Gut health leads to overall health. Really take this statement in!
Do you often feel tired and bloated? Do you struggle with digestive problems or autoimmune issues? Have you tried to lose weight with different diets and workout routines to no avail? It’s time to start looking elsewhere. It’s time to start looking at your gut.
Hippocrates said it over 2,000 years ago, and it’s just as true today: “All disease begins in the gut.”
Let’s discuss how you can take action starting today and get that belly flatter so you can get your mind right to help reset your gut and avoid those cravings. We always tell clients, if you can just make it 2 or 3 days of avoiding the food traps and your go-to comfort foods that keep you from reaching your goals, then it only gets easier. Maybe if you know the science of why you should, at least go three days–you will be more motivated to hang in there and prepare ahead of time what you are going to eat and drink.
Let’s get a bit scientific: The cell cycle or cell-division cycle is the series of events that take place in a cell leading to its division and duplication of its DNA (DNA replication) to produce two daughter cells. In bacteria, which lack a cell nucleus, the cell cycle is divided into the B, C, and D periods. The B period extends from the end of cell division to the beginning of DNA replication. DNA replication occurs during the C period. The D period refers to the stage between the end of DNA replication and the splitting of the bacterial cell into two daughter cells. In cells with a nucleus, as in eukaryotes, the cell cycle is also divided into three periods: interphase, the mitotic (M) phase, and cytokinesis. During interphase, the cell grows, accumulating nutrients needed for mitosis, preparing it for cell division and duplicating its DNA. During the mitotic phase, the cell splits itself into two distinct daughter cells. During the final stage, cytokinesis, the new cell is completely divided. To ensure the proper division of the cell, there are control mechanisms known as cell cycle checkpoints.
Gut flora, or gut bacteria and yeast, is the trillions of microbes (100 trillion, in fact) in your intestines that help digest food, synthesize vitamins, regulate metabolism, and make up your immune system. In a nutshell, if your intestinal flora is unhealthy, so are you – and there’s no way around it.
What Can Affect Gut Flora?
There are several things that can harm a healthy digestive gut flora like chronic stress, diets low in fermented fibers, diets high in processed foods, too much dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and sugars, chronic infections, dietary toxins like industrial seed oils and wheat, and medicines like birth control, antibiotics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
In particular, antibiotics are especially harmful. After only one round of antibiotics it takes one year for your gut flora to restore to healthy normal levels. Probably the most disturbing thing is that gut flora doesn’t automatically regenerate after you damage it. You have to actively work to restore it.
Some of the vitamins that these bacteria help synthesize are K, B7, and B12. A deficiency in any of these vitamins can lead to hair loss, skin problems, diabetes, obesity, internal bleeding, cancers, anemia, strokes, degenerative disorders, and other disorders of the autoimmune, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems.
When your gut bacteria is off, you can develop rheumatoid arthritis, depression, autism spectrum disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Okay, so what in layman terms does the above science mean? During the phase where the DNA is replicating is basically this: if you have been eating like crap, stressing out, been exposed to chemicals like paint or other environmental toxins, etc.. then your body will copy those cells and this is why you start feeling terrible.
The cells in your gut as well as your mucous membrane turnover in 3 days. The mucous membrane is the thick protective lining and functions to stop pathogens and dirt from entering the body & prevent bodily tissues from becoming dehydrated. Mucous membranes are rather delicate; they are able to absorb a number of substances and toxins, but are vulnerable regarding pain. If the lining is torn or broken, mucus is incapable of performing its roles of preventing infection and retaining tissue moisture levels. Leaky gut is a real issue (google it! I personally struggle with this and think it may be because my mother smoked the whole time she was carrying me. You know, the whole “blame it on your mother thing.” 🙂
Enough science…..I’m ready now, tell me how to reset my gut!
Individuals that keep good gut flora and avoid the fruits and veggies that are in the top 12 dirty dozen laden with chemical fertilizers and pesticides seem to have better gut and immune health (see list below on dirty dozen). Nearly three-fourths of the 6,953 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2014 contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without synthetic chemicals. Also, they didn’t kill off all the good bacteria with antibiotics and antibacterial hand wash & had relatively low stress.
Eating fruits and veggies from the clean 15 list supports optimal gut health (see list below on clean 15).
The environmental working group encourages going organic when it comes to items on their Dirty Dozen List, they do clearly state that conventional produce is certainly better than none at all: “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”
Prepare for your renew your gut plan
- Remove fiber from your diet. Fiber should be removed because when you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast, that fiber will go to feed it. Just like fiber feeds good bacteria when you have it, it will feed the bad bacteria, too. Your goal is to encourage the good bacteria, not to help the bad bacteria to flourish. Starve those bad bacteria!
- Add in probiotics slowly, through both probiotic supplements and fermented foods. Click here for probiotics Irefer clients to from Metagenics. Fermented foods will help reintroduce good bacteria and yeast to your system (examples: raw milk yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi). If you are dairy-free check out the brand SoDelicious Coconut yogurt plain/no sugar added. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. Japan, China and Korea make pickled preparations of cabbage, turnip, eggplant, cucumber, onion, squash and carrot. No Japanese meal is complete without a portion of pickled vegetable. American tradition includes many types of relishes–corn relish, cucumber relish, watermelon rind–all of which were no doubt originally lacto-fermented products.
- Introduce those things that will help heal your gut lining.
Try this 3 day GAN Plan (gut anew-meal plan):
No need to count calories but don’t stuff yourself either as that doesn’t allow the gut to rest and recover.
Below is a suggested plan with meat choices below as well as eating only from the clean 15. If you want even better results try the Metagenics 10 Day detox. Click here to see the meal plan and details in pdf format. To cut cost you could just order the AdvaClear supplement and the Ultraclear Renew Plus detox powder if you have your own shaker cup since I’m including the plan on the link above. You will also need to take this “How Toxic Are You?” quiz before and after the cleanse. FYI…I usually order 2 Ultraclear Renew Plus myself as I do little mini-cleanses in between cleanses or do a scoop when I feel worn out or have slipped up on my diet and need to flush out the toxins or sugar. I don’t mind spending money on my health knowing that Metagenics has clinically proven and pure products.
Fish: Alaskan, wild-caught salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Trout
Meat/Poultry: Chicken, Cornish, Lamb(leg, chop, lean roast), Turkey, Wild game,buffalo, elk, venison
Avoid nuts so your gut can rest and avoid the sharp, not well chewed pieces.
Breakfast choices: pick one (If you just pick the fresh juice you will have to snack earlier because this a lower calorie option with no protein.)
protein shake (my favorite Metagenics UltraMeal Cardio 360– a pea and rice Medical Food powder blend) or choose a vegan protein powder of your choice from a reputable source.
Fresh juice 6 oz. (organic carrots, celery, kale, cabbage, pinch of salt)
2 organic eggs in dairy free or real butter pan cooked
2 organic boiled eggs & 1/2 avocado
Snack choices: pick one
Fresh juice 6 oz
2 organic boiled eggs
2 tablespoons of almond or cashew nut butter (I get mine from Kevela.net)
Lunch choices: pick 3 veggies from the clean list or choices below & one protein
steamed broccoli 1/2 cup with either Braggs Amino Acids, dairy free butter or healthy oil (olive, avocado, coconut)
steamed or raw cabbage 1/2 cup
10 stalks steamed or baked asparagus with olive oil and salt
1/2 cup sweet peas
6 oz Fish-steamed or broiled (mahi mahi, salmon, shrimp, grouper) or other meat
Snack choices: pick one
protein shake (vegan mixed with water or unsweetened almond milk)
Dinner choices: pick 3 clean list veggies or choices below & 1 meat
1/2 cup eggplant steamed or pan cooked with dairy free butter or avocado or safflower oil (top with Bragg’s Amino Acid)
1 cup raw (food processed cauliflower with lime juice, salt, rice wine vinegar, cilantro optional)10 steamed stalks of asparagus
Clean 15 Fruits & Veggies
- Corn (This may be clean but I avoid for other reasons: is your body really deficient in corn as it lacks good nutrients in my professional opinion.)
- Sweet peas
- Honey dew melon
The Dirty Dozen
- Celery (get organic)
- Spinach (get organic)
- Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
Article by: Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, Owner/Dir. of Training at Energy Fitness – Downtown Memphis since 2002
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