Guest recipe and blog by Cathryn Fowler / @cathryn_fowler_
Feed yourself well to feel your best because mental health starts in your gut!
It’s another morning. Another day to muster up the energy to get out of bed. To go about your day, ticking off all of your to-do’s. Sounds easy, right? But it may not be so if you suffer from depression and/or anxiety. What is easy though, is staying trapped while populating your head with a bunch of “what if” scenarios crowding in on your mind and body, stealing your motivation, keeping you stuck.
To tackle that population of what if’s, you need to look at another population - the population of your gut microbiome. Because mental health starts in your gut, you can start to crowd out those feelings of worry and despair by crowding out the bad bacteria in your gut with beneficial bacteria.
That’s where spore probiotics truly shine, and it just so happens they’re the key ingredient in these gut-loving no bake jungle peanut bliss balls. Thus the “bliss” part….aside from blissing out on the taste!
Ingredients for happiness and how to mix in more bliss
So what do “feel good” chemicals in your brain have to do with what’s going on in your gut? And why are spore probiotics the key player in these “bliss” balls?
So happy you asked! We’re communicating excellently... And a very similar type of communication happens between your brain and your gut (which is really your “second brain.”) In fact, the brain and the gut are connected via a two-way communication highway that’s part of your Central Nervous System. It’s called the Gut Brain Axis (GBA).
This highway is influenced by the trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive tract, known as your gut microbiome. And how you feel each day largely depends on how efficiently and smoothly communication flows on that highway system.
When your gut microbiome is populated by a diverse array of healthy gut bacteria, that communication flows aptly and fluently. But, when the bad bacteria overpopulate your microbiome, transmissions can become jammed, and it can lead to body-wide problems, such as -
- Systemic inflammation,
- Toxic streaming,
- Immune system overreaction,
- Reduced production of “feel-good” brain chemicals, and
- Unhealthy stress responses.
All of these negatively affect your brain, leading to conditions like depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
For instance, when you have poor communication in the GBA and an unbalanced gut microbiome, inflammation can go all the way to your brain and interfere with your serotonin uptake and your dopamine receptors. This, of course, interferes with your mood and can contribute to anxiety and depression.
Before your brain can receive feel-good chemicals like serotonin (which helps reduce depression) or gaba (which helps quiet fear and anxiety), the good bacteria in your gut have to make them. Unfortunately, a microbiome that’s overrun with bad bacteria just doesn’t sufficiently produce those healthy compounds.
Fun fact: Up to 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gut, so it’s no wonder it’s been coined the “second brain!
The power of Spore Probiotics
Spore Probiotics, like special proprietary strains in Just Thrive Probiotic, are able to make it all the way to your gut. Most other probiotics – as much as 99% of those available on the market today – are destroyed by the digestive process.
Once these Spore Probiotics get to your gut, they’re able to help a wide variety of beneficial bacteria grow and multiply, diversifying your gut microbiome. As they take over, they help ensure messages get through the GBA effectively, and encourage your gut and your mind to function optimally (ie: bliss and ease.)
When your gut has a healthy bacterial balance and is functioning well, you’ll feel your best… Physically, mentally, and emotionally!
Now that you know the first why behind the “bliss” part of these gut-loving jungle peanut balls, you can discover the second why - the blissful taste!
Recipe: Gut-loving No Bake Jungle Peanut Bliss Balls
Servings: 12-20 depending on how big you make them!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: None
Tools You’ll Need -
Extras To Pulse Into The Mix -
Tips & Substitutes -
*To make them paleo, you can substitute almond flour for the oats. If you don’t want to do jungle peanuts, you can substitute with another nut or seed, such as cashews.
*To make them vegan, you can eliminate the collagen.
*If you don’t have styrian pumpkin seed oil, though the nutty taste is utterly swoon-worthy, you can use ghee, nut butter (sunflower butter is a great choice here!) or coconut butter/oil. Coconut butter is a great option if you’d like more of a “cake-like” ball.
*If using stevia, as shown in the video, start with about 10 drops, taste and adjust! I personally like this more salty/sweet than sweet. If you’re going to pulse in dried tart cherries, it might be a good idea to use a little less sweetener.
*If you want them sugar-free, go for a high quality stevia as shown in the video. If that’s not your cup of tea, honey is a beautiful combination with the peanut flavor.
*For a chocolate edition - melt down your favorite chocolate bar and dip the balls in for a chocolate coating.
As you can see, these are very versatile, just use your favorite ingredient combinations or what you have in your pantry!
Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. I personally love them straight from the freezer!
The truth is happiness is a choice. But, that choice is a lot easier to make when you’re not suffering from unhealthy stress responses and unbalanced brain chemicals due to an imbalance in your gut microbiome. To feel your best mentally, you should first look to support your gut microbiome.
From there, the responsibility falls to you to wake up every morning with the perspective that life is full of potential and so are you. With Just Thrive Probiotic, you’ve got trillions of gut bugs all rooting for you to live your best life & to show up each day as the best version of yourself you can be. Listen to them! You’re amazing, and you’ve got this!
Because life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. Make the most of it! And eat delicious bliss balls along the way!
Cathryn Fowler / @cathryn_fowler_