By Shani Timms
Hi, I’m Shani from Keep it Simple! I have a strong passion/ obsession for food, health & creating recipes that promote healing in our bodies. For most of my adult life I have suffered from issues with my gut: everything from intolerances, Irritable Bowl Syndrome (I call it FBS, furious bowl syndrome), leaky gut, candida, parasites… you name it – I’ve had it! I like to see these issues as a gift from the universe. At the time, it was hard to see them as a blessing, but now I look back I see these experiences for what they truly are… A gift, a lesson from the universe. Each one taught me a vital lesson in my health and my healing journey and I can honestly say I would not be where I am in my life today without them.
I think this mindset can be applied to many aspects of life… Instead of focusing on the doom & gloom when bad things happen – try thinking ‘what lesson does the universe have in store for me’ or ‘what am I going to learn through this new experience’. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen overnight (I am still learning myself), but I can say that each time it gets easier and really changes the way you respond to situations.
I believe that health & healing needs to be a holistic approach – and optimal gut health is the foundation! Your gut lining & intestinal tract is your last line of defence between the outside world (bacteria, yeasts, infections) and you (your blood stream, organs etc). So you can imagine that any permeability in the gut can allow these externals aggressors to enter your bloodstream where they can cause some serious damage.
Signs you may need to improve your gut health:
- Bloating after meals
- Constipation, diarrhea
- Discomfort in the lady areas, prone to thrush, Bacterial Vaginosis etc.
- Bad Skin – dermatitis, acne, break outs etc.
- Brain fog – struggle to think straight, mixing up sentences & words.
- Constantly tired, lethargic, lacking energy
- Sugar cravings
- You have been on antibiotics, or the pill for an extended period of time
If any of the symptoms above sound familiar, chances are you are experiencing an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, potentially even gut permeability. No need to stress, I have listed below some easy steps you can introduce into your daily routine to help improve your gut health!
1. Clean up your diet – This is a critical step in healing your gut. Think lean, green & clean! Remember – you are feeding a disease or fighting it! Eating a diet high in sugar, gluten & dairy creates a perfect breading ground for bad bacteria such as candida!
2. Take a Probiotic – This is a non-negotiable piece of advice from me! Every woman should be taking one every day (I like to take mine at night so some serious healing can happen over night). There are so many factors that kill our good bacteria in our gut, so we need to ensure we are replacing it daily!
3. Detoxify your body – Simple detoxification methods such as having a spoonful of bentonite clay every day can help eliminate toxins. When you go through a transitional period changing your diet, your body is eliminating so many toxins that your liver needs a little help!
4. Rest up – Did you know that resting your body can be just as beneficial for your body as going to the gym? Without rest, your body cannot complete the essential healing that it needs to do. Also, try to minimise the stress in your life, stress has massive implications on our gut flora! My tip – hit the sheets before 10pm, as this is when the most healing occurs.
5. Supplements – I am a strong believer in using food as medicine, but when it comes to nutrients that are hard to attain through your diet – supplements are the way to go! My recommendations for gut health, Spirulina tablets (Hawaiian Pacifica is the cleanest & my fave), Apple Cider Vinegar, Iron, L-Glutamine…
6. Fall in love with the coco - Coconut that is! Coconut in all its forms has amazing benefits for our bodies. I like to have a spoonful of coconut oil a day either by itself, in a tea or smoothie! It has amazing antibacterial properties & supports good gut flora.
7. Gelatin – This is my secret weapon for healing my gut! I’m not talking about the clear gelatin that your granny used to make jellies – this is pure, food grade gelatin, bought from your health food store. Gelatin helps repair the gut & intestinal tract lining, it also absorbs excessive water & fluid in your body… Bye bye bloating & fluid retention!
Calamari & Raw Veggie Salad Recipe
Simple is best when it comes to busy ladies preparing healthy meals! This meal is ready in under 10 mins & is jam packed with raw veggies to fuel your body! Did you know your diet should consist of 50% raw vegetables? This is so we don’t loose a lot of the nutrients through various cooking processes. So check out this super easy recipe below & I would love to see your creations by tagging @keep.it.simple.shani & #keepitsimpleshani!
Generously serves 2- GF – DF – YF - SF
- ½ cup of quinoa, cooked as per packet instructions
- 1 carrot, zoodled
- 1 zucchini, zoodled
- Small bag of rocket, washed
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 lime juiced & 2 wedges for serving
- 2 large handfuls of calamari
- 1 birds eye chili, chopped finely
- Dash of tamari, coconut aminos or Braggs all purpose soy
- Olive oil for dressing
1. Season your calamari with olive oil, salt & pepper.
2. Heat chosen oil in a pan (Coconut oil is best for cooking at these high temperatures, but olive oil works fine too).
3. Add calamari to your hot pan, cook until it started to brown! Remove from heat once cooked.
4. Add all salad ingredients & quinoa to a large mixing bowl, add your dressing (lime juice, tamari & olive oil) and using tongs, mix thoroughly.
5. Separate salad mixture into separate bowls, top with the calamari, lime wedge & chili to taste!
**DISCLAIMER: These views are my opinion & represent my experiences**