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Your journey to a happier and healthier life starts here. Get ready to learn all the different holistic and all natural solutions you already have available to you. Getting healthy shouldn’t be a struggle and your health journey is just as unique as you are. The more you know the better equipped you will be to tackle anything life may throw at you. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. I am always more than happy to help when and where I can. Are you ready to set sail on your journey to better health? 

What Happens When Digestion Goes Wrong

When it comes to your health one of the best things you can do is to support your gut. Your gut is king! Honestly, it is the gatekeeper for every aspect of our health. We all know that our bodies require fuel and building blocks. Everything within the foods we consume has to be broken down to be used within our bodies. Conveniently, this process provides our bodies with an additional energy source. 

When It All Goes Wrong

What happens when our stomach no longer functions the way it is designed to? There are several reasons why it is imperative that we do everything within our power to support our gut. 80 percent of our immune system resides within our stomach. Over 80 percent of our happiness hormones reside within our digestive tract as well. Clearly, our gut is without a doubt one of our most prized possessions. 

Warning Signs

There are a number of things that can cause our digestive system to fail. If our stomach acid’s pH level becomes too alkaline it cannot break down foods or destroy any invaders that may show up. Other common issues that tend to pop up are things like ulcers and leaky gut. If or when the lining of our digestive system becomes compromised it can lead to a number of health issues. This is because one of our body’s main defenses now essentially has secret escape hatches all over making it easier for bacteria and viruses to directly enter the bloodstream. But what happens when it is something even more dangerous?

Control 101

The Vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body and one of its jobs is to control our digestive system. Our stomach relies on multiple things to function, but mainly it boils down to two things stomach acid pH and muscle contractions. While the acid is something that we can alter with ease controlling muscle contractions is a much bigger hurdle to master. In fact, there is a condition that can occur when damage is sustained to the Vagus nerve rendering the stomach paralyzed. This condition is referred to as gastroparesis. 

When it all goes Belly Up

Gastroparesis is becoming less and less rare. When your stomach becomes paralyzed it can no longer push food down the digestive tract. While this may not seem like a big deal, it means that the mostly digested food clumps together. This can create a bezoar which in turn creates an obstruction that requires surgical intervention. Individuals with gastroparesis often end up having surgery to remove the majority of their stomachs. Again, this creates a number of problems because we need our stomachs.

Filling in the holes

Individuals who suffer from a compromised digestive system require a number of helpers such as digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and strict nutrition. One of the things that are often overlooked is that individuals who have their stomachs removed struggle to metabolize vitamin D and calcium which puts them at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Luckily, for those of us out there who rely on extra helpers, we have tons of natural options. For example, pineapple, garlic, onions, and honey all contain digestive enzymes that help break down animal proteins. In fact, they make an amazing meat tenderizer.

Knowledge is Power

Clearly, knowledge is power. This is why it is important we take the time to learn the warning signs that something is off. When it comes to identifying if our stomach acid pH is off you can check out your nails. For low acidity levels lookout for thin, brittle, foldable nails. You may also experience GERD or frequent heartburn, especially at night when you try to sleep. Other red flags to look out for are vomiting, constipation, trouble dealing with stress, immune issues such as frequent illness, insomnia, abdominal pain, and more. If you are struggling with any of these signs or symptoms please see your primary doctor. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out and make sure you do your best to treat your body right!

Bell Pepper Nachos

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 9

  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 pound vegan ground meat
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 cup vegan cheese
  • 3/4 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives

Directions:

Remove seeds, core, and membrane from the bell peppers then slice them into vertical pieces where they dip down. Set bell peppers aside. Cook ground meat and drain any excess fat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine meat with salsa and evenly into the bell pepper boats. Top with cheese and bake with foil or parchment underneath for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Top with sour cream, avocado, and olives.

Cantaloupe Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Gluten-free, Vegan, Serves 4

  • 1 cantaloupe, halved and deseeded
  • 2 ounces crumbly vegan feta cheese
  • 1 large cucumber halved
  • 1/2 seedless watermelon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 10 basil leaves coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

Use a melon baller to create as many balls as possible from both the cantaloupe and watermelon. Add them to a large bowl. If the cucumber has large seeds use the melon baller or spoon to remove them. Cut the cucumber into thin half-moons and add to the melons. Combine the oil, juice, and salt into a small bowl and combine. Add the vinaigrette to the fruit and toss. Top with basil, and feta, and serve.

Watermelon Greek Salad

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 4

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup kalamata olives pitted
  • 2 Persian cucumbers diced
  • 8 oz vegan feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 cup basil chopped
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 4 cups arugula 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a salad bowl, toss arugula, watermelon, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and feta. In a small bowl combine oil, vinegar, lime, agave, salt, and pepper. Once mixed top the salad with dressing and seeds.

Black Bean Soup

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 6

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 celery ribs finely chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions minced
  • 1 large carrot sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cans of 15 oz black beans were rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
toppings: avocado, vegan sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and pepper flakes until fragrant. Pour in the beans and broth. Bring up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook reducing heat as needed to keep at a gentle simmer until beans are tender (about 30 minutes). Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the cilantro, lime, and season to taste.

Get Started Today

Keeping your body free of toxins and free radicals is necessary to maintain a healthy life and a healthy mind. There are tons of foods you can add to your regular diet to help your body with its critical detoxifying processes. If you are looking for a safe and all-natural way to detox your body at home be sure to check out my Balancing Abundance Program. Because detoxing is so important and realistically everyone should be doing it on at least a seasonal basis I have taken the time to put together a program to help you do just that. Here’s the thing, I know working with me one-on-one can seem difficult to get into (due to limited space) and I wanted to be able to give everyone an additional solution that has no limits. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful at everything you do so here are some recipes to help set you up for success!

Dee Summer

 Need A Hand?

A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!

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