Dramatic overhauls of diet and lifestyle is both impractical and difficult. Small changes over time makes so much more sense given your busy schedule and full-life.
Small doses of change, small doses of good for you foods, small doses of activity. The small doses philosophy can be attributed to all facets of your life. In this blog I will focus on small doses of edibles. You can make a big impact with these daily small dose edibles. These changes are practical and do-able no matter your current diet and lifestyle.
3. Fermented Foods
Over consumption of sugar has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, gum disease, cardiovascular disease, and depressed immune systems.
Sugar adds sweetness to life, but it can also be over consumed very easily.
Sugar is in almost all processed foods and goes by high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, agave, beet sugar, glucose, fruit concentrate and a number of other pseudonyms.
Expelling sugar from the diet completely, makes for a bland, dull life. That is certainly not the goal of healthy food and eating.
Sugar in small doses daily, sweetens food (and life) without the negative side-effects. For women 6 teaspoons (25 grams) and for men 9 teaspoons (38 grams) daily, is a reasonable amount. Food labels record added sugars in grams while recipes are in teaspoons, you can track your daily sugar intake either in grams or teaspoons, just convert the measurements to the one you prefer: divide the number of grams of sugar by 4 to convert to teaspoons or if you are tracking grams, multiply the number of teaspoons by 4 to convert to grams.
When preparing my recipes, I am very mindful of added sugars. If you need some inspiration to meet your small dose sugar goals, click HERE.
Herbs are plant powerhouses full of vital energy and nutrition. Herbs are the leaves, roots, stems and seeds of a variety of plants. They are nutrient-dense, add flavor, and often have medicinal qualities.
Herbs have tonic properties (invigorating weaknesses in your organs), diuretic properties (cleansing), antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Herbs invigorate and support your body systems, when your organs are functioning optimally, your body is healthy overall.
Herbs pack all of this goodness into small doses, a pinch here, a dash there, a handful of leaves here, a couple of grates of root there, and you have added goodness and flavor to your daily food choices.
Herbs can be grown year-round in your kitchen so that they are handy for adding to breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
Add herbs for nutrition and flavor to:
- your morning eggs or oatmeal
- lunch salad or soup
- and your dinner casserole or stir-fry
- Herbs can even be added your favorite smoothie recipe for a snack
Adding fresh or dried herbs to your daily foods is a great ‘small dose’ goal. Here are some basic herbs (just about everyone has them in their kitchen, you just need to start using them) and their benefits:
- tonic effect on lung, stomach, bladder, and liver
- High* in Vitamins A, C, Folate & K; Minerals Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc
- good for treatment of gas, indigestion and diarrhea
- High* in Vitamin K
- antioxidant properties
- aids indigestion
- High* in Vitamin K, small amounts of Vitamins A & C and Calcium
- decreases cravings for sugar
- High* in Manganese, small amounts of Calcium
- anti-inflammatory properties and liver tonic
- High* in Iron, Manganese and Omega-3 fatty acids
- this herb is best cooked in oil to release the health promoting properties
- aids in digestion: all vitamins and minerals are better assimilated when digestion is working properly
- Black Pepper:
- disease prevention
- antioxidant qualities
- High* in Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese, and Omega-3&-6 fatty acids
- antiseptic & anti-inflammatory properties
*High is 10% or more RDA for 2000 kCal diet
Two of my favorite books on herbs and their healing properties are The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. and The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey
Recipe for her infused salad dressing.
One or two servings per day of fermented foods will keep your gut micro-biome healthy and thriving. Probiotic supplements typically are one or two strains of bacteria, where as fermented foods will contain a whole variety of strains. Variety is key to gut health. Having the full spectrum of micro flora in the gut is key to keeping the gut micro flora in balance. If one strain takes over, crowding out the others, imbalance occurs and along with imbalance comes, indigestion, diarrhea, depressed digestion, depressed immunity which then leads to a whole host of problems.
A small dose remedy to keep your gut healthy (when your gut is healthy so is the rest of your body) is to eat a variety of fermented foods daily.
- Miso: fresh and unpasteurized
- South River Miso is my favorite brand
- Easy Snack: 1 Tbsp. of miso paste in warm water (not boiling so as not to kill the friendly bacteria)
- How to use: salad dressings, add to soups (at the end before serving), use as a spread on sandwiches
- I’ve had great success with Kombucha Mama SCOBYs
- drink 1/4-1/2 cup daily in the morning before you eat anything else
- Fermented vegetables
- Gracie’s Gardens is a local Maine product or you can easily make your own, learn how
- Add 1/4-1/2 cup to salads and sandwiches
- Yogurt or Kefir
- The Milk House is my local favorite, but again you can easily make it at home, learn how
- 1/4-1/2 cup per day
- How to use: on hot or cold cereal, add to salad dressings, top a potato or taco
These are all common, easy to find and/or make items. No need to buy special equipment or spend a lot of money to create your healthy diet and lifestyle. These three small dose edibles will have a big impact on your health. Integrate them today and let me know how it goes by posting on my Facebook Page.
For more tips and recipes sign up for my newsletter HERE.