Editor’s Note: Hot Girl Tips for a Healthy Gut by Stephanie Eyocko

Hello and welcome to the 13th Issue of Mixed Mag. I am so happy to have you here.

What if I told you that longevity really can be achieved through food — if you follow an approach based on facts, not the newest craze?

I’m a City Girl in every way: A twenty something, career-oriented, single woman who lives in the Nation’s Capital. I enjoy sitting through courses of meals (bonus points if it is farm-to-table), a good matcha latte, an almond croissant (from Ovenbird Bakery in Baltimore, specifically), ranch water (tequila, fresh lemon juice and—the most important ingredient—Topo Chico mineral water). And I am known to take a shot of Jameson from time to time. As much as I love the ‘parlay’, I also love food and beverages that align with my gut. I’m here to remind you that you can be a City Girl who operates with your gut in mind.

These days, I know when something aligns with my gut because I’m happy when it goes in, happy as it is digested, can feel as it extracts nutrients and absorbs energy which makes me feel good. And, I’m happy as it leaves my body.

The ‘gut’ is the passageway that runs through the mouth to the anus. This includes the stomach, small intestine, colon and anus as well as the lesser-known cecum and rectum. The gut is the largest digestive organ, immune organ, and endocrine organ of the human body, and it also possesses a nervous system [the enteric nervous system (ENS)], which is relatively independent of the brain. A ‘healthy’ gut contains healthy bacteria that can ward off things like viruses, bacteria, and bad fungi. The relationship between our guts, our brain and our mind is one that is paramount – keeping us feeling good or generally not so we must take care of it.

In short: you are what you feed those microbes in your gut.

Having a healthy gut is the hallmark of this life and to kick off the year I want to share ten tips on how I maintain mine:

  1. Dietary fibers functionally known as microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MACs) are the main source of energy for gut bacteria and are your new best friends. Ex: oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley.
  2. What is full of high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds? A handful of nuts.
  3. The dynamic duo that’ll keep you regular is prebiotic and probiotic. Prebiotics are good bacteria promoters. Studies have found that prebiotics, such as omega-3 fatty acids and oligosaccharides, change the gut microbiota, improving the microbiota–gut–brain axis function. While probiotics are the actual ‘good’ bacteria that help change intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora and boost immunity. Prebiotics not only help the probiotics we ingest work. They allow our bodies to produce their own probiotic cultures in the gut creating a healthier you.
  4. When it comes to bread, whole grain is best.
  5. Water works, drink it. If you are to spice it up, add rosemary. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Boil hot water, add rosemary and let sit for 10 minutes before consuming.
  6. Coconut water is fantastic as well. Especially if you are planning on drinking alcohol. Drink coconut water before and after your outing (one cup should suffice).
  7. If you are going to eat out, eat Mediterranean, Ethiopian and Japanese cuisines. These cuisines facilitate the proliferation of beneficial microorganisms.
  8. Eat slowly and chew your food.
  9. Foods rich in polyphenols – green tea, onions, and broccoli—increase good bacteria (bifidobacterial & lactobacilli) and reduce bad bacteria.
  10. Traditionally fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso, kimchi and pickles, also regulate the gut microbiota and promote gut-brain health.

** Bonus: Read the labels.

Breakfast Recipes With Your Gut in Mind

Omelette et Plantain Frits


2 ripe plantains
3 eggs
½ red bell pepper, roughly chopped
½ orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
¼ white onion, roughly chopped
½ tomato, roughly chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

• These measurements are approximate. I encourage you to play around these numbers.

For serving
¼ of an avocado


To a non-stick fry pan, add enough a few tsp of butter. When butter melts and sizzles add bell peppers, onions and tomatoes and cook well to allow juices to mix well. Add salt to taste. Meanwhile in a medium sized bowl, add eggs and whisk generously. Add cooked veggies to the raw eggs and then seasonings. Whisk well. Add more butter to the pan. Add egg and veggie mixture to the hot fry pan. Flip over when ready OR slide the egg unto a flat plate and then flip back over to the pan. Fry plantain and serve with eggs.

Why is this a gut-friendly breakfast?

For starters, a cup of plantains contain all the vitamin C one needs in a day. Plantains are also a good source of potassium and vitamins C, B-6 and A. Eggs are high in protein and when combined with bell peppers and onions which are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber – it really does create a delicious, fully packed meal to set the tone for the day.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Spiced Almonds


2 Sweet Potatoes
2 C All Purpose Flour
½ C Whole Wheat Flour
¼ C Sugar
¾ tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
2.75 C Almond Milk + ¼ C Vinegar (Butteralmond Milk)
3 eggs
2 tbl unsalted melted butter
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg


Wrap the sweet potato in foil and bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the butteralmondmilk, eggs, and melted butter. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture.

Peel the cooled sweet potato, place in a medium bowl, and mash. Add the honey, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix well.

Add the sweet potato mixture to the pancake batter, combining well, and let the batter sit for 1 hour.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and pour batter, 1/3 cup at a time, cooking the pancakes until browned on each side.

Spiced Almonds


1.5 tsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. sea salt
1.5 tsp. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped almonds

In a bowl, mix the honey, cayenne and salt. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the honey mixture and the almonds and cook for 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned and caramelized. Remove from the heat, cool, and store in an airtight container.

Why is this a gut-friendly breakfast?

The star of the show: sweet potatoes are one of the best forms of starch to feed your healthy gut bacteria. They are rich in carotenoids (responsible for orange color) and Vitamin A and they support healthy vision (as most naturally orange foods do). Now, this is an indulgent breakfast meal but why the heck not?

Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Almond Milk with Flax Seeds, topped with bananas


¾ C – 1 C almond or oat milk
½ C old-fashioned rolled oats
⅓ C of greek yogurt
¼ C of chia seeds
¼ C of flax seeds
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Serving suggestions: fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, nut butter, seeds, protein powder, granola, coconut, spices, citrus zest and vanilla extract. Top with ceylon cinnamon.

Add the desired amounts of milk, oats, yogurt, chia seeds and banana to a jar or container and give them a good stir. Refrigerate overnight. Alternative take the yogurt out of the recipe and serve overnight oats on a bed of yogurt and top with maple syrup.

Why is this a gut-friendly breakfast?
Oats are a whole grain packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. It is also a prebiotic fiber that probiotics use for fuel. Almond milk is packed with vitamin E – a key antioxidant. (remember to purchase the one with the least ingredients) Greek yogurt is a probiotic, increasing the good bacteria in your gut. It is and also an excellent source of calcium, which can help improve bone health. Chia seeds are my favorite girl and contain fiber, a key antioxidant – quercetin and some protein.

Open-Faced Gravad Lax Sandwich with Garlic Chive and Lemon Cream Cheese

Ingredients (Salmon)

600g Salmon Fillet
2 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
A handful of fresh dill, torn
2 tablespoons Cognac

Place fillet on two large pieces of parchment paper, skin side down. Sprinkle salt and sugar evenly on flesh. Scatter dill. Drizzle Cognac. Wrap the parchment paper around the salmon and tightly close. Place on a dish and refrigerate for 24 hours. Flip over and refrigerate for 12 more hours.

Ingredients (Cream Cheese)
Tofutti Imitation Cream Cheese
A handful of chives
Lemon zest of a whole lemon
Lemon juice of half a lemon
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Bread Suggestions:
Russian Black Bread
Sprouted Grain
100% Whole Grain

The Open-Faced Sandwich Directions
Spread cream cheese on both pieces of bread. Top with slices of salmon and cucumber. Enjoy! For extra razzle dazzle: add mashed avocado to cream cheese to create avo-cream cheese spread.

Why is this a gut-friendly breakfast?
Rye bread is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, and antioxidants. (To ensure its actual rye, buy from a bakery or look for whole rye or rye berries on the label). Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids (farmed salmon is higher in fat content overall, including saturated fat. Wild salmon is leaner). Salmon is also a protein powerhouse. Dill is packed with micronutrients like Vitamin A and C and also contains folate which is important for cell division and growth. This whole meal is a WHOLE MEAL.

Cameroonian turned Texan, Stephanie Eyocko, is the Mixed Mag Food Editor. She’s passionate about locally-grown food and locally-sourced stories.

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