January 1st may be an arbitrary milestone for new beginnings, but if you view being healthy in the new year as a lifestyle change as opposed to a goal with a specific number, studies show that you will be more inclined to make healthy choices throughout the year.
You may have heard that many of the health-oriented New Year’s Resolutions people make in January tend to break two weeks into the year. Instead of focusing on a scale or your waistline—or looking at health as a punishment—try to make it a goal to drink more water, eat more fiber-rich vegetables and include more fermented foods by incorporating more gut-healthy meals into your everyday life.
This can help make any healthy lifestyle choices (note: not resolutions!) more sustainable.
Why Add More Gut-Healthy Meals to Your Day?
The health of your gut is important to keeping your digestion on track, and the health benefits can include less bloating and inflammation, more energy, and improved immune health (which is on everyone’s mind right now). Focusing on gut-healthy meals can help bring harmony to the bacteria found in your stomach.
Eating fermented foods that contain good bacteria and yeasts, AKA probiotics, is a simple way to better your gut health on the daily.
Tips on How to Incorporate Fermented Foods and Vegetables
Unlike some traditional New Year’s Resolutions, incorporating more fermented foods and vegetables can be easy if you start off by creating everyday habits. Try to eat at least one plant-based meal throughout the day (with a focus on plant-based proteins like beans, tofu, nut butter, quinoa, or lentils), and add a tablespoon of sauerkraut or any other wildbrine fermented products to your daily eats.
Here are a few gut-healthy meals that can help you create a healthier, more doable New Year’s Resolution:
Gluten-Free Jambalaya made with brown rice and Tofurkey sausages is a super easy meal to throw together. Add wildbrine sugar-free Sriracha or kimchi for added spice. The red lentil rice packs plant-based nutrients into your meal, as opposed to the empty calories found in traditional store-bought rice.
Try Plant-Based Ramen Bowls, or Buddha Bowls, made with either rice or shiitake noodles, edamame, tofu, a hard-boiled egg, and our Red Beet & Red Cabbage Organic Sauerkraut, with some Smoky Jalapeño Sriracha drizzled over top.
Minestrone Soup with a ton of vegetables and garbanzo beans is another great choice. Top with a pinch of Organic Sauerkraut on the top (note: please don’t include the sauerkraut while cooking your soup, because heat can deplete much of the good bacteria from the fermented cabbage). Enjoy with a side sandwich, which you can dip in the soup or eat separately. We love this Simple Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Kraut recipe.
A Baked Potato Bar is a fun way to host a weeknight dinner with the family. Choose either russet potatoes or sweet potatoes, and add any topping you can think of: plant-based cheese, vegetarian sausages, an assortment of veggies, and, of course, wildbrine fermented foods.
Go for a Vegan Vegetable Lasagna by Minimalist Baker, made from chickpea lasagna noodles with plant-based cheese, spinach, onions, and a homemade marinara bolognese. Serve with steamed broccoli on the side and an Avocado and Kimchi Salad.
Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays! The possibilities for creating this gut-healthy meal are endless. Fish tacos, sweet potato & black bean tacos, you name it. Try to fit in as many roasted veggies as possible, then add Jalapeño Lime Organic Sauerkraut and Probiotic Salsa on top. If you don’t want a tortilla, turn your taco into a salad, and you have nutritious meals for everyone in the family.
How to Keep Gut-Healthy Meal Choices Going
Creating daily habits that allow you to make small changes to your lifestyle is the key to long-lasting, healthy change. This doesn’t need to be done in January, and incorporating gut-healthy meals doesn’t mean you have to give up chocolate for the new year, either. In fact, these Sauerkraut Brownies are no-bake to preserve the beneficial probiotics, and they’re delicious for anyone with a sweet tooth!