I remember when I first started to change my eating habits. It started with a 30 day green smoothie challenge. I gagged my way through the first 2 days of smoothies and then said, “the hell with this, I’m making my own smoothies.”
I laugh now, because the purpose was a green smoothie, every day for 30 days, so on day 3 I threw out the recipes provided to me and started with about 6 spinach leaves and the rest fruit in my blender, for fear I would taste the vegetables. Each day I would add a few more spinach leaves and by day 30, half my blender was spinach.
At the time, I had every intention of eating a green smoothie for breakfast and a chicken burger from Wendy’s for lunch. Much to my surprise, about halfway through my challenge I started to crave different foods for lunch and started opting for a salad at a local restaurant in my hometown (oh and usually a schnitzel sandwich on the side, remember I was fresh off fast food!).
Every week that went by came a new desire to get healthy and before I knew it I was eating 3 square meals and snacks that were clean, green and absolutely in favour of fixing my gut, but here is what I noticed…
My digestive system was still a hot mess and I hadn’t lost a single pound. While losing weight was not my motivating factor, I still found it peculiar that the drastic change in my diet didn’t reflect in my gas, bloating and irregular bowel movements... at least not as much as I had expected.
What I came to learn was that eating healthy wasn't going to fix my gut. There was much more to truly healing my body and those that had happy, healthy guts AND minds were doing much more than eating more kale.
To this day the clients in my practice who are most successful in fixing their guts, have embodied the following habits that are what give them long lasting results and truly banish their gas, bloating, violent diarrhea and constipation.
They food prep
Having a stocked fridge/freezer greatly reduced the chances of grabbing convenience foods that let's be honest... are typically inflammatory foods (bread and cheese) that irritate the gut. They scheduled 1-2 hours per week to pre-cut or cook vegetables, have lunches prepped, and stock their freezer with easy, grab and heat healthy meals.
They schedule self-care and manage their stress level
Not one of my clients has ever come through my door and not had stress in their life and furthermore, the stress that my clients experienced almost always caused their symtoms to flare.
Clients who were most successful, started setting aside time to reduce their stress levels and fill up their cups. Whether a bath, walk, reading or meditation, those that added this time in had more energy and saw better results in their physical symptoms.
They avoid inflammatory foods
Inflammatory foods such a diary and gluten are definitely not friends of your gut! A most impactful habit that is adopted by those with happy guts is avoiding these foods like the plague.
The majority of my clients come in telling me they feel fine when eating dairy and gluten (and other inflammatory foods). After eliminating these foods and seeing their symptoms improve and then reintroducing them, these foods almost always triggers their symptoms making the decision to avoid these foods easy if they plan on continuing to love their guts.
They listen to their body
Listening to the messages from their body is definitely a habit of those with happy guts. With the endless diets out there these days, it can become easy to follow what the masses are doing or say you should be doing instead of listening to your body's individual likes and dislikes. If a food elicits a reaction, happy gut folks, listen and swap it out.
While food is important, listening to your body, doesn't just include food, but also resting when needed.
Exercise isn't just for a healthy gut, but also the mind and those that are busy loving their guts are doing so with movement. Whether it is walking, running, swimming, yoga or the alike, exercise is a big part of keeping things moving (including your poop!)
Like an oil change on their car, they do maintenance on their guts
While food is certainly powerful, a habit of someone with a happy gut is to top up their engine (*ahem*... their guts) with a little support. With so many external stressors posing a threat on the balance of the gut, supporting their bodies with a gut protocol 1-2 times per year is a common practice amongst gut lovers.
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