Fermented or probiotic foods are all the rage right now because we are finally recognizing their power to help heal and re-establish balance in our gut bacteria.
Digestive health is the basis for all health, as 80% of our immune system lives within the microorganisms in our gut. Our digestion is ruled by these tiny micro-organisms, called micro biome that literally outnumber our own cells 10:1. That’s right, our bodies are made up of about 10 times more bacteria than cells.
We healed our family from severe autism, seizure disorder, candida, food allergies and many other health imbalances with something more than just diet. In fact, Doug, who was a skeptic about the nutritional aspect of our healing at first — jumped right on board after he had a profound physical shift with energy work. Within five minutes of distance healing, his previously shattered shoulder bones physically moved back into place. That was 7 years ago. We now use energy work every day. And we keep finding new reasons for needing it and new ways to use it. Read more
We don’t talk enough about proper food combining in my circles of savvy eaters. So many of my friends and clients are all about eating organic, local, raw, vegan, right for their body/blood type, grass-fed, biodynamic, or whatever. But, when I mention to them that if perhaps they switched up the combos of grub on their plates that maybe they’d drop that extra weight, feel less bloated, gain healing and de-stress – they are often surprised.
Did you know that your body needs to release different enzymes in order to break down different foods and food groups? And, that it can be taxing to your body to combine foods that require different enzymes? Each living food has its own enzymes and every enzyme has a specific function.
Proper food combining refers to eating foods together that can be digested together. Seems like a no-brainer since most of us are aware that good digestion is at the foundation of good health. But, many of the meals we traditionally eat, just don’t work in our bodies.
When we blend foods with varying enzymes, some may get digested quicker than others, leaving the slower digested foods to stick around in your beauteous bod for too long. This also puts a halt to digestion all together. Which means that nothing you eat actually gets fully absorbed. What can happen then, is that those foods can become toxic. Even healthy foods can become toxic if the digestion of those foods is halted. This can feed candida and parasites, wake up viral infections, make you constipated and more susceptible to holding on to the next food you eat. It creates a cycle of blockages. If you’re constipated you know headaches, fatigue, irritability, weakness and even smelliness (body odor) prevail. And of course cycles un-wellness can often be traced back to undigested food.
I first learned this concept when I decided to use the Body Ecology Diet to help my boy and I heal from major candida (yeast) overgrowth (and undo his autism), and it worked! Then, when I ventured into my own raw vegan eating, I did discover I could pay less attention to eating things together that don’t necessarily mix well – probably because the food I was eating was so enzyme-rich. This can mean less work for our bodies. Of course, I’m a huge fermenter and good fermented food is predigested (already broken down), so your body doesn’t need to produce more enzymes.
Digestion definitely slows during pregnancy. Midwives and books tell me it’s the hormones. But I also suspect it’s the fact that candida yeast also naturally rises. It’s all connected.
At 11 weeks prego, I went way out of my usual eating comfort zone and had a little too much peanut butter, watermelon, chocolate – you name it. It was Mothers’ Day week, and my hubby made so many treats. I guess he didn’t expect me to eat the whole tray of peanut butter brownies or a whole watermelon. But I did. And, I totally felt the aftermath.
I spent that whole week in bed with morning, noon and night sickness. My fall from the grace of sacred pregnancy eating began on a Saturday Morning at the farmer’s market of all places –where I bought peanut butter, watermelon, eggs, and honey to name a few culprits.
Before that, I’d noticed a slight uneasyness in my stomach upon waking each morning that was completely quelled by my delicious superfood smoothies. They sustained me, energized me and kept me free of digestive discomfort for weeks. I was able to do yoga each day and seriously felt better than ever. Even better than pre-pregnancy.
So, where did I go wrong? Aside from eating too much sugar? and peanut butter? And rice flour? Oh geez! Well, first of all fruit digests very quickly.. SO, when I ate cookies, and batter and then ate some watermelon, I literally felt bloated in a split second.
Ever feel that after you eat? Like your gut just bloats out? The watermelon stopped the rest of my food from being digested, and I felt super heavy for days.
Also, knowing that I’m preggers and my digestion is slower, I ate far too many cooked brownies that contain NO enzymes for digestion. This means my body would have to produce the enzymes…. But, yet what kinds of enzymes should my body produce? Enzymes to digest the eggs? The rice flour? The oil? I’m sure the answer took hours to determine.
I came out of it combining most of my meals properly, and adding more digestive enzymes and fermented foods to each meal. My diet is naturally at least 70% raw with tons of superfoods and fermented foods like coconut kefir. I drink at least 16 oz. of coconut kefir each day, which helps quicken digestion. And, it makes us feel pretty amazing too because it boosts serotonin.
There have been times when I’ve intuitively known to combine or not combine certain foods. And certainly no rules for eating apply to every person. You have to know how to check in with your body to find your balance with food.
If you’re in question about whether or not you can get more nutrition out of your food, feel lighter and clearer-focused, and put an end to morning sickness – have a go at these tried and true tips.
Proper Food Combining
Don’t drink it with your food because it actually dissolves enzymes. Have a glass at least 20 minutes before eating, so that your natural enzymes can replenish.
If you want to drink something with your food, try lemon water at room temperature. This can aid in digestion. Also a cup of warm tea can be okay.
This is a big one. Fruit digests very quickly and doesn’t really combine with many other foods. If you eat fruits alone, on an empty stomach, you give plenty of energy space for your body to digest.
Since it digests quickly, you can have more to eat a half hour later.
If I eat fruit, I try to eat it early in the day because I have more time to burn that sugar energy and its less likely that something else is in my digestive tract waiting to move on to its next destination.
First Breakfast/Liquid Breakfast
Have liquids (green smoothie, soup, tea) in the morning before bowel movements, then solid foods are okay after you poop. This is simply because your body is waking up from digesting and detoxing during the night and needs to release, and eating food requires your energy to shift back into breaking down more food instead of releasing.
Check in with your pregnant self about this one. You may want to think about what light or blended breakfast you can have instead of a smoothie or soup because you may require something more grounding in the morning. This is one of those guidelines you may not be able to follow during pregnancy. And, that’s perfectly okay. I also find that those of us who tend toward candida, spleen dampness, or low digestive energy can’t often handle too many liquids. They can make us feel heavy.
At times I’ve switched over to bone broth and fish for breakfast which works amazingly for me. In fact, it’s my fave. With some spinach and beets. But, I’ve been known to eat my fish raw… I know… so taboo. It just feels amazing and completely light for me.
Then, I’ll have my smoothie a few hours later. Or when I feel hungry.
Another idea is mono eating. Simply having a one -food breakfast like an avocado, coconut, or squash, piece of meat or some presoaked, steamed quinoa or rice.
If you’re a constipated mama to be that’d be quite common. It happens. Trying this in the a.m. may mean you can have at least one bowel movement during the day. I haven’t been plagued by any of these common issues. Except for during my one week of bed -ridden-ness.
Proteins and Carbs
Don’t mix them (example: meat and potatoes, rice and beans). They require different enzymes for digestion.
(Some disagree, of course. I’ve heard and read that rice and beans make a complete protein. I’ve also heard that potatoes have a way of decreasing the toxicity in meat. It may work for you if you have much stronger digestion. However, it hasn’t been sustainable for me, other than times when I’ve known I needed something different. Cultured vegetables also convert meat toxins into useful amino acids.)
This was one of my biggest lessons. I learned it way before becoming prego.
If you eat meat, eat it before 2 pm for ideal time to digest. Honestly, the rarer the better for digestion (sorry vegan loves). Cooking meat does kill off enzymes needed to digest it and also reduce the protein. I try to eat wild caught meats, and thankfully I’ve manifested a life where that is so available. I’m loving eating wild salmon and deer from my friend in Alaska. Yum! And, this I know is instinctive because I completely cannot stand chicken or beef right now and I rarely crave meat at all in my non-pregnant life. If I can, I like to marinate my meats in cultured veggie juice, apple cider vinegar or citrus and garlic to help break it down and minimize bad bugs. Still though, I’m not getting enough meat to fulfill all of my protein needs, so I do supplement with raw food-based supplements.
If you eat grains, these are great to have in the evening for dinner, as they help release sleep hormones. Make sure to soak and even sprout your grains to remove enzyme inhibitors and make them digestible.
Some women crave grains during pregnancy because they seem to quiet nausea. If this is you, definitely soak, sprout and try cooking on a really low temp to retain as much of the nutrition as possible. When you soak them, you’ll find that they require far less cooking time too.
Eat these with leafy greens and other non-starchy veggies.
These can be a total goddess-send for some of my prego loves. Although they don’t usually contain as much nutrition per bite, they are often great for grounding and easing nausea. I’m getting tons of beets which are so needed right now. And, I’m blessed enough to share space with so many organic growers, that I get fresh from-the-garden squashes all the time. YUM!
Eat lots of good fats while prego. Your baby’s brain and your mood will thank you. Try to combine them only with sour fruit like lime or with herbs and non-starchy veggies.
I like to keep my fats raw and only cook with coconut oil which can stand higher temps. I take fish oils and also eat hemp oil, olive oil, raw butter and ghee as I wish. And, I wish a lot!
I even occasionally throw a raw egg yolk on top of some cooked greens, allowing it to cook on the heat of the greens. Another taboo on the raw egg front, but so full of nutrition and good for my body.
I haven’t been too in love with nuts during this time, but they can offer good protein and fat, like egg or avocado—if you can handle them. Nuts, like grains are most often more digestible when soaked first.
I also find benefit sometimes in roasted almonds. They might help you feel grounded.
if 80% of your meal contains leafy or non-starchy veggies like spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, veggie soup, salad etc and 20% is either grain, meat or starchy veg, you’re setting the stage for a meal well digested. Keeping lots of it raw will help kickstart that too. Of course adding in coconut kefir cultured vegetables or enzymes helps even more. If you cannot really do raw foods, try adding in more raw cultured foods. I’ve found, in my various stages of needs changing, that this really creates balance for me.
Try only eating until you are 80% full. Again, this leaves room for digestive enzymes to do their thing.
Your Body Knows
Your intuition is divinely heightened during this time. So, really tune -in and learn the signals. If you are craving eggs or meat there is a reason. If you are uber turned off by them, there is a reason. If you get gassy, bloaty or smelly there is a reason. If you are way more tired after you eat, there is a reason — and I’m convinced that pregnancy can be a time of amazing wellbeing, if you tune-in.
See how you feel when you mingle healthy fats with fruits…some people feel great eating these together. Try not eating starches with your grains and see if that helps. Even one of these steps can help you make huge improvements.
Being ultra sensitive during this time is your opportunity to understand your body better and build the way of eating that works best for you. All food has the potential to be medicine for you if you eat it in the best way for you.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, your spleen has to transform food and drink into energy. When your spleen is deficient, you may have a pale face and tongue, fatigue after eating, fullness in the belly and loose stools.
If this worsens, it can progress into diarrhea, candida overgrowth, cold feet and hands, a desire for warm foods and discomfort from eating raw.
Chinese Medicine also teaches that one extreme can become another if not addressed. Diarreah becomes constipation. Extreme cold can become extreme heat. And, by simply beginning with the way you eat, you can ease the burden on your spleen. If you are preggers and experiencing really uncomfortable issues, there may also be herbs you can try to help you. I love reishi mushroom. For me, this really does the trick.
Also, things like massage, dry skin brushing, yoga and acupuncture can activate your digestive system.
It’s All about YOU
While this post mostly refers to my way of eating, you can take any food that’s already on your menu and apply these concepts for digestive relief and to get more nutritional bang per bite. Most people do not get the full nutritional value of their food because it remains undigested. You can change this with food combining differently.
Try it and let me know how you feel, and remember that I am here for personal consults to help you find out what works best for you.
Namaste and Happy Eating,
Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.
I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!
Join us for an interactive workshop where we share everything you need to know about improving your digestion for ultimate WELLNESS!
March 9: Bliss Eating: Gut Health Marries Gut Instinct
Honoring Your Body’s Inner Ecology
1- 3:30 pm
Healdsburg, CA private Residence. Email Gina@BlissedLife.com for details.
DELICIOUS fermented foods and why you’ll love them!
How to use and improve upon your INTUITION to create the most satisfying diet for yourself!
7 Steps to Amazing Digestion!
We’ll show you how to nourish and listen to your “gut feelings” in order to align with what foods are right for you. Because your body and your needs are unique.
You get to taste our fermented vegetables, coconut kefir, nuts, seeds, butter and even healing superfood CHOCOLATE!
Did you know that eating fermented foods will make animal products more digestible, and help turn toxic by-products of meat into useful amino acids? That is if you are eating the right fermented foods.
For centuries, people have fermented foods for the sake of preservation. Now, we realize the importance and DELICIOUSNESS of adding them into our daily lives, and making sure we are getting clean, potent and balanced batches that our bodies can really use. Not all fermented foods on the shelves today are even alive or abundant in absorbable bacteria. Things like store-bought yogurts, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, pickles, etc pale in comparison to the power of truly healthy fermented foods.
Good Fermented foods are full of healthy bacteria (probiotics) that make your gut happy. And, a happy gut means that you can digest your food better. These are far more effective than probiotic supplements and cost far less too!
Fermented foods were a Major factor in our family’s healing from autism, candida, seizure disorder, fatigue, acne and more. We can’t wait to share them with you.
The Intuitive Side
Intuition Building exercises
Gut Health and Gut Instincts
Asking and Receiving Intuitive Answers
Eating Clean (what does that mean for your body?)
Food Energy (yin/yang) and Healing Powers
Everyone leaves with
A jar of cultured veggies
A recipe book
Tons of info on how to easily incorporate healing foods and fermented foods into your busy life.
Can’t wait to see you!
The class is $55/person. Prepay through PayPal to secure your seat by Feb 27
Check Out Our Fermented Food Making Videos
Xoxo Gina and Doug
Got too many things whirling around in your mind to focus on what you really want? It happens! 2012 has been a year of massive shifting in consciousness, and we’ve all learned so much about our purpose. I keep saying it, but it’s oh so true — people are waking up everywhere!
For once, the things that consume Doug’s and my thoughts are EXCITING images of all that we have. We’re reeling in the abundance of supportive friends and beauty everywhere! It’s kind of ironic when you’ve got a mind so full of awesomeness, that you get stuck materializing that awesomeness into what you know is supposed to serve the world. We have so many more gifts to share with you. So, many that we can’t hardly contain ourselves. It’s taking everything we have not to completely spill the beans. But, we need more energy to go through with some of the work involved. We need more focus. I could say we are a bit stuck. But, we know that these moments are the most inspiring for us. These moments when you think you are stuck, may actually just be catalysts for needed change.
Bliss Cleanse 2012 and What it’s All About
For us, this is about reclaiming our energies and providing ourselves with all of the necessary comforts and tools to shed what is not working. And, to make more space for what IS WORKING.
For you, we hope you will take our inspiration and build a cleanse for yourself that helps you MANIFEST what you want!
We will be using food, yoga, meditation and spiritual exercises to help us through. These are things we already do everyday. BUT, we are adding a greater intention and doing them with MORE PURPOSE. When you solidify your intention, and can see what you want as if it is already yours, then you create an emotional response that literally reprograms your thoughts.
Have you yet heard that your thoughts create your life?
Once you have connected neurons (like electrical wires) in your brain with thought and emotion, you will vibrationally attract more similar experiences that triggered the original connection. This is why mantras work. We repeat them and they change our perception and our life.
When I went all raw for 2 years, I felt amazing. I was warm in the winter — contrary to what experts said was supposed to happen. I also became more in touch with my intuitive abilities, and was able to begin offering intuitive services.
When I shared the benefits of a living food, probiotic rich diet with my family, my son spun out of autism symptoms in a blink. And, my husband got rid of his seizure disorder.
As you know, we have been eating some cooked foods and animal products over the last 2 years and that has also proven very beneficial to all of us for gaining strength. The foods we have chosen to eat have been very helpful to keep us energized and focused, happy and MORE!
During this Bliss Cleanse, we will focus on raw living vegan food, raw vegetable juices, wild foods, healing herbs, smoothies, and over all clean organic food. Of course, we will also have plenty of coconut kefir and fermented foods! We have a big pot of bone broth available to us — should we need those minerals and strength! As the fall leaves begin to shed, we too hope to shed any stored toxins from our trip to Mexico, or life in general. It often takes layers of cleansing and rebuilding to reach ultimate wellness.
The 3 of us are each unique beings with unique dietary needs. Our cleanse is personalized for each of us. And, we will share recipes and results with you as we go!
Our Personal Goals
Gina: I want to feel more energized and heal my dryish skin. I’d also like to increase my ability to quiet my mind, meditate and “see.”
Doug: I want to lose some weight and feel lighter. I want to feel a higher energy. I want to feel a better appreciation for food, and shake off my Chicago food taste buds (cravings).
Dougie: We hope to improve Dougie’s desire to learn and participate in home-school activities, his expressive abilities and his cognition in math. He has come very far and no longer displays the painful autism symptoms that he used to have. Yet, we know that healing happens in layers and he still has some viruses and metal poison that, when addressed, will open up his mind and abilities even more.
All 3 of us are intending for a new eco-fied house-on-wheels that will take us around the planet and allow us to bring our gifts straight to you. We’ve been traveling without one, teaching classes all over and really feeling the LOVE. We envision a Blissed Life much bigger. We envision a hunk of land where we can build a permaculture that feeds your souls. We envision luxury! We see it all happening now and are setting out to fill in the space between vision and manifestation with Bliss!
BLISS Herbal Decoction
This “tea” contains lots of liver support, immune support and spiritual-upliftedness support. Our family does very well on olive leaf which controls candida, viruses and infections. Each of these herbs have so many interlinked healing abilities, when choosing herbs, I recommend starting with one at a time and creating a relationship with them.
1/4 cup of each dried herb (I used chaga mushroom powder to help the process go quicker)
2 quarts clean water
I boiled the chaga for about an hour, and then added the schisandra berries for about a half hour, and then added the rest. I let the whole sha-bang steep for a long while.
Doug and I are drinking lots of it. Dougie is having only about a cup of it.
We made this one with farmer’s market beef bones and added fennel, ginger, onion, celery and tons of garlic and good sea salt to the mix.
Dougie and Doug are having some. I’m not attracted to bone broth today 🙂
We’ll post the rest of our recipes as we go and let you know how we do with them.
We think its very possible to achieve material goals by changing your diet and to achieve health goals by changing your perception. We are all connected. When you join us on this cleanse, our magnified energy will support one another. What do you need to manifest?
Want to find out how you can Welcome more Bliss into your life? Check out our Three Days to Bliss-Ness toolkit… free!
I had the pleasure of speaking at the Los Angeles Fitness Expo amongst some true heavy hitters in the industry. Here is me, sharing with you!
We’ve got lots more where this came from. Catch us across the US and Canada for more on autism healing, consciousness and achieving your BLISS! We’ll be giving talks, and hosting potlucks, retreats and workshops.
Note:There is a slight overlap in the 2nd video.
I’d love to help you create Bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!
If you dug this piece and want more tips for tapping into your own intuition, click here to get your free 3 Days to Bliss-Ness Toolkit — chock-full of mantras, recipes and exercises you’ll LOVE!
Much Love and Light,
Do you love figs? I do! And, besides eating them in the wildly delicious gluten-free newtons from the Santa Monica Co-op, I had to figure out what else to do with the things so that my obsession didn’t get boring. Naturally, I went to fermentation. I’ve tried to ferment almost everything you can think of from green beans to chocolate to spice mixes and teas. It’s not always a success. But, this my dears…this figgy frenzy was a fermentation feat for my record book. In fact, I often serve this in my classes and bring it to parties.
Figs are full of sugar, so naturally they have what it takes to feed the healthy probiotics in the fermentation process. Leaving them to ferment for 24 hours doesn’t produce alcohol for me. So, it’s all good. The fermentation simply breaks down the sugar and makes the whole shabang easier to digest, and also offers you some healing pro-bugs for your beautious digestive tract.
Fermentation also makes the minerals and fiber more bioavailable to you. That means that your body will actually accept more nourishment from these delicious fruits in their fermented state.
Figs are very alkalizing and have the energy to help your stomach, spleen and pancreas do their jobs, and get food and fluids moving through and balanced. No wonder why I love them so. I found myself having spleen/stomach problems a while back. Sweet foods have a necessary role in health besides providing us with caloric energy and enjoyment. They can be very supportive and tonifying. Of course, the more figgy love you have, the closer to the bathroom I recommend you stay. The little guys can also be quite a laxative.
If you’re on a candida cleanse or doing Body Ecology, you may feel the need to stray from all sugars. We did that for a while and it worked for us. However, when I started adding in more fermented foods and fermenting salad dressings and stuff like that– our whole family came to be able to process sugar much better. In fact, we also became able to process fats, proteins, and carbs much better too. We no longer think sugar is evil. We like it. And our adventures into fermentation have taken away all of those wicked cravings for the sugar beast.
“Figgy Juice” Recipe
Ingredients and Equipment:
- 2 cups fresh figs (dried)
- Coconut kefir to cover figs
- Sterile Jar
- Pack figs in jar and cover with kefir.
- Ferment for 24 hours.
- Use “juice” in salad dressings.
- Figs can be used in desserts or dressings.
Fermented Fig Fantasy Dressing Recipe
- Handful fermented figs
- Splash fermented “figgy juice”
- Splash ume boshi vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- Handful of chives, cilantro, basil, parsley, sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
- Begin to blend some figs and fig juice and keep adding ingredients until you have a “salad dressing” consistency that floats your boat.
Have a gorgeous day,
Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.
I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!
Dougie was once diagnosed with autism, and was very sick with candida yeast infections, vaccine poison, heavy metals, viruses, parasites, bacterial infections, food allergies and more. He began regressing developmentally at age 2 or slightly before. He did display all symptoms of autism, and in fact, we were told he was severe by the Chicago Schools. Some said he would never talk. We were more worried that he was very physically ill and also that he had dangerous tendencies like lack of awareness and not being able to protect himself (walking outside, crossing street). We wanted our son to have the best chance at health possible. We completely changed our lives, diet and spirituality. As we unpeeled layers of physical illness, the autism symptoms surfaced and left. He is 7 and quite healthy now. We homeschool him and we all love it,
These are our latest videos. Dougie loves outer space and making films. He draws story boards and films himself.
Im so excited my man is finally coming out to tell his own recovery story. It’s also great to have him BACK after a painful detox. But, he did it! You can read his entry about how he detoxed from the seizure medication, Lamictal here: https://blissybliss.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/recovery-from-the-seizure-med-lamictal/
He gets a bit deeper in these videos. Enjoy!