Follow Your Gut (health)

I’ve mentioned on Instagram and here & there on the blog that yes, I suffer from tummy issues, too! After mentioning it, I’ve had an amazing response and found out so many of you suffer from it, too! I’ve dealt with gut issues for as long as I can remember. Warning! This post has a lot to do with the #2 lol. So, follow your gut (health) and let’s heal together!

I thought it was normal to not go to the bathroom for two weeks at a time. It wasn’t until the day after my high school graduation, when I realized I had a serious problem. During my senior night, I felt terrible pains in my stomach that would occur every 30 seconds. I lost my appetite and felt a strong urge to go to the bathroom, but nothing would happen. The pain grew worse. I went to the ER and was put on morphine. I stayed there for 4 days. While I was there, I wasn’t allowed to eat for the duration of the time, had a colonoscopy (FUN!) and was put on anti-biotics. (This happened while everyone I knew was throwing their graduation parties. My gut has ruled my life, lol.)

I never received an exact diagnoses from that hospital visit. They just said I had an overgrowth of bacteria in my colon and it was deteriorating my intestinal lining. After doing my own research and still suffering, I learned that I have SIBO. Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth. Most practitioners are not educated with all of the new findings of the gut, and this is one of those new up-and coming diagnoses.

I’ve gone to so many gastroenterologist and holistic Doctors for help. I’ve gotten my blood tested in hopes to see what foods I’m allergic to. The results came out negative. It’s all the same. Do you eat enough fiber? Are you eating enough vegetables and whole grains? What does your diet look like? BLAH BLAH BLAH. When they realized that I ate a very healthy diet, they put me on a lot of laxatives and said I would have to be on them for the rest of my life. (Depressing) I’ve been also diagnosed with IBS and they told me that if I just follow the FODMAP diet, everything would be good in the world. Well guess what? If you are diagnosed with IBS, it’s more than likely your gastroenterologist has no idea WTF is wrong with you and it’s their cop out so they can move on to the next patient. IBS means you have a bigger issue.

So, I’ve taken matters in my own hands. I went to the book store and grabbed all of the books about gut health. I also dove into a lot of gut health podcasts. Actually, my boyfriend, Trevor introduced me to Joe Rogan! He always plays his podcast in the car. Joe Rogan has brought on guests like Mark Sisson, Rhonda Patrick, Chris Kresser and Rob Wolff who have suffered from gut issues there entire life and have found their cure. I started to read and listen more to what they had to say. All of our symptoms lined up: bloating all of the damn time, chronic abdominal pain, some suffered from constipation, others diarrhea etc. Even our stories lined up. They had all gone to Dr after Dr and no one could figure it out. Their success stories were all very similar as well. I had to jump on the bandwagon ASAP.

Here’s what I’m doing to heal my gut and save my sanity life:

  1. I’m eating a primal/paleo based diet. It’s absolutely insane how effective this diet has been for me, on my gut and energy levels. I started this diet two weeks ago and I’m already obsessed and already seeing results. I don’t remember ever feeling this good. Basically, I have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in my colon that feasts off of starchy carbs and sugars. It means removing grains (breads, pastas, rice, etc), beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils, and refined sugar from your diet. I have to totally remove those foods to starve the bacteria and kill the damn thing. The idea is to eat a lot of healthy fats, moderate proteins and little carbs. So here is what I’m eating:
    1. Vegetables: any kind, ideally organic and local
    2. Healthy Fats: nuts and seeds, avocado oil, coconut oil, Vital Farms grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, avocado, extra virgin olive oil
    3. Meats & Eggs: most kinds, ideally pasture-raised or grass-fed, including organ meats
    4. Seafood: most kinds, ideally wild-caught (However, I don’t eat it because I hate seafood!)
    5. Fruit & sweet potato: any kind, all in moderation, ideally organic
  2. Intermittent Fasting: Your gut heals the most when it isn’t busy digesting good. Instead of eating six little meals, I’m eating three big ones packed with a lot of healthy fats to keep me full in between meals. I wake up and have a black coffee and then don’t eat until 10AM or 11AM. The later the better, but I’m working on it!
  3. Greek yogurt: The live cultures are amazing for the gut! The two brands I believe in are Fage or Nancy’s. If it has any kind of sweetener, thickener, gums, flavorings then don’t eat it. Your gut will thank you later!
  4. L-glutamine: I take one scoop in the morning with my coffee and one scoop at night!
    1. Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair (1)
    2. Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage (2)
    3. Is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and helps with memory, focus and concentration (3)
    4. Improves IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements (4)
    5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting (5)
    6. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise (6)
    7. Improves metabolism and cellular detoxification (7)
    8. Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol (8)
    9. Fights cancer (9)
    10. Improves diabetes and blood sugar (10)
  5. Beef Gelatin: I take this baby every. damn. day. It makes my nightly healthy hot cocoa the most creamiest, yummiest guilt-free treat, but it also makes my butter coffee so creamy and frothy. It’s all about that froth, right?!. Only use this product in warm beverages or it will turn into jello. LOL. Okay… so here’s the benefits:
    1. Prevents intestinal damage
    2. Improves the lining of the digestive tract
    3. High in protein
    4. Improves Sleep
    5. Boosts your mood
  6. Kombucha: My favorites brands are GT’s and Health-Ade. Kombucha is fermented tea that naturally contains probiotics and healthy organic acids
    1. Improves digestion
    2. Fights candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth
    3. Mental clarity and mood stability
    4.  Reduces or eliminates the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.
  7. Bone broth: The ultimate healing food for your gut.”Studies show that bone broth is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (i.e. wheat or dairy), helping with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.Studies have also found that in individuals with digestive imbalances, serum concentrations of collagen are decreased. Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire GI tract, supplementing with collagen can improve digestion!” @lilsipper
  8. RELAXING: This is something I have to be super mindful about. It sounds super silly, but I have to practice relaxation. Stress and anxiety cause gut inflammation, stop the food from moving through the digestive track and cause bloating. Here is what I’ve been doing to find my zen:
    1. Hot yoga.. the hotter the better. It takes all of my stress away. I stop thinking and focus on surviving the class. LOL It really makes me think in the moment!
    2. Reading: I used to hate reading, but damn has this been a game changer. Getting lost in a book has helped my constant thinking and worrying
    3. Working out: But not just doing the same damn thing every day. I switch it UP and don’t let myself get stressed for missing a day. My body needs a day or two to recover and heal anyways.
    4. Spend time outdoors unplugged: Whether it’s just a 10-15 minute walk, get outside. The sun rays feel so good, and you really focus on the moment.
    5. Eating paleo. This has stopped my stomach from hurting all of the damn time. I was thinking about the pain and feeling so hopeless before which stressed me the hell out. Figure out a healthy diet that makes you feel good. Who cares about what the other person is eating. Do what your body needs.

That’s all I have for now~ let me know your tips and tricks! I would love to hear! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my lifestyle change to paleo. As you can tell, so far it’s been the best decision of my life. #followyourgut

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  1. Sarah W says:

    So curious to know when you started to notice symptoms. Ben is weird about food and I’ve often wondered if he has something going or is he just 2?! LOL still pretty young but looking nack I realized i was lactose intolerant my whole life but didn’t know it til my 20’s!! Man all the years of “why is my breath bad?” Or “why is my stomach upset, nothing happened (emotionally) bad at -whatever meal?”