Beauty, Wellness, Recipes, Food
Digestion is an interplay between your body and your food. The food you eat directly impacts your digestive health. This means that every bite is an opportunity to heal, protect, and support digestion.
Wonderful digestion is the centerpiece of health. Healthy digestion makes you feel lighter, boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, improves metabolism, and gives you more energy. Promoting healthy digestion is at the center of jolie.
What can we add to our nourishment to support digestion? Adding flavor with herbs, spices, and ingredient diversity is an easy boost to digestive health. It won’t require will power, taking anything out, or deprivation. Even for the non-cook, small adds can make a profound difference without overcomplicating meal preparation.
For complete beginners: add a squeeze of lemon and a little chopped parsley. Both will improve digestive enzymes and settle your stomach. For many, digestive issues can be resolved at the start by making sure food is able to be broken down properly. For extra credit, try not to drink too much during your meals - hydrate 30 minutes before or after your meal.
Ready to take it a bit farther: add a light sprinkle of the jolie Digestive Spice blend or make your own by blending cumin, cardamom, coriander, and ginger to your desired flavor profile. Sprinkle this on anything - it will not dramatically alter the core flavor of your dish. Use no more than ¼ teaspoon per four person serving if you would like only the benefits and not the flavor. These medicinal spices help heal your stomach and gut. They have been used for centuries to balance digestive enzymes, heal gut lining, and reduce bloating.
Variety is another important aspect of digestive health. When I plan the weekly menu for the jolieLife meal delivery, I am looking to address the six tastes that are central to Ayurveda. This is an ancient way of eating that balances your digestion and hormones while ensuring nutritional depth. As a benefit, you can eat less and feel more satisfied for longer.
You can use the six tastes and apply them using foods from the farmer’s market or supermarket. Ideally in each meal you want the six tastes represented. I aim for four or more.
Here is a list of the six tastes and examples of what foods provide them:
Sweet - carrots, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, sautéed onions
Sour - lemon, vinegar, grapefruit, berries
Salty - sea salt, olives, miso, seaweed, nori (these also improve hormone balance)
Bitter - kale, brussels sprouts, green tea, sprouts, cacao, coffee, turmeric, radishes, arugula
Pungent - onions, garlic, chilies, mustard, ginger
Astringent - all tea, chickpeas, rosemary, oregano, coriander, turmeric, bay leaf, raw leafy vegetables
At the cafe, the soups showcase variety, spices, and herbs. Here is a recipe for the Moroccan Carrot Soup which provides the six tastes, herbs, and spices for digestive health.
Moroccan Carrot Soup Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 pounds of carrots peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
6 cups mineral broth
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Finding hormonal balance comes with diet, surrender, and movement. This September we will offer a 5 day hormone balancing reset to put you on the path to balance. The food and menu will be geared toward healing with superfoods such as maca, turmeric, ginger, flax, and ashwaganda. We will daily enjoy the jolie Health & Wellness broth which has over twenty herbs to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion. We will use nori, nuts, seeds, and a rainbow of vegetables to address deficiencies.
Food is a huge part of balance - BUT not the only important aspect.
Just like we were forced to yield to the hormonal changes of our teenage years and find new ways to care for our skin, growing selves, and menstrual cycle, in this other part of our life we also must surrender to and find new ways to take care of our bodies.
Rest is more important during times of hormonal shift. These times include menopause, as well as menstruation, childbirth, and puberty. If you find yourself off balance or low libido, rest is important to restoring you. Rest includes sleep. Rest is also wind down time, a chance to take a deep breath during the day.
Meditation lowers cortisol; it takes you out of fight or flight. Resting your adrenals and allowing the nervous system to relax allows your sex hormones to return to normal levels. Reproductive hormones are not the only ones to benefit - it will benefit blood sugar and reduce insulin levels. You will feel calmer, more in control, and centered. Deep breathing, sitting unplugged outdoors, sipping hot tea, or a bath can be meditation if a sitting meditation is not your thing.
Movement - especially gentle, rhythmic movement like walking, dancing, mindful yoga, jogging, or swimming - provides many of the same benefits as meditation. Movement has the additional benefit of burning off energy. Releasing energy will help your nervous system access calm more easily. As such, allow your meditation to follow exercise.
Balancing out your hormones begins with openness to change. It's an opportunity to learn new ways of caring for yourself, a new life rhythm, and refocusing your self care to serve you.
To join the 5 Day Hormone Rescue, sign up here. Look out for upcoming cafe events to support you during the rescue and after.
You wake up and immediately begin making decisions about food. Whether to eat now or later? What kind of coffee to have? Should I have coffee at all? Is decaf better? Is it better to eat something first? When I eat what should I have? What kind of protein? Fruit or no fruit? Smoothie or banana bread?
It’s estimated we make 200 decisions a day regarding food. When you are trying to change your life, health, or body, these choices can be overwhelming. Ultimately, however, your choices determine your outcome. So, it’s important that we make it easier to make good choices for ourselves by creating a framework of how we nourish ourselves.
Creating an eating philosophy is a huge help. An eating philosophy is built around 1 - how you want to feel; 2- your wellness goals; and 3, your likes, dislikes, and habits. When creating your philosophy all three are important. We create from where we are now looking at where we want to go.
Your eating philosophy is tailor made meaning it has to be rooted in you and needs to fit like a well formed garment. So, if you have date night or a regular food ritual or something you can’t give up that you think you should - remember there are no shoulds that come from outside you - you want your framework to be your guidance in all situations.
I will be hosting a workshop on Saturday, September 18th at 11am on creating your eating philosophy for yourself at jolie.
To get you started, begin to write down what foods, habits, and food routines make you feel best. Note areas of challenge, confusion, or frustration. If you can, notice triggers for positive action as well as triggers that lead to food choices you regret or that are not aligned with your goals.
All the above is vital information to use to create your eating philosophy. Then, look at when you like to eat, what you like yourself to eat, and what times or situations are challenging.
With this we begin to create your food philosophy. Join us on Saturday to create your own framework from start to finish to help you soar through fall into the holidays.
Words to Live By
I am not a heroine, but I have chosen the person I want to be.