Eat a pickle: Good for your gut and your mind

A few months ago, one of my students told me about this site, where for about 20 dollars, they send you a box of organic produce. However, you don’t pick what they put in it. The site is Misfits Market  (that’s a referral link). Its awesome, they send you so much stuff! Its basically “cast offs” of fruits/veggies that aren’t good enough for the stores, but everything they have sent us so far has been good! I love it!

Anyway, I’ve been getting a lot of cucumbers lately and one of my favorite things to do is pickle them. Not your standard vinegar pickles, but lacto-fermented pickles.

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Why lacto-ferment?

  1. They taste better.
  2. They are super healthy! Fermented foods should be at the top of your list of healthy things to eat. For some people this is tricky, because these types of foods might not be everyday foods. Other fermented foods are kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt and of course, pickles!

Fermented foods are excellent at keeping your gut healthy, or rather the bacteria in your gut healthy and happy.

The gut microbiome consists of over 1000 microbial species. You literally have more live bacteria in your body than your own cells! These little guys affect your immune system, digestive system, metabolism, vitamin synthesis, allergies, and MOOD.

Keep them happy and they will literally keep you happy.

Majority of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut. Also, I would think that if your immune system, digestive system and metabolism are working good, you might tend to be happier overall as well.

These little guys are super sensitive and can be affected by eating the wrong things, stress, antibiotics, environmental toxins, and other chemicals.

One of the first things we tell clients when they are feeling “off,” or are having digestive issues, inflammation issues or just want to get healthier, is to make sure their gut is healthy first.

Lacto-fermented Pickles

  1. To make the brine: Dissolve 2 tab sea salt in 1 liter room temperature water (filtered is better).
  2. Cut up your cucumbers (long ways like a sandwich pickle or into slices, whatever shape you like).
  3. Put cut-up cucumbers into a clean jar (I just wash mine really well with soap/water).
  4. Add flavorings.
  5. Once you add everything to your jar, fill it with your brine all the way to the top. Need to make sure the cucumbers are completely submerged.
  6. Then lightly place the jar lid on top. Don’t screw down, because the bubbles created will create too much pressure.
  7. Keep jar somewhere where it won’t be disturbed (I keep mine in a cabinet in my kitchen).

Flavorings: You can get creative with this. But this is what I like: A handful of fresh dill, half garlic clove, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 dry thai chile (can omit if don’t want spicy).

Check on them in a few days and see if you like the taste of them. If they aren’t “pickled” enough for you, just let them sit longer.

Notes: You want to see bubbles and cloudiness, that means its working. If you see anything else strange, something else is going on and you might need to start over.

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Let me know if you try them! I also pickled carrots too!

January Newsletter


(reprint from January) 


Healthy Balanced Living

Hello there! Thank you for taking the time to read my 1st ever newsletter. I know how busy you are and you probably already get an overloaded inbox everyday, so this this means a lot to me. I had the idea of a newsletter because I thought it would be a quick thing for my friends to read.I recently started my certification course to be a certified health coach (super excited about!). The reason is that I’ve been teaching nutrition to college students for a few years now and saw how much I have helped them and I realized that I would love to be able to help more people outside of the classroom!

 
 


Food and feeling balanced

I decided on the tile of “Balanced Life” because the more I learn about healthy living and nutrition, the more I realize that there is not a “one size fits all” approach. The most important thing to just connect food to how it makes you feel. It sounds corny, but your body is very smart (and anyone who has studied biochem, knows this).
Most people don’t acknowledge this, and try to force themselves on a particular way of eating, even if their body is saying something completely different.
Nutrition is tied to literally every aspect of our life, to how we handle stress, acne, bloating, anxiety and also quality of sleep. Its just not about losing weight and disease prevention (which are of course, important too).
A big problem I see is that a lot people, just don’t know where to start or need need some guidance.
 


What I am doing

This past month I have embarked on Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living program. This program is wonderful for those who don’t know where to start, want to lose some weight, feel tired all the time, or just because they feel crappy and stressed and can’t point their finger as to why….and need a starting point.Its a whole foods based approach (no counting anything) and while also eliminating possible allergen and inflammation-causing foods (like soy, gluten, dairy). Technically, you can do the whole plan without buying anything from Arbonne. But not everyone has time to prep every single meal from scratch, so it nice to have some things to help make the process easier.

I have been documenting the whole thing via Instagram @lovelylia15 (and some FB), if you would like to see what I have been eating 🙂

 

My experience

Hardest things to give up: cheese and alcohol. 
Surprising easiest: coffee and gluten 
 

I originally thought that with no coffee, I would feel really tired all day, but the reverse has actually happened. From not having my nightly cocktail and 1-2 cups a coffee/day, I have been sleeping better, so I am actually more awake during the day (and therefore don’t need the coffee). Which is why, I believe I haven’t missed it. 
 

Also, my mood and my general sense of calm has been much better. I usually feel very anxious most days. However, this month, I felt like I am just less stressed in general and feel just …calm. For example, one Friday night, (thanks to the rain), it took me 2 hours to get home. Normally, I would have ran in the house, extremely stressed from all the traffic and poured myself a martini. But I was fine. Annoyed yes…but not really upset about it. I actually acknowledged to myself how well I felt during this usually stressful situation. My anxiety as a whole as been fairly nonexistent, which is amazing to me.This plan was designed to decrease inflammation, eliminate possible allergenic foods, reset cravings, and just focus on eating real food again. What I am learning in my class is that all these things create a balance in your body again. It resets your mind as well. Food has a tremendous impact on your brain.


 
When you eat well, your body feels it and your brain works better. This should be common sense, but a lot people do not make the connection. It was just something I really took notice of this month. When I really thought about it, it made a lot of sense to me.

If you are interested in just hearing more about it, I would love to talk to you more. Just shoot me a message and we can just chat!

A new group starts Feb 5. I am going to keep going (with some modifications, but I feel too good to just go back to the way I was eating before.

(PS, and if you do decide to buy some Arbonne products, I can help you get 40-50% off!

If there are specific topics you would like to see in future additions, let me know too!

Thanks for reading!

oxoxox
Lia