why millennials need to be eating fermented foods


 
 

FERMENTS

when in doubt, kraut it out.

*this information is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 

I’m super down for ferments. They’re such a crazy nutrient dense world of goodness that most of us millennials are scared of, or just think “what the fuck”, or just don’t care because we don’t understand why they’re so bomb, and so therefore don’t bother to incorporate it in our lives.

 

So, as we explored in our “what’s up with my gut” series - 70% of our immune system is located in our gut.

Our energy is produced there by our friendly bacteria who dominate our human cells like 10x

Our neurotransmitters like serotonin are made in our gut.

It determines how well we sleep, how well we absorb our nutrients, how well we recover, how often we get sick, our resistance to fatigue, mood balancing, and everything else in between. And ain’t nobody enjoy being sick. So adding fermented foods into our diet strengthens our immune system and will raise our overall wellbeing.

 

Fermented foods are CRAZY RICH IN POLYPHENOLS, (which as we’ve talked about in previous blogs) are plant properties, that are able to not only influence gut bacteria – such as kill off unwanted and encourage good ones (aka ensure the ratio of bacteria is more favourable to the good guys), but they’re also potent antioxidants (which help to mop up free radicals which are rogue cells just running amok), they also can work on gene expression (very cool), and all of these occur in fermented foods, particularly kraut’s as they’re fermented veggies, and veggies are the kingdom of good tings.

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So when I talk about ferments, we have options.

We have krauts, which there are so many amazing ones out there, and kraut’s not just cabbage, there’s beetroot, carrot, kale, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, kimchi, etc etc. (i breakdown my fave's @lewisandson 's and how i include them in my meals, what i cook for dins/lunch/ and their therapeutic benefits woooooo)

I personally gravitated towards @lewisandson because a) there colours are awesome b) SO MANY OPTIONS and c) all their ingredients are local, ethical and superb, no pointless additives or flavours or sugars or anything like that, and D) they follow Ayurvedic principles which is awesome, and means that their ingredients also have therapeutic properties (i explain further down).

And then meeting Daniel and hearing his story resonated, in that it's fucking hard in todays society to find amazing, delicious foods that aren't spiked of shitty additives. And so i'm super blessed and humbled when he reached out!!

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We also have keffir – which you can make your own with keffir kits or just buy it, but be careful, because a lot of the commercial ones are just packed full of sugar and shit. So remember to be flippin that package and reading what’s inside

We have kombucha and same thing, because there’s a lot of companies jumping on the good gut health bandwagon and just creating really sweet, not effective or therapeutic kombucha’s. So again, be aware.

There’s tempeh, miso, tamari, apple cider vinegar, CHOCOLATE (yes cacao is fermented) sourdough bread, wine, pickles/pickled veg, chutneys, coconut yoghurt, natto, and yaas that’s all I can think of right now.


Consuming fermented foods also helps reduce INFLAMMATION.

Inflammation is at the root of all pain, disease and conditions, as there is some kind of dis-regulation and imbalance and inflammations usually there like “oh hey guys, I’m just gonna hang out here” but it’s like can you not? So eating fermented yums can decrease inflammation, and thus, help with all conditions associated, anything and everything from IBS, some autoimmune (U.C / R.A), chronic fatigue, reoccurring UTI’s, psoriasis, eczema and acne to name a few!


A lot of us are missing these vital foods in our diets, because growing up us millennials just were never exposed to them, (unless you have awesome parents). Like shit, until a few years ago I’d never had tempeh or miso or any of the krauts, in my mind fermented foods were like milk yoghurt and cheese and alcohol? (all of which are pro-inflammatory..) And these ferments help to get rid of bloating, aid digestion and just all the not fun times, because they usually have a bitter / sour flavour profile, it increases our digestive juices and aids in bile release (which helps us break down fat). 

It’s like a cute lil sumin sumin on the side, a baben sidepiece, that gives us that extra goodness.

PS alcohol loves to kill and bomb our microbiome, so it’s kinda important and worth adding in some into our diets to help our immune system and microbiome, pow pow.


So the way i cook i feel is the most easiest, basic yet flavour & nutrient dense way. Personally, i'll take the time to cook and bake and all that fun stuff when i have a day off or make the time (coz it makes my soul happy), yet when its a work day i just want to get in, get out, eat something delicious, satisfying and nutritious. And i feel that's how most of us millennials do. like we want something yum, easy and fast haha.

Like my legit general go-to for dinner and lunches (coz i usually make enough to have for lunch too pow pow) is a like "rainbow bowl" aka "anything and everything i have in the fridge", all the veggies i can pack into it, with a bomb protein source and some serious scrumptious herbs and spices, and pimping my bowl with kraut, is how i personally consume them on the daily.

I always make sure in my cupboard i have cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, coz they're my right haaaaaand, they my go to. I also try to always make sure i have tamari &/or coconut amino's for when I'm feeling that asian persuasion vibe. For me, being able to make sure i eat wholesome foods is just enabling yourself access to them. I get my spices from @thesourcewholefoods, because i can just get as little or as much as i want, plastic and waste free - which i love.

And then its like all your veggies, i aim for 5+ different types, greens as the base - whether thats spinach, rocket, mixed leaves, sautéed kale, lettuce, and then adding in my polyphenol rich veggies that are in season (i downloaded this seasonal guide that shows you what F&V are in season in your state). And then i add either some coconut oil or olive oil for the good fats, my tempeh/tofu/lentils/protein, nuts and seeds for texture goodness, and then my spices, and kinda mix it all up in this giant mixing bowl and das it! add tahini or avocado and my kraut and das it. And its just about switching up the flavours when you get bored or have a craving.

Otherwise, i have quinoa flour usually in my cupboard, and i make like a savoury pancake thing and then load it with all the veggies and like make a wrap type thing?!? haha, or i have lupin on the side, or make cauliflower rice, those type things. 

So, recipe's including @lewisandson's kraut for me, is my bowls. And then adding a decent forkful or two to my bowl, but making sure i keep it away from my hot food if it's in there, as heat will destroy and kill the live bacteria (which is what we want!!!). Upon opening and trying every single kraut they have (hahah), i feel for meal/flavour pairing;
 

- kimchi - stir frys, macro bowls, sushi, anythinh tamarai / terriyaki / coconut amino / based / on anything and everything also haha. it has all the amazing pre-biotic goodness and anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger, garlic and chilli!

- sweet n sour kraut - is a game changer. I feel this pairs well with your root veggies - sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, beetroot, those kind of vibes! with some coriander even? it has apple in it (so good) which also adds extra fibre!

- beetroot kraut - in / on anything (ayeeee haha). it's an all rounder. has caraway seeds which are great for heart burn, bloating, and anti-spasmotic!

- cauli-flower power - has turmeric, fenugreek & dill - super anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, fenugreek boosts libido, great for digestion. legit so good.

- rockin' out brocco-kraut - has turmeric and ginger - super anti-inflammatory, great for digestion, any curry type scenarios would go down excellently, or just on crackers with avo as a always haha

- kale kraut - has spring onion, parsley and turnip - is again, anti-fungal/bacterial, great for bloating, diuretic and helps with fluid retention, and great for the kidneys!!! 

- saurkraut - is just the OG with cabbage and salt. add to a side of whatever you love to munch. 

AND THEN I TRIED THEIR WILD FERMENTED SALSA AND OH MY GOD.

SERIOUSLY. MEXICAN HEAVEN DREAMS ENVISION IT IS INSANE. if you're a mexican lover like legit, cannotttttt stress how bad you need to try this. It's like so much flavour. It's insane.

And then they're vegan basil pesto is 10/10 CRACKER TIME GOOD TINGS, DIP, PLATTER, ON ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ALWAYS AND FOREVER AMEN!

like legit, with ferments. whether its cooked, animal based, plant-based, a pre-packaged post-gym meal, uber eats, a BBQ, platters, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, whatever, i feel you can just add a forkful of kraut to whatever you're eating and not only will it boost the nutrient absorption of whatever you're eating, support your immune system and digestion, it also is just such an easy way to take care of yourself and add a heeeaaaapppp of flavour to your day!

WEOW

That's the end of my ferments story (for now...)

E xxx

 

 

 

the link between grains and inflammation

 

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 

Now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get a lil nasty – Trey Songz / me bout grains right now haha

 

Sooooo this epi (I’m calling it an epi because I feel like I just talk in these blogs haha and I like to abbreviate everything), we’re going to be talking about the inflammatory effect of the consumption of grains. e.g headaches, migraines, brain fog, fatigue, ADHD, anxiety, depression, digestive disturbances, autoimmune disease, food allergies, IBS and ulcerative colitis.

 

So, in a nutshell, as we’ve talked about, inflammation is the primary root of all disease, ageing and pain. So obviously avoiding / reducing inflammation is the key to living forever, but nah in all seriousness we have complete control over how we live our lives, whether that’s in pain or not.

 

Grains are these cute little packages, wrapped up in their coat, unable to be penetrated by nature. And then we came along with our fire and our water and were like OPEN SESAME!

 

It’s because of their structure that grains cause a low-grade inflammatory response, because like all species they’re equipped with mechanisms to survive.

 

It’s these protective compounds called lectins, that are indigestible by humans.  Lectins not only trigger inflammation, allergic reactions and intestinal permeability aka leaky gut, but also strip away the protective mucus that lines our gut, making us susceptible to bacteria invasion (yikes).

 

Leaky gut causes gaps to form between the epithelial cells in our gut, which allows toxins, wastes, bacteria and other substances to leak out of our gut and into the blood stream. 

 

It's this perpetuating cycle of inflammation and a heightened immune response, that drains our bodies resources, leaving us vulnerable to other problems and health issues, such as IBS, digestive disturbances, thyroid imbalances, psoriasis, eczema, ADHD, depression and anxiety,  and is heavily linked to autoimmune diseases and allergies.

 

 (*side note, numerous populations have and still do THRIVE off grains, and live amazingly long lives, but its these individuals within these blue zones that also live an extremely active, minimily stressful, blissful life, it’s not one thing is bad/good, it’s the accumulation of a broad spectrum of everything and numerous factors that cause auto-immune and inflammatory responses to grains).

 

If we blindly followed the Australian Dietary Guidelines/Guide to Health Eating, in which they recommend 6-7 SERVES OF GRAINS A DAY, AKA GRAINS ARE OUR #1 FOOD GROUP AND FUEL SOURCE, then its easy to see how a constant consumption of grains, day in, day out, is gonna fuck shit up and wreak havoc and inflammation.

 

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When we’re in a chronic low-grade inflammatory response it just sets us up for all kinds of issues as I’ve mentioned, and creates an inflammatory response in the nervous system. Because our immune systems in a heightened active state, along with the gut-brain connection aka the HPA axis aka the vagus nerve, increasing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, it contributes and aggravates headaches and migraines

 

Inflammation also triggers the stress response, which means cortisol floods our system. Cortisol down regulates the release of our neurotransmitter; GABA, which is like the soothing aloe vera gel when we’re sunburnt, but in our brain. It calms us down, and blocks the over excitation of our neurons (nerve cells). Anxiety, depression and ADHD are all scientifically linked to an imbalance of GABA (as well as dopamine in our brains).

 

It gets tricky though, because its like “if you soak and sprout grains it removes the phytates (anti-nutrient proteins*) and is easier to digest”, and this is true, but realistically are we going to soak and sprout our grains before we cook them? I’m gonna say no (if you do, hats off to you madam/sir).

 

And then there’s the families of grains, like our whole grains – we talking brown rice, oats, burghul, rye, freekah, cous cous, whole wheat (wheats fucked, avoid that shit like the plague, like dead set, if you feel like shit, in anyway, like mentally, physically, fatigued, anxious, brain fog, lethargic, just cut out wheat and watch yourself go from 0-100 real quick, and then tell me so we can hi-5)

 

We’re told that grains are a good source of B vitamins, but if you’re unable to absorb the B vitamins because of their irritable factors, then what’s the point? We’re able to get all the vitamins and minerals in grains, from other wholefood sources.

 

It’s also interesting that whole grains are presented as more nutritious because they contain the fibre which slows down the release of insulin and glucose within the blood, but its actually the bran – the whole grain part, that contains most of these anti-nutrients that aggravate the gut lining, causing permeability and inflammation. Not only that, but also the way grains are milled in our era destroys a lot of the nutrients that would normally exist within them. Additionally, the use of hybridized grains, in which 1 type of seed is predominantly grown.

 

 

Then there’s refined grains – like your white rices, wheat, and all the refined flours that exist in most/all baked goods. Refined grains I don’t think have any place in a diet, whole grains I get, and pseudo grains -  quinoa, aramanth, buckwheat, wild rice and teff, I feel are the best option. When consuming your pseudo/whole grains, treat it as a condiment, rather than the star of the dish, a lil sumin sumin on the side.

 

But hey I’d just remove/down size grains from your diet even for a small period of time, and see how you feel. And remember you can get all the B's, vitamins, minerals, and carbs you need from ya starchy veggies, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

 

Not everyone is as susceptible to the damaging properties and effects of grains, and grains aren’t evil, its all about educating yourself and seeing the links between foods and optimum health, and just becoming aware of how your body is and what makes you thrive and feel magical 24/7. 

 

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are

-       Anthlem Brillat-Savarin

 

E x

 

Aman, T 2014, The Omni Diet, Griffin Publishing, California. 

Perlmutter, D & Loberg, K 2013, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, Little Brown and Publisher, New York. 

 

 

a millennials guide to sugar

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

Sweet Serenade

King Push. But the only thing getting pushed on us these days is s-u-g-a-r. 


 

Firstly, We have sweet receptors in the brain, and biologically in the Neolithic era, we were rewarded when we found sweet foods, like berries, because it meant an abundance of calories, and back in those days, food was scarce.

 

So we’re biologically predispositioned to crave, source out and consume sugar, and when we consume it, it triggers the same reward response as addictive drugs.

 

Numerous studies have given mice both glucose (sugar) and intravenous cocaine, and in every single study >94% of the mice, chose, and went back for more SUGAR. SUGAR OVER COCAINE.

 

Why? Because when we ingest sugar in all its forms – glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, artificial sweetners (saccharin, aspartame, suclarose), sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol), “healthy alternatives” (agave, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, maple) it triggers the reward part of our brain and releases opioids and dopamine – making us feel good.

 

To get into it, sugar activates this thing called the “mesolimbic dopamine pathway” which connects a part of our brain that's a major producer of dopamine and another that's associated with reward and motivation.

 

Dopamine – our feel good neurotransmitter, is connected to reward and pleasure, and having sugar causes the release of dopamine. 

 

sugar = dopamine = pleasure. it's evil. 

 

Binging, cravings, addiction and withdrawls are all real, legit experiences when detoxying from sugar. When we consume sugar on a regular basis, we become desensitised to its effects, and see ourselves consuming more and more to feel satisfied. This usually leads to binging, because our brain is chasing that feeling, that release of opoids and dopamine making us going back for more and more, until we literally feel sick. And even more interesting, when you withdraw from sugar, the next time its available and if you can’t resist, you go back and have even more, and thus the viscious addictive sugar cycle continues.

 

We experience withdrawls – anxiety, edginess, headaches, anger, we’re snappy, fidgety, erratic, cranky, bitchy, you name it, when coming off sugar it’s a legit come down.

 

I’m sorry, but it gets worse, so not only are we biologically predispositioned to crave and consume sugar, it also causes inflammation within the body and creates havoc in our gut aka microbiota.

 

We all know about T2D (type 2 diabetes), and sugar is at the very centre of the disease. Over time, as we consume high amounts of glucose and have other poor lifestyle factors, insulin – our hormone that gets released when sugar enters the blood stream gets less effective - resistant. It’s receptors on our cells become so used to seeing insulin, its like “oh hey, you again, I’m kind of over opening the door for you, since I see you all the time, and you just keep coming back”. So our cells become resistant to insulin, not absorbing it. This causes oxidative stress aka inflammation in our body.

 

Anyways, what our livers does is be like “omg guys why is there still so much glucose in the blood stream still, fine, i'll pump out some more to fix this silly problem". And then our immune system is like “GUYS WHAT IS GOING ON, I’m going to come and investigate” and so in comes our inflammatory response, our macrophages, lymphocytes, helper T-cells (how cute is their name though) 

 

And then next door, our adipose tissue aka fat is like drinking up as much glucose as it can, releasing inflammatory markers in our body, creating an inflammatory response, and it all just feeds into each other. T2D is a massive ingredient to developing cancer, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease...

 

And before you’re like “I’m not overweight or obese, asif I have insulin resistance”, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE OVER WEIGHT OR OBESE TO BE INSULIN RESISTANCE, there’s a cool acronym: TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside). Moral of the story is, sugar is a corruptive mother f*cker, if you’re nervous about being insulin resistance I’d just reduce / cut out sugar in general, otherwise you can get your fasting blood glucose levels checked by your dr.

 

And even if you avoid sweet foods, SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING! the big food industry jumped on the "low-fat" dumb ass band wagon, and so when fat went down down, sugar went up, otherwise consumers aka us wouldn't buy it because it wouldn't taste good. Honestly, anything you buy in a jar, can, container, packet, anything, read the label, i bet you theres sugar in there. There's sugar in bread, sauces, milks, canned beans, tuna, cereal, dried fruit, soups, and just so much more its honestly insane.

 

What does this mean? you might be trying to cut down sugar and get rid of it, but it's been sneakily put into things you thought and were told are "healthy".  Now i've told you, its time to be aware, to look at what you're buying and if its got a label a) its not real food b) theres probably sugar in there. So fuck it off and find one that doesn't. 

 

Also sugar and our gut are not friends. Sugar feeds the bad bugs in our microbiome - which we know is like the king of the castle and essentially controls our entire life haha. Cheers bacteria you legends. Having an inbalance of good : bad bacteria, can negatively effects our energy production, memory, learning, cause gas and constipation, candida (thrush) and so much more.

 

Sugar is a microbiome disruptor, with studies linking high-sugar diets to hormone disruption – insulin (which prevents weight loss) sleep pattern disruptions (we love sleep, see our last blog). 

 

Our bodies and gut aren’t equipped for huge amounts of sugar and it causes metabolic dysfunction and just fucks up our entire bodies haha. So look at what you're eating, get rid of anything packaged with added 'ol's' and 'ose's' and say bye bye to disrupting, evil sugar and hello to freedom - more energy, weight loss, better digestion, no sugar cravings, crashes or gut dysbiosis 

 

Is there any hope for us? I hear you sweet tooth’s saying (its okay, my sister is one of them). YES, KIND OF

 

So, theres healthier alternatives, and when I say healthier I just mean there is more nutritional value, so its not just empty sugar, but it is still sugar, so we want to not consume lots thinking its not the same thing. 

 

Dates/date syrup, honey, pure maple, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup are probably the better of the lot. But there’s also fruits, like berries and banana’s which are super sweet and can be used to hit that sweet spot, and pack in the beneficial fibre to slow down the release of glucose. Fibre is our best friend.

 

People like natural sweetners, like your stevia, birch xylitol, thaumatin – if you wanna, go for it, I’m just pro mumma nature so I’m bias.

 

You want to avoid the shit out of refined sugars, white sugar, corn syrup, HFCS, brown sugar, palm sugar, agave, all those artificial sweetners (saccharin, aspartame, suclarose), sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol), even milk is high in sugar (lactose be a sugar molecule),

 

Pretty much if it ends in: ‘ol’, ‘ose’, it’s gonna be a no from me.

 

Some strategies to overcome our sugar addiction, check into rehab.

Nah, but kind of?

1.     is to just not consume it. You’ll feel like shit, but I’ll pass think of everything you’re gaining like no inflammation and cancer and disease…

2.     get more and better sleep (scope our other blog), as when we’re tired our brain sends out messages saying GIVE ME FUEL IM TIRED, and whats the easiest, most dense, richest source of glucose? All those sugary 'foods'.

3.     Add in cinnamon (balances blood sugars and helps with cravings)

4.     Bump up chromium rich foods, magnesium, zinc, to fight off cravings (deficiencies in these minerals often cause cravings also…) even reach for a supplement to boost your levels and then maintain with dense plant sources – broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cacao, green leafy veg, brazil nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, seafood.  

5.     replace it with natural sugars (for when you’re like “treat yoself”) and combine it with some good fibre – chia, flax, physillium husks.

6.     Eat more good fats so you won’t be hungry or craving because you’ll be satiated and a happy baby

7. Don't buy low-fat, and try to reduce/cut out packaged and processed franken foods 

 

Sorry Outkast, you may be our neighbour but we ain’t gon give you some sugar.

Hey-Ya.

 

- E