As a functional nutrition coach that specializes in women’s health, I get asked questions all the time about what’s going on in your body related to hormones, digestion, inflammation, insomnia, and skin issues.
The truth is, every single person has their own bio-individual make-up, which means the answer is different for everybody depending on your health history, lifestyle, and more, but one thing is almost always true…just about all health issues start in the gut.
Because your gut (aka, your digestive system) is truly the foundation of your health, both inside and out. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut” more than 2,000 years ago, but we’re only now coming to understand just how right he was.
Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome (to name a few).
And, here’s the thing:
You are not what you eat.
You are what your body can do with what you eat. In other words, you are what you can break down and absorb.
You know that diet is fundamental, but so is the health of your digestive super
highway. There is an undeniable relationship between what you eat, how
you process what you eat, and ultimately how you feel.
If your body can’t break something down, you’re not absorbing the nutrients the
food contains, which creates problems, both short and long term. This process has a strong influence on your day-to-day moods and can result in depression and anxiety.
You might say you’re eating really well, that you’re checking all the boxes, but you’re
not getting the results you should be getting, based on your efforts. Perhaps you
aren’t able to release weight, you don’t have the energy you need to get through
the day, you crash a lot (blood sugar imbalance), or feel tired and wired. All of these
symptoms are of a piece, which is hormone balancing, which starts with gut health.
HOW DO YOU HEAL AND FEEL MORE ENERGIZED?
- Eliminate foods that you know create irritation: gluten, dairy, excess sugar, alcohol, and coffee. You won’t necessarily have to do this forever, but it can help clear the “muddy waters” and give your body a chance to heal. And you might discover what’s what with YOUR unique body. (BTW, the foods I mentioned here are also a wonderful way to give your body an inflammation break, too.)
- Start the day with hot water and lemon which causes peristalsis, gets the digestive juices going, and gives you a big boost of Vitamin C.
- Drink more water. Lack of water in the digestive system can result in ulcers, indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, improper organ function of, partial digestion, and most certainly constipation. In addition, you can add in a dash of apple cider vinegar – the malic and tartaric acid in apple cider vinegar improve digestion by restoring proper acidity and also by inhibiting the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Add in probiotics, which are the antithesis of harmful bacteria, antibiotics, and all the negative things that harmful bacteria do. Beneficial bacteria in the right dynamic population can strengthen the immune system, reduce chronic inflammation, heal leaky gut, and much more.
- Add collagen via bone broth or powdered supplement, which protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract. It also regulates the immune system, delivers an excellent source of protein, promotes deeper sleep, and improves brain function.
- Eat enough fiber. Fiber is what remains from our plant foods after the food is moved through the small intestine, and its benefits are many. Fiber makes stool soft and bulky, it speeds transit time through the colon, and it dilutes the effects of toxic compounds.
- Try eating less at each meal and chew your food. Slow down the action of eating. Be present for your meal.
If you can implement these suggestions, the big impact on your gut would be
incredible. When digestion is in better flow and harmony, more ease is happening in every system of your body, especially your hormonal system. Inflammation is
kept at bay, your stress levels come down, you’re able to release weight, have
more energy, less illness…I could go on! (Read more about Why You Gotta Luvva Your Guts here).
For some of you, working with a functional nutrition practitioner and health coach like myself is what is necessary to dive deep into your personal history and fine tune not only your diet, but to make lifestyle changes, too. We take a magnifying glass to your health issues and see what might be at the root of whatever might be ailing you. But it IS possible to heal, to feel amazing, and to climb to the top of the mountain – and shout with joy from it when you get there!.
If so, check out Stephanie’s upcoming 6-Week Vitality Reboot: Go From Frazzled & Frumpy to Vibrant & Light in Six Weeks (group program) starting Sept 27th. Get all the juice details and/or sign up here! Hope you gals can make it! Click here
In healthy gut gratitude,