Today I wanted to focus on gut health, because as we get into the colder months, we want our guts to be boosting our immune system.
It’s funny, I’ve talked to many clients in the past few weeks who have had colds and I’ve asked “Did you keep up your fermented foods?” and they look at me confused. The best way to boost our immune system is with our gut health. 80% of our immune system is in our gut.
I’ve just come off a couple of back-to-back retreats talking about this, and obviously some of you saw me speak at the Pop-up where I talked about gut health as well. So, what I want to make very clear is my philosophy and my approach when working with clients. You do not eliminate foods forever (unless you’re getting an anaphylactic reaction, which is different, that’s an allergic reaction). For most clients that I see in clinic, my approach is – steps and processes. We love steps. We love tools. We love goals.
There are three steps I like people to follow …
The first step is to work out what foods are causing you inflammation.
When food comes from nature (whether that’s plant or animal based) there is no good or bad. It really comes down to what is serving your body, and what is not serving your body. But food is just there as a tool to tell us that something is out of balance. It is not the ‘why’, but initially we need to bring down inflammation in your body so we can work out what is going on in your body. So food is not EVIL, and this is a misconception that people get taught.
I love to work with your diet (after all, I am a nutritionist), and I actually want food to come back into your diet. If food isn’t coming back into your diet, we haven’t addressed the ‘why’. Don’t get me wrong, some people choose to limit their diets. That’s a choice. And they are allowed to.
One of the foods that I had to give up when I was healing my body was dairy. It wasn’t serving me at the time because of what was happening with my gut bacteria. Once I could add dairy back in, I made a choice that I just don’t like the taste of milk. To be honest I never liked it growing up, and I don’t like it now. So it is a choice that I don’t have it, but it’s not because I’m inflamed.
On one of the retreats that I just did, without really making a big deal about it, I eliminated nightshades, dairy, sugar and gluten. Why did I do this? Because I knew that people would get an experience. From there, they would see a difference in their body, they’d see a difference in their symptoms, and then they would know that something was going on.
So you can use elimination diets. You can use the tools that I teach in our ‘Power Foods’ online course, which are the pulse test and the toe touch test, plus all sorts of blood testing, to work out what foods are causing you inflammation. Remember, those foods are a point in time. What Doctor Google doesn’t tell us is step two.
Step two is healing the gut.
Now we get need to heal your gut, and we don’t often read about this on the internet. This can be different for every person, so If you need help with this step please make an appointment and come into clinic so we can test your specific gut healing nutrients, and tailor make a plan for you.
So to recap … Step one – Look at the foods, but only as a point in time. Do not think that this is going to be forever. Go all in, reduce the inflammation on your body, and then you can see how it’s talking to you. Step two is then healing the gut.
Then step three can be explained like this …
If you think about gut bacteria like a bar graph… (being an ex accountant I love a good bar graph). We want lots of good gut bacteria and a small amount of not-so-useful bacteria. So most of us feed a lot of the bad bacteria through stress, through undigested foods, through food fermenting in our bodies, through our gallbladders not working properly, not digesting our fats properly, through not eliminating with great stool health (and being able to bind the toxins and take them out of our body). There are a lot of reasons for this. Medications feed this bad bacteria, and so many foods that are causing you inflammation, so you get on a bit of a cycle. So what you want, is to feed the good gut bacteria, which then rebalances. If we think about it like scales, it rebalances our gut health.
So focus on the gut. I always want to make it as easy as possible. So those are your three steps simplified.
Some of my corporate clients never, ever want to do step one. That’s fine, because if you’re doing step two and three, you are nullifying the stress on your body and we’re at least contributing to better health. You’re mindful and you’re aware.
Step two and three I like to think of as lifestyle things forever more. There is no end in sight with those two. I make sure that I’m doing them every single day. There’s a joke with my niece and nephew that when they come to Auntie’s house, the fermented veggies go onto the dinner table every single night. I also use natural ingredients with bio-fiber, which you guys are familiar with from when I do the 21 Day Detox challenge. I put them in my smoothie because I’m getting heaps of fiber, which is binding the toxins out of my body and feeding all my good gut bacteria.
And if I was to get a cough or a cold, I would just up those doses straight away, because that’s what we want to do.
Now, when you want to add the foods back in, if you’re getting symptoms, we know there’s something else that we need to heal. Do not give up. Do not think that “Now my life is limited and I can’t get those foods back in.” No, no, no, no, no. We just need to work out is it your nervous system causing this? Is it lack of hydrochloric acid? Is it lack of fat digestion? Is it an imbalance of gut bacteria? Is it environmental toxins, fungus, mould,, all of these things? Or is it just the toxic load on your body? So once again, it’s not despair, your body is talking to you.
What is it telling you?
How cool is that? Is it as easy as one, two, three, and off we go. If you need more support or more help, we’re always here for you. We’ve got so many things to help you with.
I’m so excited for the new you. Get onto this now during winter when you’re home a little bit more, and come spring, you’re going to be a new person. More energy, better brain clarity, better focus. Maybe a shift in your weight? Who doesn’t want to feel more energized come spring? It is the perfect time to do it now, and boost your immune system at the same time.