Happy Gut Zoodle Pesto

Last week I told you all about bitters and how you can easily add them into your day to powerfully support your gut health. In case you missed it, you can find out about it here.

Every day, I work with people whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, and sleep problems–are getting in the way of them living life fully and with a sense of freedom in their bodies. I help them to regain their health so they can feel great and free to enjoy their lives again.

I’ve got an easy, delicious recipe for you today loaded with good stuff for your gut!

To quickly recap, why I focus on gut health so much is because that’s the common culprit to virtually every symptom! You can’t be healthy and free of symptoms if your gut isn’t functioning properly.
Your gut is where the magic happens: where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. 

Gut Healthy Ingredients

The ingredients in this recipe are full of nutrients to support a healthy gut! Zucchini is loaded with antioxidants, B vitamins, potassium, and Vit C. 1 medium zucchini yields half of your daily Vit C needs! Zucchini are also known for hydrating the body and soothing the gut (partially due to its high water and fiber content). Research suggests that this veggie has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Key ingredients in pesto like basil and garlic are powerful immune boosters AND anti-microbial so they help your good gut flora to thrive while fighting off unfriendly flora and viruses.

How to Make Happy Gut Zoodle Pesto!:

Let’s start with the zucchini noodles (also called zoodles or zucchetti). These are made with a spiral slicer and are a fun, fork twirl-able staple food for anyone looking to add a nutrient-dense, gluten-free/grain-free noodle into their meals.

You will need a handheld or free standing spiral slicer to create long, thin strings. If you are cooking for several people or love to batch cook, the free standing one shown in the picture will save you time and energy. Otherwise, a handheld one is the way to go.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 1.44.11 PM

Zoodles are a staple in our home! Here’s what you do:

  • Slice ends of zucchini off and slice zuch in half. 1 medium zucchini per person.
  • Then insert each half on the spiralizer and use smallest triangle blade for small noodles.
  • Rotate until all of zuch is used, repeating for each zuchinni half.
  • Cook on low-medium heat in olive oil for 10 minutes. 1 zuch per person.  OR bake in the oven on a tray lined with paper towels (to soak up moisture) at 250 for 20  mins (this yields a firmer zoodle, which I love).
  • Top this with pesto, or fresh tomatoes, a homemade tomato sauce, and/or protein of choice) and stir well.
    • I love Pasta Mike’s organic pesto sauce (made with olive oil, not canola or soy)~look for a brand that uses quality oil!
    • Favorite toppings are hardboiled eggs (shown below), sausage, grilled chicken, or shrimp.

Enjoy this delicious and happy gut zoodle pesto!

​​​​​Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health. 🙂

~Rebecca

Zoodle Pesto

Also called zoodles or zucchetti, zucchini noodles made with a spiral slicer are a fun, fork twirl-able staple food for anyone looking to add a nutrient-dense, gluten-free/grain-free, Paleo compatible noodle into their meals.

You will need a spiral slicer like this one to create long, thin strings.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 1.44.11 PM

Zoodles are a staple in our home! Here’s what you do:

Get a handheld or free standing spiral slicer. If you have a family or love to batch cook, the free standing one shown in the picture will save you time and energy. Otherwise, a handheld one is the way to go.

  • Slice ends of zuchinni off and slice zuch in half.
  • Then insert each half on the spiralizer and use smallest triangle blade for small noodles.
  • Rotate until all of zuch is used, repeating for each zuchinni half.
  • Cook on low-medium heat in olive oil for 10 minutes. 1 zuch per person.  OR bake in the oven on a tray lined with paper towels (to soak up moisture) at 250 for 20  mins (this yields a firmer zoodle, which I love).
  • Top this with pesto, or fresh tomatoes, a homemade tomato sauce, and/or protein of choice) and stir well.
    • I love Pasta Mike’s organic pesto sauce (made with olive oil, not canola or soy)~look for a brand that uses quality oil!
    • Favorite toppings are hardboiled eggs, sausage, grilled chicken, or shrimp.

Enjoy!

 

The bitter belly truth

Last week I let you in on a secret gut healing ingredient. In case you missed it, you can find out about it here.

Every day, I work with people whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, and sleep problems–are getting in the way of them living life fully and with a sense of freedom in their bodies. I help them to regain their health so they can feel great and free to enjoy their lives again.

I’ve got an awesome topic to share with you today that can help you experience better gut health. To quickly recap, why I focus on gut health so much is because that’s the common culprit to virtually every symptom! Your gut is where the magic happens: where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. You can’t be healthy and free of symptoms if your gut isn’t functioning properly.

Today, I want to talk to you about how bitter foods support your gut health and some super easy ways to add them into your day.

Why are bitter foods awesome for my gut?

Bitter foods have been used for many years to stimulate digestive juices (the stuff your body makes to break down the food you eat so you can use it for everything in your life: work, play, being generally wonderful). Bitter foods increase your 3 digestive powerhouses: stomach acid, enzymes, and bile. Without these guys, there won’t be any magic happening. You won’t be able to break apart your food so you’re going to experience symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, bloating, gas, and/or bathroom trouble to name a few.

What are bitter foods/drinks?

Examples of bitter foods and drinks are:

  • Arugula
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bitter Melon
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Chicory or Chicory Tea
  • Chocolate (like cacao nibs or 70% or more cacao)
  • Coffee
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Dandelion Tea
  • Endive

Super easy ways to add in bitters

Some tips to add bitters into your day are to enjoy a bitterbeverage like dandelion or chicory tea (2 of my favorites are Teeccino Dandelion Caramel Nut and Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion), toss a handful of bittergreens like arugula into your salad, soup, or stew, use apple cider vinegar in your dressing, or use endive leaves like a chip or cracker and dip in guacamole, salsa, or favorite healthy dressing (see picture below).
If eating or drinking bitter things is totally new for you, have patience with yourself when adding them in. Pick one of the suggestions I’ve shared with you to enjoy this week and build from there. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. You’ll be on your way to a better functioning belly!

​​​​​Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health. 🙂

~Rebecca

The missing ingredient your gut needs to heal!

Last week I shared an awesome immune boosting soup recipe with you. In case you missed it, you can check it out here.

Every day, I work with people whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, and sleep problems–are getting in the way of them living life fully and with a sense of freedom in their bodies. I help them to regain their health so they can feel great and enjoy their lives again.

That’s why today, I’m going to let you in on a gut healing ingredient that often gets overlooked. In case you’re wondering why I focus on the gut so much, it’s because that’s the common culprit to virtually every symptom! You can’t be healthy and free of symptoms if your gut isn’t functioning properly. Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.

Well, just like you need food to stay alive, so do the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut and make life possible. You can learn more about them here if you’d like.

Today, I want to focus on the food that your good gut bugs must have in order for your gut to heal: prebiotics. Plus, at the very end of this article, I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite nutrient superheros!

What is a prebiotic?

The friendly bugs in your gut (probiotics) need to eat.  And not just anything will do. They need to eat prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber. These are types of foods that pass through the upper part of your gut without being digested (broken down). You see, your body can’t fully break them down, but that’s the key! These prebiotic foods pass on through you until they reach the lower part of your gut (your colon), where your gut bugs get to feast on them.

What foods are rich in prebiotics?

Examples of prebiotics are raw or cooked leeks, jicama, raw dandelion greens, raw or cooked onions, garlic, banana, Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes), raw chicory root, and raw asparagus, Konjac root (ever heard of Shiritaki noodles?), and cocoa (yes!).

Now, I know that many of my clients started out not being able to digest raw foods well until they did some gut healing. If you don’t tolerate raw foods, then I encourage you to lightly cook some of these prebiotic powerhouses like onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, and sunchokes. As your gut heals, you will likely be able to tolerate raw foods better.

One other thing I’d like to add here is that if you aren’t eating many of these prebiotics, start out slowly and with small amounts. You don’t need to eat pounds of these foods. Add in a small amount each day or two and see how you feel. About 5 grams of prebiotics per day is recommended and you may need to work up to it.

You can also speed your healing along by adding in this nutrient superhero called Oceans Alive. I take it every single day as part of my self-care routine so that my body gets a concentrated dose of easily absorbable superfood. I’m a big fan.
Okay, so that’s all for this week. I’m so excited for you to start nourishing your body with the missing ingredients we talked about today.

​​​​​Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health. 🙂

~Rebecca

How to drink your way to a healthier gut!

You can’t be healthy or feel your best if your gut isn’t working well. Today I want to give you a simple tip on how to boost the health of your gut!

Your gut has tens of trillions of microorganisms! The many species of bacteria that make up your gut flora (1,000 or more) have over 3 million genes total: about 150 times more than your own! Pretty amazing, right?!. As you can imagine, making sure to keep your gut microbiota healthy is essential to your own wellness.

There are many ways to impact your gut bugs with diet and lifestyle. One tool I want to share with you today is a refreshing non-dairy, sugar-free sparkling probiotic beverage called Kvass by Biotic Beverages (there are many brands, I like this one because it is local, organic, and tasty).  This kvass has live probiotics and minerals to nourish your gut bugs. The ginger and beet flavors are my favorites.

Eating a nutrient-rich diet is also key for supporting your gut microbiota. But what the heck does that mean?! Good question! It’s not the same for everyone! The foods you (and your gut bugs) need to thrive isn’t going to be the same as everyone else. In my interview that airs May 1st, I’ll be talking more about this and the test that I give to every client so that they know their optimal diet. Make sure you are signed up so you get access to the interview!

In the meantime, eat organic veggies and fruits, eat some protein at each meal along with some quality fats like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, butter, and olive oil. Drink water throughout the day (aim for half your body weight in ounces each day!) and include fermented foods/drinks like kvass.
For more information on how to take your gut health to the next level, take advantage of a free Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me today!

​​​​​Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health. 🙂

~Rebecca

Top 20 High Fiber, Low Carb Veggies

Today we’re going to talk about how you can feel more satisfied from your meals, keep your appetite in check, and encourage your body to sustain a healthy amount of body fat.

There’s a happy balance between getting plenty of fiber in your diet and nutrient dense carbs versus high starch ones. You see, foods like grains, veggies, and fruits are all sources of carbohydrates. They differ greatly in how much fiber they provide and how much starch (plant sugar) they have.

Over the years of working with many clients, I’ve noticed that the majority of people who struggle to release body fat for good and feel satisfied after their meals tended to be eating too much starch and not enough fiber.

What are net carbs?

Simple. You take the total amount of carbs in a food and subtract out the fiber. Fiber isn’t digestible and so it doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin, but it’s great for your healthy gut bacteria, helps digestion, and supports sustained weight release.

Before checking out the Top 20 list, I want to invite any Bay Area locals to join me this Saturday, Feb 3rd to attend Stress & Your Gut, a free wellness talk on how to release extra weight, improve energy and improve digestion. Please see the Upcoming Events column on the right for details.

Top 20 List

The following 20 veggies are all low in net carbs. When serving size is equal (1/2 cup, 100 grams), here’s the list from least net carbs to most net carbs.

  1. Broccoli raab (total carbs=2.85, fiber=2.7, net carbs=.15)
  2. Watercress (total carbs=1.29, fiber=.5, net carbs=.79)
  3. Bok Choy (total carbs=2.18, fiber=1, net carbs=1.18)
  4. Celery (total carbs=2.97, fiber=1.6, net carbs=1.37)
  5. Spinach (total carbs=3.63, fiber=2.2, net carbs=1.43)
  6. Mustard Greens (total carbs=4.67, fiber=3.2, net carbs=1.47)
  7. Asparagus (total carbs=3.88, fiber=2.1, net carbs=1.78)
  8. Radish (total carbs=3.4, fiber=1.6, net carbs=1.8)
  9. Avocado (total carbs=8.64, fiber=6.8, net carbs=1.84)
  10. Arugula (total carbs=3.65, fiber=1.6, net carbs=2.05)
  11. Zucchini (total carbs=3.11, fiber=1, net carbs=2.11)
  12. Swiss Chard (total carbs=3.74, fiber=1.6, net carbs=2.14)
  13. Mushrooms (total carbs=3.26, fiber=1, net carbs=2.26)
  14. Kohlrabi (total carbs=6.2, fiber=3.6, net carbs=2.6)
  15. Tomato (total carbs=3.89, fiber=1.2, net carbs=2.69)
  16. Olives (total carbs=6, fiber=3.2, net carbs=2.8)
  17. Eggplant (total carbs=5.88, fiber=3, net carbs=2.88)
  18. Bell pepper (total carbs4.6, fiber=1.7, net carbs=2.9)
  19. Cauliflower (total carbs=4.97, fiber=2, net carbs=2.97)
  20. Green cabbage (total carbs=6.1, fiber=3.1, net carbs=3)

Start replacing high starch foods like breads, crackers, pastas, and sweets with more of these foods. You can start by replacing even half of your usual high starch portion with one of these higher fiber, nutrient dense options.

Want even more guidance and support? I’d love to hear from you! Click here and tell me how I can help.

Until next time, I’m wishing you Unstoppable Health!

~Rebecca

Miso Mushroom Soup

Last week I posted a picture on FaceBook of this soup I made and so many of you wanted the recipe…so here you go!

I love this soup because it is full of immune boosting ingredients and is incredibly flavorful.

By the way, this recipe is modified from VeganYackAttack.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 2 large white onions, thin half-slices (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups bone broth (or water)
  • 2 Tbs. miso paste (red or yellow)
  • 1 12 oz. package raw kelp noodles, rinsed
  • 1.5 tsps. coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • Optional: 1 sheet nori seaweed, torn into smaller pieces
  • Optional: 1 tsp. hot pepper sesame oil or coconut oil

How to:

  • Crush garlic and set aside
  • Place 2 tbs. water in a large pot over medium heat and add the sliced onions. Cover with lid and stir every 2-3 mins. Add the garlic once the onions start to turn clear.
  • After 7-8 mins, add the mushrooms and cover with lid, stirring occasionally. Cook for a few mins until the mushrooms soften.
  • Add broth or water and stir in the miso paste and add kelp noodles. Cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Once the noodles have relaxed, add the seaweed pieces, hot sesame oil and liquid aminos. Stir and serve!

Until next time, I’m wishing you Unstoppable Health!

~Rebecca

 

Gut healing & anti-inflammatory soup

Do you feel like your gut health could use some support? You’re probably right!
Most of us need to take at least one healthy action each day to offset the many ways our gut gets damaged and stressed simply by living a busy lifestyle.
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes with you and it is full of great gut healing & anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Why is this soup so healing?

This soup is loaded with nutrients that help your gut lining to heal, strengthen your immune system, aid in the balance of inflammation, and provide your body with key vitamins and minerals that support your muscles, brain, skin, and connective tissue.
For more information on the benefits of bone broth, click here.

Slow Cooker Chicken Veggie Soup

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 large carrot, organic and unpeeled, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small patty pan squash (yellow), chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs. Italian seasoning, 2 tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • Splash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bunch Dino kale (optional)
  1. In a large slow cooker, add chicken thighs, water, herbs, salt, and lemon or vinegar.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hrs. or overnight on low.
  3. Add veggies and cook another 2 hrs.
  4. If adding kale, add it 1 hr before serving.

You can enjoy the soup any time of the day, even breakfast!

For more information on how to take your gut health to the next level, take advantage of a free Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me today!

​​​​​Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health. 🙂

~Rebecca

3 Nutritional Secrets for Longevity

Much as you may want to, you can’t freeze time and stop the aging process. However, there are certainly things that you CAN do to make your body and mind more healthy and youthful.
Today I’d like to share 3 nutritional secrets with you about how you can more effectively protect your cells from accelerated aging so you can experience better energy, less symptoms, and enjoy life more fully.

Secret #1:

Lemon balm tea
Lemon balm tea fends off DNA damage (especially from radiation), increases your master cell protector (antioxidant), glutathione, and boosts brain health.
In the study on how lemon balm tea reduced cell damage, participants drank 2 cups/day for 30 days and significant improvements were shown. Lemon balm also boosts brain health by eliminating free radicals that damage brain cells (it contains eugenol, a powerful antioxidant). It also contains rosmarinic acid which has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain. Lemon balm has also been shown to improve GABA, a calming brain chemical that protects brain cells from over excitation which can result in cell death.

Secret #2:

Reduce toxin exposure. Toxins are unavoidable and yet there’s so much you can do to protect your body against toxins and extend the life of your cells! When your cells get damaged, you can’t fight disease effectively and you certainly don’t feel your best.
Toxins include things like pesticides, heavy metals, and even household products like air fresheners (more on that another time!). You can reduce your toxin exposure by drinking plenty of clean, filtered water; eating organic food that’s free of pesticides and other toxic chemicals, sweating (exercise, sauna), and breathing clean air. What you do consistently and frequently adds up fast so dialing in your food, water, breathing, and movement makes a huge impact over time.

Secret #3:

Replace key nutrients. I mentioned glutathione earlier. It’s your body’s master cellular protector. One of the building blocks your body needs to make glutathione is an amino acid called cysteine. It’s found in high amounts in animal protein (chicken, duck, turkey, pork, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, and ricotta) as well as broccoli, red peppers and onions.
Sulfur-rich foods like arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and eggs are also needed to make glutathione.

When you approach your health with the attitude that your body was designed to be healthy and that how you take care of yourself really matters, it’s a game changer! Symptoms are common at any age. More and more I am seeing younger people struggling with their health. I also know it’s possible to be older in years and feel great in your body because I have clients who are living proof.
Use these 3 secrets to clear the path for your innate healing to occur so you can enjoy your life more fully.
If you would like to explore how to take your health to the next level faster, let’s chat about it!
You can set up a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me here.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

The hormone that helps you heal, lose weight, and feel great!

Did you know that there is a hormone that boosts your immune system, wound-healing, longevity, digestion, and weight loss?
It turns out that oxytocin, also known as the love hormone or bonding hormone, has a greater impact on our health than it’s gotten credit for.

Here are some benefits of stable oxytocin levels:

  • Reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improved blood sugar levels and weight loss (reduce emotional eating and help reduce appetite)
  • Improves gut motility and decreases intestinal inflammation (Both oxytocin and the receptor site for oxytocin have been found in the intestinal tract!)

A little more on that inflammation point, Dr. Michael Gershon, author of The Second Brain (a great book detailing how the gut works) and chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia University, found that oxytocin reduces gastrointestinal inflammation. Besides being painful, intestinal inflammation can also contribute to:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Systemic infections within the gut, imbalances in your gut flora

So oxytocin is a healing hormone! And the great news is that you stimulate production of oxytocin when you:

  • Give and receive hugs (20 seconds long is best! And aim for 8 per day)
  • Express genuine gratitude
  • Express love
  • Give a gift or do something nice for someone
  • Talk with a friend (in person or on the phone)
  • Take a walk (in nature is best)
  • Listen to music you love
  • Laugh out loud
  • Have orgasms
  • Get a massage
  • Pet a pet

I’m excited for you to get into the routine of boosting your oxytocin levels and start feeling even healthier and more vibrant.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca