Here are five reasons why dill carrots are one of my favorite fermented foods.
In fact, these are so likeable that will be the first in a pilot program I've started to provide fermented foods to the Soup Kitchen.
So, without further a-do, here is a recipe for you to make Fermented Dill Carrot Sticks at home.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
*Note: You can make this recipe with regular bagged carrots, but I find they are only half as tasty as fresh farm carrots. As a minimum, buy carrots with tops still attached.
THAT'S IT! Very simple. Now go on and give it a try!
Have you ever let down a good friend? This weekend, I did. And I felt rotten.
She had called me, left messages, and emailed me twice but I did not “see” any of them.
Of course, you know what happened. I did “see” them, but they didn’t register. Why not?
Weeeellll... I'm laying blame on a return intruder - a bully - in my life. He's sneaky and good at distraction.
Maybe you know him too. Meet, “DO MORE”
DO MORE is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He makes me think that I have to do more and push harder to be of service to family, friends, and community - or to better myself. Early in the morning, he whispers new to-do items to put on my list or sometimes slaps me upside the head with the next best GREAT IDEA!
DO MORE is great at whipping me up into a frenzy, pushing me to expend more energy than I can replace. My energy is depleted because he also convinces me that it is more important to keep working than to go out for lunch with a friend, go for a hike, or call my mother.
DO MORE also keeps me distracted by keeping my head in the future. When I am not present, it is all too easy to miss the (sometimes subtle) needs of our body, family, friends, projects, or the Earth! That is why I can brush away any other demand for my time or attention that is not linked to the task at hand!
Are you nodding your head? We all do battle with DO MORE at some point. Sometimes its out of necessity, and sometimes because we don't realize DO MORE is running the show.
If I let DO MORE reign for too long, I get sick: stomach aches, acne, poor sleep, fatigue, irritability. And man, that does NOT help me be a very good friend, wife, mom, etc.
And that's not all DO MORE does...
The critical piece is that DO MORE stresses us out! And stress profoundly affects our gut in 3 ways:
#1 Stress incites our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), driving our resources to our brain and heart. Simply stated, this means digestion is turned off. So, if you are always stressed, it won’t matter how healthy your food is – you are neither digesting nor detoxing effectively! You get sick more often.
#2 Stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol and messes with our hormones. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels (which then drop and we "need" carbs), heightens awareness (feels like you can’t “turn off”) and affects levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone (mental acuity, memory, sleep, physique, digestion, etc). Long term secretion of cortisol also compromises the integrity of the gut lining and contributes to leaky gut. You eat too much, react to foods, feel brain dead, and can't sleep or perform well.
#3 Though we do not understand the mechanisms yet, there is much clinical evidence to support that stress diminishes populations of good bacteria in our gut. That puts more pressure on our liver to detoxify our blood, and break down/build nutrients. You bloat up, have bad skin, hard poop, headaches.
This may explain why we can go on vacation, relax, eat what we please and not have digestive issues – as well as why we can’t heal our gut even though we are eliminating foods and/or eating very healthy.
Yes, eliminating foods and eating healthy are important, but we also have to help ourselves deal with DO MORE. We have to support our body to cope with stress.
What to do?
Fermented foods provide fodder to nourish our gut's good microbes while supplying us with additional friendly bacteria and vitamins, so eating more foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and sourdough can really help us out. Come to the Fermented Foodies "Culture Club" social this Friday to try some out.
Adaptogen foods like schizandra berries and maca root are also good for nourishing our adrenals.
And, of course, meditation and meditative activities are helpful for reducing stress.
In this weekend's Discovery Workshop, I talk more about how stress affects our organs, hormones, and thus our health. I provide practical recommendations and options for foods, supplements, habits, and tools to help you bring balance and health back to your busy life. You can go here to learn more: http://www.katherinebelisle.com/discovery-workshop.html
So don’t let DO MORE rule your life. Take some time to relax, listen to your body, and learn how to best support it during stressful times. I promise that you will leave better equipped to make healthy choices for your gut and your life!
With love for your gut (and not for DO MORE)!
Once we know what is wrong, suffering now propels us forward with the incentive to make changes and end the suffering.
When it comes to serious illness or chronic conditions that threaten our normal state of well-being or our very life, we must be willing to see the opportunity for such new beginnings!
Disease can be emancipating. When else do we have the excuse and the courage to cut away from our lives the people, places or activities that are harmful and draining of our energy?
Some even argue that we subconsciously create or allow illness into our lives for this very reason: to provide the setting in which we can change our life and save our soul from the misery of living without joy - the joy that comes from following our truth and purpose.
Here’s something that struck me this week as I struggled with a new health fear of my own.
How much of my day is spent doing activities that give me energy, rather than those that drain my energy? (And how many months and years has this been going on?)
Continuing to live days full of “have-to’s” with rare opportunities for “want-to’s” is not living. It is setting ourselves up for a serious wake-up call, an illness or some other catastrophe that will force us to look after our health. Is it any wonder we say things like, “I’m so sick of this”?
Spring is a really good time for changing our ways. We can harness nature’s energy of fresh starts and new beginnings to create a few of our own. What “seeds” do I want to plant in my life? How will I prepare the “soil” so they will germinate? Who will support and help me tend the “garden” so they are nurtured and grow to maturity?
No matter what your creed, we can gain inspiration from this week’s Easter story: A respected healer and teacher living in days of greed, prejudice, and tyranny - surrendering to those very social ills to be captured, tortured and put to death, only to RISE AGAIN into a NEW life. This story helps us realize that we need to suffer through, and put an end to, the things that are killing us in order to resurrect our life.
If you are finding yourself “sick of” feeling stressed out – anxious, moody or depressed – and “tired of” your daily life being disturbed by stomach aches, fatigue, body aches, lack of sleep, and cravings for sugar or junk food - try my FREE 7 Day Challenge to reset your digestive system so it can properly nourish you and lift your energy. You can get it here (Soon to be $35).
You may also be interested in the one-day Discovery Workshop coming up Saturday, April 29 from 9:30-3:30pm. It will help you assess what is going wrong in your gut and how your body is being affected, and you'll enjoy a fermented foods demonstration plus practical solutions and strategies for building healthy guts. You can click here for more information. Grab the early bird savings of $26 if you register before April 18th.
Or if you are ready to start a healing protocol right now with me, to walk you step-by-step through a process of assessing your health (history, symptoms, challenges) and designed to specifically meet your goals by providing for your physical, emotional and mental needs, contact me here to set up an appointment.
I hope you’ll take time this weekend to rest, reflect and plan out your” garden”. You deserve to live life with ease and joy! We don't have to suffer if we take time to address our dis-eases now.
I love Spring for so many reasons, but one of them is the increase in creativity when it comes to food!
Last week, I had a last-minute invite to supper and I had one-hour to prepare something to bring. (She'd hinted to bring something fermented!). Opening cupboards and drawers, I noticed that I still have lots of flours, sugar and several large bags of frozen cranberries in my freezer - and there was a giant bowl of fresh sourdough starter by my woodstove. So being undecided as I usually am - I started out making biscuits then decided to make scones instead. The result was a successful hybrid that went well with dinner (a moose curry) as well as dessert (get out the honey, Mommy!) DELICIOUS!
Here is the final recipe, inspired by Miche Genest's "Sourdough Buttermilk Scones" in The Boreal Gorment. I wanted to improve their digestibility so I incorporated a sprouted flour, and ancient grain flour (spelt) and fermented milk (kefir).
Then you can add:
1-2 cups of sprouted spelt flour (or any other flour, but I use sprouted spelt here because the flour has not been fermented)
A couple handfuls of cranberries and crowberries.
The dough will be goopy and sticky but if you put a little flour on your hands, you can pull out a handful of dough at a time and drop onto a greased parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 425F, or until brown, then turn down the heat to 375 and bake for another 10 minutes. This recipe makes 12 large scones. Enjoy!
Another great way to counteract the negative effects of sitting too much is to use an exercise ball instead of a chair. Moving our pelvis around on the ball is a great way to massage our digestive organs and help them do their job!
One way that I cope with busy days and not enough Me-Time is with my "10-10-10 Rule". It takes just 15 minutes. It's 10 minutes of meditation and prayer with stretching (practicing letting go!), 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups (2 min) and then I have fun dancing to one of my favorite tunes (3 min)! It's not ideal - I'd love to spend longer at every stage of this - but it's what I can do today, it's easy to repeat and its better than nothing! Plus I start my day feeling a little refreshed and joyful from from the dancing.
My 10-10-10 Rule for busy days
10 min of Meditation and Prayer while Stretching
+ 10 push-ups (1 min)
+ 10 sit-ups (1 min)
+ Dance to a fun song (3 min)
= 15 minutes and feeling good!
So there you have it, 4 simple and DOABLE steps to support our digestion. If you found these tips helpful and are interested in a quick and straight-forward reboot of your digestion, try out the Guts to Heal 7 Day Challenge here.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are required to keep our gut and body healthy. They break down food into bioavailable nutrients we can utilize, they build and synthesize nutrients for us, and they help our liver by breaking down many toxins.
Prebiotics are a type of fibre and are what feed and nourish our good bacteria! You can learn more about prebiotics here.
Natural fermentation breaks the food down to a more digestible form that also supports the good bacteria population. Try to experiment with different fermented foods and include them into your daily diet such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, brine pickles, miso, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, (unpasteurized) cheese, and yogurt.
If you are new to fermented foods and would like to give some a try, come to one of the monthly Fermented Foodies Culture Club socials. It’s an informal and fun way to sample and learn about these tasty treats!
Not local? You can also join our Facebook Group to share experiences, recipes and live cultures or the email list for news on upcoming events & workshops.
PS Ready for a gut tune-up now? Don’t forget to check out my new Guts to Heal 7 Day Challenge, free for a limited time.
When eating, we try to avoid distractions such as watching TV, playing a game, answering emails or reading so that we can sit and really focus on chewing – and enjoying - our food. Instead, beautify your eating space so that all your senses are being nourished and revitalized at the same time!
We can even create a “chew-a-thon” competition with family members to make it more fun. Your gut will love you for it!
Tomorrow I’ll share the best kept digestive secret… and it includes eating from the food group that the Canada Food Guide left out.
Ready for a gut tune-up now? Don’t forget to check out my new Guts to Heal 7 Day Challenge, free for a limited time.
You're going to love how true and beautiful this first tip is!
Eat Real Food!
We know, right? So why don't we do it?
The easiest way to support our digestion is to eat what the body is naturally equipped to digest: real, fresh, whole and organic foods packed full of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and enzymes. Foods in season and grown locally are our best choices.
Our bodies are not meant to process artificial foods. Not only are such foods devoid of nutrition, but they actually drain our body’s nutrient reserves in order to digest them and then eliminate the toxins!
Don’t be fooled by “enriched” proclamations either – this is just a sign the food has been heavily processed; hence, the loss of nutrients to replace (synthetically) and only those nutrients that we know of at this time.
Eating real food also means avoiding GMO foods. It is simply too early to tell how these foods are affecting our bodies. If a fungicide can be injected into the cell of a plant and we ingest that plant, could it be killing off beneficial gut microflora?
Real food is natural and easy for our body to digest, provides more nutrients than processed foods, and is rich in fibre. Fibre helps us feel full, regulates our blood sugar levels and most importantly, feeds and nourishes our good gut bacteria.
So why reach for processed crap when you can nourish yourself with something better?
What real food will you indulge in today? If you want a treat, pick a food you love but always pass over due to practicality or price, like pomegranate, berries or melon.
If you’d like to see the Clean Eating handout I give to my clients, click here.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my most effective tip on how to tune up your digestion (it’s so easy you won’t believe it).
Ready for a gut tune-up? Try my new Guts to Heal 7 Day Challenge, free for a limited time. You can still grab it here.
So many of us have problems with our digestion these days.
In our rush-rush world, we may eat too fast, sit too long and spend much of each day feeling stressed. If we feel that life is overwhelming and we can't keep up with it, is it any wonder that our body cannot “digest” it either?
Having too much on our plate eventually leads to digestive problems like gas, bloating, the runs, constipation, plus headaches, fatigue, irritability, cravings, low sex drive, sleep problems and sore bodies – to name a few.
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
What Clients Are Saying
"I was plagued by a myriad of digestive and inflammatory issues and after months of discomfort I was fortunate enough to meet Katanne. Her insight, intuition, knowledge and caring attention has made it possible for me to heal and thrive with a new understanding of the food I eat. I am now healthier, happier and have more energy than I have had in quite some time. " ~ Steve T.
"Katanne gives well balanced information versed in first hand experience and research. After seeing various health professionals over the years, doing my own research, trials and tribulations, I can (say) that this is the real deal, and that what she provides people is a holistic, realistic approach to healing oneself through food" ~ Elizabeth G.