Italian Chopped Salad

A friend of mine brought this salad over for a potluck and we absolutely loved it! The recipe below has some modifications that I prefer. I recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients for Salad:

1 head of romaine lettuce, cleaned and cut into bite sizes

1 small red onion, finely sliced

1/2 lb provolone or mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (my friend prefers smoked gouda)

1 15-oz can of chickpeas (I love Eden Organics)

1/4-1/2 lb salami, cut into bite sized pieces

3/4 lb cherry tomatoes (you can leave them whole or slice in half)

4 medium pepperoncinis, cut into bite sized pieces

Dressing:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 T dried oregano

2 tsps salt

2 T lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp black pepper

How to:

There’s a lot of chopping, so put on some good music or a podcast before you get started.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and then mix up the dressing in a separate bowl. Combine just before serving and mix really well. This is a large salad and it will taste good as leftovers for a couple of days, but it is best if you are feeding a larger group (6 people or so). Enjoy!

Oil Pulling with Castor Oil (for oral health)

The health of your mouth greatly effects the rest of your body and vice versa. Today I want to focus on your oral biome (the bacterial makeup of your mouth) and some ways that you can elevate your oral health, which will benefit your whole body.
First of all, oil pulling is a centuries old Ayurvedic practice that promotes reducing toxins in the mouth by swishing oil around the mouth for several minutes and then spitting it out (step by step guide below).


Improving the bacterial balance in your mouth supports both your upstream health and your downstream health: It’s kinda gross to think about, but we swallow gallons of saliva throughout the day. Your whole microbiome benefits by improving the bugs that are hanging out in your mouth!

Benefits of Oil Pulling

  • Whitens teeth
  • Freshens breath
  • improves the balance of healthy bacteria versus unfriendly flora which contributes to tooth decay and gum disease
  • Breaks down biofilm (protective layer that bacteria creates to stop you from killing it)–
    castor oil is one of the few oils that can break down harmful biofilm according to periodontal medicine studies
  • Encourages healthy gums

Step by Step Guide

  1. Pour up to 1 tbsp of oil onto a spoon. I recommend a high quality castor oil (in glass bottle vs plastic) since it gets the job done efficiently (2 minutes versus the 20 mins that are recommended for coconut or sesame oil).
  2. Swish the oil around your mouth well, pulling it through your teeth,  for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spit the oil out in the trash when you’re done (will be frothy and white).
  4. Brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth thoroughly.


I hope that this information is helpful to you. It’s a pretty easy habit to piggyback onto your oral health routine (you can do it while you get your toothbrush ready, or pick out your clothes for the day, etc) with clear benefits.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. Through testing and coaching, I can help you to discover where your best health has been hiding.

If you’re ready to take your health to the next level, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

Colonoscopy Prep Alternatives (Microbiome Friendly)

Recently I read an article about how colon cancer is on the rise in Americans under age 55. While the exact causes are unknown, unhealthy diets, alcohol intake, and sedentary lifestyles are believed to contribute.
Most of my newsletters focus on actions you can take to improve your diet and lifestyle so today I thought I’d share some thoughts on how to support your gut health while using early detection screenings.


There are 4 screening tests recommended by doctors to find polyps and/or colorectal cancer: stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy–the one most everyone has heard of, and CT Colonography or virtual colonoscopy.
Stool tests look for abnormal DNA and blood in your stool; flexible sigmoidoscopy uses a thin lighted tube to check for polyps in the rectum and lower third of the colon; colonoscopy uses a longer lighted tube to check for polyps inside the rectum and entire colon; and a virtual colonoscopy uses X-rays and computers to produce images of the entire colon. Here’s the pros and cons of each.
If polyps or abnormal DNA is detected, then the current recommendations are to get a colonoscopy and have the polyps removed and tested to see if they are cancerous or not.
 

Prepping For Colonoscopy

Most of you are aware that prior to getting a colonoscopy, there is prepping that must be done to clear out the colon (hours-long process of drinking a salty solution followed by a lot of time on the toilet.
There are some easier alternatives that involve tablets versus the high-volume drink; split dosing of the high-volume drink; low-volume drink versions; and flavor mixes that can be added to these drinks to improve the flavor. Here is an explanation of each.
Some chemical free alternatives include a magnesium citrate protocol or colon hydrotherapy,
In any case, clearing out your bowels will substantially change your gut microbiota and it takes about 14 days for most people’s bacterial balance to recover to baseline.
 

3 Tips To Help Your Microbiome Bounce Back

There are some strategies to help your friendly flora build back after a colonoscopy: your nutrition, stress level, and sleep are all going to influence those 400 or so strains of bacteria that live in your colon and support your immune system, digestion, and production of certain vitamins (K, B2, and B12). Aside from keeping your stress down, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy diet, here are 3 specific tips for you:

  1. Right after your colonoscopy, go for easily digestible foods such as pureed soups or slow cooked foods that also help you to rehydrate. Opt for nutrient dense options–clean proteins and fiber rich veggies. This is good for your body all the time, not just after a colonoscopy!
  2. I recommend eating any prebiotic foods that agree with your system because prebiotics feed your healthy flora and will help them bounce back more quickly. Examples are chicory, sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), leeks, garlic, psyllium, and artichokes. If you tolerate raw asparagus, raw leeks, and raw dandelion greens, those are high in prebiotics. Listen to your body. If you experience a lot of gas when you eat prebiotic foods, you may need to back off on the quantity and allow your body to adjust.
  3. Probiotic foods are also helpful for building your friendly flora back. Yogurt, kefir, and raw dairy are popular options but if dairy doesn’t work for you, there are dairy free options such as coconut yogurt or kefir or water kefir. Other great non-dairy probiotic foods are fermented vegetables (green beans, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented pickles), natto, miso, tempeh, kvass, and kombucha.
     

I hope that this information is helpful for you to be a more confident advocate for yourself in choosing the right screening test as well as knowing some great strategies to help your friendly gut flora bounce back if you get a colonoscopy.

It is my passion to work with people like you who want to sustain or regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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