It seems everywhere you turn someone is talking about gut health these days. Just when did we become so outwardly open about our innards? As it turns out, we've been trying to crack the gut code for centuries.
In 300 BC, philosopher Hippocrates famously proclaimed: "All disease begins in the gut." But new research on the gut, probiotics and the microbiome has us again looking at the best ways to heal ourselves from the inside out. In fact, it's estimated that about 40% of the world's population is suffering from a digestive issue at any given time. So it's no coincidence I've been seeing more books on the topic cross my desk. This new one by Robyn Youkilis caught my eye.
The author: Robyn Youkilis will bet you a green juice that you don't know all your body's functions that are affected by your digestive system—from energy and mental focus to mood and even appearance. A certified wellness expert, TV personality and health writer, Robyn's holistic approach to gut health is intriguing. "I believe there is a connection between a powerfully functioning gut and a powerfully functioning 'gut instinct,'" she says. "When the belly is at its healthiest, we can hear those gut messages loud and clear." In this new book, Robyn shares her expertise on not only the how of creating a healthy, gut-friendly, no-diet lifestyle, but also the what and the why, with a clear focus on delicious foods that won't make you feel bloated, tired, constipated or heavy.
Initial impressions: Right away, I notice that you're getting much more than recipes in this book. Robyn has loaded it with practical advice, tips, challenges, thoughtful questions and her go-to ingredient suggestions. But she's packed all that within a beautiful and clean 200-page book that is a quick and enjoyable read. Plus, the way Robyn communicates makes you feel like you're getting real talk here. For example, in her chapter that emphasizes the importance of hydration, she opens with, "If your poop is the boat, how can it travel without a river?" Hmm, I never thought about it that way …
What’s cool: One of my favorite features is the way this gorgeous book is organized. Each chapter tackles a simple, yet effective lesson, such as "Breathe", "Chew", "Eat", "Drink", "Shop" and "Shed"—plus, each section's recipes are prime and delicious-looking example of that chapter's focus. For instance, in the Chew chapter, Robyn invites you to a 21-day challenge where you build a chewing habit that is designed to re-teach you how to eat. Chewing, Robyn says, is a little (and fixable) matter that is the likely culprit behind most digestive issues. To accompany the Chew lesson, Robyn provides a recipe for raw veggies with enticing spice mixes, such a a curry-cinnamon sprinkle or a chile-lime seasoning that will make you want to chew those nutritious veggies until they turn into liquid. As I dig deeper into the book, I start to realize Robyn is working the reader through the steps of being a more mindful eater. She emphasizes the importance of slowing down, shedding bad habits and listening to your body. I can certainly see why someone with tummy troubles would find great relief in Robyn's lessons, but it's also an approach that could help anyone become more mindful about their food choices.
Perfect for: People with digestion, IBS or bloating issues / Someone re-energized about health or looking for a kick-off boost / Healthy-eating couples (most recipes make 2 servings) / Beginner cooks
When/Where to get it: Go With Your Gut is a brand-new release and available now on Amazon for $16.
Sneak-peek recipe: Give your digestive system some delicious relief with Robyn's recipe for Apple Chia Cereal (pictured below, and reprinted with permission from the publisher, Kyle Books).