How do you identify?

Paleo. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Keto.

Do you fit into any of these labels? Or another not listed here?

While some people choose specific diets for health purposes, others just like the structure of knowing exactly what they “should” eat.  I do think this has a lot to do with personality type, too. Some like more structure, while others like not being “in a box.” No way is right or wrong, but in these instances, we can get quite far away from remembering to listen to what our bodies are asking for.

Be sure to check in with yourself and pay attention to how you feel after each meal you eat.  Do you feel satisfied, light, energized? Or do you feel sluggish or bloated? Even if you do subscribe to a specific eating plan, you can still listen closely and let your body tell you what it needs the most.

Do you subscribe to a specific way of eating? Let me know below!

Quick Tips That Help You Improve Gut Health Fast

Since scientists found that the gut functions as a second brain, there’s been a considerable push toward getting guts tamed. Without a proper balance of the ecosystem that exists there, it leads to countless problems that go well beyond the ordinary everyday ailments.

Your gut has good and bad bacteria, and it’s essential to get the good bacteria in balance so that you don’t experience any painful or uncomfortable side effects. Stress and lack of sleep also make for trouble in the gut, but there are some simple tips you can follow to help improve your gut health day by day.

– Go whole, unprocessed, and unrefined
Start by making most of your plate — fill it with colorful vegetables and plant-based ingredients. These high-fiber foods are among the best to nourish your good gut bacteria, and this is a step you can take with each meal you eat.

– Munch on more fat
Good fat, that is! Things that have omega-3 and monounsaturated fats help reduce inflammation so that healthy bacteria can grow in numbers. Think high-quality extra virgin olive oil and avocados.

– Round out your nutrients with supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of your diet and gut health. Some people turn their nose up at fish, while others have dietary restrictions. If that sounds like you, make sure you get the things you need via high-quality supplements. They come from wild-caught fish, but if you’re not eating it for whatever reason, you should find a supplement that ensures you get it. Ask your doctor for a high-quality brand recommendation.

– Start craving coconut
Coconut oil and coconut butter both contain MCT oils that help fight inflammation and can be beneficial in losing weight. These are easy to add to nearly any recipe without changing the flavor, so make these a part of your daily routine as often as possible.

– Get rid of bad fats
While good fats help your gut health, the bad fats are doing harm. Ditch the vegetable oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and swap them out for the good stuff with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. This simple switch reaps noticeable benefits.

– Make more room for fiber
Fiber makes you feel fuller longer, and also gives your gut prebiotics, which helps feed that good bacteria. Go for more nuts and seeds, and you’ll be on the right path.

– Fall in love with fermented foods
Koreans eat kimchi with every meal. If you can’t stand the spice, go for sauerkraut, miso, or tempeh to help get your good bacteria in your gut multiplying.

It’s important to note that you won’t suddenly get rid of any gut issues you have, but if you begin by taking daily steps toward a healthier gut, you will surely enhance your well-being along the way. Be sure to get with your doctor to monitor any health conditions you have and get in the best health of your life with a little help from your gut!

Histamines: Are They a Problem For You In Your Food

When you hear the word histamine, do you instantly think of seasonal allergies? Like those sneezes that inevitably come with spring when the pollen count is so high that your eyes are itchy and your nose is running.

You aren’t wrong to think of allergies when you hear “histamine” — but I also want to let you in on how histamines play a role in your food, too. Histamines are found in foods, with fermented foods among those with the highest in histamine content. Things like vinegar, yogurt, kimchi, soy products, canned foods, aged cheeses, processed meats, legumes, and alcohol all have the highest histamines. For most people, your body produces DAO, an enzyme that breaks down any excess histamine. Some don’t produce enough DAO to fully break down excess histamine in foods, which can lead to allergy-like symptoms.

For example…

– Those with gut health issues
If your gut function isn’t up to speed, it can impact the production of the DAO enzymes and won’t break down histamine properly. If you have celiac, Crohn’s, IBS, or other digestive issues, you may have reactions to histamines in the foods you eat.

– Having a DAO deficiency
Sometimes it’s genetics, while other times, it’s medications that can contribute to a lack of DAO enzymes. Therefore, it’s not always something we can control, but being aware of it is helpful. Whenever a DAO deficiency is present, the result is excess histamine in your system.

– Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
If you’re not eating enough foods that have vitamin C or B6, zinc, or copper, you might have reactions to histamines in your food.

For those in these groups, you may have allergy-like symptoms when eating foods high in histamine. Fortunately, the number of people in these groups is very rare. Still, if you are in that minority, you should have a chat with your doctor.

To experiment, you can go on a low-histamine regime for a short time, which will help build up your immunity and gut health. This should help to set things straight, but in the meantime, eliminating high-histamine foods and foods that inhibit your DAO enzymes can be beneficial for you.

You could try an experiment to see how you feel without high-histamine foods in your diet. After a month, you’ll slowly begin to reintroduce those high-histamine foods back in one at a time. While it may feel restrictive, the good news is that you can learn so much about your body with experimental elimination diets such as this. Once you learn to tune in and get to know how your body feels, how it responds to things, what’s normal and what isn’t for your unique body — you’ll begin to uncover what works BEST for you so you can live your optimal life full of energy and vibrancy.

Have you noticed any foods that simply don’t work for you? Let me know what those are for you.

Do you rotate the same few spices when you cook?

There are some spices that go with just about anything, such as:

  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Cumin
  • Dill

… just to name a few.

Are there any others you add to your meals regularly?

I’m always looking for new cooking ideas, so let me know!

Have you heard of tahini?

Tahini is an oily paste made from ground sesame seeds, and it’s a great addition to things such as salad dressings, soups, or simply a dip to use for raw veggies.

If you’ve never had tahini before, pick some up next time you visit the grocery store. Try using it in different ways to flavor your meals, and you may have a new favorite way to flavor your morning toast.