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How to Combine Foods to Improve Digestion

How to Combine Foods to Improve Digestion

Health begins in the gut. 

It’s common to feel digestive discomfort (bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea) or fatigue after eating, but it should not be the norm. 

The gut allows nutrients to pass into the body and provides a barrier against harmful organisms. When this happens correctly, you feel energized and refreshed after meals. 

If that’s not the case for you, you may benefit from a few simple guidelines known to improve digestion and ease symptoms like abdominal pain and swelling, mental fog, intestinal gas, and fatigue. 

These are not rules, in that you have to follow them for the rest of your life, but becoming aware of how you eat certain foods together to improve digestion can help, especially if you suffer from digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Combining foods to improve digestion works because our food (carbs, fats, and proteins) digests at different speeds and requires different digestive enzymes to break it down. You can create a little war inside if you eat foods that have different requirements for digestion and absorption… especially if you have underlying digestive problems added to the mix. 

 

Food combining guidelines 

 

Neutral Foods

Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables contain their own digestive enzymes and can be paired with any meal. 

Citrus fruits, spices, and herbs are neutral foods and can be paired with any foods. Many of them aid in digestion. Use lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, oregano, basil, cilantro, and other healing herbs to add flavor and improve the health of your digestive system.

 

Eat fruit away from starchy carbs

Fruit, grains, and other carbohydrates (like potatoes and legumes) have a similar digestive rate, so they will compete with one another and lead to fermentation in the gut, which causes gas and bloating. The grain or starch will win this battle and the fruit will be left in the gut to putrefy and ferment while it waits its turn to be digested. 

Instead, try fruit with nuts, or eat it alone. Its simple sugars will digest very rapidly. It’s best to eat it about 30 minutes to 1 hour before or after meals. 

Some people also do well with fruit smoothies since the fruit is already broken down and it can be easily digested along with chia seeds, avocado, greens, and plant based proteins. Chewing your smoothies will also help you release the digestive juices necessary to digest with ease. 

Eat melon alone because it has a quick fermentation process and can cause bloating when eaten with any other food. 

 

Pair protein with non-starchy vegetables

Protein needs an acidic environment and plenty of digestive enzymes to break down and digest. It can be paired with cabbage, broccoli, greens, peppers, or other non-starchy vegetables because they have their own digestive enzymes.

Many people can digest protein well with starch. A lot of this will depend on the health of your digestive system, blood sugar imbalances, and your metabolic type. People with thyroid or adrenal disorders may need more carbohydrates with protein to help support energy.

When eating protein with a carbohydrate-rich meal, pay attention to whether or not your stomach feels heavy or you feel foggy and tired after meals. This is a sign that you had too much starch with your protein. 

 

Pair starch with healthy fats and vegetables

Grains, potatoes, plantains, and legumes play nice together at mealtime and all need an alkaline environment for digestion. They also pair well with non-starchy vegetables. 

 

Limit liquids during meals

Digestive enzymes are formed in the mouth when we chew our food. Drinking water or any other beverage with your meals can dilute these digestive enzymes and slow digestion. Drink water outside of meals and sip room temperature water with your meals. You can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before meals and drink it about 30 minutes before you eat to improve digestion.

 

What if you still have digestive upset after meals?

Digestive upset can still happen if we overeat or if we don’t combine foods appropriately. It’s natural to want to reach for an over-the-counter remedy to give you a little relief. 

Here’s a few more things you can try:

  • Raw apple cider vinegar helps rebalance the pH in your gut  to help you digest better. Try  1-3 teaspoons in 4 oz of water.
  • Digestive enzymes before meals are beneficial if you know you have consistent issues. You may also try 2 capsules after meals that cause bloating.
  • Ginger tea before or after a meal can help calm nausea and bloating and relieve constipation

If you have indigestion after a meal, you can add a pinch of baking soda to about 4 oz of warm water to neutralize the acid.

 

Want to learn more about digestive health?

If you’re struggling with food sensitivities, low energy, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, or weight gain, it could all be related to poor gut health and particularly leaky gut. 

Functional lab tests and a good professional assessment can be life-giving if you have chronic digestive issues or health problems. 

Check out my services here and connect with me to learn more about whether our programs are right for you. 

 

 

(This blog contains affiliate links)

Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

Did you know panda’s poop an average of 40 times per day? 

They have to eat a lot of fiber to get enough nutrients to sustain their health. 

It’s interesting how these animals have the natural instinct to eat enough to fuel their body with the right amount of nutrition to sustain life. 

Unfortunately, humans lose a lot of intuition around eating because we pick up certain beliefs about food growing up and carry both the healthy and unhealthy traditions from one generation to the next. 

Many times we blame genetics for a disease process when it may have more to do with our habits and environment. 

Today I’ll focus on 1 nutrient because it’s one of the most common deficiencies due to our depleted soil, poor quality animals, and over-consumption of grains and processed foods filled with anti-nutrients. This mineral is Magnesium.

 

How can you tell if you’re deficient?

If you’re like most people, you’ve tried a lot of diets. We want to find the perfect plan that works best and gives us the results we want with a simple, easy, fun, and doable plan. 

Many new fads (healthy or not) can lead to deficiencies because they’re restrictive and don’t provide enough nutrients. 

Another problem is that rapid weight loss can lead to nutrient deficiencies. 

The key to resolving this is to address the underlying cause. 

 

Here are a few signs you’re deficient: 

  • Inability to fall asleep or waking up throughout the night
  • Cravings for carbohydrates or processed foods
  • Low energy, especially in the afternoon
  • Headaches, anxiety, and/or depression
  • Inability to handle stress or feeling super stressed
  • Muscle spasms, soreness, or cramps
  • Bloating or chronic constipation
  • Low thyroid and low bone density
  • Bloating or chronic constipation

 

Could magnesium deficiency be deadly?

When I say the word malnourished, you likely think of those in underprivileged countries, and not your neighbor or family members who have access to plenty of food. But the sad truth is, many of the people we encounter on a daily basis are malnourished – and it results from having plenty to eat, but not enough nutrition.

A respected medical study reported that 77% of diabetics were deficient in magnesium, and at risk for deadly complications from this deficiency. Those with adequate levels have a 17% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

It is also important for the heart and regulating blood pressure. Those with the lowest levels of magnesium also have the highest risk of dying from heart attack

There’s a difference in addressing your labs in a traditional way versus exploring them from a holistic standpoint and addressing them in a way that offers insight into the cause of your health issues. When we address the underlying cause of these deficiencies, we can stay healthy, or maybe even experience it for the first time in a long time.

 

How can you support magnesium deficiencies?

If you’d like to take the first step in looking at your labs from a whole body perspective with a functional analysis, you can order a set of labs here and I’ll do a full analysis and interpretation for you. This advanced blood panel is designed to give you insight into your overall health. It comes with a single lab interpretation session so we can discuss next steps for addressing the underlying cause of your health concerns. 

(This is not available if you life in NY, NJ, or Rhode Island)

The other option I love for balancing electrolytes in the body in a balanced way that includes a little magnesium support is through the use of daily electrolytes. You can check out my favorite brand and receive a gift with your purchase here

Consume magnesium rich foods found in nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, almonds, and cashews. 

Avoid processed foods as much as possible since they are known to prevent the body from absorbing nutrients as it should. 

If you find you’re deficient, use a quality brand of magnesium for supplementation. Most people can benefit from a little bit, but all sources are not created equal. 

If you’re tired of trying to figure out your health on your own and are ready for a step by step plan so you can learn to tune in to your body and give it what it needs to get healthy and stay that way once and for all, complete this short application and we’ll schedule some time to see if one of the “Go With Your Gut” program options are right for you. 

3 Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Health Goals

3 Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Health Goals

Last week, we talked about the 5 foolproof and practical tips to achieving your health goals. Sticking to a lifestyle of health and wellness can be an ambitious feat. We juggle a lot at once! We… 

Follow challenging fitness plans…  

Make nutritious meal choices… 

Maintain a healthy mindset… 

Monitor our toxic load… 

And do it all while taking care of our families and work responsibilities.  

With time, practice, coaching, and the right resources, we can all learn how to juggle these things…  

But sometimes, a wrench is occasionally thrown into the mix – something we couldn’t have planned for or expected.  

Right now, many of us are experiencing major changes in our normal routines as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our gyms and yoga studios are closed, in-person social activities and faith services have come to a halt, our children are home during the day, and our work is being conducted remotely or not at all. So much unexpected change all at once can lead to a great deal of stress and impact our health goals.  

Juggling just became a whole lot more difficult. 

If you’ve dropped the ball on some of your health and wellness practices, don’t let it stay on the floor! In this blog, I’m going to tell you about 3 simple ways to stop sabotaging your health goals – no matter what life throws at you (even a pandemic).  

3 Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Health Goals 

In times of stress, it’s very easy to overlook the things that are sabotaging your health goals. Here are 3 simple ways to avoid setting yourself back.  

1. Stop Ignoring Yourself  

The most important thing that so many people forget during their health and wellness journeys is themselves. Yes, that’s right! People leave themselves out of the equation. When was the last time you turned off auto-pilot to evaluate your mindset or tune into your body’s signals?  

As you might already know if you’ve read my blog about stress, it can weaken your body’s immune system and disrupt your normal sleeping behavior. If you ignore your body’s stress signals, you are creating major limitations for yourself; you may find that you don’t have enough energy to complete your normal workouts or that you can’t get enough rest for recovery.  

Instead of ignoring your feelings and hoping they will go away on their own, acknowledge them, adapt. This will allow you to begin counteracting their negative effects through nutrition or mindfulness practices.    

Rather listen to an 8 minute video with the same information?

Use The Mind-Body Connection 

Sometimes, the best way to stop ignoring yourself is to start talking to yourself. Okay – maybe not out loud if you’re in a public place. But this pandemic has created an incredible opportunity for you to retreat and rest.. Everything that we think, feel, and believe can affect our body’s biological health. This is called the mind-body connection. In this way, speaking negatively to ourselves can have a negative biological impact. 

Instead, take full advantage of the way that your brain and body share a common chemical language by encouraging yourself to take an optimistic outlook mentally. This will foster energy from inside to reclaim your physical health. I’ve worked with many clients over the years to improve their mindsets and help them reach their visions of health and wellness using this approach. 

Make Time For Wellness 

When you’re focused on everything you can’t control, it is easy to forget the one thing that you can control: yourself.  

For many around the world, we now have Stay-At-Home orders (or at least recommendations for social distancing). You can spend that extra time that you would otherwise by commuting or working and watch that TV series you’ve been meaning to watch. But after a few days of missing your regular exercise, your body will begin to express its needs to you. You may start to feel sluggish or tense. Don’t ignore it.  

Here are a couple tips to make time for wellness (especially during this season): 

Take Supplements Every Single Day 

Take supplements everyday. Make it part of your routine, just like your morning cup of coffee. If you need help figuring out what your body needs, I can help direct you.  

Eat Whole Foods. Use the time you would be commuting to cook your meals at home. You’ve been gifted this large amount of time to focus on you. 

Implement More Movement 

Implement more movement into your daily schedule. If you typically walk or bike to work and now you have been told not to commute in, this is something you don’t have control over. If you normally go to the gym before or after work and it’s now closed, the same is true. Try walking up and down your stairs if the weather is bad. See how many times you can climb them! Have your kids or spouse join you as you “climb the mountain”. Access tons of at-home workouts (many of which have been made free due to COVID-19). Take your conference calls on a walk (Zoom is available on mobile).  

Spend Time In Nature 

Get outside and spend time in nature. Lately, I’ve been focused on getting outside and in some sunlight. It’s amazing the healing properties that nature has. In fact, it boosts your immune system for up to 30 days. Take a walk or bike ride outside during the time you would normally be commuting to work. Your body will thank you.  

Focus On Your Mindset 

Meditate, breathe, and pray. Calm the nervous system by introducing rhythmic breathing and focusing on what the Lord is teaching you in this season.  

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phillippians 4:6-7 

No matter what life throws at you, you can always make time to take care of yourself. Energy is always present – don’t sabotage your wellness by letting it go to waste!  

2. Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others 

In times of uncertainty, many people turn to health and wellness experts on social media to see what they are doing to stay on track. They start comparing their own  workouts, meal plans, sleep schedule, or supplements to those of others; however, this could sabotage your path to wellness. 

How? Well comparison isn’t just the thief of joy; it can also be a major roadblock to reaching your wellness goals because what works for others, isn’t going to work the same way for you. One approach can bring phenomenal results for one person, while the same exact approach may not work at all on the next person. This is true particularly in regard to nutrition.  

Not convinced? Let’s talk about exactly why comparing yourself to others is not a beneficial use of your time and energy… 

Understand We Are All Built Differently 

When it comes to everything from our muscle fibers and nutritional needs to our stressors and preferences, we are all different. This is why abiding by a one-size-fits-all plan will eventually lead you to a dead end.  

Believe me! I’ve tried them all.  

The truth is, we don’t all have the same genetics, body composition, environment, or disease processes. Because of this, building a health plan is a lot like cooking from a recipe. To make the best meal, you don’t always follow the recipe exactly to a “T”. Instead, the ingredients need to be adjusted to satisfy whoever you’re serving.  

You wouldn’t give your lactose-intolerant friend your smoothie recipe that includes yogurt. No matter how delicious it is to you, it would cause them major discomfort. Instead, you substitute yogurt for something their body can easily digest, like almond milk. 

The same is true when it comes to following a wellness plan. You don’t need an expert’s meal plan filled with a variety of boxed foods; their workout plan also may not be right for your body. These things will not serve you to the fullest capacity. In fact, it might even do more harm than good. 

Instead, stop sabotaging your health goals by focusing on your own personalized approach to wellness. 

3. Don’t Push Off Your Priorities 

Now, breaking free of the comparison trap to focus on yourself doesn’t mean that you have to walk down your path to wellness all on your own! In fact, you should do your best to surround yourself with others that will hold you accountable.  

Why is accountability so important? It is one of the most essential ways to help us avoid pushing off our health priorities.  

When we set SMART goals for ourselves (check out #1 on last month’s blog post for how to set SMART goals!) and then life throws something unexpected our way, it is only natural for us to want to postpone our initial timeline for reaching that goal. Sometimes, this can’t be helped. But other times, we just need a friendly reminder to prioritize what is most important: our wellness. 

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods” 

Sticking to your priorities doesn’t mean that you have to carry out the plan exactly as you initially intended. But it does mean getting them done – one way or another. Releasing yourself from an all-or-nothing mentality will ensure you’re not stagnant in your progress towards wellness.     

Creating Accountability 

It is harder to let ourselves down when we know others are rooting for us too.  

If you are having trouble finding others to foster accountability with in-person because of social-distancing or other circumstances, there are several other approaches you can take. For example, you can start a virtual accountability group with family or friends online with daily, weekly, or monthly check-ins. 

Another great way to stay accountable is through having a health and wellness expert like myself coach you through your journey. I found this to be incredibly useful in my own journey, and that is why I am so excited to be a source of accountability for others like you. It makes all the difference. 

I don’t say this to scare you, but COVID-19 won’t be the last illness that sweeps the world. Are you ready to step up and take care of your body, so you don’t have to worry about the next pandemic coming around (at least as much)? Fill out a discovery call form here if you’re ready to talk more with me about holding yourself accountable to your health goals and protecting your future. 

P.S. Over the last couple days, I’ve been posting a lot of COVID-19 related things on my social media accounts to reduce stress and improve your immune system. Are you following me? 

5 Foolproof And Practical Tips to Achieving Your Health Goals

5 Foolproof And Practical Tips to Achieving Your Health Goals

What comes to mind when you think about your picture-perfect image of health?

Do you picture a specific person?

Maybe an authority in the health and wellness community comes to mind. When we start our fitness journeys, many of us look to others who already have what we want for direction. We think… “If I can just do exactly what she does, then I’ll look and feel like she does too.”

Like a recipe, we start cooking up that picture-perfect image of health. We add each ingredient and follow each step exactly as the “recipe” calls for.

But, after a few months of hard work, we find that our results are lacking. Our image of health still doesn’t compare to that of our idols. We wonder…

  • Did I add too much of one ingredient by accident?
  • Did I make a mistake?
  • What am I forgetting?

Before we get into my 5 practical tips to achieving your health goals, we need to look at what the original diet looked like and why returning to the original diet can help you to reach those goals…

The Original Diet Was A Flexible One

Our ancestors likely got their food through hunting or foraging. They didn’t have grocery stores with a variety of food options year-round. With changing seasons, the types of food available to them changed. Our natural eating patterns are meant to change depending on our environment and our body’s needs.

Processed foods and foods sprayed with poisons and pesticides weren’t on the menu for our earliest relatives either. The original diet consisted of eating patterns that revolved around things found in nature.

Fad Diets

Today, all the latest fad diets promise tremendous results for anyone who can stick to a strict set of rules-all the time, no matter what season it is, or what our body truly needs at any given moment. This can easily set anyone up for failure.

We were created to eat intelligently. It is the imbalance in our bodies when these diets do not give us what we actually need that has brought about cravings and the desire to eat foods that were not originally even meant to be eaten. While some people may adjust to digesting the altered foods of our modern society, others might benefit from eliminating foods that cannot be naturally processed or cause inflammation.

Fad diets do not consider the individual. How can we expect keto, paleo, or low carb to be the answer for everyone if we are all built differently?

Keeping An Open Mind Towards “Fad Diets”

Instead of treating fad diets like a religion, I approach them with an open mind. I try to understand what goes on in someone’s body when they alter their nutrition in a certain way, and make adjustments that are in-line with their natural needs.

Instead of subscribing to a particular diet, opt for the customization and flexibility you need to maximize your results and keep doing so overtime.

5 Practical Tips to Achieving Your Health Goals

Now that you understand why focusing on your unique biology is important for getting the most out of your health and wellness plans, let’s talk about these 5 practical tips to achieving your health goals.

“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have”

-Zig Ziglar

1. Get Crystal Clear on Your Goals by Making Them SMART

If you are not sure exactly what you want then you will never get it. What do I mean by getting clear with your goals?

They must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

More importantly, they must be SMART for you. Your goals may change overtime, but for now, start SMART where you are.

This time, when you think of your picture-perfect image of health, imagine the best possible version of yourself. How does this version of you feel? What do you look like? How far into the future will it be before you get there?

Remember to be realistic and specific to you.

2. Understand and State Your “Why”

If you were going shopping for a new outfit for an important business meeting, would you just buy the first thing you saw in the window displayed on the manikin? Even if the outfit looks great in the display, it might not look the same way once you try it on.

You need to have a goal in mind for what that new outfit is going to achieve. If the outfit on display is too flashy or too dull for the goal, it might hurt your chances for reaching that goal. So, you wouldn’t just go ahead and buy it anyway.

Think about your wellness plans the same way. Don’t just purchase a meal plan for the sake of purchasing a meal plan. Figure out what your BIG motivator is. Are you wanting to get healthy or to lose weight? Why is it important for you to get healthy or lose weight? Why is that meal plan so important for reaching those goals?

Once you figure out your “why,” you’ll be more prepared to customize a flexible plan that fits you and your specific needs. Without your “why”, you risk wasting your time on a plan that is miss-matched with your intentions.

3. Set Yourself Up To Take Action

Next, you need to set yourself up to take action. Are you a doer or a sayer? I have phone calls with sayers almost every single day. I want to talk to the doers.

Rather watch a 13 minute video with the same information?

The doers are the ones who are ready to take action toward weight loss, nutrition, fitness, and shifting their mindset so they can live their best life. If you dabble, you will only get mediocre results.

Stop and ask yourself, “are my words embodying my own truth, or someone else’s?”

Already set your SMART goals and identified your “why”, but you are stuck in taking action? Then it’s time to consider if you are using your unique strengths to their fullest capacity.

You can be a doer in many ways. You don’t have to do a workout at the same time as someone else. If you have more energy in the mornings, get your fitness in before work. If you have more energy after dinner, get in a bike ride with the family in the evenings.

Leverage your unique strengths and preferences to take action.

4. Take Clear Assessments of Your Results

Think back to item number one when I said you need SMART goals. My question for you here is… How are you measuring your progress? Are you measuring weight loss in inches or body fat percentage? Are you doing blood tests or other lab testing to see if you got rid of some of the pathogens that could be causing you pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea?

When we set goals, we must clearly assess the results to know if we are on the path to success.

The way you measure your improvements may be very different from how someone else measures theirs. That is totally okay. But the most inaccurate form of measurement comes when we compare our progress to that of others. This will not give you a clear assessment of yourself. Your journey is your own.

5. Be Ready to Change Your Routine

If you are giving it everything you’ve got and you are still not getting the results you want, then it’s time to change up the routine until you find what works. Everyone’s body is unique, and we are designed to adapt and change with the seasons. You must find what works for you and continue to listen to your body as your environment and needs shift over time.

Changing routine isn’t always easy.

But it becomes easier once we realize that many of the routines we follow do not actually serve us. Once we break free of routines that don’t serve us, we can open up to a healthy life that serves our greatest wellness potential.

Making a Serious Commitment to Yourself

Shift happens when you make a serious commitment to yourself. We shift when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the discomfort change initially brings.

So let me ask you… What is one thing in your life you can use right now as leverage to facilitate change?

Are you having pain in your legs and knees because of your weight? Are you feeling a lack of strength because of poor nutrition? Is your doctor warning you about diabetes or other disease processes that may arise if you don’t start eating right and exercising more?

Change starts with a decision. The outcome you receive follows the choice you make.

A one-size-fits-all fitness plan acts as a temporary Band-Aid for the things your body and soul actually need. There is irreplaceable value in working with someone like myself who understands the science behind creating a unique plan for a person, including nutrition, exercise, stress reduction techniques, supplements, toxin removal, and the ability to shift mindset.

That’s exactly why I do what I do!

I help people change their lives every day through this process.

You don’t have to idolize the lives of those you see online. You don’t even have to ask for their workouts and meal plans. Just get clear on what you want, find the leverage to change, take action, and tweak things along the way.

Start with the five steps I outlined and let me know how you do. If you’re ready to have a mentor who prioritizes you and your personal journey to wellness, fill out a discovery call form here. I’ve had years of experience identifying personalized approaches to wellness for others, and I’ll be so happy to do the same with you.

Warning Signs From Your Body: How To Know When Something Isn’t Right!

Warning Signs From Your Body: How To Know When Something Isn’t Right!

Is your body giving your warning signs that something isn’t right?

Your body is such an intelligent piece of machinery. What I’ve learned over the years as I’ve worked with my body to heal naturally is this… If your body tells you no, the answer is no.

I know how it is to absolutely LOVE things like sugar, dairy, bread, pastries, and all the other grain-filled goodies. I know what it feels like for those items to make up the bulk of your diet and wander “what in the world am I going to eat if I remove those things?” The reality is, it requires a definite shift in the way we view our plate and our food. I had to relearn that food is fuel.

The mental/emotional attachment to food is real. Those feeling of “comfort” we receive from certain foods is real. AND the addiction is real. We actually receive a physiological response when we consume certain foods. That means they alter the chemicals within our bodies that leads to those feelings of euphoria. But I learned that this food-euphoria can come at a great price.

My advice? Pay attention to your body.

Listen for clues. When you experience symptoms in your body, it’s the intelligence of the human body calling out for change. It’s as if your body is screaming, “WARNING, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!” If a food is making you sick every time you consume it, stop consuming it! It doesn’t matter what a doctor or a lab test or even a minister tells you. If you feel bad every time you have a piece of bread, then put the bread down and don’t consume it. Back away slowly… and it’s okay to RUN!

I’ll go back to my initial statement about the body being a very intelligent piece of machinery. The truth is, the body knows when something has entered into its environment that is causing harm. It actually elicits an attack in response to what it perceives as an invader. This causes inflammation in the body, which can cause a range of symptoms, but worse than that, it can cause a range of diseases.

Something that may seem very innocent, like putting bread in your body when your body says, “no” is only adding fuel to the fire. You deal with the consequences of how you may or may not feel afterward, but it’s not as innocent as we’d like to believe. This repeated inflammatory response can actually lead to disease states in the body.

When we listen to and respond to our body and give it what it needs, we can enter into a state of thriving – where we can flourish, prosper, blossom, and succeed. On the other hand, when we continually put things in the body that cause inflammation and illicit a response that puts our cells into attack mode, it creates stress on the body. If this stressor is in the form of food, like some of the toxic foods mentioned previously, it can begin to compromise the lining of the gut.

In a healthy body, the gut is lined with tight junctions, allowing only things like nutrients in the form of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to pass through and be absorbed into the system to bring us into a state of health. The gut lining can become compromised because of stress, pathogens, or from continuous stressors/toxins from our environment that are eliciting a stress response or an attack on the body.

What does this mean?

It means that these tight junctions, that prevent larger particles in the gut from spilling into the body, actually lose their strength to hold those food particles in. This is known as leaky gut – or intestinal permeability – where the contents of the gut are literally spilled into circulation, where they don’t belong. This is a process that happens over time because of some of the stressors mentioned previously – food being only one of them. When these tight junctions become loose, and larger particles begin to spill into the body, they are seen as foreign invaders, and the intelligent piece of machinery that we are walking around in begins to elicit an attack on these particles that do not belong in the bloodstream.

This creates food sensitivities or intolerances, and in some cases disease processes and can even lead to things like autoimmunity. Autoimmune patients have one thing in common for sure, and that is a leaky gut. Many times one autoimmune condition can lead to another. Your body doesn’t hate itself. But it’s attacking what appears to be a foreign invader.

Food is only a small piece of the puzzle. But many times it’s one of the easiest to resolve. Not emotionally, because people are truly attached to their foods, but many times these attachments are not our fault. Food companies create foods that lead to addiction. If you’ve read my book Healed His Way, I talk about the reasons food, and in particular dairy is so addictive, and that’s because it works on the same receptors in the body as morphine. So you literally have a morphine-like response in the body when you consume dairy, which can cause it to be one of the most difficult foods for people to eliminate.

Does this mean you can never eat dairy or grains again? Well in some cases, maybe! For some, gluten just doesn’t work. I recommend that you test in your own body if you want to know what works best for you. The body doesn’t lie.

I choose to do my best to keep certain foods out of my diet after running several food sensitivity panels. I’ve also found a common denominator in many of the foods that cause problems for most people. So even without testing, I typically recommend removing grains, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, soy, and alcohol for a period of about time and if you decide to reintroduce, then pay close attention to how your body reacts. After my last food sensitivity panel, I noticed that there were certain food groups that consistently showed up for me. When I decided to take that a little more seriously, it changed my life.

In my case, I’ve dealt with hypothyroidism for many years, and according to symptoms, for much of my life. But I’m learning now that it’s possibly related to the fact that I never really healed my gut completely because I compromised in certain areas a little more than I probably should have. My gut is my week area and I have to constantly work on that. But if I put inflammatory foods in all the time, then I know my gut will never truly heal.

I do take support for my gut on a regular basis as well as thyroid support in the form of herbs and natural supplements that give the body what it actually needs to heal and repair. Will I ever be 100% without the help of supplemental support? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that it is a journey. And I’m working every single day to eliminate what’s causing me harm and including what is bringing me health. And as long as I do what I know I should, I live symptom-free. And you can too.

I encourage you to begin to examine some of the things in your life that are causing you stress. That can be emotions, food, chronic illness, relationships, too little or even too much exercise, and more!

The secret to my success in almost every area of my life can be accredited to hiring and partnering with mentors and coaches who push me to become my best self. Those are many times people who want to see me accomplish my goals as bad as I want to accomplish them.

If that resonates with you, I’d love to chat with you and possibly help to you dig a little bit deeper into finding out what could be the cause of some of your symptoms. Or find someone else in the field of functional health who will form a partnership with you, so you can become your best self.

Complete my form to schedule a Complimentary Session with me so that you can discover Optimal Health and Wellness in your own life.

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