happy-new-year
For Your Reading Pleasure

Some interesting links to start 2017 on a healthy track:

1. A gut makeover for the New Year!

2. 11 simple rules of clean eating.

3. Check out this list of 23 toxic or otherwise not so good for you household items.

4. Get rid of the toxic relationships in your life, including the one with sugar.

5. What we buy and how we live can make a big difference for our environment and our health. Some simple tips to be a conscious consumer and live sustainably.

6. Follow us on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Photo by Bitmoji

Reflections from 2016
Reflections from 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on all the changes that have occurred in my life this past year, which there have been plenty. I moved, shifted careers, and sadly, my sister-in-law passed away from cancer. This year, I learned that this really is the only life we have. I realized that I should stop living the life I thought I should have and instead start living the life I wanted. So I stopped daydreaming and talking and finally took the steps to change my lifestyle. This has been a stressful, uncertain, yet exciting year for me. Although I am still figuring things out, I have learned some health and life tips that I wanted to share with you.

Sleep:
Sleep is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself. When you sleep well, you feel better, life seems better, you are less irritable, you have the energy to eat well and exercise, you are happier, etc. We all know what we should do and not do to sleep better and I am probably the worst one to give advice on this subject because I am likely to wake up at 3 am and not be able to go to sleep again until 6 am. However, find what works for you and stick to that routine. Before you go to sleep, try yoga stretches, turn all electronics off an hour ahead, don’t drink wine for a couple of hours before, read a book, take a bath with lavender essential oil….

Home Cooking:
Cooking your own food with real ingredients can help improve your health and ease your digestive issues. If you do not like cooking or do not have time to cook, try to at least replace one meal a day with a home cooked meal. Hopefully you will like it and see the benefits and try to add even more home cooked meals to your diet. If not, buy fruits, veggies, and healthy prepared meals as much as you can. Some options are to make chia puddings in the evening and grab it for breakfast the next day, learn to love your crockpot, and take leftovers from dinner for lunch. Another option is meal prepping. Spend a few hours one weekend day cooking for the week, portion out your foods in containers and you are set for the week. If you are not sure why this is important, take the ingredient list from your favorite processed foods and Google what the chemicals can be used for, other than food. I am a firm believer that processed food has a role in the increase of digestive issues, allergies, food intolerances, and chronic diseases.

Less is More:
I have been working on reducing stress in my life and focusing on what is truly important to me. As I have found that decreasing stress has helped me manage my life better, as well as my symptoms from fructose malabsorption, I have expanded my focus to my STUFF. I notice that when my house is messy, things are lying round, and I cannot find what I am looking for, I become edgy and stressed. By reducing what I have and instead keeping what I need and what makes me happy, I have less to clean, to put away, and it is easier for me to find things. As a result, I am calmer and more content.

Try New Things:
This year I have learned to compost (okay not hard to do but still something I had to learn), pot a plant (again, not hard yet…), make my own sourdough starter and bread, as well as how to live a more zero waste, eco friendly life. These are all things I have wanted to do for years but kept pushing off until one day. This year I decided that it was time to get out of my rut, get off my butt, and that it was finally the day. It has been a lot of fun and although they are small things, they have improved my life and have given me more confidence. Next stop, starting a vegetable garden this spring. Wish me luck!

Take Care of Yourself:
One of my mottos is Trust Your Gut. Is that ironic coming from someone who has issues with their gut? : ) This motto was an extremely important one for me to hold on to this year. Some people in my life questioned the changes I made and still question ones I am currently making. It was and continues to be crucial that I trust what I know I need to do to make myself happy and live the life I want even if it does not fit societal norms or expectations people had/have for me. The only way I will be able to live my life and not have regrets at the end is if, as I continue to be kind to and love those in my life, I listen to myself, take care of myself, and block out the noise.

The Low FODMAP Diet is Not a Forever Diet:
And on a completely digestive topic, I have heard nutritionists say and read articles by Monash University that the low FODMAP diet is not a forever diet. I can happily say that over these past years of being on the low FODMAP diet, I have found this to be true. I find the better and healthier I eat, the more I can tolerate formerly taboo foods. This has made my food options much more expansive than it used to be. I need to listen to my body, cannot eat everything, and have to be mindful of my portions, however I have more flexibility than I used to have which is a wonderful thing.

I wish you all a wonderful 2017!

Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash

For Your Reading Pleasure
For Your Reading Pleasure

1. I was excited to be asked to join Larah Brook’s podcast to discuss FODMAP friendly recipes for the holidays. You can hear all about the recipes and my philosophy on cooking on her podcasts for starters and main and side dishes.

2. The argument about sugar wages on. A review on Gary Taubes new book The Case Against Sugar.

3. I have found acupuncture to help with my gut. I am curious to try electroacupuncture… Have you tried it?

4. Reducing stress and clutter and focusing on what is important can help improve our lives, even our IBS. Check out the documentary Minimalism now available on Netflix, by The Minimalists.

5. Want to cut down on chemicals and waste in the kitchen? Check out these reusable beeswax food wraps.

holiday-salad
Pomegranate, Pecan, & Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • Large bag of mixed greens or spinach
  • ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup of pecans
  • 3 ounces of plain goat cheese broken into small pieces
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the greens in a bowl and add the pomegranate seeds. Break the pecans and goat cheese into pieces and add them to the bowl.
  2. For the dressing, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad.

 

kale-quinoa-salad
Kale, Almond, & Green Olive Quinoa

 Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 1 ½ cups of rinsed quinoa
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of garlic infused oil
    • pinch of red pepper flakes
    • ½ bunch of chopped kale
    • ¾ cup of water
    • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
    • ¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds
    • 15 sliced green olives
    • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix the quinoa, water, and salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  2. In the meantime, add the garlic infused oil and red pepper flakes to a pot over a high flame. Add the kale and water, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, check that the water is absorbed and add red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the quinoa is done cooking, mix the quinoa, kale, almonds, green olives, sesame oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Broccoli Soup

broccoli-soup-photo

This soup was modified from a recipe I found in the Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 1-2 tablespoons of garlic infused oil
  • 4 chopped scallions (green portion only)
  • 5 pounds of broccoli cut into small to medium pieces
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • ½ cup of white wine (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cream (substitute with lactose-free cream or omit if you cannot eat cream)

Directions:

  1. Heat garlic infused oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add green portion of the scallion for 1-2 minutes until the scallions are softened.
  2. Add broccoli, broth or water, and wine if using.
  3. Stir together and bring to a boil. Once soup has reached a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Once the soup cools, blend soup (I recommend using an insertion blender) until the broccoli is blended, 1-3 minutes depending on the blender you are using.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cream and if bring to a simmer if eating it right away.

For Your Reading Pleasure

For Your Reading Pleasure

1. 10 easy ways to incorporate incidental exercise into your day

2. Prebiotic fibers – Good for us, or a hidden additive?

3. How to buy “real food” from a mainstream supermarket.

4. 9 benefits of warm water & lemon in the morning.