Have you ever taken antibiotics? This blog is for you!

Have you ever had to take antibiotics? When I was a kid, they were given to me like sweets. Happy 80’s! I’m sure it happened with the best intentions, trying to save me from coughing my lungs out. After every cold I got (and as a kid, when you’re immune system is still developing, that happens quite a lot), a terrible tickle cough followed. Sometimes, it would go on for weeks, I thought it would never ever stop. Since the doctor didn’t have a clue how to help me, he gave me antibiotics! The part I don’t actually understand, looking back, is that it obviously didn’t work, so why keeping on trying the same thing? But well. Back then, little did we know what a disaster this has been for my gut health. Which wasn’t my forte anyway since I never got any breastfeeding as a baby. And (as I later found out, I didn’t know for many years), I ate many allergens all the time as well. Those good bacteria( which you cannot live without) didn’t have a chance! Well, I’m still alive, but had to work VERY hard to fix my gut! The ratio between good an bad bacteria was completely out of control.

So now I’m curious, did you ever use antibiotics? Can you remember how many times? Just once? 5 times? Or have you used it so frequently that you lost count? And during or after the treatment, did you do anything to heal your gut, since antibiotics really damage your gut microbiota?
Truth is, and it is important to mention: antibiotics can save your life. If you have a bacterial infection which your immune system can’t cope with, antibiotics can slow down or stop the growth of those potentially life-threatening bacteria. This is great! But there are a few concerns which we will address now:

  • They are being over-prescribed, and that leads to certain bacterial infections becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  • The side-effects are not so good; along with the pathogens you’re trying to wipe out, antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria. They really harm your gut microbiota, which means that they are a real threat to your digestion, your immune-system but also your mood.
  • We are exposed to antibiotics even when we’re not taking them as medication.

So how can we deal with this? Let’s go over them one by one.

 

RESISTANCE FOR ANTIBIOTICS

Let’s start with the first one. It is wise to think about it now, instead of in a situation where you have to decide under stress. You have to realize that the ecosystem in the gut can shift massively even if you’re only on antibiotics for a day or two. So consider it wisely, not only for yourself but especially for your kids. Of course, nobody wants their kid to be in pain, but since their microbiome is still forming, especially when they are under 3 years old, the damage done by antibiotics has real, irreversible consequences. If there is a life-threatening situation it is, of course, a no brainer and definitely worth it. But otherwise, stay away from antibiotics. Also, keep in mind that they can kill bacteria, but not viruses.

Antibiotics and gut health at the same time is not possible. We’re discussing the concerns and give doable solutions. Read more: https://listentoday.com/antibiotics-and-gut-health/

 

TREATING SIDE-EFFECTS

And then the second one. In those cases where you HAVE to take antibiotics, you should also heal your gut, during and after the treatment. This is how:

Take a good quality probiotic (more about this below), but be careful! Taking an anti- and probiotic at the same time doesn’t make any sense. It’s like making something dry and wet at the same time. So take your antibiotic during the day and your probiotic at night! Some people wait till after the treatment, but we would do it this way. After taking in antibiotics, wait at least 2 hours before you take your probiotic, that’s the rule.
Avoid all types of sugar, also refined carbs, so you’re not feeding the wrong bacteria or fungi in your gut (the ones you don’t want).
After your treatment, continue with the probiotics and heal your gut by eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, good fats and fermented foods. With kids, let them play in the dirt, make sure that their immune system is rebuilt! In our program Reset Your Health you will rebuild your gut within 3 weeks! A must if you have had antibiotics recently.

 

EXPOSURE TO ANTIBIOTICS SIMPLY BY LIVING OUR LIVES

Unfortunately, in our world, we are exposed to antibiotics through our food also. In the Netherlands, the regulations are pretty strict, but still, it cannot be totally prevented. It is said that there are practically (!!) no residues of antibiotics in foods such as meat, milk and eggs. In many countries, the rules aren’t even this strict. So make doing something for gut health a daily habit!

Antibiotics and gut health at the same time is not possible. We’re discussing the concerns and give doable solutions. Read more: https://listentoday.com/antibiotics-and-gut-health/

 

ABOUT PROBIOTICS

Since we’re still in the infancy of understanding probiotics and what they can do, it’s good to understand that it is not a magic bullet that can wipe out the negative effects of antibiotics. Also, they won’t take up residence in your gut, they pass through while making the environment in your gut suitable for the good bacteria to grow. So to actually wipe out the effects of antibiotics, we need to change our lifestyle.
But since probiotics are not doing any harm and since our gut can use any help it can get, it can be good to take them every now and then. Right now they are still nonspecific, but this will change in the coming years. This is exciting because each individual, with their individual microbiome, is going to require different probiotics. We’re on the verge of very helpful discoveries!

So what to take right now? We recommend discussing this with your health practitioner. But look for a probiotic supplement with different strains, since they all have other personalities. Look for different strains with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium or Bacillus or Saccharomyces boulardii. If one type doesn’t feel good in your body, you can always try another.

 

NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS

Did you know that there are natural antibiotics (herbal antimicrobials) as well, without any negative side effects? When I feel a cold or illness coming up, I mix 4 drops of oregano essential oil with some carrier oil and rub it under my feet before I go to bed. It works really well, I’m never ill! Manuka honey, garlic (or actually a component of garlic, allicin), onions, echinacea are other natural immune boosters that fight infections. The side effects they have are all positive!

Antibiotics and gut health at the same time is not possible. We’re discussing the concerns and give doable solutions. Read more: https://listentoday.com/antibiotics-and-gut-health/

 

BE PREPARED

The key, of course, is to boost the health of your gut right now and keep it in a great state. A healthy gut means a healthy digestion, but also happiness. Your happiness hormones can’t be produced if your gut isn’t healthy. And more importantly, since we’re talking about antibiotics: your gut and your immune system are partners. So a healthy gut means a strong immune system. Which can fight off bacteria itself, so you won’t even have to take antibiotics. And if your gut microbiota is in an optimal state, whenever you (or your kids) need to take antibiotics, you are not doing too much harm. You can minimize the negative side effects.

So how can you boost the health of your gut? What can you do right now? Well, can help. We made a 30-minute FREE workshop where we will give you THE information you need, to boost the health of your gut. Learn about:

  • the 7 foods everyone needs to be careful with or remove from their diets for a diverse microbiome
  • 3 things you should apply in your daily life to keep your gut healthy
  • essential foods & drinks to support the health of your gut.

Also, you get the chance to win a €90 price AND we’ll tell you about our program, Reset Your Health.

Click this link and enjoy the video >>> https://listentoday.com/ryh-online-workshop/ <<<

Hokkaido pumpkin miso soup

This Hokkaido pumpkin miso soup is super tasty, healthy (because of the gut healing properties and many valuable nutrients it contains) and easy to make. We eat it a lot and the taste reminds me so much of one of my favorite countries: Japan! Who has been there??

We eat it a lot, this Hokkaido pumpkin miso soup. And the taste reminds me so much of one of my favorite countries: Japan! Who has been there?? I (Robien) have been a few times, and love it so much. There is something really calm about that country. I often wonder how that works, because nature there is wild, with the ocean and high volcanic mountains, and there is an overload of people in certain places. I think it’s something in the Japanese culture. There really is something zen about how people interact there. I mean, I’m used to people pushing each other forward on the station platforms to get in the train as fast as possible and preferably first. And then there’s Japan: neat lines in exactly in front of each train door. Love it! And I can’t wait to go back there.

 

For me, the best thing in Japan is visiting my friends in Hokkaido and to snowboard together. And the second best thing: trying things that are completely normal in Japan, but not for me. Therefore I’m always resistant to do them because it’s out of my comfort zone. I don’t really know how to behave in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn, but I want to do it right. I love sleeping in the beds on the tatami-matted floors. But I don’t really know how the communal bathing works (my friends in Hokkaido took me to several amazing onsens – Japanese hot springs, and I learned the rules there – sort of). I also don’t know how to order ramen, especially when there is a ticket machine. Even if I did know, I’m way too slow (I have had queues appear behind me). Japanese people can order and eat very quickly. And there we go again, I really don’t know how I always feel so calm there, since many things are so fast.

 

But let’s talk about Japanese food because that is something special, isn’t it? It is definitely something I sometimes love and sometimes despise. I love tamari (FYI, I never eat ‘normal’ soy sauce since it contains wheat, which I’m allergic to). I also love ume su, a vinegary flavoring made from fermented ume fruits, comparable to apricots or plums. But I really can’t come near nattō, made from fermented soybeans. My friends there love it and buy it as a snack after snowboarding. But I honestly get queasy from the smell alone. Another thing I find difficult is a traditional Japanese breakfast. It’s interesting, but not my thing. Please give me my smoothie bowls!

 

Anyway, back to the stuff I love. I love miso! Miso is, like nattō, made from fermented soybeans, but there are many ways to ferment, thank god. Because of the fermentation, it is really healthy for your gut (if you are interested in gut health, you should look into our program Reset Your Health). There are many ways to use miso in your diet. Below, I will share one of my favorite soups in which I use it: Hokkaido pumpkin miso soup. I prefer a lighter version of miso for this recipe. As you may know, miso comes in various colours. To me, they all look brown. But in the stores, you will see white, yellow, red, brown and dark brown miso. The lighter the color, the sweeter and milder it usually tastes. Darker miso is often saltier, richer, has a sharper taste. You should try different ones if you’re interested. But make sure to always choose a paste, organic (so non-GMO) and unpasteurized

 

 

Talking about Japan, I looked through my pictures and will show you some. The first one: my favorite ryokan in Tokyo; a calm idyllic place. If you are there, you would never guess you are in Tokyo. The middle one: me doing something I used to do all the time: visiting friends all over the world who live in snowboard meccas, in this case: Niseko. The one on the right: me trying to be grateful for the food 😉 – a typical Japanese breakfast in a ryokan in Tsumago.

HOKKAIDO PUMPKIN SOUP

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Quantity: 2 or 3 for dinner, 4 as a starter
Equipment: blender

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (another lovely option: 75 g pp buckwheat noodles)
  • 1 medium Hokkaido pumpkin (or another one of your choice)
  • 3 cup broth OR water*
  • 1 – 2 tbsp white/light miso
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

TOPPINGS

  • sesame seeds
  • seaweed (dried flakes)
  • other options are for example mushrooms of our choice (tip: sautéed shiitakes, very good), spring onions or an egg (raw if you dare)

INSTRUCTIONS HOKKAIDO PUMPKIN MISO SOUP

  1. Wash or brush the pumpkin. Do it really well, since you will be eating the skin, and cut into chunks.
  2. Put the pumpkin in a large pot and add the broth or water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is ready.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package (if you want to know how to prepare grains in a way your gut loves and maximizes the nutritional values, check out our program Reset Your Health).
  4. Lightly toast sesame seeds.
  5. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary (according to how thick you want the soup). Then, add the miso and ginger, and blend again until smooth. Taste and see if it needs any seasoning to your liking. Transfer back to the pot (never bring it to a boil after you’ve added the miso since that ruins the gut loving qualities of the miso) or serve straight away with the toppings.

 

*Choosing between water or broth: miso itself can be used as a broth, so choosing a broth and miso is double up. But if we’re able to visit our local organic butcher, we do use broth for extra gut loving ingredients. The one we buy isn’t salted (miso contains salt). Or sometimes we buy this Dutch brand (and add some water). It does contain a little salt, but since we’re not using that much miso, it’s not too much.

Have you checked out our new program, Reset Your Health? It’s all about your gut, about metabolism, about the basis of feeling good and healthy. Within 3 weeks you can completely heal and reset your gut, and with that, your immune system, your health!

 

More information here. 

Listen Today’s mind-blowingly easy hummus recipe

I remember the day when a friend introduced me to hummus, I remember thinking that it looked a bit weird and had a funny color. If she hadn’t convinced me, I probably wouldn’t even have tried it. But now I LOVE hummus. Whenever I make hummus, I pretty much add it to any meal I eat: salads, as a dip for veggies, sandwiches, or with some oven-baked sweet potatoes. The options are endless.
Since that friend introduced me to hummus, I’ve tried lots of different recipes and believe I’ve finally perfected my favorite easy hummus recipe. In a way that’s easy, quick and delicious. I seriously can eat it by the spoonful after making it.

 

HUMMUS AND GUT HEALTH

And the great thing is, it’s not only tasty to eat, but it’s also a very healthy thing to add to your diet, especially when you make it yourself. Chickpeas are high in fiber and therefore doing amazing things for our gut health. It promotes digestive health and feeds your good gut bacteria. And if your gut is in a healthy state, your immune system is a healthy state. If you’re worried about legumes causing gas or making you feel bloated, that’s because of the anti-nutrients they contain. If that’s the case with you, if you feel bloated after eating legumes, the state of your gut can be better! In that case, we recommend you to watch our free workshop ‘Reset Your Health’ about the most important thing you can do for your health: supporting your gut. We all do more harm than good nowadays, without even knowing it. So we all need to help our gut. 

Hummus also provides a good mix of micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals that help to keep all your body’s systems running smoothly. It contains a lot of B-vitamins and especially folate (B9). Folate reduces the risk of heart disease, promotes the health and function of the brain, encourages a positive mood, slows down the ageing process, and promotes a healthy pregnancy, just name a few things. But hummus is also rich in minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and manganese. Minerals are needed to help your body grow, develop and to stay healthy.

 

THE GOOD KIND OF FAT

And lastly, it contains extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and full of antioxidants. Monounsaturated fat helps to improve your cholesterol levels and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. The oil used in most of the hummus you buy in the store (rapeseed, palm, sunflower) are full of omega-6. The ‘problem’ with hummus is, that it’s easy to eat a lot of it. And you don’t want to eat too much omega-6. You need it, but not in big quantities and we often eat too much of it. Omega-9 on the other hand, in olive oil, is something you can eat a lot of.

Enough reasons to give this recipe a go!

Preparation time: 15 mins
Quantity: 1.5 to 2 cups
Equipment: (hand) blender

Ingredients
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional, some people can’t sleep after eating garlic)
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • half a cup of lemon juice (I used one huge lemon)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt (I used about half a tsp, but go by taste and what you like)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

 

Instructions
  1. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.
  2. Place all the ingredients in the blender.
  3. Blend till it’s a smooth paste, add a little more olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency. Or you can just add water to the mixture until you reach the consistency you want.

 

Do you know people who would love to make this easy hummus recipe? Please share this blog with them!

 

And as we mentioned above, we have an amazing free online workshop ‘Reset Your Health’. Gut health is a big topic in the health industry right now, and rightly so. Because you are not what you eat, you are what you digest (well, there are many other components of course, but your digestion is such an important one). Our workshop is the best start you can get! And if you need more, you can totally reset your gut with our program ‘Reset Your Health’, now available in the webshop. Within 3 weeks, you gut is in the best state it can be in! 

RECIPE: Bone broth survival soup

Bone broth, why is everybody talking about it, why is it such a superfood? Read on to learn why, and make the delicious soup of the recipe in this article.

If you are up to date with the latest food trends, then you know that there’s a lot of talk about all the amazing benefits bone broth has to offer. In earlier times it wasn’t that unusual to find a pot of broth simmering away on the stove. But this has pretty much disappeared over the years. And now it’s making a comeback, and rightly so! And you don’t have to worry that you have to spend hours in the kitchen to get all the goodness from bone broth. Many of the nutrients in bone broth become available when simmering the broth for a long period of time. But you can buy it ready made! Be critical though, most of the stocks you can buy in the supermarket are made out of meat, but the process by which it is made is way too quick, and often with artificial flavor enhancers and emulsifiers. If you don’t pay attention it almost tastes the same as the real deal, but you are actually consuming something that’s not very good for you. And at the same time, you’re missing out on the valuable nutrients real bone broth gives you, the ones that only become available after hours of simmering. Of course, there are enough people out there that claim that bone broth contains very little nutrients and that the benefits have not been backed up by science. But I invite you to try it yourself, it’s bound to make you feel good! But first I’ll tell you all about the benefits and after that, I’ll share one of my favorite bone broth recipes with you.

 

Bone broth benefits, it:
• works as an anti-ager and reduces cellulitis
• has a calming effect
• is great for digestion
• maintains healthy bones, teeth, hair, skin and nails
• supports immune system function
• has an inflammatory effect
• protects and repairs joints and cartilage
• strengthens tendons and ligaments
• is great for connective tissue

 

Are you convinced? Then read on for the recipe. I buy stock (Jersey cow or chicken) at the organic butcher closeby. I myself don’t feel like and don’t have the time to let it simmer for hours (oops, I know, not very foodie-like, but it’s the truth). If you do feel like making the broth yourself, then, of course, go for it. My boyfriend makes it sometimes, but he’s got more patience than I do. Would you like to know how to make it yourself, in our online program ‘Reset Your Health’ we’ll dive into all the details you need to know and why. Oh and on this picture, we put some vegan Parmesan cheese as a topping on the soup, really nice!

Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Quantity: 4 persons
Equipment: (hand) blender

Ingredients bone broth survival soup
  • 1 liter bone broth
  • any vegetables you like. I usually make this soup with (you pick):
    • 1 sweet potato and 2 carrots
    • or 1 pumpkin
    • or 2 broccoli’s
    • or 1 broccoli, 1 leek and 1 courgette
    • or 1 cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp ume su
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • pepper to taste (you don’t need salt because of the tamari)
  • optional: a can of beans of your choice
Instructions bone broth survival soup
  1. Wash and cut the vegetables you’ve chosen.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil with the vegetables, till the veggies are cooked.
  3. Add the ume su, tamari, turmeric and pepper.
  4. Blend everything till it’s a smooth soup.
  5. To add some volume to the soup you can add some drained and rinsed beans (your choice), to add a bit more protein. The beans will warm up in the hot soup!
  6. Optional: top it off with some vegan Parmesan cheese.

If you think this recipe can be useful for your friends, family members or colleagues, please share it!

And did you know that you can book an online nutrition consultation with us? Sometimes 1 session can already be enough to solve your problem. For more information, just have a look here >>> https://listentoday.com/product/nutritional-consultation/

RECIPE: Listen Today’s all-time favorite dressing

Our favorite recipe for a healthy dressing with only 4 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes! Many people told us how delicious and easy to make this sauce/dressing is. And the best thing: you will feel energetic, instead of sluggish like you often do with ‘supermarket sauces’.

This recipe for a healthy sauce is a must-have. If you don’t always feel fit, if you don’t feel like you have your weight under control, if your skin plays up, it could very well be that your body doesn’t handle processed foods that well. And specifically ready-made dressings and sauces you buy in the supermarket. Often the culprit is the long list of ingredients you cannot even pronounce or a combination of a couple of those ingredients…

It’s very tempting to grab a pre-made sauce or dressing off the shelves, especially when the packaging says ‘natural’. But the nutrients in those products are often long gone because the product has been processed excessively, and additives like artificial flavors, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives have been added. Not all of those have been tested and more specifically, the effect on your body taking in a combination of them have definitely not been tested.

I can give you a list of all the things you shouldn’t be eating, but I’d rather share with you my solution for this problem: to have one favorite sauce I can adjust according to the meal I’m preparing. Try this super recipe yourself and soon you won’t wanna live without it! It is so delicious and you can pretty much use it for anything. In our household, we use it as a dressing for salads, as a sauce for yummy simple veggie bowls or to compliment a fish dish. And you can add whatever you like to it, sometimes a bit of cumin is perfect, another time fresh ginger does the trick, or some lemon zest or maybe mustard. You can replace the ume su in this recipe with any other kind of vinegar or lemon juice. Vinegar can be heavy on your stomach. Ume su (comes from the ume prune) is a mild variety of vinegar, I totally recommend it and almost every health food store stocks it.

The beauty is that it’s super simple to make, 1 tablespoon per ingredient per person. If you always make sure you have these 4 ingredients in your pantry, then you never have to buy ready-made products from the supermarket again. By the way, you can also make this sauce/dressing as thin as you want by just adding a bit of water to it. So if you find it’s too thick for your liking, if you want to use it for a salad for example, then just add as much water as you like. Here we go, our very favorite recipe for a healthy sauce!

 

Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 0 min
Quantity: 1 person
Equipment: none

Ingredients

 

Multiply these ingredients with the number of people you’re serving

  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp ume su
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions

 

  1. Mix these 4 ingredients and you’re all done.
  2. To give you some ideas if you feel a specific flavor? Mix some cumin, fresh ginger, lemon zest or mustard into the sauce/dressing.
  3. If you prefer a thinner sauce/dressing, just add some water.

PS You can replace tamari with soy sauce, but there is wheat in normal soy sauce, so not suitable for everybody.

PPS You can also replace the ume su with any other vinegar, I would pick apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

PPPS The tahini in this recipe you can replace with any nut or seed butter. I’m not a particular fan of peanut butter, cause it often contains mold which is not good for you.

PPPPS The maple syrup you can also replace with honey, rice syrup or coconut sugar (not with agave syrup, agave syrup is 70-90% refined fructose, you really don’t want that).

 

If this recipe for a healthy sauce can help your friends, colleagues or family members, please share this blog with them!