Creating Digestive System Balance with Green Smoothies & #NaturalProbiotic

 

Collective Bias Disclaimer

It can be so easy to start feeling the winter time blues start to creep in. Being 36 weeks pregnant, I’m not very excited about doing anything very active.  I know I need to be more active, but it’s cold outside, I ache when I move and I get out of breath extremely easy due to a baby being all up in my lung capacity.  While I do try to be active on a daily basis, it comes in short bursts.

Since I’m not quite as active right now as usual, there are other ways I can choose to stay healthier in the winter months, instead.   One of my favorite ways?  Drinking green smoothies and eating lots of green salads!  Here’s one of my favorite green smoothies!

Orange Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie Recipe

Orange Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

2 oranges
5-10 oz of fresh spinach
1 cup of water
1-2 cups of frozen strawberries
2 frozen bananas

Directions:

Peel oranges and place in blender.  Blend them up first so that you have lots of juice while blending the greens.

Green Smoothie Recipe - SidetrackedSarah.com

Add Oranges First

Next, fill up the blender with spinach.  (can be fresh or frozen from fresh)

Green Smoothie, after adding the spinach.

It wasn’t blending well, so I added a cup of water, to get it all swishing around nicely.  Next, I added frozen strawberries and bananas.  Keep adding whatever fruit you want until your blender container is full, unless of course, you’re not wanting enough to feed your whole family.  :)

Here is what it looks like at the end:

Orange Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

When I drink this on a regular basis, my digestive system seems to work much better!

Sometimes, I don’t have time to make that healthy smoothie though.  (or sometimes I’m plain old lazy).  When that happens, I know there’s another way I can choose to be healthy and it also helps my digestion.

I take my InSync Probiotic.  I found them at Walgreens.  

 

Why Take a Natural Probiotic?

InSync Probiotics at Walgreens

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the human gut. These “good bacteria” are used to prevent many different conditions, but particularly those that affect the gut.

Our gut is home to over 500 different kinds of bacteria. These bacteria provide nutrients and help form the immune system.  Did you know that up to 10% of an individual’s daily energy needs can be derived from the good bacteria in your gut?

Probiotics can also provide multiple benefits for your immune system. When probiotics are abundant in your body, it’s harder for bacteria that cause illness to stand their ground.

What Can Probiotics Help With?

  1. Gut Health (i.e.. Digestive issues including diarrhea, constipation, IBS, lactose intolerance, etc.)
  2. Urinary Issues,
  3. Yeast Infections
  4. Thrush
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. Ulcerative Colitis
  7. If there’s a family history of allergies or eczema, babies receiving probioitics in the first several months of life are less prone to allergies and eczema.

InSync Probiotic

I’ve been taking my Insync Probiotic for about a week now and without going into the gory details (blush) I’m happy to report that my “gut health” feels better than it normally does.  It’s been a bit sensitive, being that I’m 36 weeks pregnant and during the past week, I’ve felt considerably less sensitive.

I usually have to be on antibiotics during birth due to Group B Strep and it always causes thrush in my babies after birth.  I’m hoping that by being on this probiotic, it will help my body to recover from the good bacteria being stripped away much more quickly and hopefully baby won’t suffer with thrush this time.

Disclaimer:  If you are pregnant or nursing be sure to check with your doctor before taking a probiotic.  Just because my doctor said it was ok, doesn’t mean yours will.  :)
 
 

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes is one of those dishes that I put off making.

The peeling and chopping of the potatoes is so time consuming………

Then we have to wait for them to boil……..

Mash them and add the butter, milk and salt/pepper. …..

This is taking forever!

The other day, (the day that I made that yummy Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak), I decided to try a new thing.  You know, since I love my slow cooker anyway AND I have 3 of them.  I decided that it was time to try out making mashed potatoes in the crockpot.  I could chop them up and just leave them on high for a few hours to see how it worked.  The worst thing that would happen is that I’d still have to boil them on the stove.  I started the cooking at 3:00 p.m., so I was really needing them to get done within a few hours, if at all possible.  The good news is that they DID get done in time and they were really tasty, too !

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

Potatoes (about 10-12)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
1.5 tsp. salt
Pepper (until it looks right)

 Directions:  

  1.  Chop potatoes into 1-2″ cubes                                                                        Cubed Potatoes
  2. Fill the slow cooker halfway with water
  3. Place potatoes into water.
  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (or on low for 6-8)
  5. Check to see how tender they are before draining.
  6. Pour into a collander to drain water off.
  7. Return to slow cooker.
  8. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper.
  9. Mix or Mash to desired consistency.
  10. Add more milk if your potatoes seem dry.
  11. Return to slow cooker on the keep warm setting if you’re not ready to eat yet.
  12. Serve!

For me, I like this way better than the stovetop way.  It just seems less rushed.  I think since I’m not one that typically plans ahead or even thinks in an orderly manner, it helps me to feel more on top of supper when I don’t have to worry about it boiling over or over-cooking.  I just get to go about my day like I was, once it’s in the slow cooker.

Hint:  If you are making this a day early, you may want to add sour cream and/or cream cheese to the potatoes.  It helps them to keep the texture you’re used to having. 

 


Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak Recipe – a Crockpot Freezer Meal

This Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak has been on my menu for weeks, but I kept putting it off.  I’m the one who likes the dump it in recipes and this one requires that you actually have to at least form patties and partially precook the meat.  To be honest, I was dreading it, but really wanted to try out this recipe.  Well, let me tell you, it really wasn’t any big deal.  You wouldn’t want to do it on your most rushed days, but seriously, sometimes I make things harder than they really are.  Once I finally decided to assemble this dish, I was super happy with how quickly it came together.  I was even happier with how delicious it was!  The gravy it was cooked in made a great gravy for the mashed potatoes we served with it.  I had no complaints from my family of 8.  They all ate it up quickly, with no leftovers either!

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak Recipe

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak

  • 2 Pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 Envelope of Onion Soup Mix
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs (can use crushed crackers if you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  •  Flour (enough to dip your patties into)
  • 2 Cans cream of mushroom soup (or use cream of chicken, like I did)
  • 1 Package Au Juis mix

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together beef, onion  soup mix, bread crumbs, egg, and milk.
  2. Form beef mixture into 8 patties.
  3. Dredge the patties in flour to coat
  4. Brown the patties on both sides (You don’t have to fully cook them if you don’t want to since they’ll be cooking for 4 or more hours in the slow cooker, too)
  5. Place the browned patties into the slow cooker, layering them if you need to
  6. In a medium bowl, prepare the Au Juis mixture according to package instructions.
  7. Mix in both cans of cream soup
  8. Pour the mixture over the patties.
  9. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef is done.

Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak Recipe - Also a Crockpot Freezer Meal - SidetrackedSarah.com

(Pin this, please!)

Freezer to Slow Cooker Recipe Instructions

  • Follow instructions 1-4 above.
  • Place browned patties into a gallon size freezer safe bag.
  • Follow instructions 6-7
  • Pour this mixture over the patties in the bag.
  • Mix around, being sure to coat all the patties.
  • Lay flat to freeze, to maximize freezer space.
  • Label & Freeze.