After a few days of holidays and celebrating, it’s finally Tuesday. For some of you that took Monday off, that may mean the start of the work week. And for some of you, that may mean that total feeling of self-loathing when you realize you blew your diet, have no self-control, and are bound to gain a crap load of weight this holiday season.
But hold it right there. There’s no reason to self-loath or harp on the poor decisions you might have made. My friend and fitness contact Erica Suter actually has a great article about how you stop obsessing over food and dieting. Give it a read when you get a chance.
Another idea you give a try is instead of harping on how much you ‘wrecked yourself’ this holiday, focus on ways to strengthen your microbiome and bring your gut back to optimal health. Remember, every bite you eat LITERALLY changes your microbiome:
Enter kefir. This yogurt-like beverage hasn’t gotten a lot of attention because of the mainstream wave Greek yogurt’s been riding these days, but if you’re trying to rebalance your microbiome and restore gut health after a few not so gut-friendly meals, this just might be the drink for you. Check out the awesome health benefits of kefir and why you should consider incorporating it into your diet today!
- Lactose-free—for those of you who fear dairy, lactose, and milk products, rest aside. Most people, even people who have been lactose-intolerant for years, can surprisingly handle kefir. If you’re still apprehensive about adding kefir into your diet, try drinking 4 oz (1/2 cup) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and see how you respond. NOTE: do NOT try this is you have an anaphylactic and life-threatening dairy allergy.
- Probiotics—Need I say more? You’ve probably heard about probiotics and all the health benefits. Well I’m here to tell you that that’s all true! Probiotics help build gut health, build immunity, and can even help fight chronic inflammation. Check out this awesome article about the benefits of probiotics and why you consider incorporating them into your diet (under physician supervision of course).
- Calcium—Most Americans don’t get nearly the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium that they should. Kefir is a simple and convenient way. One 8 ounce serving has 30% of your daily need. That’s the same as milk (with added probiotics).
- Protein—If the idea of wolfing down a steak or eating half a dozen eggs doesn’t seem appealing, I feel your pain. Although I personally don’t have any contentions with animal protein, I understand and respect those who do follow a vegetarian diet. Kefir packs an impressive 11 grams of protein per 8 ounce serving, giving you another reason to drink up!
So how exactly are you supposed to drink this fermented, sometimes odd flavored beverage? I will admit that kefir can be an acquired taste for those of you who are not accustomed to eating plain yogurt or other dairy products without added sugars. But fortunately, there are some yummy fruit smoothies you can make with kefir. This is a pretty safe initial recipe if you’re new to kefir or fermented foods.
BUT, if you are feeling more adventurous, try this savory (yes, savory) kefir drink. It’s an adaptation of a traditional Persian yogurt drink called doogh. Typically served with kabob, it is thought to help aid with the digestion.