Did you ever wonder where the saying “gut instinct” comes from?
Robyn Youkilis’s new book, Go with Your Gut: The Insider’s Guide to Banishing the Bloat with 75 Digestion-Friendly Recipes ($23) will give you a dose of fascinating stomach-health knowledge, and show you how your gut is linked to energy, stress levels, mental focus, sleep quality, chronic inflammation and lowered immunity.
“I believe there is a connection between a powerfully functioning gut and a powerfully functioning ‘gut instinct’,” says Robyn. “When the belly is at its healthiest, we can hear those gut messages loud and clear. How we digest our food is how we digest our lives.”
Youkilis, a certified wellness expert who trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, counsels that we should listen to and focus on what our stomach symptoms—weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, bloating, indigestion and constipation—are telling us. Her book is bright and spunky with advice that goes down as easy as its gut-friendly recipes.
The book convinced us to buy more raw fermented sauerkraut (which offers the benefits of eight bottles of probiotics, says Youkilis) and to remember to slow down and thoroughly chew what we eat, so the digestive enzymes in our saliva can do its work.
Out of all the no-nonsense recipes like apple chia “cereal” or Kabocha squash and kale tacos, we particularly love the Perfect Detox Salad, a light, fresh and bright combo of quinoa (easy to digest, naturally gluten-free, alkalizing and high in protein) with daikon radish and carrots, all freshened up with plenty of lemon juice and mint.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups salad greens)
- 1½ cups water (for quinoa)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, more to taste
- 1 to 2 bay leaves (optional add-in)
- 2 to 4 inches of kombu, cut into squares (optional add-in)
- 1 daikon radish, grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/2 to 1 cup mix of microgreens and/or sprouts of any kind
- 1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or torn
- 1 avocado, diced
- Handful of raw sunflower seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon, preferably Meyer
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- To soak your grains before cooking, simply leave them covered in water 20 minutes or up to 8 hours before cooking. Rinse thoroughly.
- Rinse the grain in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Drain and transfer it to a medium pot.
- Add water and sea salt and bring it to a boil, add any add-ins if using, and simmer until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Set the pot aside off the heat for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.
- Drain and use quinoa warm, or let it cool and refrigerate it until cold depending on your preference.
- To make the salad, combine all the ingredients thoroughly and serve immediately!