Gut Health: Why it Matters and How to Eat Your Way to a Healthier Gut!

Lifestyle, Nutrition Posts, Smoothies

Bugs.  You’re filled with them. Yep, that’s right, you have more bacterial cells in and on your body than human cells… ten times more in fact!  (bacterial cells are simple and much smaller than complex human cells, just in case your brain hurt when you read that).  Though this may all gross you out, the reality is that we NEED these bugs.  Bacteria have gotten a bad rap over the years, which has led to a fearful over-sanitized bunch of humans and a whole host of health consequences.

A healthy microbiome (the name for the microorganisms in a given environment, i.e.: the human body) is critical in supporting a strong immune system and digestive tract and may even help achieve weight loss and protect against developing allergies. In fact, the gut is frequently referred to as our ‘second brain’ due to the fact that it has as many neurons connected to it as the spinal cord!

This post will help answer some key questions related to gut health including:

  1. What is the best way to feed your gut?
  2. What is the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic?
  3. What should I look for in a probiotic?
  4. What foods should I eat to feed the healthy bacteria in my gut?
  5. What else can I do to improve my gut health?


What is the best way to feed your gut?

There are two main ways of promoting a healthier gut when it comes to our ‘intake’: ingesting prebiotics (the food for the good bacteria) and/or probiotics (the good bacteria themselves).  Let’s start with prebiotics.

Because our microbiota can alter quickly in response to a change in our diet or environment, it’s important that we treat this as a life-long way of living and eating versus a fad (temporary) diet.   In order for us to benefit from the improved gut health that comes with eating better foods for our microbiome, we need to make better choices consistently (i.e.: every day).

Our gut bacteria need to be fed, and their favourite food is carbohydrates (yes, the ‘evil’ carb, but read on!).  What happens if they don’t get these carbs?  Either they die OR they turn to your gut lining (responsible for protecting your gut) to get the food.  Crazy but true!

Now, before you go reaching for a cinnamon bun, we need to talk about what types of carbohydrates these bugs really need.  View The Post

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My Orchard Experience: The Top 3 Things I Learned About Almonds in Sacramento!

Lifestyle, Nutrition Posts

I’m a lucky gal.  For so many reasons, not the least being that I live in Kelowna British Columbia, a city that is nestled in the beautiful Okanagan Valley and was put on the map for the epic orchards and vineyards.  We grow the world’s best peaches, apples, cherries, grapes and even walnuts, but there are some things that simply won’t grow here.  Almonds fall into that category. Which is why I absolutely jumped at the chance to hop on a plane to Sacramento to check out the almond orchards with the fabulous Almond Breeze team!View The Post

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Baby Food 101


As a dietitian and hard-core lover of food, I was so excited when the time came to introduce solid food to our little guy Max!  It’s such a huge milestone in a baby’s development, which can be really fun but also a bit nerve racking.  I can see how parents can get overwhelmed, there are SO many different thoughts on what, when and how to feed a baby, it’s enough to make any sleep-deprived mom’s (or dad’s) head spin!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram stories you will have seen that I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of foods for Max and Leo (my cousin Jillian’s sweet little boy), most with success… minus the beets, those were a disaster (I finally figured them out and shared the recipe with you further down)! This post was forever in the making (and is a LONG one!).   I wanted to share my experience with you, give you some tips on setting you up for success and take the time to answer some of the top infant feeding questions that you’ve been asking to help any of you who are just beginning this journey.View The Post

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Potato, Cheddar & Chive Waffles (vegan option)

Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan

Waffles are a ‘thing’ at our house. Now, I’ve had the same old waffle iron since my university days (translation: a long time ago), so was rather thrilled to get a new top-of-the-line Breville Smart Waffle Maker from Best Buy Canada!  They have so many to choose from, but this one caught my eye.  Kind of like the Cadillac of waffle irons, consider me sold.View The Post

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Tropical Chia Pudding

Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Lifestyle, Snacks

I doubt that I need to explain how awesome chia seeds are for your health, but since it’s Nutrition Month, I want to put in a good word for them.  Not that they need my help, they’ve kind of been the golden child of the superfood movement!

Chia seeds may not look like much, but they pack a big nutrition punch.  Just one ounce has 11 grams of fibre, and nearly 5 grams each of protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.  They are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus and manganese used for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.  Quite the tall order for a little seed.View The Post

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Super Charged Hot Cereals

Breakfast, Recipes

When I mention ‘hot cereal’ to you, what comes to mind?  Likely a bowl full of stiff oatmeal or possibly lumpy Cream of Wheat (if you grew up in the same era as I did…mine was always lumpy for some reason).  Breakfast give us SUCH a great opportunity to eat more whole grains (packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals such as magnesium).  Sadly, many people have moved away from including whole grains in their diets as ‘carbs’ have been dragged through the mud thanks to a number of fad diets. I decided that I needed to expand my repertoire of grains, which was easy for me to do when I took a tour down the cereal aisle at Nature’s Fare Markets.  They have every grain known to mankind, I swear!  A total dietitian’s dream.View The Post

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Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan & gluten-free)

Baking, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegan

The cookie gods were good to me on the day that I made these beauties. Recipe testing is rarely a straight forward process (understatement of the year), and usually requires multiple failures, with or without tears of frustration, before nailing it.  These cookies were an exception.  A gal needs a break every once in a while, I’ll take it!View The Post

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Giveaway!!! 2 Night Stay & Dinner at the ‘Nest’ at Quails’ Gate Winery!


For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know that I’m head over heels in love with Quails’ Gate Winery.  Growing up across the street from the winery and seeing the incredible transformation of this family-owned estate over the years has been amazing to witness.  The Okanagan Valley is over-flowing with wineries, but Quails’ Gate holds a very special place in my heart.  The Stewart family has done such a fabulous job of keeping it classy, cozy and intimate, creating the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ of wineries.  I feel ridiculously fortunate that we just bought a house down the street from them, it’s my adult dream come true!  I’m therefore THRILLED to be giving away a two-night stay for up to four guests at the adorable “Nest” beach front cottage ($1300 value). View The Post

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