Category Archives: Digestion

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Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #2: Miso

Next on the sneaky mission for stealth vitamins… Miso!

Miso is one of the most nutrient packed things I can think of off the top of my head.  B-vitamins, enzymes, protein and goodness (vitamin G) are all contained within small amounts of this Japanese salty paste.  I’ve been told it’s similar to Marmite which hails from Australia, but I haven’t confirmed this for myself, just relying on hear-say.

How do you hide this quite distinctive taste you ask?  Think salty, think savory;  after all it is used traditionally as a soup stock.

TIPS:

  • Mash and mix well with whatever you are combining it with.
  • Use the paste not instant powder for maximum health benefits.
  • Don’t boil, fry, or microwave to keep the nutritional content intact – treat it gently, like a delicate flower of the stock family.
  • keep in mind the different colours have different shades of flavour:  whites to light-yellows are sweeter and milder, yellows to dark-reds are saltier and stronger.

#2. Miso it Up

1. Sneak a bit into that cup-o-soup package when you mix in the boiling water (shhhhh…) not too much though, enough to make the fuss-pots think they are going slightly crazy, but not enough to suspect that you might be the culprit.

2. Mix equal parts Mayonaise and Miso into a smooth (ish) paste and use as a spread for sandwiches or burgers.  I’ve especially gotten away with it on breakfast egg-sandwich-with-cheese type things.

3. Mix equal parts Tahini and Miso and thin with warm water to use as a savoury sauce or gravy on things as diverse as asparagus (haha) to potatoes or meats.  –This tip I gleaned off a friend nutritionist (link soon).

4. Use in a cheesball!  Yes, cheeseball, the creamy, sharp, herby things you bring to dinner parties.  They are always asking for worcestershire sauce or other savoury condiments, just start off light and add Miso to taste, remembering that letting the cheeseball sit brings out more flavour.

Have fun!

Oh, Water… how do I count the ways?

As I now haunt the west coast of Canada, I constantly think that I have too much water in my life.  This would be external water.  What I am here to espouse is Internal water!  Otherwise known as hydration.

I am still baffled by the amount of people I meet who still don't try for the Doctor (no less!) Recommended dose of 8-10 glasses per day.  If a glass is 8oz… that's 2L of water!  Yes, you unbelievers!… 2 litres, minimum.

Now I have been lucky enough to grow up in a place where water is abundant.  As I listen to the stream outside my window, I do think about how I could possibly get enough water in the desert? Or does the body simply function differently?  I often worry about walking around the planet Dune and having to use recycled bodily water for hydration.  Have I simply been spoiled on water?

Well, those thoughts aside, water has helped me with:

  • PMS: water retention and bloating is caused by the body actually having too little water and having to store it.
  • Dry skin and lips, dry scalp
  • Sports, the muscles react better, faster and with less fatigue than if I have been lax in my water drinkage.
  • Constipation:  a dehydrated colon is a common cause of bowel issues. (magnesium helps the colon absorb the water)
  • Tiredness:  the body is made up of so much water, fluids is how almost every system in our body communicates (lymph, blood, digestive juices, intracellular fluid)
  • Headaches (mild-moderate):  some say that the glass of water you take with your 'Advil' is actually what cures the headache.
  • Toxicity:  soreness, tiredness, brain fog, joint problems, edema.  Water can dilute and flush toxins out of the body.
  • Thirst (haha)

 

Some books claim that dehydration is the cause of almost every major disease out there.  It's an extreme theory, but it doesn't hurt to try drinking water first, as it is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do for yourself (at least in my part of the world…)  Watch your electrolyte balance if you Only drink water (especially if you are sweating) and try to include some juices, herbal teas or (as all the hot yoga places say) Emergen-C.  Gatorade if you are desparate and in a sea of convenience stores instead of health food stores.

-what you are looking for is H20 with glucose, potassium, sodium and magnesium.  (limes or Apple Cider Vinegar, sea salt, molasses/raw sugar/maple syrup)
I will endeaver to find a tasty homemade substitute as I can't find my notes right now!

Just remember, when in doubt, drink water!

IBS….its a dirty word

IBS….its a dirty word but somebody’s gotta say it! I personally prefer over pleasant dinner conversation..

Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel, this sounds obvious but nobody does it?! Start by seeing what happens when you eat/don’t eat dairy or wheat, and split them up so you don’t get a combo effect…

first things first…..

what does a healthy bowel act like? We would be going 2-3 times a day (after every meal) if we were functioning at optimum capacity. Apparently 1 big once a day is also ok, preferably in the morning. This is after your body has had a chance to clean up all the crap (ha ha!) from the day before and relax in sleep to allow the body processes to work. By big i mean Not little rabbit poo’s, but big and long and firm and floating!???? (dirty in so many ways)….

The body likes order and habit, the same time every day is preferable. This is one i have trouble with, as a hectic schedule and unhealthy eating habits make for irregularity in all aspects….

YES the bowels are affected by stress, worry and all manner of emotions. They have found neurons in the gut which act the same way as ones firing in the brain. Your gut reaction is more than just a saying, your belly is trying to tell you stuff! We should listen! This implies that the gut doesn’t just affect the brain but Is a part of the brain. The body mind connection as a scientific fact. (if you like your facts scientific:)

http://www.psyking.net/id36.htm

so this gets back to my fibre obsession

the things preventing normal bowel movements (other than emotional “holding”)

  • lack of fibre
  • lack of oils
  • lack of good bacteria
  • dehydration

seriously folks Just TRY the 2 liters of water a day that Everyone and their ass recommends and see what happens

35g a day of fibre is really hard to get without supplementing or being a vegan that eats nothing refined. Veggies and whole grains, thats where it comes from. Try counting if you are curious.

The enemies of bowel movements:

cheese, meat, white flour, eggs, bacon (because we all know bacon is it’s own category..) basically anything that is all protein, fat, or sugar/starch with no fibre.

Friend of bowel movements:

  • magnesium helps muscles relax (including intestinal muscles) — remember milk of magnesia…its a laxative!
  • B-vitamins/C-vitamins help ‘normal everything’ function… i know thats not very specific but they really do!
  • flax oil helps lubricate and relax, imagine a nice oil massage from the inside
  • herbs for stress
  • fibre supplements: –psyllium helps some people, the problem being it is comprised solely of soluble fibre…it absorbs a great many things, including all the water in your bowels to bulk it up. If you are already dehydrated you must drink many and more waters to compensate! We are designed to work with both soluble AND insoluble fibre, one absorbs toxins and stuff and one does more scrubbing and moving it along. Flax based fibres are a good route to take being comprised of equal parts soluble/insoluble plus oils. Flax is Canadian grown and easy to find organic….why add more chemicals or irradiation to an already strained system? There are also many good formulated combos out there, personally i find the supplement powder route the most effective when i refuse to keep track of my diet. Which i have to admit is common….