the superfood for my gut (yours too!)
When was the last time you did a gut check?
Maybe you have no digestive symptoms, so you worry instead about your brain fog, fatigue, skin issues, blood sugar or diagnosed autoimmune condition—bypassing the all important connection between the GI tract and every single sign or symptom that irks you. (Yes, that connection exists and it’s strong!)
Maybe you think you’ve got that gut thing covered; you’ve been there and done that (“yeah, yeah, I healed my gut last year”). We hear that one a lot in the Alliance Clinic!
Yet I want to share with you what I’ve found for myself and my own health (Hashimoto’s, brain, hormone, anti-aging and more)…
Are you ready? It’s that I have to go back to my core again and again (and, you got it, again).
Recently I ran some tests to find that my gut needed a little RE-healing. It needs more of my attention. Yes, again!
Nothing had changed about my solidly healthy diet.
No symptoms appear that would alert me to the fact that my digestion was in need of a little tune-up.
Yet there were a lot of external stressors that I couldn’t control. Those life stressors caused me to overextend myself and put a strain on a system in my body that is more delicate than it lets on. The result is not belly aches, but instead inflammation that’s at the root of my autoimmune thyroiditis.
So again I return to the key protocols for addressing my core health and invite you to take this time to do the same. It may be easier than you think. Let me share one of my gut healing superfoods with you!
let’s get gelatinous!
Collagen is the most abundant fibrous protein in the human body. We consider it to be a great addition to most healing and building protocols.
Collagen offers many health benefits including:
- helps to heal the gut
- boosts and regulates the immune system
- delivers an excellent source of protein
- supports stronger bones and joints
- reduces ageing
- diminishes cellulite
- promotes deeper sleep
- improves brain function
Most importantly, for our eye on the GI, collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract, which is the key area of focus when dealing with any health concern. Check out some of my favorite how-to tips for getting your gelatin on below.
As you might guess, I’m picky about the brand of gelatin I use (and I hope you will be, too). Don’t grab the Knox gelatin at your local grocery store. Although that will turn liquid into jello, it won’t help heal your gut! (We might as well do double duty here.)
Here are the brands you’ll find in my pantry:
You may know Dave Asprey. He’s behind the trend of Bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil). If you do know Dave, you know he’s fanatical about sourcing high-quality products and his Upgraded Collagen is no different.
Sourced from very pure pasture-raised cows that are untouched by drugs or hormones. Upgraded Collagen is enzymatically processed several times to leave its peptides intact, resulting in a neutral tasting, highly available protein that doesn’t clump up or have a strong taste like other gelatin does. It’s easy to use and contains more collagen than bone broth.
A long-time favorite in paleo and primal circles, the Great Lakes brand is also high quality and easy to source online.
It comes in two varieties (fondly called the red or the green can) and it’s handy to have both in your cabinet as you use them in different ways.
Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin is the red can. When mixed with hot or warm liquid it gels up allowing you to make healthy jello, gummies and other desserts. The gelling action is not so great in smoothies or cold drinks (let’s just say it’s a gooey situation) so skip it when gummy isn’t your goal.
Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate is the green can. It doesn’t gel up but instead dissolves in cold or hot liquids and it’s generally easier to digest so you can enjoy more of it and not trigger digestive distress with larger quantities. Add it to smoothies or make warm elixirs to nourish you through the winter.
A newer kid on the collagen block but one that’s getting rave reviews for their different products including beef collagen, beef gelatin, marine collagen, collagen whey, and collagen beauty greens that blends collagen with greens and probiotics. So many ways to get your gelatin on!
This isn’t pure gelatin as it has some other ingredients and flavorings but we’ve been loving it lately in the virtual FxNA halls. If you’ve been on the search for a clean protein powder that helps make your morning smoothie stick with you longer, this might be a good one to try.
three simple recipes to get started with gelatin
Let’s be honest, cracking open the canister of gelatin or collagen can feel a bit odd the first time, but don’t be intimated. Integrating gelatin and collagen in to your daily routine can be quite simple.
Really, it’s as easy as adding a tablespoon of collagen to your morning smoothie. (You’ll never know it’s there — I add it to my son’s pre- and post-workout smoothies all the time!) But if you’d like to explore some other ways to amp up your intake, try these FxNA favorite recipes and remember, this is just the start.
Experiment on your own and let me know what you come up with in your kitchen. Drop me a note on the FxNA Facebook page if you come up with a new family favorite recipe!
Megan’s Morning Elixir
- 1 TBSP Dandy Blend (coffee alternative)
- 1 TBSP grass-fed collagen (great lakes, green can or upgraded collagen from bulletproof)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ TBSP grass-fed ghee
- ½ TBSP unrefined coconut oil
- 6-8 ounces hot water
- 2 TBSP full-fat coconut milk
- 5-10 drops of stevia, depending on how sweet you like it
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Serve in your favorite mug!
- 2 TBSP dried chamomile (or 1 tea bag)
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 5-7 drops of vanilla liquid stevia
- 1 TBSP collagen (great lakes, green can or upgraded collagen from bulletproof)
Brew your chamomile tea base (using a tea ball or steeping the tea bag in your hot water). Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Place the remaining ingredients plus the tea in a blender or magic bullet and blend until smooth and frothy. Sip slowly and prepare your body and mind for sweet dreams!
Lemon-Infused Green Tea Gummies
- 2 cups water
- 4 green tea bags
- 3 TBSP grass-fed gelatin (great lakes red can)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 2 TBSP raw honey
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp freshly minced ginger (depending on how much you like ginger!)
Heat water until boiling. Add green tea bags and steep tea for at least five minutes. Once the tea is ready, slowly sprinkle the gelatin over the tea and allow it to “bloom” or dissolve. The key is to add it slowly so it doesn’t get clumpy. Stir out any clumps with a whisk or fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
If your gelatin does get clumpy, all is not lost – whirl the mixture in the blender to break down the clumps (it will get frothy but it will work).
Pour the mixture into a glass dish or individual ramekins. Chill for at least 45 minutes or until the gelatin is set. Eat straight from the dish or cut into squares.