Keep fit and healthy from head to toe – Digestion and gut microbiome

Keep fit and healthy from head to toe – Digestion and gut microbiome

Today’s highlighted body region contains the digestion and gut. Pay extra attention to this region, exercise it, and look after it! Below you find some tips and recipes. You can do these also on other days, but use this symbol as a reminder, and after all, today is the best day to do it

The disease starts in the gut

Folklore always maintained that most diseases start in the gut. So it is of utmost importance to look after your gut health. Food allergies and intolerances are increasing all the time. Mainly because we all eat too much-processed food (fast food, pre-prepared, deep-fried) and not enough organic or even biodynamic,  unpasteurized, and fermented food. Probiotic supplements can help to add ‘good bacteria’ to your food. Try to make small changes, by swapping heavily processed white bread for sourdough bread.  You can also make your fermented foods, like  Sauerkraut or Kombucha. Here is a recipe for how to make Sauerkraut. 

If you want to find out more about the gut microbiome, please check out the Zoe website. I have been following Dr. Spector for years and particularly like his book ‘The Diet Myth.’ He is a professor at Kings College, London, and one of the forefathers to undertake research into to topic. If you look him up, there should be plenty of resources to keep you busy!

Regular salt flushes to cleanse your gut 

Liquid Fast DayWhenever I want to lose a few pounds, I start with a Liquid Fast weekend. Part of my regime is to start the day with a glass of dissolved  Epsom Salt. I call it ‘flush’ for a reason and I advise you to stick near a toilet.


The evening before I add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt to a large glass of water and pour a small amount of water on top.  Then I leave this mixture overnight. In the morning the Epsom salt will have completely dissolved and all I need to do is fill the glass with tepid water. Then I drink or sip it before breakfast.

Once in a while, it might be helpful to have colonic irrigation. Opinions are split on this, as colonics also remove the ‘friendly gut bacteria’. But performed under the supervision of a specialist it can be very beneficial. But please make sure that after the cleanse you recolonize your gut with the right gut bacteria. The specialist will advise you on what to do.

Here is an article about the gut microbiome.   


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Cooking with yoghurt

LWTM Cooking with yoghurt

LWTM Cooking with yoghurt


People have been making yoghurt for over four thousand years. Its name comes from the Turkish word ‘yogurt’, meaning ‘curdled or thickened’.  Milk (mostly cow and goats milk) is heated to about 45 degrees centigrade (112 degree F), then bacterial cultures are added and kept at this temperature for up to seven hours, so fermentation can take place.

Today in most Western cultures, most milk products use milk that is heated to about 80 degree centigrade (176 degree F), a process called pasteurization. In this process all bacteria, harmful and good, are destroyed.

A well-functioning digestion needs these ‘good bacteria cultures’ and recently yoghurt producer have created products, so called ‘probiotics’, where some of these useful strands are added to the pasturized milk products.

Here are the main health benefits:

1) Yoghurt is good for the gut and digestion: The ‘good bacteria’ such as the lactobacillus cultures have proven to help with constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and as a preventative against colon cancer.

When buying a yoghurt, always check the label that the offered product contains these helpful bacteria, and if so in sufficient quantities. If you suffer from a digestive problem, it might be well worth adding a specific probiotic supplement, such as acidophilus to your diet. In this case pay a bit more and go for a really high content of friendly bacteria and a product that needs to be kept in the fridge.

2) Yoghurt may help with osteoporosis: Due to the high calcium content, yoghurt is good for teeth and bones. Sometimes manufactures also add Vitamin D. The combination of Vitamin D and calcium is especially helpful to prevent osteoporosis, brittle bone disease. If you are over forty years old, a daily helping of a vitamin D enriched yoghurt can be very beneficial.

3) Yoghurt helps to boost the immune system and to curb infections:

If your pH is higher than the normal 4.0 to 4.5 level, yeast infections like candida can be the consequence. Eating a probiotic yoghurt will balance the pH level and fight the yeast overgrowth. Taken on a regular basis it will help to prevent future infections and inflammations of the bowel and small intestine. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, also the ‘good ones’. When you finish a course of antibiotics, always add a probiotic to your diet to build up more resistance.

4) Yoghurt may help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure: This is a subtle benefit and also depends on other life-style factors. But recent studies in Spain showed that people who added low-fat, culture enriched yoghurts to their diet had on average a lower chance of developing high blood pressure.

5) Makes you feel fuller and builds muscle tissue: Protein together with exercise will build muscle tissue. Additionally it will give you a sense of ‘fullness’. This is the reason why many weight loss programs urge their followers to eat yoghurt.

Here are a few recipes to customize low-fat yoghurt:

Yoghurt with berries and linseeds:

Fill half of a small breakfast bowl with low fat, probiotic yoghurt and add a handful of berries (you can also use defrosted berries). Sprinkle a teaspoon of linseeds or ground flaxseed on the top.  Both add a lot of fiber to your yoghurt and are rich in omega 3 oils.

Yoghurt and lemon curd desert:

Put some lemon curd into a tumbler and top up with yoghurt. In another bowl mix some chopped fruit of your choice with a small amount of icing sugar and pour the fruit on top of the yoghurt. Make as many glasses as required and then put them in the fridge. Serve with short bread on the side; this is a delicious summer pudding.

Grilled chicken with courgettes and aubergines:

Cut two chicken breast fillets into strips. Cut half an aubergine and 2 courgettes into strips. In a small bowl mix 2 tbsp. of olive oil with 1-2 gloves of freshly pressed garlic and brush this mixture onto the chicken, aubergine and courgettes strips. Then griddle these pieces in a griddling pan until golden brown. If they stick to the pan add a tiny bit of olive oil or water.

When the chicken and vegetables are done, set them aside in a serving bowl and drizzle some lemon juice over them. If you make large amounts, griddle them in batches, whilst keeping the cooked chicken warm.

Finally mix a few tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with another crushed garlic clove, a few drops of olive oil and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Arrange the griddled chicken and vegetables on a plate and serve with the yoghurt and pitta bread.




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