Posts tagged digestion
Genius Ginger Juicing!

You've probably heard me mention on plenty of occasions before how much of a smoothie girl I am... juices typically don't do it for me in quite the same way! I love my thick green smoothies!

That said, I do totally appreciate that juicing can have some amazing benefits for digestive health and to pack in nutrients is a more condensed fashion than a smoothie would. I'm not against them (green ones that is!) by any means.

A few weeks ago I found a particularly good use for my juicer and have been in love with this little trick ever since!

This reason alone would probably have been enough to convince me to buy a juicer!

As you should also know by now, I love my mugs of warm lemon water in the morning. Previously I'd thinly slice some ginger to add to the mug to add a immunity boosting wake up call! But, I wasn't such a fan of of it bobbing around in the mug hitting my mouth as I was sipping, and also I felt I wasn't maximising its benefits that way...

...Enter the juicer!

I bought a big bag of ginger root and a little turmeric root too (for extra super powers!) and juiced it all to freeze in mini ice cube trays.

You get a surprisingly good ratio of juice to fibre!

You get a surprisingly good ratio of juice to fibre!

I made about 4 trays worth (approx 48 cubes). Now all I need to do is pop a cube out each morning and allow it to dissolve into my hot lemon. Amazing and so easy!

It's a much stronger flavour than before and would make an awesome ginger shot. It is also bright yellow from the turmeric- so will stain if you are not careful- you have been warned!

The other bonus go this is that I only had to clean the juicer once! Yay.... not my favourite job in the world and not something I would want to be doing every day if I'm honest! I do love that juicer for it's quality (twin gear cold pressed) BUT not it's ease for cleaning!

So, for those of you with juicers... please give this a tray and let me know what you think!

I always use a huge mug and hand squeeze my lemons... this glass and slice was just for photo prettiness :-)

I always use a huge mug and hand squeeze my lemons... this glass and slice was just for photo prettiness :-)

Almost dissolved! (it only takes a few seconds)

Almost dissolved! (it only takes a few seconds)

Perfect with a pretty yellow hue!

Perfect with a pretty yellow hue!

Note: The juicer in these photos is the Tribest Green Star Elite juicer, it is one of try best out there but all other juicers would also work.... just think, even with the most basic juicer, you'll still get loads more extracted nutrition compared to simply adding a slice of ginger to your mug!


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Simple Sauerkraut (and kimchi too!)

I'm just loving this stuff at the moment… I have a big spoonful (up to 1/3 cup) pretty much every day, whether it be dolloped on top of my soup, salad, stirfry… basically just dollop it on top of whatever dish you've made. Well with reason... I haven't yet tried it on my bowls of porridge. Though I guess that maybe only a matter of time ;-)

sauerkraut and kimchi 4a.jpg

I made my first batch of sauerkraut a few months back, at the same time I also tried making a batch of kimchi. The same sort of principles apply to both, though kimchi is a traditional spicy Korean mix of fermented vegetables and it may have been the spices I used but it just didn't really do it for me taste wise, and since I love the sauerkraut I didn't bother making any more kimchee. I have included both recipes below so see which one suits your taste.

Feel free to use slightly different vegetables depending on what you have to hand. The photo shows a mix of red a white cabbage but you can use which ever types. The kimchi ingredients were more traditional and I had trouble sourcing some of the vegetables and spices but managed to find most of them in the end!

Here's a few pics from my Instagram feed over the last few months...

sauerkraut collage.jpg


sauerkraut and kimchi 1a.jpg

Recipe: Sauerkraut

Makes 1-2 large jars

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage (or a mix of cabbage types)
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1 tbs caraway seeds (optional)

Method

Slice the cabbage fairly finely and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and massage firmly until the cabbage is soft and limp, add the caraway seeds if using.

Pack the cabbage mix into a large airtight jar pressing down until the brine rises to the surface. Ensure that the cabbage mix remains below the top of the brine and allow to sit for min. 5 days before ready to consume. If any mould forms on the tip surface that isn't a problem, literally skim the leaves off the top and you are good to go.

sauerkraut and kimchi 3a.jpg

Recipe: Kimchi

Ingredients

  • 1 head Chinese (napa) cabbage- coarsely sliced
  • ¼ cup sea salt plus 1 cup warm water

-----

  • 1 carrot- sliced thiny
  • 6 spring onions- sliced
  • 1 small daikon radish (mooli)  

Dressing:

  • 1 tbs kelp powder
  • 3tbs water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic- minced
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger- minced
  • 1 tbs dried chilli powder (or Korean smoked chilli spice mix blend that I couldn’t find!)

Method

Put the cabbage in a large bowl along with the warm water and salt. Massage with your hands few a few minutes until the cabbage is soft and wilted. Cover and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile mix up the ‘dressing’ to form a paste.

Drain the cabbage and rinse well, reserving a little of the brine in case its needed later.

Add the remaining veg to the cabbage bowl anf then pour the dressing over. Mix and squeeze well with hands (gloves are advised) until completely covered and softening. Pack into a large airtight jar pressing down until the brine rises to the surface. Ensure that the cabbage mix remains below the top of the brine and allow to sit for 3-5 days before ready to consume (taste test after 3 days).

Best stored in the fridge thereafter.


sauerkraut and kimchi 2a.jpg

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

 

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
You are what you digest!

I had it in mind to write a big roundup post all about digestion for a little while now.

In the last few months I seem to have experienced a few digestive issues myself. I think I pretty much know what it stems from, and to a certain extent it's unavoidable for meat the moment (I'll go into that a bit more later) so for the most part I was keen to investigate foods and recipes that would assist me to optimise my nutrition and most importantly address the notion:

"it's not so much what are what you eat, more accurately you are what you digest"

...There's no point eating all the good stuff if your body is not then utilising it in the most optimal way.

So, what things have I been trying out? As many tips and tricks as possible really- some were little interventions and some are more significant ways of going about things. I will note that it's a process of experimentation so what may work well for me may not have as much significance for you, though you may find that something else on my list works wonders for you!  As with everything in life I always encourage you to be experimental and listen to your body!

sauerkraut and kimchi 1a.jpg

I have a recipe or you tomorrow, and you will have seen my Kombucha post here already. But below I have summarised everything I have experimented with- there are lots of simple tips and tricks you can try out to help beat the bloat (that was/is my main symptom). I have added a sentence explanation against each one but feel free to do some research of your own.

  • Apple cider vinegar- dilute with water for great detox/digestive aid. Great first thing in the morning. Can also be made with cayenne pepper and honey (not technically vegan). I'll be honest and say I wasn't a big fan of the taste.
  • Kombucha- we covered that here
  • Kimchi- a spicy traditional Korean side dish (i tried making my own but wasn't ken on the taste)
  • Sauerkraut- fermented cabbage i've been loving this and it so simple to make!
  • Coconut milk keffir- this is one i've yet to ry but i've read great stuff about it. There is also a non-vegan dairy version. This can be are at home wit a starter culture.
  • Soaking and sprouting- I plan to do a separate post about this as it is a deeper topic for discussion but the general idea is that soaking nuts and soaking and sprouting seeds and grains eliminates physic acid and makes them more readily digestible. 
  • Food combining- another interesting topic that fundamentally centres on not combining foods that have very different digestion rates. i.e combining proteins and carbohydrates are not recommended under this approach.
  • Chewing- it seems so simple but digestion starts in the mouth...chew your food well and eat mindfully. It is generality recommended to chew each mouthful 20 types before swallowing.
  • Pineapple- contains the enzyme bromelain which assists digestion
  • Fenugreek tea- fenugreek releases mucilage which produces a protective layer for stomach and intestines and lowers gastric problems and indigestion.
  • Cooking beans with seaweed- such a simple tip to add seaweed when cooking beans, it helps improve digestibility.
  • Cruciferous foods- some foods are more commonly bloating so may be worth avoiding- cruciferous vegetable cotain raffinose and sulphur which cause the bloat. Similary foods high in sorbitol also have a bloat inducing effect.
  • Low FODMAP's foods- The acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These short-chain carbohydrates are incompletely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily fermented by gut bacteria. These sugars also exert an osmotic effect, increasing fluid movement into the large bowel. The fermentation and osmosis caused by these undigested sugars are a cause of major IBS symptoms such as gas, pain, and diarrhoea. 
  • Peppermint essential oil- The compounds of peppermint oil reduce spasms of the colon and intestinal tract, and, due to the presence of thymol and eugenolbalance oral and intestinal flora, thereby reducing fermentation of undigested food. Try diluting in an oil base and massaging into the abdomen.
  • Slipper Elm Powder- this is the ground inner bark of the slippery elm tree. It is a mucilage, meaning that it is hydrophilic and is able to trap water where it then swells and becomes like a gel. Once consumed, this gel is broken down by the gut bacteria and has a soothing effect on gastrointestinal inflammation. I have bought some but have yet to add it into any recipes.
  • Congee- this is a watery slow boiled rice 'broth' that is healing to the gut and good for convalescence. I made this but added way to much kelp powder, so it tasted like the bottom of the sea (not great).... I will be trying it again but be more careful what I add!
Depositphotos_9615975_xl.jpg

I mentioned up top I've been having a few digestive issues, mainly with bloating. I think for me this is largely down to food-combining and intially came about around Spring/Summer of last year when I was just launching my food business and testing and trialling recipes for my Wholeplus food products to an excessive degree. In effect, now when I eat a combination of dried fruit and nuts (anything larger than a very tiny handful) within minutes I bloat out and feel very lethargic, almost as if the energy within my entire body is trying to help me process the food. It's so frustrating, but they say that overexposure to any food can run the risk of leading to a sensitivity- I think that is what has happened to me.

It's incredibly frustrating since much of business revolves around these foods, and even today I test a sample of every batch I make. In my head I know this is technically healthy food… so it's really difficult to get on board with the fact my body just can't deal with very well any more- I simply overloaded my system in months gone by. I'm trying to find ways to eat as little of it as I can...but it just tastes sooooo good, it's so hard.

Anyway, that's my digestive story- what's yours? Have you tried any of the tips i've listed or have you got any more of your own you'd add to the list?  I'd love to hear from you!

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Make your own...kombucha!

I've been exploring foods with digestive benefits for a few months now and I've got a whole post on digestion just waiting to be written up. It's currently in my head and spread in various Evernote 'notebooks' from interesting articles and recipes i've saved.

If I'd been more prepared and had had more time I would've got that post up for you right at the beginning of the month, The post-Christmas mindset is all about clean-eating, detoxing and digestion…it would have being the perfect fit, oh well I never have been particularly good at keeping up with the times!! ;-)

One of first 'foods' I decided to experiment with was Kombucha, at the time it was totally new to me but kept popping up all over blog world. I tried a couple of bottles I'd bought at a health food store and liked the taste, but since it is expensive I figured it much better to try brewing my own.

kombucha 1.jpg

I bought a starter kit from 'Happy Kombucha' (there are of course other places to buy a starter kit but this Company was great in answering all my numerous questions being such a newbie in the Kombucha game so i'm more than happy to give them a shout out!)  It was so simple to get going- provided you've got a SCOBY to start with.

SCOBY stands for 'Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast' and looks (and feels) like a rubbery flat sea creature. You need to start with one of these... buy a kit or if you have a friend brewing their own wait until they have grown a SCOBY baby they can give you!  For more science stuff look at the Happy Kombucha link above or just goggle the benefits :-)

To make Kombucha you simply....

  • brew tea some organic black or green tea (approx 6 teabags for 2 litres)
  • add organic cane sugar (approx 120-170g)
  • remove tea bags (after 30 mins)
  • allow tea to fully cool
  • add the SCOBY culture to the brewed tea in a large glass jar (that will hold 2 litres)
  • cover top with cloth (not airtight)

......AND THEN WAIT!! (for about a 7-10 days with it sitting in the airing cupboard which is what i do)

I have had a continuous brew ever since (since around November time) and try to have a glass every morning. As soon as my kombucha tastes ready I strain it and bottle it and then brew another batch of tea as above- making sure I leave some liquid to sit with the SCOBY in between batches.

It's kind of like having a little pet!!

The SCOBY is a living culture and it's what does all the good stuff for your body eating the sugar and creating the fermented tea.  

Much excitement a week or so ago when my starter SCOBY had grown a baby and was ready to be separated into two (actually there was two babies but the other is still small so I left it attached for now)  So now I have 2 batches on the go.  If you saw my Instagram you'll have heard about this seperation excitement already....

IG kombucha.JPG

Flavouring the Kombucha...

Once its strained into bottles you can add flavours of your choice if you like. I keep it pretty simple and add some lemon and ginger for extra beneficial digestive properties, plus I quite like the taste as it is. It supposedly it gets stronger over time once in the bottle but I haven't noticed much change in taste and mine gets drunk within two weeks and by that time my next brew is ready anyway.

So, have i noticed any particular digestive benefit? Erm, difficult to say really since i've been trying other things as well and i'll cover why i've been experimenting with getting my digestion on track in another post. Plus Christmas happened as I fell off the healthy food wagon a bit and i've only really just got back into routine. But I certainly haven't noticed any negative effects and I like the feel good factor.

kombucha 3a.jpg

 

Tell me...do you brew your own? Do you drink it on a regular basis? Would you like to start?  

I want to hear you stories, so please share  :-)

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF