Foods for Better Digestion

If you have been struggling with digestion problems, it might not be a medical condition, but actually from the types of foods you are eating. There are certain foods that are really good for digestion, and others that can be harder on the body.

When it comes to digestion, there are many factors that could contribute to improved digestive health.  Living a healthy lifestyle is a big factor.  A lifestyle that includes mindful eating, stress management and rest, staying hydrated and movement.  One of the biggest factors starts with the food consumed.

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn or feeling the need to always rush to the bathroom, you may want to try some of the foods below.  Reflecting on your current lifestyle and looking at areas for adjustment may help as well.

Below are some healthy examples of foods that can help aid digestion and support improved health.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a really good food to add to your regular nutrition rotation. If you can have a cup of yogurt every day, you will soon notice how much better you feel. Yogurt is an excellent way to improve your digestion thanks to the healthy bacteria it contains. Many doctors will recommend yogurt if you have digestion issues since it is really good for your gut health. What you want to look for is yogurt that contains live and active cultures, since this is what truly helps with your digestion. Try to avoid the yogurt that is simply filled with sugar and not much nutrients.

Personally, I love goat yogurt because it supports my gut health.  You can also choose from greek yogurt or other options of choice.  I love topping mine with fruit and low sugar granola or fruit and chia seeds.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a superfood and also happen to be really good for your digestion. These seeds are a superfood because of how many nutrients they contain. These super seeds provide tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, both of which are great for improving your digestion and helping things move more smoothly. The nutrients in chia seeds can also help with regulating bowl function, reducing inflammation in your body, and lowering your cholesterol. All you need are a couple tablespoons of the seeds each day, which are easy to add to smoothies, yogurt, or topping on salads.  Some people choose to mix them with water and drink a chia drink.  Note: They will expand with liquid.

Lean Protein

Don’t forget about lean protein, including poultry and fish. These foods contain nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, without increasing sugar and other ingredients you don’t need in your foods. Lean protein is a lot easier to digest than red meat, so going for salmon or chicken is a much better option for your gut health than steak.  If you’re craving steak or red meat, you may want to try bison.  A meat that is leaner and packed full of health nutrients.  To learn more about bison, I welcome you to check out my article here… Health Benefits of Bison

Bananas

If you are looking for fruit that is going to help with your digestion, go for bananas. These are amazing for you, packed with nutrients, and very easy to tolerate. Bananas are super easy on the stomach and often one of the only foods recommended when you have the flu or a serious illness because of how easy they are to tolerate. Try to eat at least one banana a day, whether you eat it on its own, spread on toast, or topped on your cereal.

These are some examples of digestive friendly foods.  Others you may want to add in as well are kefir (great for gut health too), leafy green vegetables, ginger and fiber rich foods.

As I mentioned, it may be a result of food options, lifestyle or a combination of both.  When I work with clients, we often look at lifestyle and nourishment.  Not sure if you’re eating the right foods that nourish your own beautiful bio-individuality?  I welcome you to join me for my  Fresh for Fall Reset which kicked off this week.  We are still adding ladies into the group and you’re welcome to love this fun community of women.   It’s an empowering experience to discover which foods support your unique body and which ones don’t serve you as well.

I welcome you to try one of my favorite fall recipes below.

Cheers to improved digestion and wellbeing!

 

 Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Parfait

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup yogurt (goat or vanilla greek yogurt)

1 chopped banana

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

 

DIRECTIONS:

Layer about ¼ cup of Greek yogurt on the bottom of a cup. Top with chopped banana and about ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice. Next top with another layer of Greek yogurt followed by the other ½ teaspoon of pumpkin spice. Top with the final layer of Greek yogurt and serve. Enjoy! 😋

 

XOXO,

Kim

Spicy Fall Slaw

When it comes to slaw, you may think of summer foods, pulled pork and heavy meals.  Though I do love a good pulled pork sandwich and some creamy coleslaw (one of my weaknesses), there are other seasons and healthier ways to enjoy this side dish.

With the crisp air, fall foliage and fall foods flooding the farmers markets, we are offered a bounty of seasonal produce and opportunities for nourishing foods with the fall feels.

Though I will miss the smell and taste of fresh tomatoes off the vine and other summer goodies, I am really loving the abundance of fall foods in the garden.  Foods like beets, kale, sweet potatoes and cabbage. Local orchards offer an abundance of delicious apples and some pears, depending on your area.   Many of these items can be included in your slaw recipe if you’re looking for a creative variety.

Included in this dish is one of my favorites- red cabbage. Cabbage is packed with healthy nutrients and delivers an abundance of health.  It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, support digestion and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.  Kohlrabi is an incredible superfood and one that’s loaded with antioxidants (help remove toxins in the body).  It’s a cousin to Brussels, kale, broccoli and cabbage.  Not only is it healthy and high in nutrients but it’s low in calories too.  A veggie that you may find at many fall markets.

Crisp apples have similar benefits as cabbage but they also help support brain power and have been shown to support gut health.  Sometimes I add in Asian Pears as well if they are in season.  They are a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and potassium.  They also help support lung health and function.  Apple cider vinegar and lemon are some of my favorites for supporting detoxification and cleansing in the body.  Speaking or resetting and cleanings, if you’re feeling a need for it in your body (and mind), I welcome you to check out my upcoming Reset.  Link: Fresh for Fall Reset

OK… back to this tasty recipe…

This slaw recipe is a fall staple and one I make often during the season and beyond.  With cabbage and apples in full swing, it’s a great time to eat with the season and enjoy the colors of health.  This dish pairs well as a base with some pulled chicken or protein of choice on top.  You can add crunch with pumpkin seeds or enjoy it alone.

This recipe is super simple, easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time.  The ginger and additional ingredients give it a little kick and fun taste.  I welcome you to try the recipe as is or double it up and save some for later.  This is a great dish for entertaining too!

 

Spicy Fall Slaw

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 large kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced or grated

1 cup carrots, grated

¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 apple or Asian pear, sliced

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or oil of choice (I love Olive and Basket)

Juice from 1 lemon

Optional Garnish: Microgreens Maryland Microgreens

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Massage the vegetables using clean hands to help the vegetables wilt. Adjust the seasoning to your tastes. Allow the slaw to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving.  If using, top with Microgreens before serving.

Happy Fall Y’all!  Enjoy! 😋

XOXO,

Kim

Crispy Kale Chips

Homemade crispy kale chips are a delicious, tasty treat consisting of very few ingredients.  One of the easiest recipes that pack a powerhouse of health benefits.

With fall foods showing up at the farmers markets, you may find an abundance of kale in your community, at the local farm or in your garden.  I planted kale early spring and it’s been flourishing through the seasons since.  With so much kale to enjoy from my own backyard, I have been enjoying it in salads, soups and alone- such as this tasty treat.

Kale chips can become soggy, so it’s recommended that you cook them on lower temps for a longer duration of time.  Once baked, they store well in an air tight container and typically last up to a week long.  Though I can never keep them that long because I LOVE them as a healthy snack.

Kale is one of the healthiest greens and a veggie loaded with antioxidants (which help remove unwanted toxins).  Kale contains calcium, a variety of vitamins and fiber.  Did you know that eating a cup of kale packs a punch of over 200% of your daily Vitamin A and 134% of Vitamin C?  Vitamins that help support the body, reduce inflammation and support the immune system as we head into the colder seasons.  Even more of a reason to enjoy this nutrient packed snack during the fall season.

With all of the health benefits, detoxification support and immune boosting benefits, this tasty treat is one I think may become a staple in your kitchen or pantry this fall and winter.

 

Crispy Kale Chips 

 

Ingredients:

1 large bunch kale

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Sea salt to taste

 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Wash and dry kale completely. Remove stalks and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces of kale into a mixing bowl and lightly coat with coconut oil and sea salt (or seasoning). Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip each leaf and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until edges are crisp.  Serve or store (once cooled) in an air tight container.

Note: I use garlic powder in place of salt but you can use any seasoning you desire.

Enjoy! 😋

XOXO,

Kim

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Fruit Salad

When it comes to summer foods, simple salads and summer produce dishes are often the option of choice for cookouts, picnics and delicious meal options.  With the summer markets and gardens offering a bounty this time of the year, it’s pretty easy to find salad options.  When it comes to this simple dish, I invite you to get creative with different flavors and textures.

This recipe can be created as written or you can choose to opt out ingredients for others.  With summer slowing down, I am finding an abundance of fresh produce that needs to be used or canned.  Therefore I loaded this goodie up with things I had from the market and garden.  Fresh herbs can be altered and include basil, mint or dill. Not only do herbs provide an additional flavor and garnish but they also help with detoxification.

Heirloom tomatoes are one of my favorites to grow in the garden.  Though I do love all fresh off the vine tomatoes, I’ve really grown to love the heirloom variety.  This year in the garden, I am growing black prince, green zebra and persimmons (which have been called a tree fruit).  These tomatoes have an added health benefit in that they contain lycopene.  One of the most powerful natural antioxidants.  These tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, which helps to nourish different parts of the body and has been linked to stress reduction.

Watermelons are another staple often found in the garden and at markets during the summer season.  This juicy and tasty fruit helps to keep us hydrated during the hot summer months.  Watermelon has been linked to reduced inflammation, heart health and weight loss.

The combination of these two beauties are not only gorgeous but also healthy and delicious.  I often top my dishes with goat or sheet cheese, which is easier on the digestion at times.  You can play with different dressing ideas like oil and fresh squeeze lemon, balsamic glaze or dressing or you can make your own like the simple recipe below.  You can add additional toppings like avocado, nuts and seeds too!

Have fun with summer produce this season.  There are so many fun and delicious combinations to experiment with.

Summer Heirloom Tomato and fruit Salad

 

ingredients:
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges or bite sized pieces
  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 2 peaches, nectarines or plums (you can add all if you like)
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • small handful of Microgreens https://www.marylandmicrogreens.com
  • Optional: Bed of arugula or spinach 
dressing:

To Prepare the Salad:

1. In a bowl or serving platter, place greens as a base.
2. Mix the microgreens (if using) with the salad greens or reserve for topping
3. Top the greens  with tomatoes, fruit and then goat cheese.
5. Sprinkle nuts, if using and serve with dressing.

Dressing Directions:

In a mason jar with lid or mixing bowl, mix oil with a gradual drip of balsamic to taste.  Depending on the desired sweetness.  Add the honey for desired texture and taste.  If using, finish with salt and pepper.  Shake or stir to combine ingredients before serving with the salad.

ENJOY! 😋

P.S. if this salad sounds appealing to your palate, I welcome you to check out this summer beet salad. Summer Peachy Beet Salad

XOXO,

KIM

 

Simple Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I love summer cooking because there is such an abundance of produce, a variety of flavors and healthy ingredients that pair well to make simple meals.  This week, for “Farmer’s Market Friday” (on Facebook), I am spotlighting one of my favorites.  An ingredient grown every summer in my garden and found at many farmers markets…. zucchini.  There are several ingredients you can substitute like summer yellow squash, peppers and 8 Ball Zucchini.  Similar to my recipe seen in Frederick Lifestyle Magazine and  City Lifestyle Magazine  from last summer.  Recipe:  Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini

If you’re looking for a super simple summer side to accompany your summer vegetarian dishes or pair with your gilled meat, this is another one of my “super simple summer favorites.”  Simple Skillet Zucchini and Squash. Have fun with the produce, get creative and see what you like best with these yummy summer goodies.

Zucchini packs a powerhouse of healthy nutrients.  It’s high in antioxidants, supports digestion and heart health, has shown to strengthen vision and has been linked to weight loss.  It may help reduce blood sugar, strengthen bones and support thyroid function.

Originally from Italy, this tasty ingredient is often found combining Italian flavors, sauces and cheeses.  Today I am sharing a healthier spin on this delicious dish.  This recipe can be modified in many ways to your liking and palate.

Simple Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 

ingredients:
  • 4 medium zucchini (my garden or The Jefferson Corn Stand)
  • 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/2 onion (The Jefferson Corn Stand
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (can substitute powder garlic)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning (I use Tuscan Dipper from Olive and Basket)
  • 1/2 jar of organic sauce of choice
  • 1 lb bison or lean meat of choice
  • shredded cheese (I used goat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Sometimes I add in fresh chopped peppers to this dish.  I also sometimes add in fresh chopped herbs in place of the dry seasoning.  Chopped fresh parsley can be added as a finishing garnish too.
  • Added nutrient option: Microgreens for a healthy topping (I use Maryland Microgreens)

NOTE: If you prefer non-meat options, you can substitute quinoa, chickpeas, beans, extra veggies and other cheese option. 

directions:
  1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat a large baking dish or cast iron pans with additional oil.
  2. Cut ends off of the zucchini and discard or compost.  Cutting lengthwise, carefully slice each zucchini in half.
  3. Using a small spoon or melon baller, carefully scoop out the seeds.  These can also be disposed of or saved to add back into the sauce.
  4. On the stovetop, heat a pan to medium heat and add the oil.  Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Followed by the garlic.  Combine and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds while stirring to avoid browning.
  5. Add in the meat and seasonings.  Stir to combine.  Cook the meat mixture until brown and cooked through.
  6. Once the meat is fully cooked, add in the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Carefully fill your prepared boats with the saucy meat mixture.  Top with shredded cheese.
  9. Bake boats for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is tender and cheese has a golden brown.
  10. If desired, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and micro greens.
  11. Enjoy! 😋

XOXO,

Kim