Boost your immune system, fuel and nourish your body this winter with a hearty, healthy homemade soup.
Butternut Squash is one vegetable in particular that flourished in my garden this last year. I am still picking some end of year produce and have been overjoyed with the harvest from the last year. Not only is it incredibly healthy and pairs well with other fruits and veggies, but it’s perfect for this season.
After a weekend of snow and ice, I am craving the cozy clothes, fire pits and warm comfort foods. During this season, I often crave chili, stews and soups. I welcome you to check out my Healthy and Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew here. Whether you’re making a warm batch of Healthy Homemade Bone Broth Recipe or gathering ingredients to create your own comfort food, you’ve come to the right place to nourish your body with seasonal eating and simple recipes.
Today I am sharing one of my favorites….
Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
I love squash this time of the year and it aligns with the many benefits of seasonal eating. Winter is a great time for a variety of squash dishes.
Butternut Squash dishes up a ton of benefits:
Supports a healthy immune system
Aids digestion and gut health
Supports healthy blood sugar levels
Contains disease fighting antioxidants
Loaded with vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fiber
Add all the ingredients to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir well. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a high speed blender and serve. Enjoy!
Do you have a favorite butternut squash dish? I’d love to hear!
When working with others, I often hear frustrations around the inability to lose weight, bloating, anxiety, GI problems and more. There are many possible contributing factors but there are some important variables that I want to shine light upon.
Let’s take a step back first and think about everything we’ve been through over the past year and a half. We’ve lived through a pandemic and a time where many were isolated, separated from their families and communities, stress was heightened and many consumed food and alcohol in larger portions. The stress alone is enough to greatly impact the body and mind. There isn’t one person who hasn’t been impacted by this time, so if you’re feeling alone, you’re not.
Today I am going to shine light on two important parts of the body- the gut and liver. Are you wondering what your liver has to do with your gut? It’s ALL connected, believe it or not.
Bacteria flourishes throughout the body, not just in the gut.
The human microbiome is what we call all of the gut flora plus all of their metabolites throughout the body. I am sure you’ve heard about the role that the microbiome plays in your gut health. It also plays a part in your liver health. When there is too much bad bacteria in the body, we can experience inflammation and an imbalance in the gut.
When the body is inflamed and experiencing a toxic load, it can easily carry around an added 7-10 pounds (more or less) that may be hard to release when it’s in a stressed and inflamed state.
That imbalance and inflammation can also impact the liver, since they’re ALL connected. Inflammation in the liver means difficulty detoxifying and insulin resistance. This is one of the main reasons why we see resistant weight loss — an overburdened liver and microbiome imbalance which puts the body into fight or flight- a chronic state of stress. A stressed body is an inflamed body. A stressed body is going to focus on survival, not weight loss, not reproduction… survival.
It’s important for us to nourish our body and be mindful of the stress levels that we are living with on a daily basis.
Good digestion and a healthy microbiome are essential to your overall health.
Without a strong digestive process, your body cannot assimilate nutrients or properly excrete waste. If you suffer from gut issues such as IBS, constipation, acid reflux, digestive distress, or hormonal imbalance, then adding probiotics and cultured foods/drinks may help to restore your gut health.
We also know about the Gut-Brain axis or the Gut-Brain Connection. Mood, sleep and memory can be impaired by bacterial imbalance and can be supported by probiotics. Personally, I take Axis TreBiotic (pre-, pro- and post-biotics) and Pure Collagen to nourish my microbiome and gut lining. To learn more: Axis TreBiotic
Furthermore, immunity is impacted by bacteria. 80% of our immune system stems from specialized cells in the intestinal lining (GALT cells). Without enough good bacteria, the lining of the intestines can be weakened, and those cells can suffer.
Trusted Sources of Probiotics Include:
Cultured vegetables (sauerkraut is my favorite), which also support weight loss, reduce sugar cravings, and help avoid constipation. I suggest starting with two tablespoons of cultured vegetables each meal and slowly increasing by one tablespoon until you reach 1⁄4 cup at each meal.
Inner-Eco Probiotic Drink (my favorite store-bought option as it contains an average of 100 billion active probiotic cultures per serving)
Coconut water kefir—homemade or store-bought (Kevita)
Coconut, goat or almond milk, or any unsweetened and dairy-free yogurt
Coconut milk kefir or any non-dairy kefir
Grass fed bone broth
Kombucha (although you may want to avoid kombucha if candida is present, as sugar is used in its fermentation process)
I suggest starting with a small amount of a cultured food, or one serving of a probiotic or TreBiotic daily. Slowly building your exposure to good bacteria can help bring your body back to balance. Too much too fast and you may experience a die-off of bad bacteria. That can cause headaches, diarrhea and some bloating. So, go slow and adjust based on how your body feels.
Also, consult your doctor or trusted medical professional if you have specific medical concerns. While probiotics are generally regarded as safe, there are sometimes when it is not a good idea to introduce them. If you are working with a physician, just double-check if this is a good choice for you before you start anything new!
Reducing Stress for Optimal Health and Wellbeing:
In addition to supporting the body with the above products, bringing a stressed body into a calmer state will help support it in many ways. For me, I prefer grounding in nature, gardening, soaking up Vitamin D in the sunshine, reading or journaling, yoga and meditation. Breath work is another incredible options for reducing stress in the body. Breathing in through your nose for a count of six, hold for a count of four and exhale for a count of ten. Repeat as often as desired. You can do this seated or laying down. Sometimes people find comfort placing one hand on their belly and another to their heart. This breath work will provide oxygen to the brain and will help to reduce stress in the body.
Whatever your goals, reducing stress, nourishing your liver and supporting your gut will greatly benefit your health and overall wellbeing.
A loving reminder that we all have a unique bio-individual blueprint. It’s important (and also empowering) to discover what supports you individually. If you’re still trying to discover what works for your unique beautiful being, I welcome you to connect and schedule a Free Discovery Session: https://kimwilson.me/contact/
As we welcome a time change and brighter longer days, we are seeing nature come out of hibernation. Transitioning from winter into sunny spring energy. Spring often brings play, more activity, energy and creativity. Yet, we are experiencing a seasonal shift that goes against the grain. Due to currently being in the pandemic, we are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, exhaustion (mentally and physically) and uncertainty.
Now more than ever, it’s important for us to be proactive with our health, joy and wellbeing. It’s important for us to support ourselves (and others) with the season but also give grace if we need to slow down, rest and bump up added self care.
The past year may have brought a change in lifestyle, health, family, social dynamic and more. We saw a rise in isolation, lack of community and family connection, added stress, health (mental and physical) concerns and a rise in coping strategies.
With the spring season shining her beauty upon us this month, we are given a “fresh start” and clean slate to make change. The perfect time to do some “spring cleaning.” This is not a time to usher in shame, guilt, questioning worth or getting stuck in the muck of limiting beliefs or toxic thoughts. It’s a time for forgiveness, compassion (for self and others), growth, transformation and healing.
In the fall, much like the trees, we released what no longer serves us. Slowing for rest and restoration through the winter season. Now is our time to bloom and rise. With the rise, it’s beneficial to look at the root- the root cause of things that could be holding us back. Where can change be made? Where can some spring cleaning be implemented?
The spring season is all about embracing change. Though change isn’t always comfortable, it’s needed for growth. Spring is also about the liver, our primary filtration system. A huge part of the body responsible for filtering toxins. Toxins can come in many forms from the foods we eat, the beverages we consume and the medicines ingested. Toxins are also in the products we use and in the environment around us. The liver can become tired and sluggish if it’s not supported and nourished. With spring being all about supporting the liver, this is a perfect time to “clean house.”
In addition to the liver, the kidneys can be damaged due to too much alcohol, toxic overload and medication use. Both the liver and kidneys are an important part of the body and deliver a support system for optimal health and wellbeing.
Reflecting over the past year and how you’re feeling presently, do you feel like you’re running with your check engine light on? Is your detoxification system feeling overloaded?
Spring is giving us grace to evaluate and address proactively what we presently need. Spring is about planting and weeding out the old. So, I welcome you to reflect and assess what you feel you need to weed out to plant new seeds.
Start with some small action steps such as movement outside, grounding in nature, nourishing with healthy seasonal foods, getting rest when needed and staying hydrated. Embrace the joy of the season with creativity and those child-like feels you used to experience during this season. What brings you joy and excitement? Get creative, have fun and keep it simple!
With the liver being the ruler over spring, it’s the “root” of life’s ultimate action. Some healthy foods and herbs to support the liver are beets, dandelion, licorice, milk thistle, broccoli, cabbage, dark greens and garlic.
Movement is another method for supporting your health and naturally detoxifying the body. With the body wanting to embrace more activity, this is a great time to get outside, play, workout and ground in nature. Both the body and mind will benefit.
If you’re feeling like you could use some additional support, detoxification and a simple strategic plan with a supportive and fun community, I welcome you to check out my upcoming Roots to Rise Spring Reset. I’d love to have you join us next month! To learn more: Roots to Rise Spring Reset
Ladies, there is no better time to Spring Into Sexy! Y’all ready to Spring with me? Let’s GROW!!!
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 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 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.
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
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
1 cup yogurt (goat or vanilla greek yogurt)
1 chopped banana
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
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! ?
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
1 large bunch kale
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea salt to taste
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.