Tips To Support Your Gut Over The Holidays

For the past 6 years, I have been following a paleolithic diet of no dairy, sugar, or grains. This was a HUGE healing factor as I went through nearly 3 years of treatment for chronic Lyme disease but before that, I was working to heal my gut from all the damage that had been done by eating gluten and dairy and processed foods for most of my life. This was before I got into the whole foods and living the metabolic type specific lifestyle that I promote now.

For the last few months, I decided to test my metabolism and my gut and see how I would respond to eating more gluten-free grains and a little more dairy. So that would be rice (brown or white), corn, quinoa and GF oats as well as some gluten-free bread and pizza crust every now and then.

As I suspected it would, my metabolism nor my gut has been very happy with me and it’s been a good learning tool for me to identify my boundaries and learn more of what my body can and can’t tolerate now that I am not enduring life in treatment. In treatment I was swallowing over 40 pills a day just to be able to function somewhat and participate in my own life, work as I could to pay the bills and then live with less than I needed or wanted from the perspectives of energy, clear-mindedness, and physical awesomeness.

So first things first, I removed the GF grains and dairy entirely and bumped up my bone broth. Next, I got strict with only consuming my ideal foods as related to my specific type of metabolism. This is all part of Metabolic Nutrition and is the difference between optimum health and mediocre health. I want to feel optimally awesome, don’t you? Next, I kicked up my bone broth and kombucha intake a bit more.

During this time of year, it can be tough to boost your gut health due to the holiday hustle and bustle and the food alone can take its toll. You can find more tips, tools, techniques, methods, recipes, workouts and so much more in my new ebook, The Whole Health Holiday Survival Guide but let me leave you with 3 recommendations to boost your gut health despite the season.

Recommendation #1: Chew your food.

I mean liquify it. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth and most of us have low-functioning gut chemistry and balance so this means you have to prioritize chewing even more. When you swallow your food whole, your body cannot absorb the nutrients in your food well because it’s too large. It’s like trying to get specks of gold out of big huge chunks of bedrock without breaking them down first. It won’t work. To add to this, it will make it tougher for your digestive system to eliminate waste because those whole parts of food will get lodged in your colon and begin to putrify and rot in your gut. This can then create skin problems, gas and elimination issues because you now have additional toxins building up that your body wants to rid itself of. Gross right? Just chew better. Shoot for 50 chews per bite before you swallow and if you have health problems, shoot for 100. It may take awhile to finish your meals but this practice can make a world of difference and it’s okay if you don’t eat your entire meal all at once as when you do this you may find you naturally eat less!

Recommendation #2: Supplement with digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid (HCL)

This can be done naturally by adding some fermented foods, raw apple cider vinegar or Swedish bitters before your meals but many folks need a lot more help in this area of their body and never get the level of gut happiness they desire without the added support of high-quality supplementation. Eventually, you may not need to depend on them as your body figures out what it needs to do but until then, help it out a little.

Many folks are not aware that the vast majority of stomach problems are due to too little levels of HCL (a condition called hypochlorhydria that I suffered from for years) in your gut. This is why the makers of over the counter stomach medications, Prilosec and all the others are loving your hard earned money. These medications reduce your HCL levels further.

HCL naturally reduces as you age but it doesn’t have to to the point that many of us are at these days. I see a lot of older folks have digestive upset after eating too much meat and instead of supporting their gut and eating better quality meat, they eliminate the meat and don’t know about gut support which both lead to other problems and is not the solution but rather band-aids. The issue will show up with many or all foods at some point if the root cause of the problem is not addressed. NOTE: Do not use HCL if you have a stomach ulcer.

Recommendation #3: Vary the probiotics that you take regularly.

There are tons of different strains of probiotics in your gut so you want to take a variety of them to help populate and repopulate your gut if you have EVER taken an antibiotic, ate modern-day gluten, pasteurized dairy, refined white sugar, or been under stress. Probiotics are one of the only supplements I recommend for everyone.

When you finish one bottle/package of a probiotic, start a different type, brand or quality. This is a really important way to give your body a plethora of good guys to help you function and perform your best. The gut dictates the function of your brain, hormones, immunity and overall health, period! So prioritize it and love it with lots of different friends a.k.a. probiotics, all the time.

I’d love to know how you optimize your gut health on the regular! Let me know in the comments below.

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