A few weeks ago, I talked to you about what I learned from having IBS. I’ve dealt with IBS my entire life – since I was a kiddo and I wrote about my journey here in case you missed it.
The reason I accepted this (really fun) challenge was because throughout the last 10 years of my chronic health journey, I never did a trial with just probiotics to see what the results would be. I always tried new probiotics while I was on other supplements and doing a ton of other protocols to keep my gut healthy. Hence, I never really knew if the probiotics were the ones helping me. It was tricky and as I’m sure many of you who are on your own journey to taking back your health know, the process can seem quite daunting and exhausting because it becomes a game of trial and error. Although I took careful steps with incorporating new supplements, it never dawned on me that perhaps the probiotics I was taking weren’t working or weren’t doing the job they needed to be doing because I was doing so many other things. Make sense?
Today, I’m sharing with you what I did discover throughout the last three weeks and why I love taking probiotics! Now, before we dive in, I want to mention one thing about the importance of choosing the right probiotic based on your condition. Many people think they can waltz into a store, pick up a probiotic and start taking it. Au contraire, my friends. You’ve got to know what’s going on in your gut and to work with your Functional/Integrative M.D. to determine what strains of bacteria are best for you.
If you suffer from serious digestive conditions like IBS, UC or ileal pouch and have tried general probiotics found on the pharmacy shelf without success, you may want to try a serious probiotic. I know so many of your suffer from gas and bloating so if you do, take a look at what I discovered on my three week journey below.
Now, let’s talk about the last three weeks of my life. Talk about F-U-N. Yes, I’m a dork and I love being a guinea pig and doing research on myself. So, I pretty much had a ball taking notes and jotting down how I felt every day. I noticed a whole lotta changes that I wasn’t expecting so I’m going to share them with you today. Let me know if you have any questions! I’m an open book as you all know and I’m always happy to share anything about my journey with all of you in hopes that it helps you on your journey to wellness, as well.
Okay, here we go. I thought it would be easier if I separated everything into categories below since there’s a whole lotta info that I want to share with you.
Convenience & Taste
I always opt for the powder because it’s easy to incorporate into some of my favorite foods! So, I keep the packets in my fridge and then take one out at breakfast, like my above fruit parfait, and I sprinkle the probiotics on top. I really like the texture and it adds a nice touch with my food. More on how I use it in my recipes below. I personally love the taste of the powder form but if you’re more of a pill person, then opt for the pill, which you can toss into your bag for work or if you’re traveling for the day. Both forms still need to be refrigerated but it’s just a matter of preference – are you a pill popper or a powder person? I’m a powder person. To me, it’s more fun and I feel like a kid again. That makes everything better.
How to Incorporate Probiotics into Your Daily Routine
As I mentioned above, I love using probiotics in my breakfast (cold foods and drinks only though). I often sprinkle it on my fruit parfaits along with cacao nibs, coconut milk yogurt, fresh orange zest and coconut flakes. If you’re not in the mood for taking probiotics at breakfast, you can opt for a snack, such as tossing them into your favorite hummus or guacamole or salsa and enjoying it with some homemade tortilla chips. To me, the powder is just so much more fun. But then again, I’m like a kid so I love to have fun when I eat.
How My Symptoms Changed
I wasn’t expecting to see the drastic results that I experienced. That’s for darn sure. My sleep and energy levels increased and I was less bloated after I ate, which is pretty fabulous – especially since summer is almost here and bloating + summer just doesn’t mesh well if you know what I mean, jellybean.
Lifestyle Tips That Helped
I also started getting into bed earlier instead of staying up late to read in bed; I tried to get myself in bed by 10:30 PM and got up earlier, as well, around 7 AM. It’s amazing how different you can feel when you get your body on the circadian rhythm instead of going to bed at midnight and feeling like you’re dragging the next day. I also started enjoying walks outdoors since the weather warmed up. So, I’d go for walks in the morning down by the water to meditate and clear my mind before I started my day. It was an easy and super beneficial way to let myself start the morning on the right foot.
Overall, I was amazed by this three week journey. I’m really excited that I discovered so much about my gut health and I can’t wait to keep going!
*Please speak with your healthcare provider for any specific questions. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Share your thoughts
Thanks so much for the response, Amie! That provides some context.
In a previous post sponsored by Align, you stated “I love Align Probiotic because it’s easy to digest (now they come in a chewable option) and it keeps my gut happy and healthy!” What prompted you to switch to VSL#3? I do not have IBS, but my digestive process does not seem as smooth as I’d like. I’ve been taking Align daily for a little over two months, but haven’t noticed any difference. I have not consulted an integrative medical professional. I’m just curious why you would switch probiotics after indicating that Align worked well for you.
There are TONS of probiotics out there. I have used Align for years and VSL#3 is completely different. One is a medical food and the other is a daily probiotic. I used VSL#3 daily for years when I needed it. It’s the strongest probiotic I know of but I don’t need it daily right now- it’s for IBS and colitis and ileal pouch. I use VSL#3 when I have serious gut issues and for reboots. I use Align daily. Both are incredible probiotics but they are very different. I love them both; let me know if that helps! oxxx