A healthy gut is a key part of good physical and mental health. It’s important to nourish your gut to create a healthy microbiome, but with all the talk about prebiotics, probiotics, fermented foods and more, it can be very hard to figure out how. I’m sharing 5 easy ways for you to nourish your gut later in this post, but first I want to share my experience at Fearless in the Kitchen!
Disclosure: I have not been paid for this post, but I was gifted with the Nourish Your Gut workshop by Fearless in the Kitchen. As always, I am sharing my honest, personal opinions. Full Disclosure Policy
Nourish Your Gut Workshops at Fearless in the Kitchen
Recently I attended a Nourish Your Gut Workshop at Fearless in the Kitchen, Jen Roach’s Berkshire cooking school, set in her beautiful home near Warfield. I learned a huge amount about keeping your gut healthy from Jen and her guest speaker Jenny Tschiesche, of The Lunchbox Doctor. Jen then taught us how to make homemade kimchi and lots of other wonderful recipes that were both healthy and delicious.
Our Day at Fearless in the Kitchen
When we arrived at 10.30am, we were served coffee or tea, along with White Potato, Spring Onion and Feta Breakfast Muffins made with buckwheat flour. I would never have thought to make muffins from leftover cooked potatoes and I was pleasantly surprised by just how delicious these savoury treats were. We then learned a bit about the benefits of fermented food, before making our choice of kimchi or sauerkraut to take home.
After a mid-morning snack of Aubergine, Carrot and Cannellini Bean Hummus, marinated Labneh cheese, and a gorgeous Miso Salmon Pate, along with crackers and flatbreads, we divided into groups to make lunch.
The menu included Jackfruit Tacos with Corn Salsa, Saffron Cauliflower with Apricots and Pistachio, and Harissa Baked Peppers served with quinoa. Jen had also made some Falafel with red lentils, chickpeas and pea flour.
From top left, clockwise, we have Harissa Baked Peppers, Saffron Cauliflower, Corn Salsa, and Jackfruit Taco filling. Jackfruit really does taste like pulled pork, especially in the flavourful barbecue sauce it was cooked in. Instead of tacos, we had pea flour pancakes as taco shells. They were absolutely delicious!
Jen and Jenny are both lovely and the whole atmosphere at Fearless in the Kitchen is very convivial and supportive. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. We departed at 2.30pm with our own containers of the kimchi or sauerkraut to ferment at home, a jar of preserved lemons that will be ready to use in about a month, and some of the food we had made. I also came away with new kitchen skills and a much broader knowledge of how to nourish my gut and stay healthy.
You can find out more about Fearless in the Kitchen here. Classes are small, with 3 to 8 people attending, and sell out fast. Don’t miss out!
5 Ways to Nourish Your Gut
1. Prioritise Vegetables
When meal planning, my of us think first about the meat, fish or protein we are building our meals round. Ideally, you want to turn this premise around completely and think first about the vegetable element of any meal. Once you have determined a vegetable dish, you can then serve the meat, fish or protein as an accompaniment, not as the main event.
2. Ditch the Ready Meals and Processed Food
Although there is a time and place for ready prepared food, the closer food is to its natural state when you eat it, the better. Even “Gluten Free” and “Vegan” ready meals may not be as healthy as we think. Cook from scratch where possible, using fresh, unprocessed ingredients. It’s easier than you think. Try my Easy Vegetarian Orzotto with Mediterranean Vegetables or Easy Vegetable and Cashew Stir Fry. Either can be served as a stand-alone meal, or as an accompaniment to a small serving of chicken or fish.
3. Eat Fibre Rich Foods for Prebiotics
While many of us are trying not to eat too many carbohydrates, it’s really important not to eliminate fibre from our diets. Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of fibre. Garlic, onions, leeks, brassicas (cabbage, Brussels sprouts) and legumes are also rich sources of prebiotics.
Resistant starches help with prebiotic formation as well. You can make starches more resistant by heating and cooling foods. For example, trying making Potato Salad with potatoes which have been heated and cooled. Keep the skins on for extra nutrition and fibre. Cooking and cooling pasta and grains has the same effect. Salads using cooked pasta and cooked cooled grains are a great way enjoy foods containing resistant starches.
4. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, yogurt (be sure it’s not too high in sugar!), miso, kombucha and pickles are rich sources of probiotics. Fermented foods can improve digestion, increase our immunity and help us maintain a healthy weight.
5. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut. This can then cause you to crave more sugar, which can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation can make you feel generally unwell, with lots of digestive issues. Very high levels of inflammation is also believed to be a cause of more serious diseases.
Learning more about how to nourish our guts can lead to lots of benefits including improved digestion, sleep and all round good health. Just a few small changes can make all the difference. You can learn more at the Nourish Your Gut courses at Fearless in the Kitchen.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before making any health changes. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet or treatment for a medical condition.