Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

This is totally my new favorite thing! It’s like a toothbrush for your insides! And it’s totally yummy! Two things that I really value in my food.
Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
1 cup strawberries
½ tsp vanilla
5-10 drops liquid Stevia (to your personal taste)
½ cup chia seeds
Here’s whatchya do:
Put everything except the chia seeds into your most powerful blender and blend it up.
In a bowl, whisk the blended ingredients together with the chia seeds.
Pour all that stuff into a jar and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I like to do this at night so I can have it in the morning when I get up.
And you’re done! Colon toothbrush in a jar! Enjoy!
You can try this with any berries. I tried it with blueberries once with less than tasty results, so be warned, but I bet raspberries would be awesome.
You can also substitute honey for sweetener if you prefer. Start with 1 tbsp., and see how that goes. You can always add more.
For sure, if your digestion is getting a little slow, this could really help you out.
Happy eating!

I made up this recipe all on my own! Yay, me!

How I Got Diagnosed With Candida

I had 3-7 yeast infections per year for roughly 7 years. Every time, I could come up with a pretty good reason for it. I didn’t go pee right after having sex. I had a shart that messed my underpants.

Seriously? What was I thinking? I didn’t really know that if you don’t have some sort of real problem, your immune system should be able to fight those things and keep your ph balanced down there. I also had bad bouts of diarrhea and constipation. And gas! Oh, the gas! I kept a book of matches handy for the gas. I didn’t want to kill people with the gas!

So, I looked up my symptoms all over the interwebs periodically for about three years. It always came up as Candida. But I wasn’t ready to admit that yet. You see, I also looked up remedies for Candida, and I REALLY wasn’t ready for THAT yet.

But then, after I had my daughter, things got so much worse. I was tired. My brain was foggy. I had a really hard time feeling happy and being productive. I had a yeast infection that just didn’t go away.

Yup. That’s right. IT DIDN’T GO AWAY!!! FOR OVER A YEAR!!! Everything was falling apart. My relationships, my body, my family. It was time to just admit it already. I had systemic Candida.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, it got much harder. Now I had to find a doctor that would put my symptoms together and come to the same conclusion I did. It took a few months before I found someone, and then someone else when she couldn’t help me, and then someone else, who made everything worse by giving me supplements that I was allergic to.

You can see where I’m going with this. Somewhere in there, I knew I had to just figure this out for myself. So, I found a Candida cleanse online that seemed really good. It was expensive too! But I was willing to try anything at this point.

The cleanse helped a lot. Things got way better, but I still needed help. That was a few years ago. With the help of lots of research, I’ve tweaked my diet a few times trying to find something more sustainable. Now, I’m doing SO much better! I’ve found a diet that allows me to keep fighting the Candida but isn’t so restrictive that I can’t deal. I have a ton of energy and a clear head. I don’t have that crazy gas anymore. No more diarrhea at all! As a side benefit, I lost a ton of weight and kept it off!

And I have a new passion for health and sharing it with the rest of the world! I’ve realized that nutrition has the power to heal! People can lose weight and relieve their symptoms of dis-ease with food! That’s why I found the International Association of Wellness Professionals where I learned how to coach people to radiant health. I’m so siked to share what I’ve learned with you!

Stay tuned for more posts from me! I’m going to share some embarrassing stories in “The IBS Tales.” I’m also going to share some really great recipes that I’ve found throughout my struggles. I’m getting ready to run an easy, 5-day detox program with tasty recipes, online support from me and fellow detoxers, and some special bonuses! More about that later…..

Asian Soup with Mushrooms, Bok Choy, and Shrimp

This past summer, my family joined a co-op for the very first time! That’s where you buy a share of a local organic farm and then you get a box of the harvest every week of the summer and some of the fall. We’re only three people, so we shared box o’ veggies with our neighbors. It was a fun challenge to discover new vegetables and try to figure out what to do with them.

One week at the beginning of the summer, we got some bok choy, and I was at a loss. So, I did what I always do when I have no idea what something is. I Googled it! This is the recipe that I found. I changed it a little bit. I found it at Oxmoor House. It’s become a family favorite. I wish I had a picture of it now. I’ll try to get one the next time I make it. Anyway, enjoy!


This simple clear soup featuring mushrooms, bok choy, and shrimp is a speedy supper option.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups)
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 (3 1/2-ounce) packages shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cups chicken bone broth (or chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped baby bok choy or regular bok choy or kale or spinach or any other green that can stand up to being in a soup
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, if you like that sort of thing (can leave it out or substitute parsley)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (or Trader Joe’s frozen sea food medley)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
Preparation
1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven coated with sesame oil over medium-high heat; sauté mushrooms and ginger 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken.
2. Add broth, 3 cups water, and soy sauce; bring mixture to a boil. Stir in bok choy and next 3 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in lime juice just before serving.

Cannelini and Brussels Sprouts Soup

This is one of the soup recipes I started making last summer when I had more veggies than I knew what to do with. I found this one on localthyme.net. I have adjusted it a little bit. Try and enjoy! Hey, did you know that brussels sprouts look like this when they’re growing? Isn’t that cool?

3012411273_068ea781f1_b

One thing I want you to know about my blogging style. It might sound silly, but I think it’s important for us to understand each other.

I love those recipes on blogs where the author tells you their complete life story and how their relatives and their cat enjoyed this recipe the last time Uncle Doug was in town and all of that. It’s lovely. It’s homey. It makes you want to curl up with the author and watch a movie with some buttery popcorn.

I don’t write like that. When I give you a recipe, there may be a short story about why I use the recipe and the fact that even my picky daughter likes it, but I won’t go on and on with millions of pictures and make you wait a year to get to the actual recipe. I do want to have more pictures than I do in this post, though. Geez! I don’t even have a picture of the finished product to show you! I apologize for that, and I will do better in the future, but there you have it. I hope to keep things short and simple. For your sake and for mine. Deal? Good. On with the show…

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion , minced
  • 4 cloves Garlic , minced
  • 1 quart Chicken Bone Broth or Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 28 ounces Cannelini Bean , drained and rinsed
  • 2 sprigs Dill
  • 20-25 Brussels Sprouts , quartered
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat, add onion and a little bit of sea salt and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about a minute longer.
  2. Pour stock and cannelini beans into the soup pot, add sprigs of dill. Bring soup to a boil, stir in Brussels Sprouts then reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until veggies are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with cheese, if you like that sort of thing.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found at localthyme.net.

Enjoy your healthy soup!

 

4 Fantastic Dairy Alternatives

1: Almond Milk– My favorite for my morning smoothie!

Almond milk is a mixture of ground almonds and water. It has tons of vitamin E, manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber, phosphorus, and more calcium than any other nut! Be sure to choose one without carrageenan, and additive derived from seaweed found to cause intestinal discomfort.

I like Califa Farms and any store brand such as 365 by Whole Foods.

Be sure to buy the unsweetened kind! I find that the sweetened kind, of any brand, just tastes weird. Unsweetened almond milk tastes more like skim milk from a cow.

2: Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is naturally sweet and creamy- great for use in your morning coffee! It’s high in medium-chain triglycerides, a healthy fat which is easy to digest and helps us burn fat. Coconut milk is available both in a can and in a carton. The jury is out as to which way is better.

Canned coconut milk has more fat and calories while coconut milk in a carton has less fat and calories.

Personally, I don’t think calories matter. I believe that as long as you’re eating healthy foods, and not eating when you’re not hungry, you don’t have to worry about calories.

Besides that, the fat in coconut milk helps you burn fat! I prefer the canned coconut milk to the coconut milk in a carton. But then, I pretty much only use it for cooking, baking and making chia seed pudding. I get mine from Trader Joe’s.  That being said, if you’re using it in your gluten free cereal, the stuff from a carton works better for sure. It’s closer to the texture of regular skim milk.

My favorite thing to make using coconut milk is chia seed pudding. It’s a yummylishious toothbrush for your insides!

3: Cashew Milk

I LOVE CASHEWS! In any form!

My favorite is cashew milk ice cream.

coconut+milk+ice +cream

Cashew milk is water-soaked cashews blended with water. It has fiber, antioxidants, copper, and magnesium. Use it in your gluten free cereal, in your morning coffee or to make pudding.

cashew milk

Cashew butter is my absolute favorite nut butter, but that’s a subject for another post.

cashew+butter

4: Coconut Milk Yogurt

I know lots of people love, love, love their yogurt! If you’re trying to transition into a dairy free life, you don’t have to go completely cold turkey. Really, if you’re trying to go dairy free, you can take baby steps to get yourself there. You can start by switching to full fat, plain, Greek cow’s milk yogurt. And then, when you’re ready, switch to eating coconut milk yogurt.

Here’s why:

  • It can make the transition a little easier for you.
  • Yogurt is fermented, which for many reasons, makes it more tolerable than regular milk for lots of people.

Just make sure you’re getting plain, full fat, Greek yogurt.

Here’s why:

  • Most flavored yogurt has so much sugar in it that any benefits you may get from the good bacteria in yogurt are pretty much nullified.
  • When you see things like “low fat” or “fat free” on packages, that usually means that the food has gone through some sort of process that’s not natural and not good for you to eat.
  • The fat in full fat yogurt helps you to stay feeling full longer, which is always a good thing.
  • Full fat, plain, Greek yogurt is just yummier than the fat free kind!

But we’re supposed to talking about coconut milk yogurt here, right?

Ok, when you’re ready to make the jump (which isn’t so big, by the way) I suggest you go for coconut milk yogurt. (pic)

The plain, unsweetened kind, of course. Remember, you can always flavor this stuff and sweeten it yourself- with stevia, berries, honey, whatever you feel like.

Here’s my favorite way to eat yogurt:

  • 1 cup yogurt (Greek or grass fed or grass fed Greek or coconut)
  • ½ grapefruit, peeled of all the outside part and the little see-through part between the sections and then broken into tiny pieces
  • ½ cup gluten free granola like this one:
  • 5 drops liquid stevia

Trader Joes gluten-free-granola

YUM!!!

P.S. I totally skipped rice milk and soy milk on purpose. I’ll explain why in another post.

How do You Know if You Have Healthy Poop?

We all need to know what healthy poop looks like. It’s the best indication of our health! You’ve never heard me say this before, but you will hear me say it again: All disease begins in the gut!

I know from experience that if a person doesn’t know about healthy poop, they can be sick or on their way to disease without knowing it.

My first clues about my Candida overgrowth and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) was gas, bloating and constipation. Followed by bouts of diarrhea. But I actually didn’t know I was constipated! I was actually pooping “little balls” about 9 times per day. So, I thought I was fine.

This went on for about 38 years before I realized that it wasn’t normal. By then, I’d had more embarrassing poop and gas situations than a person should have to deal with, and I had a massive systemic Candida infection. This all could have been avoided if I’d known when I was little that my pooping habits were not normal.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

People don’t want to talk about poop because they’re embarrassed.

I get it. It’s gross. But WE are gonna talk about it.

You can suffer from chronic constipation and not even know it. I did! I was pooping all the time! Like, 8-10 times per day! How can a person who poops 8-10 times per day be constipated? Here’s how. It was always small amounts of what my family affectionately called “goat turds.” – the tiny little balls represented as type 1 on the Bristol Stool Chart.

Bristol Stool Chart

I want to help you avoid the pain and discomfort that I lived with because I thought it was normal. It is NOT normal to poop little balls 10 times per day and have gas that can turn the biggest, hairiest guy on the school football team green. It is NOT normal!

On the Bristol Stool Chart, type 1&2 represent constipation (if only I had known!).

Type 3-4 represent healthy, comfortable stools.

Type 5 is between healthy and diarrhea.

Type 6&7 represent varying levels of diarrhea.

Type 1,2,5,6&7 are all indications of some level of inflammation in the gut. Just like pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, inflammation is another way your body can tell you that something is wrong.

Functional and integrative medicine, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and others agree that all disease begins in the gut. It is our job to pay attention to our body’s signals and do what we can to keep our insides flowing freely.

Our gut is our first defense against illness. It’s where our immune system does its best work! But it can’t do that work if it is plagued by chronic inflammation due to the standard American diet.

If you are constipated, there are various things you can do to get relief.

The first thing you should try is drinking more water. Specifically, try having 8 oz. of water with the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning. Lemon water is very helpful with detoxification, and if you’re anything like me, in about a half hour, you will be having a lovely bowel movement that will leave you feeling light and ready for the day ahead!

Also, you should be drinking about half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh 140 lbs., you should try to get in 70 ounces of water every day. This helps to keep the digestive tract lubricated.

Another thing you could try is powdered magnesium citrate. The way to find your optimal dosage is by trial and error. Start with ¼ teaspoon in 4 oz. of warm water before bed. If you don’t have diarrhea the next day (you probably won’t), up the dosage to ½ teaspoon, then 1 teaspoon etc. until you experience diarrhea. The dosage that caused diarrhea was too much, so reduce it to the largest dose that didn’t give you diarrhea, and you’ve got it. Take that dose every night before bed.

If you follow it with the lemon water in the morning, that’s even better!

Physical activity also can improve digestion. It can be as simple as going for a 30 minute walk a few times a week or doing yoga or going for a run.

If you suffer from chronic constipation or diarrhea, then you might have some level of inflammation in your gut. You could consider some dietary alterations to reduce your gut inflammation. It’s up to you and what you’re ready for.

Here are some things to consider:

Common triggers for gut inflammation are sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy and eggs. You could do a simple 30-day elimination diet by removing those five common triggers from your diet and then re-introducing them one at a time for 5 days each and see how that affects you.

Many times, after taking away the triggers for constant low-level gut inflammation, when you put those triggers back in, your reaction will be much more severe and noticeable than it was before. If you’re sensitive to any of those foods, you’ll experience difficulties like brain fog, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, achy joints, skin irritations, flu-like symptoms, or a variety of other symptoms.

If you want to try this, and you don’t really know where to start or what to eat instead of those foods, go ahead and email me at Laurie@your-radiant-life.com. I’d love to help!

Poop is one of my favorite subjects. Good poop is an indication of good health! For more information on gut health, candida and thyroid issues, look around on my website.

You can read more blog posts, sign up for my newsletter or even schedule a free consultation with me! I’d love to see how I can serve you!