Did you know…? Benefits of COCONUT YOGURT (+ bonus recipe!)

Focusing on gut health can help prevent (even help eliminate) many diseases at their root, and is part of the foundation for a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. To support your gut, it’s key to add PROBIOTICS to our diet, via fermented foods and/or supplements.

One easy and delicious way to get your probiotics is with yogurt, BUT most traditional store-bought yogurts are highly processed, filled with sugar, and your common dairy-milk version can be irritating to the gut for many people, therefore canceling out the positive effects of the probiotics!

So instead, I suggest trying dairy-free (unsweetened) Coconut Yogurt!

Read more to learn BENEFITS of Coconut Yogurt, easy ways to use it, and a delicious recipe that you’ll LOVE!

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A Simple Ritual to Improve Your Health

As you’ve probably heard me say time and again, the health of your digestive tract has a lot of influence over your entire health.

Your gut is linked with your nervous system, your brain, your immune system, your hormones, and it’s extremely linked to your weight. The trillions of bacteria in your gut play a large role in: weight management and avoiding obesity; preventing diseases like diabetes, arthritis, MS, even cancer; balancing neurotransmitters (affecting our mood, stress, depression, etc.); boosting immunity (to avoid getting colds/flu/infections); supporting digestive health (pooping regularly and properly, avoiding tummy aches, bloating, gas), and more!

So clearly, it’s extremely important to keep your gut and belly healthy in order to both lose weight and stay healthy. One important way to do this is taking probiotics. BUT it’s a lot more than that.

Improving your DAILY HABITS and RITUALS to improve digestion is absolutely key. That includes paying closer to not only what you eat, but also HOW you eat.

Too often, we’re eating when we’re feeling rushed, stressed about work, our to-do list, etc., and this impairs digestion and usually leads to a bloated belly and/or gasses. And if we eat this way too often, we can end up with nutrient deficiencies, digestive symptoms, and gut issues (such as gut dysbiosis or leaky gut). And as I mentioned earlier, these gut issues can then affect the rest of your health.

So today I want to share a lovely ritual to apply at EACH MEAL before eating, that will help you get your body out of its sympathetic state (“fight or flight”) and into a parasympathetic state (“rest and digest”), in order to help your digestive system function optimally. When your body is relaxed and focused on eating (vs on other things), your body will better absorb nutrients (to boost your health) and avoid digestive problems.

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Is Your Gut Keeping You from Balanced Hormones and Weight Loss?

I work with a lot of people that are seemingly healthy, but struggle to lose those last few pounds. Often, they get tired most afternoons (and rely on coffee), have occasional skin issues, and some digestive issues. That’s when I usually detect that its related to their hormones. The problem then becomes that most doctors just have people treat these hormonal imbalances by taking more hormones, instead of figuring out WHY their hormones are off in the first place. (For ex., you have acne so you get prescribe the pill). But almost always, when there is any hormonal imbalance, there is an issue with the gut.

The first step to achieving optimal health and healing from the inside out is improving your gut health.

An unhealthy gut affects your body’s ability to produce the right quantity of hormones - including cortisol, thyroid hormone and sex hormones. A healthy gut is needed to fully absorb and metabolize nutrients from the foods you eat, which are necessary for the proper production of hormones (and for stress reduction!).

And if you're stressed and your hormones are off (for example, you're producing too much cortisol and/or not enough thyroid), this leads to symptoms such as: weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, as well as imbalances in your sex hormones, menstrual health and infertility.

So what can you do to improve your gut health and achieve hormonal balance, get more energy, better skin, stronger immunity, and weight loss?

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PROBIOTICS - WHAT THEY ARE AND WHY YOU NEED THEM

As a Health Coach, I often bring up the topic of PROBIOTICS with my clients, as I find that a large majority of people, especially those with signs of inflammation or digestive issues, could benefit massively from including more probiotics in their diet.

But I’ve come to realize that the knowledge about these good bugs is still not wide-spread; most people just associate them with yogurt. So I wanted to shed some light, as this topic is one that I personally feel very strongly about and have spent lots of time researching, for both myself and clients.

FIRST, WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

The word itself is a compound of two Greek words, ‘pro’ meaning “of’ and “biotic” meaning “life”, so essentially, the very definition of probiotics affirms life and health! But in very basic terms, probiotics are strains of “good bacteria” that support our native beneficial bacteria and help control the “bad bacteria” from getting out of control. You can get them from fermented foods or take them as a supplement.

Some examples of probiotic-rich foods include:

  • Yogurt (best to buy plain/unflavored and organic!)
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha tea

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

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Four Key Supplements for Everyone

If you are one of those people that believes in getting your nutrients from your food instead of from pills...well, so am I!  When I first started seeing a nutritionist a few years back and she started telling me to take vitamin C, a probiotic and some yucky tasting multi-vitamins, I was REALLY hesitant.  And while I listened to her initially and took some of the recommended vitamins, I quickly gave up because I didn't really understand WHY I should be taking them and how necessary they were.  Plus, they were expensive, annoying to take, and its not like I noticed a difference anyway.

The thing is, I hadn't really cleaned up my diet the way I have now, and of course, I didn't take the supplements long enough in combination with a clean diet to notice any difference.  But the fact of the matter is, if you are taking something, you need to understand why.  

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