Holiday Cocktails to Help You Feel Festive

The season of eating, drinking, and being merry is upon us! Now don’t get me wrong, I love eggnog, but after having the same drinks and food time and time again, it’s refreshing to shake it up a little bit.

That’s why I spent time in our test kitchen creating 3 new holiday cocktail recipes for you to try out this holiday season.

A Magical Mixer

The mixer you choose is incredibly important. Mixers deliver flavor to your drink and cool the alcohol burn, but they also tend to bring a lot of sugar, colorants, “natural” flavors, and weird ingredients.

I’ve used Maywell as my main mixer for each of these drinks:

  • It’s flavorful
  • No refined sugar
  • Each can is packed with 5g prebiotic fiber to help you gut

This gut health part is especially important during the holiday season. If you’re like me, your diet might consist of more cookies, pie, and ‘taters than “normal” — and that’s okay! But sometimes it can leave my gut feeling a little off.

That’s where Mayawell comes in. It adds prebiotic fiber to your diet which helps nourish your existing gut bacteria. (Not to mention it makes a delicious cocktail mixer.)

Pineapple Mimosa

There’s no better way to start the day during the holidays than with a festive morning Mimosa. This Mimosa is subtly sweet and a little tangy.

Ingredients

3 T pineapple juice 

50% Champagne

50% Pineapple Mango Mayawell

Garnish: Thin pineapple slice

Pear Apple Cider

This drink feels so much like fall, I recommend wearing a sweater while you drink it. Mixing apple and pear gives this holiday cocktail a bright, light flavor I absolutely love.

Ingredients

1/3 cup sparkling apple cider 

1 shot Bourbon (optional)

1/2 cup Pear Lime Mayawell 

Garnish: Thin pear slice + cinnamon sticks

Raspberry Italian Soda 

This one is SO refreshing! The half & half makes it smooth, satisfying, and perfect for a chilly day.

Ingredients

1/2 can Raspberry Cucumber Mayawell 

6 tbsp half-and-half

1 T simple syrup

Garnish: 3 raspberries

Gut-Healthy Cocktails, Please

Don’t let a bad gut slow you down during the holidays. Your time should be spent hanging out with friends, not hanging out in the bathroom. 

These cocktails will do just that! They’re flavorful, they’re festive, and they have everything you need to be your best.

A Nutrition Coach’s Take on Gut Health and Nutrition

Where do you go for up-to-date information on health? WebMD? Reddit forums? With the advent of the great and mighty Internet, we have every piece of information on gut health at our fingertips.

However, it can often feel like there’s too much information out there, and it can be hard to know if your source is credible.

That’s why we teamed up with Haley Fountain. Haley is a holistic Health Coach based in Houston, Texas who focuses on gut health and balancing hormones. She answered some of our most burning questions on gut health and diet.

Why You Can Trust Haley

Before we jump into our interview, here’s a little info about Haley and why you can trust her with your gut health woes:

  • She has 2 health coaching certifications and she’s a member of the International Association for Health Coaches. (TLDR: she knows what she’s talking about)
  • Major gut issues plagued her growing up, manifesting through horrible acid reflux. In high school, she was taking more pills than her 75 year old grandma.
  • Haley decided to make lifestyle changes (focusing on diet, stress, and sleep) that helped improve her symptoms and get off the medications she was taking.
  • Now, she dedicates her life to educating, motivating, and inspiring others to live their happiest, healthiest lives. 
  • Firsthand experience taught her small habits are incredibly impactful on overall health.

Let’s get into our chat with Haley!

Q: In what ways does a healthy gut change your everyday life?

A: A healthy gut can, quite literally, change your life! Science is still uncovering all of the ways that our gut health impacts our overall health. Having a healthy gut can improve:

  • Immune function
  • Sleep
  • Skin issues (like acne)
  • Energy levels
  • Cognitive function
  • Mood and mood disorders
  • Hormonal function
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Weight issues
  • And more!

Q: You often talk about gut health on your Instagram. Why do you choose to speak about this so often?

A: Our gut health is connected to every other function in our body! In Chinese medicine, there’s an old saying: “when you don’t know what’s wrong, start with the gut.”

Q: What even is gut health?

A: Gut health is really referring to a healthy, balanced gut microbiome, a.k.a. the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract that break down your food. 

Q: How is gut health connected to overall health and wellness?

A: Scientists now refer to the gut as the “second brain” because of how much the gut impacts every other function in our body.

Food we eat is broken down in our digestive tract, and those nutrients are used to make every cell in our body. The majority of our immune system is in our gut, and we also have more neurons in our gut than in our spinal cord! 

Q: What are probiotics and prebiotics?

  • Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut.
  • Prebiotics are compounds that help that beneficial bacteria grow and thrive.

I like to think of prebiotics as “food” for my probiotics. 

Q: What are the three most important things people should know if they’re new to gut health and want to get started on healing their gut?

  1. Your gut is linked to every other function in your body. If your gut is off, everything else will be off, too.
  2. If you’re having uncomfortable symptoms in your gut, there’s tons of resources out there (including my blog!) that can help you figure them out.
  3. Some of the best things you can do to support a healthy gut: drink lots of water, get lots of fiber (25g+ per day) and eat balanced meals. 

Q: What are two good ways to incorporate prebiotics into your diet?

A: Drinking Mayawell, of course! Also, there are many prebiotic-rich foods like honey, green tea, asparagus, artichokes, and more. 

Q: What are two good ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet?

A: FERMENTED FOODS! I want to shout this from the rooftops. 

Try to get at least one serving of fermented foods in your diet per day. Some of my favorites are:

  • Kimchee (common in Korean dishes)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Raw pickled vegetables
  • Kombucha 

Also, I’m a big fan of taking a daily probiotic. We all have unique gut flora, so everyone will need a different blend.

Q: What are more important — prebiotics or probiotics?

A: Honestly, you need both. They are like yin and yang. Eating a diet rich in pre- and probiotics will set you up for a happy, healthy gut.

Q: Honestly, would you recommend Mayawell to any of your clients?

A: 100% yes! I’ve tried other prebiotic drinks out there and Mayawell is definitely my top choice for myself and my clients. They are sweet and refreshing, but not too sweet (some others I have tried are way too sweet for my palette).

Mayawell has just enough fiber so that you get the benefits without the bloating. They have so many unique flavors, too! And if that weren’t enough, they are a cause-driven company which really matters to me as a consumer.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say or speak to regarding gut health or overall nutrition?

A: I am constantly talking about this with my clients and social media audience: Manage. Your. Stress.

You can eat all the kale, take your probiotics, and exercise daily… but if you are stressed out every day, it’s like two steps forward and one step back. Stress also wreaks HAVOC on your gut! 

Practice mindfulness, research embodiment practices, cultivate a gratitude practice and put your phone away sometimes. Taking care of yourself mentally must always be a priority. Namaste!

The Best High-Fiber Breakfast

9 out of 10 Americans don’t consume the recommended amount of daily fiber. Missing out on fiber means the gut is neglected and starved. We get it — everyone leads busy lives with competing priorities, and fiber intake isn’t very high on anyone’s list. 

Enter ✨Breakfast ✨ It’s the perfect opportunity to easily up your fiber intake so you can reap the rewards all day long.

Additionally, fiber is filling and will help keep you satisfied until lunch so you don’t have to worry about a growling stomach. 80% of Americans eat breakfast at home, as well, meaning we can choose anything from our cupboards. This means it’s easy to opt for a fiber-filled breakfast if we know what those look like.

Why have fiber in the morning

Fiber is the perfect centerpiece for your morning meal. It is essential to maintaining a healthy gut and keeping your body functioning properly. When we get enough daily fiber, a lot of good things can happen: 

  • Your good gut bacteria have enough to eat, so your gut stays healthy.
  • A healthy gut means you digest easily. This helps your body with nutrient intake and boosts metabolism. 
  • Your bowel movements normalize (healthy poops!).

But a bowl of Lucky Charms or waffles is often more tempting before 9 a.m. than, say, a bowl of baked beans or a tall glass of MiraLAX (yum). That’s why I’ve compiled my 3 favorite, delicious high-fiber breakfasts to get your day started off right and keep your morning poops on track. 

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the unsung hero of the breakfast table. It gets a bad rap for being mushy and boring, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder… or in this case, the spoon holder. Oatmeal is both nutritious and delicious if you prepare it right.

Health benefits of oatmeal

  • Rich in antioxidants (antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the body)
  • 4g of beta-glucan fiber which helps regulate blood sugar
  • Contains necessary minerals such as phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc 

But before work, you’re probably not worried about your thiamine intake (if you are, we salute you). What’s important here is that a serving of oatmeal contains:

  • A nourishing amount of readily available carbohydrates to fuel you
  • 5g of protein to help satiate you all morning
  • 4g of fiber to nourish your gut and help you feel full

Strawberry Ginger Cheesecake Overnight Oats Recipe

Don’t get me wrong, a classic bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and honey is [chef’s kiss]. But mixing it up with new flavors keeps breakfast fun and encourages me to incorporate it into my morning routine. 

Make this fiber-filled breakfast oatmeal ahead of time to make your mornings that much more simple! 

Ingredients

¾ cup milk (any kind)

½ cup of yogurt (your choice! Greek, whole milk, vegan)

1 cup diced strawberries

1 cup rolled oats

Sprinkle of salt

½ – 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (depending on how much spice you like) 

¼ tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 T maple syrup

Directions
  1. Blend milk, yogurt, and strawberries until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl or a mason jar.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place in your fridge the night before.
  5. Enjoy in the morning!

Note: I like to add an extra drizzle of maple syrup or strawberry jam in the morning, if I’m feeling fancy (which I often am).

Another note: if you’re low on time, skip the blending! Throw all the ingredients into a bowl. It’s still delicious; it just has larger bits of strawberry.

High Fiber Smoothie

This smoothie is packed with nourishing goodness. Moreover, it’s delicious! It’s rich, satisfying, and perfectly sweet. The Mayawell prebiotic soda adds a small ginger kick, as well as 5g prebiotic fiber!

Avocado and cauliflower are my two favorite smoothie additions:

  • Avocado adds healthy fat
  • Cauliflower contains fiber and important nutrients such as Vitamins C and K
  • They both add a creamy, full, and delicious texture to smoothies

The chia, flax, and peas all add significant fiber and full texture to the smoothie:

  • 1 T chia seeds = 4g fiber
  • 1 T ground flax = 2g fiber
  • ½ cup frozen peas = 3g fiber
Ingredients

1 banana

½ cup berries (your choice! blue-, rasp-, or straw-)

1 small avocado (not too ripe)

1 cup cauliflower

½ cup frozen peas

1 T chia seeds or ground flax

½-full can Strawberry Ginger Mayawell (you can sub for water or your choice of milk)

2 T maple syrup or honey

Directions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add more Mayawell for a more liquid smoothie, and vice versa (I like mine nice and thiccc)

 

Mayawell Prebiotic Soda

In a world that’s pro-diet and adheres to food rules (no carbs! no sugar! over-analyze!) it’s sometimes hard to choose what to eat. However, it’s important to listen to your body:

  • If it’s craving something salty, you may need sodium to help you retain water
  • If you’re craving potatoes, you may need some fast-burning fuel

So, what’s the best breakfast to start your day off right? The best breakfast is usually the breakfast you’ll eat, and enjoy eating. And sometimes, that breakfast does not include fiber. 

Mayawell prebiotic soda is an easy way to add 5g prebiotic fiber to any breakfast you want: steak and eggs, avocado toast, a bowl of cereal, or a granola bar. It comes in 4 delicious flavors and is the perfect, refreshing way to start a morning. Don’t sleep (in) on this easy and delicious way to pump up your breakfast.

6 Healthy Reasons Why You Should Add Lime to Your Diet

Limes are one of the most widely used fruits out there, from detox drinks to tequila shots, but they don’t get the same recognition as the exalted lemon. But limes offer more health benefits than people know. They deserve their moment in the sun.

One lime contains about: 2g fiber, 22% of your daily value of vitamin C, and a ton of antioxidants. Let’s dive deeper, and break down what that means for you and your everyday health journey.

Lime is Healthy for Your Heart

Lime supports heart health in several different ways:

  • Contains pectin, which positively affects your cholesterol levels
  • Rich in vitamin C, which helps reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Contains potassium which helps relieve tension in the walls of blood vessels to help lower blood pressure

Lime Offers Protection Against Kidney Stones

If you’ve had a kidney stone, you know they’re terrible; if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. Research finds that the citric acid in fruits like lime, lemon, and orange may prevent kidney stones from forming. This is why patients with low urinary citrate levels are often encouraged to increase consumption of foods rich in citric acid, like limes. 

Lime Benefits Your Digestive System

Carbohydrates in limes are usually made of soluble fiber in the form of pectin. This soluble fiber helps slow digestion, which keeps your blood sugar stable and inhibits the growth of colon cancer tumors.

Pectin is also known for promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Moreover, citrus fruits like lime contain a nutrient in their peels and oils called d-limonene, which helps relieve symptoms of indigestion and gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Has anyone ever recommended lemon water to start your day, or tea with lemon to settle your stomach? That’s why! We recommend trying iced lime water or green tea with a squeeze of lime, instead.

Lime Lowers Your Risk of Developing Cancer

There are a few properties of limes that help with cancer prevention:

  • The d-limonene in citrus fruits provides multiple health benefits, including cancer prevention.
  • Limes contain a flavonoid called naringenin, which has cancer-preventing solid properties, as recently found in scientific studies.
  • Citrus pulp and juice contain high levels of beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are plant compounds that help prevent malignant tumors from forming in rodents.

Lime Protects You Against Anemia

Iron deficiency often leads to the blood disorder anemia. While limes don’t contain high amounts of iron, they do have high levels of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb any iron you may already be consuming.

This is important because a common issue with iron deficiencies is not the lack of iron intake, but rather the body’s inability to use the iron you’re giving it. Helping your body absorb more iron may help balance iron levels overall. 

Lime Promotes Beautiful Skin

Easy, breezy, beautiful… lime. Dermatologists often cite vitamin C for its positive effect on your body’s collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps prevent wrinkles, and also helps keep your joints healthy. 

The juice of limes and lemons is also often used as a natural remedy for acne due to their antibacterial and astringent properties. They help exfoliate skin and prevent pores from getting clogged—and they smell good. Who doesn’t want a lime facial?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It works hard everyday to protect you from the outside world, so it needs all the help it can get.

Adding Lime to Your Diet

When you consider the health benefits of lime, adding it to your diet is a no-brainer. These are a few of our favorite ways to consume it:

Remember that one of the best ways to achieve overall health is to strive for balance and variety: Eat a varied diet, make sure you’re taking time to slow down and enjoy life while also hustling towards your goals, and balance your lemons with your limes.  

4 Health Benefits of Pineapple You Should Know Right Now

Pineapple is delicious, and that’s a fact. The only downside is that it requires a fair amount of effort to cut up and reach all that good, golden juiciness inside. But pineapples are worth it: this tropical fruit is loaded with tons of nutritional benefits that support overall health and well-being. Once you learn about all of the good things about pineapple, it’s easy to justify the longer prep time. 

Pineapples are also versatile. They’re bright, sweet flavor makes them the perfect additions to  juices, shakes, fruit salads, and even savory foods like sandwiches and kebabs. If you need more convincing, keep reading to find out why it’s time to add pineapple to your diet.

Pineapples Improve Gut Health

Pineapple is unique in that it serves as a source of dietary bromelain, a digestive enzyme that works to break down proteins in food. (Bromelain is the culprit behind why pineapple sometimes makes your tongue tingle!)

This means that if you suffer from bloating and digestive issues, regularly consuming pineapple may help support these functions. 

Pineapple is also high in fiber. 1 serving of pineapple contains about 13g of dietary fiber. That’s a ton! Dietary fiber has a wide array of benefits, from acting as a prebiotic to regulating blood sugar and helping clean your intestines. 

Pineapples Keep You Hydrated

Similar to watermelons and pears, pineapples are a great way to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Pineapples are 85-90% water, so if you’re sick of sipping on boring water all day, pineapples are a great way to make hydration more enjoyable. Adding a dash of pineapple juice to your water makes for a light and refreshing drink that’s super easy to sip on, as well.

Your body needs about eight glasses of water each day, but that doesn’t take into account tough workouts or sweaty summer days. If you think you can’t hit that 8-glass target (or just don’t want to—water can be boring), turn to your friend the pineapple to help you out. 

Pineapples Improve Your Sleep 

Magnesium intake can help you sleep at night. It helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 1 cup of sliced pineapple contains 20 milligrams of magnesium and is a great way to up your intake.

Some people with poor gastrointestinal (gut) health can have lower-than-normal levels of magnesium. Remember what we talked about earlier? Pineapple helps improve gut health! 

The gut is incredibly central to all of our body’s key functions. This means that prioritizing gut health leaks into other areas of your life, such as your sleep quality.

Pineapples Contains Potassium

Bananas are famous for being potassium-rich, but they aren’t the only superstar fruit in this category. Your body requires potassium to stay healthy and strong. That’s why it’s one of the essential minerals and a staple of any healthful diet. It helps manage blood pressure, keeps your bones healthy, reduces muscle wasting, and helps keep your kidneys thriving. 

1 serving of pineapple contains about 200 mg of potassium, which is 5% of your daily value. (Bananas are around 9%. You can check out the nutrient content of different foods here.)

Conclusion

Whether you eat pineapple raw, add it to your beverage rotation, such as with this pineapple-mango turmeric soda, or include it in your weekend BBQ, your body will benefit! Pineapples are good for your gut, keep you hydrated, improve sleep, and contain notable amounts of potassium and magnesium.

The best thing about pineapple? It’s delicious. It’s important to eat foods you like. This means you’ll continue to eat them, and creating a healthy lifestyle will be an easy and joyful process.

For a simple way to incorporate more pineapple (that also has added gut-health benefits) check out Mayawell! Mayawell offers prebiotic sodas with no refined sugar, 5g dietary fiber, and 40 calories or less.

Why Does Having a Healthy and Balanced Gut Matter?

Most of the time, you eat without even thinking about it. After your plate is cleaned, your food doesn’t get a second thought. But for the body, food takes a lot more work and (metaphorical) thought. That’s where your gut comes in, and that’s why having a healthy and balanced gut matters.

Your gut is responsible for turning food into fuel to keep your organs working, help your body thrive, and keep you awake during that 9 AM meeting.

But what really is gut health? You can’t see your gut, and you can’t always feel it (unless there’s something wrong), so it can be challenging to tell if it’s working its best.

Gut health is the function and balance of bacteria throughout your gastrointestinal system. At a very basic level:

gut health = thriving and balanced bacteria

(Remember, bacteria can be good!)

Organs such as the oesophagus, stomach, and intestines all need to function properly to enable humans to eat and digest food without pain, and they can’t do that without good bacteria to help them out.

There’s a lot of science behind how to keep your gut healthy. But here, we’ll focus on why it’s so important to take care of your gut and keep it healthy. Here are three good reasons!

Your Gut Is Responsible for Critical Body Functions

Healthy stomach = excellent well-being.

More than 100 trillion bacteria live in your stomach, and these bacteria are essential to our metabolism healthy and overall well-being. They feed on dietary fiber from the foods we eat, and they perform several functions, such as producing Vitamins B and K and breaking down dietary fiber. 

The breakdown of dietary fiber causes the release of healthy, anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which are essential energy sources for the body’s systems. Now, not all bacteria are beneficial. Some of the “bad” bacteria must be eliminated and replaced with good ones.

An imbalance of bacteria can have a negative impact on your health. Just like with everything in life, we need balance! Fortunately for all of us, balancing bacteria is something prebiotics can help with.

A Healthy Gut Improves Immune System Function

When your immune system is weak, it can usually be linked back to a weak gut. There are tons of reasons for this, some of which are swept into the “leaky gut” discussion that’s become trendy lately. 

The good news? Simply understanding this connection of gut and immunity empowers you to be mindful of what you put in your body so you can improve immunological health. 

A Healthy Gut Enhances Your Mood 

Your stomach is the often called the second brain (creepy, I know). A network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and hormones connects the brain and stomach. That’s how you know when you’re hungry—your gut delivers that message to your brain.

Because of this gut-brain link, poor digestive health may even contribute to mood problems.

You can also see this when you’re really nervous or afraid: Do you get an upset stomach, or lose your appetite? Us too! It’s part of the linked, innate fight or flight response to stressors in our environment.  

3 Key Ways to Keep Your Gut Healthy

Eat Fruits and Vegetables 

Be mindful of how many fruits and vegetables you’re eating. Every meal doesn’t need to be perfect, but making sure you’re aiming for balance is important. Fruits and veggies contain a lot of fiber, and that fiber feeds the good bacteria in your stomach.

Increasing your intake of fermented foods (like kimchi!) is another delicious way to enhance your gut health. Fermentation is often accomplished by a present bacteria or yeast turning carbohydrates in food into organic acids or alcohol. Pretty cool, right?

Try a Probiotic

Another tool that can help keep your gut healthy is a probiotic. Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to your health, particularly the digestive system. A probiotic will introduce new good bacteria to your gut. 

But what about prebiotics? To put it simply, prebiotics serve as food for probiotics. They’re a type of fiber, so you’re probably already consuming some prebiotic-rich foods without even realizing it. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough prebiotics to keep your probiotics well-fed. That’s the key to a healthy gut. 

Consume Less Junk Food

This is one of the biggest recommendations out there, but it’s true! Consume highly processed foods in moderation. Highly processed foods are more difficult for your body to digest and process. They aren’t as “natural,” and sometimes your body has trouble knowing what to do with them.

Think about it this way: the human body has been dealing with potatoes for years, but potato chips are a curveball! The cellular structure is different and that makes digestion more challenging. 

This doesn’t mean you can never have potato chips again. It just means you should try to balance potato chips with normal potatoes, as well as fruits and veggies you genuinely enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Much like the perfect chocolate chip cookie and what to get your partner for Valentine’s Day, the human gut is much more complicated than we ever thought it could be. It has a significant effect on overall health: it contributes to a robust immune system, cardiovascular health, mental focus, better mood, good sleep, and efficient digestion. Positive gut health may help avoid certain cancers and autoimmune disorders, too.

There are lots of little things you can do to help keep your gut health. One easy and delicious way is to try one of our healthy prebiotic sodas that comes in 4 bursting flavors! They’re good for your gut and better for your taste buds—we promise.