and a quality Multivitamin can make all the difference in how well your immunity responds to your inevitable exposure to germs.
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming a widespread and growing public health concern, ‘boosting your immunity’ has become even more of a buzzword than it already is.
In light of current news, good hygiene, giving extra consideration to those who are immunocompromised, and taking extra good care of our immune response are some of the necessary measures we all need to take to protect ourselves and each other.
Besides washing your hands and practicing social distancing, follow these other lifestyle tips to boost your immune system.
1. Prioritize Sleep
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, sleep is essential to keeping our immune system strong. Even just 1 night of inadequate or poor sleep quality lowers your body’s production of immune cells. Go ahead and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary and do what you have to do to relax before bedtime to ensure you get quality zzz’s.
2. Replenish your Vitamin C
We can’t have an article about boosting your immunity without mentioning Vitamin C. It goes without saying that you need to have this antioxidant on hand to counteract immune-dampening free radicals. Where Vitamin C is concerned however, more isn’t necessarily better, but more frequently is.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble Vitamin, meaning your body excretes the Vitamin C it doesn’t need or absorb at a given time. Instead of loading up all at once on Vitamin C, have it frequently instead to replenish your daily needs. A glass of orange juice in the morning and a Vitamin C supplement after lunch are more ideal to give your body a daily dose of Vitamin C instead of 1 large single serving at once.
3. Stay Hydrated
Another obvious way to enhance your immunity and keep it strong is to stay hydrated. Why exactly? Drinking adequate amounts of fluids keeps your lungs moist. This moisture is needed to help clear out any unwanted toxins in them which otherwise make it an environment for infections to thrive.
4. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
As if inflammatory foods in themselves are reason enough to not eat them, you want to avoid inflammation to ensure a healthy and strong immune response to infections.
So keep away from inflammation causing foods such as refined sugar, trans fats from junk food, and artificial ingredients and additives such as nitrates from packaged food to maintain a healthy and strong immune response.
5. Lessen Cortisol
Make it a daily practice to allow your mind and body to relax and unwind. This can be from sitting quietly and mindfully eating a healthy meal, taking a long warm bath, going for a run, journaling etc. Time to relax allows your body to normalize it’s cortisol levels. Where boosting your immune system is concerned, you want to balance out your cortisol levels naturally because too much can physically disrupt and slow down your body’s natural ability to heal itself. This is why so many diseases are linked to stress and improve when we prioritize time to relax.
Consider a stress supplement and pair it with breathing exercises which can be especially helpful if you’re having a difficult time relaxing.
6. Load up on immunity boosters
Vitamin C isn’t the only nutrient you need for a strong immune system. Eat healthy and incorporate these other nutrients as well to keep your immune system strong:
- Turmeric and Ginger- Powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients that are especially good at warding off colds and other viruses.
- Garlic- Contains allicin and Sulphur which have been shown to boost the disease response of white blood cells especially where viral infections are concerned.
- Zinc- Zinc is an important mineral that helps keep the immune system strong and can promote faster recovery from existing infections.
- Vitamin D- Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to higher susceptibility to various and frequent infections so ensure you supplement with Vitamin D and/or get your daily exposure to sunlight.
- Fish Oil– The long chain fatty acids found in fish oil have shown the ability to strengthen and enhance existing immune cells. The EPA and DHA found in fish oil also reduce the body’s susceptibility to illness thanks to their anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Probiotics– Probiotics help to boost an immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria which can lead to infection in the body.
Check out these healthy recipes as well that will help ward off infections if you need any immune-boosting inspiration for the kitchen.
Fiber is essential to a healthy diet and is easily available. Unfortunately, a lack of fiber is surprisingly a prevalent health issue. People who lack fiber experience constipation, weight issues, gut issues, and even mental issues. This very unassuming yet critical component in a healthy diet can really determine your good health, so ensure that you get plenty of it.
What is fiber and why do I need it?
Fiber, put simply is plant roughage. Think of plant roughage as the indigestible fibers that ‘sweep’ your digestive system clean as the roughage physically binds to waste matter, helping you to eliminate it.
Fiber is often associated with healthy bowel movements, but that’s just the surface. You need fiber to get rid of toxins, excess hormones, and even cholesterol, all of which go beyond having regular bathroom trips. Fibers ability to help the body rid itself of waste material helps to ensure that your metabolism stays on track, that your immune system stays strong, your hormones stay balanced, your liver cleansed and issues such as gut, heart, and cardiovascular disease are lessened.
There are two types of fiber:
1. Insoluble fiber is fiber that doesn’t readily mix with water and other liquids in your digestive system. It instead bulks up the waste in your body so that you can more easily excrete it. Insoluble fiber is what you need to literally help move things along in your digestive system.
2. Soluble fiber on the other hand quickly absorbs liquids in your digestive system to swell up and forms a gel. Soluble fiber is responsible for feeling full as well as aiding in digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Where can I get fiber?
Fiber is fortunately easy to come by. Focus on eating plant-based foods as all forms of plant based foods contain fiber.
1. Eat vegetables
Vegetables should comprise as the bulk majority of any healthy diet. Not only does eating more vegetables bulk up your fiber intake, you also give your body a wide host of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants through nutrient dense yet low calorie foods.
Vegetables that are particularly high in fiber include:
- Collard Greens
- Brussel sprouts
2. Eat wholegrains
The world of wholegrains is vast and with a little experimenting in the kitchen, you can easily bulk up any meal with fiber-rich whole grains. Thanks to the fiber content in wholegrains unlike their refined grain counterparts, wholegrains provide long-lasting sustained energy.
Going beyond your usual oats, rice and wheat, try add these other worldly whole grains that are chock-full of fiber with the added benefit of containing protein and minerals:
3. Eat Fruit
Like vegetables, eating fruit gives the added benefit of providing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to an already fiber-rich plant food. Fruits especially are best eaten whole as their natural fibers prevent you from getting a spike in sugar. Regardless if it’s sugar from an inherently healthy source, even fruit sugars can cause a spike in insulin.
Fortunately, whole and fresh fruits are absolutely delicious and hard to beat. Get more of ‘nature’s candy’ with these fiber-rich fruits:
- Passion Fruit
- Berries (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries etc.)
4. Eat Legumes
Legumes are often an underrated plant-based food. As very simple and unassuming ingredients, not to mention quite affordable, legumes are an excellent source of protein, which is beneficial for those who do not eat meat or avoid it. Legumes are rich in plant-protein and B-Vitamins, but unlike meat, have the benefit of being low in saturated fat and high in antioxidants. Like, grains, legumes go far beyond beans. Get more acquainted with this fiber-rich food group, your health and taste buds will thank you!
- Green Lentils
- Red Lentils
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Peanuts (peanuts are surprisingly classified as a legume, and not a nut)
5. Eat Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are arguably the food worlds source for plant-based nutrition that’s enjoyed by most. Nuts and seeds go well in sweet and savory dishes and have the lovely ability to transform into a base for sauces, add a hearty crunch to entrees, add a healthy yet indulgent dimension to pastries, or just simply enjoyed fresh and by the handful.
These tiny plant foods though pack in some serious fiber. On top of that, nuts and seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, minerals and antioxidants. Whether you like to roast them, blend them into nut butters, use in your baking or cooking, nuts and seeds provide more fiber than you’d expect.
Try incorporate more of these fiber-rich nuts and seeds into your diet.
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
Did you know that fiber and probiotics go hand in hand as a power pair for good gut health? Fiber and probiotics help your gut microbiome to thrive. Pair a diet rich in plant-based ingredients with a quality Probiotic supplement to help you look and feel good as well as support your overall wellness.
Healthy digestion is essential for good health. It serves as a center point for nutrients to nourish our entire body and keep our immune systems strong.
Keeping our guts healthy isn’t an occasional practice, it is a lifestyle. It’s a matter of eating the right foods at the right time, keeping away from the wrong foods, being mindful and in tune with how certain foods make you feel, and proactive daily choices to keep our digestion working optimally.
With the main goal being balance, here’s what a morning of good-for-your-gut practices look like:
First thing in the morning
When we wake up, the ideal thing to do to kickstart your digestion and wake up your body is to hydrate and alkalize. After a long nights rest, our bodies are naturally dehydrated and acidic, so what you drink first thing in the morning should ideally balance this out.
Opt for a glass of water, a green juice, or warm water with lemon to kickstart your digestion and get those enzymes flowing. Hydrating with alkalizing liquids before eating solid food or downing a cup of coffee will do your body wonders.
Take your probiotics
Probiotics work best on an empty stomach, so time your intake 30 minutes before a meal (when stomach acid is lowest) to ensure that those precious living microorganisms make it past your stomach acid and into your small intestines.
Get in some circulation
While waiting for your probiotics and choice of morning beverage to work their alkalizing and digestion optimizing benefits, incorporate some light exercise that will get your blood pumping and to center yourself as you focus on your breath. Not only will exercise boost circulation, it also lowers digestion-hampering cortisol and raises feel-good endorphins.
While getting any form of exercise in the morning does the body good, one especially beneficial for gut health would be a yoga sequence that incorporates twists. Yoga twists are meant to aid digestion as the movement stimulates blood circulation and releases tension in the abdomen. The compression and release from twisting movements gives your digestive organs a flush of fresh oxygenated blood.
Time for breakfast
Breakfast, which literally means to break your fast, is the perfect opportunity to flood your body with nutrients first thing in the morning. Breakfast sets the tone for your body’s wellbeing the entire day so opt for a breakfast that’s healthy and filling, that will fuel your body with clean and long lasting energy.
Healthy breakfasts vary from culture and diet preferences, but the main idea is to eat something nutritious and filling. Be sure to get in all your macronutrients (fats, proteins, & carbohydrates) for a well-rounded first meal of the day.
Here are some healthy good-for-your gut breakfast ideas:
Avocado toast with egg and sauerkraut:
- Spread some ghee, olive oil, or grass-fed butter over your choice of bread and toast lightly
- Mash an avocado with a pinch of salt & pepper, a squeeze of lime, and a drizzle of olive oil
- Fry or poach 1 egg
- Top your toasted bread with the avocado mash and your egg
- Serve with a side of sauerkraut
Green smoothie bowl
Blend together the following:
- 1 banana
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 heaped teaspoon almond butter
- 1 serving of kefir or yogurt
- Transfer the mix into a bowl and top with a handful of granola, seeds and/or choice of nuts, and fresh berries.
Warming Quinoa Porridge
- Sautee diced onions, ginger, and garlic in olive oil
- Add a handful of shredded kale and a pinch of salt and pepper
- Add half a cup of quinoa, water/broth and simmer until cooked.
- Top your quinoa porridge with any protein of your choice such as a poached egg, steamed tofu, shredded chicken.
- Optional: finish with a squeeze of lime and garnish with fresh cilantro
Quick and easy chia seed pudding
- Mix chia seeds with double the amount of coconut milk (or any milk of choice), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Leave overnight in an airtight container
- In the morning, top your chia seed pudding with sliced mangoes and toasted walnuts
To optimize absorption your well-earned nutrients from your healthy breakfast choices, we suggest taking a digestive enzyme supplement to get the most of your food.
Follow these simple morning practices to support healthy digestion and overall gut health.
Probiotics are touted as a gut healing miracle, and for good reason. A probiotic can do so much more for your gut other than ensuring that you go to the bathroom regularly. Probiotics and digestive health are linked essentially to your overall health.
If you haven’t started incorporating fermented foods in your daily diet and started taking a probiotic supplement yet, you should really ensure that these healing micro-organisms are part of your lifestyle.
Do I even need a probiotic supplement?
Unless you have a perfectly working gut with no issues and digesting your food optimally paired with eating a fiber-rich diet with a good amount of fermented foods daily at every meal, mostly everyone needs a probiotic supplement and everyone (unless indicated by your doctor) benefits from taking one.
Modern lifestyles have shown that it’s difficult to get all the probiotics our bodies need from diet alone and the numerous digestive issues that affect many individuals compromise our digestive system and make it hard for good bacteria to thrive. Having a daily probiotic supplement helps to keep our gut microbiome balanced from unhealthy lifestyle habits (eating junk food, drinking alcohol, taking antibiotics etc.) and acts as a fantastic lifestyle addition for preventing disease and promoting long term health.
Here’s how your body benefits when you start taking probiotics.
1. Better nutrient absorption
Probiotics and their immediate link to digestive health is well ingrained into our minds, but what does this exactly mean? Simply put, these living microorganisms help our bodies break down food more efficiently in a way that makes it available for our bodies to easily absorb. This means getting more out of your healthy eating habits.
Both macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are better absorbed into your system with the help of probiotics.
2. Happier moods
Going beyond your gut health, you can look forward to happier and more stable moods when you start incorporating probiotics into your diet.
Research is starting to uncover that negative feelings such as anxiety can be relieved and even remedied by balancing your gut microbiome. The trillions of microorganisms living in your gut are linked to your your digestive system, metabolism, immunity and even the way your brain functions. Try increasing the good bacteria in your gut by cutting down on artificial and junk food, incorporating fermented foods, and taking a quality probiotic to help send your brain the right signals to keep you feeling happy and stable.
Boosting your gut health helps to protect your body from the damaging effects of cortisol, the hormone that is released when our bodies are stressed.
3. Stronger immunity
With the majority of your immune system being located in the gut, it makes sense that healthy gut function makes for healthy immune function. If your gut is feeling sluggish and bogged down your immune system follows suit.
When you incorporate probiotics into your diet, you can look forward to a stronger immune system, meaning fewer sick days and stronger resistance to infectious and disease-causing viruses, bacteria, allergens and fungi.
4. Healthier skin
Our bodies largest organ benefits too from the tiny microorganisms residing in our gut. This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory benefits that probiotics bring.
Skin conditions that show up on our skin as a form of inflammation can be lessened with the help of probiotics. Acne, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and even UV-induced skin damage are all forms of inflammatory flare ups that indicate something off balance happening within your body; often traced back to poor gut health.
How to make the most of probiotics:
1. Take a probiotic supplement at least 30 minutes before a meal to ensure proper absorption. When you consume a probiotic supplement with food, you lessen the chances of beneficial bacteria making it to your small intestines because your stomach acid burns it off.
2. Incorporate these probiotic-rich foods into your diet:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Miso paste
3. Pair fermented foods with foods that are rich in fiber as fiber acts as a ‘prebiotic’ which feeds the good gut bacteria and helps them to flourish in your gut.
Probiotics have taken the mantle of the most ideal supplement for good gut health. Needed by adults and children, healthy or unhealthy individuals alike, almost everybody can benefit from taking a quality probiotic. But did you know that these wonderful little living microorganisms do so much more than help us digest our food and regulate bowel movements?
The benefits of having a healthy gut, enhanced by taking probiotics, cascade into a host of other health benefits that seemingly have no interconnection with your stomach, but in fact do. Your gut health can make all the difference in your digestion, immunity, skin and even your mental health.
Apart from better digestion, here are some other amazing benefits probiotics can give you that have nothing to do with digestion:
1. Boosted Immunity
Did you know that a healthy gut has a lot of bearing on how strong your immunity is? Seeing as a large portion of your immunity is located in your gut (think your immune cells) an unhealthy gut pulls down your immunity as these two systems interact very closely and are interlinked in keeping our bodies healthy.
Probiotics enhance healthy immune function. This is why taking probiotics are essential as our immunity guards us against disease and infection.
2. Clearer Skin
Taking probiotics have shown that they can help clear your skin, especially where skin inflammation issues are concerned. The beneficial bacteria’s health benefits carry all the way over to your skin by helping improve issues like acne, rosacea, eczema and dermatitis.
Probiotics improve our skin thanks to their immune-regulating ability and lowering inflammation in our body. Inflammation and an overactive immune system are what causes various skin conditions like dermatitis to surface which is what makes probiotics such a good ally achieving clear skin.
3. Better Moods
Have you ever thought that taking probiotics would be good for your mental health? As it turns out, boosting your gut health helps in alleviating and preventing mental and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
This works through the gut-brain axis where probiotics carry a positive impact on the neurotransmitters that affect your mood, helps to regulate cortisol levels (too much cortisol can cause depression), and it helps your overall cognitive function and your ability to respond and recover from negative emotions.
If you’re not going through any particular distress in your life, yet you have unexplained mood swings or feel down, incorporate probiotics into your diet for overall mood improvement.
4. Less Allergies
People with allergies have a distinctly different gut microbiome from people who aren’t experiencing allergies. If allergies can ruin your entire day, incorporate probiotics into your wellness routine to lessen or even cure allergies.
Remember what we were saying about the majority of your immune system being located in the gut and that probiotics help to regulate an overactive immune system? This holds significance for dealing with allergies because having more good gut bacteria helps your immune system function optimally, meaning balancing out your bodies histamine response thus giving less severe allergic reactions and potentially none at all.
How to make the most of your probiotic supplement:
Keep in mind that probiotics are live micro-organisms. Encapsulating them in supplement form can be tricky business and it’s important to choose a quality probiotic that will actually make it past your stomach acid and into your intestines.
Opt for at least 30 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) to reap the full benefits that probiotic supplements have to offer and be watchful about the expiration date. Where probiotics are concerned, fresher is better as these live microorganisms do die out and you’ll want a fresh bottle to ensure potency.
Ideally, the best time to take a probiotic supplement is when your stomach acid is low. Try taking it at least 30 minutes before mealtimes or on an empty stomach (your stomach churns out more acid with food in it after all) to get the most of your probiotic supplement.
Want clear skin, strong immunity, and better moods in one easy step? Try our Probiotic supplement which contains 40 billion live and active cultures, all encased in our special capsules that safeguard the probiotics survival through stomach acid and ensure proper delivery and absorption in the small intestines.