Are your gut issues driving you crazy? Are you SOOOO done with being bloated all the time?
And as if it wasn’t bad enough that being bloated is super uncomfortable, does it also seem to suck your focus and attention away from whatever task you need to concentrate on?
Tell me if this sounds like you:
OH YES. I’VE BEEN THERE! It’s the main reason I became a nutritionist infatuated with the digestive system from the start. (There is a funny story that my family likes to tell about my first hunt and being more interested in the moose entrails than the meat. Yes, such is my level of curiousity!)
=> I wanted to know what makes our stomach bloat?
=> I wanted to know how to make bloating go away… for good?!
AND I DID!
I figured out the exact steps to get rid of bloating – and other gut issues too.
So, if you tired of being bloated all the time, if you’ve had a summer of eating too much and/or too random and/or consuming too much sugar or alcohol than usual, and IF you're ready to do something about it – don’t miss this!
Click here to join and take action this month to recover and reset your gut 😊 We’ll do it together!
Do you know some mushrooms can be very helpful in reducing anxiety and improving gut function?
Medicinal mushrooms have special properties that support the immune system, contain high levels of antioxidants and act as anti-inflammatories and adaptogens.
They are also prebiotic which means they help to nourish our good gut bacteria!
There are so many to choose from... How do you know which mushroom is best for you?
I have just released a guide that can help you choose the mushrooms you want to be consume according to your own health goals, including:
Buy your Guide today and start adding the benefits of medicinal mushrooms to your meals right now! Don't wait to click this link because the sale price won't last long !
GET IT HERE! => Medicinal Mushrooms for Your Gut Guide and Recipe Book
Low levels of magnesium are often found in people suffering from anxiety. Magnesium not only relaxes your mind but also your muscles. Signs of deficiency can include muscle aches and spasms, anxiety, insomnia, jiitters, jumpiness, irritability, fatigue and weak teeth and nails.
You can get magnesium from dark leafy greens, all produce, and seeds and nuts, but if you find you still are anxious, try supplementing with an additional 300-500 mg of magnesium a day.
Another nutrient deficiency that anxious people tend to share is B3, B6, folic acid and B12. These are especially important nutrients for production of dopamin, seratonin and adrenalin - without which you'd feel crazy - and for the process of methylation which is how the brain keeps everything in balance.
Best sources of B-vitamins come from all animal-based foods, nuts and seeds and especially nutritional yeast... but unless your stomach is functioning properly, you could be deficient. It's not a bad idea to take a B-vitamin supplement daily and since its water-soluble, you excrete what you don't need.
Lastly, a rarely discussed problem that can contribute to anxiety is a copper-histamine imbalance but its relevant today due to the extensive use of the birth control pill and copper plumbing.
It has been found that people who suffer extreme anxiety in the form of intense fear, phobias or paranoia have high copper levels.... which suppresses histamine production. This is key because histamine is a required for stomach acid production and without sufficient stomach acid, there will be digestive problems galore!
I hope that you find something here to try that grabs your attention. Do you already take a specific food or nutrient that you've found to help lower your anxiety? I'd love to hear about it.
Here's a <hug> and an <elbow bump> for you, from me. May you find some peace today!
In ten years, I've yet to see a person suffering from gut issues that is not also anxious.
Anxious about their work, their health, their finances, their children, their parents, their love life, the planet, their purpose... the list goes on and on.
And now with the additional challenges the pandemic has brought - it's intense. Everyone is experiencing some level of anxiety.
So last week we talked about GABA and it's friend taurine, and how that is a good aid for reducing anxiety (but not if it comes from alcohol).
Today, I'm going to introduce to you four well-researched herbs that can help too:
If you're struggling everyday with anxiety, please give these herbs a try. You'll need something stronger than a tea, so opt for a tincture or supplement form - stay away from tablets though.
Next week we'll look at some important nutrients to focus on, as well as lesser known causes of anxiety, like copper and histamine imbalances.
Until then, take this <big hug> and <elbow bump> from me to you, and may you be at ease today.
So what if we drink a little in the evenings to relax? Lots of studies tell us that it can be healthy.
Well, it can be - but not if you have gut issues, and not if you are experiencing high levels of anxiety.
Initially, alcohol promotes production of GABA (gamma-amino-butyric-acid), a neurotransmitter that makes us feel at peace. It accomplishes this by calming down excess adrenalin and changing serotonin levels.
So having enough GABA in your brain brings on the happy and relaxed feelings, while not enough can make you feel anxious, tense, depressed and have difficulty sleeping.
1. For one hour after that first drink, our GABA levels rise! We feel sociable, relaxed, happy even!
2. An hour later, the GABA levels fall and, uh-oh, we become irritable,.
Many people skip this last stage by going to bed. But even one drink can disrupt our dream cycle - and this is what regenerates our mind! Without it, we wake up grumpy, irritable, sluggish... (and so do our livers! But that is another topic)
The net affect is that alcohol makes us MORE anxious, not less. Dang.
However, GABA production is good for us, so let's look at some ways that we can get it from food. To do this, we need foods high in the amino acid taurine.
Many people think taurine is a stimulant because its found in many sports drinks, but it isn't - it helps you to recover from high levels of adrenaline, like GABA, and has been shown to help with insomnia, depression and even mania.
Taurine is found in high concentrations in fish, eggs and meats. (Of course, assimilating this amino acid depends on strong stomach secretions so if you have weak digestion, you may want to take a digestive enzyme with HCL when eating these foods).
What if you're vegan? Google foods high in the amino acids methonine and cysteine (try this link), as your body can make taurine from them as long as you have normal levels of vitamin B6 in your body. If you are anxious/stressed, it will benefit you to be taking a vitamin B complex anyways.
My last word of advice? Try eating a banana, everyday. It contains important calming nutrients like B-vitamins, magnesium and potassium. It is an excellent prebiotic for the colon (so it feeds the bacteria in your gut that make GABA), and it is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body needs to make serotonin, a chemical which has a calming effect on the brain as well.
There are plenty of other aids avaiable to us too. I'll get into those next week, as well as nutrients you may be missing that is preventing them from working for you.
Happy August to you! How are you managing?
I had some good days in July but I admit I am feeling weighed down by so many concerns. As I listen to family, friends, and clients from all over North America, struggling with so many fears and worries, I am VERY concerned for our mental health!
Is worry or anxiety getting the better of you too? If yes, stick with me this month as we explore how anxiety affects our gut, brain and body, and how to reduce or eliminate it!
These are intense times, both globally and, for some of us, in our homes and communities too.
And, it doesn’t help, but it’s important to know, that anxiety can be intensified by poor digestion in two significant ways:
1) Weak digestion in the stomach can deprive us of the calming effects of magnesium as well as immune-boosting iron and zinc.
2) Insufficient good bacteria in our colon interupts manufacturing of GABA which is meant to calm us.
How do you know if you are anxious? Maybe you don't feel it. Well, I took a poll in the It Takes Guts Community facebook group, and the most common anxiety symptoms people are experiencing right now are:
So, whether your MIND agrees that something is stressful or not, your BODY sure knows it! Why?
Stress and anxiety put our body into emergency mode, and the sympathetic nervous system is activated. thus all our energy is channeled from maintenance and repair, to physical reaction to the stress.
These reactions are supposed to help us fight or flee… but in our modern day, we are more likely to honk the horn, raise our voice or bottle it up inside.
When most people are faced with intense anxiety, they will look to self-medicate with alcohol (as well as marijuana, prescription drugs, media and others).
Why? Because it works!
Well, it does and then it doesn’t.
And you need to know both why and how so you can get out of the trap.
Keep an eye out for my next article as I go into how one special neurotransmitter/amino acid that changes everything about how we experience anxiety AND how everything we need to help ourselves is found in foods you already know and love... without the booze.
Q: What does bloating have in common with food intolerance, skin rashes, brain fog and the struggle to lose weight?
A: A party of misbehaving gut flora... an imbalance of bad to good microbes in your gut.
It’s called DYSBIOSIS.
And there are many causes. Let's take a look at the common ones:
But we can HACK this, . Here’s what to do:
Step #1 In order to give your good gut bacteria the upper hand, strengthening digestion in your stomach is the top priority. This means slowing down at mealtimes, chewing well, not drinking with your meals and maybe taking a digestive enzyme if you are often feel bloated or sluggish after eating.
Step #2 To help grow and nourish a healthy microbiome, we must eat gut-supportive foods daily! Prebiotic foods like garlic, onion, asparagus, leeks, oats, lentils and artichokes, as well as probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and pickles. Check out this resource I provide in my Guts to Heal Program.
NOTE: If you’re on a low FODMAPS diet, you may need profesional guidance on which prebiotic foods work best for you.
But this is JULY and we’re focusing WILD FOODS on meet our needs, so let’s look at a few:
Chickweed is very good for the lower digestive tract as it helps regulate the intestinal flora and colon bacteria, and absorbs toxins and speeds up bowel transit time.
Plantain is said to help diarrhea and lower inflammation of IBS (as does red clover). It is also a great leaf to chew and put on your skin to stop the itch of mosquito bites!
There are also many mushrooms that can aid gut health – but here are two worth mentioning:
Chaga, actually a fungus and not a mushroom, has gut benefits that include improving digestion, soothing ulcers and gastritis, fighting infections, stabilizing blood sugar and cholesterol, and aiding liver and brain function. Where to find it? Check out this link.
Tremella IS a mushroom. It also helps stabilize blood sugar and liver health, but it’s gut superpower is assisting with collagen development, thereby protecting the gastrointestinal lining (and your skin). It is also a good one for the GUT-BRAIN function as it’s said to help memory and repair brain and nerve tissue.
Have you tried any of these? What was your experience with them?
Anxiety, depression, mood swings!
Headaches, low energy, weight gain!
PMS, early menopause or irregular cycles!
Any of this sound familiar?
While your doctor or the media may be telling you its your hormones, your thyroid, or your diet… guess what? It's not the whole truth.
It’s your liver.
Your liver is the STAR regulator of your hormones. It’s breaks down excess hormones, like estrogen, for elimination, which affects how your endocrine glands function - especially the thyroid and adrenal glands. This determines how energized or happy you can feel.
Your liver also processes and breakdowns toxins. The portal vein receives all the blood from the intestines and delivers it straight to the liver. The “toxic load” from the intestines may be higher if there is incomplete digestion and a high level of unfriendly bacteria in the gut.
When the toxic load gets too high, the liver has a tough time doing it’s jobs, which means excess toxins and hormones are not being eliminated from the body. Too much of even one hormone can cause a feedback issue with all the rest, and we may experience the above mentioned problems.
The good news? The liver's function is dependant on the health of our gut!
In particular, the health of our gut flora and the intestinal lining.
So if you're working with me, relax! You're on track with that!
(And if you're not, what is stopping you? It's a good question to consider or talk about. Remember you can book a free call with me here)
This month we're focusing on what we can find outdoors to help our gut. You can check out the full list in our It Takes Guts Community facebook group, but let’s look at one common and beautiful wild weed that is great for the liver – YARROW or Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is an bitter herb that can relieve stomach indigestion, bloating, gas, and nausea. Take it as a tea before a meal or use up to 10 drops of tincture after a meal.
Yarrow also helps cleanse the liver so that hormones like progestoerone and estrogen are processed more efficiently. It can help regulate a woman's menstral cycle and soothe heavy or painful periods.
Common yarrow comes in a variety of colours - yellow, white or pink. We find it in meadows, sandy slopes, dry or gravel-ly areas across Canada and the entire circumpolar north.
Easiest way to consume it is to make a tea of the flower heads, and a couple of the leaves. I like to mix it with pineapple weed/wild chamomile, a few rose petals and a teeny bit of local honey.
Here's a cool 5 minute video on it! Very interesting history and many, many benefits beyond digestion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qda16Wip_E8
Give it a try and let me know how it changes your symptoms!
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 email@example.com 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,
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.
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