The gut microbiome is critical for your overall health and your immune system. Immunity is more important than ever. We all have an opportunity to bolster our immune system each time we have a meal. Did you know that 70% of your immune system “lives” in your gut?
What is the microbiome? It is a collection to trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on your skin and in your intestines. We have roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells living on and in your body. The gut microbiome affects the body from the time we are born and throughout by controlling the digestion of food, immune system, central nervous system and other bodily processes. How do we keep our microbiome healthy?
According to Dr. Will Bulsiewicz MD, author of Fiber Fueled, we can start by eating more plants and constantly introducing a variety of different plants. In an interview by Ultra Athlete Rich Roll, Dr. Will stated that variety was more important than eating the same superfood plants over and over again. I remember my own nutrition teacher Laura Knoff saying, “if you only remember one thing in this course, remember that variety is key. Don’t eat the same thing everyday. Your body needs everything all the time.”
Check out Dr. Bulsiewicz’s video at https://youtu.be/EABZqi3HtRM
30 Plants in 7 Days Challenge – what is it? Exactly that. You incorporate 30 different plant foods into your meals over seven days. This means (in order of importance) fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains (this does not include pasta, bread or flour products). It’s easier than it seems. Consider, for example, that onion and garlic count as one plant each. Even though I eat a plant based diet, it sounded a little daunting but it was easier than I thought.
Cookbook recommendation: Clean Enough by Katzie Guy-Hamilton. Lots of plant rich recipes. The Black Eggplant Recipe is so incredibly good.
I also wanted to mention that Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD recommends that women eat one pound of green veggies a day. So I start eating veggies at breakfast. See the savoury porridge recipe at the end. I would recommend that you check out any of Dr. Sara Gottfried’s books or talks on YouTube.
Grace’s First Day on the 30 Plants in 7 Days Challenge
Breakfast – coffee (I am sure that does not count), savory oats topped with sautéed collards, broccoli, chard, bok choy and onion. Topped with sesame seeds and hemp seeds. ( 7 plants)
Mid Morning Snack – coffee (still does not count) & raw cashews (1 plant)
Lunch – green bean, chickpea, squash and garlic coconut curry and rice (6 plants)
Snack – strawberries ( 1 plant)
Dinner – kidney bean, cabbage, heirloom tomato, cucumber and red onion salad topped with tahini-lemon dressing. This was basically what I had in my vegetable drawer chopped up to make a salad. (7 plants)
snack – brownie ( zero plants but it was good)
Total – 22 plants! You can do it too! I would love to know how you do.
SAVORY OATMEAL RECIPE
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
1 tsp. pink salt
3 cups chopped green vegetables (include onion or garlic if this appeals to you in the morning)
1 tbsp. butter, vegan butter or olive oil
t tbsp. nutritional yeast (vitamin B rich and has a cheesy flavor)
1 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tbsp. raw sesame seeds or a Japanese style sesame seed-seaweed blend
Chili flakes (optional)
- Soak oatmeal in water overnight. If you forgot, skip the soaking. (soaking makes the oatmeal more digestible)
- In a saucepan, cook oatmeal and salt until it is soft.
- melt butter or oil in a skillet on med. heat.
- Add vegetables and cook to desired softness.
- Pour hot oatmeal into a bowl.
- Top with veggies, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and sesame seeds.