We have thousands of strains of live bacteria living in our digestive system which are often referred to as our 'gut bugs' or our 'microbiome'. To create a healthy microbiome, we aim to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut, however because of our diet and certain lifestyle factors, things can sometimes become out of balance.
The different type of bacteria in our gut is often referred to as 'friendly' and 'unfriendly' bacteria. Ideally, we want to nourish the ‘friendly’ bacteria to create a healthy gut that is devoid of inflammation and adequately absorbing nutrients. In a situation which the ‘unfriendly’ bacteria take over the ‘friendly’, our bodies could be in danger of inflammation, digestive and mood issues and could be more susceptible to illness and weight gain.
Our healthy gut bacteria/ gut bugs feast on fibre, colour and variety, often found in plants. The 'Feed your Friend's' bowl above ticks each of these boxes. It contains a wide variety of different coloured vegetables, as well being a nutritious and well balanced meal, completely powered by plants.
- Tempeh and refried black beans for a good combination of quality protein
- Avocado for healthy fats
- Brown rice for an addition of wholegrains
- A mixture of roasted starchy and non-starchy vegetables for your complex carbohydrates and fibre
- Some kimchi for an extra dose of fermented goodness
How to put it all together?
Tempeh: It depends on the type and the cooking instructions. If it's plain, it is great to marinate the tempeh for extra flavour before cooking. I often use tahini or tamari for this, with lots of lime juice, garlic, chilli and coriander. Once marinated, cook according to the instructions on packaging.
Refried black beans: Rinse the beans, add to a pan with garlic, salt and pepper and a little boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the beans, adding the juice of a lime, some extra olive oil and chilli flakes - ready to serve.
Roasted vegetables: Choose your veggies, chop, drizzle in olive oil, season with your choice of spices and pop in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes depending on type.
Rice: Boil following instructions on packet.
Tahini dressing: Mix 2tsp of tahini with the juice of 1 lime, some tamari/ soy sauce and an optional drizzle of maple syrup. Add chilli flakes and garlic if you want to spice it up a bit too.
There you have it, a plant based bowl working to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut and aid digestion. Go on, 'give it a gut go'!