How many times have we heard the phrase “You Are what You Eat”? Well, after eating stuff that was not strictly whole-food, plant-based while I was on holiday and beyond I can attest to that fact. Definitely feeling sluggish and demotivated for a while there. I’d say I was about 80% compliant and because of that my gut was not in a good way and certainly impacted the way I was feeling in general. Have you heard of gut microbiome? There’s lots of information if you look for it. Check out https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-microbiome-and-healthWhy the Gut Microbiome Is Crucial for Your Health – Healthline
Put simply, our body is full of trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are collectively known as the microbiome. Yes, some bacteria are associated with disease, others are actually extremely important for your immune system, heart, weight and many other aspects of health.
Interestingly, the food we eat affects the diversity of our gut bacteria. For instance, certain bacteria digest fibre. Fibre may help prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and the risk of cancer.
The gut and brain are connected and I’ve read lots of information suggesting that if our gut isn’t healthy it can impact on our mental health. It’s all starting to make sense and I guess when we know better, we should do better. I try so hard but have a few wobbles. Recognising how my overall wellbeing dips when I eat processed food is enough to get me back on track. I don’t deviate for long from whole-food, plant- based meals.
Signs of an unhealthy gut:
- Upset stomach – stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut
- Unintentional weight changes
- Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue
- Skin irritation
- Autoimmune conditions
- Food intolerances
If you follow my biog, apologies, I’ve not been giving attention to it of late, and I know that’s not good for keeping my readership. But! What a year so far. Lots going on in my life – maybe my blog should be about that, I’d have lots of content! Anyway in a nutshell, my caring responsibilities are coming to an end which has prompted me to take stock of my life and to determine my next steps. First and foremost I need an income so I’m looking for work. After being out of the job market for 11 years I’m finding this task pretty daunting to say the least. I don’t want to go back to what I was previously doing, far too pressured and more responsibility than I want. So, it’s back to the drawing board. Job searching is very time consuming and I have to prioritise that right now.
I’ve also started furniture flipping, taking old furniture and up cycling it. Not sold anything yet because it’s very early days and I’m still in the finishing touches stage of a few pieces. Sourcing old furniture, researching paints, brushes and finishes took up a good deal of time before I even started sourcing, prepping and painting. Also, I’ve been working on a few short diploma courses I signed up for some months back – got to keep the old grey matter ticking over! What do they say “use it or lose it”.
I’ve been clearing out both mentally and physically and part of that process was clearing my emails. I came across a recipe for Vegan Chilli for the Instant Pot – this piece of equipment is an absolute must in my kitchen. Apart from a bit of preparation, it takes very little time to cook a meal and while it’s cooking you can be getting on with other stuff. This particular recipe comes courtesy of Shaneandsimple.
Instant Pot Vegan Chilli – Ingredients:
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped with seeds (I didn’t have this but I did add 5 sun dried tomatoes. I knew this wouldn’t add heat but would add flavour)
- 2 tablespoons chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 and half cups vegetable broth
- 28oz can fire roasted tomatoes (I used regular)
- 2 x 15oz cans red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 x 15oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Salt to taste (if using)
- In the Instant Pot, sauté onions, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano plus chopped pepper. Add 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth to prevent sticking. Stir and let sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot, stir, lock lid and seal the vent. Set to cook for 5 minutes. Manually vent at the end of the cooking time and serve with brown rice (my particular favourite) or whatever you choose.
Please bear with me while I get back into the swing of things and post regularly. If you enjoyed this post please like, share and comment. Thank you for reading and following my blog