When you sit to eat your meal are you comfortable or anxious about how it’s going to make you feel? Do you take it slowly and chew each mouthful or inhale it? Do you wonder why your digestive system doesn’t feel quite right? Do you know how to create a meal that can ease the pressure of digestion and work on healing your gut?
These are just some of the questions I ask people when we open the conversation on digestion and how they feel within, and then piece by piece we work together on answering them. And whilst we can’t answer them all here today, I’m going to take you through how to create a meal that can ease digestion and work on healing the gut, the simple ingredients and how you can apply the principles. Shall we tuck in?
1. BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR EMOTIONAL/MENTAL STATE
Are you stressed from a day at work? Are you anxious around food because it’s impacting your digestion? Are you feeling emotional or flat? Stop before your meal. Breathe, 3 big deep breaths. Connect to what is before you – FOOD BEAUTIFUL FOOD! Then begin.
From here I want you to focus on eating slowly. We do not need to inhale food, that’s for our lungs to do with oxygen. Our digestion does not wish to be rushed. Respect it. Chew each bite many times, have your knife and fork down in between and pause half way through your meal to assess how you are feeling. Don’t rush to leave the table at the end. Allow your digestive system to rest (and digest) and ensure you are far, far away, from technology. We cannot expect our health or diet to change if we do not implement a lifestyle practice and this one is key. (If you wish to read more on MINDFUL EATING read on over here).
2. GET PROCESSED FOODS OUT THE PICTURE
If the gut is at a point where it requires repair, this stems from an inflammatory state within the digestive system and the body. There are number of factors which can lead to gut inflammation and processed foods are one.
Whether they’ve been in your diet frequently and this initial stage of gut healing is the start of the journey, or if they are only a smidge and you are healthy most of the time (80/20), whilst undertaking a gut healing protocol, inflammatory foods such as processed foods need to be out of the picture – completely. Think of it like having a headache but banging your head against a brick wall? It prolongs the healing right? To truly repair we need to give our bodies the best possible chance to do so by nourishing with whole foods.
3. INCLUDE NOURISHING FATS
Our body LOVES healthy fat and will utilise fat as a primary fuel source if we feed it this way. Healthy fats promote gut healing and satiate our appetite making us less likely turn to gut inflammatory foods containing sugar. Don’t be afraid of including avocado, coconut oil, ghee, hemp and olive oil with your meals. Wild fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel are also wonderful sources of essential fats and protein.
4. ADD LIVE CULTURES TO YOUR MEAL.
There are a number of ways with foods and drinks we can go about this. We find live cultures present in foods and drinks such as Remedy Kombucha, high quality yoghurt in particular for gut healing a coconut kefir yoghurt, and fermented vegetables such as kimchi and sauerkraut. Just a small portion of any of these ingredients alone will up the live cultures in your meal, and can support the growth of healthy intestinal flora and improve the integrity of your gastro intestinal lining.
5. ACCOMPANY A MEAL WITH BOOCH OR BROTH.
These two ingredients or drinks contain essential nutrients that can support the healing of the digestive system. Kombucha, such as Remedy Kombucha, contains enzymes, live cultures and organic acids to nourish the gut, contribute to the growth of healthy intestinal flora, balance intestinal pH levels, and help to stabilise blood sugar levels (and that’s just a start!). Whilst a cup of slow cooked bone broth contains vital minerals and collagen to sooth and restore the gut lining, ultimately promoting gut healing.
RECIPE: Gut healing steamed fish and greens with kombucha dressing
Gluten free / dairy free
- 2x 140-160g fillets white fish such as barramundi or snapper
- 100 green beans, trimmed
- 100g zucchini, ribboned with a vegetable peeler
- 1 small avocado peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup sauerkraut or kimchi
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs of choice
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoons garlic oil
- 2 tablespoons Remedy Kombucha Original or Remedy Kombucha Ginger Lemon
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- To serve : Remedy Kombucha (of course!)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, line a steamer basket with greaseproof paper and place fish fillets into the basket to steam for 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness). Once cooked, remove and set aside covered.
Place green beans and zucchini in steamer to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Whilst cooking whisk together ingredients for Kombucha Dressing in a small bowl.
To serve, dive fish between two plates, arrange beans, zucchini, avocado and kraut/kimchi around the bowl, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with herbs, season with sea salt and black pepper and serve with Remedy Kombucha.
Image, article and recipe credits: Remedy Nutritionist, Jacqueline Alwill, founder of The Brown Paper Bag.