I talk with Cotton On Body about my book, Probiotic Drinks At Home, and the importance of gut health.
Felicity Evans describes herself as an ‘alchemist and creator’, and taught herself over many years to make gut-healing, probiotic drinks when she had a health crisis after the birth of her second child. This month, we bring you three of her seriously delicious gut-friendly drinks to make at home… Meet Felicity.
WHY DID YOU START CREATING PROBIOTIC DRINKS AT HOME?
“My journey to starting Imbibe wasn’t pretty. I turned my hand to making probiotic drinks out of sheer desperation… Not to bore you, but I was sick. After many years of an adventurous gypsy lifestyle, I had had my fair share of antibiotics and other pills that propped me up, until the next adventure began. I’d also had a strong of debilitating viruses – dengue fever, glandular fever and long stints of fatigue.
After my beautiful second baby was born though, I had recurrent mastitis for nearly a year. Mastitis is an excruciating breastfeeding bacterial infection and almost broke me. I’m a very strong person, but having this level of pain, day in and day out, whilst having to care for two small children left me absolutely desolate. Fed up with being sick and in an effort to build my immunity and add joy and energy back into my life, I started researching. My research took me back to the importance of gut health as a key gateway to overall wellness.
During this research phase, I discovered that you could help heal your gut through probiotic rich drinks. It thought it was worth a go, so I looked to my medicine cabinet – my pantry – and started to learn about home fermentation.”
WHEN YOU STARTED MAKING & DRINKING PROBIOTICS, WHAT CHANGES IN YOURSELF DID YOU SEE?
“It was almost immediate!
Better skin, better digestion, less bloating and more energy. The nutrients in living fermented products are pre-digested, and alive so they give you so much bounce. You are literally flooding your system in beauty and goodness.”
WHAT POSITIVE BENEFITS DO PROBIOTIC DRINKS HAVE ON THE BODY?
“It’s important to realise that we are all outnumbered 10:1 bacteria to human cells. And our gut holds around 2-3 kg just of bacteria, good and bad. So we need to be constantly replenishing and renewing these bacteria with more good bacteria, in the form of probiotics.”
WHAT’S THE IMPORTANCE OF GUT HEALTH?
“Put simply, the state of our gut affects every part of our life, so we need to take extreme care with it.
Some of the expected benefits you may experience are:
1. Increased concentration and focus
The gut is linked to the brain via a “superhighway” called the Vagus Nerve, which is constantly carrying messages between the gut and the brain. Once your gut is nurtured with probiotic rich foods, this highway is better enabled to thrive.
2. Better moods
70-80% of serotonin, the feel good/happiness hormone is made in the gut, not the brain as previously thought. So to have that happy feeling and have good moods, you need to focus on nourishing the gut to enhance your serotonin production.
3. Easier digestion
We are what we absorb from the nutrients in our food, not what we eat. So for easy digestion where all the nutrients from our diets are beautifully absorbed and digested, you have to care for your gut and take living probiotics everyday.
4. Glowing skin!
The skin is our body’s largest organ, and is a direct reflection of what is going on in our gut. Even dermatitis, rosacea and acne can be linked back to the state of the gut. So for a glow that radiates from the inside, get into your probiotic drinks and nurture your gut.”
HOW DO YOU KEEP A HEALTHY GUT?
“For me, it’s all about what I can add (not take away) to give the highest energetic imprint on my day.
My absolute top 5 go to tips are:
1. Digestion starts in the mind
How do you think and feel about food; what is your relationship to your plate. Once you have ease with your food choices and welcome your food with love and respect, there will be a chemical reaction sent to your gut to digest and absorb the nutrients from your food better.
2. Eat or drink something fermented everyday
This will help with overall wellness, mental clarity, boosted immunity and lead to glowing skin. This could look like a tablespoon of kim chi with lunch, a glass of water kefir when you get home from work, a Honey Mead to wind down, not a wine – something easy and totally achievable to fit into your lifestyle.
3. Breathe darling, breathe
All of us live in a highly energetic world where devices are pinging all over the place and we are bombarded with information. It’s super important to slow down a couple of times a day and take three deep long breaths. This will help calm down your system, which will lead in turn to better gut health.
4. Consider being your own Probiotic Princess
If you’d like to have a go at making your own probiotic drinks at home to nurture your gut health, swing by the Imbibe website. I‘ve launched take home fermentation kits, which have everything you need to start your home trials. This is a step in the right direction for anyone who wants the confidence to nourish their gut health from the comfort of their own home.
5. Slay like Beyonce, daily
By singing loudly or gargling daily, you exercise the Vagus Nerve which connects between the stomach and the brain. This nerve is responsible for sending many many messages from the gut to the brain and vice versa, so work it baby!”
Images from Probiotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans (Murdoch Books RRP $27.99)
Originally published at Cotton On Body blog.