When someone suggests you “go with your gut” — they are more right than you probably realize. That is because your gut is actually considered your second brain and it is changing the way we understand the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way we think.
Our gut is responsible for ensuring that we absorb the nutrients of the food we eat, properly expelling waste and toxins from our body and for helping maintain a strong immune system.
While not only critical for these everyday functions, your gut also holds a life force of its own. Food does not just digest from chewing and swallowing; there are also critical spiritual and emotional factors involved in digestion.
Your gut has emotional pores, and because of this, emotions can control how much good or bad bacteria flourishes there. (Ever been nervous and had a runny tummy?)
So, imagine the havoc your gut can play on your body of you aren’t taking care of it.
Let’s take a step back.
It’s October and everybody is feeling exhausted.
December holidays are so close you can almost touch them – but before that happens you still have to make it through the final deadlines, the office parties, last minute school activities, exams, Christmas shopping and who knows what else.
You feel like an elastic band, being pulled from all directions. On top of it – you are not feeling healthy. Your eyes are puffy, skin looks dull, hair is falling, heart is racing and mind is cluttered.
In conjunction with this, maybe you have lost your appetite from stress, or you have over-indulged to keep the nerves at bay. Or maybe you’ve just made a series poor food choices.
If you are dealing with weight gain, skin issues, headaches, restlessness, anxiety, hormone imbalances, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, indigestion, acid reflux, fatigue and depression, research is now pointing to the importance of healing your gut to fix these issues.
HAPPY GUT = HAPPY LIFE
As you know, if you read my blog, I suffer from IBS and I am always writing about dairy, gluten free and vegetarian / vegan alternatives.
For the next few weeks, I am going to be working with Melody Fourie, a holistic health practitioner from Nourished Wellbeing who is going to help us heal our guts and restore our gut health.
In addition to my gut health, I will be working with Emilie from Nine Aesthetics who will be helping me with skincare – through the introduction of probiotic facials and other Aesthetic treatments.
Let’s start first with Mel’s Belly and Biome Reset Cleanse. (Biome basically means the flora in our stomachs)
Keep in mind that all vegetables, fruit, spices etc. must be organic – this means they will not have been sprayed with harmful pesticides that you will then ingest. Purchase a good few litres of spring water – Mel says municipal water will affect the gut reset due to the high levels of chlorine in the water. Keep in mind, most of the soups can be made in advance the night before.
Start your day – Sauerkraut
First thing you will need to do is to purchase a bottle of organic sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage – fermentation happens when it’s stored in a jar for an extended period of time in salt and water. During the fermentation process, beneficial probiotics, or ‘live bacteria’, are produced, and these probiotics are what give sauerkraut most of its health benefits.
I got mine at the Bryanston Organic Market, but you can get Organic Sauerkraut at most health shops.
6am: Start your morning with a Tablespoon of Sauerkraut and a cup of hot water with ½-squeezed lemon.
Papaya Parasite Cleanse Recipe
Papaya contains a special digestive enzyme called papain, which is why it is most known to be a powerful digestive aid. But improved digestion helping the body to detox isn’t the only benefits of papaya, it can also help the body to heal wounds, to reduce inflammation, to purify the blood, and much more.
The seeds from papaya fruit have strong anthelmintic and anti-amoebic properties. This means they kill intestinal worms and other parasitic organisms in your digestive system and using papaya seeds for parasites has proven to be very effective.
Papaya Parasite Cleanse Sequence
The cleanse is most effective when completed in the early morning as part of your breakfast routine. This allows the Papaya seed paste and smoothie to stimulate your digestive tract giving you the rest of the day to eliminate any unwanted organisms and stools. Consuming the papaya seed paste, waters and smoothies is very specifically staged and completed as follows:
1. You will be taking 2 tablespoons of the prepared papaya seed paste. DO NOT chew the papaya seed paste; rather swallow the paste one spoonful at a time. You can wash it down with a little filtered or spring water.
2. 30 min after eating the papaya seed paste, drink a glass of spring water.
3. 30 min later (1 hour after eating the papaya seed paste), drink your 2nd glass of spring water
4. 30 min thereafter (1 ½ hours after eating the papaya seed paste), drink your 3rd glass of water
5. 30 min after drinking your last glass of water (approximately 2 hours after eating the papaya seed paste), make and drink the papaya smoothie.
Do the Papaya Cleanse for two days
Ingredients – Papaya Seed Paste
- · ¼ teaspoon clove powder, OR 6 whole cloves
- · ½ teaspoon raw honey
- · 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- · 1 Papaya, seeds removed for the paste
Special Equipment – Pestle and mortar, OR zip lock bag and rolling pin
Directions – Papaya Seed Paste
The night before the cleanse, remove the pips from the papaya and allow to dry overnight on a paper towel. Save the papaya fruit in an airtight container for the morning smoothie.
The morning of the cleanse add 4 tablespoons papaya pips, the clove powder or whole cloves, a full tablespoon organic coconut oil and the raw honey into the pestle and mortar. Crush and blend all ingredients. *Alternatively, you can add all ingredients to a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin or similar object.
Ingredients – Papaya Smoothie
- · 2 tablespoons Epsom Salts
- · ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- · ½ Papaya fruit, peeled
Special Equipment – Blender
Directions – Papaya Smoothie
· Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth
· Make your smoothie 2 hours after consuming the papaya seed paste and drinking the water
· The pumpkin seeds will breakdown but will remain reasonably rough when blended. I found this mixture very hard to drink texture wise so I add 100 ml of spring water to it.
My advice is to try to block your nose when drinking this smoothie, as it does not have the greatest taste in the world – probably because of the Epsom salts
10am: Organic Granny Smith Apple, slices, dipped in Nut Butter and a glass of water
Belly & Biome Soup of the Day (Butternut)
4 x Servings – Eat for lunch Day 1 & 2 – Makes enough for two people
- 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
- ½ red onion, diced (I used chives instead as my tummy hates onions)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (Again, Garlic does not agree with me so left this out)
- 1-inch slice of ginger root, peeled and minced
- ½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1½ cups red lentils, (soaked overnight)
- 5 cups filtered OR spring water to cover
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste Pink Himalayan salt to taste
In a large pot, heat the coconut oil and stir in onion, garlic and ginger and cook until softened and just lightly browned. Add spices and bay leaf, stirring in. Add lentils, squash and stock and stir over high heat until boiling, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Spoon off any froth that rises to the surface.
When squash is soft and lentils are fully cooked (about 20-25 minutes), remove bay leaf and purée the soup until silky smooth, or leave as-is. Serve into soup bowls and enjoy!
3pm – Water and Snack – Berries with coconut cream
Belly & Biome Green Soup
This soup is fast, simple, and belly-friendly and can be an accompaniment to breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can have it in all seasons, just switch up seasonal veggies and spices. Once you get a hang of the process, you will be able to create your favourite variations. Make it thinner or thicker, depending on your preference. Feel free to add hemp seeds, avocado, almond or coconut milk for a richer variation. Serve it with eggs or quinoa.
4 Servings – Enough for two people for two days
(Just before dinner, eat 1 TBSP of Sauerkraut )
- 1-teaspoon turmeric
- 1-tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 1-inch slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), roughly chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves Or kale 4 cups fresh zucchini (baby marrow), Or broccoli, Or cauliflower, Or any seasonal vegetable
- 4 cups filtered, or spring water
- Juice from half a lemon to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
Special Equipment – Blender and large pot
Heat the coconut oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped ginger, stirring, until translucent. Add the turmeric and salt to taste and cook for 1 minute to activate the flavours of this beautiful spice. Add the zucchini, or vegetables of choice and stir to mix well. Add enough water to cover the zucchini (at least 500ml) and bring to a boil before turning down the heat and allowing the soup to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is just tender.
Using a blender or food processor, purée the zucchini mixture with spinach, cilantro, water or non- dairy milk. Add more hot water if the soup is too thick. Transfer back to the pot and bring to a simmer and season with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve while hot and enjoy!
* Soups keep well in the fridge and extra soup can be safely stored for one to two days.
* Soups freeze well and can be stored in 240 ml serving portions in mason jars for freezing
* Allow soup to cool down before placing it into your freeze-safe container or mason
Belly & Biome Sweet Dreams Smoothie
This smoothie not only contributes to better heart and bone health but may also help to protect metabolic health, stabilize mood, keep stress in check and promote better sleep. Bananas are high in tryptophan and can help soothe sleep disorders, create calm, reduce anxiety, and alleviate depression. Magnesium is a sleep-promoting, stress-reducing, disease-protecting essential mineral.
- ¼ teaspoon Epsom salts (magnesium)
- 1 small banana, peeled (ripe but never over ripe)
- Special Equipment – Blender
In a blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth and drink before bedtime
And that’s two days of gut healing done! Your gut only takes four days to heal and I will be doing the cleanse for seven days. The 7 day Gut Reset includes mostly smoothies and soups because they are gentler on the gut.
I am already feeling a lot lighter and less bloated – although I am feeling slightly low on energy – which Mel says is normal.
I am looking forward to the rest of the cleanse, as well as my visit to Nine Aesthetics this week. Keep checking back as I will continue to blog about this experience over the next few weeks and follow me on Instagram for more updates. ✌
- Notes / Disclaimers:You can contact Nine Aesthetics for any issues you may be experiencing with regards to your health
- This information is not a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested herein. Only your healthcare provider, personal physician or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
- DO NOT use this program if you are – Pregnant or nursing, Undergoing or recovering from surgery, Have extreme nutrient deficiencies, Have extreme weakness , Have Diabetes, Have bloody stools or an inflammation of the GI tract