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A Guide to Probiotics

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Heal Your Gut

GUT HEALTH

There are many new promising studies emerging about how good health begins in the gut.

Imagine this….fast forward to the year 2020 and doctors of the future are ordering stool samples and writing out scripts for probiotics for common ailments, as opposed to farming out pharmaceuticals to fatten up medical bills and corporate bank balances.

It may seem like a pipe dream (excuse the pun) but with all the new evidence supporting the need for good gut health, it may not be such a wacky concept.

Gastro-intestinal health is paramount to overall heath and wellbeing and this means starting at the source and what resides there; the unique mix of bacteria in your gut or micro-biome.

Bacteria are single-cell microorganisms found everywhere on Earth – in water, soil, plants, and in every part of the human body. In your digestive system there are over five hundred species of bacteria, in fact the bacteria in your gut outnumber the bacteria in the rest of your body at a ratio of ten to one.

The digestive system contains a mixture of both good and bad bacteria. Scientists now recognise that bad bacteria is harmless just as long as there is enough good bacteria to counter their effects. 

What determines your digestive and overall health and wellbeing is that there exists a proper balance between your good and bad bacteria.

Some examples of good bacteria are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria, while strains of bad bacteria include Salmonella, what you often hear about in cases of food poisoning), E. coli, Shigella, or Clostridium difficile.

Bacteria that populate your gastrointestinal (GI) tract are known as gut flora.  Similar to your fingerprints, everyone’s gut flora is unique. 

As babies, we swallow the bacteria that are present in the birth canal which then colonises our intestines, setting up our gut flora for life.

Having healthy gut flora is important for supporting a number of functions, including producing digestive enzymes that help you to digest and absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.

Your gut flora is also responsible for combining various compounds to create essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires to function effectively.

Finally, healthy gut bacteria crowd and produce substances that make it difficult for bad bacteria to survive or thrive in your intestinal tract.

Unfortunately, stomach complaints are becoming an increasingly common problem in modern life. Food intolerances, illness, certain medications such antibiotics, aging, chronic stress and poor diet are just some of the various factors that can cause an imbalance in your native gut micro flora.

This can leave you prone to bloating, constipation, and painful stomach spasms. Thankfully, many of these unpleasant symptoms can be relieved by restoring the balance in your gut bacteria through the use of probiotics.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) probiotics are “living microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. In other words, probiotics are the good guys, the “good bacteria” I was referring to earlier.

We can take probiotics naturally, by consuming probiotic-rich foods and beverages, as well as in supplement form. All sources of probiotics act in the same way to provide the body with beneficial living bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus and Bifidobactia.

So far, studies have shown there are over one hundred diseases that can be successfully treated with probiotics, everything from Diarrhea, to Atopic Dermatitis, to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, even the common cold.

The ability of the gut micro biota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood, is gaining more and more notice in mainstream medicine.

One of the major pluses of eating a supercharged wholefood diet is that you cause your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, thereby improving your overall physical and mental wellbeing.  Taking my Love Your Gut powder (which gently cleans the gut of plaque) and Golden Gut blend the anti-inflammatory option will help to prepare the gut to absorb more nutrients from your food and separate the good and bad bacteria, removing the bad and keeping the good.

Prebiotics are also important in the gut flora equation. They are fiber that is indigestible (i.e., can’t be killed off) by bad bacteria and are essentially food for the probiotics. They help these beneficial bacteria is your digestive system to grow and flourish.

The three most common prebiotics are Inulin, Oligofructose, and Polydetrose.

Prebiotic-rich foods include vegetables such as artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, fennel, green peas, corn, cabbage, and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans and soybeans.

probiotics

Some probiotic-rich foods you can easily incorporate into your diet include: 

  • Biodynamic organic yoghurt (dairy or plant-based) – read the labels to ensure it hasn’t had high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners and flavours added to it. Also read the label to ensure it contains “live and active cultures” – this is what you’re after. Yoghurt is a great way to get some probiotics into your kids’ diet too. This Yoghurt Berry Crunch Pot makes an excellent dessert or after school snack.
  • Kefir – similar to yogurt in consistency, this fermented product is a unique combination of milk (or coconut water) and fermented kefir grains. It’s rich in Lactobacilli and Bifidus bacteria, as well as antioxidants. You can find Kefir at most health food stores and markets, but a much cheaper option is to make it yourself at home. Try this simple Kefir yoghurt recipe.
  • Sauerkraut is made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage, and extremely rich in healthy live cultures, vitamins, and may even reduce allergy symptoms. Look for sauerkraut that is kept in the fridge at your local deli or health food store, as those kept at room temperature often contain additives and preservatives that can cause further damage to a weak digestive system.
  • Miso – is a traditional Japanese food that is often used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. It can be made from fermented rye, soybeans, brown rice or barley. Adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes a delicious probiotic-rich soup. You can also spread it on some sprouted bread as a probiotic-loaded, additive-free vegemite replacement. Look for organic, GMO-free miso at most health food stores and Asian grocers.
  • Tempeh – For vegetarians, tempeh is a great substitute to meat or tofu, as it is less processed and, as it is made from fermented soybeans, is rich in probiotics. Don’t be alarmed by the black spots covering your tempeh. This is normal, and a natural result of the fermentation process.
  • Kombucha – is essentially an iced tea that contains sugar that has been fermented to result in a probiotic-rich formula. This drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your wellbeing and may even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be ideal for everyone, especially those that struggle with fructose mal-absorption or candida.
  • Tamari – as a wheat-free soy sauce, tamari is a great salt substitute that will not only provide your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals, it will also help you better digest the often carb-heavy foods it is consumed with.

While I believe the best, most natural forms of probiotics can be found in fermented foods, if your digestive system is particularly weak or has been compromised by chemical poisoning, medications, or acute illness, then taking a probiotic supplement may be necessary, at least for the short-term.

Probiotic supplements are available in a range of different formats such as capsules, tablets, powders and yogurts. They can also vastly differ in cost.

The good bacteria used in probiotic supplements are created using fermentation processes, similar to those used when creating probiotic-rich foods.

While each format of probiotic formula has its advantages and disadvantages for example, powder form is more rapidly absorbed in the body, milks are more kid-friendly, while capsules are more convenient, especially when travelling, there are a few key things to look for when choosing a supplement:

  • There should be at least 7-12 strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria, the more and more diverse the merrier.
  • Look for 10-20 billion cfu.
  • Always check the “best by” or “expiration date”. Skip on the probiotic if the label says “viable at time of manufacture” which means everything in it could be dead by the time it reaches your mouth.
  • Ensure it has an “acid protection system” to stop the probiotics from dying when they reach the acidic stomach juices.
  • Certification by an independent third party e.g., the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America demonstrates it’s been tested for quality

So there you have it, my guide to probiotics.

The take home message is that probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs and many other bodily systems functioning properly.

In addition to regularly including probiotic rich foods in your diet, you can also take a probiotic supplement.

Eating a wholefood, supercharged diet is one of the best things you can do to ensure you maintain a proper balance of good and bad bacteria. If you’re interested in learning more about gut health, join my Heal Your Gut four-week online program here.

Figuring out food cravings

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dessert, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

FoodCravingss-2

Infographic alert!

When you think about your body and how it converses with you, do you pay attention? Or is it more of a one-way conversation?

News flash... facebook isn’t the only platform giving us continual status updates. #andthenthishappened.

When your body talks to you, do you switch off or do you have your say and then hit the like button?

It’s incredible how exceptional our bodies are at telling us what we need to remain happy and healthy. But sometimes we ignore the alarm signals and that’s when we can get ourselves into hot water. It may be easier to live in a virtual world and not listen to your inner voice or the dialogue or physical appearances that are popping up daily.

human-mind-195x300Some people call this the “mind-body connection”. It’s an intrinsic and powerful way to understand your needs and tap into ongoing internal conversations so that you can better understand your own body and listen to its requests and physical symptoms.

Usually, when we experience a certain mood, we’re simultaneously experiencing a physiological reaction that is either causing that mood, or it is a direct result of our mental state.

Our bodies and minds are constantly in sync. This is a powerful partnership because by educating ourselves and exercising two-way conversation and mental control, we can learn to regulate our bodily instincts.

We’ve all experienced those seemingly insatiable instincts or cravings – whether it’s a hunger for something salty like pretzels or corn chips, or perhaps sweetness in the form of chocolate or ice cream, or you might be hankering for a fat driven satisfier like popcorn or potato chips.

If you find yourself craving one type of food for a prolonged period, this can be a sign of an emotional eating issue or that you’re missing some vital nutrients in your diet. The reality is that if you’re eating plenty of healthy, nutrient-rich foods, and following a balanced diet then you’re much less likely to experience unhealthy food cravings, as all of your nutritional needs are being met. 

Below, I’ve listed some common food cravings and easy tips you can implement to overcome them. As you read through them, think about how you can bring into practice the idea of exercising mind-body control and what you can do to listen in to your body’s signals.

How Gut Bacteria Affects the Brain and Body

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Vegetarian

2015_GutBacteriaA-700x1264 

Don’t you just love a good infographic?

This one shows the mounting research that suggests the bacteria living in our gut can play a significant role in our overall health.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go beyond the infographic though?

That's exactly what happened to me when I donned my special research specs and did a "Sherlock Holmes" into some of the research currently out there in cyberspace.  

I've looked into each area of the brain and body on the graphic to see how gut bacteria may exert an influence over almost every aspect of our health.

Did you know that it’s estimated that our bodies are composed of ten times more bacteria than human cells, with the gut being home to the largest number of bacteria in the body?

It seems that each day there’s a new study emerging showing just how crucial a role the bacteria living in our digestive tract has on influencing our overall health and wellbeing.

Several not only physical, but also psychological, conditions have been linked to an imbalance in our gut flora, with many of our diets comprising of processed, high-sugar and nutrient-poor foods, it’s not hard to see why.  

Anxiety & Depression

In 2014, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health spent over $1 million on new research aimed at better understanding the gut bacteria-brain link. Recently, evidence has mounted from studies in mice that the gut micro biome can influence neural development, brain chemistry and a wide range of behaviors, including emotional behavior, pain perception and how the stress system responds.

Mice found to be lacking a certain bacteria in their gut were actually found to be more anxious and less animated, exhibiting depressive-like symptoms.

Diet also plays an important part. Some foods make us feel calmer while other foods can act as stimulants. Tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress and depression because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel-good chemicals (such as the neurotransmitter Serotonin), making you feel calmer and improving mood levels.

Tryptophan-rich foods may also improve sleep, thereby promoting overall mental wellbeing. Some tryptophan-rich foods include: turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. Click here to get the recipe for my tryptophan-rich Garlic & Rosemary Chicken

Parkinson’s

Many neurologists now believe that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut.

Specifically, untreated Helicobacter Pylori (a type of bacteria that, if left untreated, can live in the gut and cause a range of complications such as ulcers in the stomach lining) has been linked to later development of Parkinson’s disease, although conclusive evidence is lacking.

Helicobacter Pylori may also affect the absorption of Parkinson’s disease medications, and consequently affect the overall response to treatment.

There are also many gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation that occur as prominent features of Parkinson’s disease. Including foods high in dietary fibre, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important in the overall treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

As medications for Parkinson’s often cause nausea, it may also be wise to incorporate foods known to reduce symptoms of nausea, such as ginger, tonic water and high protein snacks before bedtime. Try my high protein, Baked Salmon with Garlic and Ginger recipe. It’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for brain health too.

Obesity

New evidence exists suggesting that gut bacteria alter the way we store fat, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel full or hungry. It appears that the wrong mix of microbes may set the stage for obesity and diabetes from birth.

Researchers are now investigating ways in which they may create baby formulas and/or supplements that will promote virtuous microbes while suppressing the harmful types.

When promoting healthy gut bacteria, it’s important to eat a clean diet that includes minimal amounts of processed foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods such as kim chi, tamari, tempeh, yoghurt and sauerkraut.

Drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated is also important; as this helps the body flush out any toxins. Green Juices are an excellent way to detox while hydrating the body, and ensuring you are still getting plenty of nutrients.

Happy Heal Your Gut Lovers

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dehydrating Food, Dessert, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter

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image by Valero Doval

I'm really excited to be sharing some of the wonderful feedback that I've been receiving  from participants who have completed my four week Heal Your Gut online program.

If you'd like to join our next round, which starts on Monday 8th August 2016, click here. It's an uncomplicated program which is easy to incorporate into your life and you'll go away with lasting results, plus you'll meet some new friends too and become part of the ever-growing HYG community.

It feels really good to be impacting people's lives in such as positive way, here are just a few of the testimonials I have received from HYG Lovers.

BERNI

I started my Get Shiny Action Plan – my image of health was not just the shiny hair & skin but to be shiny on the inside. Two years after being diagnosed with auto-immune liver disease, treated with steroids and immunosuppressant (chemo) drugs I was so unwell I was barely participating in life. I made a lot of changes but was still more grey than shiny until I met Lee. A few months after starting Lee’s eating plan & a few lifestyle changes I achieved those shiny goals. I didn’t think I would ever feel this good again, haven’t had any illness & I look totally different. The second time I met Lee, I left her with a hug & said ‘you changed my world’ because that is exactly what she has done. Such a beautiful person doing wonderful things!

JODIE

For more than 10 years I have suffered from chronic and debilitation constipation and compacted bowels- there have been times when I could not get out of bed for the pain and day when the very act of going to the toilet would reduce me to tears and leave me exhausted. Despite what I thought was a ‘healthy’ diet, without the use of laxatives and fibre supplements I simply could not go.

Three weeks ago I started the HYG program with the slightest hope I might find some small relief, a few ideas to lessen the impact. In just three short weeks I have reached a point when I have NOT needed to use ANY supplements or pain killers and am experiencing more movements that still make me want to cry, only this time it is with relief and happiness. There are no words that can express the of the my gratitude to Lee Holmes- seriously and sincerely so very grateful! Xx  

JULES D

Your heal Your Gut Program is great my whole family are now eating EVERY thing from the program!! I'm so happy my husband and I am sharing the cooking. This has become a family thing!

ROBYN B

My jeans are swimming on me!!!

STACEY E

Six Ingredients to Lower Inflammation

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Shopping List, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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image via pinterest

Most of us are familiar with inflammation on the surface of our bodies which involves local redness, heat, swelling and pain, but there is another kind of inflammation that lingers within our bodies. Inflammation exists within us all and is an extremely powerful, necessary function for our survival. It’s the cornerstone of the body’s healing response; ensuring that appropriate nourishment and adequate immune activity is delivered to an area that is injured or under attack.

However, there’s a darker side to the wonderful healing capabilities of inflammation and because of its gripping, powerful responsiveness, inflammation can be incredibly destructive to your health, particularly when it extends beyond the boundaries of a localised area, or continues for long periods of time.

The body has very complex mechanisms to ensure that inflammation stays where it’s supposed to stay, and ends where it’s supposed to end, but it’s becoming increasingly common that people have persistent inflammation lingering in their bodies. Unlike a normal, healthy inflammatory response, this type of inflammation serves no purpose.

Since the 19th century, the idea that inflammation is the underlying cause of ageing, and age related illnesses has been studied in depth. Researchers have discovered that complex chemical reactions occur throughout the body in response to inflammation which leads to an overactive immune system.

Over a lifetime, an overactive immune system will contribute to an overproduction of AGE’s, advanced glycation end products, initiating oxidative reactions within cells that will gradually damage organs throughout the body. This type of chronic, low level inflammation is very common and researchers believe it is a contributor in age related diseases including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Scientists have confirmed that inflammation increases with age, and research conducted in the late 1990s showed that C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory protein, is a very accurate predictor of future heart problems, superseding high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Gut Healing Salmon Chowder

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Dinner, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Lunch, micro flora, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Soup, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

salmon chowder

 photo by a happy HYG'er

The votes are in, the #HYGers have had their say and Salmon Chowder has come out on top for the most popular gut healing recipe from my four week Heal Your Gut program!

It’s also a great way to up the anti-(inflammatories) on your Omega 3 quota too.

If time is of the essence you can make it ahead and enjoy the next day, giving a chance for the flavours to meld together even further.  It’s a hearty, comforting and satisfying bowl of deliciousness featuring beautiful pieces of salmon floating across a sea of creamy broth. It’s an ideal meal for the whole family too so you don’t have to just cook for one.

Why is gut health so important?

The gut is the gateway to your body and not only significantly influences your physical health, but it has a major impact on your mental health.  The stomach or gut is one of the key connections to your brain and emotional health and the health of your immune system.

The world within your gut is multifaceted and involves an interdependent relationship between living organisms called micro flora.  Micro flora is the complex, diverse microorganism species that live in your digestive tract. These organisms are also referred to as gut flora and are most easily understood as fitting into the categories of either "good bacteria" or "bad bacteria."

Heal Your Gut, Set Sail on the New Four Week Program

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Heal Your Gut

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image via pinterest

Want to set sail with me and find a healthier you?

Imagine feeling the wind in your sails and setting a new course for an improved you, one with boundless energy and vitality to do the things you love and enjoy.

There's a brand new online Four Week Heal Your Gut program setting sail on Monday 8th August 2016.

If you’ve been feeling bloated, gassy, foggy or tired lately or getting sick more often than usual, then this program can get you back on the right course and set a tack that you can follow and incorporate into your life very simply.

You could be suffering from a condition that can be aggravated by diet and a poorly functioning digestive system, food allergies or intolerances, rashes, acne or IBD, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, leaky gut, inflammatory issues, thyroid problems, neurological disorders, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia or other auto immune conditions.

My Heal Your Gut program will alleviate your symptoms and put you on the right path to better health.

On the program you'll be guided through the process every step of the way and you'll become part of our ever-growing Heal Your Gut community.  The information, easy recipes and, most of all, the community support will help you sail through the program.

You'll enjoy delicious and simple to make gut healing recipes that will remove the barnacles, allowing you to be lighter and jettisoning the unnecessary weight and accumulation in your digestive tract.

You'll be personally nurtured with easy to follow advice, videos and information to help you achieve your wellness goals.

When it comes to digestive issues and what foods to eat there’s so much conflicting information out there, I know how confusing and frustrating trying to be healthy can be.

The online program brings everything you need into one place and you'll enjoy 24/7 access to help from myself and my dream team of experts including integrative medical practitioners, gastroenterologists, nutritionists, naturopaths, kinesiologists, meditation and mindfulness experts and scientists.

You desperately want to heal yourself and feel vibrant again but you don’t know where to start. I've been there and I am here to help you achieve better health.

Read testimonials from our Heal Your Gut community and what they are saying about the four week program here.

If you'd like to find out more information about the program click here for an in-depth look and learn more about the benefits here.  You can also watch a video from me here.

 IMG_2612image via pinterest

I really look forward to welcoming you onto this voyage with me and seeing you become your best and healthiest self!

Let's Do This...

Together!

Lee x0

Feeling Puffy? Ten Ways to Beat the Bloat

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

shutterstock_221875471 (1) Feeling puffy? And I’m not talking about Puff Daddy, Diddy, Sean Coombs, P.Diddy.  If a notorious B.I.G tummy is ruining your swagger, read on for ways to beat the bloat and find a flatter and healthier tum.
During the festive season, we tend to consume a whole lot more, with the average person munching through three times their usual food intake on Christmas day alone.
We create more meals during the holidays so it’s not surprising we slip into January still feeling like we are suffering the dreaded Boxing Day bloat.
Because of all dat ‘flava’ and the additional foods we consume, indulging on sweets, desserts, alcohol, rich, salty and fatty foods, this causes bad bacteria to multiply in our gut, producing the gas that makes us look and feel like Biggie Smalls.
If you’ve ever arisen with a flat stomach, only to find it distended a few hours later, it can be very hard to channel your inner fly girl when you have to undo your jeans mid-morning and look like you’re expecting by the time you go to bed. That’s so wack!
But back up, now that the festive season is over and your relaxed food intake is being tightened up, I’m gonna break it down and give you some tips from my Heal Your Gut program, on how can you work off all of the roast potatoes and chocolate truffles sensibly.
‘We about that action down here at Supercharged Food yall’. I have no idea what i just wrote 🙂
One of the best ways to settle down your over worked digestive system is to give it a well-earned rest so that you can reset the balance.  This is not just rest from food but also environmental and physical factors.
KEEP STRESSORS AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS AT BAY
Your gut is extremely sensitive to what is going on in your life mentally and emotionally. Negative emotions and stress are two big triggers for an upset tummy. Generally, when we find ourselves in a specific stressful situation (a work deadline, an argument with our partner) we’re aware of the tension, physically and mentally.
But sometimes, the stress or negativity goes unnoticed or is unconsciously buried deep into our subconscious to protect us from the pain and discomfort. When this happens, your bloating becomes a way for your body to communicate with you.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you holding on to emotions, such as fear and anger, and accumulating them instead of digesting them?
Take some time to honestly look at what is going on in your life on a deeper level than just what sort of food you’re eating. There might be a very powerful message behind your bloating that you're unaware of.  Run it back and press rewind in your mind.  You know where it’s at!
Word up! Some other simple ways to reduce bloating are;
CONNECT WITH YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM WHILE EATING
When you’re feeling stressed, upset or rushed, your nervous system goes into fight-or-flight mode. Stress hormones are high and blood flow to your gut is reduced, which makes your digestive fire weaker and your digestion slower. As food is not properly digested, fermentation and bloating often occur. To avoid this from happening, always eat in a quiet environment. Sit down and take a few deep belly breaths. Never eat standing, at your desk or while checking your phone. You know it!
To give your digestive system all the support it needs to optimally digest the food, be mindful of the food you’re eating and the amazing process happening in your body.
Start by thoroughly chewing your food. We’ve all heard that digestion starts in the mouth, yet very few of us chew their food properly. This advice alone could greatly reduce your bloating. No half steppin’.
Eat slowly and put your fork down after each bite. Eating quickly causes more air to be sucked into your stomach, resulting in gas and bloating.
Avoid these common – yet very often overlooked, off the chain culprits;
DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH WATER WHILE EATING
I’m a fierce advocate of listening to your body cues so I’d never advise not drinking if you’re thirsty. However, try and avoid gulping down large amounts of water whilst eating, as it will dilute your digestive enzymes, making your digestion weaker and bloating more likely to occur.
STOP CHEWING GUM
Chewing gum leads to swallowing air, which can cause bloating, it’s as simple as that. Plus, sugar-free gums are usually packed with sugar alcohol, like maltitol, sorbitol and xylitol, which are no-no-notorious for causing gas.
QUIT DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW
Again, this causes excess air to be swallowed. Gulp!

5 Ways to Spring Clean and Heal Your Gut

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Blog, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

happy girlIf the words internal spring clean have you anticipating a week of ingesting bottles of cayenne pepper, lemon and maple syrup and it gives you the dreads then read on.
There are less gentler expungement methods of releasing the sluggishness of winter and enjoying an internal spring clean than dramatic master cleanses.  You don’t need to live off roughage and rabbit food or partake in faddish five day juice detoxes and down slippery elm to enjoy the benefits of healing your gut simply and in your own time.
Here are five simple and effective ways to gently give your gut a good seasonal clean and alleviate gastrointestinal anguish.
Maintain a healthy balance of gut flora
A healthy gut flora balance should include approximately eighty five percent good bacteria to around fifteen percent bad bacteria. However the modern diet that is high in sugar, carbohydrates, preservatives and additives is the perfect breeding ground for promoting an overgrowth of bad bacteria that will kill off your healthy gut flora very quickly.
Other causes of this imbalance include the intake of modern medicines such as antibiotics, or drinking tap water; which contains chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. If you suffer from acne, low energy, digestive problems, or low immunity; chances are that you have an imbalance in your gut flora that needs to be rectified.
Cutting down on sugar, increasing your intake of dietary fibre, anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and avocadoes, and increasing antioxidant rich foods will help to eliminate bad bacteria. Probiotic and fibre rich foods and an abundance of fresh vegetables including leafy greens will sweep out bad bacteria from your system and have an alkalizing effect on the magical universe within, promoting a healthy gut flora balance.
Rest your tummy twice a week
It’s not difficult to plant your gut in repair mode pronto.  Giving the digestive system a rest a couple of times a week is not rocket science and it will help to fast track your gut lining rebuilding.  Evidence is stacking up towards the benefits of intermittent fasting.
I don’t agree that you need to “fad fast” with no food at all to promote great gut healing.  On your fasting days you can consume a delicious array of health promoting soups that not only fill you up but provide you with beneficial vitamins and minerals.  It’s important not to fast in an extreme way whereby you fall into the trap of not eating at all and then having free reign the following day to gorge out on too much food.  It will become a counterproductive mind trip and will set you up for failure.

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