KRAUT, IBS AND ME
As a teen and young adult, I suffered with many symptoms of IBS. I changed (and restricted) my diet (and life) for years with some relief... until I made my first batch of kraut.
I had no idea it could taste so good, and so I ate it everyday - on just about everything. It wasn't my intention to consume it this way, I was just following my gut.
After about a month, I realized that I no longer had any problems with bloating, my skin was glowing and many of my other digestive issues were gone! I hadn't changed anything else in my diet and so I knew it was due to the kraut!
When I introduced it to my clients, and they started getting the same results - eureka! It seemd that a simple effective gut food medicine had been found! (This was back in 2012 before it hit main stream media).
Even for my clients who cannot tolerate lactic acid ferments, we have started with just a teaspoon or less of sauerkraut juice and worked our way up, and the results have always been great.
Sauerkraut is a powerful gut aid for many reasons! Any time we ferment a food, it potentiates the natural benefits of that food and cabbage happens to be:
So sauerkraut is a potent aid of digestion, detoxification and is extremely nutritious! In addition, the ingredients are affordable, and it is simple to make. What could be better?!
GET WILD and MAKE YOUR OWN DIGESTIVE AID KRAUT
So you can eat some real sauerkraut plain,.. or give this recipe a try to really boost your digestion.
It also contains a few of the gut-helping wild weeds gentian, juniper berries and dandelion root plus citris, pepper and ginger.
Use the video link if you need a "how-to" video to get you started. Then head outdoors, collect your wild weeds (see previous posts) and give this a whirl.
PS. It's okay if you can't add all of the last six ingredients. Aim for as many as you can and try it out.
Let me know how it changes your digestive issues! I can't wait to hear all about it...
That is why July is all about getting outside - not only for the fresh air and peace of mind - but to find and collect (free) wild weeds that aid digestion!
Last week, I mentioned how wild rose and red clover help support and soothe the gut-brain connection. Now let's look at two local weeds can help the stomach with gas and bloating!
You can also dry juniper berries and use them ground up as a seasoning on wild meat and fish (like pepper); and they are awesome for boosting fermentation! I have used them to make gulten-free sourdough starters, and I add them to my krauts for both flavour and a natural probiotic kick!
Learn where to find creeping juniper and how to identify it here.
I am heading outside right now to begin foraging these wild weeds as well as collect (okay eat) some wild strawberries (bery helpful for the gut-brain). More on wild Canadian berries here.
One frequent complaint I hear from new clients is that they have too many supplements.
Thus, I often look to how to supplement their supplements with wild natural foods (what a novel thought!).
And with recent global events, it does seem like the perfect time to get back to nature, find some peace of mind, and build self-sufficiency.
Here are two easy wild foods to start with. They are common throughout Canada and some parts of the USA, and they are abundant right now!
And I haven’t even broached the subject of MUSHROOMS yet. But soon. And July is going to be ALL about using local wild foods to nourish your gut and aid digestion. (There are so many, I can't wait to share them with you!)
So maybe try avoiding the stores this month folks... we're heading outdoors! Get your shoes on and I'll see you in the next post!
Happy Canada and Independence Days this week, my friends! And what better topic to explore this week than gut-healthy CAMPING FOOD!
Spending a camping trip uncomfortably bloated, gassy, constipated or worse… running for the outhouse, definitely puts a damper on things.
So if you are going camping or to a picnic this week, enjoy good times AND good food with some of these ideas...
The Food Basics
"To fail to plan, is to plan to fail". The key to not giving into eating foods that will harm you (and they are different for everyone) is simply to plan ahead, and have quick tasty alternatives on hand.
But let's face it, sometimes we're flying by the seat of our pants and don't have time to plan it all out (especially if you're solo parenting! So much to think about!). That's how I came up with these basics to take, because I can make great tasting, quick meals with these strategic foods:
Pre-Cook and Bag: It is easier to cook and clean up in your own kitchen verses in a campground, and having these foods pre-made makes it a cinch to whip up a happy gut meal in 5-10 minutes!
When the food has cooled, I bag each one separately (and depending on the timeline, may freeze it) and presto! I have the makings for a variety of meals like soup, wraps, omelettes, stir-fries, sauces, etc.
To go with this, I often bring:
Don't forget your "First Aid" kit!
And if things don't go as planned, you'll be prepared to battle bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation with these life savers! (And for legal reasons, I have to say: do not substitute this info for medical advice. Always discuss with your medical doctor before taking new supplements.)
💊Digestive enzymes can help you digest foods you don't normally eat. You can also take them after eating to speed up recovery from indigestion.
🦠Probiotics are necessary to keep your inner garden happy. You could instead use milk kefir or sauerkraut. Yogurt isn't enough on its own.
🍃Two drops of essential peppermint oil in a litre of water, to sip during the day, will improve digestion and bloating.
💚 Camping food is often Magnesium and Vitamin C deficient, which will make you feel tired and possibly constipatied, so eat lots of fresh fruits or greens - or take a supplement. You can also increase your dosage to alleviate constipation.
🧴Aloe Vera juice can soothe an irritated digestive tract as well as help with regular bowel movements.
❗Hot Water Bottle.... a God-send when your tummy hurts. Its easy to use, even when camping, and can either keep your cold feet warm or your tummy relaxed while you sleep.
I truly hope these suggestions help you to enjoy your next camping trip! What have been your camping life savers? Please share and we can build our bag of tricks, cuz holidays should be fun!!
In the last couple decades, low-carb diets have become a fad for many reasons.
They attract those who want to lose weight and many have found that they feel better – less brain fog and bloating - when they eat less carbs.
However, this is not a healthy long-term strategy, and here’s why.
In my last post, I talked about your transitory bacteria, the bacteria that stays a while and then leaves. These are your probiotic foods and supplements.
However, there are species of bacteria and yeasts in your gut that ARE permanent – they are called residential. Your residential bacteria and yeasts need a special food to fuel their activity. These foods are known as prebiotics.
And many prebiotic foods are carbohydrates. If you avoid eating carbs, you are essentially starving your permanent bacteria of the very fuel they need to survive.
In particular, there are a group of prebiotic foods that contain resistant starch like grains, tubers and legumes.
Resistant starch fuels the cells of the colon and is helpful for those suffering from Crohn’s, Colitis, diverticulitis, constipation and diarrhea. It also stabilizes blood sugar, increases sensation of fullness and improves insulin sensitivity! All ESSENTIAL for permanent weight loss!
Now there are many other groups of prebiotics. All my clients and members of my Guts to Heal Program get help with knowing which foods to focus on for their specific health issues, but I can tell you this simple and easy-to-remember fact:
It's simple.It's food-based. And as my clients and I can attest, it works!
So if you’ve taken probiotics to correct a health problem, pat yourself on the back.
And don’t stop there. Make fermented and plant foods a daily part of your diet.
Interested in taking the next step to building a healthy gut? Or learning how to eat more strategically to solve your unique gut issues?
There is so much to know and it helps to have someone like me to guide you in the best steps to take - steps that make sense for *your* body and *your* life. Send me an email today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get started today!
Well, my friend, you are not alone. This is a common misunderstanding about probiotics and one that – quite conveniently - isn’t being corrected by the probiotic supplement industry!
Here’s what you need to know…
Probiotic supplements and foods do not “re-populate” your microbiome. They are not like seeds that take root, grow and remain forever.
Yes, they help us while they are in our gut, but studies show us that probiotic foods and supplements are transitory. That means that they reside in our gut for a short period (about two weeks) and then they are eliminated.
That means your body requires a consistent supply of probiotics – either from a supplement or from food.
What are some of my favorite “super” probiotic foods? I’ll mention three:
1. Sauerkraut (click here for recipe)
2. Kimchi (click here for a northern recipe)
3. Kefir (try this dairy-free recipe
If you can start to include one or more of these in your daily diet, you’ll be helping your microbiome complete all those tasks that I mentioned in my last email. Eat your way to feeling good, right?!
But there’s more… you also have permanent bacteria in your gut and these require special foods to keep them happy.
And if you’re on a low-carb diet, you don’t want to miss out how it could be harming your permanent bacteria and delaying your healing progress. Stay tuned!
I’ve been studying this research since 2013 and one thing is clear: we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what gut bacteria do for us.
But here are my top 5 favorite ways in which bacteria support our health:
And all we have to do is to care for our microbiome! The four best areas to pay attention to are:
So, this weekend, while you are out working in your garden or playing in nature, take a good look at that dirt. Imagine all the microorganisms doing their part for the plants, and know that the same magic and mystery is at work inside you too!
I remember when I used to be bloated ALL the time, and I had the worst gas.
Like, peel-the-paint kind of farts.
It was terribly embarrassing, especially since I was a professional dancer at the time.
And that wasn’t the worst of it, of course. There were many days I couldn't dance or enjoy other activities because my guts were knotted with cramps. Or I'd had another bout of diarrhea. Or I felt nauseous. Or I was just too exhausted.
I’m SOOO glad those days are over now.
Where did the bloating, gas, cramps and diarrhea come from?
Why? Well, all of nature is blooming and growing – and the plants have the soil to thank for that.
What makes that soil good? Proper nutrients and pH, yes, but also something else. Symbiotic relationships between the microbes and fungi, and the plants! (Symbiotic refers to what is mutually beneficial)
It is the same in our gut. We have our own inner gardens of microbes to attend to so that they can help protect and nourish us. They need the right nutrients, pH and each other!
When our microbiome is balanced and healthy, it prevents pathogens from creating noxious gas in our guts, it helps us break down our food so we get the nutrients we need, it prevents inflammation and regulates our bowel movements.
This and so much more!
Stay tuned because I’m dedicating June to Nourishing a Healthy Microbiome - your own inner garden!
After 10 years in this field, I know the digestive system very well - how it affects and influences every other aspect of our mental, emotional and physical health, as well as our dependance upon it to avoid or recover from disease.
The Wonder of Our Body
Every once and a while, its important to shine the light on the wonder of the human body - how it knows what to do - especially when we are not well!
Yes, you may not have eaten the best foods this week/month/year.
Yes, you may have serious health challenges to manage.
Yes, you may have too much stress to deal with.
BUT that doesn't mean you're done for, or that your body doesn't know how to rebuild, rebalance, renew right now.
For example, we know now that good digestion and nourishment depends on our microbiome,
(a unique-to-you combination of over 3 trillion bacteria). Yes, this microbiome is under attack from chemicals and drugs in our food, air and water - but it is also always changing and can be easily rejuvenated with probiotic foods or supplements, and a natural plant-based diet.
If you're suffering dis-ease in any way, it is a call for attention and assistance, not fear and worry.
Know your body is well equipped to heal.
All it needs is for you is to be attentive and willing to learn how to support it's natural capacity to rebuild and renew itself.
Many years ago - when I still had gut issues - I started playing with fermented foods as a way to obtain the benefits of probiotics in a more natural and affordable way.
The outcome was better than I could have imagined. Not only did my food intolerances and allergies gradually disappear, but I had a new way to preserve the harvest from my garden, and many different delicious foods to add to my plate!
The FERMENTED FOODIES CULTURE CLUB is/was a social event where everyone could share and learn about fermenting together. I ran it every last Friday of the month in Whitehorse, YT.
Eventually I started a Facebook group too (that you can join HERE) for sharing recipes, resources, experiments, questions and, of course, live cultures for fermenting (locally).
And now, with COVID19 social restrictions still in place, we are running the Fermented Foodies Culture Club LIVE and ONLINE throug Zoom! (Link is in the Facebook Group)
No matter where you are in the world, you are invited! Come share your knowledge and/or learn more about how fermented foods add pizazz to your diet, help preserve and nutritionally enhance your food, bring joy to your day, and support gut and immune health!
We'll see you there!
I don’t know about you, but this time of year is always weird for me... especially now with the COVID19 restrictions keeping us from making any sort of "normal" plans this spring.
As a "recovering Type-A", I'm not prone to worry or anxiety as much anymore, but the local and global effects of COVID are concerning and putting us all under varying degrees of strain.
For me, I'm working more hours at the computer than ever before, and I find myself wandering into the kitchen frequently out of boredom, loneliness or just to procrastinate!
My body is starting to feel heavy/yucky while my mind is very active. The imbalance between the two feels odd, like a bird tethered to an anchor.
When the body is tired and the mind is bright, we aren't making progress. It's our inner spirit and creative passions that propel us forward, especially in hard times - but if our body lags behind, it needs some TLC!
That's when I know it's time to reboot my gut! Every spring and fall, I offer the 7 Day Gut Reboot as a way to gently cleanse your digestive system, reduce bloating and inflammation, and put a bounce back in your step!
It comes with a meal plan, recipes, grocery list, daily instructions, 24-7 support and - new this year - live coaching with me, to keep you motivated and on track!
Participants say that within three days, gas and bloating were greatly improved, they were waking with more energy, feeling great through the day, and not wanting to eat extra.
You can read a little more about it here and if you'd like to join in, let me know.
If you're up to a challenge, I'd love to leave you with some of my resources to read or try
1) 20 Surprising Symptoms that your Gut Needs TLC If you know you've got problems, but you're not sure what to focus on, this chart can help.
2) Beat the Bloat Starter Guide Bloating is the most common symptom associated with digestive problems and usually linked to poor acid production in the stomach which leads to many, many other problems. Take a read and try one or more of these 5 easy steps to resolve bloating without changing what you eat!
3) Guts-Come-First COVID19 Survival Guide Lots of great tips to understand and boost your digestive and immune systems. There is a list of 12 Top Foods to Stock Up On, and a a COVID's Day Menu to try at the end of the guide. Check it out.
If you have any questions, just shoot me an email and I'll respond right away.
With love for your gut,
While there is no one thing to do – the immune system needs many things to fight - take a look and see what you can add to your diet and daily routine to support the immune system.
Trying new foods and activities can be fun. The foods, spices, herbs and other suggestions are not all that you can do – there’s more, but it’s my goal that this inspires and empowers you to take charge of your health... and maybe even have a good time while doing it!
Should you have any questions, I’m here to help. Just send me a email or join in our community of gut-savvy COVID19 fighters in the It Takes Guts Community page.
I hope this finds you staying well and sane, and gives you hope that there is more that you can do for you and your family. I'll be dancing in my kitchen for you (see the guide for details :)
Here's the link one more time! I know you'll find some excellent foods or ideas to serve your health!
So are you stuck at home and "homeschooling" your kids now? What's your biggest challenge?
With COVID-19 keeping everyone home, parents with kids are asking homeschooling moms like me HOW DO YOU DO THIS?!
Here is what I have to offer to those of you who are new to this.
First: NOTE-> YOU WILL HAVE REALLY BAD DAYS WHERE YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT EMOTIONALLY REGULATING YOURSELF! It's normal, okay? Thankfully, you'll also have really good days that more than make up for it. So when it's bad, trust me, just surrender to it! Cuddle. Play. Make art. Do what it takes to make and keep the peace and try your "to-do" list again tomorrow.
Second, here have been some of my best strategies:
1) I wake up 1.5 hour earlier than everyone else... even if I’m tired. This quiet time is so essential for prayer, self-care and getting organized for the day. Even though I may get less sleep, it actually helps me to be more efficient during the day and thus saves me energy in the long run.
2) We get outside every day... even if it takes an hour to get everyone out the door, that’s an hour less of struggling with quarrels and no matter how much complaining there is, everyone feels better after.
3) Audiobooks and colouring papers. I prep my meals or clean nearby while the kids colour.
4) Absolutely carve out some me-time at least once every three days where you can get away from your “job” as a parent. Plan it and guard it with the tenacity of a bull terrier. Don’t let it go. It feeds/nourishes you and therefore your family.
5) Music. Dance with your kids or by yourself (in the kitchen!), but I find good tunes always help transport me to a better state of mind ❤️
These are the most helpful strategies I’ve learned over the years. Have you found some of your own? Jot them down in the comments below for others to see.
Oh, and just know every one is struggling to stay sane, even your kids. 🤪 If you are losing your grip, they are - or will - too.
Accept your productivity is going to take a hit while they are home, and find the silver linings that actually make this time special. You or your kids are never going to forget COVID19, so what do you want them to remember about their time at home with you?
And when life is usually too fast and busy to put proper priority on our health (yes, even the health practitioners struggle with that!) - well, now we are definitely taking notice and taking care.
Taking care of myself and my family's health shifts me out of fear to one of empowerment. It feels good to be doing something that helps!
There are SOOOOO many things you can do to boost your digestive health and immunity. Here are another two easy things to focus on in the meantime.
Pay attention to HOW you eat. Relax before and during eating, and avoid distractions so you can chew really really well!
This maximizes production of acid in your stomach and sets up your whole digestive system to function properly!
It also helps you to break down and absorb proteins, and vitamins A, C, E, B6 plus iron, zinc and magnesium... all essential for immune health.
Focus on eating fresh fruits and veggies, fermented foods, and soups made with veggies, seaweeds and/or meat bones. These provide you with plenty of Vitamin C, A and zinc, some of the primary nutrients for boosting your immune system. There's more to read about them all here.
With love for your gut,
PS. To help out during COVID19 outbreak, I'm opening up my calendar for the next two weeks. If this or any other virus scares you, let me help you strengthen your immune and digestive systems by identifying where your gut is out of balance and what to do about it.
You can set up your FREE 45-minute Gut Insight and Clarity Call by clicking right here.
Many of you might be hearing that its important to eat foods rich in Vitamin C and zinc to support your immune system.
But here's a few things you might not know...
Yes, true - vitamin C is especially important right now to help support our immune function and our adrenals. However, do you also know that Vitamin C is essential for bile production?
And guess what? Zinc's immune boosting power relies on Vitamin A because they work TOGETHER in the production of T-cell antibodies.
So stock up on your Vitamin C, A and zinc foods today!
Here are some common foods you might find in your home - depending on where you live:
I'm sure you have some of these in your home today! The ones at the top of the list have the highest Daily Value (DV) rating, so try those first.
These values are taken from "The Worlds Healthiest Foods" by George Mateljan. (*Note I couldn't find any DV values for Spruce tips or Rose hips but I added them in because they can be foraged and local/traditional knowledge says they are an impressive source - enough to aid against scurvy)
Enjoy! ANd remember... even in tough times, it isn't complicated to stay healthy.
Our first line of defense includes physical and chemical barriers like your skin, mucous and inflammatory makers that mark and neutralize intruders immediately. It is highly dependant on antioxidants to function well. It is called innate immunity.
Your second line of defense are the specialized antibodies that continue the long fight against infection. It is highly dependant on healthy thymus, bone marrow and good gut bacteria. Its known as your adaptive immunity.
(I’ll talk more about these and how to support them in my Guts-Come-First COVID19 Survival Guide that is coming out soon)
But, for now, the best way to assist your body's first line of defense, here are the top 2 best things you can consume:
The type of hot fluid you drink can further aid you if you choose meat or vegetable broth that is high in amino acids and/or minerals, herbal teas like echinacea, nettle, spruce tip, rose hip, etc can fortify your immune system, and adding raw honey adds important enzymes and nutrients too! Or drinking warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar can help to prime digestion and alkalize your body.
Do AVOID caffeinate, sugary and alcoholic drinks that dehydrate and deplete your immune system.
#2) Gargle daily with an antiseptic in warm water like apple cider vinegar, salt or lemon and use a neti pot if you have one.
Now you know a bit more about how to help your immune system in preventing the virus from entering your body. Steps you can take no matter where you are. Put them into practice today!
You can continue getting daily help from me when you join my It Takes Guts Community on facebook. You can ask questions, get support and learn new things to keep your gut - and immune system - functioning and resilient through this trying time.
With love for your gut,
I'd like to share with you some ideas, info and hope for the days ahead.
For example, did you know that our gut is also home to 70-80% of our immune system?!
That means our gut health plays a pivotal role in our immune health - we want to doing everything we can to support digestion and nourish our organs so we have a strong immune system.
So let’s look at two important areas we need to attend to:
1) Our gut is responsible for getting nutrients in and toxins out. We need a properly functioning digestive system to make FULL use of the food that we ARE eating, as well as get rid of by-products/poisons so our energy and immune systems aren’t depleted more than necessary.
2) Our gut is also home to billions of beneficial bacteria that are meant to protect the lining of our gastrointestinal lining (preventing "leaky gut") and also to trigger and train the antibodies involved in our immune responses!
I'll keep posting articles here on my website, but the best way to stay up to date is to join my It Takes Guts Community Learning & Support Group private facebook group.
Or, if you prefer email, you can always send me a note that you'd like to receive regular emails and I'll put you on my list where I send out only 1 to 2 essential information emails a week.
Be EXTRA kind to yourself and others at this time.... and remember, hope and kindness are contagious too!
With love for you, your gut, your immune system and the overall wellbeing of this world,
How would you know if you have a leaky gut? Let’s take a quick look.
Last week, I mentioned that regular alcohol consumption – even if it’s not heavy – may be creating inflammation in your intestine, a condition known as leaky gut. How does this happen and what does it look and feel like?
Well, when regular alcohol consumption is combined with lack of sleep, too much stress and/or poor dietary choices – which most of us struggle with on a daily basis - the bad bacteria that are normally present in your gut begin to proliferate, and that adds or leads to leaky gut.
However, when there is too much bad bacteria in the gut, there is insufficient good bacteria to protect the lining of the intestine and this eventually leads to inflammation, causing the tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal lining to pull apart and become permeable or leaky. (This is a simplified explanation for now).
A leaky gut means that toxins, incompletely digested proteins and other harmful particles from inside your GI tract can now easily enter the bloodstream and traveling to any place in the body.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Some signs of leaky gut that begin in the immune system as it becomes hyper-protective from all the "intruders" include:
The first three organs affected by leaky gut are liver, brain and lungs. You may notice liver or gall bladder problems, respiratory infections, hormonal imbalances, weight problems, thyroid issues, low energy, foggy thinking, anxiety and depression…. to name a few.
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms, but there are many more. Read more about it here in an article I wrote called : "Is it Your Gut or Something Else?"
Medical practice is still catching up on the science - most doctors have not be been trained to see how a leaky gut is a root cause for these other conditions.
WebMD refers to leaky gut as "something of a medical mystery" and gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic, says "Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ."
Case in point, a MD recently hired me because she was unimpressed with what the gastroenterolgist had to offer about healing her gut. He told her that nothing could be done about it!
Well, I'm here to tell you there is PLENTY you can do about it! Our bodies know how to heal, we just need to supply them with the right foods and habits so the organs can do their job.
Solving Leaky Gut Problems
It starts with good digestive habits like choosing health-giving foods, relaxing at mealtimes, chewing your food well and taking digestive enzymes if you need extra support.
Most critically, it continues by adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet, so you are nurturing and building a healthy community of good bacteria and yeasts in your gut.
And it is essential that you get help understanding your own body, like what your symptoms are telling you and identifying what organs need the most support, so you can learn to nurture yourself exactly right for you.
If you're still wondering what is wrong with your gut and what to do about it, please don't wait until you develop a more serious health condition.
Leaky gut can lead to malnutrition (which can lead to diminishing capacity in any area of the body like sight or strength), autoimmune disease and other chronic health problems,... and then your recovery process is harder and longer!
Take advantage of my free Gut Insight & Clarity Call to find direction on your next steps, or join me in the It Takes Guts Community on Facebook where I give tips everyday to beat the bloat, shed light on your health problems and end your digestive dilemnas.
With love for your gut,
If you follow me on Facebook, you might know that I gave up drinking alcohol several months ago.
We all have both good and bad bacteria living inside of us. Usually, the good bacteria keep the harmful bacteria in check.
"Leaky gut" is a term used to describe a hyperpermeable intestinal lining. Except that this lining isn’t meant to be permeable all the time – and when it is, we start to become very sick in many ways.
Nourish your gut and strengthen your immune system before the sugar laden holiday amps up another flu season. You'll be stronger if eat these a few times this week! Read more why <here>.
Kale Kimchi Smoothie
Savoury, prebiotic and probiotic ingredients to soothe and nourish your gut
Blueberry Kraut Smoothie
· Juice of one grapefruit or one orange, poured through a strainer
· 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (or strawberries)
· 1/4 cup sauerkraut (do not rinse and include some of the juice)
· 4 soft dates
· 1 tsp chia, ground
· 1/4 cup water, if needed to adjust the consistency
ENJOY!! And don't forget to come back here and post your comments! I can't wait to hear how surprised you were by their deliciousness! :)
I wanted 2020 to be a year of clarity for me, but I didn't think something like this would happen, nor so quickly.
BUT… let’s face it. Some steps are little, and some are leaps.
A woman I danced with, many years ago, named her business Leaping Feats. The image has always stuck with me, as has her continued courage and determination to live her life calling to bring the benefits of dance to our youth.
So that is why I’m writing today.
Because for me, today represents leaping a feat!
The catalyst was seven years of roller-coastering through illness, anger, despair and loss with highs of new awareness, understanding, forgiveness and faith.
The feat was a long struggle with myself: a long-held highly idealized version of who I wanted to be (control) against the reality of who I actually am (surrender).
And the leap is leaving behind all the thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that no longer serve my/the highest good, while bringing with me all the ones that do.
Yes, you might think this is silly or weird. I did too, at first. However, I can assure you. I've never felt so certain of anything. And it fills me somehow with a power, a knowing, that I HAVE ARRIVED.
So. I am no longer Kathi or Katherine or Anne. I've pruned and gathered and wove something out of all that, like a couple old jackets torn apart and made into something new:
Hi, my name is Katanne.
And I look forward to connecting with you on new ground :)
PS. It will take some time for all my business and personal “paperwork” to change, so thank you for your patience and support during this transition time. You will still be able to contact me normally via my regular email, website, and facebook contacts. Such is the beauty of the tech world!
Chocolate is a prebiotic and feeds our good bacteria. The bifidobacterium and lactobacillus bacteria in the gut love to gobble up chocolate as much as you do!
In return for the feast, the good bacteria turn the phytonutrients into anti-inflammatories that improve heart health. (So, its actually the bacteria not the chocolate that should get the credit!)
It’s the fermentation process in our gut that breaks down the phytonutrients into smaller metabolites so that they can be absorbed and utilized. They also act as antioxidants.
But, without the gut bacteria, the phytonutrients in the chocolate - known as catechins and epicatechins - are poorly absorbed. So eating fermented foods or taking probiotics regularly is key to enjoying the benefits.
So what's the best kind of chocolate to eat?
Dark chocolate and raw cocoa powder have the highest amounts of gut-healthy flavonols, so look for varieties with:
1. At least 70% cocoa.
2. Low amounts of sugar (preferably from natural sources like honey) and no artificial sweeteners
3. Fat from cocoa butter or coconut oil—stay away from soybean oil, vegetable oils, and trans fats
4. Organic certification to avoid increasingly popular GMO chocolate
But what about craving chocolate?
Is this a craving for magnesium like so many people have speculated? Apparently not.
Because its your gut microbes that influence what you crave to eat.
I bet you thought it was you!
Both good and bad bacteria manipulate the vagus nerve – the key connection between the brain and the gut - to increase your desire to eat certain foods.
When the gut is full of bad bacteria, we crave the junk foods that feed them.
Change your bacteria, change your cravings! Isn’t that something?!
Bacteria want you to eat foods that keep their numbers strong. By having you eat more of a given food, it keeps their numbers high. (Eat less of it, they die off).
The gut bacteria can even manipulate you into feeling anxious and depressed, signaling you to eat a given food "to feel better".
There is still a lot of research to be done, including how our gut bacteria influence us to overeat and undereat.
In the meantime, the next time you crave chocolate, you do not have to feel guilty. Know that it is your good bacteria talking to you to give them a good meal.
I LOVE to bring you good news like this. After ten years in this field, I know that the best way to resolve digestive problems is to feed and nourish your inner garden of helpful microbes… not to starve it… and this is more proof that there’s lots of great foods to eat to get you there!
For the last ten years though, even though she eats a healthy organic diet, she’s been battling bloating and weight gain, poor sleep and brain fog.
She especially expressed regret about missing special events and opportunities in work and love due to feeling tired and unwell.
And now that the kids are grown... well, now its time to finally take care of herself.
< CLICK HERE TO GET THE BEAT THE BLOAT GUIDE I RECOMMENDED TO GET HER STARTED >
What if she hadn't needed to wait that long?
What if there had been a way to heal and regain her energy while she was living her busy life?
Well, there is a way! And you don't have to wait until you are less busy or less preoccupied to get started. I'm going to tell you how in a second.
But first let me share this nugget of truth that this wise woman said to me:
"We aren't sick because of what we don't know.
We're sick because we don't have a plan... and even if when we set a goal,
we too often try to get there alone."
So, let me reassure you. If you are crazy busy, overwhelmed with life's responsibilities, and suffering from digestive problems.. YOU DON"T HAVE TO WAIT TO FEEL BETTER.
You don't have to google all-the-things, trying to figure it all out by yourself either.
I am helping dozens of people right now to get clear on what is going on in their gut and what to do about it... with specific, doable steps that can be managed inside a busy life.
If you want in on that, book your free Gut Insight & Clarity Call right here.
If you're shy about that, join my It Takes Guts Community and get some advice or guidance there.
But whatever you choose, please don’t wait until later. Let me help you like I’ve helped so many others, and get living and enjoying a full life again - whether that's raising children, crushing your career, building loving relationships or retiring with vibrancy and gusto!
You deserve to enjoy and live a full and happy life... right now.
A gut-supportive and dairy-free seasonal favourite that will warm your heart!
However, note that as with a true egg nog, this recipe does use RAW eggs. So do not offer this drink to anyone who is immune-compromised and use the freshest eggs possible (a local source is best).
Makes 1.5 litres.
Coconut Kefir Eggnog
Place all the ingredients, minus the nutmeg, into a blender and process on high for 15-30
seconds. Transfer to a glass vessel such as a 1 or 2 Litre mason jar and cover. Chill for at least 2
hours. To serve, pour the eggnog into classes and sprinkle with nutmeg.
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
What Clients Are Saying
"I was plagued by a myriad of digestive and inflammatory issues and after months of discomfort I was fortunate enough to meet Katanne. Her insight, intuition, knowledge and caring attention has made it possible for me to heal and thrive with a new understanding of the food I eat. I am now healthier, happier and have more energy than I have had in quite some time. " ~ Steve T.
"Katanne gives well balanced information versed in first hand experience and research. After seeing various health professionals over the years, doing my own research, trials and tribulations, I can (say) that this is the real deal, and that what she provides people is a holistic, realistic approach to healing oneself through food" ~ Elizabeth G.