Probiotics 101

designLately, the health world has been all about probiotics. And, for good reason, as we’ll learn further into this post. Have you considered adding probiotics and probiotic rich foods into your diet? Here is some information that may help you.

First, what the heck are probiotics? The term probiotic comes from the terms “pro” (forward) and bios “life” in Latin, meaning that probiotics are life-promoting. Basically, probiotics are live bacteria (and some yeasts) that live in our body. Our bodies literally have billions of “good” bacteria living in our digestive systems – you may have heard this referred to as “gut flora” or your “microbiome.” Each person has a different microflora.

This “good bacteria” helps us digest our food and absorb nutrients effectively. Where do we get probiotics? They are already in our digestive system, and are made from the foods we eat. We make probiotics through eating foods rich in prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria to feed on.

Why is it so important that our digestive systems run properly? Your body depends on all of its systems working together for optimal health – having one system being off balance can trigger a domino effect of healthy complications. Your digestive system running efficiently is really important for overall well-being as it is closely linked with your immune system. Thus, eating or drinking probiotics not only keeps our digestive system happy, it also helps us with immunity.

Here are my favorite food sources for probiotics:
*Fermented vegetables and/or sauerkraut – There is a difference between fermented sauerkraut/veggies and the kind you find canned or jarred loaded with vinegar, salt and sugar. It does not contain probiotics like the fermented type does. An easy brand to find is called “Bubbies.” We’ll be talking more about this in a future blog post.
*Kimchi (also naturally fermented)
*Fermented pickles
*Coconut water kefir (Good Belly is an easy brand to find, just watch for added sugar in some flavors)
*Kombucha (more on this in next blog post)
*Coconut Yogurt (watch sugar content in most flavored yogurts)
*A probiotic supplement: Brands I have used and would recommend are Dr. Ohhira’s, Jarrow and Rainbow Light.

Is chocolate good for you?

Chocolate … powerfully comforting, creamy and delicious. It has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. Also, it helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain. Eat the wrong kind of chocolate and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients

Here’s how to get your chocolate fix in the healthiest way:

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.
Chocolate Cream Pie (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Looking for more fun ways to enjoy this favorite food? You’ll love this chocolate cream pie. It comes together in minutes and will amaze your friends and family! It’s also plant-based and gluten-free.

2 cups raw pecans
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 packages of silken tofu (260 gr) – usually found in Asian section of your grocer
1 tsp vanilla extract

First, make the crust. Put the pecans, coconut sugar and sea salt in the food processor. Process until it is crumb-like, do not over process. Then slowly pour in the coconut oil. Press the mixture into a pie pan.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the chocolate chips out on a baking sheet, and bake for just a few minutes until melted. Then add into the food processor along with the tofu and vanilla. Process until creamy. Pour in the pie crust and refrigerate for at least one hour. Optional: top with cocoa powder and fresh raspberries.

Meal Prep & Plan Classes now available in Denver area!

Hey, there! Just a quick note to let you know I’m now offering private lessons on meal prep / batch cooking! Learn how to set yourself up for 5 days of healthy eating in just a few hours!


You will learn the basics of:
*Batch cooking
*Crockpot meals
*Make-ahead meals
*Salad bar in your fridge
*Cooking with whole foods
AND we will have fun getting back into the kitchen!

This private class, held in your own kitchen, will be 3 hours. Grocery shopping will be done for you prior to the class. We will be making organic, whole-foods, plant-based meals.

$150 flat fee plus cost of groceries. Typical grocery costs are $75-$100 or less.

Additional students $45 extra per student for up to 4 students total.

After purchase, I’ll e-mail you to set up your appointment times. Available to residents of Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Arvada. If you are in the Denver metro area and don’t see your town listed, contact me at Travel of more than 5 miles from Wheat Ridge west Denver area may result in additional fees.

IMG_1941Are you looking for a quick cooking class using plant based techniques? Yes? Then Cori is your gal! Ron and I worked with her on Monday and have never had a more full, healthy refrigerator! She is knowledgeable, patient and efficient. I highly recommend this class so that you can jump start your healthy cooking. Homemade hummus from me? – never thought that would happen but boy have we enjoyed it. I thought Quinoa was difficult to make, but it is not! Loved having that is the frig all week – and the veggies and cashews that are in it. I NEVER eat cashews or butternut squash, but I did this week and feel better for it. Sign up to have her come to your house too. Also, all this and more was just $55.00 in groceries (fee for the class is extra), but we can spend that in 2 unhealthy meals out. And it only took 2 hours. WORTH IT!!

To schedule a Meal Prep and Plan class, or for more information, e-mail me at