Week Three: Martina’s Healthy Habit Challenge & Recipe

This week we are getting in tune with our gut by helping boost digestion with these simple actions:


Challenge 1: Slow down your eating – eat mindfully. You tend to eat less and concentrate  more on your chewing, which means you can chew completely. Simply put your utensils/food item down between each bite, and take 20 chews per bite. This may seem like a lot, but digestion begins in the mouth! Breaking down foods by chewing well helps take extra work off the digestive system.

Challenge 2: Hydration–which we’ve already talked about– is important for digestion. Try starting your day with a glass of water warm water and lemon (add cayenne pepper for an extra kick)

Challenge 3: Remove any stressful stimulants during mealtime – This can include screen time! Find a quiet place to eat your food, and breathe slowly and deeply.

Bonus Challenges:

Take 5 slow, deep breaths before you begin eating each meal. This helps prepare the body for digestion and helps focus your mind on the task of eating (and not what happened earlier or what needs to be done next!)

Try adding fermented foods to your meals, such as yogurt, kefir or condiments like sauerkraut and kimchi, which are full of probiotics and increase healthy bacteria in your gut. Truly fermented foods will always be found in the refrigerated section, not on the shelf!

This Week’s Recipes

Both of this week’s recipes can be made in large batches so you can stick extras in the freezer for a quick and healthy meal when you are short on time.
They also make great left overs which are perfect for lunch!

“Clean You Out” Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 potato peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery without leaves chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (use 1-2 table spoons of dry parsley if fresh is unavailable)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt and pepper
  • Optional Additions:
    One handful of dark leafy greens (ie. spinach) added after the simmer. Blend and you won’t even know it’s in there!
  1. Begin by boiling the water and chopping the veggies up.
  2. Place all ingredients in boiling water except parsley and oil.
  3. Cover and turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for twenty minutes.
  4. After twenty minutes, blend hot soup in blender in two batches and add basil/parsley and oil. Divide into soup bowls and serve.

Serves 4.

Gingered Carrot  & Sweet Potato Soup

Ginger is a digestive and helps settle an upset stomach, while sweet potato is packed with fiber, making this soup great for digestion!

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. Heat the oil in a medium sized-saucepan. Add the carrots, onion and ginger and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 40-60 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft, remove from heat.
  3. Cool the soup lightly, and then in batches purée it in a blender. Reheat the puréed soup gently in a clean saucepan, adding the orange juice and if needed, adding additional salt and/or pepper. Divide into soup bowls and serve. Serves 4.

See you next week!

Martina Biljan, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.)