For all of you who have been asking for vegetarian/vegan protein options, here’s one of my easy go-to’s: roasted chickpeas! 😍 Incredibly easy and super delicious, I highly recommend giving them a try. This plate is a good example of a well-balanced, plant-based meal that incorporates VARIETY, which is crucial for a healthy gut microbiome. The more colors 🌈 and different types of plant foods we consume, the greater the chance that we meet our micronutrient needs and help the crucial microbes in our guts thrive. It’s not just the number of these little microbes that’s important, but also their DIVERSITY, and to increase that we need to increase the diversity of our diet 🍽 It’s easy to get into ruts and just make what we know and usually eat 🥱, but it’s important to incorporate different foods to increase diversity.
Research on the gut microbiome is exploding and we still have a ton to learn, but we do know that they’re critical for nutrient metabolism, immune system function, maintaining gut barrier function & structure of the gastrointestinal tract, and production of B vitamins and vitamin K. There is evidence suggesting the gut microbiome plays a role in disease development, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Animal studies have also shown associations between the microbiome and weight gain, lipid synthesis, and fat storage. Though we still have many questions about these microbes, one thing is certain: they LOVE a diversity of plant foods, so including variety in your diet is beneficial! 🥙🥕🥬🍒🥝🍇🍌🥦🥥🍠🧄🍓🧅🍉🌽🍈🥗🥭🍍
Meal dEats: drain canned chickpeas and thoroughly rinse 💦, lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet and coat w/ avo 🥑 oil, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, S+P, and bake at 375 for ~15 min, stir and bake another ~15 min (may be longer or shorter depending on how crunchy you like ‘em!). Green beans and Brussels were frozen from @traderjoes, steamed for ~8 min (love having frozen veg on hand for quick & easy meals), and mushrooms 🍄 were sautéed in ghee with a TON of garlic (multiply what you’re considering a ton by at least 3 😂), and then add 🧂!