Brain Foods Archives - ig2go

What is a Mediterranean Diet and why is it so popular?

In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has gained worldwide recognition as a healthy and delicious way of eating and has been consistently ranked as one of the best diets by health experts. The popularity of the Mediterranean diet is for good reasons. The diet emphasizes the consumption of whole, plant-based foods, healthy fats, and lean protein sources and besides being healthy, it’s delicious too. 

What Is Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a traditional diet that is popular in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. This diet primarily includes plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, with moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy and limited red meat and sweets consumption.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet also includes healthy fats, such as olive oil, as the primary fat source. 

Why Is Mediterranean Diet So Popular?

There are so many reasons for the increasing popularity of the Mediterranean diet. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should start the Mediterranean diet: 

Improves Your Health 

When you start the Mediterranean diet, it will help you avoid several health issues, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This diet only includes healthy fats and plant-based foods while avoiding unhealthy processed foods, which improve your health significantly. 

Helps In Weight Loss

The Mediterranean diet can help with weight loss because it contains whole, nutrient-dense foods that are naturally low in calories and high in fiber. The high fiber content of the diet helps to increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which can help you avoid unhealthy junk food cravings. When you cut down the total number of calories of consume per day, it will help you lose weight quickly. 

Easy to Follow and Customize 

The Mediterranean diet does not require counting calories or following strict rules, making it easier for people to stick to in the long run. Besides being easy to follow, you can customize it easily by adding your favorite foods to your diet plan, as you get a lot of healthy options. 

Provides Long-term Results 

When you follow the Mediterranean diet, your body changes internally. It has many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that will heal your body internally and thus provide long-term results. 

Tips for Making Your Mediterranean Diet Effective 

Here are some tips that you should remember to make the Mediterranean diet effective: 

  • Don’t consume many high-fat foods, such as yogurt, cheese, and processed foods. 
  • Reduce your consumption of red meat and opt for lean proteins like fish, poultry, eggs and plant-based sources like beans and tofu.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and limit sugary beverages.
  • Take your time when eating, savor your food, and be aware of your hunger and fullness cues.
  • Try to be physically active if you want to see the results of your diet quickly. 

Bottom Line 

The Mediterranean diet is not a short-term diet but a lifestyle. You’ll have to be consistent and patient to see the positive results. You can visit Intelligent Gourment to make delicious and healthy food choices for your Mediterranean diet plan! 



Food for Improved Cognition and Brain Health

Your command center, your noodle, your noggin, your seat of consciousness, whatever you want to call it, your brain is both a wonder of nature and a vitally important part of your ability to ‘be’. And just like every other part of our body, our brains rely on what we ingest in order to have the building blocks they need to function at their full capacity. Today we’re going to explore what key nutrients that specifically support brain health, and why they are so beneficial to our overall well-being.


You may already know that Turmeric can help with inflammation, but new studies show that this bright-colored spice may also benefit people with anxiety and depression by boosting serotonin and dopamine, and it’s linked to new brain cell growth, which may help delay age-related declines in mental functionality. Specifically, it is the compound Curcumin found in Turmeric that is responsible for these effects. Interestingly, this compound can cross the blood-brain barrier which means it can be easily absorbed into the brain to directly impact our brain cells.

Fatty Fish

Of course, fatty fish was bound to show up on this list due to its high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are used by the brain to build brain and nerve cells. Omega-3s are essential for learning, memory, and our capacity to control decision-making and emotions. Fatty fishes include Salmon, Trout, Tuna, and Sardines.


There are so many complex compounds in both coffee and tea, and ongoing studies have shed more light on the long-term health benefits when consumed in moderation. Obviously, too much of a good thing can still have negative effects, but a cup of coffee or tea daily can contribute to better focus, improved mood, and increased alertness. There are also a lot of antioxidants found in both drinks that are also linked to overall improved health and reduced risk of neurological diseases.


Also very high in antioxidants, berries (specifically dark berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries) provide many benefits to overall brain health. specifically, they are linked to increased communication between cells, reduced inflammation, delayed aging and reduced risk of disease, and better learning and adaptation capacity.


We are mentioning oranges here because they are fantastic sources of Vitamin C, which is a key nutrient in preventing mental decline from aging. Vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant, which as we’ve already mentioned, can help prevent inflammation and the development of neurological diseases. You can also find high levels of vitamin C in bell peppers, kiwi, and guava.

Leafy greens

Hearty greens like kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli have all been shown to benefit brain health. These ‘superfoods’ have earned their name from the high levels of glucosinolates, which have an antibiotic-like effect that can help prevent infection and disease. These greens also tend to be high in antioxidants that further prevent inflammation and age-related degeneration.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are another great sources of healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids, which as we mentioned before contribute to brain growth and new cell development. But on top of that, nuts and seeds are also a great source of Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that specifically helps prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.


Last on our list, eggs are great for brain health specifically because of the high concentration of Choline in the yolks. Choline is a building block your body uses to develop neurotransmitters that regulate mood and memory. Eggs are also high in B6, B12, and folate, which have all been linked to a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases.



The foods on this list are good for you in more ways than one, and always we encourage you to fill your diet with variety to ensure you’re getting a well-balanced mix of nutrients from many different sources. Always consult your doctor or a nutrition professional if you have questions about a specific health concern or diet change. There is no better way to support your whole body’s health that to listen to what your body is telling you and do your best to give it what it needs to function the way it was meant to.



The Link Between Anxiety & Your Food Choices

Have you heard the news? A panel of medical experts recently announced that all adults under the age of 65 should consider getting screened for anxiety. The statement stems from concern that Americans as a whole have been experiencing stressors from all angles over the past few years, resulting in a growing number of mental health concerns. Despite some lingering stigma, new studies continue to show how important mental health is, and how it affects our lives on a day-to-day basis. The good news is, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make to help. Today, we are going to talk about changes you can make to your diet, and the science between nutrition, and your mental state.


Explaining Anxiety

Anxiety comes in MANY flavors. From Agoraphobia and specific Phobia’s to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, there are many different conditions that can fall under the umbrella of anxiety. Some forms are more obstructive to everyday life than others, and each person may experience different intensities of these disorders depending on a number of factors. The most common form of anxiety is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is what we will primarily focus on in this article.

Generalized Anxiety disorder happens when there is an imbalance between your brains Prefrontal Cortex (the part of your brain responsible for cognitive control functions and decision making) and the Amygdala (the part of your brain linked to processing emotions and memories associated with fear or threats). Under normal circumstances, your Prefrontal Cortex regulates your Amygdala and is able to manage any threat responses that may be stimulated. However, the Amygdala of a person with Anxiety often goes unchecked, and the Amygdala may generate stress or fear signals even without an obvious physical threat.

Essentially what this leads to is a consistent feeling of fear or unease. Symptoms of this kind of Anxiety can include elevated heart rate, flushed skin, tense muscles, inability to concentrate or focus, irritability, insomnia, and general fatigue.


Anxiety, Neurotransmitters, and Your Second Brain

Second brain? Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, your gut is embedded with some 100 million neurons (more than what makes up your spinal cord or peripheral nervous system) and is technically called the Enteric nervous system. Although this ‘second brain’ plays zero part in any cognitive functions, it does play a vital role in our mental state and combatting a number of diseases throughout the body (no surprise there).

This system sends and receives signals from the brain, and secretes neurotransmitters identical to those found in the central nervous system (eg, acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin). These neurotransmitters are the key connection between your diet, your gut, and your mental health. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between your gut’s microbiome, and it’s secretion of these neurotransmitters.

Low levels of serotonin specifically have been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. For example, many anxiety and depression prescriptions work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin so more of it remains in circulation throughout your body. Going back to what we said about the Brain, higher serotonin levels help the prefrontal cortex communicate and regulate the threat responses of the amygdala.

So to sum it up, a healthy gut = a healthy gut microbiome = healthy levels of important neurotransmitters = healthy communication in the brain = reduced chances of unnecessary or unregulated fear responses = reduced anxiety and anxiety symptoms.


That’s great, but how does our diet help?

So we’ve determined that our gut health is really important, and the best way to keep our guts healthy is to eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense whole foods. Specifically, look for food with the following:

  • Fiber – Helps the body slow down the absorption of glucose, which prevents spikes in blood sugar levels and avoids sugar crashes.
  • Antioxidants – Helps to prevent inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
  • Folate – Promotes production of the neurotransmitter Dopamine.
  • Vitamin D – Promotes production of the neurotransmitter Serotonin.
  • Magnesium – Promotes healthy protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.
  • Fermented foods – The superfood of gut health, fermented foods are packed with probiotics, or healthy gut bacteria, that are essential to a healthy gut microbiome.


Foods that make Anxiety worse.

Although these foods don’t CAUSE anxiety, the effect they have on our bodies may mimic symptoms and make your existing anxiety feel even worse.

  • Processed food, and sugary drinks – an obvious culprit, as processed foods are usually lacking good fiber and nutrient density, while also being high in sugar, bad fats, and sodium. This leads to spikes in blood sugar levels and crashes where you feel fatigued more easily. They also provide very little, if any, nutritional benefits to your gut.
  • Caffeine – Often used as a stimulant to help people feel more awake, alert, or energetic, caffeine’s effects can quickly get out of hand and cause you to feel jittery, and irritable, and can increase your heart rate to uncomfortable levels.
  • Alcohol – Sometimes used as a way to cope with anxiety, alcohol’s long-term negative effects on the body can be serious, and often cause imbalances in bodily systems and sleep patterns.


Quick disclaimer:

As we stated at the beginning of this post, anxiety comes in MANY different shapes and sizes. And although we’ve explored how your food choices can help, it’s important to recognize that these lifestyle changes may not be enough in some circumstances, and we encourage you to talk to your doctor if your anxiety is disrupting your everyday life. Mental health is important, and we believe it should always be taken seriously.



Reasons to Incorporate Fresh Juice into your Diet

It’s no secret that there are many reasons to incorporate fresh juice into your diet. Today, we are sharing five reasons why you should add juicing to your everyday

Reasons to Try Juicing for Health

Keeps you Hydrated: As part of a balanced diet, it is important to keep up with your intake of water, fruits, and vegetables. Conveniently, fruits and vegetables with higher water concentrations are found in our juice recipes because of the high amount of water they contain. Due to the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, you are getting both water and other important nutrients – this helps your body stay hydrated.

Strengthens Bones: It is important for us to consume minerals, such as calcium, in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth. One easy way to increase your calcium intake is through the foods you eat and drink. Two easy veggies that are high in calcium, and so easy to add when juicing, are kale or spinach. They are a staple to so many of our juice recipes! 

Boost Energy: While caffeine and energy drinks are great for a kick, they can cause us to crash and burn. However, when you treat yourself to a natural, long-lasting energy drink filled with fruits and vegetables, you will be giving your body the combination of nutrients it needs to keep going all day long.

Reduces Stress: Giving your body the proper nutrition it needs will allow it to regulate itself and keep your stress levels down. The more vitamins and antioxidant dense foods you consume, the more easily you will be to cope with stress. Eating certain foods, such as blueberries or leafy greens can help your diet – make it super easy and add them to your juicing routine. 

Better Sleep At Night: You are more likely to feel more relaxed at night when your body has the power it needs to get through the day. Juice can help give your body what it needs to fall asleep naturally at night. Fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, and oranges contain melatonin naturally, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep cycles.

Looking for Healthy Food Near Me? We welcome you into Intelligent Gourmet today to try some of our juice combinations. Juicing is an efficient, yet simple way to get in your helping of fruits and vegetables; in one serving of our juice, you can get multiple servings of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytonutrients in one serving. Often times, juicing is easier for the body to digest, compared to solid foods and makes it easier for the flow of fluid to run through your system. There are so has many benefits to juicing – stop in and see our juicing menu, we would love to help you find the perfect recipe to match just what you are looking for.

If you are looking to incorporate juicing for health into your diet, reach out or stop in Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa, FL. We have many recipes for you to try and can easily become your favorite “healthy food near me” lunch destination.

Top 6 Foods For Your Brain

Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa, FL has brain food snacks you’ve got to try. If you are searching for healthy food near me, come check out our menu and give our restaurant a try. All our food is made fresh and fast food has never tasted so good.


Brain Food Snacks

You can boost your brain power with the foods you eat! Think before you snack.


This should come as no surprise considering your brain is made up of mostly fats.


Avocados – a great source of healthy oleic acid, monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil, which helps decrease inflammation. Aside from providing healthy fats, avocados also provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including potassium, which helps balance your vitality important to potassium to sodium ratio.


Organic Coconut Oil – Besides being great for your metabolism, it’s medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) are a source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternative source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia.


Grass fed butter – quick energy and therefore don’t contribute to fat levels in your blood. A significant portion of the butter you consume used  immediately for energy, similar to carbohydrate.   


Organic pastured eggs – Many of the healthiest foods are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats and eggs are no exception. Cholesterol is needed for the regulation of protein pathways involved in cell signaling and other cellular processes. It’s important for your brain which contains 25 percent of your cholesterol. A great simple snack is deviled eggs.


Wild-caught Alaskan salmon- oily fish that are high in omega-3  fats that are necessary for optimal brain and heart health. Eating this fish once or twice a week with increase your lifespan, research shows.


Organic raw nuts, such as macadamia or pecan. Macadamia nuts have the highest and lowest protein and carb content of any nut. This is about the same found in olives, which are well known for health benefits as well. Pecans contain anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants and immune-boosting manganese.


Healthy Food near me

Come into Intelligent Gourmet to try our amazing recipes that will leave you feeling full and refreshed. You can order online and pick up your food, or come in and sit down with us here at the restaurant. We love to see new faces as well as returning customers. When we prepare our food, we make sure it is done right, made to order and maximized with nutritional value every time–our culinary standard. We offer vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten free , dairy free and many more options to make sure we have something for everyone’s nutritional needs. If you want something and do not see it on the menu, we will work with you, and make it happen. We are always looking for new ideas and always want to make sure our customers are satisfied.


Contact Us

If you are ready to try some new brain food snacks and looking for healthy food near me in the Tampa, FL area, come into Intelligent Gourmet today. Check out our website to contact us or see our menu!


The Amazing Benefits A Ketogenic Diet Offers

There are so many diets out there that offer amazing benefits. It can be hard to choose the right one, especially when different dietary plans are trending. How do you know if you should choose one diet over the other when they offer the same benefits? Which one is better? Choosing the correct dieting plan takes time and research. Do not just Google “diets” and choose the first one that pops up. As great as the internet is, do not depend on it for dieting advice. Make sure you speak with an expert at Intelligent Gourmet who will be able to provide you with a personalized experience in order to choose the best diet plan to fit your body and your lifestyle. There are many factors that go into choosing the right diet and if you are not a professional, you may not know which one will provide you with the most benefits. When you are looking for “healthy places to eat near me” in the Tampa area, come check us out! One dieting plan we offer is called the Ketogenic meal plan.

What Is The Ketogenic Meal Plan?

This meal plan is inspired by ketone research done through the Department of Defense and Office of the Navy. Keto ketone operating systems act as a 4th macronutrient which delivers extraordinary performance fuel to optimize areas of health, fitness, and wellness. There are many benefits to choosing this diet including:

  • Fat loss- The diet targets and burns off body fat with every single serving. It does this by conditioning your body to follow a universal fat-loss formula. It helps you make better food choices by suppressing your appetite and allowing you to make better food choices while eating less frequently. It helps minimize your sugar intake and protects and preserves your muscles.
  • Fitness- The Ketogenic meal plan creates duel fuel energy systems that allow ketones and glucose to co-exist in the body. The fitness aspect provides energy output and anti inflammatory qualities while promoting endurance.
  • Function- It provides a cleaner and quicker energy pathway while allowing your body to have more important signaling molecules. Ketones mediate the body’s own protective antioxidant defenses. The function also protects cells from age-related deficiencies and provides endurance.

Tips For Choosing The Right Diet

When you are looking for “healthy places to eat near me”, come to Intelligent Gourmet and let us discuss the Ketogenic meal plan with you so you fully understand the diet and how it can benefit your body. Some tips for choosing dieting foods include:

  • Finding out what you need
  • Enjoying your food in moderation
  • Finding diets that strengthen your bones
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Cooking meals with fresh ingredients

Contact Us

If you are looking to start dieting, make sure you are doing your research and choosing a diet plan that works for your body, not someone else’s. Talk with the experts at Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa to decide if the Ketogenic meal plan is right for you. When you are seeking “healthy places to eat near me”, call us at 813-605-1397 or visit our website!

What Is a Juice Detox Cleanse?

Usually when people hear the word “detox” they begin to think of extreme measure, but that is not always the case, not is that necessarily a bad thing. What most people fail to realize is that detoxing your body is not that hard and does not require too much effort. Whether you are healthy or not, you should still take the time to perform detoxes every once in a while to flush out your system and make sure your body remains healthy while clearing out the bad bacteria. One way to detox your body is to do a juice detox cleanse at a juice bar in Tampa. Intelligent Gourmet offers so many healthy, yet tasty options, it would be a shame if you didn’t use this resource to aid you in cleaning your body.

What Is A Juice Detox Cleanse?

With so many different diet and meal plans that you can follow just by typing “healthy diets” in the Google search bar, how do you know that this juice cleanse isn’t just a hoax? We can confidently tell you that our juice detox cleanse is very healthy and extremely beneficial to you. First you have to understand what a juice cleanse is.

It can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks although our juice bar Tampa team advises you to do frequent juice cleanses but fewer days. It is not healthy to go weeks without eating foods that have substance. With one of these cleanses, someone will only consume fruits and vegetables in juice form in order to obtain rich nutritional value. People rave about these juice cleanses and swear by them due to the changes they experience in their health, mood, and appearance.

What Are The Benefits?

Some people are not a fan of the juice cleanse idea, but there are quite a few benefits if you are committed. Some of the benefits of juicing include:

  • Enjoy your daily dose of fruits and vegetables easily- How many of us eat our 7 servings of vegetables a day? Not many. It can be difficult to work your fruits and vegetables into your diet but juicing makes it so much easier because you can combine multiple fruits and vegetables to make a new, delicious juice blend!
  • Your body easily absorbs the nutrients- Drinking a juice is like taking a shot of nutrients. Insoluble fiber is removed which helps you digest your food better.
  • It is a great way to reduce produce waste- A great way to toss out produce is to use it in your juice! (As long as it’s not expired). Believe it or not, up to 40% of food in America goes to waste and juicing is a great way to eliminate waste and save money at the same time!

Contact Us

When you are looking for a healthy way to obtain all of the nutrients you need every day and you need an easier way to absorb nutritional value, you might want to look into doing a juice detox cleanse. Our juice bar in Tampa offers so many healthy yet delectable options for your juice cleanse! Contact Intelligent Gourmet at 813-605-1297 or visit our website!

Try Our Vegan-Friendly Desserts

There are so many types of diets, it may be difficult to decide which one works best for you when you are looking for a new diet to try. Some people are interested in diets for weight loss reasons and others have to be in a certain diet because of their food allergies or due to ethical reasons. Also, there are people who like to try diets just for the sake of dieting and there are even people who enjoy strict diets such as a vegan diet to test their discipline when it comes to food. Vegan diets are not easy to follow at first, especially if your body isn’t used to it, but once you are accustomed to the diet, you may find that you love it. A huge misconception of dieting is that you have to cut out all desserts but that is not true by any means. When you are looking for amazing vegan desserts at vegan restaurants near me, try Intelligent Gourmet.

The Desserts That We Offer

It can be hard to decide on what foods you like, but being on a certain diet such as vegan one can help narrow down your choices. Vegan desserts are very healthy, delicious and a great alternative to highly processed options. You are sure to love the desserts we carry here at Intelligent Gourmet. When searching for vegan restaurants near me for dessert, come check us out! Some of the desserts we offer include:

  • Apple Crisp- Our delicious apple crisp includes fuji and granny smith apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut palm sugar, and gluten free biscuit crust. What’s not to love! This is one of our consumers favorite vegan desserts.
  • Strawberry Lemonade Hyppo Popsicle- The strawberry lemonade popsicle that provides a refreshing bites, very few ingredients which are fresh strawberries, evaporated cane juice, and fresh squeezed lemon.
  • Champagne Mango Hyppo Popsicle- When you are looking for something a little more tropical, you should try our amazing champagne Mango popsicle made with fresh mangos, filtered water, evaporated cane juice, and fresh lime juice.
  • Watermelon Hibiscus Hyppo Popsicle- Made with fresh watermelon, evaporated cane juice, water, dried hibiscus, fresh lemon juice, and organic tapioca flour, this hyppo popsicle is nothing short of flavorful.

Why Try These Desserts?

When you were a kid, you were probably told “no dessert before dinner!” but that rule doesn’t have to apply when you grow up. Dessert is great any time of day, and if you are one of those people who fills up on dinner and can’t eat dessert, you should switch it up and try dessert before or even for dinner. Even though a vegan diet is healthy, that doesn’t mean you don’t have good choices to decide on when you are ready to have a meal. Make sure that you are eating the foods you need in order to obtain nutrients and vitamins but also let yourself indulge in one of our wonderful vegan desserts at Intelligent Gourmet.

Contact Us

When you are looking for vegan restaurants near me, try out Intelligent Gourmet for wonderful vegan desserts. Call us today at 813-605-1297 or visit our website to see our full menu!

Warming Up to Healthy Eating- Lentil Soup


Was last night the sixth holiday party we just attended? Yes, it surely was. Or perhaps it was the thirteen. I’ve lost count. While I relished every last friend, holiday/new year wish, hors d’oeuvre, cookie & cocktail with gusto, I am now carried away to a more sensible space. Here in Florida it’s a sometimes cold place we call January.

If you are like us and many others, who have spent the last month stuffed with stuffing and tipsy with holiday cheer, January brings with it a promising opportunity for replenishment, balance, and the only way to do that is by giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Lots of healthy foods and vegetables.

But to go right from cookies to carrots in 0 to 60 seconds seems crazy, we believe the body must be eased back into it’s normal patterns gently and reasonably. No fad diets, or pill will have you looking and feeling your best.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we know it’s not about losing weight – it’s about living your best life. That said, for many of us, part of becoming healthier, happier people involves undoing some of the less-great decisions of the last several weeks and, yes, losing weight. Unfortunately, changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight (though one diet claims otherwise)

What matters is keeping your nutrition high, your calories controlled, and your exercise up!

Try working your way back into some better eating habits with a healthy soup packed with protein and vegetables. Here we share with you a recipe for a very versatile lentil soup that you can easily adapt to your families personal preferences and pantry inventory:


  • 1 # package of dried lentils (You can use any kind you like, red, green, brown and black beluga)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, (small diced)
  • 1 large carrots, (small diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (small diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 12 oz package of winter squash cubes (available at most grocers)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 hand full of your favorite greens chopped, (kale, spinach, mustard, or chard)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
  • olive oil


  1. Start my heating some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over moderate heat, (you do not want the olive oil smoking) Add the chopped, carrot, celery and onion and allow these vegetable to sauté slowly about 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent add in your chopped garlic, salt and spices, stir and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in your winter squash cubes of choice and toss to combine.
  3. Add 4 cups of your stock ( chicken or vegetable depending on if you are making this vegan or not), and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in your raw lentils ( Lentils do not need to be soaked like other beans but do rinse, Check the cooking time on the package, which can vary from one type to the next. Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes while the black ones can take as long as 45 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender but not mushy, and your squash is soft. (Add additional stock if you want a thinner soup adjust to your liking)
  6. When the lentils are just tender, add the chopped greens. (They’ll only take a minute or two to wilt remove the pot from the burner as soon as the greens are wilted and bright green.)
  7. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.


Change up your meal in any one of these 4 ways.

  1. You can trade 1/2 the stock with coconut cream for a creamy flavor.
  2. Season with smoked paprika, a touch of liquid smoke, and a ham bone.
  3. Add in a 14 ounce can of diced tomato for another variation.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt on top.

Reduce Inflammation & Improve Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth

Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well, it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe


4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.


In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.