One Way to Balance Your Mood (w/ Two Recipes!)
A simple, powerful way to feel more balanced & less moody:
Your gut and your mood are directly connected.
Think of your gut as the garden that feeds your entire body.
If your garden is healthy, balanced, and flourishing, your whole body will function more easily.
If your garden is overgrown with weeds and the wrong types of bugs, you’ll feel depleted, groggy, and moody.
Your hormones are the messengers that tell your body when and what to do. And your gut is a producer of some of the hormones your body needs to function throughout your day.
For example, serotonin, which is a “feel good” hormone that regulates your mood, is primarily produced in your gut!
If your gut isn’t healthy, your mood will be affected.
How do you know if your gut is healthy or not?
You c an do stool tests that give you a snapshot of exactly what types & amounts of bacteria you have in your gut. This can be a helpful tool!
But I always recommend tuning into the messages your body is sending.
Pay attention to how your body feels and responds:
* Do you easily poop at least 1x a day?
* Do you experience anxiety or depression?
* Are you often bloated or gassy after eating?
* Do you have skin issues (acne, eczema, etc.)?
* Do you experience difficult period pain or PMS?
* Are you tired even after a full night of sleep?
These are just some signs of an imbalanced gut that is asking for attention.
One way to give your gut more good bacteria and feed the good bacteria already there is to eat fermented foods. Making them is really easy!
Here are two of my favorite fermented foods: sauerkraut and beets
Plain Sauerkraut Recipe
Take about 3 pounds of cabbage, rinse and remove the outer leaves.
Cut into quarters and remove the core.
Thinly slice and put into a large bowl. I like to use a big stock pot.
Thinly slice a whole onion and add to bowl. (This is optional. I like to add onion because it is a “prebiotic”, meaning it is food for probiotics and creates a better environment in the gut.)
Add 1 tablespoon of unrefined sea salt, mixing it into the cabbage and onions with your hands.
Taste the mixture. It should taste yummy and be nice and salty, like a tortilla chip! Add more salt if necessary. This is subjective. Don’t think too much about it. Just make sure you like the way it tastes.
Let it sit a few minutes. You will start to see more moisture and some liquid will gather at the bottom of the bowl - the beginning of your brine!
Using tall mason jars, start adding the cabbage mixture a couple handfuls at a time. Press the handfuls down with your hand or a tamper. Then add more cabbage and repeat. You should begin to see brine on top of the mixture when you press down. Continue until about 2 inches from the rim.
Press the top down until the brine rises over the mixture and put a glass or ceramic weight on top to keep everything below the brine. “Below the brine everything’s fine!” We’re creating an anaerobic environment that allows lactic acid bacteria to proliferate and crowds out pathogenic bacteria.
Cover with a lid and set aside. Check daily to push the veggies under the brine and get rid of air bubbles. Start tasting between 7 and 14 days, depending on how sour you like it. I personally think 14 days is perfect.
Enjoy as a condiment with most meals to help digest your food, increase beneficial bacteria and create an environment in which your gut's beneficial bacteria can thrive!
Fermented Beets Recipe
Peel and chop 1 large beet into 1 inch cubes.
Put in mason jars.
Create brine: mix 4 cups of filtered water and 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
Pour over beets in mason jar.
Make sure all beets are under brine.
Twist on lid.
Leave on your countertop (out of direct sun) for 5-7 days.
Untwist lid once each day to release any pressure.
Taste! It should taste a bit sour, a sweet, and crunchy.
Both the beets and the brine are great for your gut, your hormones, and your mood!