Foods for good digestion

With all the stress surrounding us these days it is more important than ever to keep ourselves healthy. A big part of that is keeping our bodies working their best. Digestion is a large part of supporting our immune systems, energy levels, and physical and mental strength. I found a comprehensive list of foods to encourage healthy digestion and foods to avoid. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Foods to add:
Probiotic rich-foods; kombucha, sauerkraut, kimichi, kefir, miso soup or miso paste
Prebiotic rich foods (this is what feeds your good gut bacteria) — Onions, Asparagus, Bananas, Jerusalem Artichokes, Dandelion Greens
Ground flax seeds — flax seeds are rich in fiber which can help to clean up your digestive tract PLUS ground flax seeds can help you to eliminate excess estrogen from the body
Apple Cider Vinegar — adding 1 tbsp of ACV into a few ounces of water and consuming this about 30 minutes before your largest meal can help to stimulate your digestive juices!
Water, about 80-100 ounces per day — If you get bored of drinking plain water all day, you can add lemon into your water. Take it up a notch and add lemon + a pinch of pink Himalayan salt — this mix is a hydrating powerhouse!!! Pink salt contains trace minerals and electrolytes that help keep your body hydrated, which in turn helps your digestion + skin + hormones

Moving your body via yoga, Pilates, strength training, or simply walking will all help to stimulate and support your digestion too!

Foods to avoid if you are having digestive issues (as they promote inflammation + gas + bloating)
Excess Sugar

Courtesy of Ciara Foy modified by

Apple, Cheddar, and Walnut Salad

Salads do not have to be boring. Here is a twist on some of my favorite ingredients just in time for Fall.

Prep: 10 min
Servings: 4

1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

6 cups fresh spinach
1 honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine first 5 ingredients in container with lid. Shake to stir together.

In large bowl, combine spinach, apple matchsticks, cheddar cheese, and walnuts.

Place in refrigerator separately until ready to serve

When ready to serve, pour dressing overtop and toss to coat. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Per serving: 420 cal.  35g total fat, 9 g sat. fat, 0g trans fat, 20g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14g sugar, 12g protein

Clean Eating Shrimp Jambalaya

Since we are all still staying at home and mostly cooking at home…I wanted to pass along a recipe I used last night.  You could substitute any protein source for the shrimp based on what you have in the house.  Stay safe and keep your nutrition in check these days!  More important than ever now to keep your immune system strong. 

Shrimp Jambalaya

recipe by: Dr. Gabe Mirkin,

1 pound shrimp
3 cups bouillon – low sodium
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, broken up
1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon thyme
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the shrimp and set aside. Bring the shrimp shells, bouillon and bay leaf to a boil and simmer 20 minutes while chopping the vegetables. Strain the bouillon and return to the pot. Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, tomatoes, rice, hot sauce and thyme to the bouillon and simmer 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Stir in the shrimp, green onion and parsley and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and firm. Serve with ground pepper to taste.

4 servings


One final note, if you haven’t found Alton Brown’s (Good Eats) FB posts or You Tube posts about cooking from your pantry, you should check it out.  Look up Pantry Raid and Alton Brown.  Good laughs and creative recipes using common items in your pantry. 

Worth a look!  

Social Distancing” Session Options

A lot has changed in the last few weeks in all of our worlds.  I have been trying to decide how I want to react and continue to offer my expertise.  One thing I know for sure is that it is NOT the time to sit on our tuffs and stop moving.  Below are my solutions for continuing to work together during the stay-at-home policy.  During this pandemic, I have discounted my regular workout price in response to the economic times were are all experiencing.

Park Personal Training Workout – $60/hr.

1-on-1 workout outside at a  local park, staying 6 ft. apart, using my freshly cleaned equipment.  The fresh air and movement will elevate your spirits, keep your strength up, and provide cardio.  It will also give me a chance to evaluate your form and give you new ideas for workouts while the gym is closed.

Virtual Personal Training Session – $60/hr.

1-on-1 workout via skype or zoom together.  This workout will be based on the fitness equipment you have at home currently.   We will workout together to keep your strength up, and provide cardio. It will also give me a chance to evaluate your form and give you alternative ideas for workouts while the gym is unavailable.

Bike Coaching/Ride – $60/hr.

If you have an outside bike (road, mtn., hybrid bike, etc..) that is in good working order, we could meet for an outside ride in a convenient location.  I will coach you on good bike form, position and provide a workout at your level.

Nutrition – $99 Intro then $75/hr.

1 on 1 via skype or zoom session nutrition coaching to help you stay on track with your nutrition during this time.  It is very easy to get off track especially when the foods you normally eat are not available at the store all the time.  Let’s address emotional or stressful eating obstacles and the best methods to avoid it during this time.


Please let me know how I may help you stay strong and healthy during this time. or (707)408-3359.

Do I Need To Detox?

As we near the end of January, I wanted to touch on a topic that is controversial, digestive system detox. There are a lot of varying opinions out there about if, when, and how to cleanse your liver and digestive system. I have never been a fan of long term detoxifications because they are very restrictive and often harmful. Out bodies are built to detoxify themselves regularly.

Instead, I recommend one day of sipping a simple clean juice. Nurse it all day long by just sipping it, do not drink it straight down. Cheers to your health!

  • 2 slices of green apple (peal included)
    2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar
    8 oz. water
    pinch cinnamon
    lemon juice (optional
    together in glass and sip all day.

Mix above together and sip

Another terrific way to add flavor to your water and give it a nutritional boost is to add the following:

  • 1 stick of lemongrass (could substitute 1/2 tsp of lemongrass paste)
    1/2 apple with peel sliced
    1/2 pear with peel sliced

Add all to a pitcher or large Mason Jar of fresh water. Let steep in refrigerator for 1 hour or longer, pour and enjoy.

Boring Breakfast Solution #8

Don’t suffer from a boring breakfast one more morning, or worse yet, skip it all together. This week I made my own Apple Pie Yogurt and guess what…it took less than 3 minutes. It is low in sugar, full of protein and quick. Here is the recipe:

Apple Pie Yogurt

recipe by

  • 1/2 apple, cored and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt

Place apple in microwave safe dish and heat for 1 minute until soft but still crunchy. If you like your apple pie filling very soft add 20 second increments to cooking until soft enough. Sprinkle with dash of cinnamon while still hot. Top with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, and serve.

Is it Added Sugar?

I gotta say, I feel slightly badly about posting this incredibly yummy picture of chocolate at the beginning here. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Here is why I put it here, as a reminder that it nutrition is mind over taste buds:

Making you aware of the recent trends in the food industry has always been a priority of mine, especially when you may think they are a positive change that will help you with good nutrition. So the question here is: Does substituting the white pulp of the cocoa bean count as added sugar in your diet?

The following is an article from That Sugar Film Website, that discusses the positive and negatives of this new trend.

“As awareness around limiting added and free sugar intake increases, food manufacturers are innovating and testing alternatives to provide (what they believe to be) a better, yet still sweetly satisfying, option for consumers to delight in.

Nestlé has recently announced it will be using the white pulp of the cocoa pod — the fleshy part that surrounds the cocoa seeds or beans — in place of “refined sugar” in some confectionery products.

Sounds great, right?

Before we start reaching for these pulp-sweetened chocolates, let’s clear up the confusion around the term “refined sugars”. 

In recent years, this term has been commonly used to differentiate between highly processed sugars, such as white table sugar, from those sugars or sweeteners some consider “healthier”, such as rice malt syrup or coconut sugar. 

But to the body, freely available sugar will still be treated and processed as sugar. Sure, there are better versions than others, but let’s not trick ourselves into believing that because a sugar or syrup is considered less refined, we can glug back a tonne of it. 

So, the removal of some “refined sugar” in a piece of Nestlé confectionery is irrelevant. It is what they replace it with we need to consider.

To our understanding, the cocoa pulp being used in place of stock standard sugar is processed into a dried fruit sugar product and maybe classified as free sugar.

This is because the powder is not an intrinsic sugar, the type of sugar found incorporated within the structure of intact or whole fruit and vegetables, or sugars from milk.Intrinsic sugars we are not concerned with (we absolutely endorse eating whole veg and fruit); it is the added and free sugars we need to keep an eye out for.

The original cocoa pulp, which contains intrinsic sugar, is dried and made into a powdered sugar alternative via a patented technique. It this processing that sees the sugars fall under the definition of free sugars, which includes those originally and naturally present in fruit and veg but processed into a powder, juice, concentrate, purees, and extruded veg and fruit products.2

Nestlé has stated that by using the powdered pulp, overall sugar content is reduced by 40%. That is a plus, along with claims Nestlé is using the cocoa pulp, among other initiatives across their food manufacturing processes, in an attempt to reduce food waste.

This is great from an environmental and business perspective as currently, a fair proportion of the pulp is wasted in the chocolate-making process. 

But this doesn’t make the chocolate they make a ‘health food’ at the end of the day, and if you are going to have some, such products should be treated as a once-in-a-while food.  And as with all other free and added sugars, consumption should still be limited to 6 teaspoons (25g) per day.”

Article By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)