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

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. 

26 Things I Did To Transform My Health

It’s that time of year again… Cinco De Mayo has come and gone. And since I don’t actually partake in going out and drinking and eating yummy Mexican food, that means I’m excited for another reason… Cinco De May is my birthday! I’m turning 26 years old (just aged myself and totally don’t care) and in 26 years, I’m blessed to have accomplished, send, and done so much. I’ve graduated college, gotten married, bought a house, started my own business, and so much more. I have so many things to thank for what I’ve been able to do in 26 years… my family, my husband, God’s grace and provision in my life, and my journey to transform my health to make my self that much more effective at what I’m able to do. Living with Hashimoto’s and serious leaky gut has never been easy, but I’m so grateful for all of the progress I’ve made. In celebration of my birthday, I wanted to share 26 things that transformed my health!

I want to preface all of this by saying that I am by no means in perfect health. I have heavy metals I’m dealing with, hormones that still fluctuate, and my gut still can get pretty jacked up if I stray too far from a healing diet. I am not claiming perfection with this blog post… I’m celebrating progress.

But first, how has my health been changed positively from these 26 things? 

  • I reversed my Hashimoto’s
  • I stopped having random fainting spells (likely a combination of bad blood sugar control and Hashimoto’s)
  • I no longer have constant stomach aches and pains
  • I can eat a variety of foods and not get sick 
  • I’m not reliant and advil and coffee to get me through the day because of fatigue and chronic headaches 

Like I said, I still struggle, but these are massive, massive wins in my mind, and I’ll take every little win I can get! So here are just some of the things I’ve done…

26 Things That Transformed My Health

26 Things I Did To Transform My Health

Diet & Wellness

1.I cut out gluten, soy, and nightshades

Though these are loosely in no particular order, this was huge for me. I went gluten free-ish when I was 18 after learning the connection it had with Hashimoto’s. I went full on gluten, soy, and nightshade free until 3 years later, and it changed my life. I had no idea how much these foods were effecting me on a daily basis and how much better I feel without them!

2. I discovered AIP 

For me, gluten free, soy free and nightshade free wasn’t enough to really heal. I  really needed to nix grains, take a dairy break, and learn about inflammatory oils and how to be a nutrient seeker. It’s been about 2 years that I’ve followed an AIP template, and it’s really helped change the way I feel, and the way I see food as nourishment for healing rather than something to just eat or avoid.  

3. I began my bone broth obsession 

All week, every week… I’m drinking broth. Whether it’s a bone broth based soup, a drink, a meal with a bone broth sauce like this spaghetti squash alfredo, or just straight up in a mug, bone broth has been huge in transforming my health. It’s helped with my gut healing, and mineral absorption! 

4. I started eating protein & healthy fat daily

In high school, I prided myself in having a zero fat diet. Face palm. I also had a terrible meat aversion and never ate protein. Not only did I not crave these foods, but I couldn’t digest them. It took a lot of gut healing, but now I eat them daily and my energy has changed drastically. 

5. I eat vegetables at every meal 

Even breakfast, yes. Check out this breakfast bowl for reference 😉 Vegetables are the base of my diet and eating mostly vegetables rather than mostly grains like I used to has given me so much more energy, vitality, and has done so much good for my gut.

6. I let go of societies standard for “balanced eating”

We’ve all hear of the 80/20 rule. Most often the 20% is perceived as alcohol, cupcakes and taco bell. If you’re not pigging out on junk food every so often, society views you as obsessed with healthy food… I highly disagree. You need not need a balance of junk food to be healthy. I’m perfectly happy with my 20% being things like dark chocolate and matcha lattes, and eating a nutrient dense diet!

7. But, I still give myself “permission” to eat lots of chocolate… like… a lot 

Not like I need “permission” but I do indeed still treat myself. You guys… I eat a lot of chocolate. If I don’t have something chocolate-y minimum a couple of times a week, I’m a sad panda… do people still say that? 

8. I started batch cooking

The best way for me to not stress about having healthy meals prepared! 

9. I stopped trying to lose weight and learned to productively deal with my weight fluctuations with Hashimoto’s 

10. I learned that Hashimoto’s can be managed holistically 

11. I went on a journey to heal my gut & support my gut health

Gut health was a huge trigger for my Hashimoto’s, and a whole separate issue in itself for me. Going on my gut healing journey and supporting my gut health going forward is one of the main things that keep my Hashimoto’s controlled, and previous IBS type symptoms under control! 

12. I learned how digestion is actually supposed to work 

Learning how digestion works changed how I approach gut healing. Truly, take a look at how digestion actually works and think about how you can support your digestion to support your gut health. 

13. I take Betaine HCL and enzymes with every meal  

Like I said, my gut still a’int perfect. Taking digestive support supplements has been a huge factor in my gut healing journey. 

14. I discovered the importance of blood sugar control and how to balance meals 

Oh, you mean oatmeal with chocolate chips and coffee is a bad idea for breakfast? Yeah… it kind of is. I had horrible hypoglycemia my whole life, and the spikes and dips of blood sugar are so bad for your adrenals, and your liver, and your body in general! 

It’s only been about two years that I’ve started to take this seriously, and balancing my meals is always going to be a daily challenge, but it’s made a drastic difference in my headaches, fainting spells, and over all hunger. 

 

Lifestyle 

15. I strengthened (and continue to strengthen) my relationship with God

Above giving up gluten, drinking bone broth, and even getting married, I owe everything to God. I personally believe that God has lead me on and through this health journey for a purpose. God calls us to love Him will all of our hearts, to pursue Him, and to establish a relationship with Him. In doing this, it’s given me reassurance in my health, and changed my mental health so much more than even the best yoga class ever could. 

16. I married an amazing, supportive, cute, blonde man

Marrying Daniel is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, if not the best. He’s grounded, supportive, ambitious, and the perfect partner for me on this journey. I’ve had some tumultuous relationships in the past that were terrible for my health. Daniel does nothing but support and strengthen my physical and mental health <3 

17. I stopped crazy exercise 

As a former crossfitter, it just wasn’t working for me and my adrenals anymore. I walked away from something that I still technically loved in interest of support my health with more gentle exercise. 

18. I started doing yoga & weight lifting 

I still love lifting weights… my body likes lifting weights. It also really loves yoga. I may not be a star weight lifter or yogi, but these gentle exercises are just what my body needs to stay challenged, keep myself moving, and not spike my stress levels to a crazy amount. 

19. I take walks several times a week

Weather permitting 😉 I do live in Texas and it’s already super hot here. But taking walks is an amazing way to gently move your body and take some self care time to think, meditate, and pray. If I’m ever having an off day, a walk almost always sets me straight. 

20. I learned how to not feel “left out” with my lifestyle and diet 

21. I got a cat named, “Stinky”

Pets are amazing health boosters. My little kitty was a stray that ran up to my mom during a snow day here in Dallas as she was leaving work. She threw him in her car, and guess where he ended up 😉 ? The name “Stinky” was a silly nickname from my husband because he was in denial that we were actually keeping him. Oh, but we did. Stinky always cheers me up, and snuggling with him is always one of my favorite parts of the day.  

Oh, and did I mention that this little lover has a heart on his side?

Work

22. I left my 8-5 job

This is always a hard one because people want to believe it’s impossible… but it’s not. I left my 8-5 day job for pursuing my own business and freelancing, and the effect it’s had on my health is drastic. Is it easy? Of course not. Is it possible? Yes. 

23. I focus energy on helping others 

One of my favorite parts of being an NTP/ blogger is all of the people I get to help. It warms my heart like crazy when a client tells me I helped improved their digestion, or a reader says they love my healing recipes. Looking outside yourself and helping others rather than dwelling on your own situation and health all of the time can be one of the most healing things you can do. 

Health Education 

24. I got certified to be an NTP through the nutritional therapy association

Blog post to come on my experience as an NTP, but going through the program gave me so much insight and holistic understanding of my own health! Though I’ve been able to make a career out of it as well, it was worth it for the personal knowledge alone. 

25. I became a podcast junkie 

Okay, I am obsessed with podcasts. For entertainment value, for education, for self improvement…. basically all of the things. They help me relax, they make me laugh, and they teach me so. much. about. health. (and other things) Balanced Bites, Paleo Women, Stuff You Should Know… I’m so grateful for all of the value they bring and what they’ve taught me about my health! 

And Very Importantly…

26. I continue to pursue this journey 

By no means is my health perfect… like at all. I still have issues that I’m dealing with that relate to hormones, heavy metals and more. The most transformative thing that anyone can do for their health is to pursue it as a journey, and never give up on growing.

 

We’re all different… this is just my journey. I share it to inspire you in any way I can, and hope that this post did just that! 

Bone Broth Green “Smoothie” Drink

It’s no secret that greens are good for you. They’re packed with vitamins and phytonutrients that are essential for you to thrive. That’s why green drinks and green smoothies are so popular. I fell in love with the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead years ago, and it’s all about a man with autoimmune disease who brings himself back to health with a green juice fast. Though it’s inspiring and has a good core message of “eat your greens”, I don’t recommend long term juice fasting as an NTP. You lose the necessary fiber, and lack certain protein and minerals. However, it’s undeniable that getting in lots of greens at once is an effective strategy! That’s why I decided to put a spin on a green drink with this bone broth green “smoothie” drink!

It’s super easy and quick to make in the instant pot (or modified on the stove) and it’s the perfect way to get in tons of veggies and bone broth at once. You can drink it straight either warm or slightly chilled (I like it best warm) or you can even eat it as a soup and add in some extra fat like avocado or protein like shredded chicken!

So, why is this drink the bomb?

Why I Love This Bone Broth Green Smoothie Drink

1.It’s packed with greens 

It’s not secret that we want to try and get in more green veggies. They’re packed with vitamins, phytonutrients to keep us healthy, and this smoothie is full of them with kale, celery, leeks, and cilantro! 

2. It still has the fiber in the veggies

One of the drawbacks of juices is that you lose the fiber in the veggies. It can be fine to have a juice without the fiber every now and then, but by and large, fiber is an important part of the vegetable and still comes with added nutrients. This drink is a smoothie/pureed soup rather than a juice, so the fiber is still intact!

3. The base is gut healing bone broth

Rather than water or a milk, the base to the smoothie/pureed soup is gut healing bone broth! 

Bone broth comes with tons of benefits such as… 

  • It’s rich in minerals that are easily absorbed,
  • It’s high in collagen and amino acids
  • Bone broth is full of good quality protein and healthy fatty acids
  • It’s good for the hair, skin, nails, and gut integrity.

Bone broth is often a staple in the gut healing diets like my 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide and the key to adding protein, fats, and minerals to this drink, which juices alone don’t pack as much of a punch from. 

4. It’s an easy way to get in tons of nutrients at once!

Starting your day with this drink is a great way to get in lots of greens, and bone broth all at once! 

Food is medicine and when working on healing the gut, or other chronic illness, lots of food is required to add in lots of nutrients. It’s not easy to get in bone broth and tons of veggies daily, so this drink is a perfect way to get in some extra nutrients. 

5. It’s made in the Instant Pot to save time

I love using my instant pot to save time on recipes like this! It cuts the time in half, and always makes such a flavorful meal. 

If you don’t have an instant pot, you can still make the recipe on a stove top! Simply follow the modifications in the recipe as listed. 

Bone Broth Green "Smoothie" Drink

Ingredients

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1.5 cups celery, chopped (about 2-3 ribs)
  • 3 cups kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, chopped (about 1 large leek)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 4 cups bone broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Set the instant pot to sauté and add the coconut oil
  2. Allow the oil to melt
  3. Add the chopped carrots and sauté for 3-5 minutes
  4. Add the remainder of the veggies and the salt lightly sauté for a few minutes to soften
  5. After the veggies are lightly softened, add the bone broth and lemon juice
  6. Turn the instant pot off sauté, and lock on the lid
  7. Press manual, high pressure and set to 12 minutes (for stove top, simply simmer for 25-30 minutes)
  8. After the timer has gone off, carefully quick release the pressure on the instant pot
  9. Remove the lid and allow to cool
  10. Place the mixture in a high speed blender and blend until fully combined
  11. Serve the drink slightly chilled, or warm and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://unboundwellness.com/bone-broth-green-smoothie-drink/

Bone Broth Green "Smoothie" Drink (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30)

That’s all there is to it! Like I said, this is great for a breakfast drink or mid-day snack, but I’ve also had it as a pureed soup at lunch or dinner. Enjoy!!

How to Shift Your Mindset To Heal Your Gut

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist or a mental health professional. This is not professional medical advice or treatment and these opinions are purely informational.

If I’m being perfectly honest with you, I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t have an issue with food or with my gut. I was a toddler when I first started getting chronic ear infections that had me on antibiotics constantly, I had horrible food aversion as a child, I started getting stomach pains as a teenager, and I was finally diagnosed with leaky gut in college. My gut had always been a weak point for all of my life, which effected so much more than just my digestion. Our gut health is responsible for our immunity, our mood, our food cravings and habits, the health of our skin, and our body as a whole. 

We’re all starting to wise up to the fact that our gut health matter tremendously for our health as a whole, and that most of us (especially those with autoimmunity) have very compromised guts. There are so many resources out there on healing your gut. You can find tons of “4 r protocols”, recipes, and books. Heck, I even wrote a gut healing e-book myself! Our gut health really, really matters, and the food, lifestyle, and supplement protocols to heal it are crucial.

However, there’s one huge piece that most people aren’t taking seriously enough when it comes to gut healing. No it’s not more probiotics, more bone broth, or some supplement. I’m talking about mindset

Why Is Mindset So Important For Healing?

 

Our mindset matters because it not only influences our physiology, our hormones, our cortisol, and our immune system (really, it does) but we can all do about as much as we set out mind to. I have literally made myself sicker over the years over believing that I’m getting sicker and just mentally giving up the fight for a healthier gut. 

Regardless of how hard it is to have a positive outlook when healing the gut, it’s crucial. It’s crucial for our quality of life, our health, and for finally healing

Our mindset plays such a powerful role in our health as a whole, but we don’t always take it seriously. And after being so sick for so long, it’s hard to have a positive mindset, right? This state of poor gut health last for 20+ years for me, how am I supposed to have a positive mindset about it? 

But, beyond going to yoga, taking more walks, and downloading more meditation apps, how can you really change your mindset to insight healing?

How to Shift Your Mindset To Heal Your Gut

  How To Shift Your Mindset To Heal Your Gut

1.Stop telling yourself that your body & your gut hates you.

 

“Never affirm or repeat about your health what you do not wish to be true.” – Ralph Waldo Trine

One of the biggest problems that I see in this autoimmunity community is that we commonly say “my body is attacking itself” or “my gut hates me” or “my body hates my thyroid”. I see it all over social media, people email me these things, my clients tell them to me, and heck, I’ve said it way to many times. 

It’s true that autoimmunity is a the body emitting an immune response on itself… let’s be fair and recognize it for what it is. However, constantly telling ourselves that we hate our body and that our body hates us creates that negative relationship. If you constantly told yourself that your best friend hates you and you hate your best friend, what would happen? You would start to get uncomfortable around them, project feelings onto them, create arguments in your head that never happened, until you eventually really did hate each other. Think about it… who has a closer relationship with your own body than you?

You create your relationship your body… make it a good one that promotes healing rather than hate. 

I’ve been known to say “my thyroid hates me” often, but I’ve said worse things about my gut as it’s been more of the issue for my entire life. My own negative self talk that I created against my gut issues was “my stomach feels like it’s rotting”. And I mean, it did literally feel like I had eaten food that started to rot in my gut, and with all of the poor digestion I’ve suffered for years, I did have fats rancidifying in my stomach. These feelings were real, but I would sit in my car, or at my desk, or in the back of my yoga class saying in my mind “my stomach is rotting… it feels like it’s rotting… it feels like it’s rotting.” And so, that’s what I focused on. I did that for years. 

It’s only recently that I started to turn that feeling and that self talk into “what can I do to help my body feel better… how can I help my body heal this… what can I do to promote healing?”. Sure enough, I found ways. I found HCL supplements, a diet that was easier to digest, and ways to calm myself down when I had these flares.

When I stopped telling myself that my gut hated me, it started loving me. 

2. Stop dwelling on the fact that you have gut issues.

 

There is a very fine line between being enthusiastic and being obsessive, and most of us are constantly towing that line more than we’d like to admit. It’s a popular conversation that those of us in the health and wellness industry can trigger orthorexic or eating disorder behaviors in others, and that’s not a wrong statement. 

In addiction recovery, it can be commonplace to eventually stop calling oneself a former addict, or a recovered addict is it suggest that you were formerly an addict. Rather, it can be seen as best to move away from the labels and continue life without them.. always acknowledging that you have won the battle, but that it doesn’t have power over you anymore. 

As someone who has battled disordered eating habits and tendencies (more on that soon, I swear) I would often make myself worse by obsessing over it and telling myself over and over again that I had these habits. The more I focused on them, the more they had power over me.

It’s the same thing with gut issues. Yes, we need to drink the broth, we need to see the functional medicine doctors, we need to follow the protocols, and we need to make it a lifestyle to keep from getting back to square one… but referring to ourselves as “having leaky gut” or “always having gut issues our whole lives” is counter productive.

Instead, acknowledge that you have had these issues… acknowledge that you are working on them… but don’t give it enough power to make you eternally miserable. 

3. Accept that you don’t need junk food to live. 

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it it again… you don’t need junk food to be happy. Society, marketing, and social pressures may make us feel like we need 80% real food and 20% junk food to be happy, but it’s just not true.

The 80/20 rule is that as long as you eat well 80% of the time, you can stray 20% of the time and still be classified as normal and healthy in societies eyes. Society tends to  I’m sorry, but I highly disagree. You don’t need to binge out on fast food to have a healthy mindset.

80/20 isn’t inherently wrong as it’s really just an idea of “treat yo self”, but the point is that you can classify your 20% in any way you want. Maybe that’s fruit, or dark chocolate, but know that you don’t need the french fries to be happy.

4. Remember that highly restricted diets are temporary.

 

Though we don’t need junk food it live, I also know that most gut healing protocols cut out “real food” as well. Nightshade vegetables, FODMAPS, vegetable starches, nuts, and others that are all perfectly healthful foods, but not always appropriate for gut healing. It can be hard to cut out “real food”, but what’s crucial to remember that is temporary.

The GAPS diet is meant to be followed for two years, AIP a few months, and more structured protocols will be within that same range. I discuss the length of time needed to heal the gut in this blog post, and believe that it’s important to keep in mind that this is a temporary protocol, not a permanent state of being. Not only does it make it more bearable as you’re going through it, but it creates a mental path to actually allowing yourself to find a way to get in those foods again.

5. Love the food that you eat.

 

I make a serious effort to share recipes on this blog that I love and that are fun to eat! Just because gut healing diets are void of traditional comfort foods, doesn’t mean that you can’t love your food! 

For example, I used to love chicken nuggets and french fries. Like, love. That was my comfort food as a child and I thought there was absolutely zero way to incorporate that food in my life again when I cut our grains and nightshades. When I opened my mind and allowed myself to love food again, I created parsnip fries and the very popular, sweet potato chicken poppers. Just as good, and so much more nourishing! 

Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo, AIP)

Loving your food makes the gut healing protocol more enjoyable, it creates a positive relationship with healing, nourishing foods, and it improves digestion! We need to be in a relaxed, happy state to properly digest, and if we love the food we’re eating, the more likely we are to digest it well and absorb the nutrients. 

5. Create your own healing mantras and positive things to say about your journey

 

“My gut feels like it’s rotting” is just one of the negative things that I used to tell myself about my body. I’ve often also said that I feel like I would “never heal” or that “this was forever”. Think about it… we all have something negative that we say. 

It’s so important to take the negative things you say about your gut and turn it around to something positive. For example, I stopped telling myself that my gut felt like it was rotting… rather, I asked myself what I could do to help my gut heal and help myself feel better in that moment. 

Some great mantras to take on could be…

  • I am healing
  • I am going great things for my body
  • I’m helping my body come back into balance

6. Lean on community support

 

Humans are social beings. Our ancestors were in tribes, communities, and tight knit groups for centuries. I’m currently reading the book Mind Over Medicine which has a fascinating study about a small town where the citizens were much healthier than neighboring towns. After studying their diets, genetics, environment, and more, it was eventually determined that the main differentiating factor was the close knit community and socialization in this town. They treated each other like family, their children were all friends, and they were each others support system if anything went wrong with another family.

Being in community and having support can be one of the best things you can do on a gut healing journey. You have people who you can learn from, relate to, and walk the same path with. I have a FB group called Gut Healing Support, that I host for that very purpose.

Getting support from your family and friends who may not be on the same journey is still possible. For me, it’s been all about educating those close to me about what I’ve gone through so they can better understand. Sometimes it’s still a big struggle to get support, but the people who really care about you will always find a way to love you regardless.

7. Believe in something bigger than yourself

 

Also in Mind Over Medicine (which is not a religious book, mind you), author Lissa Rankin discusses that those who believe in something bigger than themselves are healthier, happier people and are able to mentally recover more quickly from emotional trauma. 

For me, my belief in God has changed the way I see everything. It’s given me the assurance that even though we all may struggle in this life, we can still be healed eternally. Think about that… we get so caught up in our own struggles or compare ourselves to others to see who has it worse, but in the end, we all struggle. My relationship with God has helped me navigate those struggles, and gain perspective outside of myself. 

Maybe that’s not where you are now in life, but just believing in something bigger than yourself and taking a step outside of your own life and struggles gives such important perspective and peace of mind when it comes to healing. Whether it be God, the universe or other to you personally, remember that there is so much outside of our struggles. 

8. Believe that you can heal 

 

It’s never enough to just go through the motions… you have to actually believe in what you’re doing and saying. We have to actually believe that we can heal. Only when we do believe it’s possible is when we find a way to do it. If we only just partially believe it’s possible while still also have the subconscious thought that it isn’t, we’ll never fully commit. 

So many times in my healing journey I would say that I believed I could do heal my gut, while simultaneously telling myself that I never would. That negative voice honestly wasn’t even conscious. It’s the thing that kept me back sliding for years and had me saying, “what’s the point anyway?”.

That negative voice still creeps in some days, and it can be a struggle to shut it up. I have to be constantly mindful, and forever faithful, but believing that you can do something is always the most important part of actually doing it <3 

How To Successfully Reintroduce Foods On A Gut Healing Protocol

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

Gut healing protocols and elimination diets like the autoimmune protocol, GAPS, candida and even the Whole 30 are hard. They’re hard mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, and even physically. But being through them myself, I can say one-hundred-percent that they’re worth it… hard, but worth it. Even harder than eliminating foods can be the mystery of actually reintroducing them. Not just what to reintroduce and when, but how to get over the anxiety, how to keep the food in your diet and not develop another intolerance again, and more. This is a huge topic within the realm of gut healing, which is why I wanted to delve deeper into my own experience with this and how to reintroduce foods on a gut healing protocol.

My Experience Reintroducing Foods After Gut Healing Protocols 

I remember my first appointment with my chiropractor who diagnosed me with leaky gut, so vividly. More than being completely over the fact that everything I ate made me sick, I was scared that I was just a total hypochondriac that she’d turn me away. That was anything but true. I found out that I had 40+ food intolerances from an IgG test. In retrospect, the test was definitely under counting and I don’t entirely recommend them. I had never heard on AIP or intense elimination diets at the time, so it was a necessary jolt to realize that I needed to do it, but the test never showed reactivity to corn, dairy, or other foods that I know I have a reaction to, so they’re heavily debated. Regardless, I was going to have to go on an elimination diet similar to AIP. Though having Hashimoto’s disease was a huge struggle, it quickly became apparent that healing my gut was going to be a huge battle. 

The thought of getting rid of bread, pasta, potatoes, tomatoes, and more made me sick to me stomach and I was immediately expectant to reintroduce these foods. I’d count down the weeks, and the days until I could finally start to add these foods back in. That is, until I had my first bad reaction.

Having a bad reaction to a food that seemed fine before is your body telling you that it wasn’t fine… that it’s inflammatory and you shouldn’t be eating it.

There’s a lot of confusion about bad reactions around foods that you seemed fine with previously. Take gluten for example… maybe you ate bread daily and didn’t experience a reaction directly after eating bread.. you were just generally fatigued all of the time. Then you cut it out for 60 days, try to add it back in and have a horrible reaction… what happened? Previously, your immune system was so up-regulated to gluten that you didn’t even experience intense reactions because you were always having systemic inflammation. Now that you’ve calmed the inflammation on a daily basis, the reactions are far more noticeable.  

My first experience with this reintroducing a food that I thought was fine but caused a reaction, set off this massive amount of anxiety and confusion around reintroducing foods. What was safe? What wasn’t?

After many mis-steps, I’ve successfully reintroduced….

  • Almonds
  • Egg yolks 
  • Occasional raw goat cheese 
  • White rice (and sometimes brown)
  • Chocolate
  • Decaf coffee
  • Coconut (there was a time where I couldn’t eat it)

But I’ve massively failed at reintroducing…

  • Egg whites (I get physically ill with a cold when I eat egg whites)
  • Nightshades 
  • Beans & legumes 
  • Most tree nuts (I have an IgE allergy to most tree nuts)
  • Corn (I basically turn into a zombie for days)
  • Cow dairy 
  • Blackberries & pineapple (one of my weird allergies)

I’m still reintroducing things and my diet is always changing. I’m in a period of eating more low starch and will have to go through a process of reintroducing starch down the line all over again. It’s taken years to learn how to do it well, but that’s what I want to share with you today how I’ve been able to reintroduce things well. 

How To Reintroduce Foods On a Gut Healing Protocol

How To Reintroduce Foods On a Gut Healing Protocol

1.Take the gut healing part of the process seriously 

 

So many protocols just eliminate foods and don’t focus on healing. Though removing the food will lessen inflammation, it will never treat the root cause. 

I’ve done it before, and I guarantee you’ll be in for a load of frustration if you just remove foods and don’t focus on really repairing the gut. You’re much more likely to be unsuccessful with reintroductions and just be back at square one having to keep removing over and over again. This is a very easy cycle to get stuck in and most folks that I know who have chronic issues and stay here for years. 

Here’s what I recommend for taking gut healing seriously…

  • Focus on healing foods and practices as outlined in my book, The 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide
  • Work with a practitioner to get to the root cause of why your gut is damaged in the first place (parasites, dysbiosis, toxicity, etc.)
  • Pursue functional stool analysis, blood testing, heavy metal testing and more to get to the root cause
  • Really focus on healing your digestion! Relaxing before meals, chewing, taking proper enzymes etc.

I say often that in today’s super toxic world, gut healing is a constant effort. We can’t ever really act like our work is 100% done. It will never be done for me, and even when it gets better, we have to keep up with maintaining our gut health. 

2. Reintroduce the least inflammatory foods first

 

When I went on my first gut healing protocol, I cut out all nightshades. At the time, I didn’t even know the connection between autoimmunity and nightshades, I only knew that tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and goji peppers it came up on my test. 

Clueless of what these were or how to reintroduce, my first reintroduction was mashed potatoes. Like, a lot of mashed potatoes. Needless to say, I felt like crap the next day. Pounding migraine, fatigue, joint pain, stomach aches. It was bad.

Little did I know, this was one of the most inflammatory foods I could reintroduce. When reintroducing foods, start with the least inflammatory first, and work your way up from there. 

If you’re looking for a good resource for reintroductions on AIP, I really like the e-book from Phoenix Helix, Reintroducing Foods On The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. She has tons of instructions, recipes, and guides for what to reintroduce and when!

3. Take note of reactions and be careful of what foods are in the same family.

 

After my mashed potato mishap when I was 20, I still had no idea what I was doing. I was incredibly anxious about my first reintroduction and went for something that seemed benign… paprika. My mom is off the boat Hungarian and I figured that maybe, just maybe, I would be fine because paprika was in my genes. I put literally 1/2 tsp of paprika in a huge soup with at least 6 cups of broth. Even that much was enough to elicit a terrible reaction. I was aching, sweating, and fatigued for 72 hours, and even more confused.

What I didn’t know at the time was that paprika and potatoes are in the same family. So often, people are reacting to an entire family of foods rather than just one singular food. Foods can be categorized in tons of different families like nightshades, legumes, starches, fodmaps, crucifers, citrus, stone fruits, etc. The list goes on!

Let’s say you react to lemons and also have some issues with oranges in the past. These are both citrus, and it would be best to delay an orange reintroduction.

Look deeper into what food you react to and figure out what family/category it’s in and be cautious with that whole family during your reintroduction period.

4. Rotate your reintroductions (and your food in general)

 

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make with food is they eat the same things every day, and all year round. In nature, we would never do this. Even before modern grocery stores (which have only been around for a century or so BTW) and we started shipping in things from all around the world, we weren’t able to eat mangoes in Idaho in the middle of December. They weren’t local, they weren’t in season, and it just wasn’t accessible. Now, we have everything at our finger tips and eat it whenever we want. Not only is this unnatural, it’s what can cause food intolerances by having these foods in excess. 

The guideline is generally a four day rotation, and that’s what’s outlined in my e-book, The 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide. If you eat something on Monday, don’t eat it again until Friday. This is exactly what you should be doing with reintroduced foods. If you reintroduce potatoes, go easy on them. Don’t eat them daily, and be sure that you rotate all of your foods to avoid overdoing it and causing a reaction.

You don’t have to be 100%, but be mindful of not eating the same foods every day regardless of reintroductions. 

5. Use your mindset in your favor 

 

I know how anxiety inducing it is to reintroduce foods. I know how anxious chronic illness makes you in general… both as a symptom of the illness itself and of living with the illness in general.

However, our mindset is such a powerful tool in healing. We need to be in a relaxed state to even stimulate the hormones of digestion. Where as, if we’re anxious and keyed up about a reintroduction, we’re much more likely to have bad digestion and a poor reaction. 

I know it’s hard, I know you’ve probably been burned in the past, but limiting anxiety round reintroducing foods is key to doing it successfully. I’ve had personal experiences where I’ve been able to tolerate different foods differently depending on how my current stress was around the food. Take a deep breath, think good thoughts, and trust that this reintroduction will work! 

 

6. Use pulse testing to gauge potential reactions 

I learned about Coca’s Pulse Testing for food sensitivities through the NTA, and I really love sharing it with my own clients and doing it on myself. Essentially, pulse testing taps into our bodies innate intelligence as to whether or not we can tolerate a food by testing how much our pulse speeds up when the food is in our mouth.

Here’s how you pulse test for food intolerance…

  1. Sit, relax, breath. Take a moment to calm down before you eat.
  2. Take your pulse for a full 60 seconds and write it down.
  3. Take a piece of food (one ingredient/food at a time) and chew and salivate it for about 20 seconds. Don’t swallow the food.
  4. With the food still in your mouth, record your pulse. If your pulse speeds up by 6 beats or more, you’re having a reaction to that food.
  5. Remove the food from your mouth if you reacted, and drink some water.
  6. Relax and repeat the process! 

That’s all there is to it! 

I’m not going to say that this is 100% accurate, because in my experience, no food intolerance test is. However, it is a great way to gauge your bodies reaction in the moment to a food.

 

All in all, All food is different… no apple is created equal. Our bodies and tolerances are always changing. I know how stressful it is to reintroduce foods, but I hope these tools help make the process a bit easier!

What are your tips for reintroducing foods? Leave your ideas in the comments to share with others! 🙂