Health Begins in the Gut

Gut HealthHippocrates once said that “all disease begins in the gut”

This quote rings as true today as it did 2,000 years ago.  Research is still discovering the many roles that the microbiome of the gut plays in our health, which consists of billions of microorganisms and 1,000 different species of bacteria.  We understand that it plays a role in digestion, the manufacturing of vitamins, detoxification and protection from disease. Since about 70% of our immune cells lie in the intestinal lining, the microbiome influences our immune response. Another fun fact… the gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain.

When our microbiome is balanced, we have a wonderful ally that keeps our body healthy, promoting good digestion, healthy immune response, clear thinking, balanced mood, and glowing overall health. When our microbiome goes out of balance, however, we may experience digestive disturbances, mood disorders, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as metabolic disruptions which present as autoimmune disorders, obesity, and allergies, to name a few.  

Our microbiome is constantly changing, depending on the foods that we eat and the lifestyles that we lead. Think of your gut bacteria as sitting down at the table with you, eating the foods that you eat.  Feeding them processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and unhealthy fats will increase the amount of yeast and disease promoting bacteria. Other factors such as stress, environmental toxins, infections, and antibiotic use will also knock this delicate system off balance.  Fortunately, we have the power to control the environment of our unique microbiome through a whole foods diet, stress-reducing techniques, and supplements.  This is one of the first places I start when working with clients with any health condition.  Typical complaints such as IBS and bloating, or inability to lose weight I see as inflammation going on in the gut.  Often times an elimination diet is helpful, removing inflammatory causing foods such as gluten, sugar, and dairy.  This along with a diet high in lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats has remarkable results.  Years of digestive disturbances have suddenly dissipated.  The bloating has gone away.  The weight starts to shed.  Energy soars.  Once the body is given the tools it needs to heal, it’s amazing how good it can feel.  

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Turkeyburgersfinal

Cilantro Turkey Burgers

Turkeyburgersfinal

I think one of the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to have a few go-to recipes to pull out of your sleeve when all else fails.  One that everyone in the family loves, one that is easy and fast.  This is the first one that comes  to my mind when the question of “what am I going to make tonight” pops into my head.  It’s become a family favorite.  We normally eat this bun-free, but feel free to add your favorite roll.  We like it with a dipping sauce on the side, like sriracha-aioli for the adults, or simple aioli for the kids.   We’ve eaten this with quinoa, simple salads, sautéed kale, or featured here with the roasted cauliflower and radicchio salad. 

turkeyburgersmall

Cilantro Turkey Burgers
Flavor packed alternative to burgers made with red meat.
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  2. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  3. 2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  4. 2 shallots, finely minced
  5. 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like spice)
  6. 2 tsp fish sauce
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  9. olive oil for pan
Instructions
  1. Mix together ground turkey with garlic, shallots, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, s&p, and cilantro until well combined. Form into 6 burgers, about 3/4 inch thick.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan on the stove top. Rub each burger with olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Molly Bea http://www.mollybea.com/

 

 

EverythingSauce

Creamy Herb Mayonnaise {for everything!}

EverythingSauce

Put this on chicken or fish, a dip for veggies or potatoes, or make this a base for your salad. You can’t go wrong with the creamy texture and flavor that the fresh herbs and garlic bring to this sauce.  As you often hear me say, throw in any fresh herbs (a kitchen staple!) that you have on hand. Tarragon gives a subtle, savory twist.  Rosemary creates earthiness. Basil, parsley, and dill for freshness and bite.  Mix and match and don’t be shy.  This sauce is the secret for turning an otherwise boring, say, chicken breast and potatoes dinner, into something much more! 

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RoastedCauliflowersalad

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad

RoastedCauliflowersalad

Simple meals are often the best, and this is no exception.  Add a hard boiled egg, toss it with some greens, and call it a meal.  It also makes a satisfyingly filling side to your main dish.

Roasting the cauliflower makes it nutty and sweet, a good balance with the fiber-rich chickpeas.  Roasting them both makes the dish easier to digest, just an added bonus!  This is one of those recipes from “my toolbox” that I keep pulling out, it’s so good.  Thanks Gweneth from “It’s All Good” for the inspiration!  

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