Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

This post is generously sponsored by Genuine Health and Prebiotin

As crazy as it feels for August to already be over, it's even crazier to think that I've been living in Mankato, Minnesota for over a month now! Amazing how quickly time goes by when you're busy for 98% of the time that you're not sleeping...luckily, though, I've had some fun activities to balance out the crazy workload. 

Craving some homemade protein ice cream? Want to hear about another awesome gluten free and vegan probiotic? Or just curious about my first full week of grad school and teaching a college class?

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

For all of that and more, just keep scrolling!

What I'm Eating

Alll the potatoes. I started grad school and teaching (more details on that below) last week, and I'm still trying to find my meal prep groove. What's that mean? Lots of easy dinners - like potatoes, veggies, avocado and beans - eaten for several days in a row. Sometimes simple is all you really need! 

My new night snack addiction of (gluten free and vegan) protein ice cream! In the past, I've avoided protein powder since it often upset my stomach or caused bloating. The great part about Genuine Health's vegan protein powder, though, is that it's made of fermented vegan protein specifically designed to be easily digested. So, of course, I had to try out Genuine Health's Fermed Vegan+ Proteins in some homemade protein ice cream! 

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

I made my own vegan protein ice cream based off of this recipe, and even though it only has three ingredients - frozen bananas, coconut cream and protein powder - it really is the tastiest homemade "ice cream" I've ever tasted. Genuine Health's vanilla fermented protein powder added a little extra sweetness and kept the ice cream from tasting just like bananas. (Although that's equally delicious). I also loved knowing that my night snack was giving my belly a helping hand! Making some chocolate protein ice cream is next on my to-do list...

Waaaaay too many snacks to keep track of. I've basically decided that, as the hours I spend food prepping go down, the number of snacks I eat on a daily basis goes up. I'm so grateful to have a big snack stash - like Enjoy Life Foods protein balls, coconut chips, rice cakes, my fave Health Warrior chia seed and pumpkin seed bars (which I'm an ambassador for!), and So Delicious yogurt - waiting for me in my closet. 

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

What I'm Doing

Repeating "just keep swimming" as I get in the groove of grad school classes and teaching English 101, or Intro to Composition. My first day of teaching went about as well as I could hope. My second day? Not so hot. Although nothing went terribly wrong, I felt off and like I wasn't explaining everything as clearly as I wanted. Meanwhile, my first Creative Nonfiction Workshop at the grad school level was exciting and inspiring and terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time. I'm trying to give myself grace and focus on one day at a time. We'll see how week two treats me! 

Experimenting with some new digestive secret weapons. Thanks to Genuine Health, I also got to try both of their advanced gut probiotics, which include 15 strains of probiotics. Their probiotics are not only gluten free and vegan, but also in capsule form, which is convenient if you need probiotic powder to make your own yogurt (something I'm considering trying out!). If you're looking for a high quality and high intensive probiotic to help your gut recover from an illness or antibiotics use, Genuine Health offers a probiotic with 50 billion colony forming units (of CFUs) of probiotics. Otherwise, their 15 CFU probiotic is great for daily gut care.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

I've also been experimenting with prebiotics. What's the difference? Probiotics are good bacteria hangin' out in your gut. Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that feed those probiotics. Research has found that inulin and oligofructose are the "truest" forms of prebiotics, and you can find them in certain foods like bananas, garlic and leeks. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to eat all of the prebiotics your body needs...which is where a supplement like Prebiotin comes in.

Prebiotin is a powder that contains oligofructose-enriched inulin. You simply add the powder to your choice of food (like my protein ice cream) or drink. Beyond promoting a healthy gut, Prebiotin can also help your system be a little more regular, if you know what I mean. (Yay for dietary fiber!) Prebiotin sells different varieties of the prebiotics, from their classic form (the one I'm using) to mixes designed for bone health and weight loss. In the month I've been using Genuine Health and Prebiotin, I wouldn't say that my stomach has been "transformed." However, I have experienced less bloating and better digestion, which are major wins in my book.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

Searching for the form of exercise that is good for my body right now. As I shared a few weeks ago, I've re-strained an old IT Band injury and can't do a lot of my usual exercises, like biking, walking and yoga. I'd be lying to say that my limitations aren't frustrating, but I'm trying to focus on enjoying the workouts that feel good for my body right now, like weight lifting, rowing and ab work. 

What I'm Planning 

Enjoying a low-key 22cd birthday! My birthday is on a Wednesday, one of my busiest days of the week. However, I'm glad that I have Labor Day off and can enjoy some pre-birthday relaxation. I don't have any big plans thus far, but I'm hoping to get to spend some time with new friends and whip up some delicious gluten free treats!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

Exploring more of Mankato, Minnesota. I'm definitely missing Whole Foods Market (that hot bar!) and my fave grocery store, Sprouts Farmer's Market. However, I'm slowly but surely discovering cool spots near my new apartment. Last week, I attended a reading (in which writers "perform" their written pieces - our version of fun!) at Coffee Hag, a local coffee shop. While the food isn't Casey friendly, the ambiance is inviting and quirky. I'm also planning on checking out the WYSIWYG Juice Company, which claims to offer lots of gluten free options. (A relatively rare find in Mankato!)

Powering through more teaching and classes. I've always had a lot of respect for teachers but that respect has doubled now that I'm in their shoes. Mistakes have happened...and will continue to happen. But I know that I can't improve - as a teacher or a student - without having mistakes to learn from. Trying to find my identity as a grad school writer is equally challenging and scary...but I know that growing and improving as a writer is why I'm here in the first place!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

Being intentional about resting, relaxing and recharging. Much like blogging, teaching often feels never-ending; there's always something I could be doing. In fact, lately it seems like I wake up, blink, and it's already eight o'clock at night...and I've spent the whole day working. To keep what's left of my sanity, I'm trying to make sure that every day features a mix of work and play. I've never been very good at moderation, so we'll how well this plan turns out!

In fact, we'll see how all of these plans turn out when I give another edition of my Monthly Favorites next month. August was an exciting mix of new adventures - from starting grad school to experimenting with new ways to improve my gut health - and I know September will likely follow the same theme.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Probiotic, Protein Ice Cream and More!

All I have to say? Bring on the birthday (complete with protein ice cream, most likely!), the blogging and lots of grad school adventures. See you all on the other side!

*I received products from Genuine Health and Prebiotin in exchange for an honest review. However, all opinions and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac.*

What were some of your favorite eats and activities in August? How do you take care of your gut health? Tell me in the comments!


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