An update on what my life is like after healing from IBS – specifically blastocystis hominis, h. pylori, and leaky gut.
Lifestyle blog posts on gut health, IBS and overall health. How to improve gut health, get rid of leaky gut, and alleviate IBS symptoms. Learn about my journey with gut health as well as How I Healed My Gut.
Part two of my journey to heal my gut is all about a mindset overhaul. Healing from my parasitic infection and bacterial overgrowth was the easy part – dealing with what percolated up before, during, and after was the actual challenge.
My gut healing protocol. This is the story about how I restored my gut health through a targeted gut healing protocol under the supervision of a qualified medical professional. Through my gut healing protocol, I was able to eradicate a parasitic and bacterial overgrowth, heal leaky gut, and hormone imbalances.
Supplements for gut health and immune support. This post gives in-depth information about some of my most trusted gut healing supplements. For those with digestive or gut troubles, here are some supplements for gut health that can be healing for the GI.
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional and am not recommending any specific healing protocol in this post. Before making any changes to your health and lifestyle, be sure you seek advice from a qualified individual.
As a follow up to my blog posts detailing my gut healing story, I wanted to share some of the supplements I take regularly to maintain my gut health.
One of the most transformative actions I’ve taken to improve my gut health has been sticking with a very specific supplement regimen.
While I do think mindful diet and exercise are crucial to maintaining good gut health, it wasn’t until I incorporated certain supplements into my daily routine that I began seeing drastic improvements to my gut.
I’m featuring supplements that are exclusive to iHerb.com, who is the sponsor of this post. These are tried and true supplements, which I took great care in testing before recommending!
To catch you up if you’re new to my story, I experienced IBS symptoms for a number of years. After working with my practitioner over the last year, my IBS symptoms have disappeared and my gut health has improved dramatically.
In order to keep my health on an upward trajectory, I stay consistent with taking my supplements. I won’t need to take these supplements forever, but they have been incredibly useful in both healing my gut and maintaining gut health.
You don’t have to have a GI that is in complete disarray to benefit from certain supplements. In fact, simply adding probiotics (if you don’t normally take them), omega-3s (if you don’t eat fish regularly) AND/OR a Vitamin D supplement can provide an enormous boost to your immune system.
This is not to say we should all be popping pills all day long. While there are so many healing supplements available to help with gut and digestive issues, it is important to take some of them under the care of a practitioner to get the appropriate dosage.
That said, the supplements I discuss in this post are generally recommended by most medical professionals (regardless of whether they are considered western, holistic, integrative, etc.) to be helpful to gut health and can be taken safely by most individuals.
Remember, it is important to make incremental changes slowly and if you are ever concerned about the effect something will have or any possible side effects, always seek the guidance of a medical professional before proceeding with a new supplement.
Without further adieu, here are some of the supplements I take to maintain my gut health.
An easy 4-Step tutorial on how to make Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt. This goof-proof method results in the best tasting dairy-free vegan yogurt, and only requires 3 ingredients! This post was a long time in the making, and I’m so thrilled to finally be sharing it with you all! Not only have I made …
How to Make Chicken Bone Broth in the Instant Pot – pressure cooker bone broth only requires 2 hours and results in the best tasting, quality bone broth! PLUS, it’s far less expensive to make than buying store-bought bone broth.
If you’re a regular consumer of bone broth, try making it at home in your pressure cooker! It’s basically free when you use chicken bones from a whole chicken you have already prepared, and it only requires 2 hours of time!
Making bone broth on the stove top takes upwards of 24 hours. Taking the Instant Pot approach removes all the guesswork and takes so little time or effort, there’s really no reason not to do it!
As a follow-up to the Instant Pot Turmeric Rotisserie Chicken recipe I posted last week, I figured you could use a tutorial on how to make bone broth using the bones from the carcass in the Instant Pot.
After Thanksgiving, I showed you How To Make Turkey Bone Broth. Truthfully, the methodology is the same across the board, but why not remind you of this wonderful health elixir since you have a fresh carcass on your hands?
How Many Bones Do I Need To Make Chicken Bone Broth?:
I typically wait until I have two to three chicken carcasses to make bone broth – I simply store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer and keep them until I’m ready to broth it up.
You can certainly make broth using one carcass, but just note you’ll end up with less broth and/or a less flavorful broth.
Making bone broth in a pressure cooker requires four easy steps:
How to cook rice and potatoes for optimal digestion. Preparing rice (and other grains), potatoes, legumes, nuts and seeds properly unlocks the nutrients and ensures they aid rather than hinder digestion.
There continues to be debate in the health community as to whether or not rice and potatoes are considered “healthy.” Are they pro-inflammatory and raise blood sugar? Do they irritate the gut lining? Are they too full of “empty” carbs?
The paleo community has long debated whether or not either or both are permissible, because while both have been a part of the human diet for over 3,500 years, both contain lectins, which can cause gastrointestinal issues or autoimmune flairs when they aren’t properly prepared.
I wrote an article titled Is Rice Paleo?, where I go into detail about the downsides of various types of rice (white, brown, wild, forbidden, etc), versus the potential health benefits. Check out the article if you want a deep dive into rice and why it could both be considered potentially harmful or healthful.
The heated debate on rice and potatoes goes back to lectins (which are bad) and resistant starch (which is good). Fortunately, the way we prepare rice and potatoes can largely destroy active lectins and also make the resistant starch easier to digest, improving gut health and promoting regular bowel movements.
First, let’s discuss lectins and resistant starch.
What are Lectins?:
Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrate and serve as anti-nutrients. The purpose of lectins is to protect the plant from digestion so that if an animal were to eat it, the plant can survive the digestive process and still germinate after defecation.
Lectins are found in grains, potatoes, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
When consumed raw or undercooked, lectins in their active state can cause interfere with the absorption of minerals, especially calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Phytohaemagglutinin, a type of lectin found in undercooked kidney beans, cause red blood cells to clump together. It can also produce nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, bloating and gas.
Lectins can bind to cells lining the GI tract, which may disrupt the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. It can also affect the growth of intestinal flora. Because lectin proteins bind to cells for long periods of time, they can potentially cause an autoimmune response and inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.
The good news is, boiling lectin-containing foods deactivates the lectins, thereby removing the anti-nutrient property from them. The kicker is, they must be properly boiled or cooked, lest some of the lectins remain.
What is Resistant Starch?
Resistant starch plays an important role in digestion. Resistant starch is called such because it is resistant to digestion. It moves along your digestive system and arrives in your colon intact.
Resistant starch may help prevent colon cancer (due to its ability to bind food together to help it move through your body), improves your insulin resistance, makes you feel full and helps you sleep at night. We need both digestible and indigestible foods in order to keep our bowel movements regular and well-formed.
Now that we’ve covered the cons (lectins) and the pros (resistant starch and easy-to-digest carbohydrate), let’s discuss how to cook rice and potatoes for optimal digestion.
How to achieve great digestion for improved energy, mood, mental clarity, disease prevention, and more! Yesterday, I posted Part One of this mini series on How to Improve Your Digestion, where I provided some very basic tips on kicking your digestive steeze up a notch. I wanted to dive deeper into the subject of …
Good digestion boosts your energy level and libido, improves your overall physical and mental health. Illness and wellness begins in your gut!
It’s that time again! Many of us are setting goals for the year ahead, some of which revolve around health and wellness.
It is typical to set aesthetic goals at the beginning of a New Year. In my vain opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Being happy with your appearance is not selfish or shallow; however, looking internally is the most efficient way of creating long-term waves in your overall health and appearance.
The single most impactful decision I have made regarding my own physical health has been focusing on good digestion.
With good digestion comes high energy, good mood, improved metabolism, hormonal balance, and healthy weight maintenance. All systems in our bodies are interconnected, and our wellness thrives in our gut.
In this sense, rather being laser focused on my body’s aesthetic on the outside, I try to stay mindful about looking internally at the state of my gut health. The happier my gut, the better I look and feel all around.
Many of my friends and family suffer from digestive issues of some sort, whether the frequency of GI upset is occasional, frequent, or daily. For this reason, I thought it would be useful to share some tips on proper digestion to help ease any sort of digestive unrest and also set the stage for long-term wellness.
In my cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, I touch on some of the fundamentals of good digestion. Because GI discomfort seems to be a very common source of discontent lately, I wanted to dive deeper into the concept of improving digestion.
Disclosure: I am not a healthcare professional and have no ground to stand on in the health community. What I have years of experience figuring out my own digestion. I simply have years of my own trial and error and the assistance of Western, functional, and holistic doctors. Not to mention a ridiculous amount of googling, book and article reading, and podcast listening.
This is Part One of a two-part mini series on digestion. Part One (right here) includes very basic tips, many of which are intuitive. In Part Two, which I will be posting tomorrow), I will dive deeper by discussing specific medical tests that can help you pinpoint the root cause of any digestive ailments.
Here are some tips on…
HOW TO IMPROVE DIGESTION
How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer – a naturally fermented probiotic drink that is packed with health benefits. This article includes a photo tutorial, information on secondary fermentation, flavoring your ginger beer, and troubleshooting when the process goes awry.
In this article, I discuss 10 myths that have been popularized in the media that pertain to your gut health. Get cozy folks, this one’s another long one. Throughout my experience with IBS, I have come across some information that when put into practice alleviated, worsened, or had no effect on my symptoms. In my …
My latest cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls is published!! Learn all about my latest cookbook right here, right now!
Hey hey heeeeey!
My latest cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is published! Signed, sealed, delivered, folks! I’m so happy to inform you that the book about which I’ve been chatting your eyeballs off for the last year and a half is finally out! If you pre-ordered it, you probably already received it!
If you’re unfamiliar with Paleo Power Bowls, no sweat – Lettuce discuss!
My Inspiration for Paleo Power Bowls
Paleo Power Bowls is focused on low-inflammatory complete meals in bowls. Big picture: protein, quality carbohydrate, and healthy fat for a well-balanced meal that can be tailored to your specific macronutrient needs.
Because meal time can and should also be pleasurable, my personal approach to meals is lots of color, variety, and flavor. Think: meat and vegetables swaddled in delicious sauce or dressing.
I am asked frequently if I get to choose the topics of my cookbooks. I feel lucky in the sense that my publisher is very open to my ideas, so the answer is yes. The topic of paleo bowl food came straight from yours truly!
Why bowl food? Simply put, there is nothing more satisfying to me than holding a big, bulbous bowl of whole, clean food that is perfectly curated for my taste buds.
A deep dive into whether or not rice is considered to be okay for consumption on the paleo diet.
I wanted to take a moment to address a topic that can generate some confusion in the paleo community: rice. Is it paleo? If it isn’t paleo, is it still okay to eat? Is white rice okay? Should I stay away from brown rice? Will rice raise my blood sugar or mess with my gut health?
All great questions.
The answer to all of the above is: It depends on who you are.
Technically, all grains are off the table when it comes to paleo, particularly gluten-containing grains. Rice is, indeed, a grain, though it contains no gluten. Depending on the person, it can be processed easily without issue.
Some paleo purists say no grains, no way, no how. Period, end.
Some paleo folks say white rice is okay because it provides straight glucose for your body, (which your body needs for fuel provided you aren’t keto); however, you should stay away from brown rice because the whole grain contains phytates, lectins, and arsenic which can cause digestive unrest.
…And some folks say, HEY, any form of rice is okay. We’ve been cultivating it for over 3,500 years (SOURCE), which means our ancestors ate it, and the paleo diet is all about ancestral eating, right? If rice has been a major part of our diet for thousands of years, our systems have adapted to consume it. But does that mean we should still eat it? And if so, who is best suited for rice consumption?
I want to point to an article Mark Sisson wrote way back in 2010 stating that, “Rice is a grain, yes, but it’s not the same as wheat, barley, oats, or corn. Avoiding grains as a general rule is good for your health, and that goes for rice, but be realistic. A bit of white rice with a restaurant meal is not going to kill you (SOURCE).”
My latest cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be published Jan 21, 2019. In this post, I discuss the features of the book and show you some teaser photos.
Exciting news, friends!
My latest cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is available for pre-order on Amazon! Actually, it has been available for pre-order for several months, but I waited until now to make the announcement because the publication date is January 21, 2019 – it’s coming up quickly!
I wanted to give you the full rundown of the book and also provide some teaser photos to get you excited for the book.
As the title suggests, the book is comprised of paleo bowl food recipes. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner to dessert, the book covers all meals, all seasons, as well as all sorts of dietary restrictions.
In addition to all recipes being paleo, there are vegan, low-carb, AIP, and low-FODMAP options for those with many dietary restrictions.
The book is designed for folks who love clean, delicious, complete meals, as well as for those who must restrict their diet for health reasons. As you probably know, I manage my IBS through diet – it has been an incredibly powerful way of both managing my gut issues and also giving me the energy I need to fuel my active lifestyle.
There are lots of whys for me in eating paleo, and I find this way of eating to be healing, practical, and completely delicious!
First things first – Let’s talk about the Introduction of the book. I spent a lot of time writing the Introduction. I compiled much of the information I’ve gathered over the years on health and wellness and put it in the intro to help you make informed decisions regarding your own diet.
There is lots of science in the intro, but don’t you worry – I did my best to make it entertaining. True to my nature, I also keep the introduction unbiased. I very much believe what you put in your body is one of the most personal decisions you make in life, and throughout the intro, I encourage you to find your own path to wellness as well as provide guidance on how to get there.
Here are some of the highlights in the introduction:
- Defining paleo and all of the health benefits that go along with a low-inflammatory lifestyle
- A big discussion on gut health and how various low-carb diets can alleviate IBS, celiac, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s symptoms.
- A guide to building an epic bowl. In addition to complete recipes, my goal for this book is to help inspire you to get creative in the kitchen. I provide a guide to making your own delicious bowls so that you can branch out from recipes and make meals that fit your dietary restrictions and palate with ease.
- A 30-Day Elimination & Reintroduction Diet, guiding you to eliminating pro-inflammatory foods and instructions on how to add them back in mindfully in order to help uncover your food intolerances.
My hope for the book was for it to be just as informative from a medical and wellness standpoint as it is a helpful resource for mealtimes.
Next, let’s talk about the recipes!
I have sections for Breakfast, Salads, Soups & Stews, Main Dishes, Desserts, Sauces and Condiments, and Sides & Staples.
In total, there are 100 meal recipes, but I included an additional 40+ recipes that are just for sauces, marinades, side dishes, etc. in order to help you build your own bowls.
That means there’s over 140 recipes in the book. I think you’ll love them!
The recipes all incorporate seasonal produce and contain a pretty great balance of protein, fiber, fat, and carbs.
The book is not designed to be a low-carb cookbook, but there are instructions on how to make each recipe low-carb for those of you who stick to a carb-conscious diet.
In this sense, the book can fit any macronutrient profile you’re aiming for, whether you’re an athlete and require more carbs, or someone who must limit carbohydrates in order to heal a medical condition or maintain digestive health.
Yup, there are even recipes for healthier dessert bowls to quench that craving in the best possible way.
While the book will be released January 21, I think it makes a great holiday gift for the health-conscious individual and also folks who are looking to make adjustments in their diet.
In this sense, you can purchase the book for friends and family before the holidays and give it to them as a bonus gift once the holidays have passed…it can be the gift that keeps on giving!
I also like the fact that Paleo Power Bowls can be one of your tools in forging strong habits in the new year. I love what I do for a living and part of that passion stems from the ability to help others achieve their health goals.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support! Thank you for the love and support you all gave throughout the whole process I was writing and editing the cookbook.
It has been your love and words that have kept me motivated to always produce the best quality content I possibly can.
Much love to you and yours!