Gut health has to be one of the most talked about topics in recent years. Its one of the most unattractive things to talk about, but one of the most necessary. It’s believed that every system in the body is connected and nothing functions in isolation. However, at the center of it all is your functioning digestive tract. Your digestive tract is not only linked to your stomach and definitely causes more than just a sore and bloated stomach. Our immune systems are linked to our guts, and an unhealthy gut can often result in hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, fatigue, and the list just goes on. It’s been proven many times over that your overall health starts in your gut.
If I’m being totally honest; over the past month I’ve completely ignored my bodies needs. I’ve deprived it of good nourishing foods and have instead been feeding it processed, fast food. This is simply because I haven’t had the time to meal prep, or to consciously think about what foods I should be eating, and this has resulted in a complete snowball effect. It always starts with one or two weeks of “bad eating” and leads to fatigue and lack of motivation to exercise or to cook a healthy nourishing meal, which just causes more symptoms and the circle just keeps on going. Breaking this habit is a struggle but can be made so much easier if you stock up on the right kinds of foods. If you know you won’t have time this week to cook big meals that might take too long, buy ingredients that are quick to put together but that still nourish your body. Thinking this way has broken this never-ending circle for me, and while I still have IBS symptoms, I know that over time, making the right food choices will heal my gut and alleviate any remaining IBS symptoms.
Step 1 for me is always to eliminate anything from my diet that I know triggers my IBS, for me it’s mostly gluten. I try and replace these foods with foods that contain an array of nutrients, that are complex and will help heal my gut but still keep me satisfied and enjoying my food. One such ingredient has been potatoes, for all those wondering, all potatoes are gluten-free, and when looking at their nutrient value score pretty much the same, with only slight differences. It really comes down to preference and how you prepare them. If you’re eating a regular potato; are you roasting them and eating them alongside a hearty salad, or are you deep frying and eating them as fries – that have been drenched in oil and saturated fats. The reason sweet potatoes have been seen as a superfood is a result of how people have chosen to prep them, only recently has it become optional to order sweet potato fries at a restaurant with your burger instead of regular potato fries.
Nutritionally speaking the fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than it’s regular spud counterpart. When the fiber content in sweet potatoes is paired with the magnesium it becomes an excellent facilitator for digestion. They’re are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and
Our smokey sweet potato boats allow the flavours of the sweet potato to shine through, with a little support from the avocado and Mexican slaw we paired it with. Combining your sweet potatoes with good fats such as avocado helps the body absorb the Vitamin A found in sweet potatoes. The vitamin dissolves into the fat, then gets absorbed through your intestines along with the fat droplets, allowing you to maximize all that the ingredients have to offer. We chose to keep the slaw raw and crunchy, which plays off the creaminess and smokey flavours of the roasted sweet potato.
If you’re strapped for time and have limited ingredients available, this makes the perfect dinner, and even lunch the next day; just make sure to keep the avo separate from the slaw. Its filled with healthy and nourishing ingredients that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Potatoes can be your friend; if prepped correctly and eaten in moderation. Try and eat as many fresh foods as possible, even if you are on an insane deadline, it will keep your body functioning and working for you instead of against you; something I’m trying to put into practice myself.
- 2 Orange Sweet Potatoes halved lengthways
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 Spring Onions sliced on the diagonal
- 1 Tomato chopped
- 1 tin Black Beans, or Red Kidney Beans
- 1 Red Pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1 cup Red or White Cabbage shredded
- 1 Red Onion finely chopped
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Lime juiced
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line a large baking tray with baking paper or foil.
In a large bowl add your halved sweet potatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, paprika and salt, and pepper. Use your hands to combine, making sure the sweet potatoes are covered in the seasoning.
Once they're seasoned, add them to your baking tray, flesh side down (the skin of the sweet potato facing up), and once your oven has preheated roast for 30-45 minutes.
While your sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare your slaw. Place all your slaw ingredients in a large bowl, along with some lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside.
When your sweet potato has only 5 minutes left in the oven, make your guacamole. Remove the pip and skin from your avo, use a tablespoon to scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl with your lime juice olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use a fork to roughly mash your ingredients together. Set aside until serving.
Once your potatoes are done roasting, let them cool for 5 minutes. Once they're cooled slightly use a tablespoon to scoop out a hole in the center; you can keep this for later or just sneakily eat the scooped out bits as you go.
You will now have space in your sweet potato for your slaw. Divide your slaw between your sweet potato boats and add a dollop of guacamole. finish with a final sprinkle of salt and pepper and an extra squeeze of lime.