YUM!! This meal “just works” on so many levels; 1. I doesn’t take a lot of time to make this meal, 2. It is healthy, 3. The colors pop! The flavors pop! The textures are amazing, 4. My local grocer has sirloin steak on sale!
This recipe will definitely be turned into a video for The Wide-Body
Have you been feeling more anxious than normal? The reason may not be in your head, but in your gut.
During the pandemic, medical professionals have reported higher than normal incidences of patients feeling anxious and less mentally focused than before the pandemic. While feeling stress during this time is understandable, it turns out that the foods we eat can also impact our mental wellbeing.
Most of us known the importance of gut health, i.e. a healthy gut equals a healthy body. This is what the University of California at Davis Health says about gut health, “All food is ultimately broken down in the gut to a simple form that can enter the bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout our bodies. This is only possible with a healthy digestive system. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.”
The Brain-Gut Connection
The fact that there is a brain-gut connection is something many folks don’t know or understand. At the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, research is showing that the gut plays an even greater role in our overall mood that we ever suspected. The enteric nervous system (ENS), comprised of two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining the gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum, has the main role of is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination. It turns out that the ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. Science originally thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems, but research now appears to show it is the other way around. This new research is leading scientists to consider that the gut also plays a larger role in our cognition (thinking skills and memory) too.
What Can You Do To Improve Your Gut Health
Probiotics: Foods high in probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. This helps good break down completely, allowing better absorption of nutrients into the body. Food high in probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and fresh sauerkraut. NOTE: Yogurts and kefir tend to be high in sugars because that makes the taste more palatable, thus they may not work in many diets. Kombucha carries a trace amount of alcohol. For most people, the alcohol is minimal and not a concern, but it could be a concern for those taking certain prescription drugs. When buying kimchi and sauerkraut, you need to buy these fresh and with active enzymes. Canned products have been pasteurized and thus the healthful bacteria is dead. Look for fresh products in a cold produce section of your local grocer store.
Fiber: Lots of Fruits and Vegetables each day. Think leafy greens and legumes like beans and lentils. Fiber is a bulking agent that moves food down the line like a train. This movement is important because while the body is absorbing nutrients, it is also attempting to eliminate what it doesn’t need in waste. Think of waste as poison, and you don’t want to be holding poison in your gut. A large salad contains several portions of the fiber your body wants.
Water: Water combined with fiber is like the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of good gut health. Working together, they keep everything moving. Note that the best way to determine how much water you need each day is determined by your weight. The rule of thumb is 1oz of water for every two pounds of body weight. If you weight 100lbs., you should drink 50oz of water. If you weight 200lbs, then 100oz of water. If you regularly drink from a popular branded 30oz tumbler, count the number of times you fill the tumbler with water during the day, and you’ll get an idea how much water you drink in a day. Remember, caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you, so don’t add coffee, tea, carbonated beverage, or alcoholic beverages to your count.
Exercise: Exercise assists in the movement within your gut.
Sleep: Folks who sleep irregularly also experience nausea, bloating, and constipation. Get your sleep!
Stay away from processed foods and refined grains: Processed food, i.e. food that has been made to fit in a bag and is then shelf stable for an extended period, typically has little to no fiber nor nutritional value. Eating food like this causes harm to your gut.
Limit your consumption of fried foods: The fats used to fry food can lead to constipation because your body has a difficult time processing the fat. Besides constipation, the bad fat stays in the body, leading to bloating. To the point made earlier, you want to move the poison out of your body.
We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let us know if you’ve made changes to your diet and how you are feeling.
Here is another easy to make, healthy, and full of flavor recipe, that you can serve tonight and I’m sure your family will enjoy it.
I saw this recipe and I was inspired to make it for the family. And WOW, did they love it! Everyone in the family is asking me when we can have shrimp like this again.
The recipe is really easy, and the cooking time is very short. The prep work will take some planning because 1. You will need to peel and de-vein the shrimp, and 2. You will need to marinade the shrimp for about 30 minutes. After that, it is all easy-breezy.
NOTES ABOUT SHRIMP:
Buy fresh shrimp if you can
Buy “large” shrimp, or larger, if possible. Larger shrimp are easier to skewer
Buy shrimp from the US (or at least local to you). I buy “Gulf Shrimp”, which is shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is only 200 miles from me, thus my shrimp is fresh, and I support local and responsible fisherman who work closely with state wildlife resources to protect the health and sustainability of our seafood resources. I’m doing my best to be a smart consumer of seafood.
2lbs of shrimp (about 24-30 shrimp)
For the Marinade
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
4 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Peel, de-vein, clean shrimp. Place shrimp in a large zip bag and add the marinade. Ensure the shrimp is completely covered by the marinade and place the bag in the refrigerator of 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, skewer the shrimp and place the skewers a grill tat has been heated to medium-high, or about 325 degrees.
Shrimp does not need more than 2-3 minutes per side to cook. The flesh should quickly change from limp and grey to firm and pink.
Serve with a fresh green salad and a light and crisp white wine. Enjoy! And don’t be surprised if your family goes crazy for this meal.
If getting back into a breakfast routine was challenging for “back to school”, getting back into a dinner routine won’t be easy either. So, let’s skip the frustration of juggling new schedules and trying to prepare a meal. Let’s make this easy. And EASY is EXACTLY what this meal is all about.
Since many of the readers are juggling back to school schedules, I’ll be featuring recipes that are quick to make, healthy, taste great, and containing ingredients you can readily find at your local grocery store.
Our health has been top of mind for months, and when the news headlines exclusively focus on threats to your health, I think it is a good time to ask, “What more can I do to protect my health?” The obvious answer is to follow the advice from healthcare officials on how to limit your risk to COVID 19 exposure. Nonetheless, people who are being careful about their exposure, are still becoming ill.
Since no course of action appears to be foolproof, we must consider what we can all do to ensure that we are in the best health that we can be so that we can best fight COVID 19 should we contract it. So, over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll feature health tips of ways to improve various areas of your health, and in this post, I’ll start with the liver.
Why The Liver?
Your liver is one of the largest filters within your body, and largely responsible for eliminating unwanted waste so that the body can function in peak condition. Bottom line, with a healthy liver, you stand the best chance of conquering diseases.
The liver is also an amazing organ in that it can regenerate damaged areas and is fairly self sufficient as long as do a few things to protect it.
Stop heavy drinking: If you knew anything about the liver, then you knew this would be tip #1. The liver can only process so much alcohol at a time, and too much alcohol kills the live cells. Remember when I said the liver can regenerate? It can, but you MUST give it a rest from alcohol.
Watch out for dietary supplements: Body building formulas and weight lose formulas many times contain substances that can harm your liver, and if you are using these products for 30 plus days, you could be doing real damage. Surprisingly, illegal anabolic steroids and green tea extract, accounted for about half of the cases of liver damage linked to supplements. Other herbal products known to harm the liver include chaparral, comfrey, kava, skullcap, and yohimbe.
Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity increases the risk of fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
Healthy diet: To maintain your healthy weight, you need to eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet also takes pressure off the liver, as won’t have to work so hard to filter out “the bad stuff”. Skip the manufactured food, refined sugars, and high saturated fats (sausage, bacon, ground beef, cold cuts).
Don’t mix your OTC drugs with alcohol: The big one here is to watch acetaminophen, as too much can damage the liver, and if you take the drug regularly and consume alcohol, you are putting the liver under greater strain.
Vaccinate for Hepatitis A & B: Vaccinations for these strains of hepatitis are available now. Talk to your doctor and see if you are a good candidate for vaccination.
Safe Sex: Hepatitis B & C is passed by bodily fluids, so at the very least, wrap that rascal!
I hope you found this information helpful. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.