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Homemade granola

Maintaining Good Digestive Health While Camping

Maintain Good Digestive Health While Camping

For many of us, summertime means camping. In my family, we’re fortunate enough to own a cabin that’s shared between extended family members. Each summer, everyone is doled out their respective weeks, and we just got back from our initial 10 day getaway. The cabin in located in Green Lake, in 72 Mile, British Columbia.

It’s beautiful.

As someone who needs (and wants) to eat a certain way to maintain good digestive health, I’m often thrown off at our cabin. Travel plus convenience foods plus a shared washroom (there were nine of us to one bathroom) plus readily available alcohol at all hours of the day means that my gut typically gets thrown into a tailspin pretty quickly.

For the past couple of years, I’ve developed ways of making digestive health while at our cabin more realistic and sustainable, and wanted to share some tips with all of you. Here are 5 ways to keep your gut health while camping:

Bring Healthy Food

Camping might immediately bring about images of hot dogs and hamburgers and s’mores, but it doesn’t mean you actually have to eat those things. If your gut is touchy (like mine), then trying to maintain your current, regular diet is important. If you’re used to consuming daily smoothies, beans, and whole grains, then it’s fairly crucial to keep eating those things even while you’re away from your own home.

Assuming you won’t have to access to a kitchen (I’m pretty spoiled with this cabin thing), here’s my go-to list of foods to bring camping:

  1. Raw fruits and veggies
  2. Hummus
  3. Veggie burgers (use lettuce in place of a bun!)
  4. Homemade energy bars (teeming with fibre!)
  5. Oats for oatmeal
  6. Homemade chili (heat on a portable BBQ)
  7. Avocados (eat half at a time with salt and pepper)
  8. Pre-made chia pudding
  9. TONS of water

Which brings me to…

Drink a Ton of Water

If you’re camping, you should probably try and drink more water than you usually do, because you’re probably outside in the sun and will become dehydrated more easily. Booze does NOT replace water; water is very much needed to keep your insides healthy, hydrated, and properly lubricated.

Increase the Fibre

For those who suffer with IBS (like me), or any other chronic digestive issue, it’s pretty common for your body to decide to stop working properly with travel. Before I became more educated on the topic of IBS, I used to fly places and not have a bowel movement for a week.

Seriously.

So to keep your body in check and your bowel working, it’s a good idea to increase your fibre, water, and activity. It’s also important to pay attention: we might be distracted in our new surroundings, but if you receive any sort of signal that tells you it might be bathroom time, GO.

Incorporate NutraCleanse into Your Foods

NutraCleanse is a locally produced (well, local for me), high-fibre supplement that you can mix into anything. It’s not like over-the-counter laxatives; it’s whole and raw and healthy. It contains only 5 ingredients: flax seed, burdock root, fenugreek seeds, dandelion root, and psyllium husk. You can stir it into smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.

It’s a lifesaver.

If you’re currently taking Metamucil or any other comparable daily laxative, stop, and start taking NutraCleanse instead. For more information on this product, visit www.nutracleanse.biz.

Stay Active

This means don’t sit on your butt and drink beer all day. Walk, run, paddle board, swim, play games, water ski, hike, and do whatever you have to do to move your body. If you sit for a long weekend, your gut will respond to that by shutting down.

What kinds of tips do you have for me?! I’m always looking for better ways to love my body while on vacation, so anything you can think of is helpful. Leave your comment below, or find me on social and share.

For more ways to improve your digestive health, check out Happy Healthy Gut, available on Amazon, or in Chapters/Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

Happy Monday! xo

*Photo credit to Wild Honey Art House; recipe for this granola in Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

Recipes: Sneaky Smoothies

Morning, ya’ll! I don’t know about you, but I am a mother to two picky boys (and one not-so-picky girl), so I absolutely love to slip them foods they’d never consider eating on their own.

Mostly, I do this by making a lot of smoothies.

Nutrients that I feel my children don’t get enough of include plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre. I also feel that they often don’t consume a wide enough variety of antioxidants. I mean, let’s be honest: when I ask them to eat the rainbow, they want Skittles.

Gross.

Here are my top ten foods to slip in smoothies, which make up the majority of nutrients I feel they would otherwise lack in their diets:

Beets

You can’t overdo these, but because beets are naturally sweet and produce a very pink smoothie, my kids are usually none the wiser. They’re high in fibre, antioxidants, and if you leave the peel on, they may be a good source of various vitamins and minerals.

Spinach

Again, don’t overdo it–and if you combine with blueberries, the result can look black and sludgy. Your best bet is to throw a small handful in with banana and pineapple to create a light green smoothie.

Kale

Same as spinach.

Granny Smith Apples

My kids generally find these apples pretty tart, which is why they prefer red ones. But in a smoothie, with the peel on? No problem! They’re a great source of fibre, with minimal naturally-occurring sugar.

Avocados

Just one half of an avocado in a smoothie can produce the same smooth consistency as Greek yogurt. Unlike Greek yogurt, these suckers are plant-based, and fantastic for skin, hair, and nails. They’re high in great fat, and provide calories to little ones who need them.

Hemp Hearts

These are tasteless in a smoothie, but provide high amounts of plant-based protein. They’re a way better choice than commercial protein powder. Which brings up to:

Vega

If you’re going to include protein powder in your child’s smoothies, use Vega. It’s hemp based, and is the best quality out there in terms of nutrition and clean ingredients.

Oats

Sound weird? It’s not! Oats are completely undetectable in smoothies, but provide fabulous plant-based protein. Oats are known for lowering blood sugar levels, and will make your child’s smoothie more filling.

NutraCleanse

This flax-based product is produced in Mission, BC, and is a total fibre powerhouse. The 5 ingredients are super quality, and it’s gluten-free. Adding 1/4 cup of NutraCleanse to your child’s smoothie every day can help their digestive health, as well as prevent future digestive issues.

Bee Pollen

If your wee one suffers from seasonal allergies, bee pollen could be a lifesaver. It doesn’t taste very good, which is why I sneak it into one smoothies. You only need about 1/2 tsp. every day to really keep hay fever at bay. It’s SUPER worth it.

And that’s it, folks! Good luck with your sneaky smoothies! Your kiddos will never know. xo

 

 

 

Local Food Products that are Rocking My World

Save-On-foods Vendors

This past weekend, I took part in an event at Save-On-Foods that was promoting local products. I signed Happy Healthy Gut books, and the other vendors were Happy Water, NutraCleanse, and Everyday Superfoods.

It is SO much fun to hang out with people who are like-minded when it comes to health. While the Happy Water reps kept the rest of us hydrated and genuinely happy (they literally danced and hoola-hooped the WHOLE time while playing Top 40), I was fortunate enough to chat for an extended period of time with Tony from NutraCleanse and Gordon from Everyday Superfoods about their products. I decided that this week’s blog should inform consumers of these fairly brand-new products, and perhaps you’ll all fall in love with them as I did.

Happy Water

Happy Water: This product is an award-winning, naturally alkaline lithia water. The water originates from Canada (Kootenay region), and is produced in Vancouver, BC. It contains “naturally occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fluoride.”[1]

For community events such as the one last weekend, Happy Water will send their “Smile Squad,” and the energy and positivity is definitely in the air. For information on how to request the Smile Squad to attend your event, visit http://livehappywater.ca/contact.

The product goes for about the same amount as other bottled waters.

Nutricleanse

NutraCleanse:  Although I’ve seen this natural health product around for awhile, I’d never before tried it, which is VERY unlike me. I’m a sucker for new health products (especially foodstuffs), and I’m surprised at myself.

This product is manufactured in Mission, BC, and the ingredients are organic, gluten-free, and limited to ground flax seed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

That’s it.

The purpose behind adding this product to your daily smoothie or yogurt or whatever is to increase your overall fibre—and it sure works! If you’re someone who feels as though you could benefit from increased fibre consumption (ahem—EVERYONE), then you should give this product a try. I am a huge promoter of gut health, and this particular product is a goodie!

A 1 Kg. bag goes for roughly $29.99, but you can get it for $20.99 if you keep your eyes peeled.

Everyday Superfoods

Everyday Superfoods: Again, I’ve seen this product around (the rep told me it’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently have become very mainstream and distributed), but hadn’t tried it yet. The main ingredients in their mixes are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and buckwheat.

The blends are great on oatmeal, in yogurt, or added to baking, and there are at least four different mixtures. The one I’m trying right now is called Cocoa Wow, and I also took home a bag called Trim.

They go for about $6.99 per bag (the weight isn’t disclosed, but it looks like it’s just over a cup’s worth), and the product is mostly organic, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s manufactured in Richmond, BC.

So there you have it! My newly acquired fun foods! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Ciao, peeps!

 

[1] http://livehappywater.ca/our-water/