Gut health is starting to get more mainstream traction. A friend of mine sent this brilliant article (long, but so worth the read) about different research on gut bacteria and issues of imbalance. Seems there is some connections between increasingly common disease and the microbes in your gut.
Over the past year or more, I’ve noticed how bloated I’ve become after eating certain foods, how ravishingly hungry I am far too soon after eating others, and how my sinuses seem to react almost immediately with certain foods. Overall, I just wasn’t feeling healthy and I was the heaviest I’ve ever been.
Since the beginning of the year, I have been experimenting with the Slow Carb diet but with a slight, Ayurvedic twist. Ayurveda is all about balancing a persons unique constitutional imbalances. At the root, everything we ingest, we should digest and assimilate or eliminate. If any of those steps go wonky, we get thrown out of balance. I researched for almost a year before finally jumping in and starting.
I added a very small amount of strength training: TRX single leg squats, deadlifts, burpees, push-ups, TRX high-low row, and various ab exercises. I also started getting in 2+ walks a week. I just out dairy almost completely from my diet. My sinuses got much better. I started soaking my grains and nuts. I cut out almost all the refined/processed foods.
In the first month, I lost 5 lb and 4% body fat.
Though I was feeling MUCH better, I noticed some interesting Ayurvedic imbalances. I’d told Dave I needed to bring some whole grains and some fruit (particularly oranges and stewed fruit) back into my diet. Then I read the article above. My “gut” was telling me I was missing something. I added in some quinoa as part of a brain food macro bowl and viola! Things returned to balance.
I want to share with you my hacks so if you decide to try this, you can learn from my experiments. If you’d like some personalized help, read on!
I got an Instapot for Christmas and I am loving it. I can spend 10 minutes putting these little mason jars of morning love together, through it in the Instapot, set it and start working on my snack jars. By the time I am done with snacks, breakfast is ready for the next 4 days!
Mason Jar Fritatas
Take 4 1/2 pint mason jars and spray with olive oil. Divy one can of Organic black beans between all the jars. Add your favorite veggies (there are two chopped yellow bell peppers and green onions in this). Scramble an egg and pour over the top. Add some black pepper or chili powder if you like. Add a little water to the jar. Place a lid on but don’t seal it tight. I shake it up to get everything mixed up well.
Put 1 cup water and the wire rack in the bottom of the Instapot. Place the jars on the rack.
I use the rice setting for 12 minutes. Be careful when it’s done. they were still bubbling when I shot this photo:
I reheat for 1 minute and top with avocado and salsa. Just that little bit satisfies me for 4-5 hours! No lie.
Soaked grains, seeds and nuts
Why soak these? Wellness Mama has a lovely blog post on this, but suffice to say, soaking in “warm water will neutralize many of the enzyme inhibitors and increase the bioavailability of many nutrients, especially b-vitamins. The salt helps activate enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts.”
In a bowl, pour whatever nuts and seeds you like. In the photo you’ll see walnuts and sunflower seeds. Over with water and let set on the counter for 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse. I like to dry them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200F. Then store in an airtight container.
I fill the mason jar about 2/3 full of organic oatmeal, add 1 TBS flax seeds, cinnamon, cardamon, and then fill with coconut, almond or cashew milk (try making your own- you get more nutrients out of it!), put the lid on tight, give it a few good shakes, and through it in the fridge for at least 24 hours before consuming. When I am ready to eat, I typically put it in a bowl, add a little more nut milk or 1/4 c. homemade yogurt + 1 tsp ghee, heat and top with the soaked nuts. This, too, satisfies me for 4 hours. Sometimes I use it as a snack and sometimes breakfast.
Now before you immediately jump to the excuses of “I don’t have enough time” or “I’m just not into cooking”, I am living proof that both of those are b.s. This doesn’t take much time at all to prep and less than 2 minutes when you’re ready to eat it. Both travel well since they are in mason jars and it perfectly edible cold. These are super easy to make recipes and can easily be modified to your taste.
I can’t recommend highly enough the book Go with your Gut: The Insider’s Guide to Banishing the Bloat with 75 Digestion-Friendly Recipes.
Would you like to make a shift in your diet? I have a very limited offering to help you get started being more balanced. Check it out here.