Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

You guys. They’re back. When I first made my sweet potato chicken popper recipe, I fell in love fast. I was so excited to share them with the world and knew that they an amazing game day or party food that all guests would love. I shared them as a super bowl food and thought they’d run their course after football season. What I didn’t realize was that people would love them so much that they would keep making them as the perfect food for kiddos, picky eaters, mid week dinners, freezer meals, or even salad toppers! I’ve seen so many folks share how much they love the sweet potato chicken popper that I wanted to make a variation that’s even more flavorful and delicious… Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers. Still paleo, still Whole 30, still AIP, and even more flavor. Heck yeah.

So now, you’ve got veggies, healthy fat, protein, and that amazing ranch flavor all in one little nugget. I mean really… what more can you want? 

Why These Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers Are Amazing

 

1.They’re a new and improved version of the popular sweet potato chicken popper.  

After releasing the sweet potato chicken popper, I heard lots of folks say that they wanted a more savory chicken popper. What’s the best way to make something savory? Bacon and ranch… duh 😉 These are made with shredded bacon and an AIP ranch seasoning that’s dairy free, and still tastes like the real deal. 

2. They’re made with 2 cups of carrots, making them veggie dense!

The sweet potato chicken poppers were made with, yes, sweet potato. And these still can be, but I wanted to mix it up and use a less starchy veggie for lower starch folks and use carrots! Carrots are full of nutrients, lower in starch, and pair perfectly with the ranch flavor. 

3. They’re full of healthy fat and protein

Not only are they veggie dense, but there’s a good serving of both healthy fat and protein in there. Veggies are incredibly important, of course, but the presence of fat and protein here makes them satiating, and rounds it out as a full meal. 

4. They’re easy to make

No complicated ingredients or instructions here. I throw all of the ingredients into the food processor and just give it a whirl, then mix in the chicken in bowl, roll it out, and you’re good to go! 

Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers Are Perfect For…

Like I said with the sweet potato chicken poppers, these bacon ranch poppers don’t just have to be game day food!

Here’s just a few of the many ways can use them as…

  • They’re basically healthy chicken nuggets for kiddos & picky eaters
  • They’re great to stash in the freezer for emergency dinners
  • Perfect to bring along for a work lunch
  • Amazing for a creative breakfast
  • Great to serve along side some compliant ranch and sliced veggies for a party or movie night snack

So, let’s make them!

Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers 

Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw pastured chicken (or turkey)
  • 2 cups raw shredded carrots (shredded in a food processor or bought pre-shredded)
  • 3 slices raw sugar free bacon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Add the shredded carrots to a food processor along with the bacon and blend on high. You want both the carrots and the bacon to be very finely shredded
  3. Remove the carrots and bacon from the food processor and add to a mixing bowl
  4. Stir in the raw meat, seasoning, coconut oil and flour and thoroughly combine
  5. Line 2 baking sheets (or one large baking sheet) with parchment paper
  6. Roll out the poppers and slightly flatten them (you'll have 25-30)
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping them half way through
  8. OPTIONAL- Place them under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp before serving
  9. Serve warm with compliant ranch dressing and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://unboundwellness.com/bacon-ranch-chicken-poppers/

I’m so in love with this recipe, and wish I would have had it a few years ago when I was transitioning to a real food diet. It’s almost hard to believe these are totally real food, but they truly are! Not a grain, unhealthy fat, or dried buttermilk seasoning in sight. Enjoy them, friends!

Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30)

How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Practitioner

When I first got Hashimoto’s disease, I had never even set foot in a functional medicine doctors office. Actually, I had never even heard of it. I was under the impression that doctors only existed for annual embarrassing weigh ins and seemingly useless check up’s. Little did I know that functional medicine would become a huge part of my healing journey. People ask me

First, what is functional medicine? Functional medicine looks at the person as a whole rather than just zeroing in on their condition. For example, my endocrinologist worked to just mask the symptoms of my Hashimoto’s disease, where as, my functional medicine doctor looked at my gut, my toxicity, my hormones, etc. and how to heal the root cause of my condition. Functional medicine is much different than conventional, and it’s typical much more expensive, but it’s been a huge part of my own healing journey.

I’ve seen tons of functional medicine practitioners in my day. Some that didn’t help me at all, and some that helped me for years and I just grew out of. I firmly believe working to find the right practitioner that works for you isn’t easy. It’s like finding a partner or a best friend… you just can’t pick any random ol’ person. That’s why I wanted to share my tips for finding a good one from both the perspective of a nutritional therapy practitioner, and a patient myself.

How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Holistic Practitioner

How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Practitioner

 

1.Ask around for recommendations

 

Most of the practitioners that I’ve seen have come from recommendations from friends and co-workers. In my area, a lot of the folks I know actually see a lot of the same people. Functional medicine communities are typically pretty tight knit and you can find a lot of them fairly easily once you find one or two. 

It doesn’t have to be awkward to ask about doctors. Think about the people you know if your life who have had health struggles or daily members who have. Ask them who they see or have seen in the past, and you’ll be surprised of the gems that are right in your own backyard. 

You can also take advantage of online groups like Facebook groups, forums, etc!

 

2. Look for practitioners who specialize in your area of need 

 

Figure out what you want to target and find someone who specializes in it. Maybe that’s lyme disease, maybe it’s Hashimoto’s, etc. For me, it’s crucial to work with someone who gets autoimmunity and gut issues. Most practitioners do at this point, but I did extra research to find someone who really got me. 

For example, I advertise in my own nutritional therapy consulting business that I specialize in working with women with chronic illness and autoimmunity by supporting their bodies ability to heal with nutrition and foundational work. I don’t necessarily work with people on just losing weight or getting on a Paleo diet alone. 

Do some research on what exactly you want a practitioner to address and find the best option for who can do it. 

 

3. Find a good “anchor” doctor and layer on specialists from there 

 

This is my favorite piece of advice to give as I firmly believe that everyone needs to work with a doctor who can directly diagnose and treat your disease, and can run labs. Not every practitioner can do that. It’s important to find that anchor doctor that can really be hands on. So, what kind of doctor?

  • Functional Medicine Doctor
  • MD who practices functionally
  • A naturopath 
  • An herbalist or chiropractor 

Though it’s important to have your anchor doctor, they may not be able to give you all of the support you need. Lots of my own clients see a functional medicine doctor and then see me for more hands on nutrition support, or also see a massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc. So, who else could you potentially see? 

  • Nutritional Therapy Practitioner 
  • Acupuncturist
  • Massage therapist 
  • Colonic specialist 
  • Counselor or psychologist 

 

4. Seek out someone you trust.

 

In order to heal anything, you have to believe in what you’re doing. If you’re on a protocol that you’re iffy about from the beginning or you just don’t trust your doctor, you’re already at a disadvantage. 

Ask yourself… what makes someone trustworthy to you? Is it social proof like good reviews online? Is it a smiling face and a family oriented atmosphere at the office? Think about what really helps you trust someone and look for those qualities in a doctor. 

 

5. Seek out someone you relate to.

 

I became a nutritional therapy practitioner because I relate to what my clients are going through, and I want to help to make their journey easier than mine was. Most (if not all) of the really good practitioners out there have a story just like yours that you can relate to. Not only does this make them more trust worthy, but they take more mindful care of you.

For example, when I was seeing my first functional medicine doctor, they would sell me tons and tons of supplements that had ingredients I couldn’t have… soy, wheat, potato starch, immune stimulants etc. The doctor knew that I couldn’t have these… they were just so busy and rushed. At the time, I didn’t know to look, and found myself with so many supplements that didn’t work for me, or ones that I had bad reactions to. After having this experience so many times, I read every single label of the supplements that I recommend for my clients beforehand to ensure that they don’t waste their time or money. Sure, that bad reactions still happen even when there are no obvious things present. But I’m not going to be the guy who gives my celiac client a supplement with wheat in it. Why? Because I relate

Most doctors will have an about page on their website that shares their own speciality, and hopefully their story as well. A really good doctor will even share their own personal experience when putting you on a protocol!

 

6. Ask about how long appointments last and support between visits. 

 

This is key. I have lots of questions when I’m seeing a doctor, and don’t want to work with someone who’s rushing me out in 15 minutes. When scheduling appointments ask about how long the initial visit and the follow up lasts. In my mind, you want minimum 45 minutes with the doctor to really dig deep.

Support between visits is another important piece of the puzzle. I’ve had entirely too many bad reactions to protocols and doctors that didn’t care to know that this something that you need to ask about. Many doctors offer zero support, while others have great email support in between visits. Ask about their policy, and how you can reach them in between visits. 

 

7. Find out what testing you want done and see who offers it in your area

 

After doing my own research online, I knew that I wanted to work with a doctor who did food allergy testing, blood work, SIBO testing, etc. That piece really just comes from doing research online on websites and blogs like my own. From there, I did research for either who could run these in my area, or who I could work with online to do it.

Most practitioners list what tests they run on their website, but you may also need to call and email to confirm what they do and do not do. 

 

8. Use search engines and search hashtags.

 

The internet rocks, man. We have all of this information at our finger tips right here and now!

I like to use websites like Healthgrades or Yelp and type in keywords like “Hashimoto’s” or “Leaky Gut”. That way, I can search to find past reviews about testimonials from patients who wrote about those issues with specific doctors. I also recommend this functional medicine doctor search engine!

You’d also be surprised what you can find with a hashtag search on instagram! I’ve found tons of fellow NTP’s by searching #NTP. Try searching hashtags relating to your area of need and see what you can find.

9. Don’t be afraid to work with someone remotely.

 

You don’t have to be limited to practitioners in your area alone to find a great doctor. Traditionally, we’re used to going to a doctors office and getting an actual physical that requires vitals, and being seen in person… and that’s still necessary to see a doctor who does that. However, if you’re just layering on something like a specialist for added support, don’t be afraid of working with someone remotely.

With Skype, Zoom, and the internet in general, working remotely is more common and more convenient than ever. I work with all of my NTP clients remotely and it works out great for everyone! 

 

My recommendations for good functional medicine practitioners in Dallas Fort Worth 

Inevitability, I know everyone will ask who I see and who I recommend in DFW! So here are my recommendations…

 

Working one on one with a practitioner that you love and trust is so crucial to your healing journey! I hope these recommendations helped take you one step closer to finding your own, or building a greater team 

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls (Paleo & AIP)

We all know by now that veggies are important, right? Our mom always told us to eat our vegetables, and if there’s one thing that nutrition can agree on, it’s that veggies are still a good idea regardless of what diet you follow. Vegetables are packed with fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to keep us healthy and thriving! But let’s be honest… getting in tons of veggies all of the time can be challenging when it comes to snacks! Unless you’re eating raw carrots or celery, veggie snacks on the go are hard to come by. Convenience snacks are usually all protein, all fruit, or grain-y sugar bombs that leave little to be desired when it comes to nutrients. So, that’s why I created these collagen veggie fat bombs! They’re AIP, paleo, and full of healthy goodness.

 

Why These Collagen Veggie Fat Balls Are the Bomb 

1.They full of fruits and veggies!

So, how do you get veggies into a little fat bomb like this? Since I’m not going to add raw spinach to a fat ball, I used the Collagen Veggie Blend from Vital Protein’s and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of the Paleo Mom! This veggie blend contains 11 different kinds of organic fruits and veggies including….

  • Organic Spinach
  • Organic Kale
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Carrot
  • Organic Lemon
  • Organic Blueberry
  • … and more!

The veggie blend dissolves in water which makes it perfect for smoothies, but I’m using it raw in these fat balls which works fine too!

2. They have gut healing collagen protein.

You guys know I love vital proteins collagen protein. Not only does it add a boost of protein to snacks like these to make it more satiating, but collagen protein also contains gut healing properties that support gut health, hair and nail health, and more. 

I recommend collagen as a part of my 30 day gut healing guide, and to most of my clients on gut healing protocols. 

3. They’re full of healthy fat.

These are largely coconut butter based with some coconut oil as well, which are both healthy, nourishing fats. Healthy fats are vital for the health of our brain, our hormones, our blood sugar, and for keeping us full!

The biggest mistake that I see people make with snacks is reach for something sugar heavy without any fat. While natural sugar here and there is fine, relying on sugar alone to satiate us is not a sustainable idea. Sugar-y snacks spike our blood sugar too high

4. They still have a little something sweet and fun.

Like I said, natural sugar here and there is fine for most folks when you’re wanting to have a fun treat! I made these with some dried fruit to add some extra texture and flavor. You can certainly leave that out if you’re watching your sugar, but I love the added flavor it gives it!

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls (Paleo & AIP)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut butter/ mana/ cream concentrate
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 scoop Collagen Veggie Blend
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp rasins (or dried blueberries)
  • 1 tbsp of melted coconut butter (for the drizzle)

Instructions

  1. Add the coconut butter to a bowl and thoroughly stir to often. You want it soft enough stir, but not melted!
  2. Add in the shredded coconut and stir to combine
  3. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients (reserving the drizzle)
  4. Line a plate with parchment paper and begin to roll out the balls onto the plate.
  5. You should have 8-9 balls
  6. Add a couple of extra rasins or dried blueberries to the top of the balls if desired
  7. Place the plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to allow the balls to harden
  8. Remove from the freezer and drizzle the melted coconut butter over the top with a fork or spoon
  9. Place back in the freezer for 10 minutes or store in the fridge for an hour or so to let the drizzle dry
  10. Serve chilled and enjoy!
  11. NOTE: These will melt if left in heat/room temperature for too long. They're best served chilled. Remove from the fridge/ freezer and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes if desired before eating.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://unboundwellness.com/collagen-veggie-fat-balls/

That’s all there is to it! I hope you enjoy this nutrient dense, convenient little snack!

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls

Slow Cooker Carnitas (AIP, Paleo & Whole 30)

I was never really a big Mexican or Tex Mex food fan growing up. I grew up in an Italian family with Jewish roots in New York, so bagels and lox were my tacos, and marinara sauce (or if you’re really legit, gravy) ran through my veins. Little did I know I’d eventually move to San Antonio, and then to Dallas, TX and marry a self proclaimed nacho and taco monster. Needless to say, I warmed up to Mexican food. But by the time I started liking it, it was already too late. I discovered my nightshade issues and it was all out the window from there. Like I said, my husband loves Mexican food, so I had to learn how to make my own versions. That started with a base of an amazing protein made nightshade free… Slow Cooker AIP Carnitas

I’ve probably only had traditional carnitas at a restaurant maybe once in my life. But that was enough to want to recreate them in an allergy friendly version that I can actually have. Don’t get me wrong, I love simple ground beef on nachos or tacos as well, but carnitas just has so much flavor! And when you’re limited in the fact that you can’t add tons of spice or sugar, to a recipe, ya want some flavor. And these have serious flavor perfect for adding to any taco, nacho, or hash recipe!

What’s Different About These Slow Cooker AIP Carnitas?

It’s made from pasture raised pork shoulder.

Even if I could eat nightshade spices, I’d be way too weirded out to eat conventional pork from a restaurant anymore. Pigs raised in CAFO feed lots have awful, awful lives and are fed absolute junk. I don’t eat a ton of pork, but I hate eating it when I don’t know where it comes from. 

Pasture raised pork means that the pigs were fed their natural diet, and had the chance to roam on grass. It’s not always easy to find, but I get pastured pork shoulder from the farmers market when I can, and enjoy every bit of it when I do!

It’s nightshade free and seed spice free… which means it’s not spicy!

For all of you paleo or Whole 30 folks that still eat nightshades, nightshade spices are problematic for lots of folks with autoimmune disease, including myself. I love spicy food too, don’t get me wrong, I just really can’t have it without having a crippling headache and fatigue. I’ve included modifications if needed, but rest assured that this recipe is totally AIP.

Yup, there’s also bone broth.

Because, it’s me. Of course there’s going to be bone broth! Truthfully, you can basically get away without any broth when you’re doing a pork shoulder, because it’s so fatty. But, you could always use a little broth! 

Slow Cooker Carnitas (AIP, Paleo & Whole 30)

Ingredients

  • 3 lb pastured pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 1/2 cup bone broth
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 limes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • (OPTIONAL FOR NON-AIP: 2 tsp black peppers, 1 tsp crushed red pepper)

Instructions

  1. Combine the cilantro, oregano, and salt (plus other seasoning if using ) to create a dry rub
  2. Rub the seasoning into the pork shoulder, coating it evenly
  3. Push the three garlic cloves into the pork shoulder
  4. Place the shoulder into the slower cooker set to low
  5. Pour the juice of the orange, the juice of the two limes, and the bone broth over the pork shoulder
  6. Add in the two bay leaves
  7. Cover the roast and cook on low for 8 hours
  8. Remove from the crockpot and shred with two forks
  9. OPTIONAL: Place under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp before serving
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://unboundwellness.com/slow-cooker-carnitas-aip/

I hope you love this recipe as much as my husband and I do! Throw it in a breakfast hash, top off some nachos, or add it to some tacos, and you’re good to go 🙂 

Slow Cooker Carnitas (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

50 Ways To Heal Your Gut & Be a Gut Healing Goddess

This post contains affiliate links. Learn what that means here.

I started my health journey when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I thought that that’s what it was always going to be about… healing Hashimoto’s, healing hormones, and balancing my thyroid. I was in denial that I had digestive issues my whole life… I thought they were normal, and that it had nothing to do with my thyroid. However, nothing changed with my Hashimoto’s until I took control of my gut health and started the journey to heal my gut. I read all of the books, listened to all of the podcasts, saw all of the doctors, went to school to study nutrition, and slowly but surely, my very being morphed into a lifestyle rooted in gut health! Thus, gut healing Goddess (heeeey girl), here to tell you how to do the same with 50 ways to heal your gut

The common misconception is that gut health only relates to digestive health, and that if don’t have any obvious digestive issues like bloating or reflux, our gut health is fine. This is far from the truth! Our gut health is connected to everything in our body, such as… 

  • Mood
  • Mental health
  • Weight
  • Energy
  • Joint health
  • Hormones
  • Skin
  • Cravings
  • Digestive issues
  • Autoimmunity like Hashimoto’s
  • And more…

It’s not just folks like me with chronic illness who need some gut healing! We could all benefit from some short term gut healing, and a lifestyle that’s more conducive to maintaining a healthier gut in general! 

It’s not easy, and the path isn’t always clear! That’s why I’m sharing this extensive, slightly sassy list of all that I’ve learned through my own experience with leaky gut, and my professional experience as a nutritional therapy practitioner. 

50 Ways To Be a Gut Healing Goddess 

50 Ways to Heal Your Gut & Be A Gut Healing Goddess

Gut Healing Goddess Diet Guidelines 

1.Sip bone broth from your chalice like a boss  

Bone broth is a gut healing powerhouse! It’s only of the easiest ways you can support your gut health with fairly minimal effort. I make homemade bone broth weekly and encourage my clients to do the same. Making your own perfect bone broth is a process, but here’s my favorite recipe for bone broth.

2. Feed your good gut bacteria

Feeding the good bacteria in your gut is crucial to the gut health process! Balancing the microbiome in our gut is at the center of keeping our gut healthy, and protecting us from illness. We need to feed our good gut bacteria with foods like sauerkraut, kefir, homemade yogurt, beet kvass, and other fermented veggies.

It is important to note that many with severe overgrowths or histamine intolerance may not be able to tolerate fermented foods. It’s fine to avoid fermented foods if necessary, but the goal is to heal to the point where they can be reintroduced. 

3. Feast on easy to digest foods that are gut healing and nutrient rich

This I can’t stress enough. Not all food is easy to digest… even healthy foods. Just because veggies are good for you doesn’t mean that raw veggies are a good choice for your gut in particular. It’s very common for those with gut issues to have trouble with a myriad of veggies, and how you cook them matters! 

For vegetables, try experimenting with them well cooked and pureed. I highly recommend introducing pureed veggie soups (like this carrot soup, and more in my 30 day gut healing guide) with are much easier on your digestion. 

For proteins, go with meats that are slow cooked in broth like pot roast or beef stew as these are much more broken down and easier to digest. 

4. Be a nutrient seeker first, before anything else 

It’s sexy to cut out foods like gluten and soy, and less sexy to talk about adding in sardines and liver. However, sustainable wellness has so much to do with what you do eat rather than what you don’t.

View food a nutrients, nourishment, and something to be grateful for. Our hormones, our enzymes, and our very body is made up of the food we eat! If you’re eating to heal your gut, keep the mindset that food is nourishment and that your meals should be giving your body something that it needs.

5. Exile gluten, soy & processed foods

These are just three of huge offenders when it comes to gut health, but they’re worth calling out on their own. Gluten, soy, and processed foods are all harmful to the gut lining, and are best avoided for the long haul if possible.

Processed foods are clearly far from real food, and contain additives, sugars, oils, and more that do anything but nourish our gut. Modern gluten and soy are both often GMO, and also tear up our gut lining.

6. Chew your food 30-40 times per bite.

I know, I know that sounds like a lot… but your stomach doesn’t have teeth! Not chewing thoroughly can cause poor digestion and absorption of food, and incomplete enzyme and acid production. 

7. Temporarily eliminate the following…

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Processed food
  • Processes sugar
  • Grains (including corn)
  • Alcohol & caffeine
  • Legumes
  • & Potentailly nuts, seeds, nightshades, etc. (see #9)

8.  Focus on proper preparation of foods    

If the GAPS diet teaches us anything, it’s that we to consider how food is prepared. Raw almonds are very different than soaked and sprouted, and fried meats are very different than slow cooked.

Focus on meats that are slow cooked, or cooked on low temperatures, vegetables that are very well cooked, and nuts/seeds that are soaked and sprouted. Not only are these foods easier on our digestive system, but the nutrients are easier to absorb.

9. Consider ushering in temporary gut healing approaches like AIP, GAPS, or Low-FODMAP, and then customize further! This journey is your own!

There is no one size fits all when it comes to gut healing protocols. We’re all bioindividuals and need to customize our approach! Here are just three templates worth mentioning…

  • AIP. Designed for autoimmune disease. 
  • GAPS. Designed for autism, and used for many other gut issues. 
  • Low-FODMAP. Beneficial for IBS. 

Though these are all great templates to follow, they’re just that… templates. I implore you to customize each approach further to fit your needs. If you have other intolerances, other needs, or need to combine approaches, do what you need to do to heal. You don’t need to fit into a box! 

10. Sip raw celery juice first thing in the morning (and/or water with lemon/ apple cider vinegar)

Raw celery juice is a great for influencing the stimulation of stomach acid production for better digestion, as well as ACV and lemon diluted in water! I recommend drinking 16 oz of celery juice in the morning on an empty stomach, and monitoring how it helps your digestion.

11. Find good sources of high quality, pastured meats

“Organic” isn’t enough when it comes to proteins. Organic really only suggests that the animals ate organic feed, however, we ideally don’t want animals eating feed at all. Just like people, animals gets sick from processed foods like feed… we want them eating their natural diets! What you want to look for is grass-fed and pasture raised meats. Many areas have great local sources, but you can also source yours online.

12. Eat organ meats & wild caught fish regularly and well cooked veggies and healthy fats daily.

Organ meats like liver from high quality sources are packed full of nutrients, and healthy fats and wild caught fish are the same! Eat these often to give your body what it needs to heal.

Even if raw vegetables aren’t your friend, eat well cooked vegetables daily, and at every meal if possible to give yourself the phytonutrients and vitamins necessary to thrive. 

As for healthy fats, focus on foods like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed ghee (if tolerated) and high quality animal fats. Fats are necessary to help control inflammation, and poor quality fats like seed oils influence more inflammation. 

13. Moderate your fruit intake

If you’re dealing with some sort of gut bacteria dysbiosis, you want to be careful with even natural sugar like fruit. First, you need to get at the root cause to see if this is your issue, but regardless, try and limit fruit to 1-2 servings a day.

14. Don’t eat the same foods every day.

This has been a huge part of my gut healing journey and is outlined in detail in my Gut Healing E-book. Our bodies weren’t made to eat apples every single day like the modern grocery store allows. The true paleo way of eating is eating seasonally. Eating the same foods day in and day out while having compromised gut health can lead to reacting to those very same foods that you’re constantly eating.

Eat with the seasons, and try to rotate your foods on about a 4 day rotation or only eating the same foods a couple of times a week. For example, if you eat lots of sweet potato on Monday, try and wait until Friday until you eat sweet potato again. This isn’t about perfection… it’s fine to deviate here and there. What’s important is to stay mindful that you’re getting a variety of foods every week!

15. Learn how to balance your meals

Balancing your macronutrient ratios within your meals so that you’re not spiking your blood sugar with too many carbs, or dropping it with too little fat and protein is important for digestion and long term satiation. This is an on going process that’s very individual to tweak, and there’s no one size fits all. You can start at filling up 40% of your plate with vegetables, 30% with fat, and 30% with protein, and go from there. Monitor how you feel, how hungry you are between meals, and how your digestion feels after eating. 

16. Stop chugging water with meals

Diet culture tells us to chug water to control our appetite, but this actually dilutes our digestive juices and can interfere with digestion. Take small sips with meals, and drink the bulk of your water in between meals. 

 

Gut Healing Lifestyle Interventions

17. Eat in a relaxed state & stop stressing around food. 

This is easily one of the most important pieces of gut healing! We need to be in a relaxed, parasympathetic state to properly digest our food. If we’re watching a frustrating news story, driving in traffic, rushing out the door to work, or eating with unpleasant coworkers, we’re immediately impairing our digestion.

Create a routine to eat in a relaxed state. Turn off your phone 10 minutes before meals, take a few deep breaths, say a prayer or blessing, and be grateful for your food!

18. Focus on learning how to stop feeling left out & enjoy your new way of eating

19. Eliminate unnecessary stressors 

Stress is one of the hardest things to tackle, but one of the most important. Stress is everywhere, so start small. What is the lowest hanging fruit of stress in in your life that you can get rid of? Finding a new route to work? Hiring a sitter on Friday nights for a date night? Start there, and keep working to eliminate unnecessary stress going forward.

20. Practice daily/ weekly self-care

Self-care is an incredibly important part of any healing journey as our body needs to be relaxed to heal. Practice a small, daily self care routine like a 15 minute walk with your family, or 10 extra minutes in the morning to yourself and a larger weekly practice like going to a yoga class alone, or taking yourself out for tea. 

21. Focus on something bigger than yourself

When I think of what has truly helped me heal and stop stressing over my own sickness, it’s been looking outside myself. Whether that be my relationship with God (who is SO much bigger than me) or helping thousands of others with my blog, it offers incredible perspective to realize that there is so much more out there than ourselves. 

22. Practice gratitude

There’s always something to be grateful for. When we’re focusing on the good, we have less energy to focus on the bad. I’ve recently started a weekly gratitude journal, and it’s been such blessing!

23. Take potential adrenal fatigue seriously

24. Shift your mindset when it comes to gut healing 

 25. Adopt a healthy exercise routine 

This is different for everyone, but movement matters for a healthy body. Find what works for you and make space to do it a few times a week. That could just be walking, taking a yoga class, or light weight lifting, but whatever it is, make it something that you enjoy! 

26. Socialize with others on the same journey 

Support each other, share ideas, and build community! The internet creates an amazing space to find others who are on the same journey as you. Even just through searching hashtags on instagram, or emailing fellow bloggers, I’ve made great friends with others who are on a gut healing journey. 

27. Socialize in general

Human beings are social creatures and we need community to thrive. Maybe you’re introverted like me and the thought of people around all the time makes your head spin, but I like to find ways to create family time, time with my husband, or just go out for tea with a friend every so often. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming amount of socialization to make a difference in your life.  

28. Find a way to make the lifestyle sustainable for you

No two people have the same journey. Though advice from others can be invaluable, I urge you to customize your journey to make it work for you! If something isn’t working, change it. It’s better to make changes to a lifestyle for sustainability than not live the lifestyle at all. 

One of the best ways to make this lifestyle sustainable is find fun recipes that you love to eat. That’s why I focus on putting out comfort food recipes that are fun to eat, easy to make and still compliant with a healing lifestyle… like Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers 😉 

Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo, AIP)

29. Try Castor Oil Packs

Great for liver/gallbladder support which is important for fat digestion. 

30. Take sleep seriously

31. Consider coffee enemeas*

*Do this only with approval from your doctor. 

32. Switch out toxic home care products and make up

My favorite brands are…

33. Join my #GutHealingGang movement and Gut Healing Support Facebook Group!

A totally free group lead by me devoted to supporting each other with gut healing!

 

Gut Healing Gadgets & Must Haves 

34. Invest in an Instant Pot and/or good quality slower cooker

The perfect gadgets for soup!

35. Acquire a great high speed blender 

I love my vitamix for blending all of my pureed veggie soups! 

36. Stock your pantry with turmeric, ginger and other healing herbs.

37. Get some great cookbooks, like…

 

Gut Healing Supplementation & Support

38. Find a holistic practitioner 

Working one on one with someone to customize your protocol is invaluable. I have a post forthcoming about finding a great doctor, but check out this search engine for functional medicine doctors. 

39. Get some legit functional testing done

Test don’t guess! If you think you may have SIBO, get a breath test. If you think you have dysbiosis, get a stool test. Don’t just blindly follow protocols… get answers to effectively execute. 

40. Consider digestive enzyme and/or bile support, and betaine HCL 

This is something to work with your doctor on ti ensure that it’s the right supplement protocol for you, but there is zero shame in digestive support. 

41. Make sure your mineral status of zinc is balanced 

We need to have sufficient levels of zinc in our body to properly heal from wounds. A damaged gut lining is just like a wound. If we’re zinc deficient, we can’t properly heal. This is another great thing to work on with a doctor. 

42. Bring in gut healing support like collagen and glutamine

43. Take a great probiotic (I like this one and this one)

 

Gut Healing Education

44. Educate the heck out of yourself 

Knowledge is power! Though it’s important to not actually treat yourself, it’s empowering to understand what’s actually going on with your body. Never stop learning! 

45. Learn how digestion is actually supposed to work

Bad digestion=bad gut health. Master your digestion! 

46. Work hard to find your root cause 

Getting to the root cause is the only way to truly heal. Follow steps #44, #38, and #39 to dig deep into why you’re experiencing gut issues so you can heal them, rather than just prolonging the masking of symptoms.  

47. Grab my book, The 30 Day Gut Healing Guide… written by yours truly 😉 

I wrote this e-book specifically for those on gut healing journeys. It’s full of meal plans, shopping list, recipes and more that are all AIP with Gaps and low-FODMAP modifications. 

48. Read the following books…

49. Follow the following blogs…

50. Listen to the following podcasts…

And a bonus 51… never give up!

Having good gut health is a lifestyle… not just a 30 day protocol. We need to always be learning, always forming new positive habits, and always striving for good health! Only then, does good health become sustainable long term.