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Couscous Salad

This is a super easy, delicious salad. I found it last year but forgot about it until I was going through some stuff today. Super easy to make and even my non-healthy eating hubby likes it! It definitely reminds me of all summer should be, light with fresh veggies and mint. It comes together quickly and doesn’t hang around my house long! If you’ve never made couscous, it’s so easy! I boil 1 C. of water with about a tsp. of salt and butter. Remove from heat, quickly stir in the couscous and cover it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and it’s done!

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1 english cucumber, diced

Juice from 1 lemon

3 tsp. salt

1 C. couscous

Zest from 1 lemon

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C. mint leaves, chopped

1/2 C. parsley, chopped

3 scallions, diced

1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, cucumber and lemon juice in a medium bowl with 2 tsp. of salt. Set aside.
  2. Cook couscous according to directions. Fluff it with a fork.
  3. Once the couscous is cooled down, add to the tomato mixture.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

Serve it cold and store any leftovers in the fridge. I wish I could tell you how well it holds up but it’s usually gone in a couple of days.

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Introduction to Leaky Gut and 5 Things to do now

In a nutshell leaky gut is defined as IMPAIRED INTESTINAL BARRIER PERMEABILITY, or intestinal hyper-permeability. What does this mean? It means that the lining of the gut, which is tasked with letting in what you are designed to let in and block what you are designed to block, isn't working well in the BLOCKING portion of it's job. And due to inflammation, prior and resulting, the first part of the job, the letting in part, also doesn't work right.

Remember: the gut lining is meant to protect you from all the bad stuff that passes through with three layers.

  • Physical
  • Mucosal
  • Epethelial: where immune and neurological functions happen

In another nutshell, this dysfunction in permeability of the gut lining goes like this:

  • Too much protein ZONULIN released
  • the tight junctions of the gut lining are loosened (tight junctions are protein structures that seal up cells)
  • This allows antigens to pass into the mucosal lining (another "failsafe" barrier in the design)
  • The liver has to work harder, and the immune system kicks into overdrive (think auto immune issues and inflammation)

When the gut is leaky, the immune system has less energy for other disturbances due to the gut's constant needs. This can lead to infections and illness, while also affecting mood and hormone balance, among with many other things. Nutrient Absorption is negatively impacted as a resulting of the intestinal microvilli being damaged by leaky gut. So kind of link celiac but not as concrete.

Leaky gut really isn't easily diagnosed yet due to its commonality of the symptoms. However, I would say and a lot of other more educated people would agree that most people have some degree of leaky gut.

In fact ... babies are born with a gut thats not fully developed and a bit leaky, thus why the breast milk is designed the way it is. And a big reason why babies get colic and gerd.

IN OTHER WORDS

  1. Undigested particles (antigens) sneak through the gut lining into the bloodstream
  2. The Immune system creates antibodies for the antigens.
  3. The immune system produces an inflammatory response in anticipation of more antigens.

SYMPTOMS

  1. Food intolerances
  2. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, run away train
  3. Brain fog
  4. Bloating, diarrhea and GI issues
  5. Thyroid issues
  6. Skin rashes / eczema
  7. Joint Pain
  8. Headaches
  9. Mood swings
  10. Excessive Fatigue

POSSIBLE CAUSES

  1. DIET
    • Lectins from grains (part of the anti gluten/grain movement)
    • Nightshades (google it)
    • Legumes
    • Dairy
    • Processed foods: Additives, emulsifiers (food stabilizers) Like in almond milk!!
  2. Imbalanced Microbiome
    • Candida overgrowth
    • Candida secreting toxin that causes epithelial cells to shrink
  3. Modern Lifestyle
    • Antibiotics
    • NSAIDs . (ib)
    • Environmental toxins, such as antibacterials
    • STRESS

REPAIRING LEAKY GUT

Test if you want them: ELISA, Lactulose/mannitol, IgE

4 R's of Functional Medicine

  1. REMOVE
    • Elimination diets
    • Supplementing with herbal antimicrobials
    • Rotation diets: limit specific food exposure to 24 hour cycles, then avoid the next 3-4 days
  2. REPLACE
    • Digestive bitters
    • HCL supplements
    • L-glutamine. Athletes should be taking this any way for recovery
  3. RE-INOCULATE
    • Probiotics
    • Think about prebiotics as well
  4. REPAIR MUCOSAL LINING
    • Steps 1,2 and 3
    • Gut-supporting nutrients and foods
      • Bone broth, collagen, L-glutamine
      • Filtered water
      • Protein
      • Honey (replacing sugar)
      • Fermented and cultured foods
      • Healthy fats (coconut oil)

Supplements for Leaky Gut

  1. Zinc carnosine
  2. Aleo Vera
  3. Marshmallow root
  4. Slippery elm bark
  5. Curcumin
  6. Vitamin A
  7. Vitamin D

5 Tips to Fix

  1. Handle Stress
  2. Add L-Glutamine
  3. Take out dairy and grains
  4. Add D3 and magnesium
  5. Eat LESS processed foods, including "healthy" packaged foods

Things that come next

  1. Allergies
  2. Asthma
  3. Autoimmune: Lupus, MS, RA
  4. Psoriasis
  5. Eczema
  6. Inflammatory Bowel
  7. Diabetes

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