Daylight savings is just one of the changes that can bring you down slightly. Like me, if you suffer from that sluggish, unenthused feeling when the days get shorter and colder, enjoying and incorporating certain foods in your diet during these times can be a way to help change your mental state of mind and wellbeing.
Are you feeding your microbiome?
Your microbiome is your flora and fauna. It is the most important thing any of us can do to keep our mental and physical health on track. We really are still learning daily as to how important our gut flora / microbiome is to our health.
As a plant based chef in Palma de Mallorca, I try to add good prebiotic foods regularly to dishes I prepare. I know there are foods outside the plant based world that are also full of probiotics, but I prefer to keep the ones I use as organic plant ones. It is important to me to buy from local farmers markets and source locally as much as possible.
Meet your microbiome – a definition
Foods to add into your diet
Feeding ourselves with with foods like garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, radishes, asparagus, turmeric, kefir or kombucha, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut help us massively in aiding our gut bacteria. By removing processed foods, caffeine, sugars, alcohol and adding these will make a huge difference to your gut health and in turn your overall health. Start to eat whole plant based foods, not processed, fast foods which are full of sugars, trans fats and stripped of their nutrients.
The art of fermentation is a fascinating world. It is widely talked about as we learn more about how important it is in keeping our bodies healthy, physically and mentally. I have kombuchas, kefir and ginger bugs fermenting onboard regularly. I make sourdoughs using locally sourced whole spelt flours. In the warmer months will bake sourdough every couple of days as it ferments so fast sitting in my porthole in the galley.
Make your own
Kombucha can be bought in health food shops with different flavours but often with added sugars, which goes against the reason to drink kombucha! Therefore I like to make my own. I will often add ginger and lemon, white peach and basil or cherry. If you want to make your own, you will need to ask around for a scoby. You might be able to get one from a health food store some where in Mallorca but please research how to make it carefully as you are dealing with bacteria. A small glass a day is what is required to support your microbiome.
Same goes with kimchi or sauerkraut. Learn to make them at home so you know you are not consuming sugars and additives.
Happy Microbiome, happy life!
Get your good bacteria, because a healthy gut means a healthy mind and body.
About the author
Working as a private yacht chef on racer cruiser sailing yachts for the past 25 plus years, Polly has seen a massive change in the industry and in the health of the crew on board! She has been a vegetarian chef since she started cooking and is now a plant based chef. She feels very strongly about food and its immense importance in our lives, and how our lifestyles dictate our health. Trained in plant based cuisine, nutrition and sports nutrition and she continues to study in these fields. Her training and experiences is as a private chef and she now also works counseling and teaching people how to have healthier lifestyles to gain health and longevity.