I know you’re trying. You’re trying to eat as best as you can. Perhaps you’ve given up some of your comforting foods in an effort to relieve your symptoms. Maybe you’ve tried a handful of supplements. Yet still, the symptoms are there. You continue to be bloated, fatigued, constipated.
I know it can be frustrating. I also know healing takes time. We didn’t get this way overnight nor can we reverse it in that same timeframe. Before you get too discouraged and throw in the towel, I want you to repeat to yourself: “healing is possible”, even if you may not believe it in this moment. Then, I want you to look over these few things that you may have overlooked that may prove helpful in your process.
Mistake #1. Uncovering the root of the issue.
Are you trying to get rid of these pesky symptoms once and for all? I applaud you for recognizing something is up and that something needs to be done. But be sure you are not putting a band aid on your symptoms. We want a lifetime of relief – not minute by minute. Digging deeper and figuring out why these things are happening is the first step in healing.
Mistake #2. Eating yogurt.
A common marketing phrase is that yogurt has probiotics- good for the belly. This is false. Most yogurts have little to no live bacteria (probiotics) but instead contain upwards of 36g of sugar. Not to mention, milk products are shown to inflame the gut. Refer to my gut-loving foods list for some foods to add to your diet to support gut health.
Mistake #3. Mindless snacking.
Not allowing time for full digestion of foods will not help in reducing gut-related symptoms.
Mistake #4. Eating when stressed.
You may not notice this, but how many times do you eat quickly before running out the door, in the car, or in the middle of a deadline? Our body sees these times as stressors and redirects energy from our stomachs and to the stressor at hand. This slows down digestion, leaving food to ferment in the stomach which is leading to your bloating and gas. We need to focus on chewing our foods when trying to heal the gut.
Mistake #5. Eating allll the raw veggies.
As much as these are great snacks and provide a plethora of nutrients, too many is unhelpful for those with digestive issues. When working to build up hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, too many raw foods have the body working hard to digest. Try lightly cooking your veggies then adding in some raw or in smoothie form. Fermented veggies are also helpful when healing the gut.
Not committing to the eliminating. Most gut reboot protocols call for an elimination of some inflammatory foods. Try to go the recommended period of time without any “cheats” to allow for full restoration.
Noncompliant with supplement regimen. I know it can be overwhelming to begin a new habit of taking specific enzymes or probiotics. When? With or without food? Am? Pm? Developing and sticking with a supplement regimen will provide you the healing you’re after. In addition to diet, you must repair and reinoculate the gut with specific formulations of nutrients. Make sure you’ve worked with a health practitioner who can guide you in building a personalized regimen.
Reducing the Importance of Stress Management. Okay, so we’re doing great with the diet, supplements, even trying to sleep better. Where’s your head? Are you in autopilot? What are your stress levels? If our heads are not right, our bodies will follow. The stress hormone, cortisol, plays a big role in impairing digestion and suppressing the immune system. Be sure you’re giving yourself time, appreciation, and patience in your healing journey.
Taking gut-damaging medications. Many medications are damaging to our gut lining. Things like antibiotics, NSAIDS (Advil, Motrin), oral contraceptives are over-prescribed and over-used in our society without knowing the full repercussions or setbacks they may cause. Consider the things you take regularly and look for any natural alternatives when possible.
Overdoing the fermented foods. Yes, our guts love fermented foods and Kombucha is just so dang good, but too much of anything is too much. Make sure you’re not going overboard with the fermented foods as we try to balance the delicate bacteria in your gut. We want to first establish a good foundation so we don’t feed the bad guys.
These mistakes are common and normal. This is how we learn, adjust, and grow. Check in with yourself or with me if you feel like you need additional support on your journey. Remember, healing is possible. Healing takes time. You are worth it.