How To Go Pro (as in Probiotics)

Let’s learn how to Go Pro (as in Probiotics). Throughout history, fermented foods have provided probiotic bacteria in the diet. All traditional cultures fermented their foods and lived in and with nature. This created an amazing diversity of gut microbes.

WHAT IS FERMENTED FOOD?

Food fermentation dates back more than seven thousand years to wine making in the Middle East. In the United States we are familiar with sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and yogurt (fermented milk product). Korean-Americans probably have a jar of kimchi in their fridge. We are realizing the amazing health benefits of these microbial foods. CLICK HERE to read my previous blog about Psychobiotics: The Future of Mental Health ( the link between microbes and our mental health).

How To Go Pro (as in Probiotics)

WHAT IS FERMENTATION?

Fermentation is the metabolic process of converting carbohydrates, typically sugars, into other molecules – either alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids. The chemical conversion process needs yeast, bacteria (or both) and it takes place in the absence of oxygen. Fermented foods contribute a diverse array of microorganisms to the existing gut microbiota and thus have the potential to affect health.

NOT ALL FERMENTED FOODS ARE THE SAME

While all fermented foods are necessarily made with microorganisms, some products are subsequently processed by heat or filtration. These steps are done to extend shelf-life and make the products shelf-stable, but they also inactivate or remove the organisms. Thus, fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut or pickles packaged in jars and stored at room temperature will not contain live cultures. For other fermented products, like sour dough bread, the organisms do not survive the baking process. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for consumers to know which products actually contain live bacteria. Still, there are plenty of fermented foods with live cultures, but discerning consumers need to look carefully at the labels.

Many foods can have probiotic benefits
Cucumbers are great to pickle

WHAT ARE DIETARY SOURCES OF PROBIOTICS?

Here is how to Go Pro (as in Probiotics). Probiotics can be found in:

Yogurt – milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

Kefir – fermented probiotic milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.

Sauerkraut – finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria.

Tempeh – fermented soybean product. It forms a firm patty whose flavor is described as nutty, earthy or similar to a mushroom.

Kimchi – contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health

Kombucha – is a fermented black or green tea drink.

Pickles – cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of salt and water.

You might also want to supplement with a probiotic supplement to help increase the number of beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. CLICK HERE for the one I use and recommend.

Look what Costco Items I Have in my Kitchen

Look what Costco Items I Have in my Kitchen

Look what Costco items I have in my kitchen. It is such a popular place, especially for people with larger families, people who entertain, people looking for a deal.  Did you know it is also a great place to stock up on organic foods?  Who knew?  I went the other day and found over 80 things organic at Costco I have a membership but will admit I don’t shop there as often as many people I know. I usually go to stock up on things like paper towels, toilet paper, bottled water, etc.  We have a small family (only 2 of us in our household), so I don’t have a lot of use for giant sizes.

I will say, though, I was amazed at the amount of organic items that are available! I now rethink my Costco trips as I can stock up on things from my favorite sprouted wheat bread to fruit and veggies for juicing and smoothies and frozen veggies.

When you compare prices, organic quinoa at Whole Foods retails for $5.99. At Costco, it’s $2.87. Organic chicken breasts are a dollar cheaper at the discount brand, and a loaf of organic whole wheat bread is about $1.50 less expensive. In other words, the savings are real.

The amount of frozen organic foods is impressive.  Some of it is just organic versions of convenience foods but for busy moms sometimes organic chicken tenders is dinner!  I love all of the frozen veggies and fruits.  Easy to have nutritious side dishes on hand.  

CLICK HERE for my own Costco Clean Eating Shopping List. Look what Costco items I have in my kitchen.

Look what Costco Items I Have in my Kitchen

The trick is to shop with a list and make sure you only buy the healthy real foods that are on it. Otherwise, it is very easy to come out with food and other items, that we don’t need.

Inside this ebook:

Over 30 Clean Eating Grocery Items (on one printable page)

Categories include: Healthy Snacks, Organic Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Healthy Oils, Cooking Essentials, Protein and Dairy.

5 Tips for Savvy Shopping at Costco

Bonus! Bone Broth Recipe

CLICK HERE for some Probiotic food choices you might want to discover on your shopping trip to Costco.

My Favorite Healthy Halloween Treat

Halloween is coming. You know what’s even scarier than vampires, ghosts, and skeletons ? The long list of nasty ingredients in the candy kids eat by the bucket-full on Halloween. It can be extremely challenging to find healthy Halloween treats on a holiday dominated by candy corn and fun-size chocolate bars.

One way to ensure a safe and healthy Halloween for your little witch or wizard is to look out for teal pumpkins on your neighbors’ doorsteps. This indicates a house that offers non-food items for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or sensitivities, such as glow sticks, stickers, or small toys.

These Pumpkin Butter Cups are a seasonal and allergy-free take on Peanut Butter Cups! The best part has to be the center–it’s so creamy, pumpkin-filled, and the orange color will get everyone into the Halloween spirit!

Pumpkin Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 scoops  pure protein powder

Instructions

  1. Combine coconut, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined into a “nut butter” like consistency.
  2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. In a glass bowl, place chocolate chips and set bowl over top of saucepan to create a double-boiler (alternatively, you can use a double-boiler if you have one). Consistently stir chocolate until fully melted.
  3. In mini-muffin liners or silicone mold, fill each slightly under halfway with melted chocolate. Roll pumpkin mixture into small balls and place in chocolate. Pour remaining chocolate on top to cover pumpkin mixture.
  4. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until set.
  5. Enjoy!