I’m pretty much a gut-guru after spending the majority of my LIFE in gut pain.
It all started when I was a child and my parents had me on dozens of antibiotics as a child every.single.gosh.darn.time. I was sick. OY! Those quick fixes back in the 80’s have cost me tens of thousands, YES tens of thousands of dollars to fix my gut (digestive problems) and whip it into shape. The trick? Well, it’s not so easy. It’s taken me years to master what’s going on inside. There’s SIBO, Candida, bad bacteria and so much more that’s lurking inside your stomach, small intestine and large intestine. My digestion has always been weak and ALL my health issues have streamed from my lovely gut. Once I started focusing on my screwed up gut and killed off the pathogens, parasites, yeast, bad bacteria and everything else hanging out and partying in there- I was a NEW gal.
I’ve worked with so many clients who have issues from asthma to acne and it all stems from poor gut health. Fix your gut and you’ll fix your life. Trust me!
Your gut is the epicenter of your physical and mental health. If you want a stronger immune system, better digestion, less brain fog and depression- focus on building the good bacteria in your gut. When you heal your gut, you’ll notice chronic health issues like colds, the flu, aches, pains, fatigue, brain fog and more vanish into the sky.
I’ve spoken before about gut health and by now you know your gut holds trillllllllllions of bacteria that help you produce nutrients, fight foreign invaders and process your food. These lovely bacteria rely on YOU to eat the right foods (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar–free, soy-free and organic) because your food choices affect your gut environment which in turn affects your entire well-being and overall health.
The key is to balance your good and bad bacteria. You want 85% good guys and 15% bad guys in your gut. This is ideal- you’d have fabulous energy, numerous daily bowel movements, feel strong, look healthy and not get sick! But, as I’ve learned, when those bad guys take over–good luck! It ain’t easy getting them out of there. They cause many health issues like infections and inflammation such as Candida, constipation, allergies, arthritis, headaches, depression and autoimmune diseases. The last thing you need to add to your body burden from bad bacteria is stress; illness; environmental toxins and chemicals from tap water and personal care products as well as our air, etc; and prescription or over the counter drugs such as antibiotics, Advil, Tylenol, Tums, etc.
Everything you put into your mouth ends up in your gut and you either absorb it or you eliminate it. Your lovely gut takes those nutrients and makes them so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream, so if your gut isn’t working, you’ll likely have nutrient deficiencies which lead to even more health issues.
So, keep yourself well fed with an organic, clean eating lifestyle filled with relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to help heal your gut. You might not know you have two brains. One in your head and the other in your GUT. Yes, it’s true. Your gut’s brain is known as the enteric nervous system, home to millions of neurons within your intestinal wall. What do these neurons do? They send info throughout your bod pod and control digestion as well as send updates to your brain, letting it know what’s going on down in your stomach. Your brain receives messages from your gut, which affect your emotions and mood! Also, signals from the brain such as anxiety and stress can have an effect on how well our enteric nervous system works- I’m sure we’ve all seen this happen. Been stressed or nervous and have an upset stomach? Yep. You’ve been there!
The craziest part, that I learned recently, from a role model of mine Dr. Mark Hyman is that the majority of your serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates your sleep, anxiety, mood and more) is produced in your gut- not in your brain. Wow, right? The craziest part about all of this is that I spent years and years and years working with Gastro M.D.’s in Western medicine who gave me hundreds of tests, pills, scopes, etc. and never figured any of this out! So sad, right? So, when you’re not feeling so happy or not sleeping and you tell your MD about this and he ain’t got a clue that it’s your gut OR he hands you a prescription for a drug–like they did in my case—you need a NEW doctor. An Integrative MD to be exact!
As I’ve discussed more than 70% of your immune system is in your gut so you’ve gotta keep that gut in tip top shape to keep yourself feeling fannnntabbbbuulous! Catch my drift?
So, here’s a few tips to get you started in helping to heal your gut.
PROBIOTICS. Eat probiotic foods that are whole foods, not processed advertised probiotic foods like those gross yogurts you see in the store aisles- those probiotics are mostly dead and aren’t even alive any longer so they aren’t doing you any good. Try kimchi, sauerkraut and chickpea miso fermented foods to repopulate your good gut bacteria.
PREBIOTICS. Eat prebiotic-rich foods like raw onions, artichokes and bananas to your meals.
TAKE PROBIOTICS. Look for a high quality probiotic. Buying online in bulk is much cheaper!
EAT EVERY FEW HOURS. Eat healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbs at every meal and enjoy snacks in between meals so you’re not skipping meals which will affect your digestion. This will help prevention bloating and constipation, to!
DRINK MORE PURIFIED WATER. Enough said!
GUT OUT GLUTEN, DAIRY, SOY, SUGAR. I hope you’re doing this already! This is HUGE!
REMOVE STRESS. Walk, do yoga, meditate, take a bath, get to bed earlier and remove toxic people from your life. Start saying NO to things and give yourself more time to rest.
SLEEP MORE. You know you need more sleep. It’s a great way to lower your stress levels and help your body detox and repair overnight. Get at least 8 hours and if you have an autoimmune disease, get at least 10 hours.
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. raw almonds
- 2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage
- 1 large ripe avocado pitted and diced
- 2 cups mixed baby salad greens
- juice of 1 large lemon
- large pinch fresh lemon zest
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- drizzle extra-virgin olive oil optional
Cook rice according to package directions.
Divide cooked rice, cranberries, almonds, cabbage, avocado, salad greens among serving bowls. Drizzle with lemon juice and garnish with lemon zest. If needed drizzle each bowl with a little bit of olive oil.
Serve warm or at room temperature.