I’ve heard it said thousands of times: “I’m bloated (and/or backed up), so I need to go on a cleanse to rebalance my gut”. As a matter of fact, I’ve also had that thought in the past. When you’re not feeling energized and light you can feel as though you need to purge yourself of toxins by eliminating food for days or weeks. However, from experience I know that restricting my body of vital fiber and nutrients doesn’t make me feel better, and my post “cleanse” body is no more balanced than it was before.
The truth is that our bodies are going through a process of detoxification at all times of the day. Our liver, our kidneys, and every cell of our body have the ability to remove toxins without us going on a fast or “cleanse”. Mental and physical stress (ie. poor eating, lack of sleep, and exposure to environmental toxins) can tax our body’s ability to eliminate toxins, but a nutrient dense fiber-rich diet, good bacteria, and a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate key to finding balance and feeling great. When I need to bring balance back into my body, especially my gut, I choose wholesome foods, prioritize daily exercise, make sure to drink plenty of water, sleep at least 8 hours a night, and take a probiotic every day. Not only do I feel more balanced, but I feel a lot happier too.
My mom made me laugh recently. I was talking to her about how much better I’m feeling since simply eating more fiber and taking Bio-K+ vegan probiotics, and her response was, “Oh, you have to take a probiotic supplement because as a vegan you can’t eat yogurt, right?” I was happy to report to her that I could eat a vegan yogurt with equivalent amounts of probiotics to her dairy option, but I choose Bio-K+ because of the product’s efficacy and guaranteed amount of probiotics at time of consumption. Producers of yogurt, on the other hand, place no attention on making sure the product actually has any healthy bacteria left when you bring it home. Yogurt is a yummy snack or breakfast item, Bio-K+ is for those who want results. It just goes to show how much misinformation there is about how we can optimize our intake of healthy bacteria. Now you can find everything from water to energy bars with healthy bacteria added, but is it in there when you consume the product or is it just a gimmick? The same can be said for cleanses and diets in general. When your goal is balance and optimal health, you don’t need to look for a magical solution, nature is there to provide the answer: unprocessed plant-foods, healthy bacteria, and self-care. Finding balance is really that easy. Here is a sweet yet effective way of integrating some probiotics on your plate.
No Bake Mango Lime Cheesecake
Makes one 8” x 8” cheesecake, about 8 servings
2 cups raw almonds
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup dates
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 cups raw macadamia nuts or cashew nuts, soaked overnight
2 mango fermented soy Bio-K+ bottles
½ cup nut milk (cashew, almond, macadamia)
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup raw coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 ripe mango, diced (about 1 cup)
Place almonds, coconut flakes, dates, vanilla, and salt into a food processor.
Blend until the mixture is chopped into tiny pieces and sticks together (about 30 seconds). Be very careful not to over blend. You do not want an almond butter.
Press the nut mixture evenly onto the bottom of an 8x8” spring form pan.
Place the soaked nuts, Bio-K+, nut milk, lime juice, coconut nectar, vanilla, coconut oil, and fresh mango into a high-speed blender. Puree until creamy.
Pour into the spring form pan to top the almond crust.
Place into the freezer to firm overnight, at least 8 hours.
Garnish the finished cheesecake with lime zest and coconut flakes