Miso Tahini Soup

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We all know that fermented foods are our best friends, and that we should eat at least two servings of them everyday. Fermented foods provide our gut with beneficial bacteria that help us stay healthy, vibrant, and happy, as good gut health is the key to our overall mental and physical wellness.

Check out this fun miso soup recipe from fellow health coach, Katarina Saxton, for a meal that will make your taste buds (and gut) happy.

Miso Tahini Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 10 min – Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:misotahinisoup

1 delicata or butternut squash, seeded and cut into cubes
1 medium white turnip, peeled and cut into cubes
4 cups water
4 tbsp white miso (or any miso you like and adjust the amount accordingly. Some misos are saltier than others).
1/4 cup tahini
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

 

Optional accompaniments:

3 cups of cooked brown rice
1 avocado (sliced or cubed)
1 bunch of chives, minced
Toasted nori (or kale), crumbled for serving
Toasted sesame seeds

 

Preparation:

1. Toss the squash and turnip in oil, salt and garlic and broil in the oven for 10 minutes. This step is totally optional. Recipe did not call for it, but I feel that the flavors intensify when roasted.
2. Once roasted add the squash and turnip to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a gentle boil.
3. Simmer for few minutes (or 10 if you didn’t roast them i the oven) so the stock gets flavored. Remove from the heat and let cool just slightly.
4. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot stock into a small bowl and whisk in the miso and tahini. This step is to avoid clumping. Stir the thinned miso back into the pot along with lemon zest and juice. Taste, adjust the broth to your liking by adding more miso (for saltiness) or tahini, or something else. I added some sea seasoning for saltiness and cayenne for a little kick, because I like spicy foods.
If you have leftovers and need to reheat the soup, you’ll want to do so gently, over low heat, to preserve the qualities of the miso.

About Kat Saxton:

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Kat Saxton is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and owner of KS Wellness, holistic health coaching company. She was born and raised in Finland and now live in the beautiful San Francisco Bay area. She is an advocate of whole food plant-based lifestyle focusing on digestion and detoxification. She loves yoga, Body Pump, long walks in the nature, pretty journals, farmers markets and cats. Check out her blog for recipe inspiration and wellness tips at www.lifeissweetinnyc.com
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5 Tips For Healthy Digestion While Traveling

fruitbeachWhile traveling around the world is fun, it tends to wreak havoc on the digestion system. Many people tend to go to the bathroom either too much while on vacation or too little. It’s understandable because while traveling we are introduced to new foods, and at most times are at the mercy of restaurants. Traveling also tends to break the routines we have back home that keep our engines running smoothly.

But there is hope for keeping a happy tummy and regular visits to the loo!

I’ve been in India the past few months and here are some tips that have helped me while on the road:

1. Take Probiotics

I can’t stress this enough! Bringing probiotics with you while on vacation is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy while on the road. Without these your gut doesn’t have the good bacteria that it needs to digest your food properly. It’s even more crucial while on vacation because you are constantly being exposed to new bacteria from the water and food.

If you are bringing probiotic pills, make sure to check you buy ones that do not need to be kept refrigerated. In addition to probiotic pills, I like to bring individual Green Vibrance packets with me while on the road, and I drink this every morning.

2Drink Plenty of Water

We tend to not pay enough attention to how much water we are drinking while traveling. The sightseeing and excitement of a new place tends to side track us! This is why it is even more important that you are aware of how much water you are drinking.

I always drink more than the recommended amount of water while traveling in hot climates seeing as I’m sweating so much (click HERE to calculate how much water you should be drinking daily). To keep track of this I fill up my water bottles for the day and make sure I go through them all. For example, I drink 2.5 liters a day so I fill these up, and make sure they are gone by the end of the day.

The bottom line is, not staying hydrated is a good way to get constipated, which will make you feel lethargic and uncomfortable. So keep a note on your iPhone, set an alarm reminder on your phone-do whatever you have to do make sure you are hydrating your body.

3. Eat Fermented Foods.

Fermented foods contain natural enzymes and probiotics that help the body digest its food. They also contain vitamins and minerals that help the body maintain optimal health. Examples of living foods are yogurt, curd, sauerkraut, kimchi, tofu, and kombucha.

Do your research before traveling to your destination to see what fermented foods are local to the country you will be visiting. For example, on my trip to India I found out there are many fermented staples in the Indian diet such as curd and dosas (crepe made from fermented rice and black lentils), and I was able to spot these on a menu no problem.

Incorporate at least 1-2 servings per day to your diet and you will find yourself feeling groovy.

4. Eat Your Veggies.

I know it’s not always possible to eat what you want while on vacation (I’m currently reminded of this by the lack of dark green leafy veggies in India, believe me!) but do your best.

Find the veggies on the menu and order them. Visit the local market and buy your own if you have to. The more veggies you eat, the more fiber you are adding to your body.

However, if you are leaning more on the constipated side, take it easy on the raw veggies, and opt for lightly cooked ones.

5. Stick to the closest version of the foods you eat at home.

Try to stick to the closest version of what works for you while home. I know this isn’t always easy, but be creative. If your stomach is giving you trouble don’t feel like you have to get all Travel Channel and try every exotic food that is offered to you.

Protect yourself and stick to the foods that you know work for you. There is no shame in being a picky eater while traveling if it’s for the sake of your health!

Photo from Pixabay

Bonus Tips:

-Try to find an accommodation with a kitchen so you can make some of your own meals.

– Take Magnesium Citrate to avoid constipation (it also helps you sleep better).

– Don’t overeat even if all the new food is tempting.

– Do your best to eat meals at the same time everyday.

– Keep the body moving and incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

– Drink warm water with lemon or lime, depending on what is available. Do this first thing in the morning for a dose of enzymes to kick-start your digestive system in the right direction. Lemon water also gives you tons of Vitamin C for the day which will keep your immune system strong.

Happy Travelin’!

xx

Health Coach Jenna

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6 Steps to Get Rid of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is your body’s way of telling you that something is off with the way you are eating. Our body speaks to us in sensations, so it is extremely important to listen to them. If you are experiencing acid reflux, then your body is trying to communicate that you need to add more alkaline foods to your diet.

All foods are alkaline or acidic. Here is a chart to refer to in order to distinguish where they fall on the pH Spectrum. I recommend you print this out and place on your fridge for an easy reference.

Photo originally published on MindBodyGreen
Photo originally published on MindBodyGreen

You will notice that coffee, alcohol, meats, and breads are on the acidic spectrum, and that water-filled, fiber-laden foods like fruits and veggies are on the alkaline spectrum.

6 Steps to Get Rid of Acid Reflux:

1. Start every morning off with a cup of WARM water and half a lemon. I know you might be cringing right now as you read this, but if you don’t wish to take acid reflux medication, this is crucial. Lemons balance your PH immediately, so ingesting this first thing in the morning is imperative. It also flushes your body of toxins, and helps move the bowels.

2. Take digestive enzyme capsules before each meal.

3. Add as many green leafy veggies to your diet as possible as they are alkalizing. Try to get a serving at every meal.

4. Cut one cup of coffee out a day (or completely if you really want to show acid reflux who is boss), and replace with a cup of green tea. Bonus points if you add lemon!

5. Eat one green apple a day. Apples create an alkaline state in the stomach, neutralizing excess acids and aiding in digestion. They don’t say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” for nothing!

6. Eat one to two fermented foods a day, as they bring the blood and vital fluids back to a correct hydrogen level of pH7.35. Fermented foods are also packed with glorious digestive enzymes that your gut needs and craves to create healthy gut flora. And no! Wine doesn’t count while experiencing acid reflux. Fermented foods can be in the form of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar sipped twice a day (2 tablespoons before lunch and before dinner), or by drinking kombucha or water kefir. Other examples of fermented foods are sauerkraut and yogurt.

*Bonus step for those Wellness Warriors : Cut out red meat from your diet, and reduce all meat consumption in general. Once the acid reflux goes away, you can gradually introduce some red meat (humanely raised, grass fed, and hormone free please!) if desired. Making sure your beef is grass fed is crucial, as cows fed on corn makes for extremely acidic meat.

If the acid reflux persists and doesn’t go away by doing this, next step is to go on a vegan diet for at least one month,incorporate high-grade probiotics daily, and to address what is most likely a case of leaky gut.

Helpful articles:

4 Easy Ways to Eat Alkaline

Alkaline-Acidic Food Chart