Strange fact about me, I'm slightly fascinated with the gut and our digestive system. I’ve said this before, but it's worth repeating, what we eat affects our health waaayyyy more than most people realize.
By now, you've heard me talk about my own digestive journey which resulted in eliminating gluten/wheat/dairy/eggs/peanuts/almonds/coconut. It took some detective work and willpower to get there, but well worth it. When I eat what my body can tolerate, I’m more focused, well rested, full of energy, and in a much better mental state. And experience way fewer digestive issues.
It takes being tuned in to your body. And realizing that being bloated, having gas, or experiencing heart burn is NOT normal. But rather a sign that your digestive system needs some help.
Because I have this obsession with a healthy gut, I’m constantly looking for more information on the topic. Which brings me to the subject of this post. This past week I’ve been re-reading, “Natural Solutions for Digestive Health” by Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta & Jeannette Bessinger.
The book is broken up into sections beginning with the basics behind normal digestion and common issues that can occur, how our modern day lives can negatively effect our digestive health, and a gut restoration program which includes meal plans and a supplement schedule. There is also a section on gastrointestinal health for kids.
Let's start with some interesting facts regarding your gut:
- It is the link between digestion and absorption of the nutrients we consume to all the other systems of the body.
- The majority of our immune cells reside in our GI tract. These cells are heavily influenced by what is delivered into our gut. Still want to eat that overly processed "food"?
- Our digestive system is tied to our nervous system…meaning stress and other input from the brain heavily influence our digestive function. Yet another reason to chill the f out.
The gut restoration program detailed in the book has 5 steps. I’m only going to share 3 of the steps with you. Want to know the other steps? Then check out the book here
Step #1 Remove the most commonly problematic foods. It’s quite the list, so settle in. Gluten, dairy, soy, beans/legumes, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, white potatoes, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and eggplant), refined sugar and sweeteners, and yep, alcohol. They also suggest eliminating a few other foods (caffeine!), but in order to not scare you off, we’ll leave it at that. Did I mention how much better you could feel?
Step #2 Take a probiotic. Yes, yes, yes. This should have made my nutritional non negotiable list (reread that blog post here)
Step #5 Lifestyle changes. These include establishing a daily bathroom routine (going poo), getting great sleep, and chilling the f out (see it keeps coming up, must be something to this...) through morning walks or meditation.
I really want to encourage you to do some detective work of your own. I know, I’m a personal trainer, not a doctor (wait, is it too late to become one?) But I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a healthy gut.
Way more important and way sexier than a six pack.
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