By Jessica Grant
Do you have a gut-wrenching story like me? Gut health has become all the rage, and it is SO MUCH MORE than a trend. Imagine pouring canola oil into your car engine. You wouldn’t get very far, would you? So why then, are we clogging up our digestive tract with food that makes us lethargic, fatigued and bloated? We’re the ones in charge of what we consume and it’s time to give our digestive system a rest and take the time to heal.
Here are some benefits of living with a healthy gut:
- Increased Energy
- High vibing mood
- Better digestion and nutrient absorption
- Regular bowel movements
- Less bloat and stomach upset
- Clear skin
- Decreased seasonal allergies
It all started on a wintry day in November 1986 – I was a tiny new born babe ready to make my way into the world and leave my mark. Innocent as could be, living a happy care-free easy life as an infant. Unaware of the health concerns that would plague me for the next 30 years.
I had chronic ear infections as a child and was placed on a seemingly never-ending supply of banana medicine. From there I was diagnosed with asthma and placed on a nebulizer at the age of 2. I vaguely remember being read bed time stories while breathing through an oxygen mask. Then came the allergies – the typical ‘asthma allergies’ of dust, mold, pollen and dander along with chronic rhinitis and eczema. Oh, the eczema…a never-ending battle of itchy fiery skin.
Allergist, dermatologists, multiple lotions and antibiotic creams later and I still hadn’t seen any results.
Back before The Whole 30 was a thing my entire family went on a dairy, gluten, sugar free diet for what seemed like a lifetime. Other than my dad losing weight, we didn’t see much for results.
As I grew into my teens, I managed my symptoms as best I could knowing that I couldn’t pet the dog, mow the lawn (which wasn’t that bad) or be around cigarette smoke. And by manage my symptoms I mean take an allergy pill everyday and mask the fiery skin with steroid creams.
I moved away to China at the age of 19 and when I decided to come home at 23 my body went into shock, that’s the only way I can describe it. My immune system was attacking myself as I broke out in constant cold sores for months. Again, not realizing what was going on I tried managing my symptoms. My eczema had changed and now my mouth, hands and feet were being affected. The itching more intense and symptoms worse than before. I started seeking out alternative medicine, going to naturopath appointments, trying homeopathic remedies, elimination diets, colon hydrotherapy, etc..! I would try something for a little while and if I didn’t start seeing results would end up throwing in the towel. Which became easier and easier to do.
One of the many classes of students I taught in China
I went to a new allergist when I was 26 years old and after a bought of testing found out I had a whole new string of allergies I had never known about. I’m talking a whole list of chemicals, heavy metals, additives in skin care products like parabens and lanolin. My body didn’t like anything, and I had a constant juice moustache. (after someone so lovingly pointed out the most insecure spot on my body) I still cover my face at times when I’m talking to people.
On and off this went for YEARS! Scratching my fingers so hard I would wrap them all in multiple band aids to keep them from touching anything. Wearing socks on my hands to sleep. Reading ingredient lists before buying any products. I had had enough. Anyone would!
It wasn’t until I REALLY started to focus on my nutrition that my symptoms started to alleviate. Now, when I began my nutrition journey it was for weight-loss, lifting goals and getting abs. There is nothing wrong with that! But as my symptoms slowly started to get better over time I knew there was something to this whole you are what you eat thing.
At times I find it frustrating that it took me this long to clue in but we all figure things out in our own time and back in my twenties I wasn’t ready for it.
Out of nowhere last year, I contracted a leg infection which we think may have come from a bug bite. After a round of oral antibiotics, it didn’t go away. So, another round I went. Then it came back 10 days before my trip to Central America and let me tell you I was in no mood to travel to Honduras with an open wound on my leg, so we upped the anti and I went on a 5-day intravenous course of a stronger medicine. The leg infection healed up and I went on my merry way. That was until I was sitting on a beach in Nicaragua and another spot showed up. Luckily, there was a med student in my travel group and we went and purchased some over the counter penicillin and amoxicillin to really kick this infection in the butt. Four courses of antibiotics later and it was gone but little did I realize my microbiome was WAY THE F out of whack. Things didn’t feel right and I started to gain weight. After all my hard work of consistent macro tracking and working out I was going right back to where I started.
I started to notice a difference FAST. My body was holding onto weight, feeling bogged down, bloated and sluggish. I was fed up and I gave up for a little while. Only caring about what I was eating when it was convenient or choosing things that were easy.
It was until this year, well into my nutrition and coaching journey that I really started putting my focus into gut health. I started working with Adrienne at Naturally Amped. A woman devoted to cultivating a healthy microbiome and eating locally sourced produce and animals. It was through my work with her and resetting my digestive system that I noticed changes. The excess weight my body was holding started to disappear. I had more energy and had a renewed sense of vitality and motivation.
My journey isn’t over quite yet as I still have skin flares, rhinitis and bouts of allergies but compared to where I was a few years ago I am 100x stronger. Paying attention to my gut health and healing my microbiome has helped me in ways I never dreamed of.
You can now find me on the regular drinking a kombucha or tossing sauerkraut in EVERYTHING. (I seriously love that stuff) I also stress the importance of gut health to my clients and I wanted to share that with you today.
I can now pet kitties on the regular, if I pay close attention to what I’m eating!
Let go of:
- Foods’ containing added sugar
- Processed grains
- Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup
- Cigarette smoking
If you’ve been sick with food poisoning or the flu and have had diarrhea then investigate increasing your dosage of pro-biotics and upping your fermented food intake to balance things back out again.
- Sauerkraut or Kimchi: From a health food store. The stuff off the shelf is not the same. It needs to be refrigerated and make sure it says raw and organic.
- Kombucha: You can find kombucha at many places now, even on tap! However, some contain more sugar than others so be aware.
- Biome Medic: This is the only product in the world that pulls glyphosate out the human body. Glyphosate kills the microvilli in our intestine making it so we cannot absorb the nutrients from our food. Biome Medic is also one of the only supplements that combines pre AND probiotics. It heals, AND it restores. Give me a DM if this interests you!
- Prebiotic foods:
- Legumes, asparagus, whole oats, bananas, dandelion greens, garlic
- Movement – exercise your body and your mind.
I am not a medical doctor but by sharing my experience I hope to affect at least one person reading this. Maybe that’s you. So if you find your story is similar to mine, then it’s time for a change. Time to bring your gut-brain to the forefront of your mind and take total radical responsibility for your heath and healing. It’s time to receive the lasting transformation that you’re looking for.
If you need support along the way, reach out.
We’re always here for you as your supportive nutrition guides.
Love and light,