7 Ways to Improve Digestion During the Cold Winter Months.

Drink Water.jpg

This post is for all of those on the slow digestion team.  As many of you know I have very slow digestion and my gut is sensitive to certain foods and stressors.  During the winter months I also find my digestion and gut health need some extra love and attention.  Over the past few years of really paying attention to my triggers and how I can assist my sluggish bowels, I’ve come up with a few tricks that keep me feeling good and helps the food move along smoothly through my body while giving the rest of my body the proper nutrients it needs.

  1. Drink warm/hot water. This is my absolute number one suggestion. Drinking more water in general will aid in proper digestion. Drinking warm water is key especially during the colder months because it too helps with digestion.  Our insides are warmer then room temperature and when we consume anything cold it can shock the bowels and slow down digestion. Think of what happens when a river starts to freeze, it slows right down but when it warms up in the spring it melts and it flows beautifully.  

  2. Eat heated/cooked foods. Again as mentioned with the water, consuming warm things will aid in proper digestion and help those bowels to move things along.  I love a good salad but during the winter I switch to more stir-frys so the food is heated and cooked.  Eating raw vegetables does provide more natural digestive enzymes so often I’ll add a few pieces of raw spinach or kale to the top of the stir fry.  

  3. Avoid over eating.  Give your gut a break and consume less foods during the winter.  Obviously I’m not saying not to eat enough nutrients, however I try to avoid eating too many snacks and I stop eating just before I get full.  It’s a lot of work for our bodies to process food and often in the winter we’re not as active so we don’t need to give our bodies extra stress with too much food.  

  4. Drink Herbal teas. Many herbal teas are known for decreasing bloating and aid in digestion.  You can find teas that have a combination of great digestive spices but some of my favourite include peppermint, ginger, chamomile, hibiscus and I often add a sprinkle of cinnamon too. My girl Taylor just recently launched her loose leaf tea company www.cupofte.com and she has many of these great options and so many more. Stay tuned for a collaboration we might be working on. 

  5. Limit liquids when eating. Our bowels have a powerful digestive acid which breaks down the food we consume. When we dilute it with other liquids, it’s not going to be as affective and it may cause for less food to be broken down. Drink your water and teas 20 minutes before or after your meals rather than when you’re actually consuming the food.  

  6. Take your time. With our busy schedules these days, sitting down and taking your time to eat a meal can be easily pushed aside. It’s important to take the time to chew each bite properly as well as enjoying food in a comfortable low stress environment. Stress of any kind causes less digestion so find a nice cozy spot, sit back, relax and enjoy the nutrients you’re consuming. 

  7. Get active. Get outside or head to the treadmill and get a 20 minute walk or workout post meals. I find movement the best way to help things move along. I’ve been known to dance and jump around (even in a restaurant bathroom stall) to help move along a meal. 

So there you have it, my 7 favourite digestion tips I use during the winter months. Many I also use all year round but I definitely incorporate these more while it’s cold.  I can honestly tell you that it’s been helping me soo much and I feel much less bloating, and no pain or other IBS symptoms compared to previous winters.  Cheers to happy healthy digestion!

Michelle xo 

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

chilli.jpg

We all need a warm hearty meal to keep us cozy during the winter months and chilli is definitely on the top of that list of go to cozy meals. I’ve created a veggie lentil chilli that’s sure to please. Feel free to add more of your favourite veggies like carrots, and mushrooms.

Bon appétit

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

Serves: 8

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large sauce pan on low, sauté chopped peppers, onions, celery, garlic, spices and avocado oil for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more oil if needed. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (chop the jalapeño into small pieces and only add half for less spice) simmer on low for 30 minutes.  
  3. Serve warm.  

calories

137

fat (grams)

3.9

carbs (grams)

20.4

protein (grams)

6.2

sugar (grams)

4.1
Created using The Recipes Generator

5 Steps To Simplify Your Plant Based Meals

thumbnail_Facetune_27-10-2018-21-10-38.jpg

It seems to me that more and more people are "going" plant based/vegan or at least incorporating more plant based foods into their daily diet. My number one recommendation is have fun with it and to place the focus on including lots of nutrients rather than on what you can and can’t eat. Filling your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and thrive really is the most important point. I have heard many people express their worry over not getting enough to eat if they go plant based, so I’ve compiled these five points to simplify plant based meals:

  1. Plan Ahead/Meal Prep

    Create a weekly plan, shop for all the items and set aside time to prepare meals or sides. I like to meal prep on Sundays or Mondays. This helps me have lots of healthy food choices throughout the week which lowers my chances of snacking on processed foods. I feel less stressed when I know I have options in the fridge when I need to make a quick meal.  Keeping some cut up veggies in the fridge with a hummus or beet dip helps to have a go-to snack when I need it. Again, this is a great healthy option that prevents me from grabbing for processed foods. 

  2. Left Overs

    I have always been a big fan of left overs! The flavours are more enjoyable and satisfying the following day and it's a ready-made homemade meal that takes no preparation. It’s such a time saver, and time is precious!  

  3. Google It

    Google has everything, including healthy plant based recipes. If you have a recipe that you love but you’d like to have it plant based or incorporate more nutrient dense foods into the recipe, google it. I guarantee there will be many options for you. 

  4. Less Stress, Keep It Simple

    I recently posted a blog about keeping it simple but I’d like to bring it up again. It’s amazing how many people stress over how difficult it is to eat plant based. Although this is true, it can be simplified. Take your basics, have a few staple meals you're happy with, and from there you can add more options. Stressing about it can cause increased likelihood for failure and resentment. If you remember the other points listed in this blog then hopefully you can plan ahead and create more of a sustainable process for the long term. 

  5. Freeze It

    Along with meal prepping and left overs, I love, love, love, to utilize the freezer. I’ll freeze meals so it’s as simple as pulling food out of the freezer and heating it in the oven or on the stove (I don’t like to use microwaves.) If I have left overs that I know won't get eaten in time, I’ll put them in the freezer rather than wasting them or leaving them to go bad in the fridge. You can pre-make and freeze veggie lasagnas, casseroles, burgers (all sorts of meals) and then pop it in the oven for a hearty, healthy, no prep meal.

For more tips on how to eat a healthy plant based diet you can head over to my YouTube channel or check out my Ebook which includes my 10 favourite health tips that I live by! Plant based/Vegan may not be for everyone but it is definitely important to include more nutrient dense foods into your everyday diet. 

Cheers to a happier, healthier you! 

Michelle xo

Broccoli Leek Soup

IMG_3998.JPG

I love making a good soup but I want it to be quick and simple while still jammed with satisfying flavours.  I've created a new vegan broccoli soup and from beginning to end, it took less than 30 minutes to make.  If you're feeling the need for a quick and easy soup, give this one a try! Broccoli (aka: mini trees) are a great anti-cancer food also!

Broccoli Leek Soup

Serves: 6

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 large bundles of broccoli chopped (approximately 650g) 
  • 3 leeks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • vegetable bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 cups spinach

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all the items in a large sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 min or till the vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally. 
  2. Mix everything with a hand mixer. You can make it very smooth or leave a few chunks if you'd like. 
  3. Serve warm. 

NOTES:

I like to make a double batch and freeze some for later. 
Add 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa for some extra healthy carbs. 
Sprinkle some Nutritional Yeast on top for some extra B vitamins.

calories

90

fat (grams)

1.2

carbs (grams)

16

protein (grams)

6.5

sugar (grams)

4.5
Created using The Recipes Generator

 

 

Keep It Simple Stupid!

IMG_3189.jpg

I mean this with love and kindness. When I talk about eating right and living a healthier lifestyle some people become easily discouraged. I promise you, it doesn’t have to be a headache. If this topic is overwhelming to you, just start simple. Start with a few of the basics each day and in no time a health routine will become your new normal. Your body will thank you greatly.

Okay, so you're wondering what are the basics? Here's my easy list of must do's. 

  1. Move your Body. Sounds simple, because it is! You may not realize that by exercising regularly, you’ll have more energy through the day and sleep better at night.

  2. Drink lots of water. I still hear people struggling with this. Water is a necessity for life. We need water to thrive. When you drink enough water (at least 8 glasses per day), you will find many improvements in your body functions as well as in your skin, hair and nails.

  3. Reduce refined sugars and packaged foods. That stuff is filled with harmful crap anyway. Clearly you want to limit it for endless reasons.  

  4. Add more real foods (aka: fruits and veggies.) They’re filled with the food that your cells, muscles, brain (your entire body) wants and needs to function properly and reduce your chance of illness. Just add more of them already!!!  

  5. Sleep. If you're not sleeping, figure out why. Sleep is important to repair your body from the damage that is done daily. Perhaps you're not sleeping due to a vitamin deficiency that your ND can help you determine and treat. Perhaps you need to limit your screen time close to bed or maybe you need to sleep alone. Whatever it may be, I highly suggest you investigate, problem solve and get your precious zzz’s. 

So, that’s my five cents for the day. Living and eating a different way then your normal can seem challenging but it really doesn’t have to be. I guarantee you’d rather make your health a priority by choice now, rather than by force later. 

Are you ready to make it a priority?  

Kale Asparagus Salad

asparagus kale almond salad.JPG

This salad was made on a whim with some left overs of cooked veggies combined with some yummy raw veggies. In the summer time I like to include a bit of both raw and cooked veggies and changing it up often to keep me excited about each meal. I find dressings can make or break a salad and I'm pretty happy with the creation I made here for this salad.  With some almond butter and a punch of lemon, it's a unique combination that I'm hoping you'll enjoy as much as I do. 

Asparagus Kale Almond Salad

Serves: 1

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Salad
  • kale
  • cooked asparagus 
  • shallots
  • cooked & diced sweet potato
  • endive
  • curly parsley
  • hemp hearts
  • hard boiled (soft boiled) egg 
Almond Dressing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dice and chop all vegetables as you desire and add to a large bowl. 
  2. Mix the dressing together in a blender and drizzle on top of the salad.  This is a thicker dressing, if you prefer a more liquid dressing add more avocado oil. 
  3. Optional to add an egg on top.

NOTES:

I usually give you all the exact amounts for the vegetables however I've left this open and encourage you to add the amounts you feel fit for how hungry you may be. 
If your making this salad for more then one, be sure to multiply the dressing ingredients.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Roasted Pecans

Roasted-Pecans.JPG

For a sweet and spicy snack, these roasted pecans are a great choice. Add them to a cheese plater or sprinkle some into a salad. They're packed with healthy fats and protein to fill you up and make you feel satisfied. 

I season these pecans with my BBQ seasoning. I use this seasoning on my tacos, my roasted chickpeas and I add it to many stir-fry and roasted vegetables.  

When making this recipe you can definitely interchange with other nuts if you choose. 

Roasted Pecans

Makes: 2 cups

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Evenly coat the pecans with the melted coconut oil.
  3. Stir the seasoning over the nuts till blended well. 
  4. Place them on a parchment paper lined backing pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Stir half way through.

notes

*You can use your favourite spice mixture if you haven't created mine 
*Watch the nuts closely at the end of their time in the oven to limit chances of them burning
Created using The Recipes Generator