“The most powerful path to our brain—and peace of mind—is through our gut.”
Today, millions of people have gut dysbiosis that leads to poor digestion and mood as well as a constant state of low-grade inflammation. While restoring optimal gut flora demands a variety of interventions, it begins with eliminating grains, dairy, sugar and GMOs from your diet. Dietary change is the first step because we can change the microbiota dominance within 72 hours of making simple changes to remove potential immune system triggers and rebalance gut flora.
While this news is empowering, finding motivation to prepare and cook new foods can be difficult when experiencing the fatigue and depression often accompanied by a leaky gut. We’ve made it easy with these four simple recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less and incorporate specific ingredients to support gut healing.
1. Taco Soup
Because our modern diets are largely focused on muscle meat consumption, many of us lose out on the benefits of consuming bones, skin, and tendons as was ancestral practice. Traditional stock made from the bones of pastured animals is used in gut-healing protocols such as the GAPS diet for mucosal repair. You can make your own in a stockpot or purchase online or from your local health food store. Below is one of my favorite recipes for incorporating bone broth into the diet on a regular basis.
4 cups chicken bone broth
1 pound ground beef
2 zucchini, chopped into quarter moons
2 large table carrots, cut into matchsticks (1/8" to 1/4" thick)
4 radishes, sliced thinly (1/8" to 1/4" thick)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white stems and green tops separated)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 limes, halved
2 avocados, chopped
Bring zucchini and stock to a boil in a large saucepan, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook beef and chopped white scallion stems on a skillet on medium heat. Once cooked thoroughly, add beef, cumin and salt to the saucepan with the soup. Add carrot and radish slices then turn off the heat. Serve soup topped with cilantro, green onion tops, avocado and lime. Store soup up to four days (toppings separately) in the fridge or freeze for up to one month.
2. Pumpkin Protein Cookies
Collagen and gelatin provide the gut-healing benefits of traditional bone broth in convenient and versatile powders. The high glycine content of gelatin may also help with insomnia, anxiety, joints, hair and skin. These cookies contain collagen, gelatin and coconut to provide a delicious yet nourishing treat. Coconut is abundant in the healthy saturated fats that are key to healing your gut by repairing the lining of your digestive tract. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of coconut gently support and clean your gastrointestinal system. These “cookies” make great holiday snacks. Reach for one of these instead of a gluten- and dairy-filled treat, and your gut and taste buds will thank you. Kids love them, too!
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (boxed or homemade)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut butter, softened + 2 tablespoons for drizzle
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup collagen peptides
3 tablespoons gelatin
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs or pecans (optional)
Pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in the order listed above until well-combined. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into 12 mounds about 2 inches in diameter, and place onto lined sheet. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut butter on top.
3. Turmeric Latte
You may have seen this recipe on my blog before, but if you haven’t tried it yet, this is one you don’t want to miss! Coffee can contribute to dehydration and cortisol elevation, both unconducive to gut-healing. While it does not have to be eliminated forever, I do recommend removing coffee for at least 30 days to kickstart the healing process. Below is a great replacement that can be sipped any time of day. Turmeric is known for its strong anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Ginger also contains strong therapeutic properties the can help reduce the irritation and inflammation caused in the intestinal lining. You can make the paste ahead of time or simply follow the recipe below.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (1/2-inch-wide) slice fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot but not boiling, 3 to 5 minutes. Drink immediately.
4. Aloe-Mint Smoothie
This recipe includes ingredients to cool and soothe the digestive system. Aloe vera helps heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract. Berries, avocado, mint and ginger provide healthy antioxidants and soothing properties. Again, coconut oil and collagen are featured for their therapeutic benefits explained above. This portable smoothie makes a great breakfast will provide energy and satiety for hours.
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 medium avocado
4 oz. aloe vera juice
8 ounces coconut water, or filtered water
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon chia or flaxseed
1 sprig fresh mint leaves
1/4 inch fresh ginger root
3 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Gut healing can seem like a daunting task at first, so reduce overwhelm by approaching it one delicious meal at a time. After you have changed your diet, you can then consider incorporating self-care and detox practices that will further support healing.