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8 Fermented Foods That Are Good For Digestion

8 Fermented Foods That Are Good For Digestion

Here’s something that might shock you: the stomach is like a second brain. In fact, its function is so important to the human body that it affects just about everything when it is out of shape. The gut is made up of trillions of good and bad bacteria, and when it gets out of balance, problems begin to occur everywhere.

Ever noticed blemishes or pimples on your cheeks that just aren’t going away no matter which products you use? Ever wonder why your kidneys hurt constantly, but nothing is detected? Or perhaps you have an irritable bowel or embarrassing flatulence, even though you aren’t necessarily eating foods that would cause this. With the amounts of processed foods, medications, and hidden yeasts and chemicals we consume, our very important gut flora is often thrown out of whack. What is nutritionally beneficial to rectify this is the good bacteria that thrives in fermented foods. Below are 8 of the best that, when introduced slowly, will have your digestive tract better balanced and on the road to recovery.

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1. Tempeh

Made from soybeans, tempeh is a delicious (not to mention vegan/vegetarian) fermented food that can be cooked and prepared with any lunch or dinner in a stir-fry, burger, or even just with some veggies. Because it is made from soy beans, it is closely linked to tofu, though it is a less-processed version which is fermented and full of amino acids that are good for the gut. 

2. Pickles

Much like sauerkraut in their simple recipe of salt (and water), “real” pickles are made from cucumbers and spices, but can additionally include herbs for more flavor. Alternatively, any fermented vegetables are going to be good for your gut, so you can really get creative with this one and choose vegetables to your tastes. 

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3. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink which comes in the form of both milk or yoghurt, depending on what you prefer. It is, at first, an odd consistency – it almost tastes fizzy, as if it might have turned bad! This is just the live cultures buzzing. Kefir is an amazing source of probiotics and calcium. 

4. Natural yoghurt

Many yoghurts that we buy in the supermarket are packed with sugar, which is detrimental to the health of your stomach. If you can get your hands on a natural yoghurt, they are packed with probiotics and live cultures that rectify and aid imbalances — 100% Greek yoghurt is a good option.

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5. Miso

You might have first heard of miso as the Japanese soup sold in small doses at your favorite restaurant. It is, in fact, a paste that is made from barley, soy beans, or rice, and is full of live cultures that are good for the stomach. While stirring it into soups is the most common form of consumption, braver souls enjoy its flavor so much that they even spread it onto toast like peanut butter! 

6. Kombucha

Kombucha is a very ancient Chinese tea that was once known as the “tea of immortality.” Made from yeast bacteria, it is added to sweetened teas and then changed by the sugars into a bowl of incredible nutrients, including vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, and antibiotic tendencies. It is a mixing pot of good gut health!

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7. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is the traditional German dish of fermented cabbage. It might be an acquired taste, but as it is made from only cabbage and salt, it is a very healthy gut choice which is full of fiber and probiotics.

8. Kimchi

Kimchi is the Korean version of Sauerkraut. It is made with seasonings and thus has more flavor than the traditional sauerkraut, yet it is similarly packed with fiber and goodness. It is also being more widely used these days, and has been known to even taste good as a pizza topping!

Featured photo credit: Albumarium via albumarium.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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