Heal Your Gut Once and For All: My Protocol
Gut health is the new black. There’s no doubt that you know by now that your GI tract is playing a huge role in determining your health, both physical and mental. They call it the second brain— it’s where you get that intuitive “gut” feeling, it’s where you digest your food, and where your body produces a large part many important neurotransmitters like serotonin. I am here today to share with you my own personal protocol to heal your gut, so you can do it once and for all.
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, or it’s more official name "intestinal permeability," is a condition in which the intestinal lining becomes damaged to the point where it begins to let in undigested food particles, as well as waste material and other bacteria into the bloodstream. Our gut is like the gatekeeper of our body, and until something passes through its lining, it could actually be considered outside the body. As this gut barrier begins to break down, things that shouldn’t be passing through end up directly in the blood, which causes inflammation, allergic reactions, and every illness ranging from eczema to arthritis to chronic fatigue and more. On top of it all, leaky gut prevents your body from properly assimilating food, which means you aren’t absorbing all the nutrients you’re eating— which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and a weak immune system.
What causes leaky gut?
Toxins are the main offenders here. People often blame dairy and gluten but the reality is that a strong gut can actually digest organic pasture raised dairy and heirloom grains. The food allergies are in fact a byproduct of leaky gut, and then of course once you’re in inflammation/ food sensitivity land, they will also perpetuate the problem…
Simply removing them however, isn’t going to heal your gut.
The biggest toxin related to leaky gut is glyphosate, aka the herbicide Roundup created by GMO overlords Monsanto. This chemical has actually been shown not only to cause gut permeability, but also increase the absorption of toxins (like heavy metals, pesticides, etc) in the brain. The stuff is poison, and it’s increasingly being found god damn everywhere. It’s been found in concerning amounts in the rain water, ground water, tap water, and even in the air… which is problematic because organic crops are being tainted with this toxic garbage. An example of this, is that 100% of organic California wine has tested for glyphosate (they irrigate the crops). Glyphosate is being found in women’s breast milk, which is horrifying; for children to be raised exposed to this poison means their guts will never develop properly, which is a guaranteed lifetime of illness.
Other toxic offenders are vaccines, pharmaceutical medications (like antibiotics, steroids, all over-the-counter prescriptions, as well as NSAIDs like Advil, paracetamol, and Tylenol), artificial foods with preservatives, artificial colours, artificial flavours, etc), as well as toxic body care products.
10 signs you have a leaky gut:
(According to Dr. Leo Galland, director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine)
Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
Poor immune system
Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
Cravings for sugar or carbs
Arthritis or joint pain
Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn's
Unfortunately, symptoms of leaky gut are the same symptoms that essentially all illnesses have…. but knowing the lifestyle many people lead (or have led in the past) basically makes everyone a surefire candidate for leaky gut. And no matter what, this gut healing protocol will benefit your health… so you have nothing to lose.
It’s important to note that like all illness, leaky gut is a multifaceted problem, and without getting too deep into it- there is a lot more to the story that meets the eye. Things like gluten aren’t actually the problem so much as the hybridisation (hyper glutenised) franken-wheat, paired with the glyphosate. Things like lectins don’t cause leaky gut, per say, but once you have it the lectins can really trigger the symptoms of leaky gut. It’s helpful to think of toxin-based illnesses as having a bucket, and each time you expose yourself to a toxins, in adds water in the bucket. Eventually, it overflows. This guide is going to genuinely heal your gut, and from then you can decide which foods you want to reintroduce. Believe it or not, many people are able to successfully re-introduce things like gluten and dairy once their gut is properly healed.
This article is meant to be easy to digest (pun always intended), because there is so much information out there, and it can all get a little overwhelming. Overwhelm generally causes stress (inflammation), which in turn feeds the problem. I want to simplify life for you, and give you applicable tools that are backed by real science, and transform your health in 90 days.
Ninety days might seem like a long time, and trust me, you will see results much faster. The healthier you are, the quicker the results, so be mindful of that when deciding how long you want to embark on this gut-healing protocol. Personally, this isn’t far off from my everyday lifestyle. The only tweaks that I commit to when really giving my gut some love is that I remove lectins, and incorporate 3-4 specific gut-healing supplements.
SCIENCE VS. INTUITION
Let me start off by saying this: I do not need science to validate my health choices, nor my path in life. In fact, I am more often than not rolling my eyes at the truck loads of lies spewing out from the scientific community. My #1 guide has always and will always be my intuition, and I truly believe that your intuition should be the final say when it comes to determining which path you are going to choose.
Something important to understand here, however, is that the gut is indeed the predominant center that generates intuition, that “gut feeling”. So no different than brain fog, our guts can become overburdened from years of toxicity (both real and perceived), which profoundly desensitised our intuitions and disempowers us as humans. Engaging in a simple protocol like this will not only manifest symptoms of health, but also take you on a deeply spiritual journey of growth and revelation.
You Have The Power
Understand that no matter who is giving you advice (be it a medical doctor, a naturopath, a loin-clothed wearing wispy-bearded guru sitting at the foot of the Himalayas, or me): you always have the veto power. You are driving the car, you are the boss. Never get bullied into making a decision regarding your health when your heart says the path isn’t right.
The science is always changing, information is evolving as we too are evolving in an ever toxic and industrialized world. Our mechanisms to understand what works and doesn’t is continuously transforming, and the the things harming us are too. That being said, the supplements and suggestions I make in this protocol have been formulated from a decade of my own research, listening, reading, and intuitive feelings regarding my own body. The supplements I recommend are very limited, and exclusively backed by reputable science made from holistically minded medical doctors, and peer reviewed human studies. Supplements are a scary industry, because they are very loosely monitored and most of the products on the shelves are doing more harm than good. If you are going to embark on this protocol I urge you: stick to the recommended brands.
I have included the science for those interested, as well as linked to easy-to-understand resources (like websites, books, and podcasts) for you to further explore the individual components of the protocol.
ORGANIC/ NON-TOXIC LIFESTYLE
This protocol shouldn’t come across as elitist in anyway by recommending an 100% organic food diet and non-toxic/ organic body care products. An organic/ non-toxic lifestyle is our natural habitat, it’s the lifestyle that enables us humans to encounter stress and actually be able to overcome it and move on. When we expose our bodies to toxins all day, everyday (both internally and externally), this creates low levels of chronic stress that slowly but surely fill our cup until it begins to overflow. This is when we’re hit with autoimmune reactions like IBS, Crohn’s, Hashimoto's, skin irritations like eczema and psoriasis, or repeatedly get the flu. These symptoms have been years in the making, and are a result of our bodies losing the war against our toxic environments.
If you want to truly heal from or prevent complicated illness you need to commit to an 100% non-toxic lifestyle. That being said: do your best. That’s all anyone can ever ask for, but make sure you’re being honest with yourself about what your “best” entails. Examine your spending habits, and evaluate them in relation to your self-worth. In what areas are you self-sabotaging your health, happiness, and success (i.e. spending money on things that are not supporting your wellbeing, if being well is indeed your goal)? Examine your current income situation as well, how are you spending your time, and how could you be making more money and be happier?
One last thing before we dive in…
My intention in sharing this is to help you understand the reason behind habits, food, and supplements. Too often we are being given a prescription (be it a pharmaceutical by a medical doctor or a herbal mixture by a holistic practitioner like TCM) without understanding why we’re taking it. I don’t believe anyone should be doing something they don’t understand the mechanism behind (at least loosely), not only because it might be harmful… but more importantly because when your rational mind gets it, it works synergistically with the body to manifest health. The placebo is real, and instead of thinking it as a failed attempt to cure something with a pill, we should harness the reality that the mind plays a role in generating whole body health. The more you understand why you’re doing something, the easier it is for your mind and body to work together in your favour.
The Ultimate Gut Healing Protocol
The guide is broken up into food, water, supplements, and lifestyle. You can most definitely pick and choose what works for you and is actually sustainable for your life, but ultimately it’s a whole-package deal if you truly want to heal. Know that although these habits could (and probably should..) be sustained over a lifetime, your flexibility enhances once your gut properly heals. This means you can begin to introduce lectin containing foods, and even foods you were previously “allergic” to, once the barrier (your gut) is properly built up (healed).
Green Light: Organic, pasture-raised Meat and wild game
Organic is truly a non-negotiable because we want to avoid ingesting any gut-irritating chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides (like that pesky glyphosate), GMOs, and hybrid foods harm the gut lining. You can’t out-supplement your way to a healthy gut when you’re continuously exposed to the triggers causing the problem. When it comes to animal products, the animals essentially store all the benefits (and poisons) of their lifetime consumption of foods; so if they’re eating glyphosate-sprayed GMO grains their whole life, you will be consuming that by consuming them.
Example: (wild) bison, venison, boar, elk, (grass-fed, pasture raised) beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and quail.
Bone broth is a great addition to any meat-eating diet, and provides the body with gut healing collagen.
Green Light: wild-caught seafood (especially smaller fish and shellfish)
Seafood is the only way to get DHA and EPA fatty acids into your diet, which is the only bioavailable omega 3s. Although things like chia seeds are preached to be high in Omega 3’s, they are in fact only rich in ALA which is the precursor to the form our body actually needs. Bigger fish is DHA rich as well, but tends to have more mercury and other toxins.. so stick to the small guys.
Example: Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, oysters, mussels, calamari/ squid, scallops, crab, shrimp, white fish, and (small amounts of) tuna. Note: many of these smaller fishes are found canned, and you want to make sure you’re buying the ones in either plain water, or organic olive oil. Many come in other oils (like canola) which is no bueno.
Green Light: lectin-free, organic vegetables (mostly cooked)
Lectins are anti-nutrients found in certain vegetables and grains that bind to the minerals and vitamins in your food, and prevent absorption. Cooking reduces them to a degree (especially pressure cooking), but while on a serious gut-healing protocol, you should truly be avoiding them to ensure your digestion happens with as much ease as possible.
A quick hop on Google will give you a clear roadmap to lectin-free (/ very low lectin) veggies, but some examples are: all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts), bok choy, swiss chard, arugula, watercress, collards, celery, onions, leeks, scallions, carrots, beets, artichokes, radishes, heart of palm, cilantro, okra, asparagus, garlic, romaine, mustard greens, dandy greens, basil, mint, parsley, algae, mushrooms…. basically all leafy greens are in the clear.
Yellow Light: grains and legumes
Get to know low lectin foods, because most grains and legumes contain too many lectins, and other gut-irritating triggers (like glyphosate) to allow you to reverse a damaged gut. Once you’ve really healed, re-introducing these foods mindfully is no problem. Truthfully, you should avoid grains and legumes while on a gut-healing protocol, but if you’re buying 100% heirloom, organic, non-GMO grains and legumes and preparing them properly (this is imperative), you can get away with consuming them in moderate amounts.
Yellow Light: fruits
Most fruits are actually pretty gut-friendly, I just put them in the yellow zone because being mindful of blood sugar is a fundamental principle of whole-body health. You do not want to be spiking your blood sugar (sending your body on an insulin roller coaster) all way long, because this blunts hormone sensitivity and ultimately can cause problems like insulin resistance, diabetes, weight gain, and many of the symptoms similar to leaky gut. Particularly high glycemic index fruits include mangos, pineapple, dates, and dried fruit. Try to favour things like organic berries, or grapefruit, and whole fresh fruit. But don’t obsess over fruit being a problem either- you know your relationship with food. If fruits are triggering problematic eating, explore that and find balance. If you fear fruit, that is also a form of disordered eating, and I suggest you explore that as well.
Yellow Light: Dairy
This subject is tricky, because dairy really depends on the individual. Dairy can either be very healing or very damaging to the gut, depending on the person and on the quality of the dairy. To learn more about dairy (and the dangers of most nut mylks, CLICK HERE).
If you are tolerant to dairy, which indeed many people are, stick to A2, whole, organic, and preferably raw dairy. Even better if it has been fermented. If you are unsure about your ability to digest dairy, start by introducing fermented kefir (A2 milk, or even better goat or buffalo milk), about 1/2 a cup with food. It is very common for people to lose their ability to digest dairy if it has been removed from their diet for a long time, if you’re keen to reintroduce, do it slowly and mindfully (only with 100% organic, grass-fed, pasture raised milk products).
When dairy is raised on conventional grains, you get not only the problem of all the GMOs and hybridisation (which inflame the animal), all the pesticides and herbicides (that make their way directly into the fat of the animal and their milk), but also the lectins. Conventional dairy (even more so low-fat renditions) is a big no-no, if you care even remotely about your health.
Red Light: Conventional food (especially packaged foods)
Non-organic food (especially packaged foods pumped with artificial ingredients) is not food. Consuming them is absolutely 100% playing a major role in dismantling your gut wall (“leaky gut”), and generating all the health issues that ensue.
Glyphosate (and other herbicides)
Lack of nutritional value in over farmed soils
I could go on a mad rant about the harmful impacts of conventional foods, but the list above is essential a cocktail of neurotoxic chemicals being pumped into your body through your food. One of the #1 enemies of leaky gut is glyphosate (a herbicide created by Monsanto) which has permeated most of American soils, and is found in most packaged foods, fruits, and vegetables. It’s being fed to animals too, which is why organic animal products is a non-negotiable. Glyphosate creates serious dysbiosis of the gut, not only by introducing toxic chemicals that actually multiple themselves inside your body, but by breaking down the junctures of your digestive tract, opening up the gates for things like whole proteins, and other foods that shouldn’t be making their way into your blood. Once the gates are opened, you begin to generate allergies to a multitude of foods and environmental stressors- and this is the beginning of “autoimmune” symptoms for many people.
Red Light: Lectins
Lectins are a sugar-binding plant protein that attach to cell membranes, and is found in many plants.
I don’t know how this is even remotely a controversial topic. As soon as I read about the impact of lectins, a lightbulb went off in my head. From personal experience, removing lectins for 30 days absolutely changed my digestion, and the exterior vibrancy of my body.
Once your gut is thriving, you can indeed re-introduce (a mindful amount) of lectins into your diet, which actually can be a good form of hormetic stress on the body (if the body is healthy enough to deal with them). As I mentioned above, when you’re living with low levels of chronic stress 24/7, adding in lectins on top of it all can be that last drop that makes your cup overflow. If you’re dealing with autoimmune, lectins should no doubt be the first thing to go. Once your digestion is at its peak health, you can benefit from the mild stressor…as well as the added benefits of vitamins/ minerals, etc found in the vegetables and grains).
Key sources of lectin-foods to avoid are:
Some vegetables (especially nightshades)
Nuts (except macadamia nuts)
Beans and legumes
Grains (wheat, barley, brown rice, millet, etc) and the associated flours
Traditional dairy products (corn fed, non-pastured animals)
Grain-fed and non-pastured animal proteins or anything from A1 cows (hybridised)
Red Light: Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils (rapeseed aka canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, etc ) or any hydrogenated oil is a highly refined, toxic fat. These heat-sensitive fats have been so processed that they are rancid, and highly inflammatory. Unlike cold-pressed coconut oil, avocado oil, or churned butter— vegetable oils require high-heat processing to extract. For the same reason you should avoid deep-fried foods, vegetable oils are always a hells no, and have no part in any even remotely healthy diet. Studies have shown that consuming vegetable oil triggers inflammation in the body for over 100 days.
Red Light: soy
Hormone disrupting, almost always GMO, and incredibly high in lectins. Soy should be avoided by everyone, always.
Is one of the only beverages you should be reaching for on a daily basis. This article isn’t going to get into why you shouldn’t be consuming soda pop, pasteurized juices, and other artificial liquid junk sold in stores (common now). But I will address the quality of water you drink, because this can make or break your whole-body health.
green Light: spring water
Spring water is the OG water. It’s water the way it is meant to be consumed, without any added chemicals. Spring water is the business (although it’s important to avoid plastic as much as possible). Be mindful that some spring water is contaminated, make sure the spring you’re harvesting in the wild is indeed pure.
green Light: properly filtered water
Properly filtered water removes most (if not all) of the problems found in tap water (explored below). A proper filter is essentially a reverse osmosis (RO) machine, which removes everything. Note that in removing everything is also removes minerals, which are crucial to human health. If you have RO you need to remineralise your water. Same goes for drinking distilled water; over-time you will create a mineral deficiency and trigger problems like osteoporosis.
After RO, there are less expensive (and still pretty good) filters like the Berkey. You just want to ensure you get the ones with fluoride filter attachment.
yellow Light: plastic bottled water
Technically this should be a red light, but I’m also a realist when it comes to options. As a traveller, sometimes plastic bottles is the only option I have had (like in Symi, where there is zero option… the tap water is so polluted it cannot even be filtered, and they do not have glass water bottles on the island). Plastic is not only bad for the planet, it also leaches into the water. So plastic should try to be avoided, but honestly in my opinion the plastic-leached water is less toxic than the pharmaceutical/ neurotoxin filled and chlorinated tap water.
yellow Light: well water
Well water can be brilliant, but it can also be poisonous, depending on where the source is. Because so many of our soils are contaminated, you need to be very careful of the quality of the water, and get it tested every 1-2 years to ensure it’s still drinkable.
Red Light: tap water
Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in tap water, it also kills the (good) bacteria in your gut. It is absolutely impossible to thrive if you’re taking in chlorine everyday. Moreover we’ve got fluoride (neurotoxin), heavy metals in most tap waters (from pipes, and other additives making their way into the water, which are not filtered out), and perhaps most concerning is the high levels of synthetic hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) found in water as a result of humans pissing out their birthcontrol and other hormone replacement therapies. Realise that tap water is only treated for pathogen removal, not all these other additives. If you do one single thing for your health in your lifetime, I truly believe it should be stopping the consumption of city-run tap water.
Red Light: brita-style FILTERS
I hate to break it to you, but Brita is the biggest con-job of our century. Not only to they fail to remove any harmful chemicals from the water, but their aluminium filters actually increase heavy metal toxicity of your water. Brita and its similar brands are a waste of your money and are actually worsening your health.
There are so many supplements on the market, and I truly believe that food as medicine comes first. You cannot out-supplement a bad diet, nor can you undo damage if you continue to poison yourself with the toxins found in conventionally grown (pesticides, GMOs, etc) foods. These 4 supplements have been selected not only based on their unwavering scientific studies (in actual humans), but also my personal experience thriving on them. They are substances not normally provided to the body through a regular, healthy, organic diet (apart from magnesium, which is found in food- but not nearly in high enough quantities). You can find the studies and #science to support these supplements as part of a gut healing protocol, at the bottom of this article.
Quality first: the products I am recommending are not simply any probiotics, any mineral supplement, or any magnesium. The first two are products exclusive to the brands I mentioned. When it comes to H2 and Magnesium, you can get a different brand than the ones mentioned, but try to stick to the type of magnesium mentioned, as well as investigate the quality of the H2 (some don’t actually provide much hydrogen).
This interview between Dr. Mercola and triple board certified and absolute Jedi Dr. Zach Bush is a must-listen for anyone who wants to see the whole picture when it comes to gut health. It explores hydration as one of the fundamental pillars for healing the gut. Zach is the creator of Restore (one of the supplements below), and hydrating the cell is definitely a key component of this protocol.
1. Just Thrive probiotics
These are legitimate game changers. I’m about to interview the founder, but in a nutshell: most probiotics actually do nothing, because they don’t actually make their way to your gut intact. These probiotic spores have been tested on humans, and been clinically-proven to begin healing leaky gut within just 30 days (see the study here). Believe it or not most probiotics on the shelves (yes even the most popular brands) have zero double-blind placebo clinical trials and are essentially expensive sugar pills.
These probiotics are all natural, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, and the patented strain of probiotics do not require refrigeration because they naturally are protected by their own structure (they are probiotic spores!).
You can learn more about the brand by clicking here, and I invite you to explore their FAQ’s here. I’m waiting on the responses to my interview questions with one of the founders, Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan— and I can guarantee it will blow your proverbial socks off (stay tuned).
Where to get: Their website has a store locator, but if you buy directly from their site, the code “becomingfullyhuman” will get you 10% off (shipping is free over a certain amount, or if you choose the “auto-ship” option which includes free shipping).
Restore is another one of these gut healing supplements that is backed by actual human studies.
Where to get: Personally, I get it on iherb.com; they deliver internationally and code “DST929” will get you a discount off the whole site (even if you’re not a new customer!). This stuff is not cheap, but it’s worth its weight in gold. You only take a very small amount per day, and the impact is so big that it is totally worth the investment. I opt for the largest size, and use the discount (+ free shipping option).
3. H2 (MOLECULAR hydrogen)
I discovered molecular hydrogen while I was living in Australia, and have been absolutely mind blown by the power of this tiny particle ever since. Molecular hydrogen (or H2) is There are over 850 high impact, peer-reviewed studies and scientific articles support the therapeutic efficacy of H2, and demonstrate it’s healing power on over 170 diseases. For more info on the power of hydrogen, and to see studies, click here.
What sold me on incorporating hydrogen into a gut healing protocol, was Dr. Zach Bush’s account of the role hydrogen plays in truly hydrating the cell, and how key hydration is to healing the gut. I highly recommend watching the interview between Dr. Mercola and Dr. Bush, which explores the hydration/ gut health link.
Where to get it: Many different brands produce H2, and you can ingest it a few different ways. There are H2 generating water machines (which run in the thousands), and I did actually invest in one a few years back; but when I began living a nomadic lifestyle, I had to sell it (they are big, and heavy). Now I use tablets, which are super easy and portable. You just pop a tablet in a glass of water, wait about 20 seconds for it to dissolve, and drink the glass of water straight away. You can buy them online at Trusii, and use code “CJULIA” for 10% off your order!
Although magnesium is found in food (especially dark leafy greens), the planets unsustainable farming practices have left our soils depleted of minerals, and our food is too. Because magnesium is a water-soluble mineral (you pee out the excess instead of storing it) and because magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium ought to be taken daily (whether or not you’re trying to heal your gut). Stress depletes magnesium (physical, environmental, or emotional), so I’m willing to be you can benefit from getting it in more than one ways.
Orally: magnesium bisglycinate is one of the more bioavailable sources. You can take it orally as a power or encapsulated.
Transdermally: magnesium gel or oil is a fantastic way to boost your magnesium levels and also to relax before bed. You can also visit a float tank, and soak in a magnesium saturated tank for 60 minutes.
NOTE: Some of these links (with discount codes) are affiliate links, and I get a small % of the sale (at no extra cost to you), no different than a storefront gets a % of the sale from products on their shelves. That being said, these are products that I actually use, and have been using long before becoming an affiliate for these companies.
Is king. You know it, I know it- there is no healing without proper rest. Even a single night with sub-7 hours impacts your health significantly. Prioritising sleep is actually the foundation of health, period. You can learn more about how to achieve a deep, restorative sleep by reading my article on 16 Tips for a Better Sleep. Not all sleep is created equal, and simply falling asleep, unfortunately, is not good enough.
Pillars of a great sleep: same bedtime (7 days a week), sleeping in total darkness, sleeping in a slightly cooler (temperature) room, no stimulants (especially after midday), no large meal 3+ hours before sleep, no exercise 3+ hours before sleep, adequate daylight exposure in the day time, minimal exposure to artificial light after sun down (use blue light blocking glasses if so).
The true benefits of exercise have nothing to do with body composition, and everything to do with hormonal and mental health. Explore your relationship with exercise, because many people engage in an exercise program from a place of self-hate. Find a way to give yourself the gift of movement, which requires not only moving in a way you love, but also incorporating movement (not just exercise) throughout your day. A non-negotiable (life changing) read is Katy Bowman’s Move Your DNA. Her book Movement Matters also shook me to the core, but start with Move Your DNA. I suggest buying it on Audible (audiobook), and listening to is while walking (you’ll get it once you start listening!). Katy also has an incredible podcast called Nutritious Movement.
In a nutshell: all exercise is movement, but not all movement is exercise. If you train hard 1 hour per day in the gym, 7 days a week, but live still otherwise, this is actually considered a sedentary lifestyle (!!!!!!!). By incorporating natural movement throughout the day and learning to stack your life, your hormone sensitivity will increase, as will your resting metabolic rate, your cells will be nourished with fresh oxygenated blood, and your body will begin to heal.
Note that extreme exercise OCD is just as harmful (if not more) than living a sedentary lifestyle. You need to find a balance between the yang (big movements), and the yin (rest).
Another non-negotiable: spending time in the sunlight (without toxic sunscreen), exposing your bare skin and face/ eyes to real, natural, sunlight. The sun modulates our genes, it informs our DNA not only to program our circadian rhythm (the internal body clock that sets your sleep/ wake cycles) but also informs our physical bodies in a cosmic celestial way that is yet to be understood by science.
The sun gives life to nature, we are nature. Try getting sunlight on your face as soon as possible in the day, this actually is a key factor in you getting a good night’s sleep. Getting 15 or so minutes of midday sun on as much of your skin as possible is important for vitamin D (the UV rays are only available when the sun is over 30% of the horizon, at a certain time of year). The DMinder App is great to know when and how much sun to get, safely.
Spending time in nature is also a way to ground yourself, which not only has an impact on your psyche (“forest bathing” is scientifically proven to reduce perceived stress), but also actual levels of cortisol drop when we spend time in nature. Get your bare feet on the ground, relax, make time to smell the flowers.
Getting in the dirt/ grass (barefoot!) is also a fantastic way to expose your microbiome to good bacteria. The original probiotic supplement is indeed a handful of dirt. So don’t shy away from playing in the mud, or that bit of earth leftover on your farmer’s market organic carrots.
I don’t believe anyone can achieve truly vibrant health without a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can manifest itself in many ways, from meditation to simply taking time to being present in your day-to-day life. The topic is so incredibly gigantic, but whichever part of your journey with mindfulness that you are in, I invite you to check out my favorite books section, and see what resonates with you. There are many books (ranging from my very first read on mindfulness The Power of Now to more complicated reads like Power vs. Force) that will challenge you to be more present. In fact, reading in general is one of the greatest ways to cultivate being in the moment.
Like all things, finding balance is the key to sustainable change and happiness in life. Many people can embark on any healing protocol and take it to militanly that the protocol itself becomes destructive. Listen to your body, to your intuition; don’t ever take anything someone else has written as absolute fact— your body is the veto power. Get to know that voice inside your head, and know when it is leading you astray and when it is indeed your intuition speaking. If this guide is too intense for you, ease into it; or opt for just adding in the supplements while you work on slowly eliminating refined foods and lectins from your diet. One day at a time!
Know that balance doesn’t mean everything equal, always. You can spend more or your energy working or more of your energy detoxing at one point or another, but your priorities ought to shuffle then, as time goes on. Balance doesn’t mean 8 hours a day sleep, 8 hours a day play, 8 hours a day work— but be mindful of that dichotomy, and when you see yourself slipping into too much work, try and slide into the other direction (more family time, more rest, more play). And vice-versa. Whether your “balance” is daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly— only you know what is sustainable for you.
My wish for you in embarking on this gut-healing journey is that you will actually be embarking on a totally new life path. If you knew me back in the day, this type of life would be the yin to my yang. I was the ultimate party-girl: binge-drank my way through university, eating Reese’s cups like they were going out of style, and ordering pizza multiple times a week. It was a vicious cycle that didn’t totally change over night. It took years of shifting my mindset, improving my relationship with my Self, filling myself with knowledge, and ultimately cultivating the personal wisdom by actually experiencing the benefits. At the end of the day: the only thing that can change your habits is truly experiencing how good it can feel to be alive. I hope you can commit to 30, 60, or 90 days of this protocol, and see for yourself how amazing you are meant to feel, every single day.
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker PhD
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell
The Complete Guide to the AIP Diet - Unbound Wellness
Low FODMAP Diet: The D.I.Y Beginner's Guide
Gundry MD (Steven Grundy’s Website)
What is the Leaky Gut Diet? GAPS vs. SCD - Wellness Mama
The GAPS Diet: Help for Food Allergies & Gut Issues - Wellness Mama
How to Develop a New Gut for the New Year - Dr. Mercola
Dietary Supplement for Gut-Brain Health - RESTORE
Why You Should Never Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine - Wellness Mama
Compiled list regarding the dangers of soy: CLICK HERE
Studies supporting Thrive Probiotic: CLICK HERE
Studies supporting Restore supplement: CLICK HERE
Research centre devoted to molecular hydrogen: CLICK HERE
Comprehensive article on magnesium with many associated studies: CLICK HERE
The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis - NCBI: CLICK HERE