The gastrointestinal tract is truly the second brain of our bodies. Nearly all nutrition, vitamins, bioidentical hormones and medications must go through this system. If there is inflammation, disease, or irritation then individuals could be compromised. Gut dysfunction can lead to poor absorption of nutrition and more. You may have common symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and reflux but many patients have poor digestion without symptoms.
Did you know that many of the neurotransmitters that our brains use are made in the gastrointestinal tract? Approximately 70% of all serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal system. This is the amino acid that virtually all anti-depressant technology is based upon. If you have problems with your gut, it could affect your brain and your mood.
The majority of our immune system also lies within our gut. A healthy GI system allows us to maintain the best defense against stress and illness.
We realize that if we address the dysfunction of the GI system, we will promote overall improved health.
We use tests to evaluate the presence of inflammation, immunity, bacteria, parasites, yeast and more. Correcting any problem here facilitates the proper function and absorption of the gut. We then take the next step and recommend the right supplements to restore vitality to your GI tract. We will show you what to take for normal digestion such as pre-biotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
FOOD INTOLERANCE TESTING is another way that we can evaluate and promote better GI health. As humans we are creatures of habit and often eat the same foods repetitively. This however often pushes our system to become intolerant to these foods. Inflammation can increase and the system/body can be compromised. Testing for sensitivity to food has been beneficial for reducing IBS, improving immunity, losing weight, asthma, skin disorder, headaches, and more.
Unfortunately, the American diet is nutritionally poor. Our food industry changes food so that they are processed or modified to stay on the shelf longer at the grocery store. If you compound that with the fast food nation we have become, we are at a disadvantage even when we try to eat as healthy as possible.
By understanding the gastrointestinal tract and what the underlying problems may be, we can create a state of ultimate digestion plus maximal absorption for food, supplements, and medicines.
13 Suggestions for Promoting Optimal Gut Function and Weight Loss
No Sugar & No Grain. Low to no Carbs: Your body must burn the sugar and bread type carbs before it will ever get to fat burning. Some vegetable carbs are acceptable (beans, peas, quinoa, and wild rice). This will make a huge impact towards peeling off the weight. No soda, sweets, bread, flour, corn, oats or white potatoes. Two servings of fruit per day maximum (a serving is what could fit in the palm of your hand). A couple squares of pure dark chocolate (70% or higher) is an acceptable desert.
Be Plant Strong: Challenge yourself to eat more vegetables. There are some amazing recipes that all families could incorporate to optimize health. ½ your plate should be non-starchy vegetables.
Moderation with Animal Protein, Egg Yolks & Good fat: We consume a much higher percentage of these than ever before. One half of the plate should be non-starchy veggies, ¼ proteins, ¼ vegetable type carbohydrate. Good fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, eggs, etc. I recommend a hybrid of the Mediterranean and Paleo type eating plans.
Be a Label Reader: Avoid processed food and cook more. Avoid sugar added to food. Avoid msg. Avoid anything with ingredients you cannot pronounce. If it goes bad, it is good for you. If it can sit on the shelf – leave it. Shop only on the outside of the grocery store
Sugar Substitution: I think the only acceptable one is Stevia. There are many brands of this sugar substitute.
Eat Protein with every Meal. Our bodies, brain, and muscles need protein for fuel and metabolic activity. Example: Spinach is 40% protein – so protein doesn’t have to be from an animal.
Portion Control! The American Diet is out of control! We have grown up on huge portions and a supersize mentality. Start focusing on eating smaller portions of better foods. Fewer Calories consumed overall. If you go out to eat, get in the habit of splitting a meal with a friend or taking half home.
YOU NEED WATER!! Most of us walk around dehydrated. Water helps us detoxify our body. Adequate water intake also reduces overeating. Some of your hunger cravings could actually be thirst! Divide your body weight (lbs) by 2. That is the amount of ounces you should consume daily. No Soda of any kind!
Consider a modified fast once a week. This will push your body to use it’s on fuel for energy (stored sugar &fat burning). I recommend eating your evening meal and then fasting until the evening meal the next night. It is not hard to skip two meals. Coffee is ok to consume without cream or sugar. (I like Mondays – it feels like it starts my week with a real boost)
Exercise! You will not achieve your weight loss goals or attain optimal health without exercise. Start at your comfort level and then push yourself. Strive for 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 days a week. Start with 80 min a week (that is 20min four times). A variety of exercise will prevent you from becoming burned out. Find something fun or buddy up with a friend to increase your focus and success.
A word about Bread. Most bread on the shelf is made with “enriched flour”. Don’t let this terminology fool you. Most enriched flour has been stripped of its nutrients with a few vitamins added back. Bread is “hyper-glycemic”. It raises your blood sugar dramatically. GLUTEN FREE & EZEKIEL is better than plain bread, but eliminating bread altogether should be the goal. Purchase or make bread derived from almond flour, coconut flour, chick pea flour, etc.
Avoid Processed Foods! / EAT ORGANIC! If it comes in a can, bottle, box, or bag – be suspicious. If you can grow it, catch it, pick it, dig it up, or shoot it – Go for it. You should stay away from foods that contain MSG (monosodium glutamate), partially hydrogenated anything, genetically modified (GMO), high fructose corn syrup, etc. The more lean meats, fruits and vegetables you can eat – the better. (Also known as real food) A handful of trail mix is a great snack to satisfy cravings between meals. Go to www.ewg.com or download the dirty dozen app from the environmental working group. This will give you guidance on what has to be organic in your cart. Otherwise you are unnecessarily exposed to pesticides and GMO’S. LOOK FOR THE USDA ORGANIC LABEL!! BUTTER SHOULD ALWAYS BE ORGANIC AND PASTURE RAISED!
Smoothies / Detox shakes! A great “on the go” meal (especially for breakfast) is a smoothie shake. There are tons of these on the market but beware of high carbs, fructose, calories, and dairy based powders. Premier Health and Wellness has a number of shake options including the “Slender” Smoothie that is a detoxifying meal replacement shake. We use a non-dairy hypo-allergenic pea protein (20g) for optimal metabolism. It is low calorie, low carb, and low sugar. If you replace 1-2 meals a day with a smoothie, you have reduced your calorie total tremendously heading into your evening meal!