If you know me, you might have noticed that I tend to steer clear of medication.
Over the last handful of years I have learned so much about how truly healing food can be. I have seen it first hand and have personally reaped their healing benefits, so when something comes up, I do my best to feel better from the nourishing powers of food.
Last month my doctor told me that I needed to be on medication for THREE WEEKS!!! And not just any medication...
I needed to take antibiotics for three weeks.
There is a time and a place for western medicine. It obviously can do amazing things and some people need it to survive. In my opinion prescription drugs have gotten out of hand in America, as they are shoved down our throats when we could be looking for actual cures rather than treating the symptom. But yes, I do know that medication is necessary in some cases and we are lucky to have that option. Unfortunately, this was my necessary case.
The thing I don't like about antibiotics is the havoc they wreak on your gut flora. We all have billions and billions of healthy and unhealthy microorganisms that line our gut. So much affects how well the good organisms flourish in your gut. Things like what you ate as a child, what you eat as an adult, if you get quality sleep, and how stressed you are all impact your gut. If you feed it well, your gut will have healthy bacteria that will have hugely beneficial impacts to your health.
Well, feed your body antibiotics and much of the bacteria in your gut (good and bad) go sayonara. This is the job of antibiotics. But for those of us that consciously feed our gut healthy bacteria and want it to stay healthy, this can be a little devastating.
Instead of stressing about it (even worse for my poor little gut), I started upping my prebiotic and probiotic game.
For my prebiotic (food that supports the growth of healthy microorganisms in the gut) sources, I didn't need to make big changes. Bananas, greens, apples, onions, garlic, oats, and sea vegetables are all great sources. Luckily for me, they are already staples in my diet, which you can see from any of my yummy recipes!
Probiotics, however, are a different story. I take a daily SBO (soil-based organisms) probiotic that gives me peace of ming that I am adding some healthy microorganisms to my gut. I think everyone should take one after they do some research and find one that is good for them. But, like I've said before, nothing does as much for us as food. So I needed to up the ante on my probiotic rich food, which are generally foods that are fermented.
Here's what I did:
I added Firefly Kitchen's raw sauerkraut to the skillet with my scrambled eggs and quinoa in the morning. Don't hate until you try it, it is shockingly good.
I started snacking on pickles, olives, and dark chocolate.
I made bibimbap bowls that had mounds of kimchi.
And, I put together this beautiful, gut nourishing tempeh salad.
Temp-a-what? Tempeh is fermented soy beans that are often used by vegetarians and vegans as a meat replacement. Because it uses the whole soybean, it has more fiber, protein and vitamins than tofu. It is fermented, which means its a probiotic food that adds goodness to your gut flora. And, it has a cool nutty flavor that is fun to play around with.
This salad also includes bitter greens and dulse flakes (sea vegetable), both helping to up your prebiotics.
If you are someone that has used a decent amount of antibiotics, live in a constant low-grade amount of stress, or didn't grow up with the healthiest of diets, try out this salad to nourish that oh-so precious gut. Heck, if you are super healthy and always have been, try this salad! It is a fun change and you know you will be doing your gut a solid.
But also, don't fret if antibiotics have popped up here and there in your life. Just be sure that you are thoughtful about when you take them, and that you are supporting your gut year round. The gut is a delicate system that affects every aspect of our health and wellbeing. Be kind to it.
Makes 1 large salad
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoons liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
3 button mushrooms, sliced
4 oz tempeh (about half a package of most tempeh products) *
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups of spicy greens (arugula, dandelion) or favorite greens
2 radishes, thinly sliced
Nooch salad dressing- click here for recipe
Heat large pan over medium heat. Add oil and liquid aminos. Add tempeh and mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes, letting the tempeh golden for a bit and the mushrooms soften. Drizzle honey, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Pile greens and radishes onto a plate or bowl. Add nooch dressing and mix, letting the dressing disperse evenly.
Top salad with tempeh and mushrooms and eat immediately.
* Tempeh can be found in most grocery stores. Look in the refrigerated section that has some of the vegan meat replacement products. I like the Lightlife brand. Here is what tempeh looks like-
Meal Prepping Tip
This is an awesome lunch! It is filling but doesn't slow you down. To meal prep for the week:
Portion out the greens and radishes into large containers.
Cook the tempeh/mushroom combo and portion out into small glass containers.
Make the dressing and keep it in a jar in the fridge.
In the morning, top the greens with the dressing.
When you're ready to eat, heat the mushroom/tempeh combo and add it to the greens.