Hello!! 🙋 It's been a while since I've been here (I know, story of my life and this blog) and I thought it was about time I pop in to say hello.
Life has been a little more busy lately with my work schedule picking up (thank the Lord!), tons of family wedding and birthday celebrations, and activities with friends. I'm not overly busy and would like to continue increasing my work hours, but I'm loving all the activities I've been up to lately and cannot complain. With life getting a little busier, I have to be more conscientious about meal planning. It's important to be able to eat what I want when I want it, but in order to do that I have to have a plan so that there IS food around when I want/need it. Flexible meal planning is the name of the game.
One thing I've been doing recently is making my own yogurt for breakfast bowls or snacks. It's not necessary to make you're own, but it's a lot cheaper than store bought and making it myself makes me enjoy it even more. You appreciate the things you put time into. At first, I was super intimidated, but got the hang of it. Now I make it just about every week! Just an FYI, this is a looong process, so I recommend starting it in the early evening so that it can culture overnight (start around 4 pm).
Basically, you heat milk to a certain temperature, cool it to a certain temperature, add in the culture, and then let it sit for 12 hours at a warm temperature. Then you strain it and are left with yummy, homemade yogurt!
A quick word on probiotics. Gut health is definitely a buzz topic right now. While getting my masters, I did research on gut bacteria as it relates to health and I found it absolutely fascinating! Our gut (intestines) contains millions of little bacteria that play a role in a variety of different processes in our body. They have the potential to benefit our bodies through strengthening our immune system, maintaining intestinal tissue health, digesting food in our colon, producing vitamins, killing off harmful bacteria, and FAR more. Researchers are constantly finding out more about the role of certain bacteria in our gut and how they can help or hinder our health and everyday life. With our very stressful lifestyles, lack of proper self-care, lack of adequate nutrition, illness, and use of antibiotics, the types of bacteria in our gut can change and cause various symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, a weekend immune system, etc. This is why eating cultured foods with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and foods high in fiber (prebiotics--food for the bacteria) is so important. Hello dairy, fermented foods, whole grains, and veggies! It's another reason why it's super important to get a variety of foods in our diet. A diet high in fat and protein can cause harmful bacteria to overgrow. A diet high in refined carbs can cause harmful bacteria to grow. We need all the food components, people: a balance of protein, carbs, and fat from a variety of food sources.
In the past I have had clients ask me about which probiotic brand I recommend and I wasn't able to really give a recommendation. That's why I thought THIS review was so helpful! It separates fact from fiction and then gives recommendations based on the different criteria that actually matter. I think it does a good job of explaining things in layman's terms, but still uses scientific research to back up their claims. I recommend you check it out!
And now to making your own yogurt. If you've got the time, give it a try and let me know what you think!
In case you missed the link above, the probiotic supplement review can be found at http://www.reviews.com/probiotic-supplement/