9 Foods That Will Boost and Improve Your Gut Health

Did you know that our gut health is very important to our overall well-being?

Not only does gut health effect, both positively or negatively, digestion and other gut-related concerns, but it also impacts other areas of our lives including heart health, skin health, metabolism, obesity and diabetes concerns, and even mental health. On the other hand, poor gut health can lead to negative consequences such as unintentional weight changes and chronic fatigue.

In other words, you should really take care of your gut health if you want to optimize your overall health. One way to do it is by simply adjusting your diet and eating foods that will benefit your gut health.

In this article, we will list down 9 foods that you can eat to improve or boost your gut health. These foods are typically common foods, so you don’t need to worry about price and how to find them.

1) Yogurt

Yogurt, especially live yogurt, is one of the common and excellent sources of gut-friendly bacteria – which is key to your gut’s health. Hence, yogurt is one of the commonly sought-out foods when it comes to taking care of their gut health.

Look for sugar-free and full-fat yogurt as this maximizes the benefits you can get from it. Sugared yogurt may lessen or reserve its positive effects for the gut.

2) Almonds

Almonds have good probiotic properties, meaning they are a good treat for your gut bacteria. Almonds are high in fiber and full of polyphenols and fatty acids; an ideal diet for your gut-friendly bacteria.

Almonds can simply be delicious in themselves, so have a treat while taking care of your gut health!

3) Peas

Peas contain key fiber – both soluble and insoluble – and fiber is one key element in our gut-friendly bacteria’s diet.

4) Kimchi

This special Korean food is made of fermented vegetables, making it rich with probiotic bacteria. Kimchi, aside from being rich with probiotics, is also rich with fiber and key vitamins.

Basically, kimchi is another gut-friendly food. And if you are a fan of Korean shows and KPop, or just anything about Korea, the better!

5) Olive oil

Olive oil is another food that is rich with fatty acids and polyphenols – something that our gut bacteria loves to consume. So, be sure to add olive oil to your kitchen for better gut health. Not to mention that olive oil is rich with health benefits in itself!

For a healthier diet, cook your vegetables with olive oil. Or, if you are into salad, replace your oil with olive oil for a healthier diet!

6) Garlic

Garlic is rich with antifungal and antibacterial property, but it will not hurt your gut-friendly bacteria. It will only target harmful or “bad” gut bacteria, so it is still a good partner for your gut health.

For the “good” bacteria, garlic’s properties can be used as their “fuel source”, making them optimized for whatever they are doing.

7) Banana

Bananas are rich and full of fiber, a favorite snack of your gut bacteria. Hence, bananas are another food to eat to keep your gut health intact. After all, what we eat when we have digestive problems? Bananas!

Also, bananas contain key minerals that are important for our health.

8) Ginger

Ginger is good for stimulating your digestive system. You can add ginger to your diet if you simply eat meals that are cooked with ginger – such as with soups. You can also make a ginger tea if that is your thing too!

9) Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a dish native to Germany, but over time, it has made its way to just about everywhere. Sauerkraut is made with finely chopped, fermented cabbage, making it beneficial for your gut health. But do not choose or cook sauerkraut that is pickled in vinegar as this can reserve or lessen its benefits.

These are just some of the foods that you can eat to boost your gut health. Of course, there are many more foods which can fit, but we’ve picked the ones that you probably commonly eat. You may even be surprised that by eating these foods, you are already helping your gut without even knowing it!

Summer Mocktails That All of Your Guests Will Love

With the temperatures rising and the sun staying out longer, it’s the perfect weather to enjoy a mocktail on the back porch. Mocktails make the perfect addition to a picnic, an evening walk, or even if you’re just lounging around.

Cocktails are great, but if you are looking for some alcohol-free options you have come to the right place. Often times summery drinks are packed with sugar which we know can hurt us in numerous ways. That’s why we crafted seven different cocktail recipes for you that are all delicious, yummy, and healthy. Check them out below and let us know if you try them out.

Here are 7 Delicious Summer Mocktails:

1. Kombucha Mule Mocktail

What’s better than a mocktail mule? A Kombucha mocktail mule. It’s delicious, refreshing, and tastes better than the original. Not to mention the health benefits that it comes with. Try it out and let us know how you like it!

Ingredients →

How to make it →

  1. Grab your mule mug (a regular mug works as well) and fill it with crushed ice.
  2. Add the lime juice, then topping with ginger kombucha.
  3. Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy.

2. Sparkling Watermelon Spritz

This spritz is perfect for summer, especially those hot nights where you need a refreshing drink to cool you down.

Ingredients →

  • 2 cups of watermelon
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. In a blender, add the watermelon, lime juice, and mint leaves.
  2. Fill a glass with ice, topping with equal parts seltzer and watermelon mix.
  3. Top with a lime and enjoy!

3. Blood Orange Mocktail

This mocktail is the queen of all mocktails. Made with fresh blood oranges, this drink is sure to please any drink lovers palette.

Ingredients →

  • The juice from 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup of seltzer
  • Crushed ice
  • Blood orange slice
  • Rosemary sprig

How to make it →

  1. Grab your favorite glass and fill it with ice.
  2. Pour in the juice from the blood orange, then add in the seltzer. Garnish with a slice of blood orange and a sprig of rosemary.
  3. Enjoy!

4. Green Tea Spritzer

This summertime spritzer is the perfect drink for any tea lovers out there. If you are like us and love your green tea, then this spritzer was made for you. It’s refreshing, healthy, and something we could drink every single night.

Ingredients →

  • 2 tbsp brewed green tea
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ½ cup of cut-up pineapple
  • 1 cup of seltzer
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the tea, honey, and pineapple to a blender.
  2. Pour crushed ice into a glass and add seltzer.
  3. Top with the tea mix and enjoy!

5. Pineapple Orange Twist

This refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail tastes just as good as it looks. Its vibrant colors are a sneak peek into the vibrant and delicious flavors that this cocktail produces.

Ingredients →

  • ½ cup of pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup of kombucha
  • ¼ cup of orange sparkling seltzer
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and crushed ice to a blender and blend.
  2. Add the mix to a glass, topping with kombucha and seltzer.
  3. Enjoy!

6. Lemonade Spritzer

This lemonade spritzer is one to share with the whole family. It’s a delicious twist on original lemonade and has little sugar.

Ingredients →

  • Lemon juice from 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup of lemon seltzer
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the lemon juice, honey, and crushed ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds then pour mixture over ice.
  3. Top with seltzer and enjoy!

7. Strawberry Kombucha Mocktail

This strawberry kombucha mocktail makes the perfect treat for summer. It’s the perfect blend of berries and kombucha, crafting a delicious and refreshing taste.

Ingredients →

  • 8 oz strawberry kombucha
  • ⅓ cup fresh raspberries
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of sparkling water
  • Juice of 1 lime

How to make it →

  1. Muddle raspberries with mint leaves.
  2. Add crushed ice to a glass cup.
  3. Top with the muddled mix, next adding the kombucha and seltzer.
  4. Top with the juice of one lime and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy all of these delicious summer mocktail recipes! As always let us know if you give them a try.

If you’re looking for more family friendly ideas make sure to check out our plant-based recipes your kids will love.

7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health and Wellness

health and wellness

What does health and wellness mean to you?

Being in control of your health does not need to be difficult. Actually, a lot of research shows that the key to a lifetime of good health is through “lifestyle medicine.” This means taking small, simple steps in improving your overall health and incorporating these habits into your everyday life.

This being said, you do not have to take a giant leap to totally change your lifestyle. It begins with small changes, that eventually turn into habits. There is nothing wrong with having big goals, but there is also a benefit in working on the little ones.

Just by adding a few of the following practices into my lifestyle I’ve been able to see a dramatic increase in my overall health and wellness. I wanted to share these simple steps with you so that you too could see a positive change in your lifestyle.

Eat Smarter

One of the smallest life changes we can make is eating smarter. This doesn’t mean revolutionizing the way you eat, just implementing some different changes where you can.

There can be a lot of healthier alternatives for our usual meals, including the following.

  • If you regularly eat foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, you may opt to choose their whole-grain versions.
  • Say no to sugary drinks. As always, water is the best option. You can also infuse your water with lemon and cucumber for that refreshing taste. I love doing this with lemons and strawberries.
  • Eat your veggies. Incorporating more leafy greens to your meals will do so much good for your body.
  • Avoid adding salt to your meals because it may contribute to bloating and high blood pressure.

Find a New Hobby

One thing to help improve your health and wellness is experimenting with hobbies. Hobbies make you explore your hidden talents and improve them at the same time. They also relieve stress and help you take a little break from your fast-paced lifestyle. Simple hobbies like doing a crossword puzzle or sudoku will have a productive and positive effect on your brain. While it’s a fun activity in the short-term, it will help lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the long-term.

Personally, I love finding new hobbies to explore. My favorite hobby to do is gardening. It’s a super relaxing addition to my day, and also provides my family with fresh produce. 

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Studies show that most adults do not get at least seven hours of sleep, and at this point in time, we all know how important it is to get enough sleep. Making sleep a priority is a great habit to introduce to your schedule if you don’t already do so.

Try to develop a ritual that will train your brain to relax and make you fall asleep more quickly and soundly. For me, I love enjoying a cup of tea before bed, and a dimly lit bedroom to help me sleep better and longer.

Train your Posture and Work those Muscles

Ever wonder why you are suffering from back pain at your age? Well, your posture may be bad, so always make sure you have proper posture.

If you are working at the office or pretty much sitting in a computer the whole day, make sure you are sitting in an ergonomic chair. Another small activity that will benefit you, both in the short term and in the long run, is stretching. It will only take a few minutes of your day and will do so much good for your body!

‘Me’ Time is the Best Time

One thing that is oftentimes overlooked in regards to health and wellness is what I like to call “me time.”

An effective way to improve your overall health and wellness is by taking some minutes each day to do something for yourself. This will promote inner growth and renewal. It will help you think better and breathe for a while. One way to enjoy ‘me time’ is by having a glass of wine or a smoothie and a bubble bath.

I also love to enjoy a smoothie while relaxing with a book, but it looks different for every person. Find what makes you happy and fulfilled and do it.

De-Stress and Meditate

Even the simplest things like going for a walk, listening to music, and cleaning can decrease your stress levels. One way that I work to destress is through meditation. Meditating will improve your focus and lessen your cortisol levels which, in turn, will improve your immune system.

Count your Blessings

This is one of the most important things we should do every single day. It is proven that people who know how to appreciate things in their life are happier than those who don’t.

When you start to count your blessings, you’ll be surprised about how lucky you are and how beautiful life is. Doing this before anything else in the morning, or every time you feel stressed or anxious will surely help you go through the day with a smile on your face.

Have you thought about incorporating these steps into your daily routine? Let me know how if you add any of these into your life, and how they impact your health and wellness. I love hearing from you in the comments!

Plant-Based Mini Baked Potatoes with Paprika

mini baked potatoes final

Plant-based Mini Baked Potatoes? Aren’t all potatoes plant-based? Believe me, my family typically loves to load these mini baked potatoes with lots of sour cream, cheese and bacon! These however are not those, these are a healthy alternative which are an awesome side to any dish, and are very simple to make. You probably already have all the ingredients in your house.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups halved mini potatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
mini baked potatoes raw in bowl

Instructions

First step is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then rinse potatoes in cold water. I like to cut the potatoes in half, but depending how big they are you can cut into fourths. I used half a bag.

mini baked potatoes with spices in bowl

Now it’s time to add the olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt. A perk to this mini baked potato recipe is that there are no set measurements. I’ve added some suggested measurements to help you but to be honest I just eyeballed how much of each ingredient to pour in. You do not want the potatoes to be drowning in oil, so just add enough to lightly coat them. Then toss.

mini baked potatoes with spices on sheet

Lay them out on the pan. They can be facing up, down, or sideways, it doesn’t matter. Bake until they are soft and a light golden brown. Usually takes around 15 minutes give or take.

Final Verdict

mini baked potatoes cooked on sheet

These plant-based mini baked potatoes are the next best alternative to french fries! They are so delicious and can be paired with any lunch or dinner. If you’re like me and like salty foods, you can always add more garlic salt after cooking!

if you love potato recipes make sure to check out our earlier post Perfect Potato Recipes for a Plant-Based Diet!

3 Ideas to Keep Your Kids Entertained While in the House

Thousands of families are staying home in self-quarantine to help protect themselves and others from getting infected with Covid-19.  Me and my family are no different. The question we are consistently dealing with is what do in quarantine with our kids.

If you are quarantined with your kids, you may be fully realizing how long 24 hours in a day really is! 

Don’t worry if you’re at your wit’s end, we have come up with a list of 4 fun activities to keep your kids entertained and healthy

1. Host a Movie Night

One of the oldest tricks in the books regardless if you quarantined is to host a movie night with your kids! 

The key to this entertainment is to create a movie-theatre atmosphere. This activity can last much longer than just the two hours that the movie lasts- 

Here are some ideas to make the activity last all day:

  • Have your children plan and prepare a “movie snacks menu”
  • Have your children vote on what movie to watch
  • Create a comfy atmosphere in front of your TV. Ask your kids to help decorate!
  • Turn the lights off during the movie and try to make this an uninterrupted time

This may even help you relax as a parent. When was the last time you sat back and just enjoyed the company of your family?

While the Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly stressful and being in self-quarantine is an inconvenience, try to appreciate the unexpected family time you now have! 

2. Try Camping Indoors

When quarantined with kids, try to add a little bit of adventure to your days! 

Creating a fort is the ultimate activity to get kids involved and make them feel like they are in a whole new world. 

Here are instructions for an incredible camping adventure indoors:

Step 1: Set up a tent inside. If you don’t have a tent, a blanket fort will do just fine!

Step 2: Cook food that you would normally make at the campground. At-home s’mores still taste delicious!

Step 3: Share spooky (or funny) campfire stories. 

Step 4: Try stargazing from your living room with some amazing apps!

Step 5: Let giggling induce and don’t worry too much about bedtime. This is a memory they will have forever!

This activity also allows you to take a step back from the screen-time that is consuming so many of us during this self-quarantine! 

3. Teach Them How to Cook Their Favorite Dish

What special dish do you make for your child for their birthday? 

Or on a special holiday? 

There is no better time than during a quarantine to teach your kid how to make their favorite dish!

Kids are so curious and will love learning how to cook side-by-side with you in the kitchen. This is also a great time to teach them about staple meals you make in your household, kitchen safety, and dining etiquette! 

Fun for the Whole Family During Self-Quarantine

Don’t let the Covid-19 pandemic get you down. Self-quarantine is an excellent time to bond with your family and try some activities out that you enjoyed during your own childhood!

These activities are all learning activities for your children and will help peak their natural curiosity. 

Interested in reading more about healthy activities and family life? Make sure to check out our blog for more!