This is called a “gut healing” chia seed pudding because while fruits and vegetables are amazing, they won’t necessarily heal the lining of the gut.
Fortunately, there are things in nature (ie not drugs or synthetics), that can heal that delicate lining. Aloe vera juice is one of them! And you don’t have to go to a specialty store to buy it. :)
You can also add aloe vera juice to water, juice or a smoothie since it can help ease an upset stomach!
HOW DO WE GET LEAKY GUT?
The 3 most common factors are:
1) When we are under stress, the colon, is the first thing to react. It’s not the heart, the lungs or the kidneys, but the colon, so repairing this (which is actually only 1 cell wall thick!), is essential to our health.
2) While my kitchen is 100%, going out to eat means I’m not eating 100% organic (or traveling or eating at a party). Plus, harmful chemicals can still be found on organic items. These toxic pesticides reek havoc on the lining of our gut. Eek!
3) Lastly, parasites are a part of this big beautiful earth and we pick them up daily – from petting a dog, touching a light switch, walking barefoot in the grass, and yes, eating fruits & veggies that haven’t been properly washed.
And, as I mentioned in the article I wrote for Mantra Magazine 2019 Summer Issue on digestion, if you are scrolling through your phone or watching TV while you are eating, your body is not producing enough stomach acid to kill parasites. It’s just not happening!
Put. The. Phone. Down.
These 3 main factors contribute to leaky gut (which is the root cause of so many aliments). So let’s fix that!
I called this “Summer Strawberry” Chia Seed Pudding because I believe in eating with the cycle of nature. Eating a strawberry in January just seems out of place (and isn’t as flavorful even though they are available at the store year round), however, use this recipe with whatever fruit you like most! Bananas, peaches, mango… the options are endless :)
Also, chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which is one of the three things the colon needs – fiber, water and exercise!
Chia seeds also contain all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and are “one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids”.**
1 cup organic* strawberries
1 date, soaked (easier to blend)
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 ounces aloe vera juice
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup coconut milk (simple* or lite/reduced fat)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chia seeds
5 minutes, makes about 1 ½ cups
Add all of the ingredients, except the chia seeds, to a blender. Once blended together, add the chia seeds and then mix or blend together. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid as they sit so add more or less water and/or coconut milk depending on the consistency of the pudding you prefer. Will keep in the frig for 4 days.
You can garnish this with some granola (I prefer sprouted granola like this one), or coconut chips, but since this is all fruit, I like to keep digestion simple and only top with some additional strawberries. Of course, feel free to make this with other fruit – mango, blackberries, and you can use these “gut healing” ingredients in other recipes as well!
* Berries are always listed as one of the most pesticide heavy foods so I always buy organic.
** I’ve quoted this from the fabulous Bernadette Abraham, which is where I first saw this recipe. I’ve altered it slightly, but she is a great resource in the world of eating clean and getting healthy.
* I like the simple coconut milk because it doesn’t have any gums or fillers (less ingredients is always best), but use what resonates with you.
Yes, this “simple coconut milk” is full fat, but I don’t shy away from fat since the brain is 60% fat and there’s only 1/3 cup for the whole recipe.
WHAT IS SLIPPERY ELM?
This recipe also included slippery elm, which like aloe vera juice, is very gelatin-like.
This is the same reason why we hear so much about bone broth and it’s healing capabilities. The gelatin that holds the bones and joints together, helps heal that precious, “one cell wall thick” lining of our gut.
Slippery elm is a bark and when combined with water, it gets kind of gel-like (in my morning smoothie I don’t know notice it at all and it has zero taste).
I take it in a “healing colon powder” from my naturopath so it isn’t as easy to find at the grocery store like aloe vera juice, but she recommends this brand.
MY INTRODUCTION TO SLIPPERY ELM FOR HEARTBURN & GERD
I first heard about slipper elm as a way to protect the lining of the stomach from the “bad” bacteria that had overtaken.
Overtaken? “Bad” bacteria? Please explain.
Normally our stomach acid, called HCL, can kill this bad bacteria, but stress, age*, eating while watching TV or scrolling through our phone, all prevent our body from producing enough stomach acid (HCL).
So when we aren’t producing enough of our own stomach acid (HCL), the “bad” bacteria takes over and starts to eat away at the lining of our stomach. And it burns! Heartburn! Acid reflux!
The burning from our stomach is actually a sign for more stomach acid — not to surpress it with ant-acids (which the most popular brand is aluminum-based. Yikes!).
Enter slippery elm to sooth and protect the lining of the stomach (so the “bad” bacteria stops eating away at it), AND then it’s time to up the body’s own stomach acid with HCL pills with pepsin.
* Unfortunately, at 45, the production of our stomach acid, HCL, drops off dramatically. At 60, it falls off a cliff. As advised by our naturopath, my mom, who is 72, takes HCL pills with pepsin every day, with every meal.
At 45 (or if I was experiencing GERD or acid reflux), I would/still start taking them as well. Unfortunately it’s just something that happens with age (but it’s important to know since calcium is absorbed in the stomach — almost every other nutrient is absorbed in the small intestine), so taking HCL pills with pepsin is something Western medicine did not tell me about — only my naturopath and other people who understand how the body is all connected — and don’t just repress symptoms with drugs.
Lastly, while I had given my dog slippery elm before, I need a combo of things to treat a more serious case of leaky gut and upset stomach. These amazing “gut healing” capsules (only for pets), were introduced to me and no surprise, have slippery elm and L-glutamine (two of the things in the colon powder I take from my naturopath. :)
Our pets are exposed to toxins as well! Cleaning products, lawn treatments, baths at the groomer, antibiotics — all these chemicals can enter their system and harm their gut.
Let me know if you try this recipe and please note, always consult your doctor before beginning any sort of treatment or supplements.