By Susan Kapatoes, MHA, CPC

The morning meals that I consume on a daily basis are vital to maintaining my gut health. Research shows that the health of your gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes, directly impacts your overall body health and state of mental wellness.

Most of your gut microbes are found in your large intestine and they are collectively referred to as the gut microbiome. These bacteria play a very important role in your health by helping to improve digestion and boost your immune system.

Your gut also has its own nervous system and contains more than 100 million neurons. Your gut and your brain are constantly in communication with each other. They can influence the chemistry of your mood, emotions, immune system, and long-term health. Once I started to pay more attention to my stomach and my dietary lifestyle, I noticed substantial improvements in a few different areas of my health. We are all aware when our tummy does not feel good, but do you notice when it feels great?

There are three major changes that I have observed since tweaking my diet. I now consume more fruits and vegetables, eat very little added sugar, have decreased my meat and dairy consumption, and take gut boosting supplements on a daily basis. This combination of eating a healthy diet plus taking high quality gut microbiome supplements has made a big difference in my life; I simply feel better, my stomach is calm, my mind is clearer, and my body has been improved on a physical level. Here’s what I noticed:

First, there was an immediate change in the quality and frequency of my bowel movements (BM’s). I became more regular on a daily basis, and regularity is essential for health. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed a change in my body’s metabolism. It is not what it used to be. I realize now that I have to be very careful with my diet if I want to have a pleasant experience in the bathroom. When the majority of my calories are coming from whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts on any given day, then I am fine.

Second, my sugar cravings have decreased since I made the decision to consume very little sugar in my diet. When you crave sugar and start eating junk food instead of choosing a healthy alternative, this decision sets off a chain reaction in your body that has you wanting more and more junk food. You never truly feel satisfied because that unhealthy food is made of empty, non-nutrient calories.

Third, and perhaps most significantly, I now have a much cleaner tongue. I know that sounds like an odd thing to admit, but having a white tongue has always been a pet peeve of mine. I had tried countless remedies over the years and nothing worked. I had given up hope of ever having a truly clean tongue, but alas, this combination of modifying my diet plus taking the gut microbiome supplements has finally made the difference. Ironically, this was not the goal when I ventured onto the road of gut health, but having a clean tongue has been a surprising benefit. When you have a clean tongue on a consistent basis, you know you are doing something right!

Here are two morning recipes for a protein smoothie and a bowl of oatmeal that will boost your gut microbiome and taste good too. I have these nourishing foods every morning, which are a great way to start your day.

Morning Protein Shake

This delicious shake is gluten-free and dairy-free. The banana adds a nice consistency to the shake. Additional fruit can be added such as frozen mixed berries.

8 oz organic unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tbsp liquid chlorophyll
1 banana
Handful fresh spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein (Amare Global)
1 scoop MentaBiotics (Amare Global)

1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

2. As I drink the shake, I also take MentaSync and MentaFocus by Amare Global.

Morning Oatmeal

I look forward to this nourishing bowl of warmth every morning. It tastes great and is packed with superb nutrition.

1/4 c organic quick cook steel cut oats
1/4 c water
1 Tbsp almond butter
Handful frozen wild blueberries
1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tsp SeedFiber (Amare Global)
2 tsp SuperFood (Amare Global)

1. Cook oatmeal according to instructions.

2. Add blueberries, almond butter, and supplement powders. The wild blueberries are small in size and dethaw quickly from the heat of the oatmeal.

3. Add the almond milk for taste and consistency. Mix and enjoy!!

Amare Global 

The vision at Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company, is to create a holistic mental wellness platform that connects a purpose-driven community of passionate people. Amare means “to love” and love is the universal language. Yet, in order to truly love others, Amare believes you must first start by loving yourself.

Taking care of yourself begins with the quality of your dietary lifestyle and the supplementation that you are consuming on a regular basis. Amare understands that the health of your gut also affects the state of your mental wellness.

GBX stands for the gut-brain axis which is the biochemical signaling that takes place between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, i.e. it is the communication highway between your gut and your brain.

MentaBiotics is advanced gut-brain nutrition made from unique strains of probiotics, prebiotics, and phytobiotics that have been scientifically shown to improve mental wellness.

MentaFocus uses antioxidants to support focus, mental sharpness, clarity, creativity, and cognitive functioning.

MentaSync contains a mushroom extract high in polyphenols to optimize the communication sync of chemical messengers between your brain and your gut.

GBX Protein contains a microbiome-boosting blend of plant protein that helps with appetite control, maintaining muscle mass, and supporting the health of your gut-brain axis.

GBX SeedFiber uses a variety of cold-pressed seed powders that feed your body at the cellular level to improve the diversity of your microbiome.

GBX SuperFood is a green phytonutrient powder providing the equivalent of three servings of fruits and vegetables per scoop (2 tsp). And it tastes great too!

Once you commit to a healthy eating routine, it will become easier and easier to follow. I have realized that eating healthy begins with having a healthy mindset. Once you have made up your mind that you want to feel better, you will continue to make smart food choices because you are literally rewiring your brain and your gut to make wiser decisions.

Susan Kapatoes, MHA, CPC, is a nutritionist, holistic health practitioner, and certified professional coach. She is the owner of Inspire Your Journey LLC and a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company. She is accepting appointments at the SheBreathes Balance & Wellness Studio in Walpole, MA.