How To Stop Letting Your Health Control Your Life

I don’t think it’s going to surprise anyone when I say that health is an enormous focus in my life. It has been since the second I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. My focus has only grown more and more after discovering that the way to manage my illness was all lifestyle and diet based. Health is something that we all want to strive for regardless of our health status, right? It’s not wrong to want health. However, there’s a fine line between being focused on your health, and letting it control your life. So, how do you stop it from controlling your life?

First, I want to draw the distinction between obsession as in Googling and Instagraming health topics too much and obsession as in developing a disorder. If your obsession is literally dominating your life and creating disorder, I highly, highly recommend speaking one on one with a counselor or therapist to talk about your own situation. I am not a therapist by any means and I’m only sharing my own experiences here, and not professional advice that substitutes for treatment of anything. I often recommend my own clients to therapy, and having done it myself, I can’t talk enough about the benefits…

There’s a balance between being your own health advocate and having your health control your life in a negative way.

In a world of some less than perfect health advice, and tons of contradicting information, we all need to be our own health advocate. Research and staying up on health news is necessary! We need to be our own health advocates! We need to Google, we need to read books, we need to listen to podcasts, and we need to stay up on new research. I never would’ve found AIP if I didn’t research it, and that research has literally changed my life.

However, there’s a fine line between educating yourself and feeling like your obsessed. Let’s loosely define what I’m talking about here…

  • Being your own health advocate is when you’re proactive about your own health and pursue a healthy lifestyle
  • Obsessing over your health is feeling that you’re constantly thinking about it, and you just want a dang break already!

How I Knew My Pursuit of Health Was Controlling My Life…

Fine lines can be incredibly hard to distinguish, but let’s be honest… you know when you’re just over it. I’ve had plenty of times in my health journey when I knew I just was over it. 

Here are some of the signs that I’ve seen in myself…

  • Always thinking about what I was going to eat that day/the next day
  • Making tons of unnecessary health purchases 
  • Constantly judging what other people are eating
  • Endlessly Googling my own condition (Hashimoto’s and leaky gut)
  • Constantly starting a new regimen every single week/month to find relief
  • Just feeling exhausted over health news 

Sound familiar? Here’s what I do…

How To Stop Letting Your Health Control Your Life

 

1. Make finding and addressing the root cause of your health struggles your top priority 

Health trends like short detoxes and fast workout plans are quick, short, and offer results in a matter of weeks, which is why they’re insanely popular. However, when it comes to chronic health challenges like autoimmunity, leaky gut, or other, it’s all to easy to lean on quick fixes for relief. If we just try this one 30 day diet, then this other one, then this program, and so on and so forth. It becomes a cycle of quick fixes that offer little long term relief, and the constant change of routine makes it feel like health is controlling your life. 

Rather, the most important thing with any health challenge is to insure that you’re working to find the root cause. Why do you have gut issues? What triggered your autoimmunity? Spending your time and energy on finding and addressing what’s causing your issues helps you get at the heart of what’s wrong rather than obsessing over the next new thing to help you find relief. 

 

2. Focus on hobbies and entertainment completely outside of health 

If you’re anything like me, your netflix suggestions are all filled with food documentaries, and Amazon wishlist is nothing but health books and supplements. I’ve gone through phases where all I wanted to consume was health related. Everything I bought, everything I did, and everything I consumed was all about health and the pursuit to better my own health. Though it’s important to learn and continue to be an advocate for your own health, this is were it can start to control your life.

Find hobbies and entertainment that have absolutely nothing to do with health and embrace the heck out of them! Maybe it’s art, music, a sport, writing, or other. Something that I’ve gotten more into fairly recently has been collecting plants! Yes… collecting plants. Luckily I have a husband who is also into it and we’ve been slowly growing our collection while we make plans for a custom succulent wall, and more!

Yup. These little plants have nothing to do with health… and I love it! 

 

3. Accept and acknowledge that health struggles happen

The misconception in this health and healing community is that if we Paleo hard enough, we will be forever healed. If we just research more, eat more kale, do more crossfit, or meditate more, we’ll heal. That’s not always the case.

Sometimes health struggles can be out of our hands. Sometimes we’re hit with a stressful event that we just can’t control. And sometimes our bodies just change. We age, our environment changes, and we change. 

As always, there a fine line here. If you’re not able to thrive, there’s a real issue there that needs to be addressed. However, if we let every sniffle, every off day, and every yawn control our life, we’re denying what it means to be human. Humans aren’t perfect, and no amount of obsession will change that. 

 

4. Create a routine 

If you’re at the beginning of your health journey, it will likely feel like you’re obsessing over it. So many decisions, so many different opinions, and so many new things to learn. Don’t freak out… this is normal in the beginning, and even necessary to form a new habit and routine. New habits, especially ones that are all encompassing like creating a new lifestyle take a lot of time.

It takes time to form it, but creating a routine always works for me. Even the most basic routine is an amazing way to make time for healthy habits every week, but makes it so you don’t have to obsess over them constantly. 

For example, when I first started AIP, I would obsess daily over what I would be having to eat that day, and the next. I’d spend my entire drive to work recounting everything in my fridge, my pantry, and would make plans to stop at the store daily. This was obsessive, and exhausting. 

Eventually, I had enough of it. Every Saturday, I would sit down and plan a rough outline of my meals for the week, and then I would take Sunday to prep 75-80% of what I needed for the week. I’ve done this for years. It keeps me from obsessing about what I should be eating everyday, and it’s a routine that I love!

I also do this with workouts. I used to schedule myself so tightly that I never had time to work out. Now, every week, I go into my phone and schedule my workouts like an appointment with myself. That way, I know that I’m making time for it and schedule around it. If I miss a work out… it’s no big deal. But, scheduling them helps keep me active without me having to obsess over whether or not I got enough movement that week.

 

5. Accept and embrace diverse friends and family who aren’t necessarily “heath” people

This goes against what most self help books will tell you. “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people”. While I don’t disagree entirely, I think it can be a little much to be constantly surrounded by healthy people as it can influence more judgement against those who don’t pursue a certain lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong… it’s so important to have a support system of friends and family who support you. However, don’t snub friendships just because they’re not “health” people. Embrace social relationships with people who have different interests, and want to do different things rather than just going to a yoga class and getting a green juice all of the time. It’s refreshing to get together with friends who just want to watch a movie and play a game sometimes!

That doesn’t mean you have to do what they do, or eat what they eat. But it’s important to remember that relationships have so much more to offer than just feeding into your own interests.

 

I can tell you first hand that living with health challenges isn’t easy. You do have to stay on top of it to make sure you continue to progress, and it does take a lot of time and energy. However, by applying these steps, it makes it much easier to make it a healthy lifestyle rather than something that’s controlling and exhausting. 

How To Source Healthy Local Food & Why It Matters For Your Health (Plus My Favorite Local Food In Dallas)

I don’t know quite when it happened, but somewhere a long the way, I decided that I was going to become a complete local food junkie. I currently reside in Dallas, and haven’t ever been super into hometown pride in any other capacity, and I’m by no means a Dallas exclusive blogger. But when it comes to local food? Man… I’m obsessed. I’ve tried just about every farm store, vendor, and several co-ops and CSA’s in a 50 mile radius, and I’m on a first name basis with tons of local farmers. So why the heck do I even care? And how do you get your hands on good local food? 

I want to start out by saying that the point of local food is not perfectionYour diet doesn’t have to be 100% local to experience the benefits by any means!

You’d be very hard pressed to even find folks who live on homesteads who are entirely self sustained these days! Convenience is great, and we should be able to take advantage of it here and there. It’s not about elitism, and it’s not about getting everything local.  Maybe you just grow herbs on your balcony, maybe you get all of your eggs from a neighbor with hens, or maybe you have a local CSA you’re a part of. Whatever it is, every little bit counts! So why does it matter?  

Why High Quality Local Food Matters For Your Health

 

If you’re anything like me and watch lots of Instagramers and read lots of blogs on a regular basis, you’ve come to find that stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and the like are all highly recommended. It would seem that you just can’t eat healthy if you’re not shopping at Whole Foods. Though I love all of these stores as much as the next blogger, in reality, local is always best! Here’s why… 

 

1.Local food = seasonal food which is huge for gut health, and health in general.  

 

One of the absolute worst pieces of nutrition advice I hear is to eat the same meals and same foods all of the time. Though it may be convenient to have an apple every day, I couldn’t disagree with that notion more. 

Our ancestors couldn’t eat an apple a day. They aren’t constantly in season. Grocery stores shipping in products for around the world trick us into thinking it’s available all year round. However, our bodies were not meant to eat the same foods every day. It doesn’t work with how the seasons naturally move and change, and eating the same foods every day is a common way to develop food intolerances. 

Our bodies were meant to eat with the seasons, and our gut bacteria needs variety to feed on, and keep our microbiome diversity happy! Our gut bacteria eats what we eat, and feeding it the same food constantly doesn’t give it the diversity needed. 

Eating seasonally is also part of natures important design for getting in a variety of different nutrients. Always eating apples as our main source of fruit limits us to just getting the nutrients in apples. However, when we eat apples in the fall, citrus in the winter, berries in the spring, and melon in summer, we’re getting a huge variety of nutrients that our body needs to thrive. 

 

2. Local food is fresher.

 

Though it may seem fresh, shiny, and perfect on the shelf, food in the grocery store just isn’t as fresh. Especially when I’m living in Texas and see produce from Ecuador… I know that wasn’t picked in the last couple of days.

Local food travels much less distance, and can be much more fresh than  Fresher food can be more flavorful, nutrient dense, and void of preservatives. I love getting local food that still has dirt on it!

 

3. Local food is more natural in general.

 

I’m not 100% perfect when it comes to eating local. Your girl still eats her fair share of cassava and plantains. But let’s be real… my Jewish, Polish, and Italian ancestors likely didn’t eat a lot of the foods that I have available at the grocery store. I can’t think of a single Jewish recipe that calls for plantain, and plantain doesn’t grow anywhere near me! Though it’s convenient to have this variety… its just not as natural. 

Local food is how our ancestors ate and is just more natural in general. It’s how our bodies were meant to eat, and it’s really part of the core of paleo and ancestral living, in my personal opinion. 

 

3. Grass-fed, and pasture raised really, really matters. 

 

I cannot stress this enough. There is a huge different in organic meat from the store versus pasture raised, and grass-fed protein from a local farmer. “Organic” can mean that animals were simply fed organic grain rather than GMO. Which is a step up, yes, but cows and chickens still aren’t meant to eat grains. It makes them just as unhealthy as it can make us who can’t tolerate grains, which makes our meat unhealthy. So many folks think they’re soy free or corn free, but don’t account for the fact that they’re store bought chicken sausage may still be sourced from chickens who were fed soy. 

The most healthful and humane way to raise animals is on pasture. Animals get more vitamin D, and more of a natural diet that they were meant to. It’s much harder to find meat you can trust from a store. I literally grill local farmers to learn about farming practices, and the difference in the meat shows. It tastes better, it sits better on my stomach, and it makes better quality bone broth and meals! 

 

4. It’s more environmentally friendly. 

 

Non pasture raised meat is incredibly terrible for the environment, yes, but so is flying mangoes from Chile to Chicago. Shipping food around the globe versus getting it from the down the street is not as environmentally friendly, and it’s certainly not as natural. 

Again, no one is perfect at this… I eat my fair share of mango from the grocery store every now and then. But, the more local we eat, the easier we are on the environment!

 

How To Find Good Quality Local Food 

How To Find Healthy Local Food & Why It Matters For Your Health

 

One thing I want to get across with local food is that it’s closer than you think! So many people immediately write off local food as an option because they’re not immediately aware of options. It does take a bit of leg work to really find your favorites, but the process is so worth it! 

 

1.Seek out a CSA, Co-op, Farm Store, or Farmers Market. 

 

Local food comes in all shapes and sizes! You don’t need huge, bustling farmers market down the road to eat local. Here are just some ideas for what to look for when it comes to local food…

  • Farmers Market. Yes, one of the easiest ways to shop local. Look for markets in unexpected places like church parking lots, libraries, schools, etc. They’re not always obvious! 
  • Farm store. Another convenient way to shop local, I’ve seen tons of farm stores that basically act as mini-farmers markets. 
  • CSA. This stands for community support agriculture, and is often characterized by having no central location, but drop off points for weekly boxes. Boxes often contain what’s fresh that week, and leave little room for customization. It’s a great way to get super fresh and local! 
  • Co-op. This stands for cooperative, and is often organized by a local community member who brings lots of local farms together to do a bulk drop off at their home/homes. This can be a great way to get a variety of local products in the convenience of your own backyard. 
  • Direct from a farm. Though I’ve never gotten the opportunity to do this too much myself, lots of areas have farms that either allow weekly pick ups on location, or will even deliver to your house! I used to buy from a beef farmers who would drop off our order once a month at our home, straight from the farm. 

 

2. Look for underground local food movements. 

 

Something that I discovered that really surprised me is that there are lots of CSA’s, meat shares, and farms that don’t really advertise anywhere other than social media. I’ve found tons of sources that just have a small group on Facebook with a home pick up once a month. It may seem modest, but I’ve used these small CSA’s as well and it’s worked great for me. Try and search “My town CSA” on Facebook to find groups, and you may be surprised at what you can find! 

 

3. Use search engines. 

 

Rather than just plain ol’ Google, I also use yelp and trip advisor to find farms I refer all of my clients to the Weston A Price Chapter search engine. The Weston A. Price foundation is all about traditional, local food, and they organize chapters all around the US of local vendors. This is how you can find tons of vendors that don’t necessarily advertise anywhere else.

4. Start a backyard or indoor garden. 

 

And when all else fails, take it as local as possible… your own home! My husband and I just started a backyard garden and I’m loving going outside everyday to check on our little baby onion sprouts. It’s fairly cheap to get good quality dirt, and seeds, so I’m excited to see what results this yields.

If you don’t have a backyard, go for an indoor garden of fresh herbs! You can grow tons of amazing fresh herbs inside that are nutrient dense, and add so much flavor to your meals. All you need is one little rosemary plant on your windowsill to start eating local.

Bonus… My Favorite Local Food in Dallas  

Since ya girl does indeed reside in Dallas, TX, I gotta give a shout out to my favorites! Y’all are life, y’all. (Can you tell I don’t actually say y’all in real life? 😛 ) 

Favorite meat providers:

  • Juha Ranch – Where I get all of my bones for broth! Juha Ranch hands down has the best bones in town, amazing organ meats, and out of the world chuck roast. They sell at the Dallas Farmers Market regularly and a few others.
  • Bois D’Arc Meat Co – The best eggs,chicken and pork shoulder in Dallas, y’all! Their beef is amazing as well. Tyler takes pride in his product, and it really shows in everything from their branding to their product.. They’re also super active on social media which makes them that much more transparent, trustworthy, and fun! I catch them at the Dallas Farmers Market.

Favorite Farmers Markets:

Favorite Farm Store: 

  • Farm To Fork Foods – Owned and operated by a fellow NTP, Farm to Fork Foods in Arlington kills it with local food! 

Favorite veggies: 

  • JBG Organic– JBG sells at markets in the area, and has a local CSA! 

8 Ways To Improve Your Digestion Naturally

I’m probably not going to shock you when I say that digestive problems are so widespread and often the root cause of so many issues that come to me in my nutritional therapy practice. Fatigue, autoimmunity, migraines, vitamin and mineral deficiency, leaky gut, it can all connect back to poor digestion. Sadly, digestive problems are more or less normalized in our society. We’re inundated by commercials for acid blockers and anti-bloating medication and just assume that it’s entirely normal to have an upset stomach after meals. Digestive issues may be common, but they are not normal. Not only are issues like bloating, gas, hunger irregularities, and constipation uncomfortable, they can eventually lead to worse issues down the line. Society gives us a lot of pills for digestive issues, but not a lot of holistic strategies for natural management. So, that’s why I’m sharing my Top 6 Tips To Improve Your Digestion Naturally!

Being in the autoimmune and gut healing space and having written a 30 Day Gut Healing Guide e-book, the topic of digestion is incredibly close to my heart. Though I didn’t want to admit it, I suffered from digestive problems from as early on as I can remember. I had food aversions, hunger irregularities, and a constant nausea that I just couldn’t place. I went like this for years until it finally snowballed into autoimmunity and leaky gut. Despite my best efforts, nothing really evened out until tackling my digestive health!

First, Why Does Your Digestion Matter So Much?

So much emphasis is put on diet in this holistic health world. We see food as the thing that heals us, and if we’re eating a diet that isn’t working, we just jump to another diet. Here’s the thing nobody tells you… diet isn’t everything.

In the words of the founder of the Nutritional Therapy Association, Gray Grahm, “We are what we digest”. We could be eating the most nutrient dense diet filled with healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables, but if we’re not digesting them, we can’t receive the benefits. I have a handful of clients who come to me eating a perfectly fine diet, but they still feel bad. After we work on their digestion, so many of their issues fall away. 

Food and diet are only secondary in importance to digestion just by the order of things! Our digestion is incredibly important, and when we can tackle it naturally, we can change our health drastically.

 

8 Ways To Improve Your Digestion Naturally

8 Ways To Improve Your Digestion Naturally

 

1.Understand how digestion actually works including the symptoms of poor digestion and what they may indicate.

Educating yourself is always key to understanding what is actually going wrong. I never really understood what was going on with my digestion until I became an NTP, and my digestive woes never budged as a result. I didn’t even know how I supposed to feel or how it was supposed to work, so how was I supposed to know how to fix it?

It doesn’t have to be complicated… I love this article on how digestion works.

As previously mentioned, poor digestion may be common but it isn’t normal. Knowing the symptoms of poor digestion can be a good indicator to start to figure out what’s actually going wrong. It’s important to note that symptoms can likely indicate a lot of things, so you can’t judge  Here are a few common symptoms and their related

Possible poor fat digestion signs:

  • Nausea after meals
  • Pain between the right shoulder blade
  • Greasy stool

Possible poor protein digestion signs:

  • Mineral deficiency
  • Poor nail health 

Possible poor carbohydrate digestion signs:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Excessive hunger 

Possible low stomach acid:

  • Reflux 
  • Not being hungry in the morning

Again, symptoms can indicate a lot of things, and if you have an issue, you should always see a doctor to address it. But knowing what some of your symptoms mean can be helpful in pointing you in the right direction. 

 

2. Eat in a relaxed, grateful state.

I’m admittedly one to answer emails, even watch episodes on The Office on netflix when I’m eating, and have eaten on the go often in the past. Though this seems like a time saving strategy, it’s killer on your digestive health. 

In order to properly digest, we need to be in a relaxed, parasympathetic state. If we’re distracted, or stressed our body isn’t focusing on properly gastric juice and enzyme production.

Because digestion always takes a back seat in times of stress, taking extra focus to be grateful for your food is always an amazing digestive health strategy. Not only does gratitude get you out of a stressed state, it shifts your mindset to be thankful for your food. 

Here are some practical tips for implementing this step…

  • Cut out distractions! No phones, TV, or emails.
  • Don’t eat on the go.
  • Take a few deep breaths before a meal to calm down
  • Say a prayer or blessing of gratitude for the meal

 

3. Chew your food 30-40 times perete.

That sounds insane, I know, but it’s so effective and necessary. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth, and there’s a reason that we have teeth! Our stomach acid and digestive enzymes can only do so much to break down our food. We need to do the work to really break down our food as much as possible in our mouth in order to properly digest it!

When I first learned this tip when I was studying to be an NTP, I literally counted my bites. I started at 5-10 or less and worked my way up to comfortably chewing my bites 30 times. It was hard, but it makes such a huge difference!

 

4. Stay hydrated, but stop chugging water around meals.

One of the most common diet culture tips for eating less is drinking tons of water right before a meal. It’s supposed to fill your stomach to the point where you need less food. If only you could see how much I’m rolling my eyes as I type this. Though water consumption is clearly an important part of health in general and a very important piece in digestion, you don’t want to be chugging tons of water around meals. Water and soda’s dilute your stomach acid and interfere with all of the fluids of digestion, making it harder to break down your food.

Rather than chugging whole glasses of water with meals, stick to smaller sips with meals and drink the bulk of your water in between meals. 

 

5. Focus on three balanced meals rather than tons of snacks. 

Yet another diet culture tip is to eat lots of little small meals throughout the day to “keep your metabolism running”. Another eyeroll as what this actually does is it never gives your body a chance to fully digest. We need to give our body time to rest and digest our meals rather than constantly eating every hour. 

That’s not to say that snacks are the end of the world. If you’re legitimately hungry, you should be eating. However, focus on getting the bulk of your food at meals rather than snacking all day.

6. Balance your meals to feature healthy fats, properly raised protein, and vegetable based carbs.

In order to properly digest, we need to balance our meals to feature… fiber from vegetables, healthy fats and properly raised protein. Too many extreme diets try to cut out or severely limit or highlight on these three, but really, they need to be balanced to support proper digestion. So, what purpose do they all serve?

Vegetable based carbs:

Benefits for digestion:

  • Provide fiber needed to digest and eliminate food
  • Feed our good gut bacteria 

Examples:

  • Leafy greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Squashes 
  • etc.

Properly raised protein:

Benefits for digestion:

  • Provide the minerals needed to support proper stomach acid production

Examples:

  • Grass-fed beef, lamb or bison
  • Pastured chicken or turkey

Healthy fats: 

Benefits for digestion:

  • Provide the building blocks to produce healthy bile 
  • Keeps our gallbladder working properly
  • Helps with the absorption of nutrients 

Examples:

  • Coconut 
  • Avocado
  • Fatty fish 
  • Olive oil
  • Healthy animal fats 

 

7. Regularly favor healing foods that are properly prepared for better digestion.

Preparation is key when focusing on gut healing and good digestion. Gut healing protocol like the GAPS diet focus heavily on how the food is actually prepared, as preparation plays a huge role in digestion. Ever hear the complaint that raw nuts or raw carrots give folks tummy aches? That’s because traditionally, these foods were prepared differently for better digestion. Don’t get me wrong, raw salads can be great, but properly cooking foods the majority of the time does aid digestion. 

Favor foods that are nourishing to the gut, and are easier on the digestion, such as… 

  • Slow cooked protein (like chuck roast
  • Nourishing stews
  • Properly prepared bone broth
  • Blended vegetable soups (like this one and this one
  • Soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds (if tolerated)
  • Well cooked vegetables 

8. Add in probiotic rich foods.

Before refrigerators, probiotic foods were what our ancestors used to keep food fresh! Every culture had some sort of fermented food in their diet. Fermented foods come with the added benefit of beneficial bacteria that feeds our gut microbiome and keeps our gut in balance. An imbalanced gut microbiome can lead to a whole host of digestive issues like bloating, gas, malabsorption and more.

Those with serious imbalances like SIBO, candida overgrowths, and the like need more support for their microbiome, but generally speaking and with that exception taken out, we all need to support our gut with probiotic rich foods!

Examples:

  • Saurekraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt (homemade or high quality store-bought… I love the brand coyo) 

 

 

Bonus Tip:  Supplement when necessary.

So many people shy away from supplementation because they think it’s unnatural. When really, we all could benefit for some support here and there. Most of my clients that I put on supplements only take them for a short period of time to allow their body to rebalance, and then cycle off of them. There is no shame in supplementation and it’s not a life sentence.

One of the supplements that I often recommend is a Betaine HCL with pepsin to support stomach acid production. This is particularly helpful in protein digestion, and a necessary precursor for all digestion. 

Another supplement that I recommend is a good digestive enzyme which can be particularly helpful for carbohydrate consumption, but can be helpful in all digestion in general. 

When necessary, I also bring in bile support or an ox bile if someone is struggling with fat digestion or have had their gallbladder removed. I tend to see amazing results from doing this, especially in myself!

As for the exact supplements I recommend, I use the brand Biotics Research with my clients. However, I always recommend working with your own doctor to find out what’s the best for you! There are a lot of factors that just can’t be considered over the internet to a wide audience. 

 

I hope all of these tips have been helpful! Remember, customization is always key with anything, but these general tips can truly help support your digestion for the long haul. 

It’s Okay To Stumble On Your Health Journey & How To Pick Yourself Up

When it comes to pursuing better health, we all want to heal fast. Blame it on the media which is littered with drastic before and after pictures taken only a few months apart, or blame it on our own personal drive to just feel better already. Whatever it is, once people start on a mission for better health, they want it to happen immediately. However, there’s always a bad day, there’s always a cake at a party, there’s always bad traffic on the way to the gym, and we stumble. We stumble on our health and healing journey, and we hate ourselves for it. 

There are different kinds of health journeys. Sometimes it’s weight loss, sometimes it’s just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and others, like the one that myself and most of my readers are on, are health journeys related to chronic illness that really effect your quality of life. I’ve stumbled many times on my journey to heal my gut and my Hashimoto’s, and it’s okay. We all stumble and I’m going to tell that it’s okay, and how to pick yourself up afterwards.

It's Okay To Stumble On Your Health Journey

We All Stumble On Our Health Journeys

As someone who is deeply engrossed in this health industry both personally and professionally, I can tell you that we all stumble from time to time. Whether that’s bingeing on a food that we know is bad for our health, quitting an exercise routine, or just giving up on ourselves, we all do it. 

I know about this first hand. I’ve done it several times in almost the past decade that I’ve been pursuing better health with Hashimoto’s, and with leaky gut. I’ve gone back to eating gluten for months out of nowhere plenty of times, and I’ve fully disregarded doctors advice. There are tons of little things, but I want to tell you about my worst stumble in own health…

I was 18, newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and trapped in what felt like a whirlwind. My first semester of college was supposed to make me feel young, and excited for life, but it was the complete opposite. I was clueless on how to really address my health beyond medication. I was so fatigued that I was sleeping 16 hours a day, my digestion was so bad that I developed a bingeing habit to keep up wth the fact that I wasn’t absorbing any of my food, and I was growing more and more anxious and depressed every day. My health felt tied to where I was, and for some reason, I felt like I could run away from it all. 

My ultimate dream in my young life was to indeed run away and have an experience of a lifetime where I could travel and life a different life for even just a short time. I made the brash decision to literally run away. I loaded up my car, drove across the country, and set off to do a semester long internship in the happiest place on Earth. I thought the time away from the stress of school and working in a fun environment with new people would solve my health problems. It didn’t.

My health just got worse. I go back and forth between gluten free junk, and tons of sugar. I remember aimlessly wandering around grocery stores on the brink of tears… knowing that I needed to be eating better, doing better, feeling better, but I had no idea how. I developed the most random obsessive habits around food like drinking tons of fruit juice (which I never did) and chewing entire packs on gum in a day because I was so desperate to just constantly eat. I had several infections and illnesses that had me on antibiotics, and my anxiety was getting worse and worse and I got regular attacks. I was so antisocial and so down on myself that I did nothing to enjoy the experience of a lifetime… I had to run away again… I left the internship early having zero of my problems solved, and only returned with more. 

Picking Yourself Back Up And Not Hating Yourself For It

Coming back from that trip 5 months older and feeling set back in my health and my life 5 months was hard. I moped around for weeks not knowing what to do with myself. But I had to slowly get back up and stop hating myself for it. That was easier said than done.

This is a hard step for everyone, including me. We get so down on ourselves about it. We say that we failed, we say that we’re not good enough and we say that we lost so much precious time. However, we need to stop that negative self talk immediately. 

In this post health bump state, we need to accept that the longer we dwell on it and stay mad at ourselves, the longer we stay in limbo with out health. The sooner that we dust ourselves off and just push forward, the sooner we get to being healthier and getting back in our groove, 

It Takes TIME To Find Your Groove And To Forgive Yourself 

Even though we need to just push ourselves back into finding a groove rather than moping around and feeling sorry for ourselves, it takes time to find a groove. One of the biggest questions that I always get from people is “how long did it take you to heal?” Months, and theYears… and I’m still doing it. 

But slowly and surely, day by day, you develop strategies to stay the course like….

  • Acknowledging that it’s okay to stumble… you’re not a bad person or a failure for it
  • Learning to meal prep to always have health meals on hand
  • You find more staple recipes that make eating healthier more enjoyable
  • You find a workout routine that you love
  • You find an online community of similar folks who can support you
  • You develop an arsenal of strategies that just work for you (check out these gut healing strategies)
  • You find a doctor that gets you 

It happens slowly and you don’t always know exactly how you got there, but when you work at it every day, you eventually do find your healthy lifestyle groove. 

So, my dream was to run away for some dream travel in college when I was 18 and I crashed and burned with my health. I wanted it at 18. I wanted my health to be stable and I wanted the experience of a lifetime. Did I ever achieve my dream? Yes. Four years later. It took time.

At 22, after working for 4 years on getting myself in a physically and mentally healthier state I was healthy enough to study abroad in Florence Italy for a month. I had zero anxiety attacks, no particularly earth shattering food reactions, and I had literally had the time of my life. And you know what? I still went off the rails with my health and didn’t do a single structured workout for over a month, and I ate gluten and tomatoes and foods that would normally throw me off back at home. The food did eventually catch up with me, but I didn’t mentally abuse myself and mope over it when I got back to the states. I acknowledged that i had an amazing time, and got right back into my normal healthy lifestyle routine when I got home. It took years for me to get mentally and physically healthy enough to do this, but it happened.. and it was amazing.

Your Groove Is Always Changing and Stumbles Will Happen Again… But That’s Okay.

The reason that we all stumble in our healthy lifestyle is because our lives are always still changing. My healthy lifestyle today is so different than the one I developed when I was 19, and it will be entirely different when I’m 30. 

Living a health journey like gut issues and autoimmunity is lifelong so stumbles and shifts in your groove are normal. I stumbled when I got my first full time job, I stumbled when I left certain long term relationships, and I still have mini stumbles a stressful week or a long trip. It’s okay. I will continue to happen over and over and it’s fine. We all stumble, but we all have to learn to just dust ourselves off and keep going. 

Leaning On Something Bigger Than Yourself 

Through all of my early stumbles, I always ran away. I ran away when I took that internship, I ran away from myself and into toxic relationships, and I ran away from my feeling and into unhealthy relationships with food. When really, I needed to run into it and lean on something bigger than myself. I couldn’t single handily solve all of my own problems, especially when I was running away from them. Again, it took years for me to realize this. Taking yourself outside of yourself and seeking advice and guidance elsewhere is always transformative. 

Running to God and telling Him that I clearly needed help, strength, and guidance was the ultimate game changer for me. It took prayer, strengthening my relationships with Him, and strengthening my relationships with other Godly people helped me reconcile the fact that I am just not perfect. I will always stumble and I will always fall, but I’ve been redeemed of that eternally. I don’t have to be perfect. I can just focus on being the best that I can be, and trusting God with it.

 

When you stumble, know that it’s not the end of your health journey. We all do it, and it’s always redeemable. It takes time, guidance, and determination, but if I can do it, so can you. 

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 

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

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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.