For as long as I can remember, the journey toward better digestive health has been a life long journey. Over the years, I’ve learnt that there are many contributing factors affecting digestion and it’s a process of elimination to discover what works for you and what doesn’t.
Factors such as diet, food intolerances, stress, adrenal burnout, hormones, lifestyle, emotional disposition, anxiety, chemicals, parasites, bacteria, medications, relationships and sleep can affect the state of your health and how your body works.
AN EATING PLAN THAT WORKS
I believe that food is the most healing when it is close to its original state and has the properties to heal and nourish. The below meal plan is a snapshot of what it’s like to be on my 14-day digestive health plan....My book Perfect Digestive Health highlights the foods to enjoy and foods to avoid. The diet is based around a modified Mediterranean and low-fermentable carbohydrate diet that is rich in plant foods and anti-inflammatory wholefoods.
My eating plan also helps to nourish and populate healthy levels of good bacteria in your microbiome. Healthy levels of good gut bacteria can control how your body functions, including digestion, sleep, mind health and metabolism.
The diet is characterised by high intakes of fresh vegetables, salads, quality protein sources, fresh fruits and a generous amount of good heart-healthy fats coming from nuts and olives. I’ve kept the meals simple and have included foods that will help support the liver, which is the primary detoxification organ of the body that correlates to healthy bowel function and elimination.
The diet is characterised by high intakes of fresh vegetables, salad, quality protein sources, fresh fruits and a generous amount of good heart-healthy fats. The meal plan is gluten-free, dairy-free, and low FODMAP helping to nourish a sensitive digestive system.
2 glasses water + juice of 1 lemon + 1 tablespoon Everyday Greens.
BREAKFAST: Strawberries + Cream Smoothie
+ A warm cup of Immune Tea
Strawberries are packed with antioxidants that nourish your body with vitality. Healthy Chef Protein is kind to your digestive system, so it won’t cause gastrointestinal distress. Your body needs protein to help repair tissue, to support your immune system and metabolism, and to sustain lean muscle.
Strawberries + Cream Smoothie
1 cup (150g) frozen strawberries
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons Healthy Chef Protein (WPI or Organic Pea)
1 teaspoon coconut yoghurt
Place all the ingredients in a high performance blender.
Blend for a few seconds until smooth and creamy.
Pour into a serving glass and enjoy.
2 large glasses water or
LUNCH: Raw Green Energy Salad
Green superfoods such as zucchini, mint and coriander help to increase alkalinity and detoxification in your body and promote healing. Lime and ginger and all have potent anti-inflammatory benefits that heal the digestive system.
Raw Green Energy Salad
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1 handful baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine zucchini, mint, coriander, pepper, salt, pumpkin seeds and almonds.
Combine dressing ingredients.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix through.
Fold through spinach and enjoy.
Add raw sauerkraut or kimchi for probiotic benefits.
AFTERNOON: Daily Green Juice
Parsley relieves bloating, and gas stimulates digestive function and promotes thyroid, bladder and kidney health. It is also anti-parasitic, an antioxidant and alkalizing. Cucumbers provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break down mucus. Mint can also be effective when combined with tea for relieving sore throats. Mint is also used in the treatment of IBS — it has calming properties that support digestion and helps alleviate bloating.
Lemon is antibacterial and an antioxidant and boosts immune function to fight colds and flu and promotes healthy tissue.
Daily Green Juice
3 Lebanese cucumbers
1/2 bunch spinach
1/2 cos (romaine) lettuce
1 small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 lemon or lime, peeled
1 small sprig of mint
Extract the juice from the cucumbers, spinach, cos, parsley, lemon and mint.
Serve and enjoy.
DINNER: Immune Boosting Chicken Soup
Turmeric and ginger are potent detoxifying and antiviral herbs to help the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, aid digestion and boost your immune system.
Immune Boosting Chicken Soup (serves 4)
1 bunch coriander, washed, separate the root from the leaves
2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric or 1 teaspoon dry
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 litre water
800 g organic chicken breast, cut into chunks (if using chicken thigh - you will need to simmer for 45 minutes so it will be tender....but if using chicken breast 10 minutes is all you need)
¼ cup mirin or rice wine (optional but delicious)
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
Combine turmeric, ginger, chopped coriander stocks, stock, water and chicken into a large pot.
Simmer for 10 minutes over a low heat until chicken is cooked through and flavours have infused into the stock.
Add mirin, tamari and coriander leaves, just before serving.
Serve in large bowls and sip slowly. Enjoy.
Mint is also used in the treatment of IBS – it has calming and soothing properties that supports digestion and helps alleviate bloating. Cinnamon has wonderful digestive properties and may also help balance blood sugar.