gut health

What You Need to Know Before Doing a Cleanse

If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, spring and summer really are the best times for it. There’s so much fresh produce in season that emphasizing fruits and vegetables becomes easy without needing to resort to frozen items.

Cleansing generally means cleaning your system out, particularly the gut, but it could look different for everyone. Perhaps it means a 3-day juice fast or a month-long elimination diet. Maybe you just want to avoid gut-irritating foods for a few weeks while sticking to raw fruits and veggies.

Doing a cleanse isn’t necessary more than once or twice a year, but it’s important to do it right (and safely) from the start.

Why and How to Cleanse

There are many ways to cleanse, but the key benefit is giving your body a break--it’s an opportunity to rest and recover from being constantly inundated with food (especially food that doesn’t support optimal health).

If you choose to do a water fast, your digestive system gets a chance to play catch up and discard anything it doesn’t need--without having to worry about more incoming food to digest. Homemade bone broth or juice can nourish you during your fast without demanding too much from the gut. The amount of days can vary, but generally 1-3 is fine for this type of cleanse.

Not feeling up for a water fast? You might experiment with intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating instead. This means you only eat or drink within a 10-hour window during the day, and then consume nothing else besides water from early evening until morning (about 15 hours). Time-restricted eating has been shown in studies to improve blood glucose levels and help cells clean out and discard waste.

If you’ll be focusing on fresh vegetables and fruit during your cleanse, try adding the juice from half a lemon to warm water in the morning and sip green tea throughout the day. This homemade beet kvass recipe is also great for gently flushing toxins out of the liver.

Note: While fruit is always a better choice than cookies and pastries, trade high-sugar options, like bananas and melons, for berries, cherries and citrus fruits.

Other Points to Keep in Mind

While you’re cleansing, be sure to get plenty of rest. Keep your exercise light and short, and include relaxation activities like yoga and meditation in your day. Try to avoid having your cleanse fall on particularly busy weeks or the same month as your cousin’s wedding!

The most important thing to remember about doing a cleanse? It’s about support, not starvation. Do it as a kindness to yourself, not because you’re feeling self-conscious about bikini season. When you give yourself proper care and nourishment, it’ll reflect positively on how you look and feel from the inside out.

Need Guidance? 

Request a consultation with me to make sure your cleanse is safe and health-supportive! Contact me here to set up a time to talk.

A Surprising Cause of Gut Dysbiosis

We know that a high-sugar, high-stress lifestyle can lead to an imbalance in our microbial community, otherwise known as gut dysbiosis. This condition causes the good bacteria to decrease and the bad bacteria to increase. When this happens, we’re susceptible to inflammation, illness and disease… not to mention depression, anxiety and weight gain. Not fun for any of us!

While diet and stress are the primary factors, they aren’t the only ones that can lead to a gut imbalance. Another surprising cause? AGE. Aging is, of course, a biological process. However, if we don’t support our bodies throughout our lives, we’re increasingly prone to infections and illnesses the older we get. Here’s why…

Age & Gut Dysbiosis

The type of bacteria we have in our gut and the levels of bacteria in our bodies both change as we age. As we get older, we produce more E. coli (proteobacteria) and Staphylococcus (firmicute), and less Bifidobacteria (actinobacteria).

A recent study, The Healthy Gut for Aging Well, provides a few reasons for this bacterial shift: 

  • Decreased salivary function
  • Neuron degeneration 
  • Decreased gut motility

If you'd like to learn more about this study you can read the full abstract here. 

Gut dysbiosis is also more prevalent as we age, because elderly individuals are often prescribed more antibiotics than younger adults. “A study looking at 187 elderly people prescribed antibiotics found that there were alterations to their microbiota and concluded that this affects long-term health.”

So what does this all mean? Promoting a healthy gut microbiome is essential now and as you age. It’s also important to continue to replenish your body with pre and probiotics every day, and especially after a course of medication or antibiotics.  

In fact, a healthy gut balance may be the best “anti-aging” trick available. The more you populate your body with good bacteria, the younger you look and feel. Ferments and a healthy lifestyle could actually save you hundreds of dollars on makeup and eye creams! 

What else can you do to support your body as you age?

Be sure to check back next week to get tips and recipes that will positively affect your whole body—at any age!

 

Natural Tea Tree Cleaning Spray

Here at Gut Girl, I talk a lot about food. What goes into our body is so important to our health; it’s the largest part of what I do. But the health of our environment is just as important in keeping our own microbiome balanced. Our endocrine system is sensitive, so even the smallest amount of synthetic chemicals can negatively affect us. And they’re everywhere: cleaning supplies, makeup, even our food supply. There are about 80,000 toxic chemicals and more being created everyday, so I make sure to use safe products in my home and on my skin. 

I was lucky to have an excellent cleaner named Mollie when my babies were small. She would only use natural cleaning products at our house—vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and some other natural concoctions. When she left, I started making my own. To help, my dear childhood friend and roommate, Anna, who battled cancer for 13 years, left me a written note listing all the chemicals I should look out for on labels and avoid before she died. And I see these chemicals everywhere now. The cleaning supply aisle is full of them, and they’re more damaging than we think.

Research has shown that not all bacteria is a problem. In fact, over-sterilization is making us sicker—not healthier. We really need to make peace with dirt, and use natural cleaners to make sure our homes are as healthy as our bodies. For my cleaning mix, I just add a few drops of essential oils into spray bottles filled with vinegar. Below is the quick recipe I use. You can make in a couple of minutes, and I promise it does a great job.

Natural All-Purpose Tea Tree Cleaning Spray

Ingredients
½ cup white vinegar
2 cups warm water, boiled and slightly cooled
½ lemon, juiced
4 drops Tea Tree Oil  

Equipment
1 spray bottle

Directions

  1. Pour the vinegar into the spray bottle. 
  2. Add the water, lemon and oil. 
  3. Put the lid on and shake to mix the ingredients together. 

Gut Girl Note: Tea Tree Oil is antimicrobial, which is why it makes a good cleanser. And it kills mold, making it all-purpose, too!

What are your cleaning concerns or secrets? Let me know in the comments below, or share your own natural cleaning mixes! For more information on how I can help make your home and body healthier than ever, contact me here.

 

11 Keto Diet Benefits That May Surprise You!

It’s impossible to stick to something if you’re not experiencing any results. Imagine going to the gym for a year and still not feeling any better or stronger. You might get discouraged. It’s the same with diets. I’ve been sharing my experiences with the Keto Diet (Introduction and Starting: Days 1-10), because for me, it really works. Of course, everyone’s body is different. But if it’s right for you, the Keto Diet benefits will change your life. 

Unlike most diets that only boast weight loss, this diet can help you alleviate a multitude of symptoms. For example, the joint pain I felt on a daily basis is 100% better. I’m so in tune with my body that I respond to fullness, and thus, prevent overeating. I’ve also been able to balance my hormones, which helps me feel calmer and happier. And the list goes on. In fact, the list is so extensive that it may surprise you! 

Amazing Keto Diet Benefits

  1. Freedom to go long periods of time without getting hungry
  2. Confidence to nourish your body with quality fats
  3. Ability to manage blood-sugar irregularities
  4. A deeper appreciation for simple, healthy foods
  5. Fewer cravings for sugar…actually, no cravings for sugar!
  6. A feeling of satiation and fullness after meals 
  7. The freedom to skip a meal when necessary
  8. Relief from joint pain
  9. Stabilized hormones
  10. Mindful weight loss (minus the deprivation)
  11. Boost in cognitive function for the win!

Impressive, right?

In addition to the diet, I also take supplements to support my body. If you begin the diet, you may want to consider adding these to your routine. (Note: Do consult with a doctor if you have any serious medical conditions before taking supplements.) 

My Supplement Regime 

  • Multi-vitamin: 1 daily 
  • Bifidobacteria: 2 capsules daily with a gut shot of sauerkraut juice or kvass juice 
  • Vitamin K2: 100-200 mcg daily along with Vitamin D3: about 5,000 IU daily
  • Zinc: 50 mg daily
  • Potassium: 99 mg twice daily
  • L-Glutamine: 3 grams (3,000 GM) 3 times daily
  • Digestive Enzymes: 1 capsule before each meal
  • Aloe Vera: 1-3 capsules daily
  • Zinlori 75: 1 capsule daily 
  • Magnesium: 800 mg before bed
  • If you have thyroid issues, you can include thyroid-healing vitamins

Let’s talk: Are you feeling inspired? Or are you struggling to start a new diet and stay accountable? If you’re interested in losing weight or feeling better, contact me to schedule your FREE Breakthrough Phone Session. 

Plus, check back for a special Keto Recipe!