After not being able to work out for quite some time, I am happy to say I survived my first couple of classes over the past week, and let me tell you, it has NOT been easy. I laughed after Monday’s workout saying I had never felt older in my life.
It really is amazing how easily we can lose our strength and how much of a challenge it can be to gain it back. But what I had to do on Monday was remind myself that it’s not going to come back in a day, and certainly not without a challenge. And there were even a few times as I huffed and puffed and thought why in the world do I even do this?! But after it was over, I was reminded that it was actually for my sanity, and my health of course as well. And after a few solid workouts, I just so happened to feel a bit more sane, and even through the exhaustion, I somehow felt more energetic.
I know the saying goes that the ark wasn’t built in a day, and so it must go with getting back to exercising. So if that is where you just so happen to be, or if you are in a place where you are restricted for a period of time from your physical activity, don’t be discouraged when you try to jump back into it. Don’t expect it all to come right back the first time you step into the weight room. Take your time, allow your body to ease back in and remind yourself that no matter how hard it may seem, you will at least feel better in the end!
Let’s move on and talk about our guts. Doesn’t that sound fun?! So the word bacteria comes up when we talk about our guts and of course the first word that comes to my mind when I hear “bacteria” is typically yuck. We often categorize the word with germs and illness, but our bodies actually need and thrive on bacteria and keeping a balance of the good kind so that the bad bacteria don’t take over.
A lot of illness and inflammation can actually be rooted in the digestive track, so getting a handle on the bacteria there is what can help lessen the inflammation and in turn improve your overall health.
And that is where Probiotics come in! Probiotics are the good bacteria that we want in our bodies. I came across Silver Fern Brand Probiotics and really liked what I read about their specific brand. A lot of times capsules end up with coatings or lots of extra junk, but this was not the case for Silver Fern. The other thing I liked was the survivability of the probiotics so they actually make it to the gut to do the work they are meant to do. Apparently that is not always the case. I am certainly no expert on probiotics, but what I do know is that we need this bacteria in our bodies and these little capsules were also exactly what I needed for a little kitchen experiment.
Now let’s move on to dairy free yogurts. Here is what I know; so many of them are PACKED with sugar. In fact, that’s not just dairy free, most yogurts that are not plain are high in sugar content. Most of the time, I have plain yogurt and sweeten it with a bit of fruit or maple. I found Forager Project Cashew Yogurt recently and was so impressed by the flavor and texture and all from cashews. And if you recall, cashews have been on my list of fun foods to play with in recipes lately. So of course, I needed to make my own!
Not a simple task I found out, but after several tries, I was finally satisfied. IT takes a bit of time, but really not much effort at all. Creamy cashew yogurt with blueberries, a touch of maple and a dose of probiotics. Who could ask for more? Sure you can take the probiotics in pill form, that’s an option as well, but I really wanted a yogurt and in order to have the full benefit of a yogurt, you gotta have the bacteria.
I love the fact that I now have full control over what goes into my yogurt. No preservatives, no refined sugar, just whole food, real ingredients. So give it a try! It’s so simple I promise!
*Disclaimer: I am not paid for my opinions of the products discussed. Thanks for supporting brands I love!
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked overnight
- 1/2 c water plus more for desired thickness
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 c blueberries extra if desired
- 2-3 T pure maple syrup
- 3 capsules Probiotic I used Silver Fern Brand but any should work
- In a blender, combine cashews and water. Blend for about 1 minute or until smooth. You can add a bit more water if the cashews don't seem to be breaking down well.
- Pour mixture into a jar that you can seal tight and pour probiotic capsule contents in and stir well.
- Seal jar and cover with a towel.
- Allow to sit for 4-8 hours--store in a warm place, doesn't need to be super hot, just above 70°F is ideal.
- Yogurt will thicken a bit and get a slight sourness to it over the course of this time.
- After sitting for desired amount of time, combine blueberries, maple and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and stir into the yogurt.
- Chill for about one hour before serving.
- Add in your favorite granola, more fresh fruit or a drizzle of maple and enjoy!