5 Quiktips for Improving Digestion
by: Cassandra Piazza
Digestion is so much more than chewing and swallowing. It’s the process by which our body breaks down food and absorbs nutrients to create energy and provide nourishment for every living cell in our body
The truth is that good digestion for some, is the missing link to good health and fat loss! Unfortunately, digestive issues nowadays are so common that some consider the symptoms normal. We’re here to tell you that poor digestion is NOT NORMAL and you should be paying attention to how you digest if you want better results from your body.
Signs you may have digestive issues:
- Bad breath
- Acid reflux
- Growing list of food intolerances
- Abdominal discomfort after consuming food
While digestive issues may be complex, we have listed some simple #quiktips that are easy to do and can help with digestion right away! Please note that these tips are guidelines to healthy and mindful living and are not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you are having digestive issues.
1 Eat distraction free
Ever start salivating around lunchtime when you see an advertisement for something delicious? The process of digestion starts the moment our brains begin to think about food. If your brain is focused on your Instagram feed or your current Netflix addiction it won’t be as effective in facilitating the processes for effective digestion. Carve at least 15 minutes out of your day, per meal, to sit and eat mindfully, free of distraction.
2 Chew your food adequately
When you start chewing, your stomach releases digestive enzymes that your body uses to absorb nutrients and create energy – the more you chew, the more enzymes are activated and the better you digest!
3 Take a probiotic daily
The ecosystem of good and bad bacteria in your gut is called your gut microbiome. Probiotics aid in the development and maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome by facilitating growth of good bacteria. Probiotics introduce helpful strains of good bacteria that populate the gut and improve balance between good and bad bacteria. Having a balance of good bacteria in the gut is associated with better digestion, positive mood, a more active immune system and less food allergies.
4 Get in your fiber
High fiber foods such as whole grains, greens and legumes help to keep food moving through the digestive tract. Women should aim for at least 25g of fiber a day and 35g a day for men. Animal protein eaters should be especially aware of getting enough fiber. The slower bowel transit time associated with eating meat can put you at a higher risk for diseases associated with the digestive tract. Make sure you pair meat with dense vegetables or high fiber fruits to ensure timely elimination. As a bonus, the fermentation process that occurs with some fibers in the gut, feed your good bacteria further improving the gut microbiome!
5 Boost your stomach acid
In order for food to be released from the stomach into the small intestine, where most of the digestion takes place, it needs your stomach acid to turn your solid food into liquid. A shot of apple cider vinegar before a meal can help to boost stomach acid. Also, try minimizing liquids during meals to prevent diluting your stomach acid too much.
We would love to hear what you thought of our Quiktips! Please leave a comment below!
Healthy Holiday Recipes
Here are some healthy holiday recipes from my friend Nutritionist Tamika Shaw. These recipes were made as part of the community program that I run to help busy parents learn how to stay fit eat right and show their kids how to do the same. We have given some popular recipes a healthy makeover so try them out and let us know if you liked them. We sure as hell did!
Apple Maple Cheesecake
Makes 10 servings
1 ¼ cup Graham wafer crumbs
¼ cup Non-hydrogenated margarine
250g package light cream cheese (brick not tub), room temperature
2 cups plain fat-free yogurt cheese (see recipe below)
½ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup apple butter
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
2. In a medium bowl, combine graham wafer crumbs and melted margarine with a fork. Press mixture into the bottom of a 20 cm (8 inch) diameter spring form pan. Place in the fridge while you make the filling.
3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt cheese and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined.
4. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust and bake for 50 minutes.
How to make yogurt cheese
Place a paper or basket coffee filter over a fine sieve. Place the sieve over a bowl. Pour one, 750 mL tub of fat-free, plain yogurt into the coffee filter and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. The water will drain out and you are left with a very thick yogurt.
Calories: 254 Protein: 9 g Fat: 12 g Saturated fat: 4 g Dietary cholesterol: 57 mg Carbohydrate: 29 g Dietary fibre: 0 g Sodium: 314 mg Potassium: 105 mg
Source: Eatright Ontario www.eatrightontario.ca
Cheesecake Equipment List
8 inch spring form pan
mixing bowl, 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small ramekins
hand mixer or stand mixer
measuring cups and spoons
Apple Raisin Fruit Crisp
Makes 12 servings
10 cups apples, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp raisins
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Divide fruit between 2 medium baking dishes.
3. In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter or margarine until combined. Sprinkle over the fruit.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender.
Source: Toronto Public Health
Apple Crisp Equipment List
8 inch baking dish
measuring spoons and cups
Baked Whole Wheat Samosa
Makes 12 samosas
2 cups (500 ml) whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) plain non-fat yogurt
2 cups (500 ml) mini new potatoes, skin on, cubed
1 cup (250 ml) onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) canola oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin seed
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) frozen green peas
cayenne pepper, optional
canola oil for brushing
Mix flour, salt in bowl. Add yogurt. Form into a ball. Knead adding more flour as needed. Wrap tightly. Place in the fridge until ready.
Boil the potatoes 15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain. Set aside. In the same pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, oil, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry powder and salt. Cook until the onion starts to soften. Add peas and cook until heated. Remove and add the potatoes. Toss to blend.
Assemble and bake
Preheat oven to 425º F (220º C). On floured surface, roll dough into a long rope. Divide evenly into 12 pieces. One by one roll each piece into a circle. Place about 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of filling on each circle and fold over. Dampen inside edge with finger dipped in water and crimp edges with a fork. Brush sparingly with oil. Place the samosas on greased baking sheet and bake15 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F (180ºC). Turn samosas over and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce. Makes 12 samosas.
1 samosa; 130 calories; total fat 1.5 g; sodium 90 mg; total carbohydrate 24 g (dietary fibre 4 g; sugars 3 g); protein 5 g
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca
Samosa Equipment List
Measuring cups and spoons
The first quarter of 2012 is officially over and I am happy to say that lots of goals have been met. As a team, we are truly a bunch of losers… losers of pounds, clothing sizes, old habits and bad attitudes! If you didn’t get exactly what you wanted out of the first quarter, Stay persistent. Change exists just beyond the moment of the greatest frustration. Never give up! There is still time until the warm weather hits. What will your wardrobe look like in July?
Quiktrain is getting better with some exciting additions:
Personal consultations with a registered nutritionist. Fill out in detail the 3 day food journal and send it back to me asap – Just click here to download it. My nutritionist will sit down with you and make recommendations on how you can maximize your results with personalized eating strategies that work for you! The first session is scheduled for Sunday April 15th. This is completely FREE!
Quiktrain cardio club – Looking to run your first 5k, 10k or half marathon or do you just want an extra session to maximize your fat burning? Cardio club workouts are for you! We will use the most effective interval protocols and tools like kettle bells, skipping and running to blast extra calories and carve out that nice flat tummy we all want. These sessions will be 45 minutes once a week. This is also completely FREE!
Quiktrain Referral Program – Refer a friend and save $$ on training!
- Refer 1 friend receive $25 off your next payment
- Refer 2 friends receive $50 off your next payment
- Refer 3 friends receive 75$ off your next payment
- Refer 4 friends receive $100 off you next payment
Note: Email me if you are interested in the cardio club and what times work best for you (am or pm + Weekend or weekday + preferred time) We will try to determine a time that works for everyone.
Thank you sincerely for an awesome first quarter of 2012. Its inspiring to me to see everyone working so hard and getting results. Now it’s time to go even harder than ever before.
See you soon!
Life is a balancing act. We are working more and more hours for the things we want on top of having family, friends and social obligations. So when you finally decide that it’s time to lose unwanted belly fat there’s no time to waste.
No time to hit the gym? You can still easily tackle the first two rules of fat loss:
2) See number 1
Reducing your calorie intake is the most important factor to fat loss. If you think about it, working out is just another method of calorie reduction. So do that too. Most diets, as different as they may seem, are really just various methods of cutting back on calories so your body burns stored fat for fuel. Fortunately for you this doesn’t necessarily mean eating less.
Simple tip: Eat 5 servings of vegetables per day. (1 serving= your fist)
Vegetable carbohydrates have fiber and water which will help increase the feeling of fullness but while taking in significantly less calories when compared to starchy carbohydrates like breads cereals, pasta and potatoes. So long as you eat enough vegetables with your lean proteins and healthy fats you will get all the nutrients you need, stave off hunger and have tons of energy!
If you are a performance athlete or on an intense workout program (training over 4x per week) you may need heavier carbs to keep up with energy demands of your activity while still losing fat. In this case you can have starchy carbohydrates but save them for right after a workout when your body prioritizes replenishing stored fuel. Eating a modest amount of carbs in this window of time 0 – 30 minutes after your workout will help with recovery and ensure your next training session is as effective as the last!
Some studies show that up to 90% of people aren’t getting enough of one or more essential vitamins and minerals. This deficiency can lead to intense insatiable cravings. Veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals so as an added benefit, getting 5 servings of veggies per day will help you reduce cravings from not having what you need.
In my experience following the first two rules of fat loss can make a signifigant impact on your weight, bellyfat and energy levels so give it a try!
Being a vegetarian for a lot of people can be a poor choice if not taken seriously. The problem is that in an attempt to avoid meat you can deprive yourself of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
The majority of tissues in your body are made up of protein – one of the most important being muscle. Having the right amino acid balance will ensure that you maintain lean muscle good energy and a tight toned look. Make sure you are combining foods properly to make a complete protein so you can maximize your results.
Below is a protein partnerships chart that will help you to organize your meals so that you are getting the right balance of nutrients.
To create a complete protein, combine food from column 1, 2, 3 with any food from another column.
Low in Lysine
Low in sulphur-carrying amino acids
Low in Tryptophan
Cheese (except cream cheese)
For a protein supplement choose vega sport. This will improve recovery time from your workouts.