In 2012 I started my gut restoration process and since 2019, I’ve helped countless of clients balance their gut health so they can reduce their chronic symptoms and feel “normal.” Because I get it, eating “different,” running to the bathroom in inappropriate times, or hiding the stomach bloat makes you feel embarrassed and like an outcast.
To support your self-care efforts here are 3 steps in reviving your gut health naturally:
1) Chisel away your hidden stressors
Chronic stress on the gut is catabolic, it breaks the body down. Mental stress can promote consumption of highly palatable foods, influencing which gut bacteria thrive. Additionally, stress can reshape the gut bacteria’s composition through stress hormones, inflammation, and autonomic alterations.  Stress can also inflame or damage the microvilli which causes malabsorption.
Most often your current lifestyle activities are the root cause of poor gut health. By...
Reset, Detox, Elimination, Fastening, Cleanse, Diet,
Depending on your state of health a “detox” can be helpful or harmful.
In our modern world of bleach wipes, whole foods genetically grown to resemble supersize, and convenient process food laced with chemicals to support our 100 mph face paced lifestyle, you are exposed to harmful toxins which can clog the body.
Your body was built to naturally detox harmful toxins. Unless you’re living in a secluded area and eating off a soil rich land your body is overexposed to levels of toxins. Things like chemicals, heavy metals, mold mycotoxins, environmental pollutants, pesticides, and more sneak into your life like a toddler at 2am
Your detoxification organs – the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs were designed to suck up toxic waste. Think of them like a vacuum cleaner. When your vacuum is clogged with potato chip crumbs and breakfast leftovers its efficiency rate is extremely low.
With warmer weather comes the annoyance of lathering up your squirmy kid with sunscreen. As a parent you understand the sunscreen battle is worth the fight vs. a sunburnt crying kid.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature. (1) The gut lining is similar to the skin expect it’s the body’s internal layer of skin – aka 2nd skin.
As you consume items like whole food, processed crap (PC), chemicals, additives, medication, etc. it takes a journey along the digestive system and ends up in your gut. Once in your gut these items encounter your gut barrier (aka 2nd skin). The gut barrier consists of one cell layer between the gut content, and your immune system and bloodstream. A healthy gut should be permeable enough to absorb nutrients, while keeping the food, bacteria, other microbes, and their components inside the gut. (2)...
Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up because you finally fell asleep?!
As a stressed out Super WoMOM, it’s difficult to shut down the brain. All you want to do is sleep, but your body refuses to get into the Zen Zone. You toss and turn, annoy the hell out of your spouse, or sometimes rack 3,000 steps while under the covers!
Most of us rely on over-the-counter melatonin to catch our Zzzz’s, so much that our society is immune to its effectiveness.
Melatonin is a hormone in your body that is responsible for regulating your sleep cycles and helping your sleep wake cycle. Your pineal gland and gut are responsible for producing that melatonin. The gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland. (1) When I see low melatonin levels on a client’s stress hormone panel test it’s an immediate clue about their gut health as deficiency in melatonin have been linked to increase permeability of the gut.
Fun fact: You...
I’ve been reviewing a lot of blood panel reports from client’s who would explain their lifestyle status as HIGH STRESS.
I get it! As a working professional mom, we love the challenge of trying to “do it all” but sometimes ignore the chronic cascade stress curve we’re riding on. When you operate at 100 mph, 24/7 without proper care with your diet, rest, exercise, stress management and supplements the body will start to breakdown from cortisol dominance.
I’m finding a common denominated among stressed-out mamas, correlations to low stomach acid.
Stomach acid is a key component in the digestive process. When the stomach cannot produce enough acid, key minerals and proteins can’t be absorbed into this body. This leads to vitamin and mineral deficiency. So you may be eating all the right foods but without proper digestion and absorption you may be feeling blah and suffering with chronic symptoms due to nutrient deficiency.
Stomach acid is also...
Do you feel like you’re doing all the right things by eating a “balanced” diet and you still feel blah?
This was and is still me! Unfortunately, I was not blessed with “I can eat & drink whatever I want and feel like a million bucks.” It doesn’t matter how many food sensitivity tests I take, dairy still shows up as a high reactive food (as many others, WTH). My digestive system and skin also give me friendly clues that these high reactive foods are NG.
You also may be sensitive to foods otherwise considered healthy. Remember, every gut has a unique blueprint so does every lifestyle! A stressed out gut is more likely to have more food sensitivities than a gut living in a stress free environment.
Before diving deep into my gut health education I had no idea there was a difference between food allergy vs. food sensitivity vs. food intolerance. I was also clueless on how one becomes sensitive / intolerant to food but not allergic.
I tend to snack a lot. Mainly because it takes the edge off of my stress level. I mean, don’t you find yourself digging for food when the mind needs to escape from reality?
Snacks seem to have a bad wrap. They either fall into the category of PC (processed crap) or bland as hell (aka rice cake or bitter broccoli florets). Neither of these categories fit my mission of gut reviving and exciting enough to curb my craving.
While decompressing after a corporate day of triple booked meetings, I saw a video on making chocolate covered stuffed dates and my mouth started watering.
Dates can easily squash a sugar craving and are extremely easy to stuff, honestly the combinations seem endless. So I went our pantry to craft up a few of my own combinations.
Base Ingredients for these Chocolate Covered Date Bombs:
Combo 1: Coconut D’Bomb
Combo 2: Almond...
How do you know when it’s time to focus on gut health?
Plain and simple: a SYMPTOM
A chronic symptom or symptoms is a key indicator it’s time to focus on improving your gut health. For example, low melatonin levels are a window into poor gut health as the gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland. (1) If you’re having trouble staying asleep or if you feel tired after sleeping several hours this could be an indication your melatonin levels are imbalanced and a good sign you need to focus on gut health.
3 Quick Tips to Improve Your Gut Health TODAY:
1) Listen to your gut.
Sometimes our mind gives us bad advice (like staying with that old boyfriend for too long, ha!) The gut and brain are connected through the vagus nerve and they communicate when there is distress. Tune in to your body's discomfort signals. Your gut will tell you when it’s unhappy. Awareness is your ally!
2) Record what you eat in a journal...
Do you find yourself eating at your computer a few times a week? Ok, maybe everyday.
I get it, the working parent duties cause you to eat while multitasking. Even if that means taking a bite, rushing to do an action item, taking another bite, etc. Which only leaves you with a cold stale meal or no meal at all.
Here’s the deal, that stomach pain or bloating may be coming from the simple task of NOT chewing your food.
Digestion begins in the mouth. As you chew your food, digestive enzymes found in saliva start to break down your food preparing it for absorption. Chewing your food thoroughly helps to achieve maximum absorption of all your vitamins and minerals. (1)
HOW TO CHEW PROPERLY
Chew each mouthful of food at least 30 times, until the food becomes liquid. (WHAT!)
But how is...
Are you OBSESSED with kombucha as much as I am? Meaning you have a budget for it - or not, ha!
I'm so obsessed with the fizz, I took a course in fermentation and received a certification as a Fermentationist! Now I can experiment with making my own brews and fermented foods. There's only one problem I see developing very quickly, the SCOBY's (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, aka The Mother) are growing at such a rapid pace that I have a SCOBY farm in my pantry!
My favorite take away from the fermentation course was that fermenting food is EASY! I'll admit I was scared to make my own batch of kombucha or ferment my own jar of sauerkraut. I don't have it in my plan of life to poison myself from "aging" food. Little did I know there's nothing really scary about the art of fermenting food. Actually, you will learn a ton of valuable information when you get that intimate with food. Food is sexy my friend, not to mention it helps to support a happy gut.
My new kombucha...