our mental and emotional health is directly related to our gut health. (We hope this sounds familiar since you’re a Chalkboard reader, but just in case, here is the full scoop from Donna Gates!) Our “inner ecosystems” determine how well our immunity, hormones, energy levels and brains function. And if we could recommend just one area of focus for vital health, this would be it.
Body Ecology’s Donna Gates, our August Guest Editor, is sharing what a day of optimal gut health looks like from the cuppa CocoBiotic to start (we’re obsessed with this stuff!) to the mineral and moringa infused wind-down. Pick up a couple of tips from her gut-centric wellness philosophy and if you’re really ready to dive deep on the topic, check out the full Body Ecology Diet!
First thing in the morning: Hydrate! I like to drink water with a pinch of sea salt right when I wake up. Then I drink a probiotic drink like CocoBiotic, which helps with detoxification – plus the microbes in CocoBiotic help with anxiety and depression, leaving you happier as you go through your day!
For breakfast: I eat one of these three: a green smoothie (get my favorite recipe here); or lightly scrambled eggs with veggies and cultured foods; or Body Ecology’s Fermented Protein Shake – it’s sugar, dairy and gluten-free, and so satisfying that sometimes I’ll even replace my dinner meal with a shake instead if I’m not that hungry.
Coffee or tea? I never drink coffee, but some mornings I drink Ujido matcha green tea, which is a superfood and contains theanine, which is great for stress. Hibiscus tea is my favorite to drink throughout the day (good for high blood pressure) and I sweeten it with stevia. I also keep a pitcher of water, two hibiscus tea bags and fresh mint ready to drink at anytime in my refrigerator. Chamomile is my go-to at bedtime.
Morning habit or exercise: Stretching is very important and brings the mind and body into harmony. A walk in the sun is always great to boost mood and improve sleep.
Supplements: Holy basil tea is great to lower cortisol levels and help with relaxation. L-theanine helps you relax without the drowsy side effects. Bifidus probiotic capsules change up your gut chemistry, which can help decrease feelings of anxiety and give a sense of emotional well-being. Changing the gut bugs can help decrease feelings of anxiety and give a sense of emotional well-being. Vitamin D and fish oil are also great for mood. Lavender oil is also very relaxing – add it to a hot bath and let the stress of the day fade away.
For lunch in: Salmon, or another protein I might be craving, broccolini or other dark green leafy veggies, sea veggie salad or green salad and, of course, cultured vegetables.
Post-workout ideas: Drink filtered water with lemon or lime juice and stevia.
For afternoon energy: Drink water! Fatigue can often be an indicator of dehydration. Make sure to continue to drink water throughout the day, which also helps flush out toxins. Lemon or lime juice helps to give it some more flavor so that you’re likely to drink more.
For Dinner: I usually eat vegetarian meal with starchy veggies (red potato, butternut squash) and quinoa or millet with root and leafy veggies. I always try to add sea vegetables too, like seaweed, wakame or hijiki.
Perfect dinner recipe: Your evening meal should be light and easy to digest, so it’s best to stay away from heavy foods and traditional meat-centered meals. A grain-like seed meal is ideal because it is easy to digest and the nutrients in grain-like seeds provide a calming effect, helping you sleep better. Try the recipe below!
Bedtime ritual: I take a hot shower. I spray liquid minerals onto my face with amaranth seed or moringa seed oil and massage it into my skin. I get into my favorite PJs, put on my headphones and listen to a webinar about health.
Gingery Quinoa + Potato Patties
¾ cup red or sweet potatoes, peeled
1 cup quinoa, soaked for 8 hours, cooked with 2 cups filtered water
1 cup kale, chopped fine
½ cup carrot, finely shredded
⅓ cup celery, finely chopped
⅓ cup quick-cooking oats
¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 ½ tsp fresh ginger, peeled, grated
¼ tsp fine sea salt
Cook red or sweet potatoes in boiling water until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, blend until ingredients hold together. Form into patties about 4 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick.
Arrange on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Turn patties and bake for another 15 minutes until browned.