Two weeks ago I wrote a post about what steps to take to help balance your hormones. The first step I explained was to heal you gut.
This is step number one forever and always because our gut, or microbiome, is connected to every part of our body. This why not only can you have bloating, gas and diarrehea but mood swings, hormonal imbalances, anxiety or inflmaed skin from dybiosis of the gut.
If your gut is out of balance so is the rest of you.
With our standard diet, stress load and eating patterns, most people suffer from an unhealthy microbiome.
What is your micro biome you might ask? Your microbiome is comprised of the trillions of different microbial cells that populate your digestive system. These bacteria help you digest, regulate bodily functions and are crucial to your day to day living.
Your immune system lives in your gut which is why reaching for an antibiotic every time you get sick isn’t a wise choice. Antibiotics destroy good AND bad bacteria in your gut leaving you with a potentially weakened immune system and an imbalanced gut.
Chronic stress and poor sleep quality can also alter your unique microbiome which is why the key to balancing hormones (which stem from a balanced gut) goes beyond what food is on your plate.
The more balanced your gut is the more energy you have, the less inflammation you produce and the stronger your body fucitons.
So how do we heal our gut?!
It’s a multi-step process that is rooted in ridding your body of inflammation. When you reduce inflammation you promote healing, whether its your gut, your chronic back pain or anxiety. Less inflammation = more healing.
First step to healing your gut is to crowd out bad bacteria with good bacteria.
Incorporate the following...
fermented apple cider vinegar (use as salad dressing, in a lemon tea, as a marinade or drizzled over vegetables.
yogurt (full fat greek yogurt if dairy is not an issue or low sugar nut milk yogurt)
kimchi (fermented cabbage) or saurcraut
grass fed butter (*not conventional butter.* Butter from grass fed cows contains vitamin A. Cows produce vitamin A when fed their natural diet of grass as opposed to corn and wheat (conventional cows) which causes inflammation.
ghee or clarified butter
extra virgin olive oil
nuts + seeds (ex: almonds + cashews, chia/hemp/flax seeds)
dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula etc.)
Wild Caught Fish/Grass Fed/Free Range Meats:
Free Range eggs
Wild Caught Salmon
When healing your gut, sticking to eating colorful, high quality foods will almost certainly get you back up and running in no time. Just be sure to avoid the following foods as to not undo any of your progress.
These foods will disrupt your microbiome and should be avoided during the healing process (and should be consumed sparingly any other time).
anything prepackaged with more than five ingredients
added sugars (in dressings, condiments, etc.)
soda, “diet” anything (aspartame negatively affects gut bacteria)
Refined Vegetable Oils
Fried foods (fried in refined vegetable oils)
Now that you know what foods to incoporate/elimintate you can begin the process of healing.
Second step to healing your gut is incorporating a good quality probiotic into you supplement regimen is helpful to add back in good for you bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. Taking a prebiotic or keeping in mind to incoproate more fiber rich foods in your diet will help feed the good bacteria as well!
Third step is to avoid any antibiotics or synthetic drugs. Like mentioned above, these wreak havoc on your system and cause dybiosis of the gut (a fancy way of saying an imbalance). Don’t ruin all your hard work of eating right and managing stress by tossing back some antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle.
(If you don’t take an antibiotic you will feel better in a week, if you take an antibiotic you’ll feel better in week. A week is a week and your body is fully equipped to handle a cold or flu here and there!)
Fourth step is sleep. Sleeping between seven and eight hours a night is crucial. This is a non-negotiable. If you beleive you can’t fall asleep early enough to get eight hours, add in magnesium to your bedtime routine. It helps you relax and calm down from the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep. My favorite is Natural Calm and I make it warm and sip like a tea.
The fifth step is CHEW YOUR FOOD. I can’t say this enough because we ALL eat way too fast. We scarf down food in between meetings, before rushing out the door or on our way to and from places. We wonder why we have stomach pains all day afterwards.
Taking the time to chew your food ALOT, like 30-40 times, helps your digestive system TREMENDOUSLY. If you chew your food well, you do 90% of the work and alleviate your digestive system from doing the heavy lifting...which is what causes bubbles and the sounds and the uncomfortable bloat (because your body has to release different acids in order to break down the food which causes excess gas).
So, in short, next time you chew think about how many times your chewing before you swallow. You’ll be amazed!
If you take these simple steps and start implementing them right away, you will notice immediate changes in your digestion and be on the road to healing your hormones the holistic way without synthetic creams or pills.
**Now in addition to these key steps, there is something you can drink every morning that will only help your healing.
After drinking 1L of water first thing in the morning, I make a gut healing tonic that I drink every morning; before coffee, before eating, before anything.
It has helped me regulate my hormones (because it balances my gut), has helped reduce acid reflux and reduced bloat from overeating.
The recipe is as follows:
2 Tbsp Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Manuka Honey
Juice of half a lemon
1 Scoop Collagen
8 oz. water just off the boil
Put the ACV, honey, lemon and collagen together in a mug and top off with the hot water. Sip like a tea and enjoy!
This tea gives you great gut bacteria from the ACV and Manuka honey helps eliminate inflammation, lemon juice has a good amount of vitamin C and antioxidants and the amino acids in collagen help repair the lining of your gut.
Hope you find this information to be a helpful starting ground toward healing your gut and ultimately healing not only your hormones but most of the other functions of your body.
Hugs + high vibes!